After his family fight on the losing side in a civil war on his home planet, Trion, Ensign Commander Vislor Turlough is branded and exiled to Earth where he is placed at Brendon, a boys' public school where the Brigadier teaches maths. Following an accident in a stolen car Turlough accepts the offer of a ride home from the mysterious Black Guardian, but there's a price...
Selfish, scared and vulnerable, a self-professed coward who nevertheless risks his life for his friends, Mark Strickson made Turlough a compelling character, someone the viewer wanted to know more about, and even sympathised with, despite his attempts on the Doctor's life. By the time Planet of Fire was commissioned he had decided to leave the show, feeling that he had done all he could with the characer.
The TV episodes were transmitted in 1982/3 but the adventures continue - whether in the novels, novelisations or Big Finish Audio, all testament to the character's enduring appeal.
The Black Guardian Trilogy - containing the stories Mawdryn Undead, Terminus and Enlightenment.
The three stories are currently only available in this boxed set but they are all essential for any Turlough fan, currently retailing at around £13 (Region 2) and packed with special features!
Mawdryn Undead - Following an accident driving the Brigadier's stolen car alien schoolboyTurlough is offered a ride home - for a price. The Black Guardian wants the Doctor killed, leaving Turlough with a terrible choice...
Terminus - Nyssa of Traken (played by Sarah Sutton) makes her departure in this story. This one is remembered as the one where Turlough is locked up in episode one and not released until episode four but there are some great Turlough/Tegan scenes as they struggle through the ship's ventilation shafts. Standout scene- Turlough "Could you kill someone? In cold blood?" as he carries along an iron bar with which to kill the Doctor.
Enlightenment - A triumphant close to the story arc, very much focussed on Turlough and his struggle to escape from his murderous bargain with the Black Guardian whilst surviving the attentions of Captain Wrack!
Special Features: Mark does commentaries on all three stories with Peter Davison.
Also: Mawryn Outtakes, Finding Mark Strickson - Mark looks back over his life and career, and a special re-imagined feature film version of Enlightenment which isn't as good because some lines are cut, together with a scene in the vacuum chamber. We don't watch Doctor Who for the special effects!
The King's Demons
A two-parter that combines the return of the Master with the introduction of the mysterious Kamelion - who works best in photographs. Turlough gets chained up by a maniac, again. Gerald Flood, playing the dastardly King John, is wonderful, as is his song, "We sing in praise of total war".
The last colony of humans are on the verge of extinction but who are their enemies?
A great Turlough story as Mark Strickson reveals the horror that lurks beneath the planet.
Special Features - An interview with Mark where he reveals that he was "most promising spitter of 1983!"
Warriors of the Deep
Available only as boxed set "Beneath The Surface" with a Jon Pertwee adventure. JNT brought back old foes in the 25th anniversary season and this one has the Sea Devils and Silurians. Unfortunately the story also contains the Myrka, a ludicrous slow-moving rubber monster. Still, Turlough gets some good lines and a big gun, and Peter Davison gives a master class in coping with Who props.
The Five Doctors
Regularly re-issued, this is the 25th anniversary special that included six doctors (with Richard Hurndall) and all available companions. Turlough gets stuck in the Tardis but it's a great story and a fitting celebration of a great TV programme. Mark is on a commentary with Liz Sladen and Carole Ann Ford and he appears on some of the outtakes.
Currently only available new as part of the "Earth Stories" boxed set, with a William Hartnell adventure.
Great fun as a village's battle re-enactments awake an ancient evil. Two-parter. Some great out-takes including the one where a horse demolishes a gate.
Resurrection of the Daleks
This one (as the title suggests!) is a Daleks/Davros story, notorious at the time for starting with a scene where a policeman kills a bystander. Turlough teams up with Rula Lenska to save the universe from dalek peril!
Special Features - nothing Mark related.
Planet of Fire
This manages to be Turlough's farewell story, Peri's first story and also sees the departure of the troublesome Kamelion. It was written by Peter Grimwade who also wrote Mawdryn Undead, the first Turlough story and it explained (finally!) who Turlough was and what he was doing on Earth. Lots of special features including commentary with Mark reminiscing about the problems of filming in Lanzarote, including sharp sand, cold water and naked Germans, also a new version of the story. And there are the shorts!
Currently only available as a boxed set with The King's Demons, but if you are a Turlough fan you need both stories anyway. The set is "Kamelion Tales" - the robotic companion used by the Master.
Recorded in 2012, Mark appears on two special half hour long feature interviews on this DVD.
Grim Tales (aka Revisiting "The Visitation!) Mark interviews Sarah, Janet and Peter as they wander around the sets used in the story.
