Doctor Who (1963–1989)
7.9/10
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4 user 1 critic

The Masque of Mandragora: Part One 

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The Doctor and Sarah are drawn into the Mandragora Helix, an entity which exists among the stars and which transports the TARDIS to 15th century Italy.

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Jon Laurimore ...
Anthony Carrick ...
Captain Rossini (as Antony Carrick)
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Marco
Norman Jones ...
Robert James ...
Brian Ellis ...
Pat Gorman ...
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Storyline

The Doctor and Sarah are drawn into the Mandragora Helix, an entity which exists among the stars and which transports the TARDIS to 15th century Italy.

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4 September 1976 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode takes place in San Martino, Italy in 1492. See more »

Goofs

The corpse of Giuliano's father can be seen breathing. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Middling Who
21 May 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Review of the Complete Story:

Made at the height of Tom Baker's tenure as the Doctor, THE MASQUE OF MANDRAGORA looks like a good serial: it has an interesting setting (15th century Italy), and a villain that wants to literally stunt humanity's growth by preventing the Renaissance, thus keeping mankind in check by leaving it in the Dark Ages. That's on paper; in reality, this is a very middling serial for the show that comes across as average rather than profound.

The best things about the show are Baker and Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane; they both give assured and confident performances, laced with humour which helps to keep things bubbling merrily along. Baker is particularly amusing, given that this story presents him as something of an action hero, engaging in various stunts and even a little swordplay here and there. The bit where his stuntman leaps on to the back of a horse is my favourite part.

Sadly, the main story is a little weak, and as with so many of the Dr Who serials, merely consists of good guys vs bad guys, various characters being taken prisoner or killed, and a sinister alien influence working behind the scenes. There are some cool scenes with figures wearily spooky masks (the influence of THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH is particularly clear) and actors including the reliable Tim Pigott-Smith, but these things can't disguise the relatively weak writing, leaving this a forgettable adventure.


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