Friday 20 July 2012

605 Enlightenment Part Four

EPISODE: Enlightenment Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Wednesday 09 March 1983
WRITER: Barbara Clegg
DIRECTOR: Fiona Cumming
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 7.3 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Black Guardian Trilogy: Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment

Wrack has the Doctor, Tegan and Marriner sent back to the Shadow but believes Turlough's story that he found the Doctor and keeps him aboard. As the ships near the end of the race and the Buccaneer comes alongside the Doctor realises that a gem to focus Wrack's power must be on board. He finds the tiara, smashes it and throws the fragments overboard. Striker returns the Tardis and he goes to Wrack's ship, but when he enters the chamber he is seized by Wrack & Mansell. Moments later Striker, Marriner & Tegan see two bodies go overboard as the Buccaneer wins the race and they go over to the other ship to pay homage. The Black & White Guardians arrive on the Buccaneer with the prize but the winners are revealed to be the Doctor & Turlough. The Doctor declines Enlightenment but Turlough is offered a share, a huge diamond. The Black Guardian tells him it's his by the terms of his agreement but Turlough can have it in exchange for the Doctor. Turlough throws it at the Guardian who bursts into flames and vanishes. The Doctor reveals the real prize was th choice. The White Guardian leaves, warning them that the Black Guardian will return, and Turlough asks the Doctor to take him to his home planet.

Well that sorts out which side Turlough is on. He's wavered back and forth between wanting to kill the Doctor and wanting to help him over the last few episodes: here decision time come and he makes his choice. But it's got me thinking: is that what the Eternals were racing for? When asked Striker & Wrack have both been a bit evasive about the prize and what they will do with it. If one of them had won would their "Enlightenment" have been different? Or has the entire race been staged to put Turlough in this position? Still Turlough's servitude to the Black Guardian is down now. The plot for him to kill the Doctor has felt a little odd, it never reaches prominence feels a bit tacked on to all three of the stories it appears in.

It's a decent effort from Barbara Clegg, writing her only Doctor Who story, and director Fiona Cumming, the only time Doctor Who has had an only female writing & directing team. Slow & steady in places it looks good and is very well done.But somehow, like the sailing ships themselves, it lacks a bit off umph and energy.

So ..... The White Guardian. He looks fine here, no sign of the weakness that meant he was draining the Tardis' power in episode 1. So what was going on there then? This is the last time we see either Guardian, though Valentine Dyall, The Black Guardian, later returns in the Doctor Who radio story Slipback. Dyall died in June 185 aged 77 and his opposite number Cyril Luckham passed away in Febuary 1981 aged 89. The creator of the Guardians, Graham Williams only learnt of their return after the event when he was asked a question about it at a Doctor Who convention.

Barbara Clegg novelised her own script in 1984. Enlightenment was released on video in early 1993 following Mawdryn Undead & Terminus. All three stories were released together on DVD as part of the Doctor Who - The Black Guardian Trilogy boxset

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