Monday, November 24, 2008

 

Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1971 Brilliant?

Less harsh and more colourful than the previous year, it’s the year of the Master (pretty much continuously). An old friend of the Doctor who parted company many years before, he arrives to duel with his fellow Time Lord, teaming up with many different alien forces in his desire to gain ultimate power. The Autons return, ancient powers rise in The Dæmons, and the Master unleashes war and the dark side of humanity in…

The Mind of Evil
“That is Thunderbolt. A gas missile, nuclear-powered, and British, of course. But the most important thing about it is that it’s illegal.”
The Master at his most Bond-villain impressive. We see him smoke a big cigar, plot against a peace conference (complicated by the UK’s illegal WMDs), conduct disturbing experiments on prisoners then pitch them against the army in thrilling action sequences, and reveal his deepest fear.


This one’s unlikely to be out on DVD very soon; the BBC’s insane archive purges didn’t completely destroy any Doctor Who episodes from the ’70s, but they did cleverly burn the colour tapes of this story and leave us with just a black and white copy, which looks surprisingly stylish but which you’ll have to find on second-hand VHS for the time being. The book tells the story quite crisply, too.

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