- You may wish to consult
Enlightenmentfor other, similarly-named pages.
Enlightenment was the fifth story in season 20 of Doctor Who. It saw the introduction of the Eternals and their only televised appearance. It also saw the conclusion of the Black Guardian trilogy with the redemption of Turlough and the first appearance of the White Guardian since The Ribos Operation.
A large amount of model shots were used in this story to create the racing scenes and their associated locations.
An Edwardian yacht in a deep space races around the planets. There is a double agent in the TARDIS crew. The White Guardian warns the Fifth Doctor of great danger, Turlough must finally choose sides and at the end of the race lies the prize of Enlightenment.
Turlough's sabotage of the TARDIS has left the control room dark and on back-up lights until the systems are repaired. Tegan and Turlough play chess. The Doctor thinks he hears a voice calling him. He instructs Turlough and Tegan to increase the power as he walks into the corridor. He sees the White Guardian having trouble materialising in the TARDIS. Trying to make out what the Guardian is saying, the Doctor learns danger awaits him. He is given a set of co-ordinates. Before the White Guardian can explain further, the Black Guardian appears and interrupts the communication.
The Doctor sets the co-ordinates and the TARDIS materialises in what appears to be a ship's hold. Leaving Tegan in the TARDIS in case the White Guardian tries to contact them again, Turlough and he leave to explore, barely avoiding one of the officers with a mechanical, blank expression, dressed in an Edwardian naval uniform.
The Doctor speaks with the crew to learn they remember nothing of coming aboard. They have been below decks the whole time and the ship has been entered in some sort of race.
Tegan leaves the TARDIS and meets the ship's first mate, Marriner. An officer with the same distant look escorts the Doctor and Turlough to see Captain Striker, who offers them dinner. The dinner is interrupted when the wind picks up and the officers announce that the race has begun.
In the wheelhouse, the Doctor sees a map of the race course, complete with "marker buoys" which he recognises as the planets of Earth's solar system. Marriner operates anachronistic electronic controls; a viewscreen activates to show the other contestants - a Greek trireme, a 17th century pirate ship and other vessels from other times, all floating in deep space and using solar winds for propulsion.
Striker and his officers are Eternals, beings who live in the "trackless wastes of eternity," as opposed to the Doctor and his companions, who are "Ephemerals." As the ships round Venus, the trireme captained by Critas the Greek explodes when it tries to overtake the pirate ship. Striker believes it was the gravitational pull that did it, but the Doctor suspects otherwise. Tegan feels ill, so Marriner escorts her to a room which she soon realises is a mixture of her room in the TARDIS and her rooms in Brisbane - they have been reading her mind. Marriner seems quite taken by Tegan, finding her mind fascinating and full of life.
In conversation with Striker, the Doctor learns that Eternals use Ephemerals for their thoughts and ideas. The Eternals have lived for so long they are unable to think for themselves. They need human minds to give them existence and entertainment — that is why the ships use human crews. The purpose of the race, however, is more than entertainment. The prize is Enlightenment, the wisdom to know everything.
The TARDIS is found by the Eternals, who make it vanish. Trapped on board the Edwardian ship, the Doctor and his companions go on deck in space suits. Turlough hears the voice of the Black Guardian taunting him. Unable to take the strain, he leaps overboard into space.
Turlough is rescued by the Buccaneer, the pirate ship commanded by Captain Wrack. She toys sadistically with Turlough with a knife, but he convinces her that he jumped overboard to throw in his lot with her, to find out the secret of how she will win the race. Wrack sends her first mate to present Captain Davey, one of the other competitors, with a jewelled sword, and party invitations to the other captains.
On board the Edwardian ship, Striker refuses the invitation, but the Doctor accepts, hoping to retrieve Turlough. Marriner offers to escort Tegan and the Doctor to the Buccaneer as an asteroid storm hits the ships. As Davey's ship draws level with the Buccaneer, Wrack takes Turlough down in the hold and shows him the entrance to a locked chamber with a vacuum shield, but leaves him outside when she enters. Through the door, Turlough hears the voice of the Black Guardian. Davey's ship explodes, apparently hit by an asteroid. The Doctor, though, again suspects otherwise, especially since, like Critas's ship, Davey was also challenging the Buccaneer.
On board the Buccaneer for the party, the Doctor and Tegan mingle. Turlough sneaks off to examine the locked chamber. He finds an eye-shaped grid open to space, but a pirate locks the door and turns off the vacuum shield. Fortunately, the Doctor finds Turlough before he suffocates.
