View Poll Results: How would you rate Masque of Mandragora?

Voters
21. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: Demnos will not cheated of his pleasure Little One!

    1 4.76%
  • 9: I wouldn't even say no to a salami sandwich!

    1 4.76%
  • 8: Oh! This looks good!

    6 28.57%
  • 7: Oh yes, just my scene!

    6 28.57%
  • 6: Blank stare

    3 14.29%
  • 5: Is Leonardo among them?

    3 14.29%
  • 4: That looks like a shaving mirror

    1 4.76%
  • 3: YOU TRRRRRRRRRAITOR!

    0 0%
  • 2: Just about the end of the 20th century

    0 0%
  • 1: The worse the situation, the worse your jokes get

    0 0%
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: Masque of Mandragora

    35 years ago, Doctor Who took a trip to San Martino (via Wales) and brought Mandragora energy with him. And so began a story of secret tunnels, gay love (possibly), hypnotism, astrology, astronomy and big bushy beards.

    It's a favourite of mine, but what do you think of the first adventure of Season 14?

  2. #2
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    It's just so hard to love, for some reason. I think I've seen the whole story only twice, and although I've never found anything wrong with it, I also find it difficult to single out anything I especially like about it. I can't think of ever uttering the sentence (in respect of this story) "Oh I really like that bit where..." or "I love it when the Doctor does..." And if I'm ever wondering what DW story to watch, I never think of Mandragora.

    The masks are distinctive I suppose (although that's probably from the Target cover rather than the TV) and part 3's cliffhanger is good, but...

  3. #3
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    just a 5/10 for me it's not because I think it's a bad story it just dosen't do anything for me it's one of the many stories that I neither like or dislike.

  4. #4

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    I remember finding it extremely boring when I first got the video back in 90-something and, although I've not found it so bad on repeated viewings, I can't say I really love this story either. Like Mr Curnow, I find it hard to think of anything actually wrong with it - I think the central story is quite good and it's a nice idea to set a story in this period, with the struggle between the old ways and the new scientific ways. The performances are all good, the sets and location filming are good... it's just a bit dull and plodding I think.

  5. #5
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    I'm with both Andrew and Zbigniev in that there's nothing inherently wrong with this story, but there's nothing exceptional about it, either.

    So I'm also with Larry on this one - it's just dull. Hardly the best way to start off a new season.

    I really don't have much more to say about it. Perhaps I shall enjoy it more when Whitney and I eventually get to it on our marathon

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

  6. #6

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    6/10

    Not a very memorable story, but there is nothing in it to really criticise either.

    I remember it most for the Doctor sort of explaining to Sarah why she can understand what people are saying when she doesn't speak their language, and if that's the only bit that stands out then it doesn't say much for the rest of it.

  7. #7
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    Looks nice, reasonably well acted, but very dull.

    4/10, and I'm feeling generous.

  8. #8
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    I think a sense of humour - a sense of humanity, in other words (because the characters are extremely well-written, but completely fail to come alive as human beings) - would have elevated this to classic status.

    Maybe that's what was missing, chaps: someone or something you could care about.

  9. #9
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    Fools, fools and knaves I say ! Mandragora is a sweet little gem at the start of a busy season, and I like it enough for 8/10.

    Firstly, while the effects are pretty ropey the start is just excellent - how often do we get a story where the Doctor knows exactly who he's up against, and is the cause of the problem ? And what an enemy - able to conjure up solid objects or get inside people's heads or fry them, and whose invasion plans involve not physical but mental and spiritual slavery.

    The characters are great all the way along the line - only Gareth Armstrong seems to have missed out on the ham innoculations, but everyone else is giving it great gusto - AND taking it very seriously. Take out the regulars and TPS and John Lauriemore and Norman Jones act like they're appearing in some great historic tragedy, or a for schools adaptation of Shakespeare.
    Add to that Tom and Liz on great form (Tom just loves all the rushing about and daring-do in this one).

    And then it suddenly switches - what seems to be a bit of a romp suddenly gets very serious - as Sarah points out. Heironymous is a great baddie (and there are little hints, like him having heard the voice before , and ideas to think about, like what were the Brethren up to before Mandragora arrived ?) . And the memory cheats - like when the Target version clearly has the Doctor's protective wire breaking just before the final showdown. And then, its off again with Liz looking prettier than ever, and poor old Guilliano left behind.

    I'll concede that the effects are the biggest disappointment, but the BBC once again shows its skill at costume drama. For the rest all it needs is a vivid imagination and a glib tongue.

    And a promise of a return battle, towards the end of the twentieth century......
    Last edited by Jon Masters; 15th Sep 2011 at 10:45 PM.
    Bazinga !

  10. #10
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    I agree with Jon. This is a big favourite of mine, all the more so because I wasn't expecting much from it when I saw it on video for the first time in 1991. It just grabbed me. The production is so sumptuous and velvety, with the Portmerion locations working very well to convince us we're in San Martino.

    The central theme of astrology vs science is a brilliant one for Doctor Who to tackle, especially so for tackling it at the very time humanity could have gone either way on the matter. I love the idea of Mandragora energy making everything pre-ordained and turning humanity into sheep, with no control, all for their own amusement. Wonderful.

    Then you add in the performances making he most of a witty little script and you get something that i think is just wonderfully entertaining, thought provoking.

  11. #11
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    Not the most viewed episodes, but on reflection quite a good story. I liked the sumptuous sets and costumes, a real effort had been made to achieve an appropriate historical 'feel' to it all.

    Would I encourage others to watch? Yes.

  12. #12
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    I always thought this rather boring but after recently watching the DVD release for the first time, I actually rather enjoyed it!

    A nice set-peice, colourful costumes and dialogue, decent locations, all in all a nice little story. 7/10

  13. #13
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    I've always enjoyed this one, it may not be as good as the preceeding stories from the previous season but at least it's not as dull as some which would appear later in this season.

  14. #14
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    I've always quite liked this one but I think it's the Shakespeare's Richard III period feel that does it for me.

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