The Doctor's Companions

Tegan Turlough Kamelion
Mawdryn Undead - Planet of Fire
Turlough
Turlough
(1983 - 1984)
Mark Strickson
Mark Strickson was born in 1959 in Stratford-Upon-Avon in Warwickshire. His father was a professional musician and Mark Strickson had learned to play several instruments by the time he went to grammar school, where he continued his musical training. After finishing school, Mark Strickson went to RADA, where he studied music and acting. His first acting job was as part of the Mikron Theatre Company, who travelled the canals of Britain on a narrow boat performing up and down the country. His first television apperances were in 1982 – in an episode of Strangers, 5 episodes of the BBC hospital series Angels, and Juliet Bravo before being auditioned for the role of Turlough.
In 1984, after leaving Doctor Who, Mark Strickson played the young Scrooge in a remake of Dickens' A Christmas Carol as well as an episode of Bergerac (in 1985) and Casualty (in 1988). Then in 1988 he emigrated to Australia with his wife, actress Julie Brennan, where he took a break from acting to study for a degree in zoology. He returned to UK in 1995, and in 1996 he produced a number of wildlife films for television.
Mark Strickson has returned to the role of Turlough on a number of occasions. He appeared in the 1998 Doctor Who direct to video spin-off "Lust in Space" and has appeared in a number of Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio stories. In 2010 he was reunited with former co-companions Tegan Jovanka (played by Janet Fielding) and Nyssa (played by Sarah Sutton) in a mini- trilogy of Fith Doctor audio plays.
 In many ways, Turlough was the companion with the most in common with The Doctor in the beginning, as, although he was morally ‘inferior’ to The Doctor - being willing to kill another for his own benefit -, his first appearance provided no real information about his past beyond the fact that he was clearly an alien living on Earth for reasons unknown. Initially appearing to be nothing more than a student at a boarding school - the most distinctive thing about him being the fact that his maths teacher was The Doctor’s old friend The Brigadier -, it was swiftly revealed that there was more to him than appeared when he was visited by The Doctor’s old enemy The Black Guardian - the personification of chaos - while unconscious after a car accident, The Black Guardian offering to return Turlough ‘home’ if he killed the ‘evil’ Doctor ("Mawdryn Undead"), subsequently displaying a surprising knowledge of alien technology when he became involved in The Doctor’s investigation of a strange alien ship. Although Turlough swiftly recognised that The Doctor was not evil - The Black Guardian only describing him as evil from his perspective -, he nevertheless appeared to be committed to his mission, requesting to join the TARDIS crew after The Doctor had dealt with the crew of the alien ship.

Mawdryn Undead
Mawdryn Undead
For his first few journeys in the TARDIS, Turlough continued to find himself incapable of fulfilling the orders of The Black Guardian, although this was generally portrayed as being the result of his own cowardice rather than any actual nobility; even when actually on board the ship, Turlough’s attempts to kill The Doctor consisted of such attempts as forcing the TARDIS to materialise or attempting to take control of the TARDIS while The Doctor was otherwise occupied outside the ship ("Terminus"), constantly avoiding putting himself in a position where he would need to stand up to The Doctor directly. Despite his apparent cowardice, however, when the TARDIS crew found themselves involved in a race among the Eternals - powerful beings from the higher dimensions who relied on the thoughts of lower beings like humans for inspiration - ("Enlightenment"), when faced with a choice between accepting a massive diamond and control of the TARDIS in exchange for handing The Doctor over to The Black Guardian, Turlough rejected the offer, freeing him from his deal with the Guardian at long last. Although Turlough initially asked The Doctor to take him home, he swiftly seemed to change his mind ("Warriors of the Deep"), being content with travelling through time with The Doctor and Tegan wherever the TARDIS went.

