Part One

Nicol joined us for the first episode. Let’s listen in as Sue attempts to bring her daughter up to speed with the Black Guardian trilogy:

Sue: So the Doctor’s companions are Tegan – she’s Australian – and…
Nicol: I know who Tegan is.
Sue: And an alien called Turlough. He looks like a public schoolboy. It’s complicated. Anyway, Turlough is trying to kill the Doctor, but the Doctor doesn’t actually know that yet.
Nicol: How long has that been going on for?
Sue: Eight episodes.
Nicol: And he still doesn’t know? He can’t be trying very hard.
Sue: No. Anyway, Turlough is employed by the Black Guardian. He’s like the Devil. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll pick it up in no time.

Barbara Clegg’s name appears.

Sue: A woman. That makes a change.
Me: She’s the first woman to write for Doctor Who.
Sue: Really?
Me: Yes, it only took them twenty years.
Sue: I can’t believe I didn’t notice that before.
Nicol: I just hope she isn’t related to Nick.

The story begins on the TARDIS.

EnlightenmentSue: I love the lighting. It reminds me of a plane when it’s flying at night. They should light the TARDIS like this all the time.
Nicol: Peter Davison’s hair is longer than I expected it to be.
Sue: He should get it cut. Another month and he’ll have a mullet.
: Why does the Doctor walk around with dead leaves on his coat?
Sue: That’s his celery.
Nicol: Okay, so why does he walk around with a stick of celery on his coat?
Sue: How the hell should I know?

The Doctor is visited by…

Sue: That’s the White Guardian, Nicol. He’s God in the Doctor Who universe.
Nicol: Why is a stuffed bird sitting on his head?
Sue: Ask Neil.
Me: It’s a dove. It’s a symbol of peace.
Nicol: It’s dead. Did somebody shoot it?

The Doctor makes it abundantly clear that he doesn’t trust Turlough.

Nicol: If Turlough is so bad, why does the Doctor hang around with him? Why doesn’t he just kick him off the TARDIS?
Sue: Because he’s a half-decent actor.

The Doctor follows the White Guardian’s garbled instructions and he finds himself exploring what appears to be a sailing ship.

Sue: I like this story already. It’s full of atmosphere and lit beautifully. Who directed this?
Me: Fiona Cumming.
Sue: Another woman? See, this is what happens when you put some women in charge of the programme for a change. It’s great.

Tegan is left to brood in the TARDIS. Unbeknownst to her, a Peeping Tom has popped over for a visit.

EnlightenmentNicol: For a horrible moment there, I thought he was going to be the Hoff.
Sue: Is he a dwarf?
Me: What?
Sue: He must be really small.
Me: Where do you think the TARDIS scanner is situated?
Sue: Where the ‘Pull to Open’ sign is? Or maybe in the windows.
Me: Really? I’m sure the programme has already established that it’s in the lightbulb on the top. Hasn’t it? I’m not sure. God, I don’t know anything any more. It’s all a blur now. I’m turning into you.
Sue: Oh, I guess that would make sense. Let’s go with the lightbulb idea.

The White Guardian gives Tegan a warning: Winner takes all.

Sue launches into a spirited rendition of the Abba song. I think about the ITV game show fronted by Jimmy Tarbuck. It’s a miracle that we’ve stayed together this long, frankly.

The face on the scanner slips away.

Sue: He’s fallen off his step-ladder.

The Doctor and Turlough enter the ship’s forecastle (or fo’c’sle, if you are a nautical pedant).

Sue: (Singing) In the Navy!
Nicol: Shhh, mother.

The Doctor picks up a newspaper dated 1902.

The Doctor: First British submarine launched.
Sue: This is far too big to be submarine. If this turns out to be a submarine, I’ll knock five marks off.

Tegan leaves the TARDIS so she can deliver the White Guardian’s warning to the Doctor. In the ship’s hold, she finds a chest with the word Striker stencilled on it.

Sue: That must be where the captain keeps his football magazines.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Turlough are introduced to the ship’s crew.

EnlightenmentSue: It’s Roy! Pat’s husband!
Me: Tony Caunter to his friends. That’s 10 points to Sue. More EastEnders actors still to come, Nicol, so you can still catch up.
Nicol: Be quiet, I’m trying to listen to this.

In the ship’s hold, Tegan runs into the mysterious Mariner.

Mariner: You’re a stowaway and I shall put you in irons.
Sue: He’s a bit creepy.

Ha! She hasn’t seen anything yet.

Meanwhile, in the forecastle.

Sue: That sailor with the mangy beard reminds me of a Jehovah’s Witness who used to visit us. Do you remember?
Me: How could I forget? They were banned from coming to our place after a while because we were a bad influence on them. I hope he’s okay and he wasn’t too upset when the world didn’t end.

