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The Race For Enlightenment Begins
‘Enlightenment’ is the third and final part of ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’!
This story is an imaginative and creative one to end the trilogy. The story is on a 2-disc DVD edition with the original four-part story on Disc 1 and a Special Edition version of the story on Disc 2. The Special Edition version of ‘Enlightenment’ happens to be the big selling point of the DVD.
I’ve had the DVD cover of ‘Enlightenment’ signed by Peter Davison at the ‘MCM Birmingham Comic Con’ at the NEC Birmingham, November 2017 and by Sarah Sutton at the ‘Timey Wimey 1’ convention in Brighton, November 2014. I’ve shared with Peter how much I enjoyed this TV story and it concepts.
I must admit I found it hard to watch ‘Enlightenment’ at first. I couldn’t enjoy this one as I was still upset about Nyssa leaving in ‘Terminus’. There wasn’t even a reference to Nyssa in the story. I wish that Nyssa was in ‘Enlightenment’ as I’m sure Sarah Sutton would have enjoyed the period costume-style drama.
I’m also sure that Sarah would have looked lovely wearing a ball gown during the story like Janet Fielding did. This story was made after Sarah’s Nyssa left the TV series and it all seems unfair somehow. I’m pleased Sarah signed the DVD cover of ‘Enlightenment’ as it felt really personal to me.
But after re-watching ‘Enlightenment’ more, I enjoyed this story by Barbara Clegg. The concepts and the ideas are intriguing and Barbara delivers a fascinating and invigorating tale with sailing ships in space. The story is also well-directed by Fiona Cumming, who puts her heart and soul into making this adventure.
The story has the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough receiving a message from the White Guardian. The TARDIS team soon end up on an Edwardian sailing ship in space. They meet the Eternals who are in the race for Enlightenment. Will Turlough kill the Doctor or endure agony from the Black Guardian?
The concepts are well-conceived, especially with the Eternals who are a race of beings from the Void that play on the minds of humans and they’re easily selfish and bored. The concept of Enlightenment is mind-boggling, since the prize could mean anything and how easily corrupt one can be to obtain it.
I liked some of the historical aspects featured in this story. Director Fiona Cumming realises the Edwardian and Jacobean atmospheres of their two ships well with set designs and costumes. The party scene has floaty incidental music in the background and the Eternals are in various period costumes.
The sailing ships racing through space for Enlightenment were very exciting to watch. The visual effects were impressive for their time. They may seem dated, but I enjoyed the simplicity of the model work for the sailing ships through space, although the Enlightenment harbour itself was a bit disappointing.
Peter Davison is extremely good as the Doctor and his Edwardian manner and cricketing appearance blend so well aboard the Edwardian ship. I liked it when the Doctor challenged the Eternals like Captain Striker as he called them ‘parasites’. I also like the relationships he had with Tegan and Turlough.
Janet Fielding as Tegan gets to have her own story in this, since she’s troubled by the Eternals reading her thoughts. She gets anxious about the first mate Marriner who shows an interest in her. I liked their relationship being played out, since he keeps on reading her thoughts and she doesn’t like it.
Mark Strickson as Turlough has come a long way since ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’ began. He’s got to know the Doctor more and he can’t bring himself to kill him. He’s tormented by the Black Guardian and attempts to commit suicide by throwing himself overboard in order to free his agreement from him.
The Eternals are as follows. There’s Keith Baron as Captain Striker who delivers a ‘strikingly eternal’ performance. There’s also Christopher Brown as Marriner, the first mate who’s interested in Tegan. There’s also Lynda Baron as Captain Wrack of the Buccaneer and Leee John as Mansell, Wrack’s first mate.
The story concludes with the White and Black Guardians appearing at the finishing line. Cyril Luckham returns to play the White Guardian again. The White Guardian first appeared in ‘The Ribos Operation’ of ‘The Key to Time’ season. It was brilliant to see The White Guardian again in this story.
I liked the confrontation between the White Guardian and Valentine Dyall as the Black Guardian opposite each other. I also liked it when the Doctor met the two Guardians and confronted the Black Guardian. The White Guardian sends the Eternals back to the Void before he offers a share of Enlightenment to Turlough.
