GORDON’S ALIVE, IT’S BRIAN BLESSED! Playing a warrior king on Thoros Beta (home planet of the slug-like alien Sil, from Vengeance on Varos), Brian Blessed is the beacon of fun and enthusiasm in this otherwise shoddy story. I can barely remember what else happens, something about a scientist experimenting on the humanoid locals, looking for a suitable body donor for Sil’s boss, Lord Kiv, before he dies, and the Time Lords ultimately having to step in and stop it. What happened to non-interference, eh?
Amongst all the lunacy is Peri being recruited as a serving wench for all of five minutes, a strange mutated wolfman, and the Doctor losing his marbles… but actually it’s all a ruse! OR IS IT? It’s a pretty poor ruse, as Peri’s mind gets wiped and the Time Lords kill her. OR DO THEY? Etcetera, etcetera. What the hell is going on?!
Where the previous story worked perfectly well without the courtroom framing device, the four parts of Mindwarp seem intertwined with what’s happening there. The Doctor’s amnesia prevents him from setting the record straight, so we have to take the story at face value. Either that, or the amnesia is just an excuse for poor characterisation. The Doctor is a thoroughly detestable character in this story, reverting back to his cowardly ways from The Twin Dilemma.
Ultimately, though, Mindwarp is just boring. Really boring, aimless, witless, silly and without merit. The only excuse I can give it is that perhaps it’s unfair to judge until the full story is revealed and it’s building up to something special in the trial, but I’m not hopeful of that. And if this really is the end of poor Perpugilliam, it’s the worst exit a main character could ever hope for.
Although he’s certainly the best thing in it, not even Brian Blessed can save this one, and that’s thoroughly damning!