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Mindwarp was a novelisation based on the 1986 television serial Mindwarp.

Publisher's summary[]

Accused of 'crimes against the inviolate laws of evolution', the Doctor is on trial for his life.

The sinister prosecutor, the Valeyard, presents the High Council of Time Lords with the second piece of evidence against the Doctor: a dramatic adventure on the planet Thoros Beta which led to the renegade Time Lord's summons to the Court of Enquiry.

But as the Doctor watches the scenes on the Matrix he is puzzled by what he sees – his behaviour is not as he remembers. Only one thing is certain: on the evidence of the Matrix the Doctor is surely guilty as charged...

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Martin adds a tongue-in-cheek epilogue that reveals that Peri had not died as the Doctor had believed, but that she and Yrcanos fell in love and travelled to Earth in the 20th century. Yrcanos took up a career as a professional wrestler, with Peri as his manager. This ending spoils the later revelation of Peri's survival in The Ultimate Foe. While the fact of Peri and Yrcanos falling in love is consistent with the later story, the rest of it contradicts both televised and novelised versions of the The Ultimate Foe, as well as Peri's later appearances in books such as the novel Bad Therapy. However, the revelation in the audio story Peri and the Piscon Paradox that the Time Lords created multiple timelines for Peri leaves the door open for this variant fate to exist alongside the other fates described for Peri.
  • The book opens with the Doctor musing on vague memories of the events on Thoros-Beta.
  • The novelisation adds an extra trial room character, Zon, who operates the matrix link.
  • The Valeyard makes several attempts to claim he has proved the Doctor's life is forfeit only for the Doctor and the Inquisitor to insist the event be shown in full.
  • The Doctor is more obviously bloodthirsty after being exposed to the mindwarp machine, even encouraging Yrcanos to hurt Peri.
  • Dorf is killed taking a blast meant for Yrcanos rather than being shot in the back.
  • Kani is referred to simply as the Matrona throughout.
  • The rebel Verne is divided into two characters, Ger and Sorn.
  • The third Mentor is named Marne and is introduced earlier overseeing the Induction Centre. He assures the Doctor he will not sound the alarm since it will hurt his ears, only for a guard to do so instead.
  • Instead of Frax handing the Doctor his phaser and the Doctor pointing it at him, the Doctor takes it from Frax's holster and gives it to Yrcanos.
  • The trial sequence ends with the Valeyard promising to present evidence from the Doctor's future. This does not match either televised or novelised version of Terror of the Vervoids in which the future segment is the Doctor's defence. (This may be a relic of an early version of the storyline, leading into the unproduced story Attack from the Mind.)

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • Dedication: “For Hilary Martin”
  • Includes in the back, colour advert for Fantastic Doctor Who Poster Offers!
  • This was the last story of the Sixth Doctor era to be novelised, until Revelation of the Daleks by BBC Books in 2019.
  • The Doctor Who Magazine review of this book criticised Target for not keeping the cover design of this book consistent with that of the other three chapters of the Trial series.

Additional cover images[]

to be added

British publication history[]

First publication: Paperback (June 1989)

  • Target / W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. One single paperback edition, estimated print run: 23,000, and a reprint in September 1989, priced £1.99 (UK).


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 5 September 2013 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Colin Baker as part of The Trial of a Time Lord Vol. 1.

The cover blurb and thumbnail illustrations were retained in the accompanying booklet with sleevenotes by David J. Howe. Music and sound effects by Simon Power.

The audiobook was reissued on 2 April 2020 as part of The Trial of a Time Lord Collection.

External links[]