Terminus
Terminus
Although The Doctor trusted Turlough despite the circumstances of his arrival - once saying that he actually admired Turlough having been sent to kill him ("The King of Terror") -, his relationship with his fellow companions was generally awkward. While Turlough had a civil enough relationship with fellow companion Tegan Jovanka after she had time to get over her initial hostility towards his allegiance to the Black Guardian ("Cobwebs") - Tegan once sharing some stories about her childhood with him during a trip to Los Angeles ("The King of Terror") -, in general the two simply cooperated rather than actually being friends. Turlough also made it clear more than once that he didn’t trust their third companion Kamelion, a shape-shifting android previously under the control of The Master ("The King's Demons") - apparently unconcerned about the hypocrisy of that belief given the conditions under which he joined the TARDIS himself -, although he did bond slightly with Kamelion after he saved The Doctor and Turlough from suffocating on the Moon after the destruction of an ancient alien hunting park ("Imperial Moon"). He initially only had limited opportunities to bond with Nyssa before she left the TARDIS on his first trip in the ship ("Terminus"), but after she rejoined them ("Cobwebs"), they formed a closer bond over time due to their similar status as alien exiles - Turlough by choice and Nyssa by her homeworld’s loss ("Logopolis") -, particularly when the two spent three years together investigating the malevolent Magnus Greel ("The Butcher of Brisbane"), with Turlough posing as Nyssa’s secretary to give him a reason to be by her side. The end of his dealings with The Black Guardian did not mark the end of Turlough’s difficult confrontations with alien enemies. During The Doctor’s investigation of the InterCom corporation with UNIT, Turlough was briefly captured by a race called the Jex in the belief that they could study his alien DNA to engineer humanity into a slave race capable of surviving on Earth after they altered its atmosphere for their own purposes ("The King of Terror"). On another occasion, Turlough was briefly contaminated by two competing Kastrians - one seeking to destroy The Doctor’s old enemy Eldrad ("The Hand of Fear") and the other Eldrad himself trying to arrange for his resurrection -, forcing him to serve both of them by trapping him in hallucinations of his past, Turlough actually being broken enough to accept their authority before Tegan helped him reassert himself in time to destroy Eldard’s control ring ("Eldrad Must Die!"). A particularly personal adventure for Turlough was his encounter with the monstrous Tractators, which saw Turlough briefly regress into a catatonic state due to his people having had a traumatic encounter with the Tractators in their past that left them with powerful racial memories of the damage they had done, although Turlough was later able to use these memories to help The Doctor devise a means of defeating the Tractators ("Frontios").

Resurrection of the Daleks
Resurrection of the Daleks
As he continued his time with The Doctor - particularly after Tegan left the ship ("Resurrection of the Daleks") -, Turlough began to go through a significant period of self-analysis, his own naturally selfish behaviour conflicting with his desire to help The Doctor when he could, demonstrating a strong dedication to his friend on more than one occasion . This was particularly evident when the two of them participated in the British Imperial Spacefleet’s trip to the Moon in 1878 ("Imperial Moon"); during a confrontation with a group of mutineers on one of the expedition ships after they had apparently killed The Doctor, Turlough was strongly reluctant to work with them simply because they had killed The Doctor where he once would have been willing to put that aside in favour of his own survival, later admitting that he had never known anyone like the Time Lord (Although The Doctor actually survived thanks to a Victorian space suit and with Kamelion’s aid). While reading the diary of expedition leader Captain Richard Halliwell, Halliwell’s selfless nobility and dedication to his fellow prisoner Emily Boyes-Dennison - the daughter of the professor who invented the engine that powered the fleet’s rockets - gave Turlough an uncomfortable look at his own personality, encouraging him to do better in future.

Planet of Fire
Planet of Fire
During this time, Turlough also demonstrated a capable mind able to handle problems by himself if the need arose, such as when he correctly deduced the artificial nature of an asteroid orbiting a planet ("Lords of the Storm"). However, this attitude sometimes led him into trouble, as shown when his attempt to investigate the mysterious Valentine on a trip to 1702 resulted in him nearly being killed by Valentine before The Doctor managed to trick him into being targeted by his own weapon ("Phantasmagoria"), or when a group of werewolves played on his arrogance by forcing him to face his own inner darkness ("Loups-Garoux"). Turlough’s relationship with The Doctor also became more relaxed, to the extent that he once teased The Doctor when a scantily-clad female dancer tried to seduce his friend into a dance while they attended Carnival in Rio de Janeiro in 2084, The Doctor later asking Turlough for relationship advice when Illena, a female werewolf seeking aid to defeat the oldest werewolf in the world, developed feelings for The Doctor.

Book - Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma
Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma (Tony Attwood)
Turlough and The Doctor eventually parted company after a trip to the volcanic planet Sarn ("Planet of Fire"), revealed to be a former colony planet for Turlough’s homeworld Trion. Turlough’s family had been on the losing side of a civil war against the hereditary ruling families of his world, his family and others fleeing to Sarn after the conflict while Turlough was exiled to Earth; he even realised that one of the natives on Sarn was none other than his brother Malkon, although their father had died in the crash. As the volcanoes on Sarn came ever closer to an imminent eruption, Turlough was forced to contact Trion for help, but learned, much to his relief, that all political prisoners had been given a blanket amnesty by the new government, clearing them of all charges and allowing Turlough, his brother and their political allies to return home. Although The Doctor had taught Turlough a great deal, he recognised that his place was with his people and returned to Trion, bidding The Doctor and his new companion Peri farewell.

