Follow TV Tropes


Context Recap / DoctorWhoS6E2TheMindRobber

Go To

1[[quoteright:350:]]²[[caption-width-right:350:Not all unicorns are of the friendly, cutesy sort.]]²-> ''We obey our creator, that is all that can be expected of any character, unless the Master bids us otherwise.''²-->-- '''Lemuel Gulliver'''²²The weird one. With a [[TemporarySubstitute knock-off version of Jamie.]]²²To escape from the lava flow at the end of "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E1TheDominators 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").²²And then things get ''weird''.²²They 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.²²The 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.²²Zoe 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.²----²This is the only serial to use episodes of 20 minutes rather than the usual 25; it was made at the end of the fifth season's production block, and the show had been in production for 46 consecutive weeks, and the scripts were edited down out of sympathy for an exhausted Patrick Troughton. (Episode 5 has the distinction of being the shortest ''Doctor Who'' episode ever, running to exactly 18 minutes.) The first episode is also notable as having been hastily added when the previous serial was reduced from 6 episodes to 5 at the last minute; it has no credited writer, as it was devised on-set by the director, prop department and actors.²²!!Tropes²²* AcidTripDimension: The Doctor pulls the emergency escape switch and gets the TARDIS stuck in a dimension that doesn't really exist. There is a black void and a white void, a black TARDIS and a white TARDIS, evil white-dressed versions of Jamie and Zoe, weird random screaming sounds and the TARDIS exploding. This is apparently what happens when you try to make a BottleEpisode in the middle of the psychedelic era.²* 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.²** The stage directions for the first episode of the following story, "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E3TheInvasion The Invasion]]", specify that when the TARDIS reforms everybody is in the exact same position as they were right before it was destroyed -- the implication apparently being that everything from that point on was indeed a dream. As that episode is missing, it is not known how strong the suggestion was onscreen.²* ArtisticLicencePhysics: 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.²* AuthorPowers: 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, 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 the writer's place and the two enter a battle of wills using fictional characters.²* 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.²* BottleEpisode: The first episode was added at the last moment to extend the story to five episodes and takes place only in the TARDIS and on an empty stage.²* ChokeHolds: Zoe subdues the Karkus with one.²* CoolVsAwesome : How else to describe Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac vs [[Literature/TheThreeMusketeers D'artagnan]], with suitably epic music? And then Cyrano becomes UsefulNotes/BlackBeard and D'artagnan, [[Myth/KingArthur Lancelot]]!²* {{Corpsing}}: At one point the Doctor and Zoe are attempting to get through a door. Watch Zoe as the Doctor hides her under his cloak and you can just about tell that Creator/WendyPadbury is laughing underneath it.²** This was because Creator/PatrickTroughton had, [[{{Troll}} maybe accidentally or maybe not]], stuck his fingers up her nose.²* CreativeSterility: The reason why the Master brain needs a human. Or even better, a Time Lord.²* ExtradimensionalEmergencyExit: The events of the episode are kicked off by the TARDIS being stuck in the path of an erupting volcano and unable to dematerialise due to a fault in the fluid link. Out of desperation the Doctor activates the emergency unit which sends them flying "out of the time-space dimension, out of reality" and into a Blank White Void. Unfortunately, coming back proves more difficult than expected - given that said void leads into the Land of Fiction.²* FingerlessGloves: The Master wears them.²* {{Flynning}}: Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac and [[Literature/TheThreeMusketeers D'artagnan]] engage in this in Episode 4.²* FourthWallShutInStory: This is the Master's trap in The Land of Fiction. The Doctor has to defeat him by writing himself into a story as the hero.²* GetAHoldOfYourselfMan: When Jamie is falling victim to the illusions in the white void, Zoe breaks him out of it by slapping him.²* HistoricalDomainCharacter:²** 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).²** Cyrano de Bergerac, D'Artagnian 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.²* LeaningOnTheFourthWall:²--> '''Doctor:''' This world that we've tumbled into is a world of fiction. Unicorns, minotaurs, Literature/GulliversTravels - they're all alive here.