Doctor Who: Terror of the Vervoids (Story #145)

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

Introduces Mel

Weird story set-up for a new companion


The trial continues!

The Doctor’s trial takes a look at an event from the Doctor’s future as the Doctor (Colin Baker) and Mel (Bonnie Langford) receive a distress call from Hyperion III.  Investigating, the Doctor and Mel discover a murderer aboard Hyperion III and the search for the killer could turn deadly when a species called the Vervoids is unleashed on the Hyperion III…leading the Doctor to make a fateful decision.

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Vervoids aired in the twenty-third season of the popular BBC series and was the third part of the season long story The Trial of a Time Lord.  The serial aired in four parts from November 1, 1986 to November 22, 1986 and introduced the Doctor’s new companion Mel Bush played by Bonnie Langford.  Following Doctor Who:  Mindwarp, Doctor Who:  Terror of the Vervoids was collected as part of The Colin Baker Years as Story #146 (or Story #145 depending on how you count the unaired Tom Baker story Doctor Who:  Shada).  The entire The Trial of a Time Lord storyline was collected in one box set.


So…did you really hook up with James Bond?

I really wasn’t a fan of the Doctor in this time period (though if I had really watched Doctor Who much as a kid, this would have been when I was watching).  The Doctor and his companions were weak and the stories weren’t helping them at all.  The Trial of a Time Lord storyline however did help pick up the story a little and this is a very strange Doctor Who entry.

This Doctor Who is set up as somewhat of a mystery.  I wish that Doctor Who would have more mysteries and that the “villain” would be secret on occasion.  The episode also ties into the big story in that it starts to indicate that someone is somehow tampering with the Matrix with is presenting the events.  That means that the “story” might not even be true which is another interesting wrinkle in this entry.


Mel’s here to get the Doctor in shape!

The biggest aspect of this story is the introduction of Mel.  It is a really odd way to introduce the character in that we don’t get to “meet” Mel which is generally the source of an entire episode when a new companion is introduced.  The plan was to have this episode later, but when Colin Baker did not return, the meeting with Mel was scrapped.  I’m not saying Mel is a great companion (she’s a horrible actress) and other than being peppy, she’s pretty one dimensional…but still an improvement over Peri.

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Vervoids is a really average episode that is still pretty fun since it is rather important in the last gasp of the original run of the series.  This is the lead up to the big finale and does set up an interesting problem for the Doctor in how he dealt with the Vervoids.  Doctor Who:  Terror of the Vervoids is followed by the finale of Doctor Who:  The Trial of a Time Lord in Doctor Who:  The Ultimate Foe.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Mindwarp (Story #144)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Ultimate Foe (Story #146)

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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