An old Master In the days before older Doctor Who stories were available on video, the superb Target novelisations were the only way of discovering the Time Lords’ adventures in his first five incarnations. Peter Ling’s novelisation of his script for The Mind Robber was always one of my favourites, and watching the story on video for the first time, it still stands up as a great example of how endlessly inventive and imaginative the programme is.Before the ultimate rogue Time Lord – The Master – appeared on our screens, there was The Master of the Land of Fiction, an enigmatic entity who draws The Doctor and his two companions into his world, pitting them against his creations – fictional characters such as Lemuel Gulliver and Rapunzel; unicorns, and man-sized clockwork soldiers. Forced to play a series of potentially deadly games (a popular Doctor Who theme through the years), The Doctor, Zoe, and Jamie have to pit their wits against the Machiavellian Master; otherwise they are doomed to spend eternity trapped in his world.Notoriously, BBC budget cuts meant that this story was cobbled together and made on a shoestring – like much of mid 60s Doctor Who, however the production team worked wonders to produce a surreal and enchanting story; even managing to work around one of the key cast members becoming too ill to take part in some of the filming.It’s a tragedy that so much of Pat Troughton’s era of Doctor Who has been lost over the years; the short-sighted BBC executives of the time must have been kicking themselves as demand for old stories grew over the years. However, let’s just be grateful that this entertaining and moody story has survived, and enjoy what is one of the show’s triumphs, that has easily stood the test of time.
fantastic A sublime piece of sci-fi history,which scrubs up well alongside any ‘classic’ A story which epitemises creative writing, and production as the script had to be cleverly re-written during it’s recording due to unforseen circumstances or chicken pox to give it it’s clinical name!the mind robber is literally out of this world!…and that catsuit is just…purrrfect!
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