Gulliver's function in "The Mind Robber" is little more than window dressing, in strict terms of the plot—nothing he does really requires this particular character rather than, say, Huckleberry Finn or some other out-of-copyright figure from kid's literature.
Original script editor David Whitaker loved alchemy and repeatedly drew associations between the Doctor and the wandering trickster figure Mercury—it was no accident that the widget they need to fix in " The Daleks " is called a mercury fluid link.
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In doing so, the show didn't just change settings, it changed genres, most often between straight-up science fiction adventure and historical costume drama. Star Trek: If it's sometimes sloppy and doesn't make total sense, that actually has the weird effect of strengthening what's at the heart of the tale: Small world.
The Doctor can't simply dematerialize the ship because the lava has overheated the mercury fluid links there they are again—and surely not chosen at random by script editor Derrick Sherwin.
Script Editor and de facto co-producer Derrick Sherwin decided to add an additional episode onto the front of the next serial, the aforementioned 'The Mind Robber' by Peter Ling, set in a world where fictional characters come to life and encounter the TARDIS crew.
Today's Top Stories. This, they discover, is the "Land of Fiction," literally the place where stories come from. Perhaps it was, but sometimes a gamble results in the jackpot.
But "The Mind Robber" takes the show somewhere farther than it's ever gone—not just out of its physical universe, but out of its storytelling universe, and into the overarching nature of fiction itself. Zoe's fight scene with him is a much more obvious and satisfying homage to The Avengers.
What does it mean for a fictional character to be terrified by the idea that he'll be turned fictional?
With the budget spent, however, all that remained were a few old props and the cunning of the writer. Crossroads co-creator Peter Ling, who was subcontracted to write the story, suggested the move was something of a gamble by the Doctor Who script department. That could be a purposeful reference, for all I know—Moffat invented Harkness, and it's the sort of thing he might do.
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Don't worry about that; what matters here is what they do to get away from it. And there's a great blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in that first episode when the TARDIS crew returns to the console room—and up on the TV set they use as a scanner, left there by mistake by the production team, are the words "Producer: Like most of the stories around this time, "The Mind Robber" starts off with what now seems like startling abruptness, picking up directly after the cliffhanger that ended the previous story, "The Dominators," in which the TARDIS is in the path of an oncoming lava flow.
Although it begins moments after "The Mind Robber," the events of which they specifically mention, they're no longer accompanied by the Master, and don't seem to notice he's gone.