The Doctor notices the eye-shaped projector above the grid. He theorises that this must be how Wrack transmits the power to destroy the other ships, with some sort of focus. He remembers Critas was wearing an out-of-period clasp with a red crystal. Turlough tells him of Wrack's gift to Davey and the Doctor realises the red crystal is the focus. Before they can act on it, they are captured by Wrack's first mate. Meanwhile, Wrack has managed to lure Tegan away from the party to her wheelhouse. She freezes her in time and plants a red crystal in her tiara.
Brought before Wrack, Turlough accuses the Doctor of being a spy and claims he was trying to capture him. Wrack sends the Doctor, Tegan and Marriner back to the Edwardian ship. The Doctor believes Turlough is trying to prove himself trustworthy by stopping Wrack. Unfortunately, Wrack sees into Turlough's mind. She is about to sentence him to walk to plank. She pauses, when Turlough tells her that he, too, serves the Black Guardian.
As the ships near the crystalline space station of the Enlighteners, the Buccaneer pulls level with the Edwardian ship. Wrack brings Turlough again to the chamber, this time letting him witness her summoning the power of the Black Guardian. The Doctor, seeing the Buccaneer pull close, realises the focus must have been smuggled aboard somehow. When he describes it, Tegan tells him about the crystal in the tiara. The Doctor smashes the crystal, but only multiplies the power by the number of fragments.
The Doctor gathers the pieces, rushes up to the deck and, just in time, hurls them overboard. They explode. The wind dies and Wrack pulls ahead of the Edwardian ship. The Doctor demands the TARDIS be released to him to stop Wrack from winning and Marriner reveals that it was concealed in the Doctor's own mind. Travelling in it to the Buccaneer, the Doctor tries to reason with Wrack, but her first mate shows up with Turlough and she orders the Doctor thrown into space. While Tegan watches from the Edwardian ship, two bodies are ejected into space and the Buccaneer reaches the finish. The human crew of the Buccaneer vanish as Tegan, Striker and Marriner board to give their respects to the victor.
The Enlighteners turn out to be the Black and White Guardians and the winner is the Doctor, who brought the ship in with Turlough's help when Wrack and her first mate met with an "accident." The Doctor, however, refuses the diamond crystal holding Enlightenment, saying that he's not ready for it. The White Guardian dismisses Striker and Marriner. Marriner resists; he wants to stay with Tegan. However neither Tegan nor the White Guardian is moved by his pleading. Striker and he vanish into eternity.
As Turlough helped the Doctor bring the ship in, he is entitled to a portion of the prize. The Black Guardian reminds Turlough of their bargain and says that he can give up the diamond or sacrifice the Doctor to gain both Enlightenment and the TARDIS.
Turlough struggles with the decision. He hurls the diamond at the Black Guardian, who vanishes in screams and flames. The Doctor points out that Enlightenment was not the diamond, but the choice itself. The White Guardian warns again that the Black Guardian will return, even angrier now that he has been thwarted twice. He vanishes. Turlough asks the Doctor to take him back to his home planet, and the Doctor agrees.
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Tegan Jovanka - Janet Fielding
- Turlough – Mark Strickson
- The Black Guardian – Valentine Dyall
- The White Guardian – Cyril Luckham
- Striker – Keith Barron
- Marriner - Christopher Brown
- Wrack – Lynda Baron
- Mansell – Leee John
- First Officer - James McClure
- Jackson – Tony Caunter
- Collier - Clive Kneller
- Assistant Floor Manager - Val McCrimmon, Ian Tootle
- Costumes - Dinah Collin
- Designer - Colin Green
- Film Cameraman - John Walker, Paul Hellings-Wheeler
- Film Editor - Mitchell Boyd, Ian McKendrick
- Incidental Music - Malcolm Clarke
- Make-Up - Jean Steward, Carolyn Perry
- Producer - John Nathan-Turner
- Production Assistant - Patricia O'Leary
- Production Associate - June Collins
- Script Editor - Eric Saward
- Special Sounds - Dick Mills
- Studio Lighting - Fred Wright
- Studio Sound - Martin Ridout
- Theme Arrangement - Peter Howell
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Mike Kelt
- The Doctor replaces his celery at the party.
- The Doctor takes a glass of champagne to stop Tegan from taking it.
- Tegan and Turlough play a game of chess while the Doctor works on the TARDIS.
- The Eternals hide the TARDIS from the Doctor within his mind.
- Time Lords aren't quite Ephemerals or Eternals, or at least the Eternals can't make up their minds about them.
- The Eternal Striker reads the Doctor's mind and says "You are a Time Lord, a Lord of Time. Are there lords in such a small domain?"
- The Eternals seem to greatly respect the Guardians of Time.
- The Black Guardian Trilogy began in the serial Mawdryn Undead and continued in the previous serial, Terminus. It concludes here.