Turlough makes a choice as to whether to choose Enlightenment over the Doctor. It’s a defining moment for Turlough’s character at this point. Will Turlough accept Enlightenment or sacrifice the Doctor? I liked it when it was said, “Enlightenment wasn’t the diamond, Enlightenment was the choice.”
The DVD special features are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s the original four-part version of the story; a DVD audio commentary with Peter Davison, Mark Strickson, writer Barbara Clegg and director Fiona Cumming; an isolated music option by Malcolm Clarke and an info-text commentary option to enjoy. There’s a making-of documentary called ‘Winner Takes All’ and the ‘Casting Off!’ featurette about the cast of ‘Enlightenment’. There’s a ‘Single Write Female’ interview with Barbara Clegg and ‘The Story of the Guardians’ documentary looking into the White and Black Guardians from ‘Doctor Who’. There’s a storyboards multi-angle featurette, narrated by visual effects supervisor Mike Kelt on the sailing ships in space for ‘Enlightenment’. There’s also a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF of the story and a photo gallery of the story. There are two Easter Eggs to look out for on the first DVD disc.
On Disc 2, there’s a 75-minute Special Edition version of ‘Enlightenment’ with new CGI effects by director Fiona Cumming. I enjoyed this version of ‘Enlightenment’, but I was expecting it to be longer and it felt like a new series Christmas Special. There’s an introduction by Fiona Cumming for the Special Edition version of ‘Enlightenment’. The rest of the Disc 2 special features include ‘Re-Enlightenment’, a behind-the-scenes look at the Special Edition of ‘Enlightenment’ with Fiona Cumming. There’s also an original edit comparison focusing on the opening of ‘Part Three’ and film trims from the film scenes of the story. There are two very special interviews with two ‘Doctor Who’ companions including ‘Finding Mark Strickson’ and ‘Finding Sarah Sutton’. I found both interviews very enjoyable. Sarah signed the back of my ‘Enlightement’ DVD cover for me where her interview was displayed, which I’m very pleased about. There’s ‘Russell Harty’s Christmas Party’ with Peter Davison and Sandra Dickinson doing a ‘Cinderella’ pantomime routine. There are also continuity announcements and PDF materials including ‘The Radio Times Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special’ and the ‘Doctor Who office Production Bible’. There’s an Easter Egg on this disc which is a photo gallery on the making of ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’ DVD. I like the photo gallery as it includes photos of the cast and crew being interviewed for the DVD extras. There are some lovely shots of Sarah Sutton being interviewed, which was a joy for me. There’s a ‘coming soon’ trailer for ‘The Twin Dilemma’ with Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant.
‘Enlightenment’ is a good story to finish off ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’ as well as Turlough’s eventful journey as a ‘Doctor Who’ companion. It’s an imaginative tale with creative ideas in terms of the writing by Barbara Clegg and the direction by Fiona Cumming. It’s the strongest story of the trilogy that ends it on a high!
‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’ is definitely one of my favourite DVD trilogies from ‘Doctor Who’. I hold fond memories of this trilogy. It’s what prompted me to see Sarah Sutton at conventions and I’ve enjoyed going to them. I’m very happy Sarah signed all the DVD covers of the three stories for me.
‘Enlightenment’ rating – 9/10
‘FINDING SARAH SUTTON
The highlight of the ‘Enlightenment’ DVD for me was the ‘Finding Sarah Sutton’ interview. I don’t understand why it isn’t on the ‘Terminus’ DVD, as it would have suited the story instead of ‘Enlightenment’. But it was coupled with the ‘Finding Mark Strickson‘ interview so I don’t really mind that.
At the ‘Timey Wimey 1’ convention in Brighton, November 2014, I asked Sarah to sign the DVD cover of ‘Enlightenment’ for me. Sarah was happy to and she signed the back of the DVD cover where her interview was displayed. I’m very pleased, especially since Sarah as Nyssa isn’t in ‘Enlightenment’ at all.
‘Finding Sarah Sutton’ is a lovely ‘Doctor Who’ DVD interview with the actress who played Nyssa of Traken. Sarah shares her memories of being an actress in the interview. This includes her various works like ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’ and ‘The Moon Stallion’ before starring in ‘Doctor Who’.