Nicol is far more interested in Turlough’s eyebrows.

EnlightenmentNicol: Why doesn’t the Doctor know his companion is an alien? How many humans do you know with eyebrows like that?
Me: He might know. It’s not very clear.
Sue: I don’t think he knows.
Nicol: So the Fifth Doctor is stupid? Right.

Mariner flirts outrageously with Tegan.

Sue: She could do a lot worse than him.

And then we meet Keith Baron as Captain Striker.

Sue: Oh, it’s him.
Nicol: Who?
Sue: It’s on the tip of my tongue.

EnlightenmentI’m hoping she’ll say Nigel Barton, but of course she doesn’t. No, Keith is.

Sue: The guy from Duty Free!

Sue’s actually more interested in the wood that surrounds him.

Sue: This story had a great carpenter working on it. The panelling is gorgeous and those chairs are beautiful. It all looks fabulous.

Turlough and the Doctor discuss tactics in a corridor.

Nicol: He’s alone with the Doctor right now. Why doesn’t he just pull out a knife and stab him? What’s he waiting for? What kind of assassin is he?

Sue is becoming very suspicious.

Sue: Something’s not quite right about this ship. I think they have been transported into the future, like an Edwardian Philadelphia Experiment.

Tegan notices that the ship is equipped with wetsuits.

Sue: Maybe we’re on a submarine after all. A really big submarine.

The Doctor consults the ship’s navigational charts.

Tegan: It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Sue: They are stars and planets, chick. They’re on a spaceship, aren’t they?

Less than thirty seconds later, Sue’s theory is proved correct.

Sue: Excellent. That was a great start. I can’t wait to see what happens next. What about you, Nicol?
Nicol: Yeah, it wasn’t bad. I can imagine the new series doing something very similar, only a lot quicker.


Part Two

EnlightenmentWith Nicol in bed – one of us has to hold down a proper job – Sue and I continue our journey towards Enlightenment.

Sue: Sailing ships in space. It’s the sort of thing Monty Python might do.
Me: I don’t think it’s meant to be funny.
Sue: It’s bonkers.

Tegan retires to her cabin with a bad case of space sickness. Mariner gives her something to drink.

Sue: Don’t! I bet it’s laced with Rohypnol.

The camera pans across Tegan’s cabin.

Sue: Hey, that’s the chair from Tegan and Nyssa’s bedroom. That’s lazy set decoration.

I almost agreed with her, but then I remembered that it’s a plot point. The room even includes a photograph of Tegan’s Aunt Vanessa.

Sue: Did she ever visit her grave? Or is she still on the run for her murder? We need to know.

Back in the wheelhouse.

EnlightenmentSue: I’ve spotted another EastEnders actor.
Me: You have?
Sue: Yes, the man steering the boat is Derek Branning.

The Doctor verbally attacks Striker for using the humans as playthings.

Sue: Peter Davison is excellent is this story. I take it all back, he can be angry when he wants to be. It helps that the script is this good. A woman, you see. Just saying.

Turlough attempts to make contact the Black Guardian.

Sue: He never answers his phone when you need him.

Later, the Black Guardian terminates his arrangement with Turlough.

Sue: You can’t say that Turlough wasn’t warned. Throttling him will be frowned upon by the HR Guardian, but he did give Turlough several chances before he fired him.

Tegan doesn’t understand how her cabin can be filled so many personal mementoes.

The Doctor: They can make anything they see in your mind.
Sue: God help them if they ever make a bedroom from the contents of your mind, Neil.

EnlightenmentTurlough and Tegan decide to sit out the rest of the adventure in the TARDIS.

Sue: The Doctor is really disappointed. They’ve let the Doctor down, they’ve let the audience down, and they’ve let themselves down.

Unfortunately for them, the TARDIS has disappeared and our heroes are rounded up by the ship’s officers.

Officer: Please, Doctor, resistance is futile.
Sue: The Borg nicked that line from him.

Mariner persuades Tegan to slip into something more uncomfortable.

Tegan: I’m not putting that suit on!
Sue: You don’t need to be a mind reader to know what his game is.

Mariner escorts Tegan to the ship’s deck. She is awestruck, supposedly.

Sue: Tegan wouldn’t be that impressed given everything she’s seen on her travels. I don’t buy it.

EnlightenmentAnd then we reach Sue’s favourite moment in Doctor Who so far.

Sue: Peter Davison in latex. Sigh.

Tegan and Mariner are joined by Turlough and the Doctor.

