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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"Welcome to your new body..."
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 23
Story Number: 144b
Doctor: Sixth Doctor
Companions: Peri (dies/leaves)
Writer: Philip Martin
Director: Ron Jones
Broadcast: 4th October - 25th October 1986
Format: 4 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: The Mysterious Planet
Following Story: Terror of the Vervoids



The Valeyard's second segment of evidence relates to the planet Thoros-Beta. Here the Doctor and Peri meet their old adversary Sil and others of his Mentor race, whose leader Kiv is awaiting an operation from a scientist named Crozier to transplant his brain into another body. They also form an uneasy alliance with a kidnapped Krontep warrior, King Yrcanos, and encounter a group of resistance fighters. Peri is eventually chosen as the recipient of Kiv's consciousness and is apparently killed in an ensuing mêlée sanctioned by the Time Lords to prevent Crozier's work from disturbing the balance of nature.



 Part Five:

Following on from The Mysterious Planet, the Valeyard and the Doctor argue about the Doctor’s involvement in those events.  The Inquisitor warns them both to pay due respect to the judicial process. The Valeyard proceeds to present his second block of evidence - the Doctor's arrival on the planet Thoros Beta.

The TARDIS arrives on the planet, where the Doctor shows Peri a weapon given to him by the "Warlord of Thordon", made on Thoros Beta.  He states that has come to find out how the warlords obtained such technology.  They enter a cave, where Peri is grabbed by a large monstrous creature, which during a struggle the Doctor shoots with the gun.

The Valeyard accuses the Doctor of deliberately shooting the monster, but he replies that the weapon went off accidentally.

A figure arrives and accuses the Doctor and Peri of murdering the Raak, despite their protestations that it attacked them first.  The figure asks if they are part of Crozier's group, and the Doctor says that he is.  They flee before they can be identified as imposters, but are quickly faced by another monster, but it reacts kindly when the Doctor is nice to it.  They are forced to flee further, and as they hide they see three reptilian figures being carried along by guards, the third of the figures is shown to be their old enemy Sil.  The Doctor realises that Sil is probably behind the arms sales, and informs Peri that Thoros Beta is the home world of Sil's race, the Mentors.

In Crozier's laboratory, King Yrcanos is being experimented on, and the Doctor and Peri sneak inside.  As the Doctor sabotages some of Kiv's equipment, Sil arrives in the laboratory. The Doctor is strapped to a table, and Crozier applies a metal helmet to his head. Crozier states that the equipment to extract the truth from a suspect, and that technique could prove fatal. He starts to probe the Doctor's mind...

Part Six:

Luckly, King Yrcanos awakes and destroys the equipment. Overpowering the guards he departs the laboratory, followed by a stunned Doctor and Peri. Yrcanos outlines his plans to attack the Mentors. The Doctor says he would enjoy that, and then collapses.

The Doctor tells the Inquisitor that he cannot remember these events. The Valeyard tells him he is in for a surprise if this is true.

Yrcanos, the Doctor and Peri go to where new slaves are brought into the base. Yrcanos plans to attack the guards and steal their weapons, but as he sneaks into the room, the Doctor calls out to the guards, giving him away. Yrcanos, unable to fight the guards, flees. Peri points a weapon at Sil, and asks the Doctor for help, but he ignores her. Peri drops the weapon and flees after Yrcanos. Sil asks the Doctor why he helped the Mentors, and he replies that the odds were on their side.

The Doctor insists that the footage is not of him, but the Valeyard tells him that the Matrix cannot lie.

Peri comes across Matrona, who allows her to join the Mentors' servants rather than turn her over to the guards. Covered with a veil, she enters the Commerce Room with Kiv's medication. The Doctor calls to her to get him a drink, so she disguises her voice to avoid being recognised. When she brings him a new drink, the Doctor uncovers her and denounces her as an enemy to the Mentors.

The Doctor tells the Courtroom that what they are seeing is all part of his ploy. He says he planned to gain the Mentors' trust so that he would be allowed to interrogate her alone, giving them a chance to escape.

Peri is lashed to rocks on the shoreline and the Doctor stands over her, accusing of being a spy. She asks why he is behaving the way he is, and the Doctor tells her that Crozier is planning to put Kiv's brain into his body unless he can help them. Crozier stops the interegation, saying that they have more effective methods of extracting the truth from Peri. As they re-enter the complex, Yrcanos attacks the guard, and threatens to kill the Doctor...

Part Seven:

However, Peri smashes the gun from Yrcanos's hands allowing the Doctor to flee. In Crozier's laboratory, the scientist prepares to transplant Kiv's brain into a recently deceased Mentor corpse with the help of the Doctor. The operation proves successful.

Meanwhile, Yrcanos, Peri and Dorf team up with members of the Alphan resistance. Agreeing to allow Yrcanos to lead them in an attack on the Mentors, they go to the resistance arms dump, but they are ambushed by Mentor guards and shot down. However, it is revealed they have merely been stunned, and they are taken to cells.

In Crozier's laboratory, Lord Kiv is rambling due to the body of the fisherman influencing his brain. Crozier makes plans to transfer the brain into another more suitable body, and suggests using Peri. The Doctor says he would prefer that she is not experimented on, but while he is trying to find another candidate, Peri is brought to the laboratory, and strapped to the operating table. Crozier begins to prepare her for the surgery. Watching these events on the Matrix screen in the Time Lord courtroom, the Doctor protests that he was not responsible. The Valeyard, however, replies: 'In your mind, perhaps not. But in reality it is somewhat different, Doctor.' The Doctor looks perturbed...

