Exiled from Trion due to his role in the Civil War, Turlough was led to join the Doctor alongside Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka by a deal with the Black Guardian that he later reneged upon, choosing not to kill the Time Lord. He and Tegan were briefly joined by Kamelion, although a large portion of Turlough's travels were with Tegan alone. After Tegan's departure, Turlough very briefly met Peri Brown, before leaving the TARDIS to return to Trion with his brother.
Turlough returned to his planet as a hero and celebrity, but chose to be a simple astrophysicist rather than pursue a career in politics. He created the ARTEMIS drive with the intention of preventing the entropic decay of the universe.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Alternative timeline
- 3 Personality
- 4 Appearance
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Footnotes
Life on Trion
Vislor Turlough, (TV: Planet of Fire) known in his youth as "Vis", (AUDIO: Kiss of Death) was born on Trion (TV: Planet of Fire) into an Imperial Clan. He lived with his mother and father in a house deep within a rainforest (PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma) and had at least one older sibling. He believed that being a younger brother made him "great at being annoying". (AUDIO: Gardens of the Dead)
As a child, Turlough did not keep a diary as he did not want to risk others finding out his secrets. (AUDIO: Ringpullworld) He remembered a time before the Trion Civil War, when he was fascinated by the neon and plasticity of Trion. (PROSE: The King of Terror) There were always snakes around when he was growing up, so he knew how to distract them. (AUDIO: The Cradle of the Snake)
When he was still young, the Civil War began and his mother was killed. (TV: Planet of Fire, PROSE: The King of Terror) He fell in love with Deela, whose father was part of Rehctaht's revolution and opposed to the Imperial Clans. Once their families found out, they were forbidden from seeing one another. (AUDIO: Kiss of Death)
As part of his education, Turlough was taken around the factories on Regal where he was overwhelmed by the size of the operation and did a compulsory six month primary logic course at his first grade school. He studied with Juras Maateh before they both chose to go to institutes thousands of kilometres apart, Turlough electing to study astrophysics whilst Juras chose to study physical engineering. They continued to visit one another thanks to the VT system until their differing political opinions on the Civil War got in the way of their friendship. (PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma) He once visited the Eye of Orion, which he thought was beautiful. (TV: The King's Demons)
Turlough went on to join the military, holding the rank and serial number of "Junior Ensign Commander Vislor Turlough, VTEC9/12/44". He and his family were on the losing side of the war, resulting in his father and infant brother being exiled to Sarn. Due to his outspokenness, Turlough was exiled to Earth following an inquisition at Government House. He was to be watched over by an eccentric solicitor and learn humility. (TV: Planet of Fire, PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma)
Life on Earth
Turlough was enrolled at Brendon Public School in England, with the solicitor sorting things with Mr Sellick. (TV: Mawdryn Undead) Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was told that Turlough came from Coventry. (PROSE: The King of Terror) Unbeknownst to Turlough, fellow student Charlie Gibbs was also a Trion. (AUDIO: Eldrad Must Die!) The two had once scaled the wall of the girls' school, causing the girls to scream and Gibbs to fall and break his collarbone. (AUDIO: The Memory Bank) The atmosphere of Earth made Turlough asthmatic and prone to nausea and migraines, meaning that he often abstained from PE.