Sue: This looks brilliant. This is one of those times when the switch from video to film actually works. It makes feel even more strange. And I’m loving the big, dramatic close-ups, too. The women are doing themselves proud.

She even praises the special effects.

Sue: They are trying their best. The concept should be a non-starter but it works.

The Black Guardian decides to taunt Turlough. Just for a laugh.

So Turlough kills himself.

Sue: Excellent cliffhanger. Let’s keep going. I want to know what happens next.


Part Three

EnlightenmentSue: I really like the music in this story. It’s even got a choir in it.
Me: It’s by Malcolm Clarke. You’ve always liked Malcolm Clarke. You’re that kind of woman.

Turlough throws himself off the ship again.

Sue: This looks amazing.

A pirate ship called the Buccaneer catches the suicidal companion in a net.

Sue: That doesn’t look so good, but they are trying their hardest.

Turlough has been recused by the lead singer of…

Sue: Boney M.

I pause the DVD.

EnlightenmentMe: Close.
Sue: He’s definitely a singer.
Me: Well, he’s definitely not an actor.
Sue: I can see him on Top of the Pops. Now, what was the name of that song.
Me: Would you like me to sing it to you?
Sue: No. It’s a one-word band. Begins with an I. Illusion. Something like that.
Me: Imagination. They had a hit with ‘Just An Illusion’. His name is Leee John and he was a last-minute addition to the cast when an actor had to pull out.
Sue: Did he wander onto the set after he’d recorded a Top of the Pops one night, and the production team said, “He’ll do. He’s even brought his own costume”. Is that what happened?

Speaking of singers…

Sue: She’s famous, too. She’s been in loads of Carry On… films.
Me: No she hasn’t. She’s been in one (but it barely counts).
Sue: Who is it then?
Me: Think sitcom. Or, if you are feeling really perverse, think EastEnders.
Sue: Oh yeah, it’s Christian’s mum.
Me: Most people know her as Nurse Gladys Emanuel from Open All Hours.
Sue: Which one was that again?
Me: You know. N-N-N-N-Nurse G-G-G-G-Gladys Em-
Sue: Oh, that. I never saw much of that.

Give me strength!

EnlightenmentSue: She’s also been in two episodes of Doctor Who. Do you remember the Matt Smith episode with the Cybermen in the department store?
Sue: Yes.
Me: Well, she’s in that. She also sang the song in The Gunfighters.
Sue: Did she really? Does she sing in this one? A sea shanty, perhaps? What’s her real name?
Me: Lynda Baron. No relation to Keith.

From that point on, Sue refers to Lynda as the Baroness.

Leeee John takes the wheel.

Me: Like I said, he’s not a real actor.
Sue: No shit, Sherlock!

Up on the deck, Mariner is probing Tegan’s mind.

Sue: I wouldn’t do that if I were you. It’s full of snakes.

But Tegan doesn’t want to know.

EnlightenmentSue: So, these Eternals… Are they like the Guardians?
Me: I think they are probably one tier down. If the Guardians are gods, the Eternals are angels.
Sue: He’s not very angelic. I bet he’s thinking some very dirty thoughts right now.

Tegan changes for dinner. The Doctor completely ignores her new look.

Sue: Aww, she looks lovely. And look at that cleavage!

I don’t respond. I know it’s a test.

The ship navigates its way through an asteroid storm.

Sue: Is the other ship chucking oranges at them?

Leeeee John is still at the wheel.

Sue: (singing) Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ah-ahh.
Me: Like I said: not an actor.
: What is he doing in this scene? What is he gawping at?
Me: Nothing. He’s using his imagination.

At Wrack’s buffet reception, the Doctor seizes an opportunity to replenish his celery supply.

Sue: How does he make it stick to his coat like that? That’s what I want to know.

Turlough investigates Wrack’s ship. He comes across a room that contains an eye-shaped hole in its floor. Turlough moves in for a closer look.

Sue: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘S’.

Turlough is locked in the room. He panics and turns to the Black Guardian for help.

Sue: Oh, that is very disappointing. I thought we’d gone beyond that, now. Don’t be a dick, Turlough.

EnlightenmentThe Black Guardian refuses to help his ex-employee. He prefers to gloat instead.

Sue: That man has a horrible laugh. I suppose a reference is out of the question?

Turlough freaks out.

Sue: You couldn’t accuse the actor of not going for it. I really like him. He’s my favourite male companion since Ian. I hope he comes good in the end. I think he will. Do you think the Doctor knows what’s going on with Turlough? Do you think he’s setting Turlough a test, or do you think he’s blissfully ignorant?
Me: I honestly have no idea.

The episode concludes with Wrack placing a red gem in Tegan’s tiara when she isn’t looking.

