Terminus – 1983 – S20 – E4/7

imageNumber : Season 20, episode 4 of 6.

Which One : Nyssa leaves and Turlough sabotages the Tardis.

Cast : The Doctor : Peter Davison
Tegan : Janet Fielding
Nyssa : Sarah Sutton
Turlough : Mark Strickson
Black Guardian : Valentine Dyall
Kari : Liza Goddard
Olvir : Dominic Guard
Valgard : Andrew Burt
Sigurd : Tim Munro
Eirak : Martin Potter
Bor : Peter Benson
The Garm : R.J. Bell
Tannoy Voice : Martin Muncaster
Inga : Rachel Weaver

Written By : Stephen Gallagher

Produced By : JNT

First UK Broadcast : 15 – 23 February 1983.

Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : Turlough sabotages the Tardis, causing it to jettison rooms and land aboard a spaceship transporting diseased lepers to Terminus – a huge spacestation hospital. Nyssa is infected by the same disease, only a trip to Terminus can save her.

Whats good : Some good sci-fi concepts. Starts well enough with the Tardis melding with a space freighter. The Vanir’s look. Nyssa in her nightie.

Whats bad : Not a lot happens – bar talking. It’s pretty boring. Also, the Garm just looks stupid.

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Review With Spoilers : Terminus could well be named “Terminal”, as nothing much happens – of any real substance or interest. Its all a bit boring at 4 full parts. It should have been a 2 parter.

Some early suspense and mystery about the spaceship the Tardis is forced to land on and become part-of, gives way to alot of talking on board Terminus, with little action – or intrigue.

Some interest is generated when the Doctor discovers Terminus is the centre of the Universe and that a fuel dump aeons ago by a mummified spacepilot, caused the big bang which started this universe but not enough to kickstart proceedings.

The Vanir, who are the spacestation’s medicated mercenary force, definately look the part in their ornate gold costumes. Although nothing interesting is made of them – or their hazy motivations.

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“You’ll be taken to the Garm. Thereafter, who knows? No one’s ever come back from a meeting with him!” Valgard

The resident monster in this; The Garm – is a really lazily conceived outfit which consists of a pair of overalls and a dog mask.

The script made reference to Cerberus, the dog that guards the gates of hell but this does not come across in the execution. They should have written the Garm’s part to be fleeting glimpses only – this would have made it much more effective.

Apart from seeing Nyssa in her nightware. The only notable thing to happen is that Nyssa decides to stay behind and help treat the lepers, leaving the Tardis for good.

Despite some interesting ideas and concepts, Terminus is the weakest episode in The Black Guardian trilogy and can be easily forgotten about.

🔴⚪⚪⚪⚪ (1/5)

Old Doctor Who


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