Tuesday, October 04, 2005

'The Mind of Evil' episodes IV - VI

THE MIND OF EVIL continued

Clever premise - machine that removes 'evil impulses' from criminals brains to leave them paragons of virtue but with an apparent mental age of about eight. Machine turns out to be alien 'mind parasite' that feeds off negative thoughts and kills by confronting victims with their greatest fear. How it actually drowns a man through the power of suggestion alone baffles me, though. Still, it's been brought to Earth by the Master, who hasn't learnt from his experience with the Nestenes and thinks he can control it - but can't, and has to resort to asking the Doctor for help despite wanting to destroy him. That the Doctor's scorn and ridicule are presented, most surreally, as the Master's own worst fear is compelling explanation for some of the latter's behaviour over the series' history! Good direction - things like the inmates rattling their bars whenever the machine is active, and making the inanimate object seem actively malevolent. Great pitched gun battle at Dover Castle 'prison' locations, with UNIT soldiers cutting down their adversaries at wince-inducingly point-blank range. Nice Trojan Horse disguise for the Brigadier. Slight overcomplication with the peace conference/missile plot, but needed something to make it stretch the duration I guess. Interesting to see prominent Chinese characters, when hitherto non-Caucasians have been a rarity. Lovely to see Doctor and Master working together, so effectively and committedly that for a minute or two they seem more like old friends that bitter enemies, and you see how their two personalities are really flip sides of the same coin.

Good stuf, but never truly attention-grabbing enough to stop me falling asleep for more than an episode or two at a time! Got invited round to friends' for dinner and stuff this evening too, so really struggled to finish this one...


Episodes watched: 180
Episodes still to watch: 542

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