ADRIC VS TURLOUGH spoilers for Big Finish Boy Time Forgot
True story: John Peel asked me...I used to know him personally...at least we talked on the phone and exchanged a few snail mail letters in the early 80s. He asked me if I wanted to know what was to happen. I had seen in FANTASY EMPIRE the ep guide to Peter's first year and I thought the stories looked great but that Matthew was listed only through Earthshock. He asked me if I wanted to know why and I said yes and didn't mind if he spoiled things for me. He told me that Adric was to die, apparently saving the Earth but not really, from the Cybermen. I told him how awful I felt and how bad I thought that move was. He did'nt tell me how or when Adric would die, like in what part of the story. This made the tension in EARTHSHOCK MORE PALABLE for me, believe it or not. I did enjoy ES and even the death of Adric but to be honest, it left a hole in me. It made me sad.
I felt, in a large way, that DW, for me anyway, died that day. Yes, it was the most spectacular leaving for any companion and the one that is remembered the most. Of course Big Finish tried to F that up and pretty much did but they suck for that with the awful BOY TIME FORGOT.
The Doctor: he was now someone who let his friends die and offered flimsy reasons why he couldn't or woudln't go back and save them. He really didn't want to. Peter didn't want him to and it showed and came through. One article in DWMonthly about a convention had a fan ask Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding if they would miss Adric. Janet nearly dropped the mike and passed it on to Sarah who said, "Nyssa certainly would." No doubt Matthew mad ea pest of himself on the set and no one wanted him around, it seemed. Fair enough. Even Matthew has made some comments about this himself.
But it made, for me, the Doctor really a poor character. For a long time I searched for them to mention Adric or even go back and save him. There were brief mentions in some of the New Adven and even some of the early audios and one or two 8th Doctor audios and imagine the horror I felt when the 8th Doc brought both Grace and Chang Lee back to life...
again I digress
After Adric's death, to add insult to injury we got Turlough. It was obvious that between Adric and Turlough, there were a number of characters designed to take over the Adric role: Damon in Arc of Infinity and someone in a skirt in SnakeDance.
Then we get Turlough and apart from the crap scene where the Doc tells Tegan to give Turlough Adric's room (and the bitch does it!) AND Turlough says he'll throw out all Adric's junk..."it looks like a kid's room".....it was a slap in the face to the character of Adric and fans of Adric.
Add to that that Mark Strickson looks less like a school boy than anyone I know...and I guess it is casting that made me like Adric over Turlough. Mark is a good actor, but fairly he's had some of the worst scenes in DW and his acting is low at many times during his stay in DW...if Adric was chastised for siding with enemies (trthfully just one or two), Turlough DID side with the enemy. Here we have a 20 somthing or older man playing a school boy!? I just didn't believe in the casting and couldn't identify with the chracter or actor at all. He wasn't warm at all and he didn't see the Doctor as someone that could show him the universe as Adric did. Sure Matthew didn't act great but...the casting and the idea of Adric is strong and stronger than that of Turlough. I could almost see Adric as a pawn of the Black Guardian over Turlough. The idea of Turlough was just a slap in the face to Adric fans and to be honest, it just didn't work anyway. Turlough, unlike Adric at times anyway, was a coward. Sure, Adric might leave Romana behind in the cave but he tried not to. Adric might insult Tegan by mistake or out of jealousy but he purposely didn't try to annoy her by tellng her that her planet was doomed.
I guess what I"m trying to say is that I like Adric over Turlough and think that he worked better in DW than Turlough ever did. Or could. ANd both could have worked better than they did.