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Doctor Who: The Black Guardian Trilogy (Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment) (Stories 126 - 128)

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Doctor Who: The Black Guardian Trilogy (DVD)

All three classic battles with the Silurians and the Sea Devils! Doctor Who and the Silurians The Doctor is summoned to an underground research center at Wenley Moor to investigate a series of inexplicable power losses and soon discovers that the nearby cave system conceals a colony of an ancient race called the Silurians. The Sea Devils When the Doctor and Jo Grant pay a visit to the Master at a top security prison on a remote island off the south coast of England, the Doctor soon finds himself pitted against the Sea Devils, an ancient race of reptiles intent on eliminating humankind. Warriors of the Deep When the TARDIS is forced to make an unplanned visit to Sea Base Four, the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough find themselves accused of being enemy agents. However, there is a greater threat to humankind: the Silurians and Sea Devils, prehistoric reptiles seeking to reclaim the Earth.

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Special Features

Includes Mawdryn Undead, Terminus, and Enlightenment

Commentary by actors Peter Davison, Mark Strickson, Nicholas Courtney, and Sarah Sutton, writers Stephen Gallagher and Barbara Clegg, script editor Eric Saward, and director Fiona Cumming

Who Wants to Live Forever?: Making of Mawdryn Undead

Libery Hall

Deleted and extended scenes

Film trims

Outtakes

Breaking Point: Making of Terminus

Origins of the Universe

Winner Takes All: Making of Enlightenment

New feature-length edit of Enlghtenment featuring 5.1 sound and new CGI effects

The Story of the Guardians

Finding Mark Strickson

Finding Sarah Sutton

Continuity

Isolated music

DVD-ROM material

Photo galleries

Production note subtitles


Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson, Valentine Dyall
  • Directors: Peter Moffatt, Fiona Cumming, Mary Ridge
  • Writers: Barbara Clegg, Steve Gallagher, Peter Grimwade
  • Producers: John Nathan-Turner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 375 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002IW62FK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,531 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Hickerson VINE VOICE on December 15, 2009
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For the 20th season of "Doctor Who," producer John Nathan Turner wanted each storyline to feature a callback to the past of the show, whether it be a returning villain or monster or a familiar face or two coming back across the Doctor's path. In addition, Nathan-Turner wanted a new face to join the TARDIS crew-a school boy with a mysterious past and possibly an alien heritage.

Those two elements led to the creation of a three-story arc during the twentieth season, loosely referred to as The Black Guardian trilogy. The overarching theme saw the Black Guardian seeking revenge on the Doctor for denying the Guardian the Key to Time at the end of season 17. Out for vengeance, the Guardian procured the services of an English school boy named Turlough, who in exchange for killing the Doctor would be suitably rewarded.

Released on DVD for the first time, this loosely connected arc of stories makes up the latest box set of classic "Doctor Who."

The first story, "Mawdryn Undead" sets up the Turlough storyline in the midst of one of the more insightful looks at time travel and its implications the classic series ever did. Multiple time zones play a factor as do the intersecting time lines of returning favorite Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Visually stunning (even without the CG updates) and featuring a catchy and driving musical score, "Mawdryn" is the highlight of the set and may be the best story from the twentieth anniversary season.

Next up comes "Doctor Who" wrestling with the creation of the universe and saving us from the next big bang with "Terminus." Much derided by some of the "Who" community, the story is probably best remembered for companion Nyssa living the TARDIS crew and, in episode two, shedding her skirt.
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I have entered the era of Doctor Who that I had never seen (the 4th Doctor and the early bit of the 5th were what I grew up watching), so it's a treat to experience these adventures without already knowing what's going on. Having said that, I do heartily recommend this trilogy simply because MAWDRYN UNDEAD (Story 126) is one of the Best of Early Dr. Who, ENLIGHTENMENT (Story 128) is very good... as for TERMINUS (Story 127), the best I can sum up is the repeated thought that went through my head the entire time: "Terribly strange, strangely terrible." TERMINUS a plot concept that struggles valiantly to be fantastically cool, yet remains solidly in just awful in realization (the optional CGI enhancements under Special Features do help A LOT). Well, that and Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) running about barely dressed like Leela was in THE TALONS OF WENG CHI'ANG (Story 91) during the latter sewer scenes.

But definitely the other two serials make up for it, and for those who like American style SciFi B Movies from the 80s may still get a kick out of the general production atmosphere of TERMINUS. All three discs have an optional updated CGI effects feature, and ENLIGHTENMENT has a re-cut version on the 2nd disc, a rare chance for director Fiona Cumming to bring in line her original vision of the story's scope. All in all, a great set from an otherwise not-so-great season.
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Classic Doctor Who is done, so I've heard whispers that WB/BBC will no longer be printing up new copies nor releasing new editions of classic Doctor Who stories in North America. They maybe released in the far future as digital downloads only or picked up by another company but that doesn't mean that all the special features will go with them.
For me this set is ALL ABOUT Mawdryn Undead which to me is one of the very best of the 5th Doctor's adventures... I only recently just watched it again after hurrying to buy the set and it is just as superb a time-travel/science fiction story now as it ever was... and features doubly one of the all time great and beloved DW characters of course: The Brigadier always played masterfully by Nicholas Courtney.
I'm sure many people feel that Enlightenment is the crown jewel of this set and in all honesty I still have yet to watch Terminus again after 30 years but I am looking forward to it. Most stories that have either the entrance or departure of a companion or a Doctor are significant stories just for those facts and Nyssa was a nice character.
I'm not a fan of Turlough to be honest and the whole Black Guardian aspect to these stories is my least favorite, Turlough was prob one of my very least favorite companions all in all, but that's just me.
Even with Turlough and the whole Black Guardian thing going on Mawdryn Undead stands out as a great time travel story. I love how Tegan places the 4th Doctor's coat onto Mawdryn when they think he is Doctor No. 6 and he wears it for a long time.

My personal top 5th Doctor stories are: Castravala, Four to Doomsday, Black Orchid, Earthshock, Time-Flight, Arc of Infinity, Mawdryn Undead, The Five Doctors, Ressurection of the Daleks, Planet of Fire and Caves of Androzani.
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This series of three very-interconnected episodes introduces Turlough as a compromised companion and ends with his redemption by his own choice. The doctor is once again involved in a contest between the Black Guardian and the White Guardian, the former of which is still very cross with the Doctor from the events of the Key to Time series that occurred during his Fourth Regeneration. To destroy the Doctor, the Black Guardian seeks to corrupt one of his companions.

The three episodes that make up the trilogy vary in quality. I was disappointed by Mawdryn Undead, which has an appearance by the retired Brigadier Leftbridge Stewart. His character is teaching at a boy's school, and actually appears as two versions of himself in the episode. Terminus is a pretty decent episode in itself, but I would suggest that the viewer use the CGI Special Effects Option included as a special feature to improve the episode. The viewer should be aware that this is Nyssa's final episode, but that she departs on good terms. I really enjoyed the third episode, Enlightenment, which resolves the conflict between Guardians, and redeems Turlough as a companion. This edition of the DVD offers a theatrical cut of this episode, put together by the original producer and the BBC. This special edition offers very good CGI special effects, and a completely restored story. I highly recommend the viewer watch this version. Enlightenment has become one of my favorite Fifth Doctor episodes due to this theatrical version.

The set also offers excellent extras with lots of interviews by the cast and producers, including a nice interview with Nicholas Briggs on the Mawdryn Undead DVD. There are lots of the making-of informational extras as well. Overall, this DVD set is a good value for the price, and offers three Fifth Doctor epiosodes varying in quality from decent to great.
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