BFI’s The Mind of Evil Screening

The BFI’s screened the newly-colourised, 1971 classic, The Mind of Evil, earlier this week, with guests including companion Jo Grant herself, Katy Manning, director, Timothy Combe, and Richard Franklin and John Levine, who played Mike Yates and Sergeant Benton respectively.

Mind of Evil

The Season 8 tale saw Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor face up to – who else? – the Master (Roger Delgado) and a plot to bring down Earth using fear and humanity’s evil. Also: nerve gas. The serial famously ran over budget thank to the inclusion of a real helicopter at its conclusion, leading producer, Barry Letts, to remove Timothy Combe (Doctor Who and the Silurians; The Evil of the Daleks) from the directorial rota.

The six-part story was introduced by prolific The Sarah Jane Adventures writer, Phil Ford (The Waters of Mars) on 10th March, with the first episode fully colourised and the other five restored, as Patrick Mulkern explains for the Radio Times:

The first installment has been colourised from scratch by Stuart Humphryes and Peter Crocker – and is arguably the most impressive. On the other five episodes, the team were able to decode colour-dot information still present on the monochrome film copies – it’s quite a science, which I can’t hope to explain. Admittedly, episode two is a bit shaky with noticeable colour flaring, but the remaining four look fine on a huge, unforgiving cinema screen. They’ll look stunning on a domestic TV set. It’s a remarkable achievement.

Mind of Evil 2

Lucky Mr. Mulkern also got to sit next to his ‘childhood-heroine,’ Katy Manning. He writes:

She says this was always one of her and Pertwee’s favourites although she hasn’t managed to watch it since it was made. She remarked on the violent content (lots of cold-blooded shootings in a men’s prison), the fact that for once she was allowed to wear trousers, and remembered being allowed to work the controls of a helicopter in the finale.

Mind of Evil 3

Third Doctor era and TARGET novelisation Legend, Terrance Dicks, also attended the screening, but Patrick says:

To everyone’s dismay, Dicks insisted that he would refuse any offer to write for modern Doctor Who – even if his friend Steven Moffat were to invite him.

You can read Patrick Mulkern’s full Radio Times report here.

The Mind of Evil – in colour for the first time since its original transmission! – is expected on DVD in June.


When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates (Kasterborous' former Editor) pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. He is the co-founder of The Doctor Who Companion:

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