His peers included Bolam, Matthewson, McMullen, Pradie, Rogerson, Shaw major, Shaw minor and Watt, (PROSE: The King of Terror) as well as his best friend Ibbotson, whom he nicknamed Hippo. (AUDIO: Devil in the Mist) He spent half-term with the Ibbotsons in Weston-super-Mare (AUDIO: The Memory Bank) and once watched a film about Zulu warriors with Hippo on a wet Sunday afternoon. (PROSE: Deep Blue)
Turlough was far more intelligent than any of his peers, for which he was bullied and had his head plunged down the toilet. He tried to run away a number of times but was always brought back and beaten with shoes, straps and canes. (PROSE: The King of Terror) On one occasion, he and Peter Smythe took the trophies from the sports cabinet and dumped them in the school pond. (AUDIO: The Memory Bank)
Although Turlough did not like living on Earth and especially hated reading the works of William Shakespeare, (AUDIO: The Emerald Tiger) he did enjoy learning History (AUDIO: Phantasmagoria) and had a fondness for America, enjoying American football, although he did not understand the rules, (PROSE: The King of Terror) and wanting to visit New York. (AUDIO: Black Thursday)
Travelling in the TARDIS
Deal with the Black Guardian
In 1983, after eight years on Earth, (PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma) Turlough was contacted by the Black Guardian who offered him his freedom in return for him killing the Fifth Doctor. Sick of the planet, Turlough agreed and ingratiated himself with the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka by helping them defeat Mawdryn and resolve a temporal paradox, after which he asked to join them on their travels. An initial attempt to kill the Doctor was by bashing him with a rock, but he was interrupted. (TV: Mawdryn Undead)
Aboard the TARDIS, Turlough was given Adric's bedroom. (TV: Terminus) His first adventure was to the Gardens of the Dead where he was under the painful control of the Black Guardian. (AUDIO: Gardens of the Dead) In the Cloisters on Gallifrey, he, Nyssa and Tegan convinced the Doctor to help Ophiuchus to regenerate. (COMIC: Ophiuchus)
He followed the Guardian's instructions to remove the Heart of the TARDIS, causing the TARDIS to begin breaking up and form a link with Terminus where Turlough was to kill the Doctor. He failed in his task and was given one final chance by the Guardian. Whilst he was in the TARDIS, Nyssa left the crew and remained on Terminus. (TV: Terminus) Tegan and Turlough later found themselves separated from the Doctor in 1904 St Petersburg where they solved a murder on a train. Tegan was untrusting of him and believed that he was capable of killing. (PROSE: Gudok)
Turlough became loath to carry out his mission as he grew fonder of the Doctor. Finally, he destroyed a prize that would have guaranteed his freedom and his pact with the Black Guardian rather than kill the Doctor, ending his association with the Black Guardian and becoming a loyal member of the Doctor's team. (TV: Enlightenment)
Older Nyssa and E-Space
Turlough's first adventure as a free man was to Arizona where he was kidnapped by and made to join Thaddeus P. Winklemeyer's freakshow. He learnt that Winklemeyer sold the locals a liquid containing an organism that would digest any who drank it. (AUDIO: Freakshow) Despite being free, he still worried that the Black Guardian would punish him. (PROSE: Falling from Xi'an)
Two days after leaving Terminus, the TARDIS landed on Helheim where the crew were reunited with Nyssa, fifty years in her future. After they found a way to flush out the Cractids, Nyssa joined them on their travels, (AUDIO: Cobwebs) which included trips to 29th century Chodor where Turlough was mistaken as a Taker, (AUDIO: The Whispering Forest) the Manussan Empire where he spent an extended period of time with Nyssa (AUDIO: The Cradle of the Snake) and Samur where they faced Sontarans, some of whom Turlough outranked. (AUDIO: Heroes of Sontar)
On Vektris, Turlough was reunited with his old love Deela, whom he had last seen in their special place "three years, nine months, and seventeen days" ago. However, Deela ended up betraying the TARDIS team. (AUDIO: The Kiss of Death) He helped defeat the Rat King (AUDIO: Rat Trap) and Cyril Haggard (AUDIO: The Emerald Tiger) before being trapped in Eight slash Q Panenka's Unstable Zone with the Doctor, where he had to wear an atmospheric suit. (AUDIO: The Jupiter Conjunction)
Whilst en route to Brisbane, the TARDIS was caught in a time corridor which sent Turlough and Nyssa to the 50th century where they spent two years waiting for the Doctor to come for them. During the two years, Turlough acted as Nyssa's secretary as she investigated Magnus Greel. (AUDIO: The Butcher of Brisbane) In Ambermouth, Turlough went to visit Charlie Gibbs and learnt that he too was a Trion. After defeating Eldrad, Mulkris offered him the opportunity of joining him in tracking down other remnants of the Kastrian, but he decided that he belonged in the TARDIS. (AUDIO: Eldrad Must Die!)