Sue: It’s the kidney bean of death. Couldn’t they get their hands on a jewel that sparkled a bit? Never mind, it’s not the end of the world.

Wrack delivers the final line straight down the camera lens:

Wrack: You’ve lost. All that awaits is your ultimate destruction. Bwahahahahahahaha!
Sue: Okay, we could have done without that.

I tut.

Me: Women.


Part Four

EnlightenmentMariner continues to woo Tegan.

Sue: Isn’t she sick of people poking around in her head by now?

And then I notice Sue humming along to Malcolm Clarke’s Edwardian Cocktail Party theme.

Me: If we ever renew our wedding vows, this is the music we should play at our reception.
Sue: Over my dead body. And the same goes for the music.

Mariner is acting like a love sick puppy dog.

Sue: So Tegan has copped off with an angel who can make her dreams come true. Like I said earlier, she could do a lot worse.

Leeeeeeeee John, however, is beginning (beginning?!) to get on Sue’s wick.

Sue: Is he taking the piss or what?
Me: The way I look at it is this: the Eternals are bored so if it looks like he’s taking the piss, it’s because he’s taking the piss. Does that make any sense?
Sue: Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ah-ahh.

At one point, Turlough looks like a rabbit caught in headlights.

EnlightenmentSue: Is it really true that they asked the actor to shave his head for this part?
Me: Yes.
Sue: It’s a bloody good job he didn’t. He would have looked like the man from The Hills Have Eyes. It would have been too scary for the kids.

At last, the finishing line is in sight.

Sue: A giant chandelier. Okay, then.

Once again, Leeeeeeeeeee John takes the wheel.

Sue: He’s looking directly into a mirror, and he’s thinking to himself, “Am I really wearing that?”

Sue is biting her nails as the two remaining ships vie for supremacy. Wrack, with the help of the Black Guardian, prepares to destroy Striker’s ship.

The Black Guardian: Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus.
Sue: Is the worst DIY company ever.

The Doctor smashes the gem that Wrack placed in Tegan’s tiara, but that turns out to be a really stupid idea.

EnlightenmentThe Doctor and Tegan transfer the shattered fragments to a handkerchief.

Sue: Just pick up the rug and take that! You’ve left loads behind.

The Doctor reaches the upper deck and he tosses the debris over his shoulder into space. It explodes.

Sue: I expected him to bowl it like a cricket ball. Oh well. And Tegan’s cabin must be on fire, they left so much of it behind.

The Doctor travels to Wrack’s ship in his TARDIS.

Sue: And he lands it on a sixpence. If he was William Hartnell, he would have wet himself.

Wrack threatens to throw the Doctor into space – with a little help from Turlough.

Sue: He’ll never fit through that hole. They’ll be lucky if they can get his leg through it.

Tegan watches helplessly as two figures are ejected into space. She mourns her fallen comrades.

Sue: Is she mad? They just disappeared into thin air so they must be Eternals. It’s not that hard to work out, chick.

In the Buccaneer‘s stateroom, two Guardians are bickering.

Sue: It’s an interesting argument but it’s very black and white.

EnlightenmentThe Doctor and Turlough arrive to claim their prize. The Black Guardian sends Striker and Mariner back to the echoing void for coming second.

Mariner: Tegan, help me.
Tegan: I can’t.
Mariner: I need you.

Mariner fades away.

Sue: Awww, that was really sweet. Still, it’s probably more effective than a restraining order.

Turlough has a tough decision to make: a huge diamond or the Doctor.

Sue: Yay! I knew he’d come good in the end.
The Doctor: Enlightenment was not the diamond. Enlightenment was the choice.
Sue: Exactly. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

EnlightenmentThe White Guardian warns us that as long as he exists, the Black Guardian exists.

Sue: He’ll be back. I don’t think he’ll be any real threat, but he’ll be back.

The story ends with Turlough requesting a lift back to his home planet.

Sue: The Doctor’s thinking to himself, “Oh no, not Earth again”.
Me: I’m sure he knows that Turlough is an alien.
Sue: Prove it.


The Score

Sue: That was excellent. The script, the acting (well, apart from you know who, obviously), the direction, the design, the music – everything came together. I loved it. It dragged a bit in Part Three, and the Black Guardian subplot was a bit silly, but if this story teaches us anything, it’s this: Hire More Women.


Me: Would you like to see some the special edition of Enlightenment?
Sue: Special edition?
Me: Yes. It’s got new special effects, a 5.1 surround sound score, and it’s in widescreen. Oh, and there’s less Leee John in it.
Sue: And why didn’t we watch that in the first place?
Me: Because fandom would have lynched me.

Purists should look away now.

