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  • Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora (Story 86)
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Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora (Story 86)


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Frequently Bought Together

Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora (Story 86) + Doctor Who: The Hand of Fear (Story 87) + Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin (Story 88)
Price for all three: $49.19

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Norman Jones
  • Directors: Rodney Bennett
  • Writers: Louis Marks
  • Producers: Philip Hinchcliffe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 4, 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001Q9ECNK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,872 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Commentary by Tom Baker (The Doctor), Gareth Armstrong (Giuliano), producer Philip Hinchcliffe, and production unit manager Chris D'Oyly-John
The Secret of the Labyrinth: Making-of
Bigger on the Inside: History of the TARDIS
Now and Then: Location featurette
Beneath the Masque: Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman take the Masque to task
Photo gallery
Production note option
PDF materials (DVD-ROM, PC/Mac): Radio Times listings

Editorial Reviews

A wave of Mandragora energy boards the Tardis on its way to 15th century Earth and threatens to undermine the Renaissance.

Customer Reviews

Its amazing what you can learn.
Jim Phillips
It does explain how the Doctor defeats Mandragora, but the explaination is so wrapped up in technobabble, that it's hard to make sense of it.
Jero Briggs
The historical costumes and sets are very nicely done, and most of the guest cast are believable in their roles.
Sarah Hadley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Hadley on July 24, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Doctor Who has always been very good with stories the fans call "pseudo-historicals", meaning tales that take place in a historical setting, but involve science fiction concepts - such as "Pyramids of Mars", "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", and "The Curse of Fenric", to name just a few. This is another such story, but it has always been cast aside by most fans for more popular adventures.
In truth, though, it's a pretty entertaining yarn...Tom Baker and Lis Sladen are both very good, and plot - the idea that the Doctor has unwittingly brought a fearsome sentient energy to 15th century Italy - is unusual for this era of the programme. The historical costumes and sets are very nicely done, and most of the guest cast are believable in their roles. The only real problem is that it drags a bit in the last episode, and the final solution isn't totally satisfying.
This is perhaps not the best Tom Baker story out there, but it's an enjoyable one and shouldn't be passed over.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peter Ingemi VINE VOICE on December 16, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
One day I was surfing channel (in those ancient days when you did it by turning a knob standing next to the set.) when I spotted a fellow with curley hair and a long scarf in a little room that turned out to be an infinately big time machine that ended up in Italy in the era of Leonardo Da Vinci. I found it interesting but thought nothing of it till a few months later when I happened to catch the start of the very same episode again. This time I found out when it was on and my 25 year long love affair with Dr. Who began.
This episode started it all. We see the doctor in Italy battling a cult from the past and an intelligence from the future as they attempt to alter human history for their own ends. A great combination of humor, action and adventure. A pretty good description of the whole series.
Dr. Who fans you will enjoy the return to the backup control room which provides much more ambiance than the regular one.
I can't guarentee you'll fall in love with the series if you watch this one, but you'll find it fun.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kevin J. Loria VINE VOICE on February 10, 2010
Format: DVD
"How Big is Big?...."The Masque of the Mandragora, Season opener for the Fourth Doctor was surprisingly low key. We begin with the Doctor and Sarah in a TARDIS corridor having a conversation about his "enormous boot cupboard."

But as tame as the moment seems, it is one of the scenes I remember best from this story arc....up until this point very little of the TARDIS interior had been seen and here it is suggested how really huge it could be inside it's disguised form. Soon after this moment would be "called back to" in the chase through the TARDIS interior for "INVASION of TIME."

Another great thing about Masque is that is was another Dr. Who story set in Earth's past following the Third Doctor's isolation to Earth's "present" with UNIT (and some galactic yo-yoing towards the end of his tenure) it is good to have the Doc travel for these historical adventures again. This time the Doctor and Sarah are on Earth during the Italian Renaissance when the corrupt and powerful Medicis rule, and to heap some more trouble on to that the Doctor inadvertently transports a Mandragora ball of energy and alien intelligence intent on conquering Earth.

There's a great cast of plotting and political characters maneuvering their Machiavellian notions through this tale: Evil Uncle Frederico; a Count planning to usurp the rule of his naïve, nephew; Giuliano, with the aid of his court astrologer Hieronymous, not to mention the evil brothers of the Cult of Demnos. As in much of the Classic episodes of Dr. Who, there are clear similarities to Classic Lit., this time it is POE's "Masque of the Red Death", with added twists ofcourse. This isn't a complaint, mind you.

There's lots of horses, swords, wonderful costumes and wonderful dialogue, too.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The Mandragora Helix has hitched a ride via the TARDIS! The Doctor and Sarah land in Italy in the 14th Century, unaware of the evil they have brought with them. The design of the story is excellent, including the new(old?) TARDIS console room. But the story feels a little off kilter, it could have been an excellent 3 parter. Count Frederico isn't that bad of a character, the same with Heironymous. But at the end, the Doctor merely short circuits the Helix, and claiming that it would return in the latter half of the 20th Century(a sequel hunting ending with no sequel)! An "A" typical pseudo-historical adventure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on February 28, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
The opening story of Season 14 showed a return to a historical adventure. After a close encounter with the Mandragora Helix, the Doctor and Sarah head off to the Dukedom of San Martino in the late 15th century. Unfortunately, three things happen. One, Sarah is captured by the black-robed brethren, members of the Cult of Demnos, who intend to have her sacrificed. Two, the Doctor is captured by soldiers belonging to Count Federico. Three, some Mandragora energy which had slipped into the TARDIS goes around killing people, grossly distorting their faces.
Count Federico is quite the authoritarian, as his men make random attacks on peasants to get any idea of insurrection out of their heads. He is beset by one obstacle in his attempts to gain the dukedom after the death of his brother. That is his young nephew Giuliano, someone interested in scholarly learning, particularly astronomy, but also justice. "I want to rule over a land where there is no tyranny, no lies, no blind ignorance and superstition. ... We make our own lives... not the stars."
That last is against Hieronymous, the hooded court astrologer with a funny forked beard who also heads the cult. The Mandragora energy communicates with him and choses him as the one to become supreme ruler of the Earth. Hieronymous deems himself a humble astrologer and interpreter who says "the decrees of fate must be obeyed. We have no choice." I wonder if the name of this character was inspired by Hieronymous de Savanarola, who condemned church corruption under the Borgias and wore a monk's habit in public.
The Doctor and Sarah are befriended by Giuliano, who perceived the Doctor's scholarly abilities.
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