Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
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 TDP 69:  Mindwarp

Synopsis

Following on from The Mysterious Planet, the Valeyard and the Doctor argue about the Doctor’s involvement in those events. The Inquisitor warns them both to pay due respect to the judicial process. The Valeyard proceeds to present his second block of evidence - the Doctor's arrival on the planet Thoros Beta.

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.

The Valeyard accuses the Doctor of deliberately shooting the monster, but he replies that the weapon went off accidentally.

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.

The Doctor tells the Inquisitor that he cannot remember these events. The Valeyard tells him he is in for a surprise if this is true.

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.

The Doctor insists that the footage is not of him, but the Valeyard tells him that the Matrix cannot lie.

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.

The Doctor tells the Courtroom that what they are seeing is all part of his ploy. He says he planned to gain the Mentors' trust so that he would be allowed to interrogate her alone, giving them a chance to escape.

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.

The Inquisitor tells the Doctor this was the result of an order from the High Council, because the result of Crozier's experiment would affect all life in the Universe.

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.

The Doctor is shocked by what he has seen. The Inquisitor and the Valeyard tell him that it was necessary to end Peri's life to prevent the disastrous consequences of Crozier's experiment. The Doctor insists that he was fetched out of time for some other reason, and he is going to find out what.

Continuity

  • Sil appeared in the previous season in the serial Vengeance on Varos.
  • It's often debated amongst fandom[citation needed] as to what exactly happens during this story. It is stated on screen that the Valeyard has somehow distorted events, and that the actual scenes are by and large presented correctly but merely that the Doctor's performance has been distorted to show him in the worst possible light to the court. Many such scenes are prevalent throughout the story, leading fandom to great confusion as it isn't entirely clear which bits are "real" and which were concocted by the Valeyard. There are several theories:
  1. That the events seen are the true events, but distorted to show the Doctor in the worst possible light. For example, his line 'Look out behind you' is shown on screen as the Doctor giving King Yrcanos away to some guards, whereas the "true" events might very well have been the Doctor warning him of an attacker sneaking up ('Look out, behind you!'). It's all in how the line is pronounced rather than what the line is.
  2. That the Doctor was fried by the "Mindwarp" machine, which is why he exhibits 'out of character' behaviour throughout the story. The event is shown on screen, but as to whether it really occurred or not is still an event of great contention.
  3. That the Doctor is pretending to have been twisted by the "Mindwarp" machine, whilst really seeking to find a way to put things right. In the courtroom the Doctor claims this is the case, though he is at this stage unable to recall events.

Production

Serial details by episode:
Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
(in millions)
"Part Five" 4 October 1986 24:42 4.8
"Part Six" 11 October 1986 24:45 4.6
"Part Seven" 18 October 1986 24:33 5.1
"Part Eight" 25 October 1986 24:44 5.0
[1][2][3]

Music

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.

Casting

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.

Commercial releases

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.

In print

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Mindwarp
Series Target novelisations
Release number 139
Writer Philip Martin
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Alister Pearson
ISBN 0 426 20335 6
Release date 15 June 1989
Preceded by Attack of the Cybermen
Followed by The Chase

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.

Direct download: TDP_69_Mindwarp.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:34pm UTC