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Dr Who: The Mind Of Evil

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Director. Timothy Combe. Writer: Don Houghton. CBS/Fox Video, released date 099. With: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Roger Delgado, Nicholas Courtney, Pik-Sen Lim.

I have to admit that I don't think (from what little I've seen thus far) that the BBC's long-running DR. WHO series hit its stride until Tom Baker took the role in 1974. Certainly his predecessor, Jon Pertwee, had a style and charm all his own, but the 1970 adventure "The Mind of Evil" only hints at that in a mediocre and overblown story. In this six-part tale, the Doctor and companion Jo Grant find themselves embroiled with two villains: the ever-aggravating Master (Delgado) and an alien brain the Master has brought with him encased in a machine that is to erase evil tendencies from hard-core criminals. Unfortunately, the beastie decides that it can get more to eat if it goes out on its own. There is also some subterfuge involving the Chinese delegate at the World Peace conference when he is murdered by his military advisor, who is under control of the Master, who plans to use the convicts at the prison where the mind wipe machine goes out of control to help him hijack a nerve gas missile in the hands of UNIT (the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) to destroy the Peace Conference.

It all gets a bit convoluted, with the mind-controlled Chinese officer (Lim) leaving by the third episode so the good Doctor can focus on the hijacked missile and the Master's intruding alien mind muncher. As was often the case with DOCTOR WHO, the actors rise admirably above the show's back lot production values. The two story lines really don't fit together very well. Placed side by side, they seem like filler for each other to complete a six-part story that could have been told in four. Not being too familiar with Pertwee's episodes, Jo Grant seems hopelessly useless most of the time, not like Sarah Jane or Leela, who could usually hold their own against much of what was thrown al the Doctor.

"The Mind Of Evil" is strictly for the hardest and most curious of diehard DOCTOR WHO fans who might enjoy the historical curiosity of this black-and-white adventure that was originally shot in color. The only color footage, though, exists at the end of the tape, a replay from a scene early in the story that shows the Doctor's fine red coat, Pertwee's handsome silver hair, and Bessie's shiny yellow exterior. Fortunately, later stories have been salvaged in their original format and are available to all for better or worse. This one is a lesser adventure, a bit long in the tooth.

Caption: CBS/Fox Video continues to release episodes of the DR. WHO TV series, The most recent to make its bow on cassette, "The Mind of Evil," stars John Pertwee, the third Doctor.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Szebin, Frederick C. (June 1999). Dr Who: The Mind Of Evil. Cinefantastique p. 58.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Szebin, Frederick C.. "Dr Who: The Mind Of Evil." Cinefantastique [add city] June 1999, 58. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Szebin, Frederick C.. "Dr Who: The Mind Of Evil." Cinefantastique, edition, sec., June 1999
  • Turabian: Szebin, Frederick C.. "Dr Who: The Mind Of Evil." Cinefantastique, June 1999, section, 58 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who: The Mind Of Evil | url= | work=Cinefantastique | pages=58 | date=June 1999 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 June 2024 }}</ref>
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