EnlightenmentSue: I love the 5.1 theme tune. All those extra whooshes. Marvellous. And it’s in widescreen, too! This is brilliant.

We skip to the part where the cliffhanger to Part One would have been.

Sue: That looks so much better. Not only that, I think it lasts a little longer so we can really take it in.

I skip to the bit where the ship almost collides with a planet.

Sue: That was a lot clearer. In the original, I thought they’d actually hit the planet. This is easier to follow. And it looks very nice. It’s not Avatar but I’m guessing that the fans just did it off their own backs. And it works. And I love the music. The 5.1 surround sound pulls you into the action. And because the director had a say in this edition, I think it deserves to be taken seriously.

We skip to Turlough being rescued with a CGI net.

Sue: If I’d watched this version, I would have given it a 10.


Coming Soon




  1. Smith  October 12, 2012

    Glen Allen’s trailer is once again imaginative and frankly as awesome as Gerald Flood’s original.

    I’m glad Sue gave Enlightenment a high score. I knew the carpentry would do it for her.

  2. Dave Sanders  October 12, 2012

    SEE, I TOLD YOU ON TWITTER says the Smug Guardian. I should have saved the ‘Legion’ pun though.

    And Sue likes Malcolm Clarke’s discord but she turns her nose up at Paddy Kingsland? I tell you, she’s tone deaf. Deaf! DEAF!

  3. P.Sanders  October 12, 2012

    Yay for an unexpected update! And yay for Enlightenment! Proper magical Who that gets away with it. I like that the Doctor’s celery is always “unreal” – created by Adric in Castrovalva and the Eternals in this. Magic celery all round, huzzah!

    • DPC  October 12, 2012


      Or might that be,



    • wholahoop  October 13, 2012


      No wonder it did not work in resuscitating Peri if it was Eternal Celery, even if the human olfactory system is feeble in comparison to that of the Time Lords

      I missed the first two episodes of Enlightenment as I was playing in the band in the school production of Oh What a Lovely War but was given a rundown on what was going on by friends at school who were blown away by the reveal at the end of episode 1.

  4. Bear Hafpeni  October 12, 2012

    I LOVED this one when it was broadcast – the reveal at the end of episode 1 totally blew me away, it gave me weird dreams about sailing ships and spaceships all night. I think other than watching 2001: A Space Odyssey as a nipper, this was my most surreal and mind-blowing TV moment. And all in black and white.

  5. nimonus  October 12, 2012

    Are you going to use the 5.1 soundtracks on future stories? They really add a lot to the atmosphere without actually changing anything about the story. It could easily add a point or two to Sue’s scores but still be a fair representation of the episode.

    Also, when you get to the *extended* special editions (rather than the cut down versions) like Curse of the Fenric, are you going to watch those or watch the originals? Obviously, those are a much bigger departure than either just CGI or just 5.1 sound, but the Cartmel stories especially are so much better when they aren’t brutally cut down for time.

    • DPC  October 12, 2012

      Great question!

      The Cartmel era stories – IMHO – do benefit from the added footage, and his era certainly would have benefited from having such story lengths by default…

      • John G. Wood  October 13, 2012

        Agree about the Cartmel SEs, but whatever you do don’t use the Planet of Fire SE for your main viewing! I watched that having never seen the serial before, and it really didn’t hold together at all well. I had to watch the ordinary version afterwards to figure out what was happening.

        • Charles Norton  October 14, 2012

          With the extended editions, why don’t you just ask Sue which one she wants to watch?

          If she appreciates the new FX, she’ll almost certainly like ‘The Five Doctors’ SE. The editing sometimes isn’t quite as sharp, but in all other respects, it’s much much better than the broadcast version. Peter Moffat clearly had no interest in the FX in ‘The Five Doctors’ and it is sadly much to the detriment of the TX version.

  6. John Callaghan  October 12, 2012

    I, too, thoroughly approve of your write-up, the score and the story. I love the poetic and thoughtful nature of season 20, with a refreshing absence of monstrous megalomaniacs. The new story elements and the characters returning from the Doctor’s past are generally legends in one way or another. It fits the ‘dark fairy tale’ brief which other periods of the show have aspired to.

    My own feeling is that the Doctor knows the deal with Turlough, but his faith in him means he leaves the lad to find his own way. That’s the sort of superpower for the Doctor which I prefer.

    • John G  October 12, 2012

      “My own feeling is that the Doctor knows the deal with Turlough, but his faith in him means he leaves the lad to find his own way. That’s the sort of superpower for the Doctor which I prefer.”

      Yes, I would agree with that.

