The Ominous Octopus

Monday, January 21, 2013

Batman As The Karkus On DR. WHO

Batman once appeared on DR. WHO under a different name.

The Mind Robber

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


045 – The Mind Robber
Doctor Who serial
Mind Robber.jpg
The Doctor talks with Rapunzel and the Karkus
WriterDerrick Sherwin (episode 1, uncredited)
Peter Ling
DirectorDavid Maloney
Script editorDerrick Sherwin
ProducerPeter Bryant
Executive producer(s)None
Production codeUU
SeriesSeason 6
Length5 episodes, approximately 20 minutes each
Date started14 September 1968
Date ended12 October 1968
← Preceded byFollowed by →
The DominatorsThe Invasion
The Mind Robber is the second serial of the sixth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in five weekly parts from 14 September to 12 October 1968. The story is distinguished as a rare trip into nearly pure fantasy and by the establishment of the Void, a realm outside of space and time.


In defeating the Dominators on Dulkis, the Second Doctor sets off a volcanic eruption. He leaves the TARDIS, along with his companions, Jamie and Zoe, in the way, though, and it gets buried in lava, blowing a fluid link (The Daleks) in the process. This forces the Doctor to use the emergency unit to take the TARDIS away from danger and indeed out of reality itself.
They land in a white void and as the Doctor fixes the TARDIS, Jamie and Zoe are lured outside and are confronted by white robots. The Doctor gets them back inside but, as they try to return to reality, the TARDIS explodes and the travellers are scattered into nothingness.
They end up in a forest where the trees become letters when seen from above. The Doctor, after facing a series of riddles, finds Jamie, but accidentally changes his face. They are soon reunited with Zoe and then encounter Lemuel Gulliver, who gives them away to life-sized toy soldiers. They are taken to the edge of the forest, where a unicorn charges at them. They manage to turn it into a statue by loudly declaring that ‘it doesn’t exist.’
They continue on and reach a house, where the Doctor brings Jamie back to normal. They discover that the house is the entrance to a labyrinth. Here, while leaving Jamie behind, the Doctor and Zoe encounter the Minotaur and Medusa, whom they deal with in the same way as the unicorn.
Jamie, pursued by a soldier, climbs up a rock face with the help of Rapunzel’s hair and enters a citadel through a window, triggering off an alarm. He hides and finds Gulliver, who cannot see the White Robots who are chasing Jamie.
The Doctor and Zoe exit the labyrinth and encounter the Karkus, a cartoon character from Zoe’s home era. The Doctor accidentally manages to dispel the Karkus' "anti-molecular ray disintegrator" by commenting that no such weapon exists, and the Karkus attacks them. Unfortunately the Doctor can't get rid of the Karkus, because he has never heard of the character before and cannot say for certain that the Karkus is not real. Zoe, however, beats the Karkus into submission with her martial arts skills, and he allies himself with them. He takes them to the citadel, where they find Jamie. Zoe accidentally sets off the alarm again, but the trio do not hide and instead let the robots take them to the main control room.
Here, they meet the Master, a kidnapped Earth writer who underwent the same tests as them when he first arrived. He explains that he is getting old and needs the Doctor to replace him as creative source for the Land of Fiction.
While he is talking, Jamie and Zoe sneak into a library area where they encounter the White Robots again and become trapped in a giant book. The Doctor refuses the Master’s offer and climbs out through a skylight.
The Master hypnotises Jamie and Zoe, gets them to trap the Doctor and links him up to the Master Brain. The two battle, summoning up various fictional characters to fight against one another. The Doctor prevails, releasing Jamie and Zoe who override the Master Brain, causing the White Robots to destroy each other.
The Doctor unplugs the Master from the Brain and they all retreat to a side room. The White Robots destroy the Master Brain, the TARDIS comes back together and normality is restored.


The Master is not the same character as the renegade Time Lord known as the Master.
One of the fictional characters encountered is the minotaur of Greek mythology. Variations on this myth were used again in the Third Doctor serial The Time Monster and the Fourth Doctor serial The Horns of Nimon. A minotaur-like creature (from a species close to the Nimon) appears in the Eleventh Doctor story "The God Complex".
The Land of Fiction also features in the Virgin New Adventures spin-off novels Conundrum and Head Games by Steve Lyons. In Conundrum, it is revealed that the Land of Fiction was created by the Gods of Ragnarok. The novels, like all spin-off media, are of uncertain canonicity. It features once more in the Big Finish Productions audio adventures City of Spires, Night's Black Agents, The Wreck of the Titan, and Legend of the Cybermen, this time featuring the Sixth Doctor (though the protagonists do not realise this until the very end of Titan).