Part Eight:

The Doctor goes to Yrcanos's cell and tricks the guard allowing Yrcanos and Dorf to escape. Together they free the remaining resistance members. They head towards the control room from where all the slaves are mentally controlled and succeed in freeing the slaves from mental control, but Dorf is killed by a passing guard. Lord Kiv is taken to the laboratory to prepare for the operation. As the Doctor heads towards the lab, he is summoned by the Time Lords and promptly vanishes.

The Inquisitor tells the Doctor this was the result of an order from the High Council, because the result of Crozier's experiment would affect all life in the Universe.

As Yrcanos prepares his attack on the laboratory, the Time Lords capture him in a time bubble so that his attack is perfectly timed. When Kiv awakes in Peri's bald body, the time bubble dissipates and Yrcanos bursts into the laboratory. He is consumed with fury and begins firing his gun wildly, killing Peri in the process.

The Doctor is shocked by what he has seen. The Inquisitor and the Valeyard tell him that it was necessary to end Peri's life to prevent the disastrous consequences of Crozier's experiment. The Doctor insists that he was fetched out of time for some other reason, and he is going to find out what...




  • The Time Lords use Yrcanos as an assassin (to kill Crozier, his assistants, Kiv, Sil and to destroy the equipment, but not actually to kill the, still unharmed, Peri) because Crozier's discovery would affect natural evolution throughout the universe. They do this by holding him in a time bubble (frozen until his targets are in the ideal place for him to shoot them without risk).
  • Another example of an unjust trial was that of the so called Witches of Enderheid.

Foods and Beverages

  • Yrcanos eats Flayfish.


  • Yrcanos is King of the Krontep, Lord of the Vingten, Conqueror of the Tonkonp Empire, whom he defeated on Thordon 2. Their warrior queens fight beside their kings.
  • Kiv, leader of the Mentors, is addressed as Magnificence, and the centre of power is the Great Commerce Room.
  • The Mentors' god is Morgo, and they have the same concept of hell, the "Plague Hall of Mogdana", as do the Krontep.
  • Sil is one of the Mentors.


  • The Krontep gods live on Verduna.
  • Thoros Betan seas include the Sea of Turmoil, the Sea of Despair and Longing, and the Sea of Sorrows. There is an island called Brak.


  • There is a Sondlex crop on Wilson 1.
  • Skulnesh has very nasty sewers.
  • There are seven-legged chargers on Corojaan.
  • Thoros Alpha, home to a humanoid race called Alphans, enslaved by the Mentors, is in the same system as Thoros Beta.
  • The Mentors are dealing with a (short reptillian) representative from Posikar.

Races and species

  • Some, less developed, Mentors have a sting in their tail.
  • The Raak is a genetically engineered amphibious creature.


  • All of the universe's commodity markets can be accessed by a communications device called the warpfold relay.
  • Crozier's equipment includes a lexifier and an endrodiotone.

Story Notes

  • Trevor Laird would later play Clive Jones, the father of Martha Jones. Laird is to date the only actor to play a recurring character in the BBC Wales version of the show, who also appeared in the original series.


Brackets refer to this story's individual parts
  • Part Five (1) - 4.8 million viewers
  • Part Six (2) - 4.6 million viewers
  • Part Seven (3) - 5.1 million viewers
  • Part Eight (4) - 5.0 million viewers


to be added

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • How does the Inquisitor know the events at the stories end - she's supposed to be impartial, and is supposed to be watching this for the first time?
  • Why hasn't Leela or Romana testified for the Doctor as they are on Gallifrey? The trial is clearly established as not taking place on Gallifrey, .
  • What actually happens? After Part 1 of Mindwarp, is the rest a lie? Are parts of the story lies? Is the Doctor behaving erratically? Is this actually an alternate Doctor created by the Valeyard? Did the beach interrogation actually take place at all?
  • Despite a specific reference to the sting on Kiv's new body, it never becomes a factor in the story - that is, no-one is stung by Kiv and no-one mentions the sting again. So why include it at all, or, if an instance of someone being stung was edited out, why not edit out this reference as well?


DVD and Video Releases

DVD release

Video Releases

Released as Doctor Who: Mindwarp


  • UK October 1993 (Released with the other Trial of the Timelord stories in a Tardis-shaped tin with a random picture of one of the (then) seven Doctors on the base)
  • US October 1993 (Same as the UK release except packed in a cardboard box in honor of Doctor Who's 30th anniversary)
  • Australia October 1993


Main article: Mindwarp (novelisation)
  • Novelised by Philip Martin in 1989. Martin's adaptation is notorious for its epilogue which contradicts the concluding chapter of Trial of a Time-Lord by suggesting a comedic fate for Peri.

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: Mindwarp
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Mindwarp
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): Mindwarp
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - Mindwarp
  • The Tardis Library: Video release information for Mindwarp
Season 23/The Trial of a Time Lord
The Mysterious Planet  • Mindwarp  • Terror of the Vervoids  • The Ultimate Foe

This article uses material from the "Mindwarp" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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