Doctor Who: Mindwarp (Story #144)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Gets rid of Peri, Brian Blessed, Sil

Not a stand alone story, slow start


Hey Sil…long time no see

The trial of the Doctor (Colin Baker) continues as the Valeyard (Michael Jayston) tries to prove his guilt to the Inquisitor (Lynda Bellingham) by showing his exploits pulled from the Matrix.  The Doctor sees a trip to Thoros Beta with Peri (Nicola Bryant) and begins to believe something is seriously wrong with his trial.  On Thoros Beta, the Doctor and Peri encounter an old enemy in Sil (Nabil Shaban), and Peri’s future might be determined.

Doctor Who:  Mindwarp aired during the twenty-third season of the long running BBC series as the second part of the larger storyline The Trial of a Time Lord.  The serial aired in four episodes from October 4, 1986 to October 25, 1986 and featured the last appearance of the Doctor’s companion Peri Brown played by Nicola Bryant.  Following Doctor Who:  The Mysterious Planet, Doctor Who:  Mindwarp was collected as Story #145 (or Story #144 depending on how you count the unaired Tom Baker story Doctor Who:  Shada).  The whole The Trial of a Time Lord storyline was collected in one DVD set.


So like Peri…want to go get a burger or something sometime?

Doctor Who:  Mindwarp is a fun entry in a period of the series that isn’t that much fun.  It has more going for it in that it features the return of a fun and creepy villain in Sil, a good guest star, and the departure of a companion which is always good…add in that it is my least favorite companion, and you have a winner in my book.

The basic story is ok, but it is a lot of work to get to final part of the story in which the meat of the story is.  The plot to transfer the mind of Kiv into a healthy body leads to a great reveal with the shaved head Peri.  I also liked the rather tragic nature of the story which had the Doctor prevented by saving her by being summoned to the actual “trial” before he can reach her.  It seems more like this should have been worked into the final part more since it was rather shocking.


Persis Khambatta has nothing on me!!!

The show also has a great guest star in Brian Blessed who channels his booming voice into a very Flash Gordon-esque barbarian king.  Prince Vulton was a highlight of Flash Gordon and it is almost like getting him back here.  I also really liked Sil in his first appearance (Doctor Who:  Vengeance on Varos) but here he isn’t as fun.

This is my favorite entry in the Doctor Who:  The Trial of a Time Lord series.  My complaining about Peri finally is over as she dies a horrible death…or does she?  Unfortunately as a Peri hater, the end of this serial was reconned as an illusion in the final part of The Trial of the Time Lord.  It is revealed that Peri went off and married King Yrcanos to become a queen.  While it is pretty creepy to think of Nicola Bryant and Brian Blessed hooking up, I preferred Peri crazy and dead…but it also makes you question how much of this story was faked by the Matrix.  Doctor Who:  Mindwarp was followed by Doctor Who:  Terror of the Vervoids.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Mysterious Planet (Story #143)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Vervoids (Story #145)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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