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The Morphos, also known as the Brains, were a race native to Marinus.


The Morphos' brains outgrew their bodies, (TV: The Keys of Marinus) resulting in them becoming disembodied, pulsating brains with giant, luminous eyes supported by stalks. They made a low animal sound and were able to speak croakily. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Keys of Marinus)

They were no longer able to feed themselves and were limited in what they could do, being confined to bell jars (TV: The Keys of Marinus) fitted with rubber tubing connected to liquid containers which nourished them. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Keys of Marinus) They possessed mental powers which allowed them to create illusions and to enslave Marinians to feed them and obey their orders. (TV: The Keys of Marinus)


The Morphos lived on Marinus and, after their brains outgrew their bodies, they used their mental powers to enslave Marinians. They created the city of Morphoton and used their slaves to feed them and to carry out their orders, casting illusions to make them thinking that the city was luxurious when, in actuality, it was filthy and squalid. When Altos and Sabetha separately came to the city in search of the Conscience of Marinus's key microcircuits, the Morphos enslaved them.

When the First Doctor, Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright came to Morphoton, the Morphos attempted to enslave them, but Barbara's somnor disc slipped off, meaning that she could see the truth of their surroundings. The Morphos planned to force Ian and the Doctor into working parties whilst Susan would take the place of Sabetha, required to serve the Morphos by creating mental illusions for newcomers. They planned to hunt down Barbara after her escape, but she discovered the Morphos and destroyed them, freeing the inhabitants of the city. (TV: "The Velvet Web")


The Sixth Doctor recalled the Morpho creatures when he returned to Marinus. (COMIC: The World Shapers)

Behind the scenes[]

  • The Morphos were voiced by Heron Carvic.
  • The Morphos were never named on-screen, their name being given only in the script, the credits and the novelisation. In the novelisation, they are also known as the Brains and, in the title of the fourth chapter, the Brains of Morphoton.