Mindbending

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The Fourth Doctor and Morbius enter a contest. (TV: The Brain of Morbius [+]Loading...["The Brain of Morbius (TV story)"])

Mindbending, mind-bending, or a telepathic battle, was a psychic contest the Fourth Doctor likened to "Time Lord wrestling."


Set-up[[edit]]

A mind-bending set-up was a complicated electronic apparatus composed of a framework of girders with a circular central screen and two head-sets, enabling two opponents to match the force of their minds in direct confrontation. A player's face appearing on the screen was a sign of losing. Though usually a game played for fun, it could be dangerous if played to the ultimate, ending in mental deathlock where a winner could think his opponent to the death by driving him back to the moment of birth and then beyond.

Mehendri Solon kept a mind-bending set-up in his castle as it was one of Morbius's favourite toys; before his execution, Morbius used to boast that he'd never been beaten. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius [+]Loading...["Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius (novelisation)"])

Etymology[[edit]]

When the Monochrome Auteur and the Goddess of Gendar began their battle on Gendar, the Gendar high priestess Jecriss explained to her child Covioll that "Lightbringers wrestle[d] with their spirits", to which they replied "Mind-bending!", a term which they had recently heard in a cartoon. The Monochrome Auteur commented that "[he] like[d the term]" and that "[it] might catch on". (PROSE: The Two Auteurs [+]Loading...["The Two Auteurs (short story)"])

Known battles[[edit]]

The Fourth Doctor and Morbius[[edit]]

Main article: Mindbending contest between the Fourth Doctor and Morbius

The Fourth Doctor challenged Morbius to a mindbending contest on the planet Karn, eager to prove the latter's mental instability following his surgical revival. Although Morbius's face appeared first, the screen began showing the Doctor's face, followed by his first three incarnations, then eight of the Doctor's earlier lives before the device burnt out. Both were badly hurt by the fight, with static electricity fusing the circuits in Morbius's brain case, reducing him to a mindless monster. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius [+]Loading...["Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius (novelisation)"]) The Doctor was left dying, only being restored when the Sisterhood of Karn had him drink the Elixir of Life. (TV: The Brain of Morbius [+]Loading...["The Brain of Morbius (TV story)"])

The Monochrome Auteur and the Goddess of Gendar[[edit]]

Main article: Mindbending contest between the Monochrome Auteur and the Goddess of Gendar

After the Monochrome Auteur and the Goddess of Gendar were summoned to Gendar by Covioll, the Monochrome Auteur rewrote Gendar's history, and the Goddess of Gendar was not pleased with these alterations, so they had a mind-bending contest over it. The Monochrome Auteur cycled back through his past incarnations, in the end surrounding the Goddess with his multi-choice thirteenth incarnation. However, the Goddess and the Father of Christmas, her next incarnation, teamed up to erase the Monochrome Auteur from their future, becoming detached from him. The adjudicator for the contest was Jecriss. (PROSE: The Two Auteurs [+]Loading...["The Two Auteurs (short story)"])

The Fourth Doctor and the Megron[[edit]]

The Fourth Doctor later defeated the Megron in what he called "telepathic will deployment," albeit without any equipment, banishing the Megron from Earth forever. (AUDIO: Exploration Earth [+]Loading...["Exploration Earth (audio story)"])

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

Morbius Doctors[[edit]]

During the mindbending sequence, several faces are shown. They were images of the production team. The appearances of these images has led to several theories concerning the Doctor's past regenerations. These pre-Hartnell incarnations of the Doctor have come to be known "Morbius" Doctors. They would appear again, through archival footage, in 2020's The Timeless Children.