Doctor Who - Terminus VHS
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Sabotage! The TARDIS is breaking up! Thanks to the combined efforts of the treacherous Turlough and his evil master, the Black Guardian, the Doctor and his companions are in terrible danger. The outside world has begun to break through and Nyssa has disappeared. Can the TARDIS? fail safe mechanism save them all by docking with another ship? Unlikely, when the nearest vessel is a carrier of plague victims destined for the infamous Terminus, the time-bomb planet ticking at the center of the universe? Originally transmitted February 15-23, 1983, this four part adventure starring Peter Davison is the second in the Black Guardian trilogy which began with Mawdryn Undead.
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Many poeple complain about the "bad" sets of the Terminus spaceship. They say they looked like rubbish. Well, da... Terminus is supposed to be an old and run down spaceship. That's the point! I noticed that the fancy starliner didn't have bad sets. But then the starliner wasn't supposed to be like Terminus. It was supposed to look like a nice passanger liner in order to lead the audiance away from it's true purpose - taking plague victims to their final resting place, which is Terminus. Although the starliner did have some very good hints of it's true purpose such as the eerie feel of the ship and the painted skulls on the doors. The first two parts are very eerie indeed. The story has a lot of mystery in it, and when everything does become clear towards the end of part three, then it's a race against time for the Doctor to save the universe. The Garm was one of the neatest looking creatures I have ever seen in the series, Nyssa's departure was handled very well, and the cliffhangers were all great - and that includes the conclusion of part four.
It does have some faults though. The space suits worn by the space raiders were ridiculous looking, some of the acting by the guest cast wasn't as good as it could have been, and the Doctor saves the universe way to soon, leaving about 7 minutes of the episode left with nothing to fill it with except mindless babble until the departure of Nyssa and the excellent cliffhanger ending.
In all, it wasn't the best story of them all, but certainly worth a look at. I sure did enjoy watching it.
Here, there is a truly exciting first episode as the Tardis almost gets destroyed by Turlough and his evil master, the Black Guardian and then arrives on a ship full of space-plague sufferers! Scary!
The next three episodes are then very low key and build up slowly to a truly amazing climax. As Turlough agonizes over whether or not to kill the Doctor and gets told by Tegan that he is "weird" (haha!), Nyssa sucumbs to the illness and is taken by the alien Garm, only to be cured. Meanwhile, the Doctor investigates the central mystery, that star charts indicate the ancient, ramshackle vessel of Terminus is at the very center of what the Doctor calls "the known universe".
With the help of a woman Space Pirate, the Doctor locates the dark, rusted and decayed control deck with a giant, long dead alien pilot at the helm. Here the Doctor theorizes that Terminus dumped a malfunctioning engine through a time warp and triggered the Big Bang which created the Universe. Suddenly, he finds himself faced with an ancient, out of control machine which is preparing to jettison a second engine, which may possibly cause a second chain reaction that could destroy the cosmos!
Far fetched? Yes! Mind bogglingly imaginative? Defintely! And it takes the help of a slave to stop the destruction of everything the Doctor knows and holds dear.
The final episode is truly gripping and there's a very moving farewell to Nyssa, before the evil Black Guardian tries one last time to pressure Turlough to "Kill the Doctor!"
No dodgy CSO, the Garm is not great, but only has a small role, and the whole thing has great atmosphere. Considering Mary Ridge directed this during a strike which reduced her shooting time to a bare minimum, the acting still convinces. All in all, damn good!