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

4.5 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ATVDBY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,705 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

The third, fourth and fifth stories of the twentieth season were conceived by John Nathan-Turner and Eric Saward as a trilogy reintroducing the Black Guardian.

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.

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.

Extras:
Commentary with cast and crew
Who Wants to Live Forever? - cast and crew look back at the making of the story.
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Out-takes
CGI Effects
Photo Gallery
Isolated Score - option to watch the story with the isolated music score.
Coming Soon trail for a forthcoming DVD release.
Easter Eggs
Programme Subtitles

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

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Common knowledge and perceived wisdom has it that the Peter Davison era was when things started to go wrong for Doctor Who, but while he never made as much of an impression in the role as his predecessor Tom Baker and was saddled for most of his tenure with the deeply obnoxious `mouth on legs' Tegan, many of his stories were no worse - and some were considerably better - than the latter season Baker efforts. Mawdryn Undead is an example of the latter, an ambitious plot-led story that sees the Doctor and his companions separated in two time zones - 1977 and 1983 - with two Brigadier Lethbridge Stewarts and a new addition to the TARDIS' company in the form of Turlough, who's being bribed by one of the Doctor's many old enemies, The Black Guardian (previously seen in The Key to Time sequence that made up the show's 16th season), to nobble the Time Lord once and for all. With one of the Brigadiers unable to remember the Doctor, a group of aliens who've stolen Time Lord technology in a botched attempt at immortality and a threat to our hero's ability to regenerate (and therefore his existence as a Time Lord), it's a surprisingly clever little number that manages to fill in most of the potential plot holes without insulting your intelligence too much (even if it does take one Deus ex Machina to do it) and looks rather stylish doing it. Even Tegan manages not to be annoying for a change.

Thanks to a bit of TARDIS-sabotage from Turlough, Terminus sees the Doctor and his companions stranded on a leper ship run by alien slaves based on Norse gods, albeit drug-dependent ones. To make matters worse, the ship may have caused the Big Bang that created the universe and is gearing up for a repeat performance that might destroy it...
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An old favorite from my childhood but still like it today.
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I love Peter Davisons Dr Who. Really great stories
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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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Format: DVD
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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