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This will show the History of Doctor Who from the POD in 1984.
Michael Grade, instead of taking the position of controller of BBC One, decides instead to leave the BBC and take the position of executive chairman of ITV. BBC producer and executive James Stevenson (a completely fictional person unique to this ATL) becomes the controller. Upon taking office, Stevenson declares himself as a "fan of Dr. Who" and vows to "keep it going, no matter what!"
The debut of Sixth Doctor Colin Baker in the story "The Twin Dilemma" received very poor response from both critics and viewers alike. With ratings already in decline for the past couple of years, the bosses at the BBC threaten to put the show on Hiatus. Stevenson would not have it though, and he convinces the BBC to let Doctor Who continue. Stevenson announces that he plans on "major improvements in all areas of production" even though the BBC would not increase the budget. With interest in Doctor Who on the wane in the UK, Stevenson and producer John Nathan-Turner had their work cut out for them.
The biggest change that was made was to fire Eric Saward as script editor and to bring back Robert Holmes. This change was made under protest by JNT, who thought that bringing Holmes back would keep the series from modernizing. A compromise was reached, and Eric Saward was kept as assistant script editor. Stevenson and Holmes also convinced JNT to hire more experienced writers. This forced JNT to tone down the enhanced special effects that he wanted to begin to introduce into the show. All the changes that were made to the production forced season 22's transmission to be delayed until October 1985.
Production begins on season 22, with Colin Baker as the Doctor and Nicola Bryant as his companion, Peri. Holmes decides to add an additional companion, a male companion from the Victorian era named John. Peri's character is also changed somewhat, giving her a more intelligent dialogue and adding a bit more characterization.
October 1985-February 1986
Season 22 begins transmission on October 26. The series would consist of six 4-episode stories, with each episode remaining 25 minutes long. The series revolves around a story arc based upon a new character called the Rani. The Rani (played by Kate O'Mara), a renegade Time Lady villain who's motivations were made intentionally mysterious, became immensely popular among fans as well as the general public. Ratings increase to levels not seen in a while, as Stevenson makes sure that Doctor Who is placed in a time slot that doesn't clash with other ratings winners like Coronation Street. The finale, featuring the Master played by Anthony Ainley, puts forth the shocking revelation that the Master is the Doctor's brother. Ratings for the finale reach 10 million viewers.
At the end of the series, it is announced that both Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant (as well as the new companion, John) will return for Season 23.
As Season 23 begins transmission, Robert Holmes suddenly passes away, leaving a Eric Saward as script editor. Under Holmes, Saward learned quite a bit and became a much more capable script editor then in OTL.
With little changes to the established formula, Season 23 is widely regarded as inferior to season 22. Ratings remain steady between 6m-8m viewers. The Daleks are also noticeably absent from this series, with the main villains being the Rani and the Master. One departure from the norm comes with a burgeoning romantic relationship between Peri and John. With Nicola Bryant deciding to leave the show at the end of the series, Peri marries John and both leave the Doctor to live out their lives in Victorian London. Their departure scene becomes widely regarded as the most emotional the series had ever been thus far.
Season 24 begins transmission with a new companion Ace (played by Sophie Aldred) who is a troubled teen who is kidnapped by Space Mercenary, Sabalom Glitz (One of Robert Holmes last ideas) after a bizarre chemistry experiment gone wrong. By the end of the Season, Ace becomes a fan favourite. Ratings steadily increase leaving the average episode watched by 7.5 million viewers.