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Doctor Who - The Mind of Evil [VHS] [1963]

Jon Pertwee , Barry Letts    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £16.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Barry Letts, Katy Manning, Timothy Combe
  • Format: VHS
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: BBC
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Oct 1999
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CWDI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,883 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The Doctor and Jo are investigating a revolutionary new way of treating psychotic criminals at Stangmoor Prison – a machine invented by one Professor Keller that literally sucks the evil out of a man’s brain. But when the process is complete, what is left behind – a saint or a simpleton? But it transpires that Professor Keller is the Doctor’s arch-enemy, The Master. The machine actually houses a deadly mind parasite that the Master has taken to Earth for his own evil ends. He intends to use it to sabotage the Global peace conference UNIT is policing, thus bringing the Earth to the brink of war. And when he takes over the prison and hijacks a nuclear missile, it seems the cards are stacked firmly in his favour. Meanwhile, the evil mind parasite is growing stronger all the time, killing anyone in its path by making them experience that which they fear the most. Can the Doctor defeat both the Master and the parasite whilst preventing the world’s major powers from embarking on all-out nuclear war?

Product Description

The Doctor and Jo are investigating a revolutionary new way of treating psychotic criminals at Stangmoor Prison - a machine invented by one Professor Keller that literally sucks the evil out of a man's brain. But when the process is complete, what is left behind - a saint or a simpleton? But it transpires that Professor Keller is the Doctor's arch-enemy, The Master. The machine actually houses a deadly mind parasite that the Master has taken to Earth for his own evil ends. He intends to use it to sabotage the Global peace conference UNIT is policing, thus bringing the Earth to the brink of war. And when he takes over the prison and hijacks a nuclear missile, it seems the cards are stacked firmly in his favour. Meanwhile, the evil mind parasite is growing stronger all the time, killing anyone in its path by making them experience that which they fear the most. Can the Doctor defeat both the Master and the parasite whilst preventing the world's major powers from embarking on all-out nuclear war?


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prison will never seem the same again! 17 Mar 2000
Format:VHS Tape
A very good and effective story line - Frankenstein meets Dr Who. The concept of mind control in 1971 was not new, even for Dr Who (the Mind Robber). However, this story line allowed Pertwee to excercise his natural superiority to its full. His flipant dealings with the so called experts at the start, his natural assuming of control at the prison plus his typical condesention of the Master come thru very pertly in this story, as they do in most Pertwee story lines. I think the best part of the story (as I recall even from 30 years ago) was firstly, the creepy idea of a machine (or intelligence) causing one to face up to ones most horrid fears (and lose) and then secondly, to find that the good Doctor himself was subject to the same! I couldn't sleep for days after that!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Realized Piece of Who 23 Mar 2012
Format:VHS Tape
1971's The Mind of Evil is not as cared for, or even as acknowledged as much as serials like Terror of the Autons and The Daemons in fandom these days. Mainly I suppose this is because it is the only Jon Pertwee story to exist completely in Black & White. This I find a shame as The Mind of Evil is one of the best realized and strongest stories of the whole Master season. Firstly, the cinematography by director Tim Combe is highly atmospheric and very realistic in terms of what the program's makers had to work with back then. Secondly, the 6 episode length allows for some of those brilliant character moments that get lost in the average pacy 4 parters, such as the Doctor and the Master's bickering and the Brig's comic moments. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the Black & White imagery lends much more realism and atmosphere to the story, the sets look more convincing and the location work sublime. My theory behind this comes from the 5 minutes of surviving colour footage that is included at the end of the tape, its looks terrible in comparison to the B&W scenes, the sets really show up there weaknesses when shown in the cold light of colour and are less impressive than in the current surviving format.

Both Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado put in some extremely strong performances here as the Doctor and the Master. Jon Pertwee, as always, leads the story with no sigh of strain. Roger Delgado simply adds to this by having the Master ponder half the serials running time smoking cigars from the luxury of his chauffeur driven Roller. This only adds to the enjoyment of the character and the stupendous-ness of the story. The plot ain't half bad either, the whole concept of the Master stealing a deadly gas filled missile is something more believable than plastic control, doomsday files and Devils.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's rather violent! 16 Dec 2010
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The first thing that struck me about this episode is the level of violence; rioting, punch-ups and shoot-outs and a rather high body count. All of which make it rather exciting, but not really suitable for children. The threat in this episode is also rather abstract and more likely to scare adults than kids. If you believe that Doctor Who is just a children's show then I'm sure this story will change your mind.

The main enemy is the Keller Machine, a intelligent mind-controlling machine, created by the Master, which develops a life of its own. The action takes place in a prison, where the machine is being used to remove criminal impulses from the inmates, but ends up resulting in a violent uprising. Some viewers don't like the Keller machine because it is too passive an enemy, but for me that is the very quality that makes it, and the whole concept of mind control, so unnerving. You can't fight it, nor can you hide from it. The subject of brainwashing was acute back in the days of the Cold War but is still relevant today, in the context of fundamentalism for example. The wider story revolves around a peace conference and negotiations with the Chinese, (which the Master hopes to disrupt). These are all strangely contemporary themes, so the story doesn't feel like it's based on old concepts.

The story is a good example of Doctor Who working at it's best, i.e within its limits. A great script from Don Houghton. No dodgy sets or monster costumes. The use of real props and locations.

The performances are great, though I will give special mention to Jon Pertwee, I can't help it. His distress during the Keller Machine attack and after as he come to terms with a very near death experience is a great piece of acting.
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