Stomachturn

Review of Mindwarp (#143b)
DVD Release Date: 10 Oct 08
Original Air Date: 04 - 25 Oct 1986
Doctor/Companion: Six, Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown
Stars: Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant
Preceding Story: The Mysterious Planet (Six, Peri)
Succeeding Story: Terror of the Vervoids (Six, Mel)

I will admit, dear readers, that I cringed at the thought of needing to rewatch Mindwarp for this review. Parts Five through Eight of The Trial of a Time Lord (TToaTL) have always ranked high in my personal list of regrettable Doctor Who stories, and I'm afraid nothing changed this time around.

There are a few things that stand out in my memory about Mindwarp, no matter how long it's been since my last viewing: the way Peri gets so thoroughly screwed over; Brian Blessed's sheer, scenery-chewing volume; and the return of Sil, perhaps my most hated antagonist ever. None of these key traits serve to recommend the adventure, nor are they improved on repeated viewing.

While I've never particularly cared for Peri, no one deserves the shitty treatment—especially in a farewell appearance—that she gets here*. Even before the Doctor goes off the deep end (and he does, though neither we nor the Doctor himself, as evidenced by his reactions back in the courtroom on Gallifrey, really know why), he is truly horrible to his Companion. The prime example ties into another of my dislikes about Mindwarp: Sil.

Given the way Sil made my skin crawl (and not in a "love to hate" way) in his first appearance, I—like poor Peri—have no desire to be anywhere near him, even narratively. When she discovers Sil is on Thoros Beta with them, and that it is in fact his home planet (a detail the Doctor neglected to mention), she tells the Doctor outright that she wants to leave. Sil tortured her the last time they met, and she has been understandably traumatized by the experience.

And does the Doctor say, "Oh, my dear. I'm sorry; I hadn't thought about how that experience would affect you in these circumstances. I'll take you back to the TARDIS and away to some other place. I can come back and investigate how this high-tech weapon got from Thoros Beta into the hands of a less advanced species another time"? Of course not. He pretends she said nothing of concern and continues on with what he was doing.

As the story evolves, nothing improves for Peri. Yrcanos, the warrior king (played by Brian Blessed, whose over-the-top performance is amusing for the first two minutes or so, but rapidly wears on one) creeps on her almost from the first moment we meet him, and lays claim to her in the best patriarchal fashion (he once refers to Peri as "[his] bride to be") without the slightest hint at her actual consent or reciprocity of sentiment.

Add to these issues the piss-poor lighting in several scenes (including a cliffhanger zoom in on the Doctor's face that we can only read because we're already very familiar with the character), the distracting incidental music, and the less-than-compelling plot line involving Sil's boss's need for a brain transplant (his brain or consciousness in a new body, as his body fails), and you have a recipe for what in my opinion is a truly unfortunate entry in the televised "canon" of the Whoniverse.

Its only saving grace—and this is slim—is the sprinkling of clues throughout hinting at something larger at play in the Doctor's courtroom trial. He doesn't remember all the events shown by the Matrix, and feels certain there is some larger reason than that given to him in court as to why he was taken out of time at that precise point in the adventure. "And I have every intention of finding out what it is." [Roll end credits.]

If one is interested in the larger narrative, then (or like me is a completist who gets twitchy leaving things out), watch this one with a huge grain of salt. Otherwise, I think your viewing time is better spent elsewhere. Even Ol' Sixie's notoriously poorly scripted run has better to offer.


*[Spoiler] Even the retconned ending in TToaTL Part 14 does little to improve Peri's fate, and does nothing to make up for the Doctor's shabby conduct toward her throughout this installment.

Categories: 

Comments

I felt I was in a minority as all I heard in 1985 and 1986 was how great a writer Phillip Martin was and how great both Vengance and Mindwarp were. To his credit PM is a good writer and if you can find Gangsters anywhere it is a good watch. However I thought the denouement to Vengance was sloppy so I was not sure what I was going to think of Mindwarp.

To give Mindwarp some slack one of the things I didn't like also was the way the Doctor treated Peri but it never appeared to be clearly resolved as to whether he did that, or if it was an effect of the machine test at the end of the first episode or if it was a fabrication by the Valeyard. I now go with the fabrication line. At the time apparently Phillip Martin was seeking guidance from Eric Saward as to what the Production Team wanted him to say but Saward was,apparently, unavailable as this was around the time that Robert Holmes was dying or died and having forged a friendship with him, Saward was upset and not present. This was the last story Saward worked on and left before Vervoids and Ultimate Foe were produced. A satirical fanzine at the time called Star Begotten printed their version of Saward's resignation which culminated in him shouting at JNt that he was turning the show into a pantomime. To this they claimed JNT replied "Gee thanks Eric". I didn't know it then but I LOL at that!

A wasted opportunity

By Wholahoop
mrfranklin's picture

It's interesting to hear your contemporary perspective. I'd no idea people lauded Mindwarp at the time!

