Synopsis: In Mindgame, a classic “prison cell’ drama from the late 90s, three diverse life forms are mysteriously transported to a cell somewhere in time and space and forced to fight.
Mindgame is the first and only time Sontarans and Draconians meet.
Review: Released Yesterday via Koch Media is this great little set of films from the late 90s. The DVD set included Mindgame, which was written by former ‘Doctor Who’ script editor Terence Dicks and stars Sophie Aldred and Miles Richardson. The set also includes the sequel, which was appropriately titled ‘The Mindgame Trilogy’, which focuses on what happened to the three characters once they’d been freed of their captivity.
Mindgame is one of those rare times when a fan production manages to equal the production values of the classic ‘Doctor Who’ series. Especially when it comes to both writing and acting, but as far special effects go. They are somewhat primitive. Especially for the late 90’s.
The first film sees a the three life forms having to put aside their differences in order to escape their mysterious tormentor. We never learn exactly why they are being held captive and made to fight, its pretty much the mad scientist scenario in that they seem to just want to see what happens when a Sontaran, Human and Draconian fight each other.
For me The Mindgame Trilogy, which follows Mindgame is much stronger. I especially enjoyed Terence Dicks ‘Battlefield’, which documents Major Sargs final battle for survival. The monologue where he questions whether the Sontaran way is the only way is especially poignant and more so when you see how much Sarg grows as a character from the first film.
The second story of the Mindgame trilogy sees the Draconian commander in reflective mood while awaiting his trail for subversion. This provides opportunity for Miles Richardson to flex some of his Shakespearian muscle as his character quotes quite a few classic lines from some of the Bards best known plays.
The third story, which is titled Scout sees Sophie Aldred’s mercenary having to come to terms with the fact that she is going to die. Adrift in space. She reflects on how fleeting her life has been and the unfairness of it being taken away from her. This is a powerhouse performance from Sophie Aldred who is playing a character that may or may not be ACE.
The various stories by Terence Dicks, Miles Richardson and Roger Stevens all link together nicely to made a film, which doesn’t really have a happy ending for any of the characters. It is however brilliant insofar as the acting performances from both Miles Richardson and Sophie Aldred in that they are monologuing, which is not the easiest thing for an actor to do in that it does not feel natural. However their performances are so good that they seem very natural and really, really compelling.
The FX and set builds on both movies are very primitive, but as far as writing and acting goes. This set of films would give most modern productions a run for their money.
The set also includes an extras disk, which has a documentary on titled Mindgame Saga Retrospective and the Making Of Mindgame as well as a slideshow and a PDF copy of the script.
If your a fan of the classic Doctor Who series and want to see some of the shows most loved races explored in their own individual stories. Then I highly recommend this DVD set.
- You can get your own copy of The Mindgame Saga HERE!
- Good: Solid Acting & Great Writing
- Dated FX Even For The Late 90s
- Visual FX6.5
- DVD Extras9.5