Thu, 4 September 2008
The TARDIS arrives on the planet, where the Doctor shows Peri a weapon given to him by the "Warlord of Thordon", made on Thoros Beta. He states that has come to find out how the warlords obtained such technology. They enter a cave, where Peri is grabbed by a large monstrous creature, which during a struggle the Doctor shoots with the gun.
A figure arrives and accuses the Doctor and Peri of murdering the Raak, despite their protestations that it attacked them first. The figure asks if they are part of Crozier's group, and the Doctor says that he is. They flee before they can be identified as imposters, but are quickly faced by another monster, but it reacts kindly when the Doctor is nice to it. They are forced to flee further, and as they hide they see three reptilian figures being carried along by guards, the third of the figures is shown to be their old enemy Sil. The Doctor realises that Sil is probably behind the arms sales, and informs Peri that Thoros Beta is the home world of Sil's race, the Mentors.
In Crozier's laboratory, King Yrcanos is being experimented on, and the Doctor and Peri sneak inside. As the Doctor sabotages some of Kiv's equipment, Sil arrives in the laboratory. The Doctor is strapped to a table, and Crozier applies a metal helmet to his head. Crozier states that the equipment to extract the truth from a suspect, and that technique could prove fatal. He starts to probe the Doctor's mind, but Yrcanos awakes and destroys the equipment. Overpowering the guards he departs the laboratory, followed by a stunned Doctor and Peri. Yrcanos outlines his plans to attack the Mentors. The Doctor says he would enjoy that, and then collapses.
Yrcanos, the Doctor and Peri go to where new slaves are brought into the base. Yrcanos plans to attack the guards and steal their weapons, but as he sneaks into the room, the Doctor calls out to the guards, giving him away. Yrcanos, unable to fight the guards, flees. Peri points a weapon at Sil, and asks the Doctor for help, but he ignores her. Peri drops the weapon and flees after Yrcanos. Sil asks the Doctor why he helped the Mentors, and he replies that the odds were on their side.
Peri comes across Matrona, who allows her to join the Mentors' servants rather than turn her over to the guards. Covered with a veil, she enters the Commerce Room with Kiv's medication. The Doctor calls to her to get him a drink, so she disguises her voice to avoid being recognised. When she brings him a new drink, the Doctor uncovers her and denounces her as an enemy to the Mentors.
Peri is lashed to rocks on the shoreline and the Doctor stands over her, accusing of being a spy. She asks why he is behaving the way he is, and the Doctor tells her that Crozier is planning to put Kiv's brain into his body unless he can help them. Crozier stops the interegation, saying that they have more effective methods of extracting the truth from Peri. As they re-enter the complex, Yrcanos attacks the guard, and threatens to kill the Doctor. However, Peri smashes the gun from Yrcanos's hands allowing the Doctor to flee. In Crozier's laboratory, the scientist prepares to transplant Kiv's brain into a recently deceased Mentor corpse with the help of The Doctor. The operation proves successful.
Meanwhile, Yrcanos, Peri and Dorf team up with members of the Alphan resistance. Agreeing to allow Yrcanos to lead them in an attack on the Mentors, they go to the resistance arms dump, but they are ambushed by Mentor guards and shot down. However, it is revealed they have merely been stunned, and they are taken to cells.
In Crozier's laboratory, Lord Kiv is rambling due to the body of the fisherman influencing his brain. Crozier makes plans to transfer the brain into another more suitable body, and suggests using Peri. The Doctor says he would prefer that she is not experimented on, but while he is trying to find another candidate, Peri is brought to the laboratory, and strapped to the operating table. Crozier begins to prepare her for the surgery.
The Doctor goes to Yrcanos's cell and tricks the guard allowing Yrcanos and Dorf to escape. Together they free the remaining resistance members. They head towards the control room from where all the slaves are mentally controlled and succeed in freeing the slaves from mental control, but Dorf is killed by a passing guard. Lord Kiv is taken to the laboratory to prepare for the operation. As the Doctor heads towards the lab, he is summoned by the Time Lords and promptly vanishes.
As Yrcanos prepares his attack on the laboratory, the Time Lords capture him in a time bubble so that his attack is perfectly timed. When Kiv awakes in Peri's bald body, the time bubble dissipates and Yrcanos bursts into the laboratory. He is consumed with fury and begins firing his gun wildly.
Initially it was intended that the BBC Radiophonic Workshop would provide music scores for both this and the following segment of The Trial of a Time Lord; both were assigned to Malcolm Clarke to begin with, although Terror of the Vervoids got re-assigned to Elizabeth Parker shortly afterwards. However, fellow Radiophonic Workshop composer Jonathan Gibbs left early in 1986 and was not replaced until the following year, leaving the other composers backlogged and no-one free to do the incidental music for Mindwarp. It was suggested that Dick Mills could provide both the music and sound effects, but John Nathan-Turner rejected this idea and instead hired film composer Richard Hartley to create the incidental music for this segment. It would be the only time that Hartley worked on the series.
Trevor Laird returned to Doctor Who in the Tenth Doctor era as Clive Jones, father of the Doctor's companion Martha Jones. Similarly, Christopher Ryan returned in 2008 as Sontaran leader General Staal in The Sontaran Stratagem and The Poison Sky.
In October 1993, this story was released on VHS as part of the three-tape The Trial of a Time Lord set. A DVD release is due on September 29th 2008, similarly packaged with the other stories in The Trial of a Time Lord season. Special Features include: deleted and extended scenes • "The Making of the Trial of a Time Lord - Part Two - Mindwarp" (a 20-minute feature) • "Now and Then - On the Trial of a Time Lord" (a 21-minute feature) • "A Fate Worse Than Death" Feature • Doctor Who Lenny Henry sketch • BBC Children in Need archival footage • TV Talkback archival footage • photo gallery • trails and continuities.
A novelisation of this serial, written by Philip Martin, was published by Target Books in June 1989 and was the final segment of the Trial arc to be adapted. Martin's novelisation adds a joke ending that gives away the revelation regarding Peri's fate in The Ultimate Foe, suggesting an entirely different outcome for the character (and for Yrcanos) than is suggested in the serial.