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Doctor Who: The Mind of Evil (Story 56) (2013)

Jon Pertwee , Katy Manning  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Roger Delgado
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 11, 2013
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C6ACT3I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,085 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

New to DVD! Digitally remastered Doctor Who classic The Mind of Evil! Professor Keller has created a machine that can pacify even the most dangerous of criminals. But when the Doctor and Jo arrive at Stangmoor Prison for a demonstration, things start to go horribly wrong – especially when they discover that the Doctor’s old enemy Master is responsible for the machine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Pertwee era Dr Who October 16, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I came to Doctor Who through a series of novelisations published by Target in the 1970s and 1980s. These novelisations were fast moving, and exciting. When I finally saw the television programme I was distraught. William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee had long since disappeared. The release of a number of these early stories on video has eased some of that childhood trauma.
Mind of Evil is compelling second season Pertwee. To Who afficionados, the second season means three things: The Doctor is earth-bound (which means the Brigadier and UNIT are involved); Jo Grant has joined the Doctor; and every story features a common villain, Roger Delgado's portrayal of the Master.
While all Pertwee stories were recorded in colour, this story is available only in black and white. Do not be put off by this. This actually heightens the atmosphere, and means that many of the worst excesses of CSO (or chromakey) are avoided. With no irritating visual distractions (aside from the operation of the mind and its impact on various cast members) the viewer is left to concentrate on the story - and while perhaps one or two episodes too long, this is superior Who.
The script is by Don Houghton, responsible for the classic Inferno (the first Pertwee season close), and there are a number of links between the two stories. Houghton's scripts tended towards social commentary more than his fellow scriptwriters, and here the effective storyline revolves around a prison, where prisoners are having their negative emotions drained from them (effectively lobotomising them). Houghton's observations on prisons, and recidivism are not the stuff of high criminology, but they are an effective attempt through what was thought of at the time as children's television to address larger issues.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Jon Pertwee Adventure December 22, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
An extremely ambitious production for Doctor Who, The Mind of Evil boasts an excellent script, some fantastic acting, and Roger Delgado's definitive version of the Master. Some great stunts and action sequences help bring this Doctor Who to life, making it one of Pertwee's best stories. If there is one drawback, it's that the storyline gets a bit muddled, and maybe overreaches, with espionage, the Master, a nerve gas missle, and an alien brain parasite all crammed into six episodes. Still, a very entertaining romp, with one of Nick Courtney's best turns as the Brigadier. You'll enjoy it!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing evil, somber tone, great suspense June 18, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This is my all-time favorite Dr. Who story. The evil of the prisoners is quickly dwarfed by the rapacious evil of the hungry creature inside the Keller Machine. Given that it soon learns to move right through walls, the suspense factor increases, as you never know where it will show up next to gobble up the minds/life forces of a few victims.
This classic Pertwee story includes a good moral look at what evil is and what it fears the most. And the fact that it is all in black and white keeps the story gritty, displayed in muted tones against sufficiently dull backgrounds to keep the look and feel of the prison real. In this one instance, I can forgive the BBC for having trashed the color copy. I think B&W improves this one.
Add to this mix the current (at the time) tension with communism, the fear of nuclear war, and you've got an interesting, thought provoking Doctor Who classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Doctor and Jo arrive at Stangmoor prison for a well-attended exhibition of the Keller Machine in the prison's Process Room. Professor Kettering presents: "We no longer execute our hardened criminals and killers.... Science has abolished the hangman's noose and substituted this infallible method."
The Doctor can't resist commenting, "People who go on about infallibility are usually on very shaky ground."
Kettering frowns, but continues, explaining discoveries that "anti-social behavior was governed by certain negative or evil impulses. Now this machine, the Keller Machine, extracts these impulses and leaves a rational, well-balanced individual.... The negative impulses are stored in that reservoir box there."
The Doctor: "Where do they go after that?"
Kettering: "No where, sir. I repeat, they are stored in that box."

The Doctor is more than skeptical and we are too. George Patrick Barnham, a violent offender, is brought in to receive his sentence of reconditioning in the Keller Machine. But something goes wrong. Barnham gives a howl of pain and has to be taken from the room unconscious.

The Doctor is disgusted, but he has hardly begun to worry about that when a technician, alone in the Process Room, dies a painful death. Before the results of his postmortem are available, we find out that more is afoot. The first ever World Peace Conference is being held in England, and UNIT is handling security. In addition, UNIT has to guard a nuclear missile with a nerve gas payload that is being transported through the countryside.

With all that on his plate, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart gets another headache. Captain Chin Lee, of the Chinese delegation to the peace conference, complains that important papers have been stolen from their rooms.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doctor Who The Mind of Evil May 1, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This was a very good set of episodes of Doctor Who
entitled "Mind of Evil" which had an interesting
premise the Doctor (Pertwee) and Jo (Katy Manning) investigate a machine that feeds of evil and kills
those who are consumed by it. Very neat. Now throw in
some special effects, and the menacing character
of the Master (Roger Delgado), a murder conspiracy,
the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) and there you
have a great story.
If you don't know who "The Master" it was an evil and
rather brilliantly created arch enemy to rival that of
the Doctor. Just like Lex Luthor was the arch enemy to
Superman, "The Master" was the nemesis to "The Doctor". He had special powers such as hypnotism, and the power to change form. Also like "The Doctor" he could also travel through time. Roger Delgado did a great job establishing the role, before he unfortunately he died in a car crash.
As stated The Doctor and Jo Grant are investigating
a machine that feeds of evil, although they dont know
it yet. They receive an invitation to a mental prison
where a new machine is being used to try to rehabilitate criminals, the Keller Machine, created by Professor Kettering (Simon Lack). However, the machine does not help the prisoners, but it kills them. At first Professor Kettering does not know what to make of it. When Doctor and others investigate the murder they find the victims are being killed by their own fears , which are in part fed of the evil inspired by the victims.
Meanwhile Unit and Brigadier are hosting a peace
conference that has gone wrong when certain important
delegates are missing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a very good outing for the doctor and jo grant
a very good outing for the doctor and jo grant. but the real star to me was roger delgado, the master. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Mark Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great classic show and would by from there again
Published 25 days ago by Steven J Nickles
5.0 out of 5 stars A evil mind or two for you!
A bit long but still exciting and well done! This is a six episode serial and the show is well done with a great story and good acting. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Dobey
3.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Dr. Who Adventure!
A pretty good romp with The Doctor and The Master dueling over yet another of
The Master's plot for world domination. Read more
Published 3 months ago by nailsin
4.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor Goes to Prison
This is a fascinating serial featuring a mind control machine that removes evil from inmates. While visiting the prison where it's used as Capital Punishment, the Doctor that even... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars The Year of the Master
As usual I won't go into the plot but I will say Roger Delgado is still amazing as the Master. This guy just exudes the poise, confidence and style of a great bad guy. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jim Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally in Color
I've seen this story before but this is the first time in color. It really makes a difference. It's like seeing it for the first time.
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars My fav 3rd Doctor story ever, but please don't watch it in color!!!
This is my favorite 3rd Doctor story and I first saw it in black and white and loved it. The black and white really enhanced the intrigue and the story, unfortunately when bought... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ferris Bueller
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the 3rd Doctor
I like Jon (not as much as Tom) but this episode with the Master was very good. three more words.
Published 12 months ago by Gary Prott
5.0 out of 5 stars cult classic Dr. Who exciting
This is a wonderful episode of Dr. Who. It is exciting and clever, just what you would expect from the British.
Published 12 months ago by Catbabe
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