Recap / Doctor Who S8 E2 "The Mind of Evil"

I guess the Ludovico Technique must be catching on...
Do you think for once in your life you could manage to arrive before the nick of time?
The Doctor to the Brigadier

The Doctor and Jo visit Stangmoor Prison, where a new machine is to be demonstrated by Professor Emil Keller. The Keller Machine will apparently extract all negative thoughts and impulses from even the most hardened criminals, but when a prisoner collapses while undergoing the treatment, the Doctor's scepticism looks justified.

Meanwhile, the Brigadier is organising security at a World Peace Conference, where documents go missing and the Chinese delegate is murdered.

Elsewhere, UNIT Captain Yates is escorting a newly-banned "Thunderbolt" missile across Britain to be destroyed.

The Doctor goes to the peace conference and helps the Brigadier foil another assassination, this time of the American delegate. The culprit is found to be Chinese Captain Chin Lee, but she has been hypnotised by the Master — who is currently posing as Professor Emil Keller...

The Master uses the evil impulses stored in his machine (which is actually just a case for an alien parasite) to cause unrest at Stangmoor and then convinces the convicts to hijack the Thunderbolt missile, which he plans to aim at the peace conference and start World War III.

However, the first convict who collapsed, Barnham, is now immune to the machine's effects and shields the Doctor as he takes the machine to the airfield where the missile is being held. Using the machine to keep the Master occupied, the Doctor buys time for the Brig to reconnect the missile's self-destruct mechanism and destroy it and the parasite-machine together. In the confusion, the Master escapes...

This story, despite being filmed in colour, for a long time existed mostly in black and white, as the original colour prints had been lost. For the DVD release in 2013, the second to sixth episodes were recoloured using the automated chroma dot colour recovery method, while the first, whose films did not have chroma dots, was recolourised manually with the help of Stuart Humphryes, more commonly known as Babelcolour.


  • Action Girl: Jo does some running round with a pistol - a legacy of her original concept as an Emma Peel Expy, as opposed to a ditzy Ms. Fanservice in platform boots.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: The cliffhanger for episode 5.
  • Butt Monkey: Sergeant Benton is this for this story.
  • Call Back: The Doctor's worst fear is the world bursting into flames, as seen in "Inferno".
    • This becomes Harsher in Hindsight after all the mentions of his own home planet 'burning' in the Last Great Time War.
    • When Benton is telepathically attacked by Chin Lee, the shot of him collapsing against some railings is a perfect copy of Masters' death in "Doctor Who and the Silurians", which had the same director.
  • Chair Reveal: When the Doctor meets the Master in the governor's office.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: When the Doctor is subject to the Keller Machine, he sees images of his old enemies: Daleks, Cybermen, Ice Warriors, War Machines, Koquillion, Slaar, Silurians, Zarbi...
  • Creator Cameo: The director, Timothy Combe, appears several times as a criminal mook during the action sequences when UNIT storms the prison.
  • Emotion Eater: The alien entity disguised as the Keller Machine.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: As usual, the Master is a terrible ingrate.
  • Faux Flame: The Doctor finds himself surrounded by illusionary fire due to his exposure to the Keller Machine. However, this Faux Flame could potentially kill him because Your Mind Makes It Real.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: The Master smokes cigars evilly in several scenes.
  • Kick the Dog: The Master running over Barnham after Barnham saved him from the Machine.
  • Latex Perfection: The Master uses a rubber mask to achieve the same phone repair guy disguise as he used in the previous story, "Terror of the Autons". It's less "perfection" than before as this time it actually is Roger Delgado in a rubber mask rather than a different actor.
  • Left the Background Music On: In the car ride to the prison the Master holds a small radio while an ominous tune plays. He switches it off, it's gone. That's right; The Master has his own portable evil music. It's rather awesome.
  • Man Child: Barnham after his encounter with the Keller Machine.
  • The Master
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Tommy Duggan tries, but Senator Alcott's accent comes off as rather weak.
  • Prison Episode
  • Prison Riot: The result of a feedback loop with the Keller Machine.
  • Recut: On the DVD special release, all episodes have been recolourised. There is also a new set of credits for the restoration teams that imitates the credits style of the Pertwee era with the Keller Machine in the background, with each credit warbling in and out like the effect the titular machine demonstrated.
  • Redemption Equals Death: A more long-term play on the trope: The prisoner Barnham, who starts out a hardened criminal, is the first to be subject to the Keller Machine, which extracts all the negative impulses from his brain and leaves him a more benevolent if simple-minded person, who goes on to befriend the Doctor and Jo. At the very end, however, he is run over by the Master as the latter makes his escape.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Benton takes seriously the Brigadier's suggestion that he should lie down after reporting that he fainted.
  • Secret Path: The prison, being an old fort, has a secret tunnel.
  • Simpleton Voice: Barnham sounds like he's a bit slow.
  • Sinister Shades: The Master's chauffeur.
  • Stupid Good: Barnham, since he's had all his negative impulses extracted. When he sees the Master has been incapacitated by the Keller Machine, he doesn't know any better than to stop and help him.
  • Title Drop: In the last episode, the Doctor is explaining why Barnham can disable the Keller Machine.
    The Doctor: It's the mind of evil, Jo! I should have realised!"
  • Trojan Horse: This is how UNIT forces get into the prison.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Jo saves the Doctor from being mindraped to death, but instead of thanking her, he tells her off for not waiting like he told her to.
    • And, later, the Brigadier saves him. See the page quote for how the Doctor thanks him.
    • And at the end the Master kills Barnham after being rescued from the Machine by him.
  • Vulnerable Convoy
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: The mind parasite feeds on negative emotions and can summon up mental projections of a person's greatest fear that are capable of scaring them to death. The Doctor's greatest fear, as mentioned above, is his memory of a world on fire. The Master's greatest fear? A huge, towering vision of the Doctor, looming over him and laughing maniacally. This sets up for a Call Back in "Last of the Time Lords," where The Doctor becomes briefly omnipotent, but instead of laughing maniacally, he does something even more terrifying to The Master — he forgives him.
  • World War III: The Master's plan. It's ultimately stopped, luckily.
  • The X of Y
  • Yellow Peril: The American delegate is terrified of the Chinese, which the Master is planning to exploit, while Chin Lee initially seems terrifying... but she's a brainwashed victim of the Master, and the Doctor gets on pretty well with the Chinese delegate, claiming to be a friend of Mao Zedong (which is, in retrospect, a bit odd). Then again it might have been a VERY strange scenario like what happen with Nero and the Doctor waxed the truth as it were.
    • This is addressed in the Big Finish audio play Sympathy for the Devil, in-which the Master calls the Doctor out on being friends with Mao Zedong. The Doctor clarifies that the friendship existed during the time Mao was merely a librarian.
    • Apparently the script for Mind of Evil originally called for the Doctor to have been friends with Mao's grandfather, but this didn't come out as intended in the finished cut.