Monday 31 May 2010

Mind of Evil

The Master is up to no good with experiments on prisoners and messing about with missiles.

This story feels a lot like a season 7 story and not just because it is filmed in black and white. Its sci-fi elements are not that overt and there is a strong sense of realism. The prison setting gives it a very gritty feel. What reminds us that it is in season 8 is the presence of the Master and that awful young woman, Jo Grant. I always found Liz Shaw a bit boring, but I simply cannot stand Jo; she is just awful.

I did not like John Pertwee's Doctor before watching this story and once I saw it, I hate him. He is so arrogant. The way he demands for the Keller machine to be stopped. He expects heaven and earth to bow to his wisdom. The way he shows off his knowledge of Chinese and humiliates the Brigadier. Then his final comment to the Brigadier "and I am stuck with you" was unbelievably rude. I really cannot stand the Third Doctor. And to top it all, he is a personal friend of Communist dictator and instigator of the Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao. I wonder what the Brigadier makes of that?

The plot is overly long and complicated. The Cold War. stuff is exciting, but it does not gel well with the prison narrative.

The Brigadier plays an effective role in the story, successfully disguising himself as a delivery driver and leading the raid on the prison. Unfortunately, in one or two moments, we see the trend towards using him as comic relief.

The Master comes across fairly well in this story. He looks cool in his sharp suit and cigar. The problem is that his plans do not make any sense. What does he need the Keller Machine for? Why take over a prison (can he not get some hired muscle if he is so in with the London underworld?).

It would have been nice to have learnt a bit more about the creature inhabiting the Keller machine.

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