Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Mawdryn Undead: Part One 

With the TARDIS trapped on a collision course with a strange, orbiting spaceship, locked in time as well as space, the Black Guardian recruits a deceitful and ill-natured British student to kill the Doctor.


Peter Moffatt


Peter Grimwade (by)




Episode cast overview:
Peter Davison ... The Doctor
Janet Fielding ... Tegan
Sarah Sutton ... Nyssa
Nicholas Courtney ... The Brigadier
Valentine Dyall ... Black Guardian
Mark Strickson ... Turlough
Angus MacKay Angus MacKay ... Headmaster
Stephen Garlick ... Ibbotson
Roger Hammond ... Doctor Runciman
Sheila Gill Sheila Gill ... Matron


The Black Guardian strikes a deal with a British student named Turlough. He will return him to his home planet if Turlough will kill the Doctor for him. Meanwhile the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa are near Turlough's school, trying to repair a hidden device that has the TARDIS trapped in perpetual orbit, when they run into an old friend of the Doctor's... twice. Can the Doctor avoid the machinations of both Turlough and the mutated alien scientists while keeping the two Brigadiers from different time zones from meeting? Written by Jay H

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?


Ian Marter was considered to reprise his role as Harry Sullivan for this serial, but he was unavailable. See more »


Black Guardian: We haven't much longer. I need to know that I have your assent to our arrangement. You will find me the most accommodating of partners.
Vislor Turlough: But, Murder. I'm not sure I could go that far.
Black Guardian: You will be destroying one of the most evil creatures in the universe. He calls himself "The Doctor."
See more »


Featured in Who Wants to Live Forever? (2009) See more »

User Reviews

The arrival of one new friend and the return of another.
28 October 2019 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

The TARDIS crew are hurtling towards a ship and must land on board, unaware that an old foe wants revenge on The Doctor.

It has a very different feel to many of the previous stories, we have the intrigue of the plush ship, and the complexity surrounding The Black Guardian and Turlough. It is well written and complex, it's a very strong start.

I like how we get the hangover from the previous story, Tegan is feeling rough after the events of Snakedance.

Mawdryn undead is the first of a trilogy of Black Guardian stories. There are some really nice elements here, some familiar faces, some new. We get the introduction of schoolboy companion Turlough, we also see two faces from the past, The Brigadier, last seen in Terror of the Zygons, and The Black Guardian who last battled Doctor number four.

Strong production values, the ship looks amazing, I also love the music, it adds intrigue. Well acted by all, I wasn't a fan of Turlough in the his early stories, no fault of Strickson, I just didn't care for the character, he'd grow on me later on. Turlough is unique in that he didn't exactly have the warmest of welcomes from his fellow travellers, which isn't surprising given his intention.

I really enjoyed this first part.

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Release Date:

1 February 1983 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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