Also in the interview, Sarah talks about her work in the Big Finish audios she’s done as Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’. I liked it when three CD covers of her audios as Nyssa were shown in the interview including ‘The Land of the Dead’, ‘Primeval’ and ‘Circular Time’. They’re some my favourites audios!
I’m pleased the ‘Finding Sarah Sutton’ interview is available to see on the ‘Enlightenment’ DVD. At the end of the interview, I had the impression that Sarah thinks that no-one will remember her as Nyssa. Well, after the conventions I’ve seen her at, I’ll always remember Sarah! 😀
‘DOCTOR WHO – ENLIGHTENMENT’
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Winner Takes All For Enlightenment
The Target novelizations/audiobooks of ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’ are complete!
Around 2017, I reviewed the Target novelizations for the first two stories of ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’ – ‘Mawdryn Undead’ and ‘Terminus’. At the time, I hadn’t read or reviewed the novelization for ‘Enlightenment’, the third story of the trilogy. I’d just reviewed the TV version of the story then. 🙂
Thus, it seemed only fair that I would read and review the ‘Enlightenment’ novelization by Barbara Clegg, having done the reviews for the novelizations on the first two stories of ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’. I sought for the opportunity when I purchased the ‘Enlightenment’ book in November 2017.
Unfortunately, the ‘Enlightenment’ book was delivered late. It didn’t arrive in the specified time as was intended by Amazon.co.uk. Thankfully, I kept in touch with the supplier who sent the book and I was informed that the book might be delivered late due to the fact it was being sent from abroad. 😐
Eventually, during the 2017 Christmas holidays, I received the ‘Enlightenment’ book safe and sound in the post. I was relieved to have this book. I thought it would never come and that it got lost in the post. I thanked the supplier who advised me to be patient and I looked forward to reading the book.
‘Enlightenment’ was novelized by Barbara Clegg in 1984; a year after the TV story was transmitted in 1983. It’s interesting that Barbara Clegg novelized this TV story of hers as it’s her first and only contribution to the Target range of ‘Doctor Who’ books. And she does a remarkable job novelizing it.
The book is divided into 12 chapters with 3 chapters making up for one episode of the four-part story. Thus, the first three chapters make for ‘Part One’, the second three chapters make for ‘Part Two’, the third three chapters make for ‘Part Three’ and the last three chapters make for ‘Part Four’.
I wonder if Barbara Clegg followed the same guidelines as Terrance Dicks when he novelized ‘Doctor Who’ TV stories in the 1970s and the 1970s. It’s possible. Mind you, the ‘Part Three’ section does overlap into the ‘Part Four’ section, not matching to what we’ve seen on TV. Maybe it’s a good thing.
Barbara Clegg dedicated her ‘Enlightenment’ novelization to Adam, Rufus and Jemima who are considered her most constructive critics. I assume those three are family members of Barbara Clegg’s who helped her write ‘Enlightenment’ for TV. I’d like confirmation on this to be really certain.
I first read the ‘Enlightenment’ novelization in January 2018. It was an enjoyable read. Although there was no audiobook available for me to hear it in the background, I could picture the tale in my head after seeing the TV version. It was interesting comparing the book to the TV story as I read it. 🙂
Many years later, BBC Audio released the audiobook for the ‘Enlightenment’ novelization in September 2020. I was looking forward to re-reading the ‘Enlightenment’ novelization again with the audiobook in the background. I wondered who would read the tale, making guesses on the narrator.
I hoped it would be Peter Davison, Janet Fielding or Mark Strickson as the reader for ‘Enlightenment’. They’d be ideal and fitting choices to read the story, having been in ‘Enlightenment’ themselves! They could bring the emotional baggage that was in the story from making it on the TV.
Sadly, none of the three were chosen to be the reader of the ‘Enlightenment’ audiobook. Instead, the story was read by…Steven Pacey…who previously read the ‘Terminus’ audiobook…and is well-known for playing Del Tarrant in ‘Blake’s 7’. I don’t know why Steven Pacey was chosen to be the reader. 😐
Not that Steven Pacey gives a bad reading of the story. On the contrary, he gives enough enthusiasm for the reading of the ‘Enlightenment’ story, like he did for the ‘Terminus’ audiobook. But like with ‘Terminus’, my issue with Steven Pacey being the narrator is that he had nothing to do with the story.
