Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Enlightenment: Part One 

The Doctor is in a race with the clairvoyant Eternals for the prize. When the Black Guardian appears, though, the Doctor is suddenly in a race for his life!




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Episode cast overview:
The Doctor
Captain Striker
Black Guardian
White Guardian
Christopher Brown ...
Clive Kneller ...
James McClure ...
First Officer


When the White Guardian appears uttering a cryptic warning of imminent danger - "The winner takes all", the Doctor is puzzled. Then the TARDIS materializes on an old Edwardian sailing ship. Before long, however, he is amazed to discover that the ship, along with others, is sailing through space. The Doctor and his companions soon become caught up in a sailing race run by the mind-reading Eternals. The first prize is Enlightenment - ultimate wisdom to gain one's heart's desire, and some of the more devious crews will stop at nothing in order to claim it. But as the Black Guardian's evil mesh draws tight, it looks as though the Doctor might not live to cross the finishing line... Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

1 March 1983 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This serial was released by the BBC on video cassette in the UK in February 1993. See more »


Referenced in Doctor Who: The Shakespeare Code (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Satisfying Fantasy Adventure
31 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

Materalising aboard the hold of a sailing ship The Doctor and Turlough are brought up top see the ship's Captain . The sailors aboard the ship have trouble remembering details of how they got on board the ship and The Doctor soon realises things are not what they seem

Enlightenment isn't a classic of the Davison era but in the context of a very disappointing season it's the best story . It's full blown fantasy and normally it's not the sort of story that appeals to me but what makes it enjoyable is the design of the sets and the costumes . In many ways it's almost like a period drama and a lot of thought has gone in to these designs . It's somewhat stagey and this is in no way a criticism though it never reaches the acting tour de force we saw in the previous year with Kinda

There is a slight problem with the casting and that is well known comedy star Keith Barron is a distraction and Leee John from camp pop group Imagination is every bit as dreadful as expected . This is down to JNT insisting on casting well known faces regardless of how suitable they were and this casting was a major factor in the death of the show . One other contentious piece of casting is Lynda Baron as Wrack . Watching her scenes in general and the ones alongside Turlough in particular you do think perhaps there might be a strong sexual subtext going on but there's a lack of on screen sexual chemistry . If this was Nuwho the production team would no doubt ensure there's plenty of estrogen and testoseron being splashed around

Not a brilliant story down to the fact that the air of mystery only works once before the cat is let out of the bag Enlightenment is entertaining , contains good model work , incidental music and brings The Black Guardian trilogy to a satisfying close

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