Like 'Genesis of the Daleks', 'Mandragora' show-cases that wonderful mix of deathly serious and playful which still sparkles today. Tom Baker brings his peerless blend of tough guy and sage to the role of the Doctor, while Count Federico is a superbly drawn regal brute. Some of the show's best (and brutal!) lines are his. His 'seer', Hieronymous is equally convincing in his villainy. I reckon the brilliant narrative touch was dovetailing the latter's pre-established role as cult leader with the newly arrived Mandragora energy's malign intent; that it 'picks' him implies that it 'knows' he's the perfect human crucible. An ideal vector, you may say! The other lovely touch was setting the action at the dawn of the Renaissance; what a historical moment for a major upset in human affairs. Were it not for some slack editing and woeful polystyrene mis-en-scene, top marks. Regardless, another Baker classic, and as usual, as much for the parents as for the kiddies.