He didn’t appear in ‘Enlightenment’. In fact, he wasn’t playing the Black Guardian at all in ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’! It was Valentine Dyall that played him! Mind you, it’s a very intriguing progression to have the reader of the ‘Terminus’ audiobook to read the ‘Enlightenment’ audiobook next here. 😐
I could’ve accepted this progression of Steven Pacey being the narrator of the stories in ‘The Black Guardian Trilogy’, except he didn’t read the ‘Mawdryn Undead’ audiobook. The late David Collings did that. And David Collings was right for that audiobook. He played Mawdryn in ‘Mawdryn Undead’!
The only connection I can give Steven Pacey to ‘Enlightenment’ is that he worked with the story’s director Fiona Cumming, since she directed two ‘Blake’s 7’ episodes that he was in. But like with Mary Ridge for ‘Terminus’, it’s a weak connection to cast Del Tarrant’s actor to read ‘Enlightenment’.
I purchased the Target audiobook of ‘Enlightenment’ via Audible instead of a CD release. It was nice to read the novelization with the audiobook in the background on Audible. It provided some lovely reading nights, especially when I purchased the audiobook during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. 🙂
Reading the ‘Enlightenment’ novelization in 2018 and hearing the audiobook in 2020 have been enjoyable, intriguing and ‘enlightening’ experiences. It was interesting how Barbara Clegg novelized her TV story and I enjoyed discovering what changes she may have made to the story in prose form.
Actually, Barbara didn’t change the story’s plot much in novelization form. It more or less stays the same as you would expect from watching the TV story. There are subtle changes made to the characters and there’s one certain aspect to the plot that gets omitted entirely in the novelization. 😐
Reading/hearing the book/audio has allowed me to visualise the story both in its original four-part TV format and its Special Edition format on the 2-disc DVD edition of ‘Enlightenment’. I hope it’ll be the case on the Blu-ray disc for ‘Enlightenment’ once it comes out in the Season 20 Blu-ray box set. 🙂
The story begins as you would expect with the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough in the TARDIS and the console room darkened. It’s intriguing to note that in book, Turlough’s playing the black chess pieces (reflecting his contract with the Black Guardian) whilst Tegan is playing with the white pieces.
I could comment about the fact that there’s no reference to Nyssa’s departure in ‘Terminus’ in the ‘Enlightenment’ novelization like it was in the story’s TV version, but should I be that surprised? It’s like the TV series wanted to forget about Nyssa after she’d left. Thank goodness Big Finish didn’t forget Nyssa. 🙂
Early on, when the Doctor is in contact with the White Guardian, the Black Guardian doesn’t appear as you would expect him to in the TV story. There’s no line by him saying “You cannot succeed! I control the game, the Doctor’s destiny! And soon, he will be dead!” and no evil “Bwahahahahaha!” 🙂
I found that odd when I was reading and hearing the ‘Enlightenment’ Target novelization/audiobook. In fact, the Black Guardian doesn’t make his first appearance in the book until the ‘Part Two’ section when he’s attacking Turlough in one of the corridors of the Edwardian ship. An unusual introduction!
It’s very interesting that Barbara Clegg didn’t feature the Black Guardian early on in the story as you would expect. I guess the Black Guardian’s appearance in ‘Part One’ wasn’t included in the original scripts. It was only added on at the last minute and at the insistence of the script editor Eric Saward.
The scene where Turlough makes contact with the Black Guardian is also interesting in its book form as opposed to TV form. Barbara Clegg explores the reasoning behind Turlough’s attempt to contact with the Black Guardian. This seems to be of selfishness and his desire of wanting to get off the ship.
The aspect of the plot that’s omitted entirely in the ‘Enlightenment’ book from the TV story is Jackson’s attempt to chug the grog overboard and him giving the key of the rum locker to Turlough. Not certain why Barbara didn’t include this plot point in the book. Was it not in the original script? 😐
I’m guessing that maybe it was in the original script but perhaps Barbara Clegg didn’t like it when she novelized the TV story into book form. It might be a story point that didn’t go anywhere, even though it highlighted Striker reading Turlough’s mind about Jackson giving him the key. Am I wrong?
