Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Doctor Who-The Mind Of Evil

                            The doctor and Jo Grant visit Stagmoor Prison where a mysteriously non present  Professor Emil Keller's new device for pacifying criminals is demonstrated before the pair on an inmate named Barnham. Barnahm collapses on the floor,followed by two others shortly after. Noticing that the device appears to play on the fears of those compromised, the doctor contacts Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart at UNIT HQ,requesting the device be taken offline. The Brigadier meanwhile is helping to arrange an important peace conference with Chinese Captain Chin Lee who herself reports the murder of the delegation leader himself. While the doctor,aware of every Asian language,consults with the new council leader Fu Peng about the murder. Back at Stagmoor,complications ensue when Harry Mailer,next up for the Keller process escapes and engineers a prison riot. At this point Professor Keller reveals himself to be the Master after using his device,a living creature that feeds on negative emotional energies,to disable the security of the conference with the help of Chin Lee as a conduit before she herself is reconditioned by the doctor himself after nearly killing the American ambassador Alcott. The Master,having heard of the Stagmoor riots while spying on UNIT's activities bribes Mailer with gas bombs that enable him to retake the prison after the doctor and Jo,injured and taken prisoner upon returning to the prison during the riots,enable to guards to retake it by promising Mailer a chance to escape with a large sum of money. 

                The Masters plan is to steal a nerve gas filled nuclear power missile called Thunderbolt with the help of the escaped prisoners-in order to destroyed the peace conference and start a nuclear war after which he can become overlord of the planet. The Keller machine,becoming more intelligent the more negative energy it absorbs, is now free floating about Stagmoor-injuring and killing everyone in sight. Mailer does while attempting to kill the doctor,shortly after which the doctor realizes that due to a shield created by Barnhams mind,rendered servile and childlike by the machine,disables it from killing. While the doctor,Jo and Barnham waits with the machine, the Brigadier and Benton prepare to infiltrate Stagmoor to disable the Thunderbolts activation device-using the time circuit removed by the doctor as a bargaining chip. The Master agrees for the doctor to go there alone, Jo and Barnham follow. The doctor loses the Masters time circuit back to him in the ensuing scuffle,Barnham is knocked unconscious before the Thunderbolt is detonated at the hanger-after which Jo morns the death of Barnham and the doctor laments his exile on Earth in lieu of the now freed master.

              Though The Master's intention in this story is almost childishly simple in his terms,his credo of living for the challenge is played up here as his plans for achieving his goal is extraordinarily complicated. The doctors immediate dislike for the intention behind the Keller process,soon found to be just as insidious as the doctor predicted,is also realized by the Masters intent to masquerade his plan for world domination clothed in the good deeds of criminal reform. In keeping with the sociopolitical orientation of the first two third doctor series' of the program, this episode tackles the issue of Communism in the place of Red China. Chin Lee is very easily manipulated into high level espionage by the Master due to her beguiling manner. One wonderful scene is the respect delegation leader Fu Peng has for the doctor when he honors him with his native Hokkien dialect and the traditional bowing-where the Brigadiers adherence only to Western traditions such as hand shakes and the English language are seen as hostile. Again the Brigadier,while benevolent in intention,is shown to have much to learn from the doctor. Jo,while often scared is often wily enough to escape tight spots on her own at this early juncture. And even The Master,while equal in ability and intelligence,seems to have much to learn from the doctor as well.
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