The Television Centre of the Universe - Part 1 - Mark, Janet and Peter take a tour of the iconic building and reminisce about their time at the BBC. (Part 2 is on the DVD of "The Underwater Menace")
Special Feature only - Mark, Peter Purves and Frazer Hines chat about their experiences as male companions to the Doctor in a feature titled "Boys, Boys, Boys!". Recorded in 2013.
Mark looks back on his life and career over a couple of pints in an idyllic village that was used for "The Awakening". Funny, illuminating and definitely worth buying.
Film of the famous Doctor Who convention including full coverage of the Peter Davison Tardis team panel! Unfortunately badly in need of subtitling at some points but it's a great record of an historic event if you are a Whovian! And there's Valentine Dyall and Anthony Ainley's evil laugh competition!
Reeltime pictures also released "The Unseen Footage". This is only really worth buying if you were there and you want to spot your teenage self. There are no new panels, although I think the sound has been cleaned up on the Davison interview.
The Doctor Down Under
A documentary about Doctor Who fans in Australia. Mark does the links from his boat and there are a lot of out-takes. Don't do as I did and buy a second-hand copy from Amazon for £30 as a "rarity", all these DVDs retail at around £13 brand new!
Lust In Space
The TV Programme "Doctor Who" is accused of being sexist with the threat of being removed from history!
I thought all my birthdays had come at once when I saw this on IMDb but he doesn't so much as take off his hat.
It's probably not "canon" but Mark has a big part in it, playing the prosecuting counsel, and there are lots of out-takes which make it worth watching. Once.
Stranger (More Than A Messiah)
Mark isn't on the main feature but the DVD contains most of the the famous interview with Peter Davison where the two stars talk candidly about the show. Here's an extract.
Turlough and the EarthLink Dilemma- Tony Attwood
One of only three Target Doctor Who books without a Doctor, surely a recognition that Turlough was something more than a companion with an agenda of his own. This is a sort of "What Turlough Did Next" set on Trion and Earth and was the first attempt to give Turlough a more developed role than was possible in the TV episodes. The book is also famous for the prologue written by Mark that notes "Turlough spent a great deal of time captive in various states of bondage". Mark Strickson had some input to the book, talking to the author a few times to give a view on how Turlough would act in given situations. Also the description of Turlough in the book's first chapter is what Strickson was wearing when he met the author at a convention. Peter Grimwade contacted the BBC when it was published, arguing that he created Turlough so the character belonged to him.
Lords of the Storm - David McIntee
A Sontaran adventure - for completists only, although Turlough is the only companion there isn't much about his background or personality. Nice cover though.
Imperial Moon - Christopher Bulis
Victorian spaceships go to the Moon. Turlough is the main character in this one which is set after Resurrection of the Daleks. It is nice to see Kamelion used as well. The opening scenes are great, with a brief glimpse of two Turloughs (thanks to Kamelion). Turlough meets nubile aliens so you know it won't end well...
The King of Terror - Keith Topping
The Doctor, Turlough, Tegan and the Brigadier travel to America. Aliens plan to take over the Earth but need to alter human DNA, which results in Turlough's abduction. This novel is excellent and demonstrates that Doctor Who works when written for an older audience. Even the supporting characters such as the scary CIA boss and Tegan's boyfriend are memorable and it is hard not to warm to a book where Turlough is naked for 126 pages. By far the best of the Turlough novels and should be made into a Big Finish forthwith.
Deep Blue - Mark Morris
This is set in the 70s at a seaside resort where people are being taken over by aliens. The Brigadier and UNIT feature in the story which is a Five/Turlough/Tegan one. The book is a gripping page turner and there is a genuinely thrilling extended chase scene where the aliens are stalking Turlough through the town. Recommended.
The Crystal Bucephalus - Craig Hinton
A sort of Restaurant At The End of The Universe setting. Turlough isn't in it much and he isn't wearing the uniform, which is distracting. There is a good plot though and the slowest escape plan in history which make it still well worth reading. The title comes from the enormous crystal statue of Alexander's horse that stands in the restaurant foyer, in case you were wondering.
The Life And Scandalous Times of John Nathan-Turner by John Marson.
The author interviewed Mark in 2012 and includes many of his comments in the book.
Mark on The Shorts
(JNT said) - "Look, the girls are always showing off their legs, Jamie wore a kilt, you've been in a black suit all this time, come on get your legs out," I used to cycle from Waterloo, miles and miles a day, and I remember coming in wearing shorts one day and Janet saying "You've got bloody good legs, Mark". When John asked me to get into shorts I remembered that and I thought, "Why not? " I flattered myself that I might become a gay icon and that some girls might like it too!"
That's a yes then.