By mrfranklin

Yes, I remember it well, as I gave up watching Trial part way through Mindwarp on its original broadcast because it was so obviously utterly wretched. I just thought that I'd return to the series when the next story came along. I was a fan in as much as I watched the show, but had no idea that this was a season long arc. My view was that we were now well past episode 4, so how much longer can this miserable drivel possibly go on for?

My expectation was that I'd tune back in when Sil was gone, hopefully (and as luck would have it actually) forever - like you, I'd also not been impressed with Vengeance on Varos and couldn't believe that we were being punished with a sequel. As far as I was concerned, Varos above all else had just come close to killing the series permanently.

It was much later that I discovered that according to perceived wisdom, "Mindwarp" was apparently the best part of this utterly misguided season and Varos of the series before. I maintain a similar trust of the views of organized fandom to this day.

By bingly (not verified)
mrfranklin's picture

Yeah, I can see why that would shake your faith in received fan wisdom. I've seen some recent talk about Varos and Mindwarp being among the best of Ol' Sixie's run, and I just... Wow. Yeah. Can't agree with that assessment.

Glad to see I'm not alone, though! :)

By mrfranklin

ugg australia
ugg boots outlet
coach outlet online
cheap jordans
louis vuitton outlet online
louis vuitton outlet
ugg shoes
cheap uggs
yeezy boost
ugg outlet
burberry outlet store
michael kors handbags
yeezy 350 boost
cheap mlb jerseys
coach factory outlet online
michael kors outlet store
nmd adidas
michael kors outlet
supreme clothing
mbt shoes
louboutin shoes
louboutin shoes
cheap jerseys from china
ugg australia
coach factory outlet
adidas outlet
louis vuitton
coach factory outlet
polo outlet
cheap uggs
coach outlet
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet
ugg slippers
longchamp handbags
birkenstocks
north face jackets
kate spade
coach factory outlet
fred perry polo
pandora charms sale clearance
ralph lauren outlet
michael kors outlet
coach factorty outlet
hermes handbags
christian louboutin outlet
coach outlet
moncler outlet
coach outlet online
ugg outlet
cheap mlb jerseys
air jordan shoes
ralph lauren sale clearance
cheap ray ban sunglasses
ferragamo shoes
ralph lauren uk
jordan retro 11
ray ban sunglasses discount
ugg shoes
christian louboutin
cheap jerseys
canada goose outlet
oakley sunglasses
adidas nmd
ugg sale
ugg boots
michael kors handbags
toms shoes
columbia sportswear
canada goose jackets
north face outlet
james harden shoes
ugg outlet
ralph lauren outlet
nike huarache
coach factory outlet
ralph lauren uk
hermens bags
canada goose sale
kate spade outlet store
ugg ustralia
canada goose sale
cheap jordan shoes
cheap jordans for sale
louis vuitton factory outlet
ugg boots
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
pandora charms
canada goose clothing
pandora jewelry
michael kors outlet clearance
canada goose outlet
hermes birkin
nike shoes
cheap oakley sunglasses
ugg outlet
coach outlet
coach outlet
ugg boots
coach factory outlet
kate spade
red bottoms shoes
longchamp uk
mulberry outlet
uggs canada
pandora charms sale clearance
mulberry bags
discount oakley sunglasses
ugg outlet
salvatore ferragamo shoes
kate spade outlet
mbt shoes
discount ray ban sunglasses
michael kors canada
cheap jordans
michael kors outlet store
canada goose coats
ugg outlet
adidas superstar
coach outlet
valentino shoes
adidas superstar
ugg boots for women
cheap uggs
adidas yeezy
coach factory outlet
pandora charms
cheap ugg boots
yeezy boost
ralph lauren outlet
yeezy boost
canada goose jackets
cheap ray ban sunglasses
canada goose outlet
burberry outlet
ralph lauren outlet
ugg outlet store
hermes handbags
hermes bags
ugg sandals
ugg
ralph lauren outlet online
cat boots
ugg outlet store
christian louboutin
salvatore ferragamo
pandora charms
ugg outlet
canada goose
nmd shoes
michael kors uk
moncler outlet
coach outlet store
rayban
cheap jordans
ugg outlet store
coach outlet
canada goose
burberry outlet canada
ugg boots
canada goose coats
burberry outlet
polo ralph lauren outlet online
uggs clearance
birkenstocks
toms outlet
nfl jerseys wholesale
gucci outlet
ugg boots on sale
ugg boots
superdry
coach outlet store
moncler jackets
coach factory outlet
toms outlet
michael kors canada
pandora jewelry
michael kors outlet
moncler jackets
coach outlet
harden vol 1
louboutin shoes
superdry uk
canadian goose
ugg outlet
doudoune moncler
pandora outlet
