UNIT scientific advisor Elizabeth Klein is discussing work performance issues with her recently-hired assistant, Will Arrowsmith, when the dreaded “Umbrella Man” is sighted nearby. Klein orders Will to stay put while she tries to follow the Doctor to ask him why he’s there; Will, naturally, follows them both right into the TARDIS, which then proceeds to take off. It lands in postwar Germany, where something decidedly strange is happening. A couple speaking entirely in couplets seems to have the nearby village in their thrall, while a man named Schalk, the developer of a prototype mind-control device called the Persuasion Machine, hides out among the locals hoping to escape the notice of anyone who would wish him to build such a device for them; sure enough, a spacecraft does turn up looking for him, as does the Doctor, who is aware of Schalk’s past as a wanted war criminal. The Persuasion machine could conceivably end free will throughout the universe, and more than one party would do nearly anything to claim either the machine or its inventor. The Doctor must be prepared to be even more ruthless, and this, he reveals, is why he has brought Klein with him.
Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Christian Edwards (Will Arrowsmith), David Sibley (Kurt Schalk), Jonathan Forbes (Lukas Hinterberger), Paul Chahidi (Shepherd / Bondsman Tango-Veldt), Miranda Raison (Shepherdess / Acquisitor Prime), Gemma Whelan (Casta / The Sylph / Khlecht)
Timeline: after UNIT: Dominion and before Starlight Robbery; the Doctor seems to be aware that he will regenerate soon, so probably not long before the 1996 TV movie for the Doctor.
Notes: Apparently Klein has finally convinced UNIT to hire an assistant for her (UNIT: Dominion). Persuasion‘s opening scenes with Klein and Will are said to take place in 1990.
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]