I watched episode four of “The Brain of Morbius” last night. I’m not quite sure what to make of the scene which apparently reveals eight previous incarnations of the Doctor prior to William Hartnell, though! One the one hand, there are so many discrepancies regarding his early years (Is he half human or not? Was he contemporary of Omega and Rassilon or not? Just how old is he?), that I can almost buy it. The twelve-regeneration limit is certainly self-imposed by the Time Lords upon themselves. The Master has broken it; perhaps the Doctor has as well.

On the other hand, although Morbius was winning his mental battle at the time, I suppose those could have been Morbius’ own previous regenerations. And wasn’t that machine very like the one once used in a similar mental battle between Doctor Doom and Reed Richards?

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I don't think the twelve regenerations limit was mentioned until "The Deadly Assassin", which came along later. The first form of the script was written by Terrance Dicks, but he didn't like the final version and asked that his name be taken off it. Elements of the story, including, I understand, the mental duel, came from his Doctor Who stage play Seven Keys to Doomsday.

My recollection is one of the figures in the montage was Douglas Camfield, who directed other stories for Doctor Who.
All of the pre-Hartnell faces were various staff members - I'm pretty one was Robert Holmes.
The Baron said:
All of the pre-Hartnell faces were various staff members - The pretty one was Robert Holmes.

Corrected for you...
Q: What did the horse say to Robert Holmes?

A: Why the long face?
Figserello said:
The Baron said:
All of the pre-Hartnell faces were various staff members - The pretty one was Robert Holmes.

Corrected for you...

Awesome. :)
For what its worth, the 8th Doctor gets involved with Morbius and the Sisters of the Flame in the quite recent Eighth Doctor and Lucie adventures from Big Finish.

The big confrontation is in the two-part finale of Big Finish season two of their adventures. A few strands of that are then tied up in the opening 2-part story of season 3, now playing on BBC7!

I always figure you KNEW Solon was INSANE when, instead of seeing The Doctor, and wanting to transplant Morbius' head into The Doctor's, NO!, he wants to cut off The Doctor's head, sew it onto the patchwork monster body, and THEN transplant Morbius' head into it. This wasn't a "mad" doctor, this was an INSANE one!


Oddly enough, the first tie I ever saw this, I walked in on Part 4, the sequence where The Doctor has teamed up with Solon to try and stop the monster. So for a brief moment, I didn't quite realize Solon was the VILLAIN of the piece, or just how crazy he really was.  Makes The Doctor appear to "trust" him at all seem a bit crazy, doesn't it?

1)Watched this again last night - apparently "Robin Bland" was actually Terrance Dicks heavily re-written by Robert Holmes, to the point where Dicks insisted his name be taken off the script and some "bland pseudonym" be used.  Supposedly, the business with Solon wanting to take the Doctor's head ather than using his whole body is a result of this re-write - it's a fragment of Dicks' original version of the story, where Morbius was was re-built by a robot with faulty knowledge of anatomy.  It's a shame, because it makes Solon look a bit of a moron.


2)Christopher Barry originally hoped to get a bigshot like Peter Cushing or Vincent Price to play Solon. I can't imagine anyone other than the late, great Philip Madoc in the role.  He's just so good in the part - he and Baker really worked well together.  Madoc worked well with Colin Fay as Condo, too.  Heck, Philip Madoc worked well with everyone! Cynthia Grenville and Gilly Brown were good as Maren and Ohica, as well. Quite well-cast all around, this.


3)I hadn't realized it, but the guy who does the voice of Morbius in this one was the same guy who would later play Magnus Greel in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang".


4)I remember when I first saw this on PBS back in the 70's, Part One was broadcast with no music or sound effects.


5)I liked the opening scene between the Doctor and Sarah, where he's all hissy. Of course, the funnt part is that he's undoubtedly right, and the Time Lords have done it to him again.


6)Interesting seeing a Mutt from "The Mutants" again. Gotta amortize those monster suits, I guess.


7)I notice how Sarah doesn't drink the wine - she seemed to notice something wrong before the Doctor did!  Of course, she also managed to infiltrate the Sisterhood without any of them noticing


8)"You take Condo's arm for this?"  The scene where Solon shoots Condo is pretty graphic for 70's Doctor Who.  I did like Solon's subsequent "Why doesn't Condo answer the damn door? Oh, that's right, I shot him" moment. You almost feel sorry for Solon at times, he can't get anything done with all these people pestering him!


