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The Master summons a time pigeon and goes back to Atlantis where he finds a minotaur and other plot points.

Posing as Professor Thascalos, The Master is using Cambridge University resources to summon the time-devouring titan, Kronos, and presumably take over the world.

He, Doc and Jo then travel back to Atlantis, after first playing about being inside each other, where the Master tries to organise a sexy coup. Surprisingly, he’s in over his head, though, and his new ally is not quite as controllable as he had anticipated. Also, there’s a minotaur.

Hilarity ensues.

Here's what we think of C064 The Time Monster

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Nik | @nikulele


Here's what we think of C064 The Time Monster

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Nik | @nikulele


Here's what you think 8 Responses to “C064 The Time Monster”
  1. Robert, OBX Pirate from the USA, a Dr but not a Time Lord

    The time Monster you say? More like attack of the giant stupid pigeon that truly sucks at flying. Location Atlantis? I thought the episode turned into a bad fan film called re-make of the Ten Commandments. Staring instead of Moses was none other than Boy George. Staring as the Princess, who really was a queen, Rachel Welsh or King Tut’s Queen from Batman. Did they run out of money for a full dress, or did they want to display her assets? Sometimes I wish I was a black cat! By the way, am I in your Tardis or are you in my Tardis? If confused, just lift the hand cover marked emergency and pull the red level. After seeing Joe Grant in those smashing knee high boots, I might go back to college to study fashion. Tip of the day, you don’t need a sword or a gun to defeat a minotaur, just a little red rug and a little Venusian karate and shove the monster through a fake wall. I’d give a more thoughtful review, but I was a constantly being frozen in time with the colonel and I was also changed into a baby. Stay away from crystal lamps sold on e-bay! Oh my aching Coccyx! While I love the Master, the story troupe is getting so very old. With the third Dr trapped on Earth with an awesome yet ineffectual UNIT, the show does not seem like the Dr Who of the first two seasons. Time to go, I am needed by the strong and smart Dr. Ruth Ingraham and I will obey her, obey her.


  2. Kyle Rath | @sinistersprspy

    Are you happy with your current Interstitial Time provider? Perhaps you have experienced those long, annoying pauses between nagging, intrusive pan-dimensional beings? Fanatical about subtextual mature male catfighting?

    Well you are in luck! This weeks Classic serial is about all of those things, SOMEHOW!

    The Doctor, rescued by Jo repeatedly, rushes around not in the nick of time; The Master waves his throbbing trident of power at various old men, all while attempting to manhandle a stuntman in a white bird suit.

    Who wins: The Women – Jo, Dr. Ingram, Galleia, even Kronos at the end. FOR NOT TAKING ANY SHIT.

    Who loses: UNIT – Seriously, Mike Yates should find new work in, say, the environmental sector. Give me more of sneaky Sgt Benton not falling for the fake voices. To bad a 55 year old spun him like a fucking top.

    Bullet Synopsis:

    TOMTIT (for fucks sake);
    Atlantis – Come for the fancy dress parties, stay for bird flu.
    “Slow-mo” running;
    the “random kitchen shit” tilt-a-whirl device;
    David Prowses’ predilection for wearing masks (The Minotaur);
    Time Rams melt steel handcuffs;
    The Fate of Ladder Guy – or did the the fucking TOMTIT reverse that too??;
    The Brigadier for phoning it in: “Bring some men with you. I feel as naked as a babe in the bath” (TWITTER 4SHADOW!!!)

    From opening crotch shot to closing birthday suit it’s a bit of a hard nut to swallow.

    2 out of 5 Boner Crystals

  3. I’ve been looking forward to the Time Monster for a while. Not because it’s any good, but because it’s the type of unbelievably naff story that makes for a classic Who Back When episode (so, no pressure guys).

    There’s too much bad stuff to fit into a mini-review, so I’ll just pick some random points that stood out to me:

    – The characterization of the regulars seems off. The Doctor is completely overbearing, while the Master has become a pantomime villain. And why does the Brigadier, the man tasked with defending the Earth from alien threats and who has a time-travelling scientific advisor, think Yates has been drinking when he reports seeing some Roundheads?

    – The cliffhangers are laughable. The Master yelling “Come Kronos, come!” when we haven’t seen or heard anything of Kronos before, or bringing a doddery old man forward in time, hardly have the viewer desperate to see next week’s episode.

    – Kronos looks like what it is, a man in a cheap bird costume, and despite the talk about how powerful it is, can be defeated by shutting a door in its face.

    – There’s some of the most blatant padding ever in episode 3, as the Doctor builds a “time flow analogue” which then falls apart.

    There are a few positives. Atlantis looks good, and the charm of the regulars can shine through even a bad script. I enjoyed Ruth and Stuart, particularly their interplay with Benton. And Benton getting to outwit the Master, if only briefly, was a nice touch.

    I’ll give it a 1.5, although I had fun watching it. If you’re going to make a bad episode, at least make it ridiculous and have the Doctor bullfight with the Minotaur.

  4. Peter Zunitch

    This story has so many fun elements. The time experiments, a monster that lives in the vortex and eats time, the Doctor and the Master playing time tricks on one another, a frozen time bubble that only the time sensitives penetrate, a visit to Atlantis, the political intrigue therein, the Minotaur as the crystal’s guardian, the foreshadowing of a character that won’t pay off for an entire two seasons, the dimensional clashes, all great ideas. It’s rather sad then that all this goodness just does not add up to an ideal story.

    The Master is written to naive for his intelligence, the equal rights thing is poured on so thick that it interferes with the story progression, some of the directing is poor, the man-bird is just plain goofy, there’s way too much silliness with babies and backwards speaking, UNIT is useless, and the cast as a whole just doesn’t seem into the present day material. In the end we’re left with a script that is too and too goofy for a serious story, and yet too serious for a light-hearted one.

