Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Trial Of A Time Lord 7: Mindwarp, Part Three

Originally Broadcast 18th October 1986

Written by: Philip Martin

In a nutshell: Kiv prepares for a new body whilst Peri has to act without the Doctor.

Review: There’s quite a lengthy recap here so we get to witness that pants cliffhanger again with Brian ‘larger than life’ Blessed threatening to kill the Doctor. It’s rubbish because we know he doesn’t die, we’re watching him in his past and future at the same time and this isn’t written by Steven Moffat!

I like how the storyline with Kiv is now developing. We’ve had two episodes where, to be honest, not a lot has gone forward with our characters bar making the Doctor go mad. Here, though, Kiv is finally going to undergo a titular mindwarp and transfer his brain from one body to another, albeit temporarily. The only problem is he sounds like a post-2008 Sontaran. I wonder why…

During the operation to put Kiv in another body, I love how when there’s a five minute gap the operators take a break to have a cup of tea. I found one of the ‘quintessentially British’ moments in The Mind Of Evil last week and I think I’ve just discovered another one! Can you think of any American show that would manage to fit in a cup of tea during a deadly operation which transfers the brain of an alien from one body to a superior one? No?

Some fun from Kiv and Sil. A great duo, not seen together enough
I was praising this episode for moving forward at the opening to the part, but it actually doesn’t. Five minutes in we get the impression things are going to happen soon and then the next fifteen minutes are spent doing nothing but wasting time. Sorry, ‘developing the story and character’. This hasn’t been a bad story so far, but it’s definitely an uneventful one. Just because the Doctor has seemingly turned bad doesn’t allow for the lack of development elsewhere in the story.

There’s a fantastic scene when Kiv awakens and Sil wants to be the first one his master sees with his new eyes. The direction from Ron Jones and the naturalistic comic acting from Christopher Ryan is just funny. Sadly this is followed by Brian Blessed shouting around the sets and thinking he’s funny. He’s not really selling this story for me but luckily he gets captured by a painfully acted guard. I hope he unconvincingly shoots him. And I get my wish! Yrcanos is shot down! But…so is Peri? This is actually a great ending because Peri’s life isn’t secured in the same way the Doctors is and it’s really got me itching to watch the finale to this second segment of the Trial.

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