Episode 219 – “The Mind Robber” – Part 04

So our heroes are facing off against the medusa, and defeat her in grand style!

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fig. 1 – Patrick Troughton

The medusa defeated, our heroes reunite, re-encounter Gulliver, and finally meet the Master, who turns out not to be a sinister Time Lord, but rather a mild English author who wrote boys’ adventures stories. Alright, then.

He and the Doctor initially get on well, but things soon fall apart, and the Doctor gets menaced as Jamie and Zoe get pressed between the pages of a giant book. So that’s a thing.

I am reminded here that while I quite like the overall story of this serial, the individual episodes are kind of “meh”.

Episode 218 – “The Mind Robber” – Part 03

We pick up our adventures with another quick cast change, as Frazier Hines is back from being sick.

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I know the companions are a bit of an audience insert, but come on!

Our heroes wander around a bit. We get to see the Doctor and Zoe navigating a labyrinth, with a rather impressively-done stop-motion medusa head showing up at one point, while Jamie gets to do a bit of rock climbing.

It sounds like a lot of stuff happens in this episode, but, eh, it’s mostly filler. Really all you have to do is show Jamie being restored and have the Doctor have his little conversation with Gulliver and call it a day.

Which is what I’m going to do right now.

Episode 217 – “The Mind Robber” – Part 02

Holy shit, I’m back. Yep, almost a month of all of you staring at Zoe’s backside, waiting for me to return. Sorry. Things have been complicated lately. But I’m back now, and you get something new to stare at.

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Step by step, heart to heart, left, right, left, we allllll falllll down..like toy soldiers.

So this is where things start to get really weird in this story. First off, Jamie gets turned into a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself, while Zoe goes wandering around in some sort of maze. Meantime, the Doctor sees the above-referenced soldiers, and, well, general weirdness is afoot.

So Gulliver shows up. Yeah, that Gulliver. I must say that the actor who plays him does a rather convincing job. It would have been interesting seeing him show up in a real production of Gulliver’s Travels. Then the Doctor gets menaced by a bunch of weird Victorian children, as one does.

Then we get the second-most famous scene from this story. The Doctor finds the Jamie cutout, and after a few moments, the face part of it vanishes. He then has to reconstruct Jamie’s face using various pieces, and when he’s done, he finds he’s screwed up. For the remainder of the episode, a different actor plays Jamie.

This really is a testament to the skill of the writing staff.Frazier Hines was out sick, and they needed some way to keep him in the story, so they did this bit with the face and brought in a new actor. Quite clever!

The baddie behind everything in this story is called The Master of the Land of Fiction, aka, the Master. This is a little distracting given the way that name gets used in later stories, and no, there’s no reason to assume this is an earlier incarnation of that later character.