Saturday 14 July 2012

599 Terminus Part Two

EPISODE: Terminus Part Two
TRANSMITTED: Wednesday 16 February 1983
WRITER: Stephen Gallagher
DIRECTOR: Mary Ridge
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 7.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Black Guardian Trilogy: Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment

Turlough & Tegan hide under the floor panels to escape the Lazars getting trapped there. On the bridge Nyssa finds the terrified Olvir hiding and persuades him to come back. He tells them of how his sister died of Lazars disease. She came to Terminus and like everyone who came there never returned. The Doctor discovers Terminus is at the exact centre of the known universe. Tegan & Turlough witness an armoured figure enter the ship and instruct the ship's robots to sterilise. On Terminus another armoured figure, Bor, worries about climbing readings and ventures into a forbidden zone. Valgaard reports this to Eirak who says Bor will be back when he gets hungry or needs his Hydromel. Nyssa goes towards the Tardis with Olvir but starts tp show the early signs of Lazar's disease. She is captured by a maintenance robot drone and dragged away and taken to Valgard & Sigurd, two of the armoured Vanir who man Terminus. The armour shield the Vanir from the radiation on the station. Nyssa is taken away to the Garm with Olvir following at a distance. The Garm, a huge mute creature with a dog like head speaks with Valgard who asks him to bring Bor or his body back. Tegan & Turlough hear the Doctor's voice and call out but all are forced to flee as more sterilisation gas is pumped into the corridors of the ship. Kari & The Doctor escape from the ship as the hatch closes, but Tegan & Turlough remain trapped under the floor. Valgard spots Kari & The Doctor and follows them, apprehending them and attacking the Doctor saying he will kill him!

Yeah not bad, but just like the first episode brought down by one design element, in this case the Garm. It's a giant shaggy dog man with one of the least convincing masks I have ever seen. Writer Stephen Gallagher intended him to be kept in the shadows and was astonished to see what was actually produced! The Vanir, the custodians of Terminus, look nice but I'm told even they caused problems as the firm making their armour wasn't told the actors needed to fight in them. Just about everyone can see that they're making a horrible noise on screen every time the actors move. Terminus was at one point rumoured to be a return to the program for the Ice Warriors and looking at the Vanir armour, especially the design of the headpieces with the large perspex eyes, I could see how you could mistake a Vanir for a redesigned Martian.

So.... Nyssa stripping off on the space ship. OK I can see why she'd shed a layer of clothing if she was feeling too hot from the effects of the condition. Fair enough. Even the rapidly changing effects of the condition which then need her to wrap up on Terminus. But it doesn't help that she's spent the first episode and a bit fit & healthy wandering around without the top of her new outfit on. If she had, and got rid of both elements of the costume on the ship you could maybe understand it. As it stands we have to chalk this action up as "something to keep the older male viewer interested".

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