After adventures in 1983 Frodsham (AUDIO: The Lady of Mercia) and on Valderon, (AUDIO: Prisoners of Fate) the TARDIS slipped through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment into E-Space. Turlough and Nyssa were taken captive by Yan Fara and his new Outlers on Alzarius (AUDIO: Mistfall) and he later fled for his life over the tundra of Isenfel. (AUDIO: Equilibrium) On Apollyon, Nyssa remained behind so that Turlough, the Doctor and Tegan could return to N-Space. (AUDIO: The Entropy Plague)
With the Doctor and Tegan
The Doctor attempted to land the TARDIS on Turlough's home planet of Trion, but instead landed in 1215 England where Turlough was threatened with torture by Hugh Fitzwilliam before the Master imprisoned them both, as well as Hugh's mother, Isabella. He was freed by Geoffrey de Lacy and supported the idea of Kamelion joining the TARDIS crew. Although they had been planning to go to Trion, the Doctor instead chose to take them to the Eye of Orion. (TV: The King's Demons) On the way, a phoenix appeared in the TARDIS (PROSE: The Bird of Fire) and Kamelion was influenced by the Mara in Tegan's mind. (PROSE: Mark of the Medusa)
Two days after leaving 1215, the TARDIS arrived in the Crystal Bucephalus where Turlough, the Doctor and Tegan were arrested for murder. He helped to defeat Maximillian Arrestis, who had taken over control of Kamelion. (PROSE: The Crystal Bucephalus) He tried to reassure Tegan about Kamelion, and noticed something flashing on the TARDIS console. Shortly afterwards, they crashed on Orna's ship. He was concerned that the Doctor wasn't telling the truth about his paralysis. He piloted the TARDIS on the Doctor's orders. He saw Kamelion be possessed by the Guardian of the Spring on Rastana. (AUDIO: Devil in the Mist) They later visited Abertysswg, in 1902, but became involved in the mine explosion. He went to find Kamelion after he was affected by Eira Hughes's grief. He caught Judith Matson when Kamelion dropped her from a height. (AUDIO: Black Thursday) They went to 1984 York where he and the Doctor had to search for their robot companion. He encountered Una who told him that she had seen Tegan on a TV programme. He was kidnapped to be part of the game. (AUDIO: Power Game) He was willing to sacrifice himself for his friends on Mekalion where Kamelion decided not to venture out of the TARDIS with his crewmates anymore. (AUDIO: The Kamelion Empire)
After finally arriving at the Eye of Orion, Turlough, the Doctor and Tegan were taken to the Death Zone. Whilst the Doctor and Tegan took part in the Game of Rassilon, Turlough remained in the TARDIS with Susan Campbell. (TV: The Five Doctors) Afterwards, they returned to the Eye of Orion where Turlough and the Doctor played cricket before being attacked by a Raston Warrior Robot, whom they defeated with the help of the Eighth Doctor, (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) and, following their departure, they once again came across the Sontarans. (PROSE: Sontar's Little Helpers)
In the TARDIS, Tegan attempted to show Turlough what the Fourth Doctor looked like using Kamelion. (PROSE: Qualia) They faced the Master, who shrunk Turlough with his Tissue Compression Eliminator, (PROSE: The Velvet Dark) and visited Oxaqua, (PROSE: The Oxaqua Incident) Mesique, (PROSE: Winter on Mesique) Melphis (PROSE: Class 4 Renegade) and 1980s London where Turlough was reunited with his old teacher, the Brigadier. (PROSE: The Nemertines)
Several weeks after leaving the Death Zone, the TARDIS crew visited Verbatim Six where Turlough met Huxley, his novelisor, who reminded him of Hippo. In the Ringpullworld, he chose to save a race who turned out to be warlike, and he later asked Huxley to tell him the future. (AUDIO: Ringpullworld) Further adventures took Turlough to Moon Village One, (COMIC: The Lunar Strangers) Sector 19, where he encountered the Master and the Cybermen (PROSE: Birth of a Renegade) and Sea Base 4, where he met and had little sympathy for the Silurians and Sea Devils. He was forced to shoot one to save the Doctor. (TV: Warriors of the Deep) To recover from this ordeal, the crew went to Tayborough Sands where their peace was interrupted by the Xaranti. (PROSE: Deep Blue)
Turlough met and saved Tegan's grandfather, Andrew Verney, in Little Hodcombe (TV: The Awakening) and was joined in the TARDIS for a month by Will Chandler. After Will left, Turlough visited the Trion solicitor and left with a bloodied nose. He was later kidnapped in Los Angeles where he was poked, prodded and anally probed by the Jex. (PROSE: The King of Terror) He almost bumped into Peri Brown and Erimem on Earth (PROSE: Graham Dilley Saves the World) and visited Lant Land (PROSE: Lant Land) before going Christmas shopping, (PROSE: Last Minute Shopping) preventing Margaret Thatcher's assassination, (PROSE: The Assassin's Story) fighting Sextus Cornelius in Rome, (PROSE: Rome) visiting the Isle of Mona and being kidnapped by Adam Mitchell. (COMIC: The Forgotten)
