Classic Doctor Who Review: The Mind Robber

What the Dickens?

The picture above is the least bizarre thing about this episode but let’s start with it. Why? Not only did I have to look at this rotating arse once. I had to look at it again at the beginning of the following part. I didn’t want to but there it was, floating AND draped across a rotating TARDIS console floating in space. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached the deepest inner minds… to… The Outer Limits as seen through the lens of Doctor Who.

Because this is my first Troughton episode and I am watching the episodes out of order, I have no idea who Jamie and Zoe are or why they are traveling with the Doctor. I do get a sense that both Jamie and Zoe are a ditzy. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the Doctor is a bit ditzy as well. Did they just come from the “magic mushroom planet”? This episode starts with the TARDIS getting trapped in the foamiest and slowest rising lava that I’ve ever seen. I know we are on the second incarnation of the Doctor but he should be able to fly the TARDIS well enough to have escaped this. I think they stood around being British about the situation for ten minutes before it was too late to leave. THEN on top of that the Doctor had to MacGyver of Gallifrey his way out of the situation by taking the TARDIS out of the time-space reality.

When they get to nowhere. Jamie is overly Scottish donning a kilt and a kilt purse (fine, a sporran). On the viewscreen that sees the outside of the TARDIS, Jamie sees Scotland with a bagpipes soundtrack. Zoe sees “her home”. She was really vague about it and her home looked like an alien planet. Is she alien? I’m not sure if I want to look up the information or let it be revealed to me as I watch more Troughton episodes.

So after the Doctor tells Jamie and Zoe to stay in the TARDIS, what do they do? They go outside. They get lost in fog and scooped up by what looks like proto-Cybermen. Everyone gets captured and they end up in a ridiculous labyrinth minus David Bowie and his crotch cup. After being attacked by the nerdiest bunch of kids asking riddles, the Doctor gives Jamie a “leg up” to find out that the labyrinth is made of letter shaped trees. I stop paying attention because I wondered if Jamie was “commando” under the kilt and if the Doctor had nads on his head.

“When is a door not a door? When it is ajar.” Hooray!!! Cheers all around. High-five. (Imagine me glaring at Eric about this.)

When I started paying attention again we find out that there is some guy named The Master is behind all of this. *groans* Let me get this straight, you are a guy with an Ultima(?) telegraph machine sitting outside of space-time throwing evil unicorns, minotaurs, toy frakkin’ soldiers, and a crazy Gulliver at people? Was he sitting there waiting on the Doctor? Do people randomly wander into his pit of literature hell? Also, I serious hope he is not THE Master from ‘The End of Time’.

At some point, I think that the Doctor and Zoe exchanged a cock joke. It seemed to go on for about 10 minutes. Some guy wearing red superhero costume with foam muscles was the butt of all of these jokes. After the Zoe kicked this hero’s ass, The Doctor asked her to say the hero’s name again and it sounded like cock again, he finally made her spell it out. His name was Karkus. What the Dickens indeed.

The crew broke into a room where the Ultima(?) machine was busy printing their story as it was happening. There was some laser security at the door that they went to a lot of trouble hoping over. The Doctor told Zoe whatever she did to NOT go back through that door. She had some ADHD fueled panic attack and went through the door thus alerting The Master to their whereabouts. More chicanery ensued, the crew was captured and to free him and his friends, The Doctor and The Master had a legends of old, tall tale freestyle rap battle… of sorts. The Doctor finds out The Master was hooked into a machine and forced to do these things à la Satelitte 5 in ‘The Long Game‘. The Doctor frees The Master, they all escape into the TARDIS and they all live happily ever after… or something like that.

As snarky as I am about this episode, I still like it. I give it high marks for creativity and the “WTF factor”. It was funny and I wasn’t bored. It felt like Doctor Who.

Patrick Troughton ♦§♛ The Mind Robber (★★★★ – 5/31/2011)
Season 6, Episodes 6 – 10

Cat’s Doctor Who Watchlist

‘The Mind Robber’ @ BBC

‘The Mind Robber’ @ The TARDIS Index File

‘The Mind Robber’ @ Netflix Streaming

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