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Audio Drama Review


Doctor Who
The Mind of Evil
(Original BBC TV Soundtrack)


Starring: Jon Pertwee
BBC Audio
RRP: £13.99
ISBN: 978 1 408 41010 3
Available 12 February 2009

The Doctor and Jo visit Stangmoor Prison, where the revolutionary Keller machine appears to hold out hope for curing criminals of their unsocial tendencies. Meanwhile, the Brigadier is juggling the twin tasks of moving a dangerous rocket whilst handling the security for the first world peace talks. What starts out with such promise soon becomes a deadly game when the inmates turn violent and delegates to the conference start to be killed. But what could link these events? The Doctor is in a race against time to discover the real power behind the Keller machine...

The Mind of Evil, here presented as a BBC audio with linking narration from Richard Franklin, is a six part Jon Pertwee Doctor Who adventure, which unfortunately no longer exists as a colour print. The story was written by Don Houghton and directed by Timothy Combe. The show was originally broadcast, on television between 30 January 1971 and 6 march 1971.

With much of the later Who, and certainly the new series, restricting the number of episodes that a story runs over, old fellows like myself are a little out of practice in following a Who adventure over so many episodes. 

For fans of the original series this story has much to commend it, apart from the Doctor and Jo the story features the Master, played by Roger Delgado, and a large contingent of UNIT. On the downside, the Master's plans are seriously over convoluted to have had a serious chance of success. The idea that he is able to use his mind manipulation machine to create an army of prison inmates beggars belief.

The strength of the original show was in its visuals - a bit of a problem you may think for an audio presentation. However, the linking narration does much to make up for the loss of picture, partly due to the writing, but mostly due to Richard Franklins melodious tones which fills in the gaps and paints a fine picture in your mind. Each disc contains a small interview with him, by way of an extra.

One thing I was disappointed with was the audio quality. It may be that I’m being a bit picky, after all the audio is over thirty years old, but it was a tad muffled which meant that sometimes you had to strain to hear what was being said.

Still, it’s a good old style Jon Pertwee romp, which should go down well with the fans.


Charles Packer

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