DW: Change of Mind Review

DW Change of Mind

Change of Mind is two things, firstly it’s a Third Doctor comic, which is great as I love the era and this story has some nice artwork to go along with a good story, and secondly it takes place in between seasons 7 and 8 and featuring a post-UNIT Liz Shaw, which is a unique setting. Let’s see if… well, I’ve already said it’s a good story with nice artwork, but let’s take a closer look anyway!

Synopsis:

After a plane is stopped from crashing through sheer mental will powers, The Doctor and Liz Shaw decide to visit a Cambridge man who may know more about this phenomenon…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

DW Change of Mind 1

Hey look, it’s the picture from the intro thumbnail again… I did manage to find three others this time though!

The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) – The Doctor is happy to be reunited with his old friend and assistant Liz, though it’s kind of ruined a tad by the near fatal plane crash…

Liz Shaw (Caroline John) – Liz Shaw left UNIT when she realised The Doctor didn’t need her, and that the horrors of the job were… well horrible. Of course an innocent plane ride with The Doctor ends up being anything but innocent…

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) – The Brig is holding down the fort back home as his scientific advisor is on a little trip, though he probably isn’t surprised to receive a phone call from him shortly after… 

Professor Brockbank – Brockbank is doing research into increasing the brain power of people and giving them psychic abilities… whether they want them or not…

Hamlet Macbeth – Hamlet used to be a part of UNIT’s paranormal division in the late 60s, and after he left the group he has continued to research the subject, bringing Professor Brockbank into his line of sight…

Plus more!

The Good:

DW Change of Mind 2

Dramatic plane Kra-Chooming!

There is a lot to like about the story. Chapter one has The Doctor and Liz meeting back up and talking on a plane, which then soon goes out of control, a lady with mental powers managing to keep the plane airborne until it lands at the cost of her life. The Doctor willed her on, which Liz momentarily takes offense to before the Time Lord reminds her that it was either her life or her life and everyone else’s.

This leads to Prof. Brockbank and his weird hairy student, who was responsible for killing her, being met by former UNIT man Hamlet Macbeth (more on him down below!), then later The Doctor himself, who soon calls the Brig in. In the final chapter we get the big showdown, which sees our heroic Time Lord confronting Brockbank, only to find out the Prof has mental powers of his own, enough to begin to crush the Doctor’s ribs with his mind alone. The Brig bursts in the fires his gun, Brockbank managing to hold the bullet just in front of his face for a few seconds, before losing his grip and getting it through the skull. The very last panel is Liz looking at Brockbank’s leaking head and proclaiming “this is why I left UNIT”.

It told a fast moving mini-story and wrote in some interesting moments between The Doctor and Liz. It’s very good!

The Bad:

DW Change of Mind 4

Hamlet Macbeth, he’s a classic! … Maybe. If you read one of the two books he appeared in…

I didn’t like Hamlet Macbeth, it seemed like he was from another show entirely, completely over-designed and constantly smoking a cigarette. Turns out he comes from the Doctor Who books, the one avenue I have never really travelled down (beyond the Big Finish adaptations!) so… yeah, he was completely lost on me, and just seemed… wrong, somehow.

The Continuity:

DW Change of Mind 3

Always a good likeness of The Doctor, Liz Shaw is hit and miss…

Well, apart from Macbeth coming from the books, this takes place after Liz Shaw leaves UNIT at some point after the TV Story “Inferno”, a comic or audio adaptation showing exactly how or why she left has never been produced, though most stories set after her departure tend to frame it as her simply realising The Doctor doesn’t need her and returning to her studies.

There is some dialogue to suggest that The Doctor’s trademark car, Bessie, was named after Liz Shaw. I don’t believe it’s ever actually been revealed where it got the name, so it works for me!

Overall Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Change of Mind. It has good artwork, an interesting story that never gets boring, and some good character work for Liz. Forcing in Hamlet Macbeth was… well, forced, and not very entertaining, so that knocks it down one, but overall it was a fun story and worth going out of your way to read.

4 Star Read

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