    • Frankymole  October 14, 2012

      A refreshing absence of monstrous megalomaniacs is more than amde up for by Valentine Dyall’s villainous laugh, which puts Ant Ainley’s “heh-heh-heh” in the shade. “MMMWA-HA-hah-ha-ha” indeed. He pronounces it just as it is written!

  7. encyclops  October 12, 2012

    I was absolutely over the moon reading this, not just because it came so much sooner than I expected, not just because this is on some days my second-favorite Doctor Who story ever, not just because Sue gave it a 9-or-10-out-of-10 which is SO on point, but because the commentary was that splendid. My LOL moment this time goes to Nicol for her dread of the Hoff, but so many other great lines from Neil and Sue!

    I can’t say enough about Enlightenment, and nobody’s here for my opinion anyway, so I won’t even try. Maybe I’ll watch the special edition, which I honestly have never quite been able to bring myself to try before now, and review it on my blog.

    I will say that my excuse for Leee John (who at least is easier on my eyes than Davison in latex) is about the same as Neil’s, and it’s also my excuse for Wrack: both Lynda Baron AND Wrack the character are playing a role, so why wouldn’t they play it to the hilt?

    So glad Sue liked this. Now that all the stories in my top 5 are past I can just relax and enjoy the experiment!

  8. Glen Allen  October 12, 2012

    Up on the deck, Mariner is probing Tegan’s mind…
    Sue: I wouldn’t do that if I were you. It’s full of snakes.
    I LOL’d at that. It’s a fair point and well made 🙂

    Sue: Awww, she looks lovely. And look at that cleavage!
    I won’t respond. I know it’s a test
    And you would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for that pesky post

    Sue: What is he doing in this scene? What is he gawping at?
    Me: Nothing. He’s using his imagination
    Oh Neil, Neil before the might…oh no way off, sorry. But that’s worse than one of mine.

    I did love your addition of E’s to Mr. John. I kept chuckling the further I got

    • Bear Hafpeni  October 12, 2012

      “That must be where the captain keeps his football magazines” was the line that gave me the biggest laugh out loud this week.

    • DPC  October 12, 2012

      Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeconded, on all counts!

      😀 😀

  9. John G  October 12, 2012

    Wow, that was a quick update! I thought Sue would enjoy this one – it does have a magical atmosphere about it, and in many ways is one of the most thoughtful and original stories ever attempted by the original series, only marred by those two duff performances. It was nice to see that Sue liked the wood so much, Leee John being the sole exception…

    I think the Black Guardian arc is also wrapped up pretty satisfactorily, and Mark Strickson gives one of his best performances. He certainly has a magnetic presence – even his deliciously hammy “I’m not SPPPYING” somehow works! I notice that Neil didn’t bother to mention Lesley Scott to Sue, but I have no problem with that given she almost certainly didn’t write any of The Ark. I can’t wait to see if Sue asks questions about Paula Moore!

    So, time to face up to The King’s Demons – I have a feeling the current atmosphere of goodwill in the Perryman household may not last long…

    • Dave Sanders  October 12, 2012

      At least the next update will be quick too. Thankfully.

    • Jane  October 13, 2012

      I like King’s Demons. Maybe Sue will too.

      • John G  October 14, 2012

        Oh, she might well do, though her reaction to Terence Dudley’s previous stories does not bode well for this one…

  10. jsd  October 12, 2012

    Great blog post for a great story. Glad Sue enjoyed this one, I think it’s quite excellent myself.

  11. DPC  October 12, 2012

    ” Yeah, it wasn’t bad. I can imagine the new series doing something very similar, only a lot quicker.”

    The new series couldn’t ever have had thought up the ship in space thing on its own… or have it do anything else except hang around Earth, have robots that look like a retread of “The Robots of Death”, or do the suspense twist anywhere near properly… “Enlightenment” is a gem, “Voyage of the Darned” or whatever was a joke…

    “Sue: The Borg nicked that line from him.” — Hehe!

    Imagination… I saw the music video you referred to. OMG. It’s like “Staying Alive”‘s video, only 10x more tacky… which is no easy task…

    In the SE: I wish the story had CGI treatment to improve the “overboard Turlough in space” scene, and the improved near-crash scene, but the special edition’s blind adding of a zillion ships was the typical new series overkill, with the music of the revelation – in tandem with the zillion ships – making me ROTFLMAO… the new music didn’t begin to blend with the old, either; they should have re-scored the whole thing as well, to make it feel more even… then again, even more bombastic LOUD music might make even Sue beg for the original music again… the SE was a mixed bag…

  12. Damon  October 12, 2012

    “Sue: If I’d watched this version, I would have given it a 10.”
    See?!? Just like I said on FB. I could tell from previous reviews that Sue would’ve liked the SE better.