On Frontios, Turlough's race memory caused him to collapse into catatonia, eventually remembering the Tractators' weakness. (TV: Frontios) Turlough later spent some time wandering a Dalek ship and said a brief farewell to Tegan as she made her spontaneous exit from TARDIS life, giving her a handshake. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks)
With just the Doctor
With Tegan having left (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks) and Kamelion remaining within his room, (AUDIO: The Kamelion Empire) Turlough and the Doctor travelled alone together. They landed on Raghi in 2371 where they fought the Sontarans and Rutans. (PROSE: Lords of the Storm) They also visited Ilium (PROSE: The Volcanis Deal) and Heracletus, (PROSE: Zeitgeist) and later encountered a doppelgänger of Turlough. (PROSE: One Last Try)
Turlough and the Doctor were assisted on the Moon in 1878 by Kamelion, who helped salvage weapons to use against the Vrall. Turlough fell in love with Lytalia before learning that she herself was a Vrall. (PROSE: Imperial Moon)
Turlough and the Doctor later tricked werewolf Pieter Stubbe into entering the TARDIS so that they could take him from Earth and kill him (AUDIO: Loups-Garoux) and caused the Transvaal annexation in 1877. (PROSE: White Man's Burden) Turlough saw Neanderthals in 40,000 BC Africa, where he showed some skill at flying the TARDIS by travelling six months into the future, (PROSE: Observation) and visited 1967 Nottingham. (PROSE: One Wednesday Afternoon)
Landing in 21st century Moscow, Turlough wondered why they never landed somewhere tropical with pretty girls. (AUDIO: Singularity) He saw the American Civil War in Virginia, (PROSE: Comforts of Home) the planet of the Shev where they accidentally deposited Mark Thorne, (PROSE: The Misadventure of Mark Thorne) the Pride of Sheboygan, (PROSE: Piecemeal) Salzburg at Christmas (PROSE: Do You Believe in the Krampus?) and Atkya, where he helped cure Renepscia syndrome. (PROSE: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back)
Turlough and the Doctor visited Castic City, where they had to survive using memory, (AUDIO: The Memory Bank) Vadhoc, where they befriended Grayling Frimlish, (AUDIO: The Last Fairy Tale) and 2144 Reykjavik, where Turlough was possessed by the Bratanian Shroud. (AUDIO: Repeat Offender) He also helped defeat the Hungerers (AUDIO: The Becoming) and the Entitlement. (AUDIO: Trap for Fools)
The Doctor and Turlough landed on Testament when the human empire was centred there. Turlough was injured in the explosion and Fionn helped to get him out. He wanted to get Bradley to use his influence to help, but learnt that there wasn't a workable evacuation plan. His injuries were eventually healed, and he worked out a plan to use the planet's technology to freeze the energy cell. (AUDIO: The Blazing Hour)
Whilst visiting Syria, the Doctor and Turlough were interrogated about information on a lost city. They then investigated the source of a strange signal and found out that it was a TARDIS. Turlough was abducted by Vakrass and taken to his base. He managed to help the Sixth Doctor to work out what the map was. He helped the Doctors with Constance Clarke and Charlotte Pollard by entering the device. (AUDIO: The End of the Beginning)
Turlough recognised a distress call from a Trion ship and attempted to disable Kamelion when the robot set the coordinates to the distress call's source. However, they landed at Lanzarote in 1984 where he met Peri Brown. On Sarn, he found his brother, Malkon, and learnt of his father's death. He willingly called a Trion ship to rescue Malkon and the other survivors, then learning that political prisoners were now welcome on Trion. He thanked the Doctor and told him that he would miss him before leaving for Trion with his brother. (TV: Planet of Fire)
Upon returning to Trion, Turlough was heralded as a hero due to having returned from exile. He had a career in politics waiting for him, but he chose not to pursue it nor to embrace his status as a celebrity, instead touring archaeological sites of interest to the research the Laima. He and his old friend Juras Maateh began to build a space-time vessel using Turlough's knowledge of the TARDIS by installing an ARTEMIS drive into a Style 976 Interstellar Hawk. His aim was to prevent the entropic decay of N-Space.
