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pontisbright in loves_them_all

Companion Posting Month: Pimp My Schoolboy

Companion to the Fifth Doctor, Earth's oldest schoolboy, and the ultimate slutboi alien tease. He's rude AND ginger, and he's not even wearing a wedding dress. (He probably would for a fiver, though.) Yes, ladies and gentlemen: it's Turlough!


Brendon School End of Term Report: Vislor Turlough

English: B
Turlough has a marvellous facility for the English language, and an active imagination. It is to be hoped he learns to use these skills for something other than creative explanations for why his homework is invariably in Ibbotson’s handwriting.

Mathematics: F
In all my years in the military, I have never met so stubborn a disciplinary case. I propose he is expelled at the earliest opportunity, before he can pollute any more easily-influenced minds. I can make no comment on his mathematical skills, as I do not believe he has attended a single one of my lessons since the first week of term.

Humanities: D
Turlough claims to know a great deal of history. I beg to differ. As for Geography, this boy’s ignorance of the British Isles is so remarkable, one might almost imagine him to be an alien visitor from another planet.

Sciences: A
Turlough is a remarkably gifted pupil, particularly in advanced physics: on numerous occasions he has even corrected me! (It might be preferable if, however, he didn’t do so with quite such glee.)

Art: B+
I have not encountered young Turlough’s notorious rudeness in my classes: indeed, he seems to actively enjoy the subject, especially sketching. But some of his artwork does demonstrate an unhealthy fascination with warlike scenes of death and destruction. I recommend he sees a psychiatrist at the earliest opportunity.

PE/Games: D

Headmaster’s Report:
Given the tragic circumstances behind his arrival at Brendon School (I understand he lost both his parents in a car crash), I am inclined to overlook many of Turlough’s less pleasant traits. He is undoubtedly a young man with a great deal to offer, if only he would apply himself: it is my hope that he one day finds a mentor who might guide him to a better path.

Reasons to Love Turlough: a ginger picspam

But you can’t love Turlough! He’s ginger and creepy and EVIL!

Well, yes. Turlough is indeed a devious, sneaky, self-serving liar, but he’s also completely useless at being evil. He spends the entire Black Guardian trilogy supposedly trying to bump off the Doctor, but ‘hit it with a rock’ is about as close as he gets. Once he’s escaped the clutches of the Black Guardian and stopped shouting at crystals all day, he’s free to engage in other pursuits: snarking at Tegan, pouting, getting tied up by villains, wearing lots of mascara, and being a great big coward.

In fact, Turlough has many and varied skills. He does like a good sulk. (The King’s Demons)

He’s very fond of his old school tie… (Frontios)

…although in the grand tradition of male companions he is willing to flash the flash. (Planet of Fire)

He gets on very well with sailors. (Enlightenment)

Sometimes he hugs his fellow companions in car parks for promotional purposes.

Tegan also finds his company quite fascinating. (Terminus)

He’s got a hatstand and he knows how to use it. (Frontios)

Did I mention the bondage? (The King’s Demons)

He’s got an awesome stripy sock collection. (Warriors of the Deep)

He’s got a furry hat. (BF audio: Singularity – so sorry, apart from this pic you have to use your imagination – but look, innit lovely?)

All absurdity aside, he’s an absolutely corking character. Mark Strickson may like to serve a little extra ham on the plate whenever possible, but that fits perfectly into Five’s crazy space panto of doom. Turlough is a companion we’ve never seen before or since: an alien with secrets to keep (not fully revealed until his marvellous exit story), who never settles into the role of trustworthy sidekick. Even when the story puts him in the background, you always get the feeling he might be up to something dodgy. And although the production values might not always be the best (Warriors of the Deep, I’m looking at you), the writing and performances of the regulars in S21 in particular are bloody great. Five, Tegan and Turlough – a nice-but-increasingly-losing-it Doctor and his two bitchy companions – make for a magnificent (and absurdly unsung) TARDIS team.

