Production Code: UU
1 - 14/09/1968 17:20
2 - 21/09/1968 17:20
3 - 28/09/1968 17:20
4 - 05/10/1968 17:20
5 - 12/10/1968 17:20
To escape from the volcanic eruption on Dulkis, the Doctor uses an emergency unit which moves the TARDIS out of normal time and space. The travellers find themselves in an endless void, where they are menaced by White Robots.
Having regained the safety of the TARDIS, they believe they have escaped - until the ship suddenly explodes apart. They then find themselves in a land of fiction, where they are hunted by life-size clockwork soldiers and encounter characters like Rapunzel and Swift's Lemuel Gulliver.
This domain is presided over by a man known only as the Master - a prolific English writer from 1926 - who in turn is controlled by a Master Brain computer. Now the Master is desperate to escape and wants the Doctor to take his place, while the Master Brain plans to take over the Earth.
The Doctor engages the Master in a battle of wills using a variety of fictional characters. Zoe and Jamie meanwhile succeed in overloading the Master Brain and, in the confusion, the White Robots destroy the computer, finally freeing the Master.
The TARDIS is in flight, the travellers having apparently escaped from the void. A low, throbbing hum is heard which grows in intensity until it is unbearable. Suddenly the TARDIS explodes. The Doctor spins away through space while Jamie and Zoe are left clinging to the console as it is engulfed in swirling mist.
Escorted to the edge of a forest of words by the clockwork soldiers, the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find themselves in a black void. Suddenly they see a white unicorn charging straight at them.
Exploring a labyrinth, the Doctor and Zoe find themselves facing a statue of the Medusa, which starts to come to life. The Doctor tells Zoe to deny its existence or it will turn them both to stone. Zoe is unable to do so. As the Medusa approaches, the Doctor desperately tells Zoe not to look into its eyes.
The travellers are taken to see the Master. Jamie and Zoe attempt to escape through a library but are caught by the White Robots and forced between the pages of a giant book, which starts to close on them.
The travellers and the Master all escape as the White Robots destroy the Master Brain computer. A mist envelops them and the TARDIS reforms in space.
Created out of Peter Ling's observation of Crossroads fans who believe that their favourite fictional characters are real, the script alludes to fairy tales, Gulliver's Travels, Edmund Rostand's Cyrano, Marvel style superhero comics, The Three Musketeers, Arthurian and Greek legends.
The children's sequence is largely drawn from E. Nesbit's Treasure Seekers.
Quotation from Little Women.
The Avengers (Zoe and the Karkus, plus a ticker tape machine from The House that Jack Built).
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
(Cyrano de Bergerac is treated as a fictional character (from Rostand's play), despite being historically real, as is Blackbeard.)
Zoe : "They don't want us to find a way out... only a way in."
The Doctor : "Sausages! Man will become like a string of sausages - all the same!"
Gulliver : "We obey our creator, that is all that can be expected of any character, unless the Master bids us otherwise."
The TARDIS has an 'emergency unit' which takes the craft 'out of the time space dimension. Out of reality.' [Outside of the universe, and thus into other dimensions like the Celestial Toyroom. Perhaps the Toymaker, or the Gods of Ragnarok (The Greatest Show in the Galaxy), created the Land of Fiction. See also Logopolis).]
An emergency power booster and a relocation device (see The Krotons) are also mentioned. The Master of the Land of Fiction was a writer of pulp fiction (scripting the 'Adventures of Captain Jack Harkaway' in The Ensign), kidnapped from England in the summer of 1926. The Land of Fiction is controlled by the Master under the directions of a computer master brain, although the Master states that there is an 'intelligence' behind the Land. Its plan is to replace the ageing Master with the Doctor and transport mankind to the Land of Fiction thereby leaving Earth uninhabited for the master brain to 'take over'.
The Karkus (a Germanic superhero from the strip cartoons in the 'hourly telepress') is from the year 2000. Zoe is a follower of the Karkus' adventures. The Karkus' anti-molecular ray disintegrator gun is, according to the Doctor, 'scientifically impossible'. It promptly disappears. Zoe refers to her home as simply 'the city', which is briefly seen [It has been suggested that the White Robots and Tin Soldiers are Jamie and Zoe's subconscious representations of the Cybermen and the Quarks (if, as Derrick Sherwin intended, this is a 'dream story').
'The Master' might therefore be the Doctor's subconscious echo of the Gallifreyan renegade. The TARDIS reforms and returns to ordinary space and the next story starts immediately with no reference to the Master, who was going to be taken home. His non-presence indicates that episodes two to five of this adventure don't take place at all, and are a dream brought on by whatever is outside time and space. Thus, the TARDIS never really broke up.]
The Land of Fiction.
The character Gulliver speaks only lines written for him by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver's Travels.
Distinguished actress Sylvestra Le Tousel, then acting as Sylvestra Le Tozel, plays one of the children.
Although the Master is never named, it is strongly implied that he is Frank Richards, creator of the popular Billy Bunter character of children's fiction. The Master states at one point that he wrote the adventures of Captain Jack Harkaway in the Ensign comic; in reality, it was Richards who wrote these stories. (Peter Ling himself had also written for boys' comics.)
The costumes used for the White Robots had been black and borne identification numbers on their chests when originally seen in the Out of the Unknown play The Prophet. They were repainted for The Mind Robber but were not in fact white; rather, three were yellow and one was grey. The reason for this was that pure white tended to be too bright for the monochrome cameras in use at the time, causing picture flaring. (For the same reason, the TARDIS control console was painted pale green rather than white.)
Hamish Wilson, who played Jamie in Episodes 2 and 3, is Frazer Hines's cousin. (He isn't, but Ian Hines, who played one of the Clockwork Soldiers in this story, is Hines's brother.)
In episode one, as the Doctor pushes the 'white' Jamie and Zoe into the TARDIS, the words 'producer Peter Bryant' can be seen on the scanner).
Shouldn't 'nowhere' be black (i.e. no photons)?
Zoe in a lamé catsuit.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
Jamie - Frazer Hines
Zoe - Wendy Padbury
A Stranger / Gulliver - Bernard Horsfall
Blackbeard - Gerry Wain
Child - Barbara Loft
Child - Sylvestra Le Tozel
Child - Timothy Horton
Child - Christopher Reynolds The surname of these child actors was spelt 'Reynolds' on the closing credits of Episode 2 and 'Reynalds' on the closing credits of Episode 5.
Child - David Reynolds The surname of these child actors was spelt 'Reynolds' on the closing credits of Episode 2 and 'Reynalds' on the closing credits of Episode 5.
Child - Martin Langley
Cyrano - David Cannon
D'Artagnan and Sir Lancelot - John Greenwood
Jamie - Hamish Wilson
Karkus - Christopher Robbie
Princess Rapunzel - Christine Pirie Christine Pirie also contributed, uncredited, a voice-over reading of an extract from Little Women in Episode 3.
Redcoat - Philip Ryan
Robot - John Atterbury
Robot - Ralph Carrigan
Robot - Bill Wiesener
Robot - Terry Wright
Soldier - Paul Alexander
Soldier - Ian Hines
Soldier - Richard Ireson
The Master - Emrys Jones
The Medusa - Sue Pulford
Director - David Maloney