Turlough and Juras were joined by the Magician, who claimed to be there to observe their progress. The ARTEMIS drive ended up creating various different timelines and Turlough learnt from his future self, who led the Gardsormr, that Rehctaht was alive within Juras. Turlough killed her before going back in time and persuading Rehctaht to enter his mind instead, after which the Magician was able to help him resist and kill her. The Magician took him in his TARDIS to a timeline in which he died whilst trying to kill Rehctaht, where he took his dead self's place and was reunited with Juras and presented his people with ARTEMIS. (PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma)
As the Fifth Doctor regenerated into the Sixth, he psychically called out to his companions for help. Turlough answered and encouraged him to regenerate by telling him of how his enemies would delight in his death. (AUDIO: Winter; TV: The Caves of Androzani)
Turlough was later visited on Trion by the Tenth Doctor and Emily Winter after they found a diary that purported to be his. However, Turlough confirmed that he had never kept a diary. The Doctor later found that it had been planted by the Advocate. (COMIC: Tesseract, Don't Step on the Grass, Final Sacrifice)
At some point, Turlough was taken to the Black Archive by UNIT to have his record as a companion of the Doctor taken. His memories of the visit were subsequently erased and he was sent on his way. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
At another point, Turlough was abducted by Adam Mitchell as part his plan to get revenge on the Doctor, in collaboration with the Master. He was placed in stasis alongside the Doctors' multiple other companions, before being released by the Doctors first eleven numbered incarnations with the help of Frobisher. (COMIC: The Choice, Endgame)
In an alternative timeline, Turlough fell into the Giants' Drop whilst wrestling with Rehctaht in his mind and died. Turlough took this alternative Turlough's place in said timeline in order to be with its version of Juras. (PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma)
Turlough was very intelligent, far more so than any of his peers at Brendon Public School. (PROSE: The King of Terror) He believed in scientific advancement at the expense of personal freedoms, hence his support of the Imperial Clans in the Trion Civil War. He believed that the outsiders ought to look after themselves, ensure their own survival and leave the Clansmen alone, for which they would be rewarded by prospering from the Clans' superiority.
He was selfish and quick to shield himself from blame, able to convincingly lie to most with the exception of Juras, (PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma) the Brigadier (TV: Mawdryn Undead) and Tegan. (TV: Terminus) Tegan found him untrustworthy and bad-mannered, but the Fifth Doctor had faith in his nature. (TV: Terminus, Enlightenment; AUDIO: Cobwebs) He was not so much a coward as a survivalist, preferring to avoid danger and situations he felt he could not change. (TV: Warriors of the Deep, Resurrection of the Daleks)
Despite his strong desire to leave Earth, Turlough found himself unable to murder for his freedom and frequently asked the Black Guardian to reconsider his order to kill the Doctor. (TV: Terminus, Enlightenment) He was not a "people person" (AUDIO: The Memory Bank) and did not believe that saving people came naturally to him. (AUDIO: Phantasmagoria) However, he was encouraged to take a closer look at himself and decide who he truly wanted to be after falling in love with Lytalia. (PROSE: Imperial Moon)
In addition to a love of astrophysics (PROSE: Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma) and Earth history, (AUDIO: Phantasmagoria) Turlough loved to paint (AUDIO: The Memory Bank) and draw, (TV: The Five Doctors) with the Doctor once taking him to mediaeval Europe to inspire him to do just that. (AUDIO: The Last Fairy Tale) In terms of sport, he enjoyed watching American football, although he could not comprehend the rules. (PROSE: The King of Terror) He knew enough about the TARDIS to run a diagnostic, (TV: The Five Doctors) to travel six months into the future, (PROSE: Observation) and to program it to rescue the Doctor and Peri. (TV: Planet of Fire)
Although he initially expressed a desire to return to Trion and at one point asked the Doctor to take him home, (TV: Enlightenment, The King's Demons) after he had spent more time travelling with the Doctor he grew reluctant to return. By the time it came to leave the Doctor, Turlough told him that he did not want to go and would miss him. (TV: Planet of Fire)
Turlough was as thin as a willow and had an unworldly, pre-Raphaelite appearance thanks to his auburn hair, blue eyes and thin, sharp-boned face. (PROSE: Mawdryn Undead, Warriors of the Deep) He had a hint of the shifty and unreliable about him, making him look like he could be a school bully or school sneak, but was still attractive. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
He described himself as unfit (TV: Terminus) and wore a dark blazer, flannels and straggly striped tie. (PROSE: Warriors of the Deep) Before being exiled, he was branded with a Misos Triangle on his arm. (TV: Planet of Fire)
Behind the scenes
- Turlough was the last male companion to travel with the Doctor on-screen until Adam Mitchell, who joined in the episode Dalek in 2005.
- Turlough was the last in a seven-year run of non-human televised companions, beginning in 1977 with K9 Mark I. Others included K9 Mark II, Romana I, Romana II, Adric, Nyssa and, nominally, Kamelion.
- When he was introduced in 1983, Turlough became the first televised companion since Jo Grant not to have travelled with the Fourth Doctor.
- Mark Strickson dyed his hair red for the role, as his natural fair hair was seen by John Nathan-Turner as too similar to Peter Davison's. Originally, Nathan-Turner had intended that Strickson go bald but this idea was rejected by Strickson.
- Turlough's serial number, VTEC9/12/44, was derived from the date of birth of Eric Saward.