Vislor Turlough

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Doctor Who character
Turlough.jpg
Turlough in a promotional photograph for Doctor Who.
Vislor Turlough
Affiliated Fifth Doctor
Species Trion
Home planet Trion
Home era 1983
First appearance Mawdryn Undead
Last appearance Planet of Fire
The Caves of Androzani (cameo)
Portrayed by Mark Strickson

Vislor Turlough is a fictional character played by Mark Strickson in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He was a companion of the Fifth Doctor, being a regular in the programme from 1983 to 1984. Turlough appeared in 10 stories (33 episodes).

Character history[edit]

When Turlough first appears in the serial Mawdryn Undead, he is a student of retired Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (himself a former companion of the Doctor) at the Brendon Public School, but it becomes apparent that he is not what he seems. He is contacted by the malevolent Black Guardian, who offers to take him home if he kills the Doctor. He also appears familiar with concepts of time travel and matter transmission. At the end of the serial, Turlough asks to accompany the Doctor. Despite Tegan and Nyssa's suspicions, the Doctor accepts Turlough as part of the TARDIS crew.

During the course of the next two serials, Terminus and Enlightenment (collectively known, together with Mawdryn Undead, as the Black Guardian Trilogy), Turlough finds himself unable to decide whether or not to carry out his assignment from the Black Guardian, but eventually rejects him in favour of loyalty to the Doctor. Although always slightly cowardly, with excellent instincts of self-preservation and a streak of ruthlessness, his relationship with the Doctor and Tegan improves with time (Nyssa having departed at the end of Terminus). He is one of the few companions capable of operating many of the TARDIS's systems, being able to run a diagnostic in The Five Doctors and program the TARDIS to retrieve the Doctor in Planet of Fire. Initially expressing a desire to return home, he continues travelling with the Doctor and Tegan until Tegan leaves at the end of Resurrection of the Daleks.

In the very next serial, Planet of Fire, it is revealed that Turlough is a native of the planet Trion, having become a political exile to Earth following a civil war. Also revealed for the first time in this serial is Turlough's first name, Vislor. At the end of the serial, Turlough discovers that political prisoners are no longer mistreated on Trion and decides it is time to return home.

An image of Turlough appears during the Fifth Doctor's regeneration scene in The Caves of Androzani.

Strickson has humorously commented that, not knowing what to do with him, the writers of the television series would often have the villains capture or lock him up, leading to Turlough ending up in various "states of bondage".

Turlough was the Doctor's last male on-screen companion until Adam Mitchell in the 2005 series episode "Dalek", the last full-time male companion until Jack Harkness, and the last companion not from Earth until Astrid Peth in the 2007 Christmas Special "Voyage of the Damned" (not including Jack Harkness who is human but not born on Earth, and the cameo return of K-9 Mark III in "School Reunion").

List of appearances[edit]

Television[edit]

Season 20
20th anniversary special
Season 21

Audio dramas[edit]

Novels[edit]

Make Your Own Adventure
The Companions of Doctor Who
Virgin Missing Adventures
Past Doctor Adventures

Short stories[edit]

Comics[edit]

External links[edit]