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Doctor Who - The Mind Robber

episode 45

UK 1968
produced by
Peter Bryant for BBC
directed by David Maloney
starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Hamish Wilson, Bernard Horsfall, Emrys Jones, Christine Pirie, Sue Pulford, Christopher Robbie, David Cannon, John Greenwod, Gerry Wain
written by Peter Ling, Derrick Sherwin, script editor: Derrick Sherwin

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Patrick Troughton), Doctor Who (classic series), Three Musketeers, Gulliver, Cyrano de Bergerac, Medusa, Sir Lancelot

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Escaping an avalanche of hot molten lava, Doctor Who (Patrick Troughton) takes his companions Jamie (Frazer Hines) & Zoe (Wendy Padbury) in his time machine the TARDIS to nowhere land, a place out of time & space. & at first - fittingly enough for a place called nowhere land, there seems to be nothing there, bjut soon a series of illusions lures Jamie & Zoe out of the the TARDIS, where they are menaced by some fierce (but stupid looking) robots. Making yet another desperate escape, the TARDIS blows up, & the Doctor, Jamie & Zoe find themselves in a weird world of myths & legends, where they meet a regular array of fictional characters, from Gulliver (Bernard Horsfall) - who talks only in quotations taken from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels - to the Medusa (Sue Pulford), from Rapunzel (Christine Pirie) - on whose hair everyone seems to climb up & down like nobody's business - to the comic-book superhero Krakus (Christopher Robbie), plus a unicorn & a regular army of man-size toy-soldiers complete with wind-up key.

In the process of these events, Jamie even gets a new face temporarily (& is then played by Hamish Wilson, in fact this was because Frazer Hines fell ill with Chicken pox & the tense shooting schedule didn't allow waiting for him to get well again). All the while though, our heroes are watched by a sort of superior being, the Master (Emrys Jones) - who had nothing to do with Doctor Who's later arch-foe the Master -, who seems to test them for some sinister higher purpose.

Eventually, the Docotr & his friends even get to the Master, who turns out to be an extremely prolific writer of fiction for a boys' magazine from the 1920's, who was abducted by some aliens to create this fictional world (which is somehow supposed to help the aliens conquer planet earth ... don't ask), but who now has grown a tad old, so the aliens have invited the Doctor to take his place ... but the Doctor refuses outright, even when the Master turns his 2 companion into fictional characters as well.

Eventually though, the Master can connect the Doctor to the planet's Master computer & thinks he has now enslaved him to the machine, but the Doctor uses the machine against him, & soon the 2 opponents throw fictional characters against each other, Cyrano de Bergerac (David Cannon) against D'Artagnon (John Greenwood), & Sir Lancelot (John Greenwood again) against Blackbeard (Gerry Wain), & also the Krakus makes another appearance, but their duel has shifted the Master's attention from Jamie & Zoe, whom he thought caught up in a book, but who can break free & ruin the master computer, ending the horrors of this fictional world for good.

In the end, our heroes escape in the TARDIS (which was ruined only in fiction), & even take the writer who was the Master with them, as he has now forgotten everything, & actually is little more than a pulp writer ...

 

The concept of throwing characters into a world composed (almost) entirely of mainstays from popular fiction does hold its promises, and this episode of Doctor Who is able to keep at least some of them. What hampers the story though is its very cheap sets, which pretty much prevent creating a suitable atmosphere, its script that is especially towards the end a tad padded out, & its very childish way of storytelling, which takes very much of the story's power.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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