Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Brain of Morbius: Part One 

The Tardis lands on the bleak planet Karn, in a spaceship graveyard, where The Doctor and Sarah find a evil scientist called Doctor Solon is constructing a new body for the brain of a evil ... See full summary »


Christopher Barry


Terrance Dicks (by) (as Robin Bland)

On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
Tom Baker ... Doctor Who
Elisabeth Sladen ... Sarah Jane Smith
Philip Madoc ... Solon
Cynthia Grenville Cynthia Grenville ... Maren
Gillian Brown Gillian Brown ... Ohica (as Gilly Brown)
Sue Bishop Sue Bishop ... Sister
Janie Kells Janie Kells ... Sister
Gabrielle Mowbray Gabrielle Mowbray ... Sister
Veronica Ridge Veronica Ridge ... Sister
Colin Fay Colin Fay ... Condo
John Scott Martin ... Kriz


The Tardis lands on the bleak planet Karn, in a spaceship graveyard, where The Doctor and Sarah find a evil scientist called Doctor Solon is constructing a new body for the brain of a evil time lord known as Morbius, whom The Doctor thought was executed by the high council on Gallifrey. Where Morbius with his new body plots to rule the galaxy. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

3 January 1976 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fans voted this number 35 in a countdown of the 163 Doctor Who (1963) stories in Outpost Gallifrey's 40th anniversary poll in 2003. See more »


Solon: Oh. What a magnificent head.
Sarah Jane Smith: What?
Solon: Superb head.
Doctor Who: Well, I'm glad you like it, I have had several. I used to have an old grey model before this. Some people liked it.
Sarah Jane Smith: I did.
See more »


Referenced in Was Doctor Who Rubbish? (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Brains and brilliance!
28 November 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review of all 4 episodes:

Correctly this is acclaimed as one of the true classics, it really is exceptional and fully deserving of classic status.

Famously the story is heavily influenced by Frankenstein. It has the Gothic horror feel that was common in this era of the series, being one of the most Gothic horror based stories of all in fact. As well as the style it also shares the idea from Frankenstein of a 'mad' scientist putting a being together from parts of other bodies.

The Doctor and Sarah are forced to land on Karn where scientist Solon is carrying out his experiments to try to create a body to house the mind of evil Time Lord criminal Morbius. The Sisters of Karn (who reappeared in the 2013 mini-episode The Night of the Doctor) are also on the planet and think The Doctor has come to steal the elixir of life that they worship and protect.

The story and all the dialogue is absolutely first class. Intelligent, entertaining, literate, exciting - everything you could want. Also the production as a whole is very well made and extremely atmospheric in its presentation. The incredibly good performances from Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen are taken for granted in this era. Unsurprisingly Philip Madoc who had already played characters in Doctor Who (such as in The War Games) to immensely impressive effect gives another awesome performance as Solon. There is very little to fault. The final episode goes into full Frankenstein's monster on a rampage mode which is perhaps less intelligent than the rest of the story but extremely entertaining.

One of the very best. Not, in my opinion, better than Pyramids of Mars which was only two stories before but giving it a real close challenge as one of the finest stories of all. If only you could rate stories like this, Pyramids of Mars etc as 11 out of 10! Superb!

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