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Doctor Who - The Black Guardian Trilogy: Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment [DVD]

Peter Davison , Lynda Baron , Peter Moffatt , Mary Ridge    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
Price: £13.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Doctor Who - The Black Guardian Trilogy: Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment [DVD] + Doctor Who - Kamelion Tales Box Set: The King's Demons / Planet of Fire [DVD] + Doctor Who - Mara Tales (Kinda/Snakedance) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Peter Davison, Lynda Baron, Sarah Sutton, Nicholas Courtney, Janet Fielding
  • Directors: Peter Moffatt, Mary Ridge, Fiona Cumming
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Aug 2009
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,065 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Three interlinked stories from the Peter Davison era of Doctor Who, the Black Guardian Trilogy brings together Mawdryn Undead, Terminus and Enlightenment, as the Doctor finds himself under threat from an old foe.

The enemy in question, of course, is the Black Guardian of the title, who first appeared at the end of the Tom Baker Key To Time season. Across the three stories of the Black Guardian Trilogy, he’s a constant background figure, instead introducing and recruiting Turlough to kill the Doctor on his behalf. The three stories introduce Turlough as a companion eventually, but also marks a farewell for Nysaa.

Each of the three stories has its merits, although Mawdryn Undead is hard to beat. It helps that it marks the return, after some time, of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart to Doctor Who, although by now we discover that he’s a maths teacher. Not for long, though, as he’s soon back into action, in a story that’s one the Peter Davison era’s finest.

Terminus and Enlightenment are less successful, but both are still interesting in their own right. The former sees the Tardis landing on a seemingly deserted and out-of-action space station, while the latter, intriguingly, is set against the backdrop of a big race through space.

The Black Guardian never really steps to the forefront across the three adventures, it should be noted, and at times his involvement does feel a little forced. But this is, nonetheless, a fine collection of stories, with one major standout among them. --Jon Foster

Product Description

Mawdryn Undead: The Black Guardian recruits a young man named Turlough to assassinate the Doctor. Although outwardly an ordinary pupil at a boys' private boarding school, Turlough is in fact an alien who believes that the Guardian will return him home if he succeeds. The TARDIS meanwhile has its instruments jammed by a mysterious signal and is forced to materialise on board a massive spaceship in a fixed orbit. The Doctor discovers that the signal - a beam to guide the ship's transmat capsule - is being transmitted from Earth. He travels down to the planet in the capsule, leaving Nyssa and Tegan in the TARDIS with the co-ordinates pre-set to follow. Things go wrong, however, as the Doctor arrives in 1983 but the TARDIS materialises in 1977. Tegan and Nyssa encounter a man with a badly burned body and think that this could be the Doctor... Terminus: The TARDIS attaches itself to a space liner after Turlough, still under the Black Guardian's influence, damages its controls. The Doctor and Nyssa meet two space pirates, Kari and Olvir, who have come on board the liner in search of plunder, while Tegan and Turlough get lost in the infrastructure. Enlightenment: The White Guardian warns of impending danger and directs the TARDIS to what appears to be an Edwardian sailing yacht, the SS Shadow, but is actually one of a number of spaceships taking part in a race through the solar system, the prize being Enlightenment. The yacht's Captain Striker and his fellow officers are Eternals who feed off the thoughts and emotions of their kidnapped human crew - Ephemerals - in order to fill their own empty existences.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
This trilogy falls in the middle of Peter Davison's penultimate season as the Doctor. By now he has fully settled into the role and puts in a corker of a performance here.

The three stories here are a loose story arc linked by the involvement of the Black Guardian, portrayed by Valentine Dyall in villainous form, and his attempts to get the Doctor killed. As well as the welcome return of Dyall, these stories are notable for the return of the Brigadier and the introduction of Vislor Turlough, one of my favourite companions.

Davison's era was poorly served by his companions, I always found Adric and Tegan to be really annoying, and while Nyssa was a watchable and likeable character, the scriptwriters made her so bland she never really made an impression. Turlough, the wily, untrustworthy sneak, was just right. Character flaws aplenty so he made an impression, but still likeable. And never better than here, struggleing with some rather large moral problems.

Mawdryn Undead is a decent bit of hard-core Sci Fi. There are several story strands which come together nicely into one complete whole. First there's the Black Guardian's scheme to coerce seeming schoolboy Turlough into killing the Doctor. There's the reintroduction of the Brigadier from two time periods (the older and younger Brig both played to perfection by the ever dependable Nicholas Courtney) running around and who must never meet. Then there's the story of the attempts of Mawdryn (played by David Collings, another star turn as one of Who's more sympathetic aliens) to finally find release, which may well cost the Doctor all his lives. There's a lot going on here, but some excellent script writing, attention to detail (time paradox plots are often full of holes, but not here!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Funny Collection of Stories 27 Feb 2014
1983's Black Guardian Trilogy is an odd batch of serials. Some work better than others. Namely Mawdryn Undead and Enlightenment. I don't think it needs stating that this trilogy features as its main villain The Black Guardian, who returns here after his 2 minute spotlight appearance at the end of 1978's Key to Time season. I find it strange that this 12 episode mammoth was given over to one foe that I bet 90% of the viewing audience knew nothing about. Now, a trilogy of Dalek, Cybermen or Master serials might have been more akin to the celebratory seasons trappings, but, I fear that would have been pushing the boat a wee bit too far.