9)Actually, Condo's pretty vigorous even after having been shot a couple of times.


10)It's extraordinarily dumb of the Doctor to trust Solon to disconnect Morbius' brain at the end.


11)Doctor "I abhor killing" pretty casually gases Solon to death.  To be fair, Morbius doesn't spend alot of time mourning him.


12)As for the "pre-Hartnell" faces issue, I've come to the conclusion that the Doctor, sensing the nearness of death, had a flashback to the fun he had attending a costume party with some of the guys who worked on his TV show!  More seriously, I gather that the production team got inot trouble with the actors' union for using non-actors for those faces.


13)If you watch closely, when Morbius goes over the cliff, he bounces back into shot momentarily.


14)The bit at the end where the TARDIS flash-bangs out instead of dematerializng normally was Chris Barry's idea, playing on the fact that the Doctor had just given Ohica some firecrackers.



Another old favorite This story all by itself is good reason to be glad that Philip Madoc became an actor.


)Some Fun Quotes:

  • "I was born in these parts." What, not "hatched"?
  • "The secret of the life elixir is known only to our Sisterhood and the High Council of the Time Lords." I always if the Seer from "The End of Time" was one of the Sisterhood.
  • "Can you spare a glass of Water?"  Oh. Tom. you card!
  • "What a magnificent head."  That would make me nervous, if I was greeted like that.
  • "I used to have an old grey model before this. Some people liked it." "I did."  That last bit was Sladen's own ad lib.
  • "I can see that, you chicken-brained biological disaster."  Fifty bucks to either of our resident pastors if they work the phrase "chicken-brained biological disaster" into a sermon!
  • "But I'm only 749!"  Lying about his age again.
  • "Surely you remember Popocatepetl?"  Probably not, no.
  • "Silence, you chattering ape! Haven't I got enough to think about?"
  • "Condo not joke."  I keep waiting for him to say:"Condo's brain hurts!"
  • "Some wine?" "No, thank you."  I loved that scene.
  • "The impossible drema of a thousand alchemists dripping like tea form an urn."
  • "Death is the price we pay for progress, you know."  Immortality without change would be hell.
  • "Condo like girl." "Oh, he's such a romantic."
  • "Perhaps I'll give him your hair as a memento." I love how he casually comes out with these twisted things. And laeter, when he keeps saying "Did you say that?" to the blinded Sarah.
  • "The crowning irony."  "Fool!" "I'm sorry, the pun was irresisitible."
  • "Morbius' brain, on the floor!"
  • "Sonic screwdriver." "It's in the TARDIS."  That's a little "Plot Convenience Playhouse", considering he almost always has the thing on him.
  • "Chop Suey, the galactic emperor!"



  • Part One: Sarah is menaced by a headless freak!
  • Part Two: Sarah menaces a bodiless freak!  (Seriously, the cliffhanger on this episode seems to be: "Will Sarah inadvertently kill the villain two episodes early?"
  • Part Three:  Morbius meances Sarah! (They're taking turns!)

“The Night of the Doctor” (the online prequel to “The Day of the Doctor”) has me pretty excited about the prospect of the 50th anniversary special. In the prequel, the Eighth Doctor awakens among the Sisterhood of Karn and says something to the effect of, “I’m back”… which I thought was a reference to “The Brain of Morbius”, but then I find this:

Figserello said:

For what it’s worth, the 8th Doctor gets involved with Morbius and the Sisters of the Flame in the quite recent Eighth Doctor and Lucie adventures from Big Finish.

You wouldn’t happen to know which episodes those are, would ya, Figs (or anyone)?

'Vengence of the Flame' & 'Vengence of Morbius'.  End of season 2, 2008.


It looks like Big Finish are giving McGann a ... well ... a big finish. See the extended 'Dark Eyes' sequence stretching to 2015, here.




  When I saw it and later I decided that the previous views of the Doctor weren't regenerations, just how he look at different ages.  A race as advanced as the Time Lords could probably alter their appearance without regeneration, almost as a matter of fashion.

Figserello said:

'Vengence of the Flame' & 'Vengence of Morbius'.  End of season 2, 2008.


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