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Episode Guide
The Mind Robber
Production Code: UU
Season 6, Story Number 45
Directed by David Maloney

Each episode is identified with date of transmission, duration, ratings in millions, and (for 1963-1974 only) archive status.

Episode 1
14 September 1968 | 21'27" | 6.6 | 16mm t/r
Episode 2
21 September 1968 | 21'39" | 6.5 | 16mm t/r
Episode 3
28 September 1968 | 19'29" | 7.2 | 16mm t/r
Episode 4
05 October 1968 | 19'14" | 7.3 | 16mm t/r
Episode 5
12 October 1968 | 18'00" | 6.7 | 16/35mm t/r
Archive Status: All five episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings except for episode 5 which also exists as a 35mm telerecording. Episode 5 was held (as 16mm) by the Film & TV Library when it was audited in 1978; negative film prints were recovered of all 5 episodes (including the 35mm copy of part 5) from BBC Enterprises in late 1978. Telesnaps (off-air camera photographs) from episodes 1-3 of this story exist in the BBC Archives.
Patrick Troughton (Dr. Who), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), Wendy Padbury (Zoe Heriot), Emrys Jones (The Master of the Land), Hamish Wilson (Jamie McCrimmon), John Atterbury (Robot), Ralph Carrigan (Robot), Bill Wiesener (Robot), Terry Wright (Robot), Bernard Horsfall (Gulliver), Barbara Loft (Child), Sylvestra Le Tozel (Child), Timothy Horton (Child), Chistopher Reynolds (Child), David Reynolds (Child), Martin Langley (Child), Paul Alexander (Soldier), Ian Hines (Soldier), Richard Ireson (Soldier), Philip Ryan (Redcoat), Christine Pirie (Princess Rapunzel), Sue Pulford (The Medusa), Christopher Robbie (Karkus), John Greenwood (D Artagnan and Sir Lancelot), David Cannon (Cyrano), Gerry Wain (Blackbeard)
To escape from the volcanic eruption on Dulkis, the Doctor uses an emergency unit which moves the TARDIS out of normal time and space. The travellers find themselves in an endless void, where they are menaced by White Robots (Jon Atterbury, Ralph Carrigan, Bill Wiesener, Terry Wright). Having regained the safety of the TARDIS, they believe they have escaped until the ship suddenly explodes apart. They then find themselves in a land of fiction, where they are hunted by life-size clockwork soldiers and encounter characters like Rapunzel (Christine Pirie) and Swift's Lemuel Gulliver (Bernard Horsfall), and Jamie's face is changed and replaced with the visage of another man (Hamish Wilson).

This domain is presided over by a man known only as the Master (Emrys Jones), a prolific English writer from 1926 who in turn is controlled by a Master Brain computer. Now the Master is desperate to escape and wants the Doctor to take his place, while the Master Brain plans to take over the Earth. The Doctor engages the Master in a battle of wills using a variety of fictional characters. Zoe and Jamie meanwhile succeed in overloading the Master Brain and, in the confusion, the White Robots destroy the computer, finally freeing the Master.

Synopsis from Doctor Who: The Second Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted.

Production Team
Edwina Verner (Assistant Floor Manager), Martin Baugh (Costumes), Susan Wheal (Costumes), Evan Hercules (Designer), B H Barry (Fight Arranger), John Greenwood (Fight Arranger), Jimmy Court (Film Cameraman), Martyn Day (Film Editor), Sylvia James (Make-Up), Peter Bryant (Producer), John Lopes (Production Assistant), Derrick Sherwin (Script Editor), Brian Hodgson (Special Sounds), Howard King (Studio Lighting), John Holmes (Studio Sound), Delia Derbyshire (Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Jack Kine (Visual Effects), Bernard Wilkie (Visual Effects)
Story Notes
The Mind Robber started life as a four-part story. Due to the change in size of the previous serial, "The Dominators," an extra episode had to be filled. Script editor Derrick Sherwin stepped in and wrote episode 1, which takes place in a white void. However, Sherwin did not receive writing credit; episode 1 was therefore the only episode in the series history to not bear a writing credit. The working titles for the story were "Man Power" and "The Fact of Fiction". Frazer Hines did not appear in episode 3 due to illness; actor Hamish Wilson became Jamie when the character's face was distorted in the Land of Fiction. Says historian David Howe: "Although the Master is never named, it is strongly implied that he is Frank Richards, creator of the popular Billy Bunter character of children's fiction. The Master states at one point that he wrote the adventures of Captain Jack Harkaway in the Ensign comic; in reality, it was Richards who wrote these stories. (Peter Ling himself had also written for boys' comics.)" The continuing saga of the Masters of the Land of Fiction are a theme that run through several of the Virgin DW novels, beginning in "Conundrum".
For more in-depth information about the contents of this story, a complete episode-by-episode detailed breakdown can be found at the Doctor Who Reference Guide.
Additional, more detailed information about the production of this story can be found at Shannon Patrick Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel).
DVD release
Released in the UK [March 2005], Australia/New Zealand [May 2005] (BBC DVD catalog #1358), US/Canada [September 2005] (WHV catalog #E2316); episodic format, photomontage cover by Clayton Hickman. Includes commentary by Wendy Padbury, Frazer Hines and Hamish Wilson (the "alternate" Jamie) as well as director David Maloney; "The Fact of Fiction: Making of The Mind Robber" a 34-minute featurette featuring the actors and production team recalling working on the story; "Highlander: The Jamie McCrimmon story," a 22 minute interview with Frazer Hines looking back on his career in Doctor Who and beyond; "Basil Brush: The Himalayas" sketch; plus production notes, photo gallery and an easter egg
Video release
Released as "The Mind Robber" in the UK [May 1990] and Australia/New Zealand [September 1990] (BBC catalog #4352); US/Canada [February 1994] (WHV catalog #E1200); episodic format, cover illustration by Alister Pearson.
Audio release
Some selections from this story (music and/or sound effects) have been released on "Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Volume One - The Early Years, 1963-1969" (BBC Music WMSF 6023-2).
In Print
Novelised as "Doctor Who - The Mind Robber" by Peter Ling (Target #115), first released in 1986, with cover by David McAllister; new printing in 1990 with cover by Alister Pearson.
For more details on the various novelizations of this story, with additional background material, artwork and details of both UK and foreign releases, visit On Target.
Screencap Descriptions
Descriptions of each story screen capture above right, top to bottom:
  • The castle
  • Jamie and Zoe (Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury) in the white void
  • Blackbeard (Gerry Wain)
  • the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Zoe and the facially-altered Jamie (Hamish Wilson) see the Unicorn
  • the Unicorn comes to call