Anywho, we got the Black Guardian, who, whilst not the greatest, is played with great aplomb by stalwart actor Valentine Dyall. This is an old-school actor who has been given 12 ham scripts and told to have a good old go at it. Which he does, with charm. Had he played the Black Guardian totally straight, I think we all would have grown tired of the character by the 2nd episode. So, with a trilogy of stories to play about with, what did the team at BBC TV centre decide to lavish us with;

Mawdryn Undead

The trilogy begins in style with Peter Grimwade's timey-wimey tale of Mawdryn and his undead crew seeking death at the hands of our Time Lord. Obviously, the main thrust of this tale is the return of the Brigadier, who, as played by the truly superb Nic Courtney, is given the lions share of this tale. Thankfully. Its one thing to bring back an established icon like Nic, but really, respect must be given to Grimwade for incorporating the character so well into his story. The Brig doesn't just pop-up and wave and then disappear, no, he is the plot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last! 17 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase
Mawdryn Undead

Watch the version with the new CGIFX, it's much better; back in 1983, someone was in a tearing hurry.

Dispensing with the dating question (it could so easily have been the Royal Wedding of 1981) this is a jolly good story. The twin times work very well, and the two brigadiers and the poor eponymous guy, who just wants to die - well, it's David Collings - he would be good, wouldn't he?

Is it credible that he's a post regeneration Doctor? Well, just about, if you squint. Is it credible that the Black Guardian picks on Turlough, or that (for that matter) that he's been moved from another planet and hidden here by a very peculiar lawyer? Well, truth is often stranger than fiction. Credible that those two little girls are really Nyssa and Tegan? I wouldn't bet money on it.

But it is a good, intelligently written story. It's very well acted; Angus McKay is very good as the Head, with a nice cameo from Roger Hammond as Dr Runciman, and Mark Strickson makes a fine debut.

And Valentine Dyall is wonderfully nasty, and a real old trouper with a very fine voice (I do a credible impersonation if any casting directors are reading); his new frock looks very fine, even if he has got the remains of a dead raven on his head - it does *not* make him look like Granny Longbottom.

The new CGIFX are a *big* improvement - I'd almost forgotten how poor the original ones are - the new flame effect behind the Black Guardian especially, and the re-created spaceship in flight shots, and most especially the new 'Brigadier regains his memory' sequence, recreated with considerably thought and artistry. It really is a high point of the story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great stuff
Published 8 days ago by Gareth Helliwell
5.0 out of 5 stars brian
it is the bant
Published 12 days ago by V Hodgins and brian hodgins
5.0 out of 5 stars Davison's greatest hits.
Excellent set of stories, linked by a nice arc. Although I'm well versed in classic doctor who, the Davison era was still a bit of a mystery to me prior to buying this boxset. Read more
Published 21 days ago by etroy
5.0 out of 5 stars Enter Turlough, Exit Nyssa
This box set consists of the three stories in Doctor Who's 20th series that featured the Black Guardian, who first appeared at the end of the Key to time series (series 16). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Benjamin Coupland
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy days
This was a Christmas present, which raised a smile for a Peter Davison fan. Back to back Doctor Who over Christmas it was then :)
Published 8 months ago by Patsch
5.0 out of 5 stars For all doctor Who fans
What is not to like it is Doctor Who. A good box set for all those Doctor Who fans out there. It was well packed and arrived on time.
Published 9 months ago by galadrial
4.0 out of 5 stars This is how Peter Davison became my classic Doctor!
I became a fan of Doctor Who back in 2007 and my full first series was Series 4. It wasn't until 2011 that I finally decided to give classic Doctor Who a chance. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Daniel Isaac
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Trilogy
I loved Peter Davison as the Doctor and I love this Trilogy. My favourite story is Enlightenment, where Turlough has to finally make the choice to seek riches and rewards or save... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Dopeydora
3.0 out of 5 stars Can you kill the Doctor?
All I can say is thank goodness for Valentine Dyall as the baddie in this one. Never did like Turlough.
Published 13 months ago by Spender1
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth getting for Mawdryn and Enlightenment
Three adventures from Peter Davison's second season, all of them based around a story arc concerning the Black Guardian.

Mawdryn Undead is by far the best of the trio. Read more
Published on 5 May 2012 by StormSworder
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