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DVD Review

DVD cover

Mindgame Saga


Starring: Sophie Aldred
Distributor: Koch Media
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 14 November 2016

Between 1989 and 2005 Doctor Who remained in limbo. With no new shows being made, a range of semi-professional stories, both on screen and on audio, were created. Reeltime concentrated on making short shows, which were Doctor Who by any other name. They could not feature the actual Doctor, but the stories often did star other members of the cast and were stylistically and visually set in the Doctor Who universe.

One curio of this bygone age is the Mindgame Saga. The show starred Sophie Aldred alongside co-stars Miles Richardson and Tony Aspin. The main story Mind Game (33 min, 31 sec) is a three hander, penned by Terence Dicks. He places a Sontaran, Commander Sarg (Aspin), a Draconian (Richardson) and a human pilot (Aldred) imprisoned together at the behest of an alien who wishes to study them, including getting them to agree to fight to the death so that his species can gauge their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Even Dicks has admitted that this is essentially three men in a lift, which cuts down production costs, but then heavily relies on the dialogue and the three actors abilities. The set is functional but little else, however the makeup, especially of the Draconian is convincing. A modern audience may feel that Sarg's costume is a bit crude, but it is on a level with the televised show and is not the worst Sontaran costume that has been seen.

The plot is sparse; three characters in a room discuss their imprisonment before their jailor, in a monumental act of stupidity, opens the door and allows them to get the jump on him. The acting is variable, but I was impressed with Richardson as the Draconian.

On the first disc you also get three smaller sections, related to the main story which revisits the three characters individually.

On the second disc there are a number of extras including Making of Mindgame (36 min, 10 sec) with Terrence Dicks giving an extensive discussion about the story, with lots of shots of the story being filmed. Next up we have the Making of the Mindgame Trilogy (27 min, 41 sec) which covers the creation of the three smaller vignettes, with contributions from both the cast and crew.

Mindgame Saga Retrospective (17 min, 48 sec) takes a modern look back at the show. You also get slideshows for both the main story and the three vignettes and a copy of the script.

This is really something for either diehard fans of the older version of Doctor Who.


Charles Packer

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