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Doctor Who: The Black Guardian Trilogy: DVD Review

Doctor Who: The Black Guardian Trilogy

Rating: PG
Released by BBC/ Roadshow
Cast: Peter Davison, Valentine Dyall, Sarah Sutton, Mark Strickson

Another foray into the Time Lord's endless back catalogue, this trio of releases from 1983 mark a return for Peter Davison's fifth incarnation of the Doctor - as well as a return of a long lost foe.

Essentially this trio of stories sees the Doctor reunited with his old comrade Lethbridge Stewart as well as the introduction of a new companion Turlough to the TARDIS team of Nyssa and Tegan.

Throw in the return of the evil black Guardian who's determined to dispatch the Doctor by manipulating Turlough and you've got a recipe for adventure of the eighties kind.

Beginning with Mawdryn Undead, there's a sense of celebration in this story from the Doctor's 20th anniversary year - Turlough brings with him an air of distrust and an enigma which continues through Terminus (the second in the series) and ends with the sailing ships in space epic Enlightenment.

Peter Davison continues to impress some 20 years with his portrayal and there are some big names from the British TV scene in final story Enlightenment.

As ever with these sets, the stories come second fiddle to the extras which continue to be of a high standard and set the benchmark for docos and add ons for releases. A solid doco looking into the background of the Black Guardian does well to flesh out the story.

From film trims to new CGI effects there's plenty to keep fans interested for hours - throw in commentaries from the main actors and it's a package which will be guaranteed to eat up plenty of time.

Extras: Commentaries - with actors Peter Davison, Mark Strickson and Nicholas Courtney, Sarah Sutton, writer Stephen Gallagher, writer Barbara Clegg, director Fiona Cumming and script editor Eric Saward. Who Wants to Live Forever? - cast and crew look back at the making of the story. With actors Peter Davison, Nicholas Courtney, Mark Strickson, David Collings and Lucy Benjamin, director Peter Moffatt, script editor Eric Saward and plastic surgeon Dr. Simon Withey. Narrated by Floella Benjamin. Liberty Hall - a new drama. Journalist Philip Clarke (Simon Ockenden) travels
to Brendan School to interview Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart. Deleted and Extended Scenes Out-takes - the producer's blooper reel.Breaking Point - cast and crew look back at the making of the story. With actors Peter Davison, Mark Strickson, Sarah Sutton and Martin Potter, director Fiona Cumming, writer Stephen Gallagher, designer Dick Coles, camera supervisor Alec Wheal and sound supervisor Scott Talbott. Narrated by Floella Benjamin. Origins of the Universe - Sir Patrick Moore and, Dr. John Mason take a look at the science behind the Big Bang and the origins of the universe. Winner Takes All - cast and crew look back at the making of the story. With actors Peter Davison, Mark Strickson, Janet Fielding, Keith Barron, Christopher Brown and Leee John, director Fiona Cumming, writer Barbara Clegg, costume designer Dinah Collin and camera supervisor Alec Wheal. Narrated by Floella Benjamin. Casting Off! - an actor's view of working on Doctor Who. With Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson, Keith Barron, Christopher Brown and Leee John, with director Fiona Cumming. The Story of the Guardians - the Guardians have appeared in Doctor Who as far back as Tom Baker's era - but who - or what - are they? With Robert Luckham (son of the late White Guardian, Cyril Luckham), Sarah Leppard (daughter of the late Black Guardian, Valentine Dyall), Doctor Who Magazine editor Tom Spilsbury and Doctor Who Adventures editor Moray Laing. Storyboards - a dual-angle feature, in which visual effects supervisor Mike Kelt uses the original storyboards to explain how he went about planning and shooting the model effects sequences for the show.

Rating: 7/10