canada goose outlet
ray ban sunglasses discount
cheap ray bans
north face outlet online
pandora charms sale
kate spade handbags
coach factory outlet
coach outlet
nike outlet
canada goose jackets
ugg boots on sale
nike air max
uggs outlet
toms shoes
michael kors outlet
cheap uggs
fitflops
polo ralph lauren
ugg boots
ralph lauren outlet
adidas yeezy boost
moncler uk
christian louboutin
michael kors outlet clearance
ralph lauren uk
coach canada
ugg boots
coach outlet
coach outlet
pandora
toms outlet
timberland boots
red bottoms
moncler
coach outlet
canada goose
ultra boost
valentino shoes outlet
jordan shoes
ugg outlet
canada goose outlet
longchamp bags
ralph lauren sale clearance
tory burch outlet
the north face
ralph lauren outlet online
fred perry
coach factory outlet online
coach factory outlet
pandora jewelry
cheap jordans
ugg uk
canada goose
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
pandora jewelry
pandora uk
coach outlet
coach outlet store
adidas shoes
canada goose outlet
canada goose jackets
ugg outlet
coach outlet
oakley sunglasses
coach outlet store online clearances
polo ralph lauren outlet
canada goose outlet
ralph lauren outlet
nike air max
michael kors handbags
ugg boots canada
burberry outlet
cheap ugg boots
pandora outlet
uggs on sale
louis vuitton outlet store
fitflops sale
mulberry handbags
ray ban sunglasses
kate spade outlet
timberland outlet
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
ugg boots
pandora charms
ralph lauren outlet
ugg outlet
coach factory outlet
moncler jackets
polo ralph lauren
cheap ray ban sunglasses
canada goose jackets
moncler outlet
adidas outlet
yeezy boost 350
ralph lauren outlet
oakley sunglasses
longchamp handbags
nike cortez
ugg boots
jordans
coach bags
nike outlet store
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
coach outlet store online
burberry outlet
canada goose outlet
polo ralph lauren
coach factorty outlet
nike shoes
coach outlet
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton outlet
ugg sandals
air jordans
michael kors outlet
ugg outlet
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors outlet online
adidas outlet
coach outlet
adidas shoes
coach handbags
ugg boots
air max 2018
canada goose uk
uggs
polo ralph lauren outlet online
michael kors outlet store
red bottom shoes
michael kors outlet online
hermes outlet
cheap ray ban sunglasses
ugg ustralia
ugg boots
ferragamo outlet
canada goose outlet
coach factory outlet
canada goose jackets
cheap uggs
ugg boots
mulberry uk
burberry sale
pandora jewelry
jordan shoes
canada goose outlet
ugg boots
ugg outlet
polo ralph lauren outlet online
nike shoes
uggs on sale
cheap nfl jerseys
canada goose sale
adidas yeezy
michael kors handbags
cheap uggs
ugg sale
coach outlet
ugg outlet
nike shoes for men
polo ralph lauren outlet
polo ralph lauren outlet online
ugg outlet online
polo ralph lauren
longchamp outlet
canada goose outlet
air jordan shoes
mlb jerseys cheap
adidas yeezy
ugg boots
canada goose coats
pandora jewelry outlet
canada goose clothing
coach outlet
michael kors factory outlet
coach outlet
canada goose sale
adidas nmd
birkenstock sandals
christian louboutin outlet
uggs clearance
moncler outlet
moncler jackets
ray ban sunglasses
coach factory outlet
nmd adidas
louis vuitton outlet store
ugg outlet
louis vuitton outlet online
adidas yeezy boost
nike store
canada goose
burberry outlet
coach outlet
adidas shoes
air max 2017
pandora outlet
coach outlet store
polo ralph lauren outlet online
canada goose sale
uggs outlet
moncler
tory burch outlet store
moncler coats
oakley sunglasses
canada goose jackets
coach factory outlet
nike outlet online
coach canada
uggs
pandora jewelry
coach outlet store
ray ban sunglasses
toms shoes outlet
canada goose jackets
adidas shoes
coach factory outlet
louis vuitton outlet
canada goose jackets
air jordans
michael kors outlet clearance
moncler jackets
ugg outlet
christian louboutin outlet
tory burch outlet
ralph lauren uk
nike outlet
coach factory outlet
cheap jordans
north face outlet
canada goose jackets
michael kors outlet
hermes handbags
polo outlet
adidas yeezy
cheap jordans
north face jackets
adidas nmd
canada goose jackets
kate spade bags
cheap jordans free shipping
pandora charms sale
moncler outlet
canada goose outlet
cheap ray bans
burberry
birkenstock sandals
polo ralph lauren outlet online
moncler jackets outlet
moncler outlet
ray ban sunglasses
longchamp uk
kate spade handbag
jordan retro
coach outlet
2017.10.20yangping

By Anonymous (not verified)

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.
Real Time Analytics