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Reviews for The Black Guardian Trilogy

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Worth a look

By:The Next Doctor, TARDIS
Date:Wednesday 19 August 2009
Rating:   9

Disc One Mawdryn Undead 8/10
Fun Story but let down because it's confusing but great opening story for turlough
Disc Two Terminus 8/10
Interesting Idea but let down by a poor props but still a emotioninly goodbye of Nyssa
Disc Three Enlightment 10/10
Best story good for people who prefer modern who as it is modern acting
Disc Four Enlightment Special Edition 10/10
Makes a good story better

Dull and boring

By:Charles Curtis, Culver, United States
Date:Tuesday 15 September 2009
Rating:   3

These 3 stories plod along and aren't very inspired. The writing and the acting are average for stories of the Davison Era. The Black Guardian should have been left behind at the end of 'The Armageddon Factor'. He wasn't very menacing and Turlough was a less than inspired choice as a villain. They are on a par with 'Four to Doomsday', 'Kinda', and 'Snakedance'.

2 out of 3 ain't bad

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Friday 18 September 2009
Rating:   8

A mixed bag. Mawdyn Undead is an excellent story that rarely (for Dr Who) uses time travel & the consequences, as the main plank of the story. There are some lovely locations & how nice to see the Brigadier back again.
Terminus is a dull story that never really gets going and is a poor way for Nyssa to leave the series. It also features the Garm, or a man in a dog suit, as it should be known, of of the worst realised Who monsters ever. It was interesting to hear Steve Gallagher, the writer talking about (on the commentary track) how he had wanted the Garm to look like. A poor effort.
Enlightenment is a classic story. A great cast, especially Keith Barron as the creepy striker.
The story is only slightly let down by Lynda Barron's ridiculous overacting.
There are some really good extras on all the discs. For me the optional CGI effects are a real boon that really boost the story's (even Terminus to a degree) & the all singing, all dancing movie version of Enlightenment is a real treat. Recommended.

Black Guardian - calm down!

By:Huw Davies, Taunton, United Kingdom
Date:Saturday 6 March 2010
Rating:   8

Season 20 was to feature a returning villain in each episode, and these three feature one from Tom Baker's Key to Time series...
'Mawdryn Undead' kicks things off brilliantly, with a really timey-wimey, dimensions-and-all-that story. The Brigadier returns (as a school teacher - it's obvious Ian Chesterton was meant to come back!) and we also meet Turlough, who proves to be the most inept assassin TV has ever seen. The story (literally) ends with a bang, and its ending is very satisfying.
'Terminus'... it sends a shiver down any Who fan's spine. Dodgy model work (more on that later), lepers and a fat dog - this is as horrid as the green-brown colour that graces the box, and it's one of the Doctor's all-time clangers. The only good scene is the one with Nyssa leaving (WHY?!) and of course the super Black Guardian.
'Enlightenment' is a funny one. It's great TV, yes, and a super story - don't get me wrong: but is it good Doctor Who? For me, it's a bit too... well, good. It all seems too suptuous, too grand, and I'm glad it's been re-imagined as a movie, which is the format in which it belongs.
The extras are nice on this set: optional CGI on the first two, a 3-part documentary narrated by 'Floella Benjamin OBE' (something tells me she insisted on those letters being included) and of course the Enlightenment Special Edition. My one problem is the effects on the latter - they're a bit out of date by about 4 or 5 years it seems, but the movie format alone helps it stand out.

three slightly below-par stories

By:Francis Salvi, Chester, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 23 September 2010
Rating:   7

Peter Davison is probably my least favourite Doctor, the only reasons I got this set were to see what the stories were like and to help complete my collection. And unlike the recent Cybermen set and Time and the Rani releases, this is a below-par release (albeit a slightly old one).

Mawdryn Undead is an average tale which contains a mamorable flashback sequence and re-introduces the Brigadier well, as well as having a good, but short subplot in which Mawdryn tries to impersonate the Doctor. The downside is that the story drags terribly in places, at times seeming to come to a complete standstill.

Terminus is probably the best story in the set, quite a dark tale helped by the dull sets for the space station. The Vanir are admittedly a bit disappointing, and the Garm is quite impressive. Nyssa's departure feels quite rushed, but it is an original leaving scene, and one of the most memorable in Doctor Who.

I am sorry to report that Enlightenment is second in my list of 10 Worst stories. It suffers the same problem as Mawdryn Undead, in that the pace is sometimes non-existant, but unlike that story it doesn't have any redeeming qualities, save for the fantastic model-work.

All in all, a disappointing set that could have been so much better were it not for the quality of the first and third stories.

Excellent overall, except for one thing

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 9 March 2011
Rating:   9

Mawdryn Undead is an excellent and very complex story. The p[lotting is very tight and one has to really think to catch the total gist of what is going on. Valentine Dyall makes a brilliant return to the role of the Black Guardian, with just the right mix of charm and evil to make the character very interesting indeed. Mark Strickson too starts very strongly in his role as one of the most interesting companions in Who history. And yet again David returns to Doctor Who to play Mawdryn, really a very different breed of alien threat. Who isnt really totally evil, bnut just woefully misguided. And the young Tegan and Nyssa (Go on Lucy!) are really cute. The end of the tale is downbeat and sad for once too. And Nicholas Courtney was excellent here, returning to the role of the Brigadier as if he had never been away. Its very sad that he has now passed away, he was a terrific asset of Doctor Who.

Terminus has many excellently realised moments, but for the ludicrous shock reveal at the end of Part three. This really is the most absurd theory to ever appear in a Doctor Who story. It is totally unconvincing. Which is sad, for the lazar disease section and Nyssa's goodbye scenes are all rather memorable and downbeat and totally gripping. Even the Garm isnt as bad as all that, and I love his voice. And the cramped and untrusting relationship between Tegan and Turlough is very well written indeed, with both actors giving excellent performances, even if they are relegated to scrambling through tunnels for most of the storys length. I really liked Sarah Sutton, she played such a good character. She had such a high moral tone and carin attitude. Its sad to see her go. Thankfully shes back now in audio as strong as she was here.

Enlightenment is visually very striking, and is storytelling at its best. the Black Guardian finally flips and even nearly kills Turlough. And Turlough's role within this story is involved and excellent. Keith Barron and Lynda Baron though are who particularly shine here. Both play very good and interesting characters indeed. Yet again this is original too, and the plotting is very tight and the pace of the story is believable and very engaging indeed. And for once the fact that an alien can read thoughts is very well scripted too. And the Eternals as a whole really are rather soulless and creepy too. The climax too is good, bringing the Guardian trilogy to a successful end engaging end. These are overall very good stories, just forget that unstable fuel thing in Terminus and you might give this a ten, but no. 9 it must be for that one totally silly blunder.

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