Reviewed By: adamelijah
Review Date: 4/9/15 1:26 am
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Mindwarp is a surprising story that stars out interesting, falters a bit and ends in a brilliantly dark way. Ultimately, what holds it together is a solid script, and four great performances.
Nabil Shaban returns for another run as Sil. Here, he's the secondary villain and mostly for comic effect, but every moment he's on the screen is a delight. The character is a forgotten highlight of the Colin Baker era.
Then there's Brian Blessed finally appearing on Doctor Who as King Yrcanos with his trademark bellows and over the top performance. It really works with Yrcanos being big blustering, lovable, but also big hearted as shown by his relationship with Dorff, an old comrade in arms who has become a victim of Crozier's experiments.
Then there's Peri. Nicola Bryant is fantastic in her last televised story. This is her best story and while there were many companions in the Classic run who had better runs, you have to go back quite a ways to find a companion who had a better story. She's able to bring a bit of reason and common sense to Yrcanos. Even though she believes the Doctor has betrayed her in Part Three, she saves his life. There's a certain wistfulness and sadness with the character, but we also have a far more mature Peri than when she first boarded the TARDIS. And her end in the episode is heartbreaking, and in its context is quite shocking.
Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor plays it close to the vest throughout and you wonder how much his brain has been effected by the events by Part One and how much is the Valeyard's editing. However, the courtroom performances are great. He goes from his poking fun at the Valeyard's name to shock and anger. Colin Baker is at his best with the heartbroken furious reaction to what happened to Peri. This story illustrates why Baker was one of the best actors to play the Doctor.
There are issues with this story including some weak cliffhangers, a silly plot point in Part Two with Peri trying to join the serving women, and a few other miscellaneous weak points. However the four big performances of this story help to rise above its faults to be a true classic story.