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Jon Pertwee: Missing Stories - THE MIND OF EVIL

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Author Topic: Jon Pertwee: Missing Stories - THE MIND OF EVIL  (Read 296 times)
Vampyros Adric
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« on: July 22, 2011, 02:29:41 pm »

After a short delay I bring you another in my Homerian odyssey through some of the missing stories available as Audio CDs. The story I have chosen to look at today is something of a misnomer - it isn't a completely missing story (I have a grainy black and white VHS copy of this story) but (at the moment) it remains unrestored by our chums at 2Entertain. It is, however, an absolute corker from the Pertwee era.


As usual, the chat on the back of the box nicely sets the scene...

Jon Pertwee stars as the third Doctor in this soundtrack of an exciting BBC TV adventure, with linking narration by Richard Franklin. A dangerous adventure begins for the Doctor and Jo Grant when they visit Strangmoor Prison for a demonstration of the new Keller Machine. The device is said to extract negative emotions from convicted prisoners, leaving them pacified and reformed. But when it apparently goes wrong, a far more sinister purpose is revealed...The Doctor's old enemy, the Master, is behind the machine, working in conjuction with an alien mind parasite. As unrest builds amongst Strangmoor's prisoners, the Master takes control, his ultimate aim to hijack a deadly missile and threaten the World Peace Conference taking place in London. As Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart leads UNIT in the defence of both the missile and Strangmoor, the Doctor and Jo must fight to stay alive and help avert a third world war

As with all good discussions, I should declare my bias upfront: I adored Jon Pertwee as the Doctor. He never ever gets the recognition for the role that he should have done. His brilliance in being able to deliver both gravitas and humour was unsurpassed and there was always a touch of John Le Mesurier about his performance. This story is no exception and he brings the full breadth of his talents to bear in this genuinely action packed story.

Some fans were not keen on having a season completely dedicated to battles with the Master, but to be fair to the production team, who were saddled with having to generate menace in limited circumstances. As Terrance D1cks pointed out "You are limited to either an Alien Invasion or a plague!" This story represented a great attempt to move away from this limitation. Written by horror stalwart, Don Houghton, this was a great story and supported by a very strong cast (Michael Sheard, William Marlowe and an assortment of solid British rep actors provide great support for a well written script.

The only real downfall of the whole package is that the story is hugely action based - therefore some of the real essence of the story is lost on audio. That this is only partially noticeable is actually great credit to Richard Franklin, who does a good job of conveying the tension and explosive action. The remastering makes the dialogue clear and, all told, this is a quality presentation.

If you are a fan of Jon Pertwee and would like to access a really special time within his tenure then (although a little pricey) this is an ideal entry point for you.

It is also wonderfully violent Smiley
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Nyki
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 05:38:06 pm »

I love this story - out of the Master stories, probably my second favourite after The Daemons.
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2011, 01:49:59 pm »

It's a great story from what I remember. I saw an old VHS copy probably about 7 years ago and thought it was great, but never listened to the soundtrack version. I think this is one of the stories that they are trying out the colour restoration on to release it next year
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 01:45:52 pm »

I'm not actually a fan of Pertwee, but I agree he was very good here. The problem I have with this story is that it all seems a bit disjointed. Did the Master really have to go to all that trouble just to steal a missile? For that reason I couldn't give it full marks.
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 06:56:48 pm »

I'm not actually a fan of Pertwee, but I agree he was very good here. The problem I have with this story is that it all seems a bit disjointed. Did the Master really have to go to all that trouble just to steal a missile? For that reason I couldn't give it full marks.

It is a bit of bizarre set up - I think that perhaps they relied on TV audiences being a bit naive and thinking that this was a big deal. It did seem a bit disjointed and perhaps that was because the writer, Don Houghton, was really a movie screenwriter and had a much bigger picture in mind when he wrote the script but then budget realities meant it was scaled back a little?
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 02:15:59 pm »

I've just been watching Colony In Space, which also seems to suffer from the same sort of problem. There is the main plot (not really concerning The Master) and then a sub-plot concerning the Master sort of tacked on.
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2012, 04:45:42 pm »

I love this. I think I might have even heard the audio before I watched the story. The Mind of Evil has its fair share of faults, but for all of them I still think its great. Jon Pertwee was at his best here.
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