Doctor Who: The Mutants (Story #63)

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Great mutant creatures

Long slow serial


Sir…to whom are you referring to when you use the term “Mutant”?

The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Jo Grant (Katy Manning) find themselves on another assignment from the Time Lords.  Sent to the future and the planet of Solos, the Doctor and Jo learn that the Earth Empire has been mining the planet, but there are plans to leave the planet and its indigenous population alone.  Unfortunately, the Marshal (Paul Whitsun-Jones) who rules from Skybase One isn’t keen on giving up his base.  Framing the Solonians for the murder of the Administrator (Geoffrey Palmer), the Marshal is poised to change the atmosphere of Solos forever to eradicate the Solonians and make Solos livable for humans.  When Jo is captured by a Solonian on the run named Ky (Garrick Hagon), she and the Doctor learn that there is something occurring on Solos that is changing the population…and turning them into mutants which makes targeting them for elimination them even easier for the Marshal.


I hate it when I fall into space

Doctor Who:  The Mutants aired during the ninth season of the long-running BBC series.  Airing in six parts from April 8, 1972 to May 13, 1972, the serial is sometimes confused with Story #2 which was originally named “The Mutants” as well so story #2 was renamed “The Daleks” to end the confusion.  Following Doctor Who:  The Sea Devils, Doctor Who:  The Mutants has been collected as part of The Jon Pertwee Years as Story #63.

I approached Doctor Who:  The Mutants with some sadness.  It was the last Pertwee story I had to watch and I enjoyed Pertwee as the Doctor so seeing him go is a bit a bittersweet moment (even if it isn’t his last episode).  It was added to by not being the best episode…which is unfortunate because it does have a rather interesting concept and “monster” to help the story.


Evolved mutant and GLAAD representative

This serial really suffers from being too long.  The plot goes on and on.  It actually took a few attempts to watch it all because it just really dragged.  The plot is about the almost manifest destiny approach of humans to take what they see, and it is rather cold.  The race issue in the storyline was meant to be antiracism but some didn’t see it that way.  Plus, the story is diverted by this additional storyline of the feud between the tribes of Solos.

One of the most ridiculous aspects of the story is the Marshal who is so obviously evil and no one seems to notice or care.  I’m not saying that doesn’t happen in life, but when the Doctor pushes him to a near freakout stage, a couple minutes later he is put in complete control of the space station and its forces…it doesn’t even make much sense storywise.


Rainbow Brite will kill you!!!

The best part of the serial is the mutants themselves.  Unfortunately, you never get a very good look at the costumes, but I do like their bug like appearance which does fit with their story of evolution.  The end evolution by Ky also works with this in that he becomes a colorful butteryfly like creature…I just wish you could see the mutants clearer, but it probably would have led to seeing their weaknesses in the costume.

I would love for Solos to come back today in the modern Doctor Who just to see what could be done with this idea of evolution.  With better effects, it could be an interesting story and it could also right some of the misfires of this episode.  Doctor Who:  The Mutants was followed by Doctor Who:  The Time Monster.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Sea Devils (Story #62)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Time Monster (Story #64)

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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