This classic Doctor Who story finally arrives on DVD in this
impressive 4-disc box set and features the following episodes "The
Mysterious Planet", "Mind Warp", "Terror of the Vervoids" and "The
Ultimate Foe" which is truly a Doctor Who epic. The key issue behind
these episodes, hence the title is the actions of the Doctor and how
it effects the universe which means our curly haired hero is on
trial by his collegues.
During The Mysterious Planet, the Doctor’s TARDIS is pulled into his
home planet of Gallifrey in which the Doctor is forced to stand
trial to the High Council. The elders argue that no Time Lord can
ever interfere with outside species and the events of their fixed
time frames. Using the Matrix, the Valeyard presents two
particularly damning exploits of the Doctor, all in hopes that the
High Council will find him guilty and as a result, effectively end
The Mysterious Planet is your classic Doctor Who story where the
Doctor's meddling with events and eventually getting wrapped up in
the middle of them is forced to save the planet from complete
destruction. The unfortunate aspect here is
that from a moral and philosophical standpoint, there is very little
being brought to the table. Once again the Doctor Who can do no
In Mindwarp, the second piece of the Valeyard’s evidence, in which
the Doctor’s old worm-like nemesis Sil (Nabil Shaban) is working
with a team of scientists to ensure that his master Kiv (Christopher
Ryan) gets his brain transferred into the body of another.
Unfortunately as Kiv’s current brain is expanding against his skull
at an alarming rate, something that will result in an instant
fatality if not handled properly. After failing to convert a brain
on the now-renegade King Yrcanos (Brian Blessed, scenery sticking
out between his teeth as per usual), the Doctor gets his brain
forcibly altered against his will so that he now has no choice but
to help Sil and Kiv work out the kinks of the mind-transference
machine. Definitely one of the better episodes from this collection
and some brilliant BBC special effects of the time.
Next is, The Terror of the Vervoids, in which we are introduced to
the Doctor's new perky companion Mel (Bonnie Langford). She has no
backstory to speak of, but her cute figure and can-do spirit show
that she doesn’t deviate from the “companion formula” too much.
Aboard a seemingly-innocent passenger flight through space, a small
group of scientists are working on some devious experiments
involving plant life on the lower levels of the ship. Once
passengers begin dying in unexpected ways, the Doctor and Mel begin
investigating these strange occurrences, resulting in the discovery
of the scientist’s new creations the anthropomorphic Vervoid race.
Lastly, there is The Ultimate Foe, one of the best season-ending
climaxes in Who history. It is here that much is revealed, including
why the trial is being held in the first place, who is behind this
inquisition, and in one of its juiciest caveats who the Valeyard
really is. Old friends are brought back, the Doctor enters the
reality-bending world of the Matrix, and the Doctor confronts, in
essence, the darker aspects of his own self, in the end even
discovering what really happened to Peri at the end of Mindwarp.
Definitely another classic Doctor Who box set for fans of the
original and even though the series may be comedic at times, is
still a brilliant British science fiction series of a character that
continues to grow and become entwined in society, very satisfying.