Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

The Brain of Morbius

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The Brain of Morbius

BBC; UK 1976; 2 entertain/Region 2; Certificate PG; 150 minutes; Aspect Ratio 4:3; Features: audio commentary. 'Getting a Head' retrospective, 'Designs on Karn' featurette, text commentary, stills gallery

Programme: The theme of hybridity is explored in a number of elaborate ways in this classic from the early years of Tom Baker's reign, not least in its authorship. The basic narrative, a 'Frankenstein" pastiche, is credited to 'Robin Bland', an ironically nondescript soubriquet adopted by series veteran Terrance Dicks when script editor Robert Holmes completely rewrote his story. The resultant episodes are a jumble of literary and movie references that cheerfully throw elements such as a flame of everlasting youth (from She) and a disembodied cerebellum (from Donovan's Brain) into a gothic extravaganza replete with a mad professor, his hunchbacked assistant, a monster sewn together from several bodies and a climax in which fire-brandishing locals storm the villain's castle. Entirely studio-bound, this is a dark and violent tale which earned the ire of Mary Whitehouse for its surprisingly graphic shots of a brain slopping to the ground and a baddie being shot in the chest at point-blank range.

Despite its disparate elements, it's an adventure made with real gusto and one that stands up remarkably well thanks to its knowing references, full-bodied cliffhanger climaxes and a lead actor at the peak of his success in the role before campness and reduced budgets took their toll.

Disc: The image transfer is immaculate and the extras generous. (SA)

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  • APA 6th ed.: Angelini, Sergio (September 2008). The Brain of Morbius. Sight & Sound p. 90.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Angelini, Sergio. "The Brain of Morbius." Sight & Sound [add city] September 2008, 90. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Angelini, Sergio. "The Brain of Morbius." Sight & Sound, edition, sec., September 2008
  • Turabian: Angelini, Sergio. "The Brain of Morbius." Sight & Sound, September 2008, section, 90 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=The Brain of Morbius | url= | work=Sight & Sound | pages=90 | date=September 2008 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=The Brain of Morbius | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=17 April 2024}}</ref>