The second part of the Black Guardian Trilogy gets under way with this story, Terminus, that was penned by Steve Gallagher and ran from 15 to 23 February, 1983.
The Doctor (Davison) may still be unaware of the threat that Turlough (Mark Strickson) poses to him, as the young man is still under the control of the Black Guardian (Valentine Dyall). In fact, Turlough causes the TARDIS to link up with a space liner and damages its controls.
Stuck on the liner, the Doctor and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) discover pirates who ware there to plunder the ship, while Teagan (Janet Fielding) and Turlough promptly get lost in the ship’s infrastructure.
When the liner, carrying a number of sick people, arrives at Terminus, a giant space station, it is revealed that the base can cure Lazar’s disease. Which is awfully convenient because Nyssa seems to have contracted it.
And the station itself has a secret that may have something to do with the beginning of the universe! (Apparently a time-jump, the expulsion, and subsequent explosion of fuel caused it…)
An interesting story, I find it disconcerting that the only person who suspects Turlough of anything is Teagan, I mean, both the Doctor and Nyssa are supposed to be geniuses, and with the amount of traveling the Doctor has done over the centuries, how could he not see the obvious right in front of him?
I do like the fact that there is mistrust between Teagan and Turlough, they are forced to work together throughout the story, while the Doctor tries to figure out what is going on aboard the liner and Terminus.
Happily, by the end of the story, Nyssa has been cured, and she elects to stay and study the source of the cure, a strange beast called a Garm (a fun looking costume, with a kind of a dog head with glowing red eyes), and continue to perfect it and help those afflicted.
I can’t help but get a laugh out of some of the model work, it’s so blatant, it’s like they just gave up trying to convince anyone that things were to scale, and simply shot the models to give the viewer an idea of what things are supposed to look like.
Throughout the story, the Guardian berates Turlough, and ‘opportunities’ are missed repeatedly. The young man is warned that he will have one last chance, obviously next week’s story, but I’m sure that won’t work out for the Black Guardian either.
I will say this, the writing is becoming more and more fast-paced, and the stories seem to fly by lately. Very enjoyable!
Next time, as the Black Guardian Trilogy comes to a close, everyone seeks Enlightenment.