Serial details by episode
EpisodeBroadcast dateRun timeViewership
(in millions)
"Episode 1"14 September 1968 (1968-09-14)21:276.616mm t/r
"Episode 2"21 September 1968 (1968-09-21)21:396.516mm t/r
"Episode 3"28 September 1968 (1968-09-28)19:297.216mm t/r
"Episode 4"5 October 1968 (1968-10-05)19:147.316mm t/r
"Episode 5"12 October 1968 (1968-10-12)18:006.716/35mm t/r
Working titles for this story included Man Power, Another World and The Fact of Fiction. The Mind Robber was originally composed of four episodes, but the preceding serial, The Dominators, was reduced from six to five episodes. This resulted in a sparse first episode being written, as they had to use the limited budget of the replaced episode. This stretching of the story also resulted in the first four episodes only running between 19 and 22 minutes in length, and Episode 5 being the shortest Doctor Who episode ever at slightly over 18 minutes.
During production, actor Frazer Hines contracted chicken pox and was hurriedly replaced by Hamish Wilson for episode 2. This also meant that a scene had to be quickly written to explain Jamie's sudden change in appearance. Ian Hines, who plays one of the soldiers, is the brother of Frazer Hines. On both occasions before Jamie gets turned into a cut-out, he shouts, "creag an tuire" Frazer Hines joked on the DVD commentary that this is Scottish Gaelic for "vodka and tonic". It is close to the McClaren clan's motto "Creag an tuirc".
Location filming for The Mind Robber took place in June 1968 at Harrison's Rocks in Sussex and the Kenley Aerodrome in Croydon.[4] Other filming took place in the same month in Ealing Studios, while studio recording for episodes one and two also took place in June. Studio recording for episodes three, four, and five took place in July 1968.[4] The white robots that close in on Jamie and Zoe in the void outside the TARDIS had been loaned from a previous use in the British science fiction television series Out of the Unknown.

Cast notes

Bernard Horsfall later played a Time Lord in The War Games, Taron in Planet of the Daleks and Chancellor Goth in The Deadly Assassin. He also played Arnold Baynes in the audio play Davros. Christopher Robbie appeared in Revenge of the Cybermen, playing the Cyberleader.

 Outside references

Jack Harkaway was the name of a character from a Penny Dreadful called Boys of England. Harkaway was first introduced in 1871.

Broadcast and reception

Although a caption at the end of Episode 5 advertised The Invasion for the next week, it would be three weeks before it was broadcast due to the BBC's coverage of the 1968 Summer Olympics.
Mark Braxton of Radio Times praised the story's "brave" premise and its "delightful" but subtle humour. He also wrote that the inhabitants of the Land of Fiction were "well cast", despite being "middle-class" and "bookish".[4] The A.V. Club reviewer Christopher Bahn described it as "one of the series' most genre-breaking and forward-thinking stories", with the various elements "creepy and frightening" rather than played for camp. While he noted the confusion of where reality ended and the Land of Fiction began and the ambiguous ending that did not seem to affirm if they had escaped it or not, Bahn felt that it had a "weird effect" of strengthening the theme of the danger being the Doctor's ongoing story.[5]

 In print

Doctor Who book
Book cover
The Mind Robber
SeriesTarget novelisations
Release number115
WriterPeter Ling
PublisherTarget Books
Cover artistDavid McAllister
Release dateNovember 1986 (Hardback)
16 April 1987 (Paperback)
A novelisation of this serial, written by Peter Ling, was published by Target Books in November 1986.

 VHS and DVD releases

The Mind Robber was released on VHS in May 1990, and released on Region 2 DVD on 7 March 2005, and in North America on 6 September 2005.


  1. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "The Mind Robber". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20080618190048/http://www.gallifreyone.com/episode.php?id=uu. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  2. ^ "The Mind Robber". Doctor Who Reference Guide. http://www.drwhoguide.com/who_2u.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Shannon (2006-09-21). "The Mind Robber". A Brief History of Time Travel. http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/serials/uu.html. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  4. ^ a b c Braxton, Mark (7 August 2009). "Doctor Who: The Mind Robber". Radio Times. http://www.radiotimes.com/blog/2009-08-07/doctor-who-the-mind-robber. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  5. ^ Bahn, Christopher (7 August 2011). "The Mind Robber". The A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-mind-robber,59816/. Retrieved 9 August 2012.

 External links


 Target novelisation

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The "Batman" referenced in this story is presumably the version in the Adam West television series, which was very popular at the time. "Karkus" presumably is a reference to his being a physical or body-builder type, hence the fake muscles on his suit. The same approach was taken in some of the more recent Batman movies, which they would have you believe are to be taken more seriously than the old Batman tv show. I have to say that Adam West had the best-looking Batman costume I ever saw and that the later costumes look like somebody's idea of a joke. The Karkus was supposed to be a joke, so it wasn't the same situation. His costume is supposed to look dumb.


Actually the Karkus is pretty impressive-looking for a Batman parody.

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