²--> '''Zoe:''' Well then what are we doing here?²* ALoadOfBull: The Minotaur.²* MaleGaze: [[ 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, Creator/WendyPadbury apparently considered it a good costume - easy to move in, comfortable, etc.²* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover²* TheMaster: ''Not'' the Time Lord, but just an ordinary writer from the 1920s.²* MindScrew: The first episode. To an extent, the following four as well. ²* MinimalistCast: When an episode was cut from the previous story and this was expanded from four to five episodes, its first episode had this. There was no budget (even by ''Doctor Who''[='=]s notoriously low standards) for additional cast, props, costumes or even sets. The only resources available was the standing TARDIS control room set, the 3 leads, the robots that would appear later on in the story and a large empty stage painted white. Surprisingly it worked.²* MoodWhiplash: The first episode is quite dark, with the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe increasingly distressed by their desperate situation, until the story ends with the TARDIS exploding and the heroes in the middle of space. In the next four episodes, the plot turns into a comedy involving a fantasy realm with characters from literature, fairy tales and comics books.²* 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.²* 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.²* TheNthDoctor[=/=]RealLifeWritesThePlot: Creator/FrazerHines 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.²* OffModel: This being the Land of Fiction, an in-Universe example isn't ''that'' unusual. Jamie's face is wiped off when he tries to attack a redcoat, and the Doctor tries to reconstruct it from memory and a convenient set of identikit strips. He doesn't do a very good job.²* OhCrap: The Doctor has one when he realises that he has rebuilt Jamie's face incorrectly:²--> '''Doctor:''' Oh no, I've done it wrong!²* OntologicalMystery: The story starts when the TARDIS crashes outside time. Venturing outside, the Doctor and his companions find themselves in a nightmare of impossible happenings and literary characters come to life.²* PlatonicCave: The Land of Fiction.²* PuffOfLogic: The way the Doctor deals with the various monsters: If everyone present stops believing in them, they just vanish.²* {{Railroading}}: How the Master of the Land tries to coerce the Doctor into taking his place.²* RapunzelHair: Attached to Rapunzel herself, of course.²* RealityWarper: Anything the Master writes becomes true. In the fifth episode, the Doctor is wired into the computer, giving him the same powers.²* 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.²* ShapeShifterShowdown:²** 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.²** In a sense, their whole fight can be considered this, with both of them shaping the fictional world towards their goal.²* SpaceBrasilia: Zoe's vision of her home city.²* SpeaksInShoutOuts: Gulliver.²* {{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.²* SurrealHorror: The first episode, especially, has a number of disturbing, inexplicable (even for ''this'' serial) events, some of which are punctuated by Zoe's terrified screams. It's all rather unsettling.²* 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.²* TemporarySubstitute: Hamish Wilson taking over as Jamie for an episode.²* 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...²* TrappedInAnotherWorld²* {{Unicorn}}: Jamie dreams of one, and they later encounter it for real. It's one of the wild and violent sort.²* VoidBetweenTheWorlds: The setting of the first episode.²* WackyWaysideTribe: The first episode takes place in a white void containing aggressive robots. As soon as the characters escape, these robots have no bearing on the plot of the rest of the serial.²* WaifFu: Zoe versus the Karkus.²* 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.²* WritersCannotDoMaths: After hearing that a man wrote 5,000 words a week for 25 years, Zoe exclaims "but that's over half a million words." Technically, it is though, by 6 million. [[ZigZaggedTrope Although,]] to be fair, Zoe ''did'' say "'''[[ExactWords over]]''' half a million".²* YourMindMakesItReal: it is established that the inhabitants of the Land of Fiction are, well, fictional... unless you believe in them, in which case your mind makes them real and they are able to harm you. Strangely, though, in order to get rid of a menacing fictional character, all present must vocally disbelieve. The Doctor and Zoe are able to make a Minotaur vanish this way, but Zoe's inability to disbelieve in Medusa forces the Doctor to use a mirror to defeat her, even though he knows she's fictional. Later, Zoe is forced to fight Karkus, whom she knows is fictional, because the Doctor has never heard of him and thus cannot disbelieve.²----


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: