84) THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS

3 - 24 January 1976

Average Viewing Figure: 9.8M

Plot

On the planet Karn a mad Scientist is building a body for the brain of the criminal Time Lord, Morbius

76) THE ARK IN SPACE

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Philip Madoc (Solon), Cynthia Grenville (Maren), Gilly Brown (Ohica)

Sue Bishop, Janie Kells, Gabrielle Mowbray, Veronica Ridge (Sisters), Colin Fay (Condo), Michael Spice (Voice of Morbius)

John Scott Martin (Kriz), Stuart Fell (Monster)

Uncredited Cast

Alan Crisp (Headless Monster), Alison Daumler, Martine Holland, Tobina Mahon-Brown, Karen Burch, Mary Burleigh (Sisters)

Martine Holland (Double for Young Maren), Jennie Le Fre (Stunt Double for Sarah Jane Smith) 

Crew

Robin Bland (Writer), Geraldine Stephenson (Movement), Janet Radenkovic (Production Unit Manager), Carol Wiseman (Production Assistant)

Ron Grainer (Title Music), Bernard Lodge (Title Sequence), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

L Rowland-Warne (Costume Designer), Jean McMillan (Make-Up), John Horton (Visual Effects Designer), Peter Catlett (Lighting)

Tony Millier (Sound), Robert Holmes (Script Editor), Barry Newbery (Designer), Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer), Christopher Barry (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Felicity Trew (Assistant Floor Manager), Andy Lazell, Steve Bowman (Visual Effects Assistants)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

    •  unknown Television Centre Studio was also used

Deaths

  • Solon [killed with cyanide gas]

  • Maren [disappears after becoming youthful again]

  • Condo [killed by the Morbius creature]

  • Kriz [killed by Condo]

  • Morbius [falls off a cliff]

    • later revealed to be alive

  • Kalia [killed by the Morbius creature]

Number of Production Days: 5

Production Days

  • 5 Days between Monday 6 - Friday 24 October 1975

Production Errors

  1. Strobe lights appear across the screen when Solon shoots Condo 

  2. The shadow of a boom microphone can be seen over The Doctor's head the second time he goes to the Sisterhood to talk to Maren about the resurrection of Morbius 

  3. The entire set wall wobbles slightly when The Doctor removes the grate from the vent 

  4. The Morbius Creatures bumps into the camera at the beginning of his fall down the cliff edge in part four 

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles]

Verdict

The Brian of Morbius is one of those serials which raises the question I’m I watching well written characters and bad acting or good acting and poorly written characters? It can be quite hard to tell since most of the cast deliver their lines with flair one moment and then become soulless in the next scene. The Brian of Morbius is a mixed bag which is a shame because director Christopher Barry has had a pretty solid record up to this point. There are certain moments in the serial, which in other eras, would have been done much better. Take the chandelier falling to the ground, captured by CSO. How much better would it have been if they shot the chandelier falling on cue and having the actors react accordingly? There are certain moments which either serve no purpose at all or totally unbelievable stupid it’s hard not to get mad about. Why does Maren think The Doctor has come to steal the elixir of life and how did Sarah manage to navigate herself down a flight of stairs when she is totally blind with perfection? There are repetitious ideas throughout and an erratic plot which gives up in the final episode and decides to become something totally unrelated. Impressive work is evident on the sets, costumes and props, this is the renaissance after all, you would expect nothing less. The gothic elements of the era continue to shine and there is clear evidence that everyone behind-the-scenes was pulling their A game. Its nothing that special or fantastic but is at its heart or brain, in this case, a decent effort, nothing more, nothing less. ***