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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Doctor Who: The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Eight starts as scientist
Crozier (Patrick Ryecart) desperately searches for an appropriate body
to transfer Kiv's (Christopher Ryan) mind into permanently & chooses
Peri (Nicola Bryant) as a perfect candidate. Meanwhile the Doctor
(Colin Baker) manages to free King Yrcanos (Brian Blessed) & disable
the slave mind control device to start a rebellion but is it too late
to save Peri...
Episode 8 from season 23 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during October 1986, the fourth & final part of Mindwarp the second mini four part story in The Trial of a Time Lord season after The Mysterious Planet this was directed by Ron Jones & I have to say that it's maybe a slight improvement on The Mysterious Planet that came before it but is still not much better than average. The script by Philip Martin has been a pretty standard tale that has used various influences from Frankenstein (which I thought the Doctor Who story The Brain of Morbius (1976) with Tom Baker did a much better job of using & expanding upon it's literary source), The Island of Doctor Moreau & any prisoner escape to lead a rebellion against their captor's type flick you care to mention. In my opinion Mindwarp hasn't been that bad but at the same time it just hasn't been that great either, most the character's have been bland, it's been ponderous at times, there's been lots of wandering around in identical looking corridors & there's even a tacky speech by Peri on the meaning of love. The Doctor finally starts acting like the hero again but before he can save the day he is taken out of time to stand trial. Mindwarp is also notable for the apparent death of Peri in her last story, well all I'll say is you don't actually see her die & only the Valeyard suggests that she was killed & I wouldn't believe everything he says if I were you...
Despite some impressive monsters Mindwarp hasn't been scary or frightening, there's not been too much humour & the action scenes were forgettable. This episode also sees Peri with a shaved head, sorry but I think Peri looks awful with no hair & is just another reason not to get excited by this. Around the time Mindwarp went into production producer John Nathan-Turner decided to call the entire season under the umbrella title The Trial of a Time Lord rather than the individual stories specific names as in the Key to Time season, also around this time script editor Eric Saward's much publicised resignation & infamously scathing interview in Starburst happened as he left his position with a lot of bad feeling since he wasn't getting along with producer Nathan-Turner or upper BBC management amongst other issues like disagreements about the scripts & the casting. Outraged by Saward's actions producer Nathan-Turner acted uncredited as script editor during production of Mindwarp & the subsequent two remaining The Trial of a Time Lord stories Terror of the Vervoids & The Ultimate Foe.
The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Eight, or Mindwarp Part Four, is an OK way to end an OK four parter I suppose, while Mindwarp hasn't exactly knocked my socks off it's been watchable with some decent special effects & monsters. Overall I'll give Mindwarp a respectable 6 stars out of 10 across it's four episodes, good but not great.
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