Visual Evidence
The overlords of dvd releases are not on Turlough’s side, alas. Of those currently available, your best bet is The Five Doctors: he disappears a bit towards the end, but only after gratuitous Doctor-hugging, cocktail hour in the TARDIS, and the fabulously slutty line ‘Big, isn’t it?’ Resurrection of the Daleks also contains some fine examples of his typical array of sulking, cowardice, and being tied up. His very best moments are yet to be committed to shiny disc form - but don’t let that put you off, please: the internet can always provide. (isweedan at YouTube = your new BFF.)

His intro story is Mawdryn Undead (the first of the ‘Black Guardian Trilogy’, along with Terminus and Enlightenment): he leaves in Planet of Fire. You’ll find info about these and the stories in-between here.

I have never seen Turlough but obviously I now want to! Or, I have, but remind me of good bits! Show me things!
Mawdryn Undead: the Brig! Brain-breaky time-travel! David Collings with spaghetti on his head! And surely one of the finest companion introductions of all time: check out the first 5 minutes of this. (The following contains the most hilarious musical score ever committed by old-skool Who, a truly ‘special’ special effect, and a man with a duck nailed to his head. If you don’t want to keep watching after this, I’m not sure how to help you.)

Enlightenment: Camp Pirates in Spaaaaaaace. Here’s the start of Episode 3: Turlough switches from suicidally emo to the familiar devious manipulative little git in the time it takes to snap on some manacles and poke him in the nipple. (Tegan finally gets an outfit that does justice to the girls, too.) This clip is utterly bonkers out of context, but it's utterly bonkers even when you know what's going on, so don't panic.

Frontios: the monsters might look like big polystyrene poos, but once you get past that this is a real gem. Five is gloriously grumpy, while Turlough actually borders on the heroic - when he’s not being completely deranged and dribbling. Here’s a snippet from the end of episode 3: start from 1.50 for a sulk, some prime 'shushing' from Five, and the very sweet ‘two-corpira piece’ scene.


Planet of Fire is Turlough’s swansong, and few companions get such a satisfying departure story: we finally learn where Turlough’s from, how he ended up at an English public school, and why he was quite so willing to bonk the Doctor on the head with a rock to escape - all accompanied by Peri’s boobies, Five in shirtsleeves (which for him is practically naked), disco!Ainley, Peter Wyngarde, and of course Turlough in the shortest shorts known to man. PoF's thigh riot is celebrated in this vid from alocin42 (also featuring a wonderful cameo from the Mighty Penis Rock of Sarn):

A Gay Old Time?
One of the calufrax reccers recently wondered from whence came the fanon that Turlough is ‘as bent as $3 note’. I could write you an essay on the subject, but this is probably quicker:

You will find further helpless ginger-lovin' at:

At the above, who_otp (check out ghost2’s Rare Pairings lists especially), and of course at Teaspoon. It’s not all Five/Turlough: there’s a good smattering of Turlough/Tegan fic and some gloriously angsty gen out there too.

dwicons - all posts tagged Turlough
Some especially ginger-heavy icon posts:
Still: here, here, here
Animated: here and here

I would just like to add, in goofy fashion, that I have compiled this with a most unTurloughish stupid grin on my face. It’s been ages since I actually watched the ginger one in action rather than just mumbling about him fannishly, and oh dear me, for a funny-looking skinny ginger loony, he does make me go a bit wonky. I love him to little tiny pieces. I hope you do too.


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Oh man. I need to watch more Five. I really, really do. That video is awesomely awesome and Mawdryn really is the best crack.
This delights me. :) I never know how much people have seen, but honestly, the Five era is just made entirely of win, and the gingery bits especially so. *is biased*
\o/ This is a magnificent celebration of the Ginger One. I squeaked out loud in happiness when I realised what the last video was.
Wheee! I hope I did him some vague justice. And I was going to do another massive picspam to explain the slash, and then thought sod it, vid will do it so much better. :)

Thanks for this post!

You make me all nostalgic for the Black Guardian days, and that's saying something. I always liked Turlough, even though he was trying to be evil and I had a fairly simplistic moral worldview when I was twelve.

