Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Five 

The court looks into the Doctor's investigation of Thoros Beta, home planet of the Mentors whom the Doctor suspects of selling advanced weaponry to primitive cultures.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Lynda Bellingham ...
Nabil Shaban ...
Alibe Parsons ...
Matrona Kani
Trevor Laird ...
Thomas Branch ...
The Lukoser


The court looks into the Doctor's investigation of Thoros Beta, home planet of the Mentors whom the Doctor suspects of selling advanced weaponry to primitive cultures.

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Release Date:

4 October 1986 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lord Kiv: Take charge, Sil. I will be dead as that roc if I wait for them to find the intruder. At once, before I perish - THEN where will you be, eh? Dead! No, worse than that - poor! Oh! Oh, oh, my head!
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"You can trust me, I am a Doctor." The start of a new Trial story.

Doctor Who: The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Five starts as the Valeyard (Michael Jayston) continues the case for the prosecution & directs the court's attention to the Matrix & the events about to unfold on it. The TARDIS arrives on Thoros-Beta during the year 2379 where the Doctor (Colin Baker) & his companion Peri (Nicola Bryant) explore a cave where they are attacked by a mutant fish creature called the Raak which was placed there to operate complex machinery that extracts energy from the sea, the Doctor & Peri are found by humanoid guards & taken to the laboratory of Crozier (Patrick Ryecart) to be interrogated. However the Doctor & Peri manage to escape & find a half man half wolf type creature, part of Crozier's unsuccessful genetic experiments & they also come face to face with an old enemy the evil power hungry slimy slug like creature Sil (Nabil Shaban) & other's of his race...

Episode 5 from season 23 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during October 1986 & was the second four part story segment from the Trial of a Time Lord season, originally called The Planet of Sil which was changed to Mindwarp when it was made this sees the return of Sil last seen in Vengeance on Varos (1985) the previous season. Directed by Ron Jones this is an OK opening episode but it hasn't grabbed me as being anything more than that, the script by Philip Martin forms the present section of the trial after The Mysterious Planet was the past & happens directly before the Doctor is taken out of time to stand trial. I look at The Trial of a Time Lord season as four separate stories as opposed to one long one with three of the four segments written & directed by different people who worked independently of each other with the trial scenes inter-cut to give the season a running continuity, it's an idea I quite liked during The Mysterious Planet but it's starting to become tiring here as the thing keeps cutting back & forth between the main story & the court room scenes. I wouldn't say there's anything really wrong with Mindwarp so far except that it's the usual Doctor lands on a alien planet & quickly finds himself in trouble type scenario with nothing to make it stand out above any other similar story except that it marked the final adventure for well liked (by me anyway) companion Peri.

This time around Sil looks far more green that the brown bronze colour he was during Vengeance on Varos otherwise he's still the same memorable slimy slug like creature we remember even if one got the feeling he has been reduced to nothing more than comic relief, I mean there's no real reason for him to be here at all otherwise. The planet's leader Kiv is also seen & the make-up & monster suits are actually very impressive & look quite gross on occasion. There's also a huge long toothed fish creature thing that gets killed off pretty early that we never get a good look at, if that wasn't enough there's also a Werewolf creature that too looks surprisingly good. When the Doctor & Peri arrive on Thoros-Beta (in reality a pebble beach somewhere in Brighton!) there's some neat video effects as the sea, the beach, the cliffs & sky are all changed into startling bright colours which works well although it does look very odd after a while.

The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Five, or Mindwarp Part One, at only 25 minutes in length is a decent opener which entertains & maintains one interest without ever being outstanding. I liked it, I didn't love it but I did like it.

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