"Doctor Who" Terminus: Part One (TV Episode 1983) Poster

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Lots of wandering around corridors.
poolandrews18 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Doctor Who: Terminus: Part One starts aboard the TARDIS as the Black Guardian (Valentine Dyall) instructs Turlough (Mark Strickson) to sabotage the TARDIS controls, while trying to remove some circuitry from the TARDIS control console a strange shimmering cloud travels though the TARDIS corridors. With Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) trapped in her room the Doctor (Peter Davison) tells her to walk through a door that appears in her room, Nyssa does & ends up on a spaceship that at first appears deserted. The Doctor, Tegan (Janet Fielding) & Turlough then rush to Nyssa's room & follow her through the door in an effort to find her. The Doctor finds Nyssa as well as two space pirates Kari (Liza Goddard) & Olvir (Dominic Guard) while Tegan & Turlough become lost...

Episode 13 from season 20 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during February 1983, the fourth story from Peter Davison's second season as the Doctor & the second story from the Guardian Trilogy which started with Mawdryn Undead (1983) I have to say I really didn't find much here to enjoy. The one & only Doctor Who serial to be directed by Mary Ridge & one of only two Doctor Who scripts to be written by Steve Gallagher not that much has happened, usually most Doctor Who stories start of very strongly with an attention grabbing episode & start to wane but Terminus has started off badly full stop. I can't quite believe how much time is spent in this episode showing people walking around corridors, it starts off with Turlough & Tegan walking the TARDIS corridors, then it show's Nyssa walking around the spaceship corridors at which point the Doctor starts walking around the same corridors trying to find her & then annoyingly Tegan & Turlough join in the fun as they too end up wandering around the same corridors for not entirely apparent reasons. There was nothing in this episode to make me want to watch Part Two, there was nothing that really grabbed me, nothing that drove the story forward in an interesting way & the even the cliffhanger ending felt lacklustre. Terminus was Nyssa's final story as a regular companion & I can't believe she is so weedy as to crouch down on the floor in a ball when she hears footsteps, has she not faced the likes of Cybermen, the Master & various other evil aliens? Why not try to hide if she was so afraid? Why crouch down in a position that would have been in plain sight of everything that bothered to walk that way anyway? The other annoying aspect of this episode was the relationship between Tegan & Turlough who spent the entire time bickering.

Industrial action at the BBC by it's electricians meant that Terminus had one less studio day than was normal, with no location work apparently the atmosphere was not good on set. Production wise the sets here are very bland & grey in all senses of the word, the spaceship model shots are acceptable if underwhelming & the two space pirate outfits are embarrassing especially their huge over-sized oddly shaped goldfish bowl style helmets while their flimsy Lycra skin tight body stockings & capes don't help. There were no alien monsters in this episode & with none in the previous story Mawdryn Undead that means there's been a whole five classic Doctor Who episodes in a row without a single rubber monster suit.

Terminus: Part One is a distinctly underwhelming & dull start to Nyssa's farewell adventure, for me it just seemed like twenty odd minutes of groups of people wandering around incredibly dull corridors which in reality it was.
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Grim, Punk, Edgy, Mythic
godzilla7718 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I've got to admit it. I've always been a fan of this story. The complaints I read from fan critics about this thing being all corridors and groaning always suggest to me that fans don't actually keep up with plots very well. The cramped, nasty, creepy world of this story is the point of it. It's a nightmare of decadent pestilence at the center of the universe -- nifty idea upon nifty idea in a wonderfully, operatically grim-tastic setting.

Meanwhile, there was the problem of having the Black Guardian still just hollering down at Turlough to kill the Doctor again and again, all while he's totally incapable of getting to the Doctor. It's only in the opening episode when he's able to almost destroy the TARDIS that Turlough gets close to real menace in this story. That, here in this episode, and then Turlough's lovely snake in the TARDIS role extended as he chats Tegan into accepting him just a bit do add up to a great continuation of his character's arc just here. It's the next three episodes where he unfortunately doesn't do very much, despite all the build up from last Mawdryn Undead.

We also get sexy Kate Bush space pirates. Who I just like. It was the 80s. That's all I've got to say about how they look.

We'll see the Vanir in the next three episodes. But so far, this is such a maze of a nightmare. I was terrified and enthralled by this story as a child and as an adult still find part one a masterpiece of creepy 80s Who style.
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Very Dull
Theo Robertson31 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Refers To All Four Episodes . Suggestive Spoilers

Due to Turlough committing an act of sabotage the Tardis makes a failed materialisation on board a spaceship which causes the Tardis to become unstable . Nyssa being trapped in one part of the Tardis leaves the time machine while the rest of the crew exit in another direction and explore the spaceship . which isn't as deserted as it first appears

Reading that synopsis - and I do hope there's no murdered grammar - I was struck as to how similar the premise is to so many other stories . The Tardis lands at a location and there's a deserted ship/ space craft/ house nearby and the time travellers enter it and it's not as deserted as it first appears and ... well you can join up the dots from there

Terminus gets off to a relatively good start and the plot turn of splitting up the crew is a little bit more original than you expect . There's a saboteur aboard the Tardis and he just happens to be a companion who is league with The Black Guardian . It does make for an unintentional funny moment when we see " The heart of the Tardis " which is a couple of circuit boards . Say what you like about NuWho but at least in the new show the heart of the Tardis resembles a meeting of minds between Jules Verne and a Hollywood special effects wizard . That said the image of a wall featuring a skeletal face sudden appearing inside the Tardis does have an impact

After we've been threated to this the story then takes a totally retro turn and feels like it's been produced in the Graham Williams era . People walk and in the case of Turlough and Tegan crawl along corridors meeting badly dressed not very good actors with dreadful hair styles and a monster that looks like a refugee from The Muppet Show . We also get an implausible concept in that " The universe itself is in danger " so hold on to your seats and stifle those yawns

It also signals the end for Sarah Sutton in the role of Nyssa and to be brutally blunt she never made much of an impression and her leaving scene is in keeping with this . It's not a case of it's understated in comparison to the overblown leaving scenes we get nowadays because I distinctly remember thinking " Is that it ? Big deal " on its original broadcast and Terminus isn't a story that improves on repeated viewing
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