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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who 13: Science and Technology > MIND CONTROL


The Doctor is an accomplished hypnotist, but his enemies’ powers of persuasion are used to more damaging effect…
The Master (Roger Delgado) is an accomplished hypnotist.
Amy (Karen Gillan) is menaced by a Silent in Day of the Moon (2011).
The supercomputer BOSS from The Green Death (1973).
A third of the world’s population comes under the influence of blood control in The Christmas Invasion (2005).
A Sycorax in The Christmas Invasion.

Am the Master, and you will obey me.” Throughout the history of Doctor Who, it’s never been enough for the villains to coerce their victims into obedience. Slaves, no matter how downtrodden, have an awkward habit of rising up in rebellion.

How much better, then, to use technology to make people obey your will; to control not just their bodies but their minds, rendering them unable even to think about resistance.

There are various types of mind control. At its most straightforward, there is hypnotism; you place your victim into a trance and give them instructions, before telling them they will wake up with no memory of the encounter. The most notable practitioner is the Master, ever since he first entranced Jo Grant in Terror of the Autons (1971). The Doctor also shares this ability, using hypnotism to save Sarah Jane Smith in Terror of the Zygons (1975) and to scramble Rupert Pink’s memories in Listen (2014), among others. And other characters have also been able to perform hypnotism, either as an innate ability, such as Captain Wrack in Enlightenment (1983), or as an ability conferred upon them by a third party, such as Li H’sen Chang being gifted powers by Magnus Greel in The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977).

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Ever since the TARDIS was first revealed in 1963, Doctor Who has presented a bewildering array of alien technology and gadgetry. Human scientific knowledge can do nothing to explain the mysteries of the astonishing devices and phenomena that the Doctor takes for granted. This is the first publication devoted to the incredible ideas that the series has made its own. Highlights include a comprehensive guide to the sonic screwdriver, the secrets of the Time Lords and the weaponry of the Doctor’s most dangerous enemies.