[[caption-width-right:350:Not all unicorns are of the friendly, cutesy sort.]]
-> ''We obey our creator, that is all that can be expected of any character, unless the Master bids us otherwise.''
-->-- '''Lemuel Gulliver'''

To escape from the lava flow at the end of ''The Dominators'', the Doctor hits the emergency switch, zapping the TARDIS out of space-time and into a featureless white void, where they are attacked by white robots (some "void").

And then things get ''weird''.

They flee back to the TARDIS which promptly explodes, leaving Jamie and Zoe clinging to the control console in space, while the Doctor appears to be dead. Suddenly, they find themselves in what appears to be a fictional landscape, menaced by lifesize clockworks soldiers and meeting characters like Gulliver and Rapunzel.

The Doctor discovers that they are in the Land of Fiction, a realm of a different dimension presided over by The Master of the Land (not ''that'' Master, thankfully): an English writer from the 1920s who has been yanked out of his own time and is being controlled by the Master Brain computer. The Master wants the Doctor to take his place and the two enter a battle of wills using fictional characters.

Zoe and Jamie arrive and succeed in overloading the Master Brain, which is then destroyed in the confusion by the White Robots, freeing the Master and allowing the Doctor and friends to escape.

This is the only serial to use episodes of 20 minutes rather than the usual 25. [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xoy8x6_the-mind-robber-part1_shortfilms?search_algo=2 Watch it here.]]


* AllJustADream: Some fans explain some of the unexplained elements of the ending (the TARDIS reforming, the Master of the Land's unexplained fate) as implying that the whole of the story from the point that the TARDIS is destroyed is a shared dream for the Doctor and companions, brought on by exposure to the extra-dimensional void.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Parodied; the Doctor manages to disarm the Karkus by pointing out that his weapon of choice, the "Anti-Molecular Ray Disintegrator" would never work or exist in real-life. Unfortunately that doesn't stop the Karkus from trying to beat the crap out of the Doctor and Zoe.
* BattleOfWits: The Doctor and the Master battle by ''[[MundaneMadeAwesome telling a story]]''. Complicated by the fact that the Doctor can't mention himself without becoming a character in the story, which would give the Master complete power over him.
* BottleEpisode: The first episode, which was added at the last minute after the previous serial was shortened.
* CreativeSterility: The reason why the Master brain needs a human. Or even better, a Time Lord.
* FingerlessGloves: The Master wears them.
* {{Flynning}}: Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac and D'Artagnan engage in this in Episode 4.
* GeniusBonus: Viewers with a detailed knowledge of ''Literature/GulliversTravels'' will recognize Lemuel by his first few lines of dialogue, even if they're just ''reading the transcript''.
* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: When Jamie is falling victim to the illusions in the white void, Zoe breaks him out of it by slapping him.
* HistoricalDomainCharacter:
** The Master identifies himself at one point as the creator of the popular adventure hero "Jack Harkaway". Assuming that the Whoniverse version of Harkaway is the same as the real one, this would identify him as the nineteenth-century pulp writer Samuel Bracebridge Hemyng (1841-1901).
** Cyrano de Bergerac and Blackbeard are double (triple?) examples: real historical figures who've become this trope in ''other peoples''' fiction, which allows the Master of the Land to employ their images in his storytelling duel with the Doctor.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:
--> '''Doctor:''' This world that we've tumbled into is a world of fiction. Unicorns, minotaurs, Literature/GulliversTravels - they're all alive here.
--> '''Zoe:''' Well then what are we doing here?
* ALoadOfBull: The Minotaur.
* MaleGaze: [[http://community.livejournal.com/ihasatardis/621849.html Zoe on the revolving TARDIS console.]] From the DVD, we learn that one attempt to film this sequence was brought to a halt by a WardrobeMalfunction. Amusingly, Wendy Padbury apparently considered it a good costume - easy to move in, comfortable, etc.
* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover
* TheMaster: ''Not'' the Time Lord, but just an ordinary writer from the 1920s.
* MindScrew: The first episode. To an extent, the following four as well.
* MyCarHatesMe: The Doctor had to use the emergency unit to escape from the lava flow because the TARDIS's normal engines chose that moment to break down.
* NoOntologicalInertia: {{Justified|Trope}} since the computer maintained the fantasy world. Less justified is the fact that the TARDIS un-explodes after the computer is destroyed.
* TheNthDoctor[=/=]RealLifeWritesThePlot: Fraser Hines took ill, and Hamish Wilson filled in. Since they don't look alike, Jamie lost his face and the Doctor reconstructed it wrong. It doesn't feel at all out of place in this particular story.
* PuffOfLogic: The way the Doctor deals with the various monsters: If everyone present stops believing in them, they just vanish.
* {{Railroading}}: How the Master of the Land tries to coerce the Doctor into taking his place.
* RapunzelHair: Attached to Rapunzel herself, of course.
* RealityWarper: Anything the Master writes becomes true. In the fifth episode, the Doctor is wired into the computer, giving him the same powers.
* SchmuckBait: The Doctor tells Jamie and Zoe on no account to leave the TARDIS. The moment his back's turned, they are both tempted outside with visions of their homes.
* ShapeShifterShowdown:
** The Doctor and the Master do this by proxy. The Master conjures Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac, the Doctor [[Literature/TheThreeMusketeers D'Artagnan]]. Then the Master changes Cyrano to Blackbeard, and the Doctor counters by replacing [=D'Artagnan=] with Lancelot.
** In a sense, their whole fight can be considered this, with both of them shaping the fictional world towards their goal.
* SpaceBrasilia: Zoe's vision of her home city.
* SpeaksInShoutOuts: Gulliver.
* {{Superhero}}: The Karkus is from a superhero comic strip in Zoe's era, although it's not stated if he's an actual hero or a supervillain.
* TakenForGranite: The unicorn becomes a statue when the heroes disbelieve in it. The Doctor and Zoe are threatened with this fate when Medusa manifests, but she too reverts to inert marble when the Doctor persuades Zoe that she's just acting out a myth.
* TrailOfBreadCrumbs: The ball of thread version, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS2E7TheSpaceMuseum again]]. This time the circumstances are much closer to the version of Myth/ClassicalMythology, what with the [[ALoadOfBull Minotaur]] and all...
* TrappedInAnotherWorld
* {{Unicorn}}: Jamie dreams of one, and they later encounter it for real. It's one of the wild and violent sort.
* VoidBetweenTheWorlds: The setting of the first episode.
* WaifFu: Zoe versus the Karkus.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never find out for sure what happened to the Master of the Land of Fiction. However, since the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe wound up back where they belong (the TARDIS), he presumably returned to his home in the 1920s.
* WrittenSoundEffect: In the novelization, the Karkus's more violent actions are accompanied by words like "BAM" and "ZAP" appearing ''in midair''.