Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Masque of Mandragora: Part One 

"The Masque of Mandragora: Part One" is an episode of Doctor Who starring Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, and Jon Laurimore. 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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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
... Doctor Who
... Sarah Jane Smith
... Count Federico
... Captain Rossini (as Antony Carrick)
... Giuliano
... Marco
... Hieronymous
... High Priest
Brian Ellis ... Brother
... Soldier
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The idea of a story set during the Italian Renaissance came from producer Philip Hinchcliffe, who had been inspired by a visit to Portmeirion, where the serial was ultimately filmed. See more »

Goofs

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

Connections

Featured in The Secret of the Labyrinth (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Middling Who
21 May 2015 | by 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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