Terminus

Terminus
Terminus-0.jpg
Season: 20
Episode: 4
Vital statistics
Air date 15 - 23 February 1983
Written by Stephen Gallagher
Directed by Mary Ridge
Episode guide
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Mawdryn Undead Enlightenment
The most practical space helmets to ever exist.
Fivey putting bitches in their place.
Nyssa responding to another of Davison's attempts at postponing her departure.

Terminal is a Fivey story from Season 20, and is one of the most bafflingly awful things to ever come out of this franchise. It starred Peter Peterson as Fivey, Suttle Sarah as Noice, and also Janet and Mark as Tegan and Turlough, the latter of which was still being haunted by the Black Guardian or whatever.

Plot

This is quite possibly the most uneventful Doctor Who story ever made for TV. It's an idea that easily could've been told in 2 parts at most, but for some reason it was decided, either by Gallagher or by JNT, that it should be padded out to fill the four part format. As a result, its first three and a half episodes are just characters running down corridors (which may just sound like a typical Doctor Who episode anyway but trust me, it feels even more bland and tedious here), before telling us how the universe was created from the fuel discharge of a time-travelling leper colony spaceship, a concept that makes "the Moon is an egg" seem positively sane in comparison. At least the Part 1 cliffhanger is good for a laugh.

Farewell, Nyssa

After 4 episodes of barely staying awake through all the tedium, Nyssa leaves the TARDIS to sort Terminus out. While it's a great departure that suits her character very well, it's also pretty funny, as Nyssa was the only one out of the companions who actually did anything useful in the entire story (or in Davison's entire run for that matter), and yet she is the one who ends up leaving instead of the useless tag-alongs that Five had to put up with for the rest of his era. Telling that they were the ones shoved into an air vent for most of the serial's run time.

Trivia

Once upon a time, everyone wanted to see this story because Nyssa strips down to her underwear, which Sarah Sutton had them add to the story because she wanted to "give a parting gesture to my fans". So, after you finally trade for a fourth-generation NTSC-to-SECAM-to-PAL conversion (there was no official home video until the mid-90s), you realize that Nyssa's underwear includes a loose chemise and frilly underskirt, and Sarah Sutton wore less than that in half her publicity photos and pre-Doctor Who roles. Nowadays, people have the internet instead of vaguely remembering an episode they saw 7 years ago, so nobody cares.