Doctor Who: Terminus (Story #126)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Like the Big Bang aspect

Story drags in the middle


You are the worst chiropractor

Turlough (Mark Strickson) is plotting against the Doctor (Peter Davison) and a sabotage of the TARDIS at the orders of the Black Guardian (Valentine Dyall) has led the TARDIS to materialize on a spaceship.  Unfortunately, the ship is a plague ship and those aboard it are contaminated with an incurable disease.  As the Doctor, Turlough, Tegan (Janet Fielding), and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) fight for survival aboard the ship, one of the universe’s great mysteries will be uncovered…and not everyone will be leaving!

Doctor Who:  Terminus aired during the twentieth season of the popular BBC series.  The serial was divided into four episodes and broadcast from February 15, 1983 to February 23, 1983.  Following Doctor Who:  Mawdryn Undead, the serial is the second part of the storyline known as The Black Guardian Trilogy (which included Doctor Who:  Mawdryn Undead and Doctor Who:  Enlightenment) and features the last regular appearance of Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.  Following Doctor Who:  Mawdryn Undead, Doctor Who:  Terminus was collected as part of The Peter Davison Years as Story #127 (or Story #126 depending on how you count the unaired Tom Baker story Doctor Who:  Shada).


All this technology and I have to talk to you through a stupid crystal?

I like the basic story for Doctor Who:  Terminus but it does drag like many of the Doctor Who episodes.  The idea that the ship is the cause of the Big Bang (which was kind of retconned out of the story in later entries) is interesting.  I didn’t love the giant cat man or the guard aspect of the ship, but essentially a prison ship is a good idea.

I still am not liking Turlough much as the new companion.  It is interesting to see how a traitor can work side-by-side with the Doctor, but this whole traitor in the midst aspect of the character only lasts for The Black Guardian Trilogy.  Turlough remains kind of unlikable, but it also seems rather unlikely that the Doctor wouldn’t notice his deceit.


We’re going to take advice from this guy?

The story marks the departure of Nyssa who first appeared in Doctor Who:  The Keeper of Traken and then joined the Doctor in Doctor Who:  Logopolis.  Nyssa and the companions from around this time are part of the reason I think Doctor Who ended up faltering.  The producers wanted younger and more promotable companions for the Doctor but it didn’t make much sense for him to be running around with kids.

Doctor Who:  Terminus is a good set-up with a so-so story.  I lose interest during the running around the ship moments but the basic concepts behind the story hold up.  Doctor Who:  Terminus is followed by the final part of The Black Guardian TrilogyDoctor Who:  Enlightenment.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Mawdryn Undead (Story #125)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Enlightenment (Story #127)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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