Mawdryn Undead

Mawdryn Undead
Mawdryn Undead.jpg
Season: 20
Episode: 3
Vital statistics
Air date 1 - 9 February 1983
Written by Peter Grimwade
Directed by Peter Moffatt
Episode guide
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Snakedance Terminus
JUST BLINOVITCH MY SHIT UP
Stupid sexy Mawdryn.
Lucky their clothes shrank with them.

Mawdryn Undead was the third serial in Season 20 of Doctor Wonka. It stars Pietro Dapaldi as Five with companions Nyssa and Tegan. It also introduces Turlough and brings back the Brigadier for the first time since Terror of the Zygons.

It was written by Earthshock director Peter Grimwade who apparently wanted to give writing Who another go after the right hash of things he made on Time-Flight. This story's actually quite good so BRAVO GRIMWATER.

Plot

There's two timelines, one in 1983 where the Brig has retired from UNIT and teaches at a boys school which Turlough attends - and another in 1977 where the Brig still has a moustache. The Doctor ends up stranded in the 1983 one and the moustache-less Brig can't remember him.

Meanwhile in 1977 some horribly burned and disfigured bloke called Mawdryn shows up and pretends to be the Doctor. Nyssa, Tegan and the Brig aren't entirely convinced but can't be sure, so they take the TARDIS where he wants to go - back to Mawdryn's ship - which looks like a dodgy cocktail lounge.

Back in 1983 it appears Turlough isn't some harmless schoolboy but an alien Trion posing as a human. He is contacted by the Black Guardian (still pissed about the whole Key to Time thing) who offers him passage home if he kills the Doctor. Turlough agrees and gets given some cheap-looking crystal that lights up when ol' Blackhat chats to him.

The 1983 Brig eventually remembers the Doctor and everyone ends up together on Mawdryn's ship, only now there's two Brigadiers wandering about! Uh oh. Serious foreshadowing right there. We discover Mawdryn wasn't a regenerated Doctor but just some thieving cunt who stole a bunch of Time Lord technology years ago and built a dodgy regeneration machine so he and his chums could live forever. Only it's all gone horribly wrong and they've mutated horribly and they can't die.

Tthe only way to allow Mawdryn and his pals to die is for Fivey to give up all his remaining regenerations. But Fivey says 'fuck that' and flies off. Unfortunately Nyssa and Tegan have caught Mawdryn's mutation-disease and are now rapidly aging and de-aging in the time vortex, so Fivey returns to Mawdryn's ship and learns that giving up his regenerations will also cure Nyssa and Tegan. He agrees to the process and everyone gets hooked up to the regeneration machine.

Just at the vital moment the two Brigadiers wandering about the ship finally meet and touch hands, activating the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. Instead of wiping out the universe the resultant surge of energy saves the day, killing Mawdryn and all his friends while curing Nyssa and Tegan and allowing Fivey to keep on regenerating.

Turlough spends a lot of the story failing to kill the Doctor and yelling at his Black Guardian crystal because it won't tell him what to do next, but Marky Mark Strickson injects some energy into the performance and keeps things rolling along.

Reception

Not 'alf-bad, I give it a 7/10 on the comfy meter. If you're looking for some Fivey to relax to, you could do a lot worse than this story.