|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Doctor Who: The Mind Robber: Episode 2 starts as the Doctor (Patrick
Troughton), Jamie (Frazer Hines) & Zoe (Wendy Padbury) find themselves
in a strange maze like place surrounded by large odd shaped blocks
which turn out to be a forest of huge letters. As they try to escape
they come across various people as well as life-size clockwork toy
soldiers who are ordered to hunt the trio down by a mysterious man
named the Master (Emrys Jones) who has plans for the Doctor...
Episode 7 from season 6 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during September 1968, directed by David Maloney The Mind Robber is one of the few surviving complete Patrick Troughton stories & is generally considered a classic by many but I have to say that I don't hold it in such high esteem. The script by Peter Ling apparently came about from a conversation which he had with script editor Derrick Sherwin about fans of the soap opera Crossraods (1964 - 1988) which Ling had created along with Hazel Adair who really believed that the character's from Crossraods were actually real! The script contains various fictional literary character's from Gulliver's Travels & The Three Musketeers along with some taken from famous fairy-tales like Princess Rapunzel. Anyway, to my eyes there was a lot of wandering around here padding the time out with silly encounters & a forced sub-plot about Jamie losing his face! I don't know, it's definitely different from the average Doctor Who story & I liked it & found it watchable enough but I didn't like the cliffhanger ending that much & neither did I like the slightly plodding pace.
Before this episode could be filmed Frazer Hines caught chicken pox & was unable to work so the script was hastily rewritten with the silly face arranging scene so a double could stand in for him during this episode although Hines returns halfway through the next. The horse used for the Unicorn here was actually brown instead of white so the production team had to paint it white! The effects shots of the letter forest from above are poor & they don't match the sets at all. In this episode the first reference to the Master is made but this isn't the same renegade time lord Master that would feature heavily during the Jon Pertwee era played by Roger Delgado.
The Mind Robber: Episode 2 is fine, it's watchable enough, entertaining enough & something a bit different from the usual Doctor Who 'monster of the week' type stories but I just think there's a certain something lacking about it so far.
Review of all 5 episodes:
This story is very similar in type to the William Hartnell era story The Celestial Toymaker (although this is quite a lot better). It is, like that story, a whimsical trip into a weird make believe world controlled by a sinister power. This idea was returned to again later in the classic series to some extent with aspects of a couple of stories (e.g. Warrior's Gate) and again in recent Moffatt/Matt Smith era series with Amy's Choice and to some extent The Doctor's Wife being derived from the same template.
The excellent first episode has a surprise element with some dramatic and brilliantly unusual happenings such as an exploding TARDIS and an endless white void. It is very well done and provides an enticing, fascinating start to the story. Then there is a thoroughly enjoyable if not quite as brilliant second episode where ideas such as the land of fiction, characters like Gulliver (speaking only lines he spoke in original text, a great idea very well executed) and a maze-like forest of words provide a good amount of interest. After that there is a still very good third episode then a slightly disappointing and occasionally silly 4th episode and a decent but rather unremarkable and not wholly successful 5th episode.
This has a disappointing lack of development after such a promising start. It must go down as a missed opportunity which would have been better as a 3-parter. Great first episode though.
My Ratings: Episode 1 - 10/10, Episode 2 - 9/10, Episode 3 - 8.5/10, Episode 4 - 6.5/10, Episode 5 - 7.5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When Zoe is trying to get the Doctor and Jamie to find her, lost among
the giant type that seems to resemble a huge forest, she calls out to
"Jamie! Doctor! Jamie! Doctor!" then she delivers, "I'm here!" And it is with the exact same tone that young Jamie, the empty child, would utter in 'The Doctor Dances' episode when he entered the hospital where the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Rose (Billie Piper) were listening to the recording of Richard Wilson having interrogated the child in the gas mask.
"Mummy! Mummy! I'm here!" I thought the virtual similarities were so amusing when I heard it.
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