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Doctor Who: The Mind Robber (Story 45) (1975)

1 rating: 5.0
Television movie

The 1968Doctor WhoserialThe Mind Robberis a two-fold blessing, because it's not only one of the more engaging story arcs from the program's second season, but also because it's one of the few shows featuring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor that has remained … see full wiki

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1 review about Doctor Who: The Mind Robber (Story 45) (1975)

Top-Notch Troughton And Company

  • Feb 18, 2008
Growing up, I viewed very few of Patrick Troughton's adventures as the Doctor. For this reason, he was always an afterthought in my little "Who" world. After watching a number of his tales, however, he's quickly become one of my favorite incarnations of the good Doctor. I love his rapport with his companions and anybody else who happens to stumble on to the wobbly sets of "Doctor Who." In this particular adventure, he really shines, making me rank "The Mind Robber" as one of the best "Who" serials in the entire series' long run. It starts out with the Doctor, Jamie (Frazer Hines) and Zoe (Wendy Padbury) in a TARDIS that's about to be engulfed by molten lava. With no real idea as to what will happen to the TARDIS in this state, the Doctor (with a little help from Jamie) executes an emergency exit feature on the TARDIS' console. Where they end up is nowhere, literally. They are out of reality, time and space altogether. Jamie has visions of his home, Scotland. Zoe sees the city she was raised in. Zoe, against the Doctor's orders, leaves the safety of the TARDIS to see her home. What she finds is a void that shows her what she wants to see. Jamie goes to save her and gets caught up into the visions as well. Once the Doctor seemingly saves them, all three end up trapped in a world where fiction is reality and riddles help you find your way home. Who or what is behind this "nothing" that has the trio trapped? Can the Doctor save them? You'll have to watch to find out.

This tale features some wonderful characters from literature. From Gulliver to Rapunzel to D'Artagnan, history's best stories get a nod in this engaging adventure written primarily by Peter Ling, who we find from viewing the retrospective, "Fact Of Fiction," questioned his own ability to write science fiction.

This story seemed doomed from the beginning. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Episode One was thrown together to stretch the adventure into five episodes. It's actually one of the highlights of the story. Also, when Frazer Hines became ill, another actor was cast to portray him in one of the episodes. What's great about this is the rather funny way that a different looking Jamie came to be. Spare robots from a previous BBC production were used as well. This story is a shining example of chaos becoming classic.

As far as the actual disc is concerned, the crew at the BBC have outdone themselves once again. This is an excellent DVD transfer with only a few blemishes visible throughout the episodes. The audio is wonderful as well. As with the other classic "Doctor Who" DVDs, this one is chock full of special features. Including the aforementioned retrospective, there's also "Highlander," which looks at the career of the highly likeable Frazer Hines. There's a fun "Basil Brush" sketch featuring the dapper fox and his run-in with the Yeti, a photo gallery, a "Who's Who" gallery, excellent audio commentary and an easter egg as well.

This is a great "Doctor Who" tale and I highly recommend it to any and every fan of the classic series, the new series or science fiction in general. Fans of mysteries and thrillers may also like this story. It's got a fresh and different (for "Doctor Who") story, an excellent cast, a solid villain who shares his name with another, legendary arch-villain of the Doctor and even a little bit of classic literature education. It's simply wonderful. Highly recommended.

And one other completely chauvinist note: Although the Doctor has had his share of beautiful companions, I must admit that few of them have ever looked as smokin' hot as Wendy Padbury as Zoe in this particular adventure.

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Doctor Who: The Mind Robber (Story 45) (1975)
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