Vislor Turlough

Portrayed by: Mark Strickson
Travelled with: Fifth Doctor
Series: Classic

Vislor Turlough was a companion of the Fifth Doctor, though often referred to as just Turlough. Turlough was a Trion from the planet Trion, though little is known of his life before and during the Trion civil war, other than he was in exile. His desperation to destroy a distress beacon that he recognised as being Trion in origin as well as his reluctance to contact his people to save the people of Sarn suggest that there were severe penalties for him escaping his exile. He was an active member of the military, assigned the rank of “Junior Ensign Commander” and serial number “VTEC9/12/44”. Turlough’s brother and father were both exiled to the abandoned colony planet of Sarn while he was exiled to Earth. His mother was killed during the conflicts. On Earth, Turlough lived as a human schoolboy, hiding his alien origins while attending Brendon Public School, which had Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart as one of its staff members. While on Earth, Turlough had a Custodian supervising him who masqueraded as a solicitor in Chancery Lane. While on Earth, Turlough was contacted by the Black Guardian who guaranteed his freedom in return for the death of the Doctor. This resulted in Turlough meeting the Doctor and his companions, Nyssa and Tegan Jovanak, where he assisted them in fixing a time paradox in Mawdryn Undead (Classic Series). Following this, Turlough was invited to join the TARDIS crew, which he accepted.

Vislor Turlough with the Fifth Doctor

During his adventures with the Doctor, Turlough often received recurring messages from the Black Guarding, reminding him of his contract to kill the Doctor. Turlough came to loath the act more and more as he grew fonder of the Time Lord, before finally choosing to destroy a prize which would have guaranteed his freedom. Instead he chose to end his contract with the Black Guardian rather than kill the Doctor, ending his association with the villain and becoming a loyal member of the TARDIS crew in Enlightenment (Classic Series). After this, Turlough met the Doctors previous incarnations on Gallifrey in The Five Doctors (Classic Series). After breaking his bond with the Black Guardian, Turlough’s outlook changed from self-preservation to willing and wanting to help others. This led him to deliberately put his life in danger to save the Doctor and Tegan in Warriors of the Deep (Classic Series), facing the demons of the Trion people in Frontios (Classic Series) before finally accepting personal responsibility and choosing to trade his own freedom in order to save the lives of the population of Sarn. Turlough initially expressed a desire to go home on Trion, even asking the Doctor to take him there in Enlightenment, but after he had spent more time travelling with the Time Lord, he grew reluctant to return. Turlough eventually left the TARDIS crew after learning that his younger brother was still alive and that the persecution of political prisoners had been abandoned on Trion, after effectively placing the Doctor in the hands of his new companion, Peri Brown in Planet of Fire (Classic Series).

Vislor Turlough with the Fifth Doctor

Turlough acted selfishly, always trying to prevent himself from blame and was able to convincingly lie to most people, though some such as Tegan and the Brigadier were not taken in by the lies. Tegan found Turlough to be untrustworthy and didn’t like him and did not approve of the Doctor allowing Turlough to consider the Black Guardian’s offer. She believed that Turlough would choose the crystal, though the Doctor was confident in Turlough’s morals. Despite this, Turlough recognised the Doctor’s good intentions and tried to make the Black Guardian reconsider his instruction to kill the Doctor. When Turlough chose to stay with the Doctor he said that he could learn more with him. He made use of the tranquil Eye of Orion to pain and also understood the TARDIS systems well enough to program it to rescue the Doctor and Peri in Planet of Fire as well as being able to run a diagnostic in The Five Doctors. When the Fifth Doctor was hallucinating during his regeneration process, Turlough was one of the many individuals he hallucinated about.

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