I'll bet I'd like him even more now that I've embraced the moral ambiguity. (:

Re: Thanks for this post!

I DESPISED him when I was a kid, I swear. I'm not sure my worldview is less simplistic now, but I have come to appreciate his many charms since.

If they don't release the BG trilogy on dvd soon I may implode. It's just so very cracky and brilliant.
That report card is a thing of absolute joy, hon. Perfect. :D

Great post!
TY! I couldn't quite resist. Am deeply looking forward to your contribution too...
TURLOUGH! Hooray <3
(erm, cannot manage much more than that. Do love your description of Fivey's crazy space panto of doom :D)
:) It's a crazy space panto with a crazy space pantomime horse, ffs! And pirates. And celery. And nudity. How anyone could not love the Five era is beyond me.
This was yayful and made of win. I propose we storm the Beeb and demand they release the Black Guardian Trilogy on DVD ASAP with Mark doing all the commentary.

Now I must finish my Steven Taylor post, complete with pic of his oh-so-pinchable-ass.
It's a bloody travesty that it's not out already, truly. I propose we kidnap Stricko for commentary purposes.

Can't wait for your Steven post: have seen so little of him, and need guidance. And arse pics. :)
Aa- Fizzit- Gsdlfj-

IMPOSSIBLE! There can never be too much Turlough. Except possibly in this icon.
OMG. This post. It is beautiful. Yes, I love weasely Turlough who wants to be good but it's just so hard sometimes. (I love Warriors of the Deep forever for character stuff, particularly his.) He/Tegan/Five are really very much of the awesome. Also, the report card is AMAZING, especially Art and PE. XD

Possibly unfounded and paranoid, but I worry a bit about talking about DW eps provided on youtube in unlocked posts.
Hurrah! Sometimes he seems like the, er, red-headed stepchild of the fandom, so it's lovely to see so much squee for him.

Re the links: if it was a torrent or a locked comm link then obviously no, but since youtube is such an easily searchable and publically-available site, I'm not aware of any issue regarding sharing the links. Will check with the mod, though.
Glad you enjoyed it. :) And I couldn't resist the Brig having a bit of a dig. The idea of him trying to teach Turlough Maths still tickles me hugely.
Cheers! I did enjoy constructing his report card.

I can't think of a higher compliment than 'crazy space panto', tbh. :)
As if we needed more reasons to love Turlough (not that need is a, erm, necessity... ;) )! Turlough rocks and has since his first few minutes on screen. Perfect way to shake up the companion convention--come up with one who wants to kill the Doc! Brilliant! Not, however, as brilliant as the report card, which is made of awesome.

When you get done dragging Mark Strickson off to do BG Trilogy commentaries, send him off to BFA so we can have some new audios, won't you? Three is simply not enough.
I love his intro: you get 'annoying smug bully', 'suicidal loon' and 'apparently an alien' in the space of no time at all.

Three BFs is not enough at all, and Singularity was bloody ages ago! Where's our ginger audio, dammit? I see I'm going to be a busy kidnapper...
Yay! He really is so very heart-able.
Hee! Haven't seen that SFX and have no idea what I said: probably something about thighs. Jolly good.

I shouldn't be bewildered by people not liking Turlough since I hated him on first viewing, but oh, so much fun indeed. He's in some of Five's very best stories too: criminal how little there is on dvd. I do hope your lungs continue to survive the experience. :)
Oh, this was brilliant. =)

And I absolutely adored the end of the year report - especially the Brig's comments. They were priceless.
I could not resist letting the Brig vent. I can't imagine him having very much fun as a Maths teacher...
Oh, did just so very very perfect. Great job!

If we exclude the Brig, Turlough was the first male companion I met (Mawdryn Undead was the first complete Doctor Who serial I watched, having only seen bits and pieces of the previous stories) so I have a strong fondness for the ginger minx.

Oh, and I'm glad you've posted a pic with the hatstand! Turlough/hatstand = OTP!
Hatstand FTW! And hurrah for Mawdryn Undead: what a fab story to have as your first. I had the target novelisation as a nipper and read it till it fell apart.
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