Further information about his life before and after The Doctor was revealed in the later novel "Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma", where it was revealed that the civil war that had exiled Turlough had been led by the insane dictator Rehctaht, Turlough choosing exile rather than remain and work for her. Once back on Trion, Turlough was able to use information gathered from his time with The Doctor to develop a time machine, only for matters to be complicated when he learned that the supposedly-deceased Rehctaht had survived by transferring her brain patterns into the body of Turlough’s old friend Juras, and now sought to use the Unified Field Theory of the universe to achieve god-like power. With the aid of a Time Lord known as the Magician, after being forced to kill Juras to stop Rehctaht in the present Turlough was able to undo Rehctaht’s quest for power by tricking her into possessing him in the last days of her regime, allowing him to expel her from his mind. As a reward for his work, the Magician subsequently took Turlough into an alternate timeline where his other self had perished and Juras was still alive, allowing Turlough to introduce his time machine to his people.
 
Memorable Moment
 
Television Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Season Episodes
Television Mawdryn Undead The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 4
Television Terminus The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 4
Television Enlightenment The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 4
Television The King's Demons The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka and Kamelion Season 20 2
Television The Five Doctors The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 1
Television Warriors of the Deep The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 21 4
Television The Awakening The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 21 2
Television Frontios The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 21 4
Television Resurrection of the Daleks The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 21 2
Television Planet of Fire The 5th Doctor Kamelion and Peri Season 21 4
Total Stories:   10 Total Episodes:   31
Other Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Season Source
Book The Eight Doctors of Christmas
The 1st Doctor, The 2nd Doctor, The 3rd Doctor, The 4th Doctor, The 5th Doctor, The 6th Doctor, The 7th Doctor and The 8th Doctor 
Susan, Jamie, Zoe, The Brigadier, Jo Grant, Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Leela, K9, Adric, Nyssa, Tegan Jovanka, 2nd Romana, Peri, Dr Grace Holloway and Chang Lee Season 20 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Falling from Xi'an The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Gudok The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book The Crystal Bucephalus The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka and Kamelion Season 20 The Missing Adventures
Book Qualia The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka and Kamelion Season 20 The Big Finish Short Trips
Audio Freakshow The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Cobwebs The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Whispering Forest The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Cradle of the Snake The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Heroes of Sontar The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Kiss of Death The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Rat Trap The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Emerald Tiger The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Jupiter Conjunction The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Butcher of Brisbane The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Eldrad Must Die! The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Lady of Mercia The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Prisoners of Fate The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Mistfall The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Equilibrium The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Entropy Plague The 5th Doctor Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Book Lant Land The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book The Assassin's Story The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book The Velvet Dark The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Short Trips
Audio Ringpullworld The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 20 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Book Deep Blue The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka, The Brigadier and Capt Mike Yates Season 21 The Past Doctors Stories
Book The King of Terror The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka and The Brigadier Season 21 The Past Doctors Stories
Book Rome The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Last Minute Shopping The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Lords of the Storm The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Missing Adventures
Book Zeitgeist The 5th Doctor   Season 21 Decalog 3: Consequences
Audio Phantasmagoria The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Loups-Garoux The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Singularity The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Memory Bank The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Last Fairy Tale The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Repeat Offender The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Becoming The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Audio Stories
Book Imperial Moon The 5th Doctor Kamelion Season 21 The Past Doctors Stories
Book White Man's Burden The 5th Doctor Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Observation The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book (15:21) One Wednesday Afternoon The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Comforts of Home The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book One Step Forward, One Step Back The 2nd Doctor & The 5th Doctor Jamie Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book The Misadventure of Mark Thorne The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Piecemeal The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Do You Believe in the Krampus? The 5th Doctor   Season 21 The Big Finish Short Trips
Book The Fall of the Druids The 5th Doctor Tegan Jovanka and Kamelion
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The Big Finish Short Trips
Book Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma    
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Miscellaneous Stories
Total Stories:   49
 
Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at djfs@blueyonder.co.uk
 
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