- The original title for this story was The Enlighteners. Portions of Barbara Clegg's story were reworked by Eric Saward to fit into the Trilogy, including substituting the two Guardians for her "Enlighteners". Since there were no longer any Enlighteners as such, the story was renamed Enlightenment.
- Every story during Season 20 had the Doctor face an enemy from each of his past incarnations. In this trilogy, the enemy was the Black Guardian, who last faced the fourth incarnation at the conclusion of the Key to Time saga in The Armageddon Factor (1979).
- This story marked Valentine Dyall's final appearance as the Black Guardian. Dyall would return to the world of Doctor Who to play Slarn in the BBC Radio 4 serial Slipback before his death in 1985.
- This story also marks the final appearance of Cyril Luckham as the White Guardian. He was last seen in The Ribos Operation (1978). Luckham died on 8 February 1989.
- Guest star Lynda Baron (Captain Wrack) was first involved in Doctor Who in the 1966 serial The Gunfighters, for which she recorded the song "The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon". She would go on to play Val in DW: Closing Time (TV story).
- This is the only Doctor Who production to date to have been written and directed by women: Barbara Clegg and Fiona Cumming respectively.
- The Doctor replaces his stalk of celery with one from Captain Wrack's ship. Rather curiously, both stalks come from buffets which are essentially figments of other people's imagination (Castrovalva and the Shadow both being 'unreal'). This may explain why the celery never goes off and why it doesn't revive Peri in The Caves of Androzani. Although the Doctor explains the latter point by saying that it is a feeble restorative for humans, rather than a powerful one as it is for Gallifreyans.
- The TARDIS camera is located in the beacon atop the police box; Lieutenant Marriner climbs to the top of the ship to peer inside, but apparently cannot hear Tegan.
- Although the dialogue in which he gives the information is inaudible, the script (or lip-reading his initial message) makes it clear that the White Guardian's mission is for the Doctor to stop Wrack winning the race, which would have devastating consequences for the whole universe.
- Although it is popularly believed that the story originally featured a suspenseful scene where Wrack and Mansell menace the Doctor at knifepoint in the TARDIS control room which was cut at the editing stage, this is not the case. The photographs that exist of this were specially posed for publicity purposes only.
- Part One - 6.6 million viewers
- Part Two - 7.2 million viewers
- Part Three - 6.2 million viewers
- Part Four - 7.3 million viewers
- In episode one when the ship experiences turbulence, the liquid in the glasses doesn't. The effect used to achieve the shake — that is, literally shaking the camera — doesn't actually have a physical impact on anything in the shot. Rather obviously, no one on the production team considered applying a practical effect to the glasses.
- The cliffhangers and reprises in the next episode often don't match in this story. Of course, none of the following are evident in the 21st century "special edition" omnibus compiled by the director for the DVD.
- Episode two ends with Turlough climbing onto the railing and jumping off, with the Doctor shouting, "NO!". The next episode, however, begins with Turlough climbing onto the railing with the Doctor shouting, "Don't be an idiot!" before Turlough jumps off.
- When Wrack freezes Tegan at the end of episode three, her eyes are wide open, yet when she is unfrozen again at the beginning of episode four, her eyes are shut.
- An article by Russell T Davies in the Doctor Who Annual 2006 refers to the Eternals in connection with the Time War mentioned in the 2005 series. The article states that the Eternals were involved in a previous Time War with the Halldons, a powerful race first mentioned in We are the Daleks!, an article by Terry Nation from the Radio Times tenth Anniversary Special in 1973. Davies' article also states that the Eternals watched the Great (and final) Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks, "despaired of this reality and fled their hallowed halls, never to be seen again."
- Eternals and Enlightenment also appear in BFBS: The Heart's Desire.
- Eternals are mentioned by the Tenth Doctor in regards to The Void. (DW:Army of Ghosts)
Home video and audio releases
This story was released as a two disc set as part of the DVD set The Black Guardian Trilogy. The second DVD was a Special Edition movie-length feature with new CGI, a 5.1 remix and 16:9 widescreen.
- Easter Eggs
- On Disc One, go to the first Special Features page, navigate to Single Write Female and press left to highlight a hidden logo. Press Enter/OK to see a short presentation of interesting facts related to the story.
- On Disc One, on the second Special Features page, go to Coming Soon and then press left. Press Enter/OK to see Peter Davison and Janet Fielding talk about a costume mishap the latter experienced.
- On Disc Two, on the first page of Special Features, navigate to Finding Mark Strickson and press left. Press Enter/OK to see a gallery of photos.
- Enlightenment at the BBC's official site
- Enlightenment at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television entry on Enlightenment