Doctor Who #287: The Mind of Evil Part 3

"Why the delay? I take it that I'm to be killed eventually?"TECHNICAL SPECS: Not on DVD?! The Internet provides. First aired Feb.13 1971.

IN THIS ONE... The Doctor frees Chin Lee from the Master's control, then confronts him at the prison which the evil Time Lord has taken over.

REVIEW: While I'm lukewarm about the serial's plot, I do enjoy its character moments quite a lot. The Brigadier found sleeping at his desk is a profoundly human moment. Jo jamming Mailer's gun into his knee and pretty much putting an end to the prison riot is about as kickass as she gets. Mailer creeped out by a criminal void of negative emotion. Chin Lee is freed(?) from the Master's control and immediately forgiven by the Doctor (who speaks a smattering of Cantonese, as it turns out). And the Doctor calmly confronting the Master across a desk has yet to lose its novelty. Yes, the Master, Bond villain that he is, explains his plans to his nemesis, but that's who you know he's supremely arrogant.

This plan of his... Stealing the nuclear nerve gas missile to bomb a peace conference and starting World War III, while on the side, he uses a machine to broadcast negative emotions and takes over a prison. It seems to be all about the havoc he can cause. He's the flip-side of the Doctor's own anarchy. The Doctor rebels against the system's dehumanization and creative stifling, but the Master goes too far. His kind of anarchy isn't about the freedom of the individual. It's about destruction, and creating a vacuum he can fill to rule what he sees as lesser beings. Through these early appearances, the Master continues to be built as a true opposite of the Doctor, revealing new layers to that idea with every appearance.

Mary Whitehouse alert! The Doctor's torture in the Keller chair is kind of distressing! (But not as much as the noisy sound design and electronic music. Really not a fan of this particular score.)

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - It's all proceeding apace, and even if I can't muster much enthusiasm for the overall plot, the characters provide many highlights.

2 comments:

snell said...

Only a "smattering" of Cantonese? Must be that the TARDIS's state of disrepair has impaired its translation circuits...

Siskoid said...

Shouldn't have taken the console out of the shell!

But yeah, the translation circuits are pretty intermittent when it comes to human languages.

 

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