Barbara Clegg takes advantage with the novelization to explore more of the Eternals as characters in ‘Enlightenment’. This was fascinating to explore as the novelizations allows us an opportunity to see what goes on in the Eternals’ minds and how they think as opposed to the normal Ephemeral minds.
Marriner as a character is interesting in the book. He gets explored in what he sees in Tegan’s mind and why he’s become fascinated by her. It’s clear in the TV story as well, but in book/audio, it’s really fascinating. Marriner’s fascination with Tegan is by him wanting to exist rather than to love her here.
When it comes to an end and Marriner gets sent back to the Void by the White Guardian, he becomes despairing, saying to Tegan, “I need you…” over and over again while he fades. It’s not so evident in the TV story as in the novelization/audiobook. Steven Pacey brings it to life well on audio.
It’s also interesting how the Eternals whir into motion when our main characters: the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are thinking about something and they latch onto it. It highlights how intrusive these Eternals can be and why none of these racing groups must win to secure the prize of Enlightenment.
I like how Captain Striker gets explored in the book. It matches to what Keith Barron’s interpretation of Striker was like in the TV story. Striker is static and serious when focused on winning the race. His justifications for the Eternals’ existence when arguing with the Doctor were interesting to read/hear.
Although the Doctor’s line on calling the Eternals ‘parasites’ is omitted from the book, which I think should’ve been included. It’s also interesting how Steven Pacey voices the characters in the book like Striker, Marriner, Wrack and Mansell. Sometimes his voices for them match to how they were on TV.
Sometimes they don’t. Mansell is a good choice as he sounds more like a traditional pirate compared to the performance that Leee John gave him in the TV story, which sounded less hearty and more laid back. Somehow I think that’s good. It makes the Bucanner crew more convincing in book/audio.
Wrack’s character was interesting to read and hear. Initially, there were times where I could visualise Lynda Barron as Wrack, but I don’t think its over-the-top when you read the story on its own and Steven Pacey doesn’t make it over-the-top on audio. There are times where Wrack is toned down. 🙂
She’s more mysterious and menacing. A criticism I’ve heard about Wrack is that Lynda Barron’s performance could be pantomime and cringeworthy. That I could see, especially when Lynda Barron tends to laugh a lot, while in the book/audio, it’s a quieter menace with Wrack’s character throughout.
An interesting point I’ve mentioned is the cliff-hanger ending of ‘Part Three’ overlapping into ‘Part Four’. There’s also the omission of Wrack laughing in front of the camera and saying that the Doctor has lost and all that waits for him is his ultimate destruction. I prefer it omitted in the novelization. 🙂
The ‘Part Three’ section of the book ends on a completely different note compared to the TV version. It ends when the Doctor realises Wrack won’t stop in finding a way to destroy Striker’s ship with one of her crystal jewels. I’m not sure if this was meant to be ‘Part Three’s original cliff-hanger.
Apparently, in the novelization, Wrack used different kinds of crystal jewels to destroy her enemies as opposed to the TV story. I wouldn’t have registered this story’s plot point had I not read it up. But the fact that Barbara Clegg emphasises this for the story in novelization form was interesting to read.
The story concludes with Turlough being given the choice of choosing between having the diamond for himself or letting the Black Guardian have it to spare the Doctor’s life. I liked how Barbara Clegg explored Turlough’s mindset. His greed for the diamond becomes too much for him whilst choosing.
It’s also interesting how Turlough switches from hating the Doctor to actually liking him in the choice that he makes. He eventually chooses not to have the diamond and shoves at the Black Guardian, cancelling him out in the process. The exploration of ‘Enlightenment was the choice’ is well-handled.
‘Doctor Who – Enlightenment’ has been an enjoyable novelization/audiobook to read and listen to. It’s nice that Barbara Clegg got to novelize her ‘Doctor Who’ TV story for the Target novelization range. It’s been fascinating to read and listen to, especially with some of the subtle changes made. 🙂
The story remains the same despite the subtle changes made by Barbara in the novelization. I would’ve preferred it if either Peter Davison, Janet Fielding or Mark Strickson read the Target audiobook instead of Steven Pacey, but he does give a good enough reading that’s engaging to hear.
‘Doctor Who – Enlightenment’ rating – 8/10
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