  13. Simon Harries  October 12, 2012

    Lovely Enlightenment, lovely review and lovely to see so many of my childhood favourites are attracting high scores 🙂

  14. Gavin Noble  October 12, 2012

    Best story of series 20 by an eternal mile!

    I don’t mind Lynda Baron’s performance but Leeee John is up there as one of the worst in Who history. I think only Rick James as Cotton in The Mutants is worse.

    Some good ideas in this story and probably Fiona Cummings best direction. Not keen on the SE version. The new effects are risible really but it does cut down Leeeeee John’s screen time so it’s not all bad.

    I think from my point of view I would prefer the SE’s to be viewed seperately to the original stories – otherwise we’ll risk missing comedy gold from Sue.

    I’m going to miss this blog and Glen’s trailers when it comes to an end soon…

    • encyclops  October 13, 2012

      I think THE worst performances in Who history, and I’d include poor Rick James in that, are coming up in the first episode of a story next season. I’ll comment on them when that story comes up. Hint: they might seem worse if you’re an American.

  15. Philippa Sidle  October 12, 2012

    Wow, an avalanche of updates!

    I have clear memories of Enlightenment, sort-of enjoyed it, but was uneasily aware that I was not so slowly losing the faith. This blog is taking me back in real time… I was a rabid fan when Earthshock was broadcast, but by now, for whatever reason, I was losing interest. I think it was mostly life circumstances, going to uni, etc. I really must revisit this era and see what I think of it now.

    Love the trailer! 9/10.

  16. Antti Björklund  October 12, 2012

    Loved it!

  17. Simon Harries  October 12, 2012

    “I’m sure the programme has already established that it’s in the lightbulb on the top. Hasn’t it? I’m not sure…” By Enlightenment, yes, and in Castrovalva too, but before that it was all over the place. In The Deadly Assassin, for instance, the camera is clearly located just above the door lock – when the Doctor watches Hildred reach forward with the spare key, he inserts it just below the lens… Yeah, so I’ll get me’ coat!

    • solar penguin  October 14, 2012

      IIRC it was first established, or at least implied, in The Feast of Steven.

      • Frankymole  October 14, 2012

        That’s right, Sara Kingdom gets up on the roof to fix “the scanner eye”. Yet another reason to de-canonise “The Deadly Assassin”.

  18. Jazza1971  October 12, 2012


    The review was brilliant, making me laugh at many points. The score was fair. I’m so glad Sue picked up on why the Doctor didn’t just grab the rug (it’s bugged me for years). As with the special edition, it was interesting to hear Sue’s opinion on it. I rather enjoyed it myself, but am too attached to the original to be able to properly judge it.

    Finally, Glen/Greg (he’s a real life version of Mickey/Rickey) has done it again! A superb “Next Time” trailer, his best yet.

    • Matt Sharp  October 14, 2012

      I’m so glad Sue picked up on why the Doctor didn’t just grab the rug (it’s bugged me for years).

      Harrrr, ye landlubbers! Th’ rug be secured to th’ deck ta stop it from slippin’ and a slidin’ underfoot when th’ ship be a pitchin’ and a yarrrrin’. Otherways, t’would be like puttin’ down a beartrap! Pretty sure thur waz a PIF (Pirate Information Film) about it. An’, as every sailor knows, t’would be a waste o’ time a’puttin’ down a beartrap as bears are generally not o’ the nautical persuasion.

      • Jazza1971  October 14, 2012

        Well, shiver-me-timbers!

        • Frankymole  October 14, 2012

          I hear that the PIF was narrated by Patrick Troughton, no less.

  19. Auntie Celia  October 12, 2012

    What a magical edition! Thank you x

  20. Ozzy Baxter  October 12, 2012

    “Up on the deck, Mariner is probing Tegan’s mind…
    Sue: I wouldn’t do that if I were you. It’s full of snakes.”

    LMFAO!!! Winner.

    Also, I too love the idea that The Doctor’s celery never really existed. The first one was a mathematical hologram created by Adric & the second a figment of Eternal power. The fact that both existed on The Doctor’s lapel after their “sources” were extinguished always gave me that “what if” scenario of why The Doctor REALLY kept them. Besides, it’s much cooler to say “the 5th Doctor wore a stick of celery made of nothing”. 😉

    Quantum-locked celery? ;p

  21. Nick Mays  October 12, 2012

    Me: Most people know her as Nurse Gladys Emanuel from Open All Hours.

    Sue: Which one was that again?

    Me: You know. N-N-N-N-Nurse G-G-G-G-Gladys Em-

    Sue: Oh, that. I never saw much of that.


    THANK YOU Sue,THANK YOU! I don’t think I’ve ever sat through one full episode of ‘Open All Hours’ and I’m at a loss as to how it was ever so popular! (Although in any other context I’d love Ronnie Barker and David Jason). Still, I’m sure it has its fans who agonise over continuity issues…

    Anyway, ‘Enlightenment’ is a brilliant story, a very clever conceit and , apart from Leeeee ‘I Love Meeeeee’ John, very well cast and acted. Great review and brilliant comments from Sue (and Nicol).

    • Jamie  October 14, 2012

      It was only popular due to it’s sheer hilarity as a sit-com, making folk laugh etc…

  22. BWT  October 13, 2012

    What can I say? I love this comment:

    Nicol: “Yeah, it wasn’t bad. I can imagine the new series doing something very similar, only a lot quicker.”

    😀 Good onya Nicol…

    • BWT  October 13, 2012

      By the way, did you show Sue this first? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S66-XfIkKjc

      • BWT  October 13, 2012

        Oh, I didn’t read that bit at the end. Nevermind – forget my last. And this.

  23. Ritch Famous  October 13, 2012

    Please let us know if you can pinpoint when the Doctor finds out Turlough is an alien. Its so freakin unclear.

    • robert dick  October 13, 2012

      It’s always seemed clear to me.

      When Turlough asks about the tangential deviation coming out of the warp ellipse, The Doctor clearly re-evaluates him. And then makes it clear to Turlough he knows when he throws the cube at him.

      • Jane  October 13, 2012

        That’s what I always thought.

      • Wholahoop  October 14, 2012

        This was alluded to in the novel, something about the tangential deviation comment letting the Doctor know he was not human without alerting the Black Guardian to it.

  24. John Miller  October 13, 2012

    I know the Episode 1 cliffhanger has attained legendary status, but it’s really just Carnival of Monsters again, isn’t it? In all honesty, all I remember about this was Lynda Baron’s cleavage, the Black Guardian’s dead bird on his head, and how thick/useless both the Doctor and Turlough must be. Oh, and the fact that they didn’t bring back a new old character(yes, the WHITE Guardian, but still…)

    • Gavin Noble  October 13, 2012

      IIRC the ‘character from the past’ promotion of Series 20 only arose because during the production/filiming etc Ian Levine pointed out that there was an element from the series past in each story. That’s how it was promoted – not that there would a new element from the past in each story.

  25. Ceannaideach  October 13, 2012

    The Black Guardian: Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus. Focus.

    Sue: Is the worst DIY company ever.

    Was, past tense. Used to work there until the company collapsed and most of us were made redundant.

  26. Paul Greaves  October 13, 2012

    Thank God for that. I adore Enlightenment and its one of my favourite DWs of all time (yes, even with Leeeeeeeeeee John). Personally, although the effects are excellent in the SE, I do think it loses something in the edit. The original stories just weren’t structured for the hour-long treatment.

    Incidentally, I do a pub quiz every Tuesday night in the next village to me and Tony Caunter is a regular player. He’s not afraid of the liquor THEY serve. And he hasn’t given me they key to the storeroom either, dammit.

  27. chris-too-old-too-watch  October 13, 2012

    Sooo haaappy Suuueee, liiikeeed thiiis aaas muuuch aaas III dooo (OK I’ll stop now)

    The whole concept was brilliant, and showed what DW could do brilliantly. Good actors (apart from L***) in small well-built sets, with simple shots of well-lit effects, with an engaging well-written story. We don’t necessarily need Star Wars to get good SF.

    Also very happy that Sue is liking Mark Strickson. He was always one of my favourite companions. I saw him years earlier as part of the Mikron Theatre Group, and even have recordings of a couple of their shows – how about that Sue, Turlough Sings the Canals?

  28. solar penguin  October 13, 2012

    “I’m hoping she’ll say Nigel Barton, but of course she doesn’t.”

    Never mind, she’ll probably say “That’s the Nigel Barton, Special Agent theme music” for Delta & The Bannermen.

  29. Jamie  October 14, 2012

    Turlough, a ‘half decent actor’…wait until Sue observes his acting abilities in Frontios.
    Then she’ll realise what an indecent actor he is.

    • Jamie  October 14, 2012

      I’ve lost a fair amount of respect for Sue on account of the fact she forgives Mark Strickson’s dreadful overacting in parts 3 (check out the open-mouthed picture) and 4 (when he struggles and bashes the white crystal).

  30. solar penguin  October 14, 2012

    BTW if you want to get Sue _REALLY_ confused (and who doesn’t?) Radio 4Extra is starting a broadcast of 5th Doctor stories where the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are reunited with a post-Terminus Nyssa.