    The second half is somewhat redeeming, with amazing costumes, intriguing characters, and an ending that is just wickedly cool. I wish I could retroactively remove all the dull fluff in the present so we could spend more time in Atlantis and the vortex. I love so much of this, yet I’m forced to give it a, “Let’s hang at my flat while all time goes to hell” 2.2

  5. Trenton Bless | @trentonbless

    People like to debate whether “The Time Monster” or “The Mutants” is the worst Pertwee story ever. I think “The Mutants” was just terribly average, not bad. But “The Time Monster” is a whole different story altogether. This is the definite article when it comes to bad Pertwee.

    The idea was good on paper. The Master wants to dominate the Universe with a powerful being called Kronos, the “time monster”. But when your “time monster” looks like a Roman Centurion crossed with an chicken made of marble, all this hype about this all powerful Kronos sort of dribbles away. And really, a balancing act can stop a machine called TOMTIT? That’s incredibly silly! I mean, even the story acknowledges it!

    But as I bash this serial, it does have its highlights. That story the Doctor tells Jo while they are locked up is a very memorable scene. So memorable, in fact, I use it to cheer friends up when they go to that dark place. Atlantis was well done (Doctor Who is no stranger to the lost city, refer to The Underwater Menace for more), and The Doctor and Jo were on form start to finish.

    So, what went wrong with this serial? Boneheaded decisions plus non-existent drama multiplied by a slim end-of-season budget and a terrible looking monster gave this story a bad reputation. So, this story is gonna get a 1.8/5 from me. If you can somehow make the Delgado Master look bad, you know you did something really wrong.

  6. Paul Fauber | @wordsmithpaul

    TOMTIT, Transmission Of Matter Through Interstatial Time, amounted to moving objects through gaps between moments in time and the Brigadier was to see the technology demonstrated at the Newton Institute. The Doctor, though, was too busy mobilizing UNIT resources because of his nightmare about Atlantis, natural disasters, and the Master to come along. At the institute, Professor Thascales, the Master, hypnotized the Director who rightly doubted his academic credentials and urged his assistants, Doctor Ruth Ingram and Stuart Hyde, to finish preparations for his presentation without doing a trial run. The pair performed the test anyway and the Master realized he needed both to wear radiation gear to hide from UNIT and to modify his equipment. The time experiment drew the Doctor and Jo at supersonic speeds using the time sensor the Doctor had stayed up all night building before having his bad dream. The unleashed temporal powers aged Hyde prematurely and briefly drew Chronos the dominant time eater. The Master wanted to control the creature using a crystal in the lab attached to a crystal in Atlantis that had appeared in the Doctor’s dream.

    The Brigadier took charge of the institute and sent for his troops as well as the TARDIS while the Master calculated the flaw that prevented him from controlling Chronos. His next problem was returning to the guarded lab. There, Benton outwitted but failed to capture the Master before he and the Doctor dueled with time toys. The victorious Master summoned Chronos a second time along with a priest from Atlantis, who unwittingly helped the Master determine how to influence the creature. During the second coming of Chronos, Stuart resumed his original age and the Doctor rescued everyone from a time field that immobilized them. Afterwards, the Master used TOMTIT to attack UNIT with solders and weapons from the past. UNIT survived, giving the Brigadier a great human moment as he showed concern for Captain Yates and his men.

    The Master took the crystal from the lab and the priest to Atlantis as the Doctor and Jo pursued them. The Doctor piloted the TARDIS into the Master’s which was impossibly also inside his ship. As he tried to talk to the Master, the Doctor was eventually expelled into the space outside time. He separated the TARDISes and landed in Atlantis, where women admired him. The TARDIS retrieved the Doctor as the Master had wise old King Dalios killed so his queen could ascend the throne. The Doctor and Jo arrived, but could not thwart this palace intrigue. They were left in the labyrinth with Hippias, who also fancied the queen. The Doctor defeated a minotaur, the crystal’s guardian, who killed Hippias and menaced Jo. The Queen became upset when she realized Dalios was dead and the Master summoned Chronos, who destroyed Atlantis. The Master fled in his TARDIS and the Doctor went after him, threatening to ram the TARDISes and destroy both. As the tension mounted, the Doctor gave the Master a last chance give up. Jo, though, executed the time ram. Chronos saved everyone, intending to let the Doctor and Jo go, but keep the Master to torment him forever. The Doctor pleaded for the Master’s release, which was granted. On Earth, TOMTIT paralyzed UNIT in another time field that reversed Benton’s age to infancy. The Doctor and Ruth fixed all that and destroyed TOMTIT in the process.

    Each year Barry Letts produced DOCTOR WHO, he and Robert Sloman wrote the concluding serial, using the pseudonym Guy Leopold for their first effort, “The Daemons”. “The Time Monster” was the same basic story steeped in pseudoscience about time instead of the occult. Its additional episode necessitated padding, but the parallels were evident. The Master summoned a powerful creature to gain its power, but was denied. Each creature’s first appearance, of three, led to unexpected, and terrible consequences. Azal from “The Daemons” grew from microscopic to enormous size, while Chronos, “The Time Monster,” would come from outside time, a fascinating idea. Unfortunately, the second monster was merely a guy in a white, bird suit who screeched and flapped his arms crazily. Repeatedly in “The Time Monster,” UNIT was caught in a time field from which the Doctor retrieved them. In “The Daemons” a heat barrier it took three episodes and lots of help from the Doctor to penetrate delayed the paramilitary investigators. The Doctor saved the Master’s bacon in both stories after Jo brought about each climax by doing something exceedingly noble but incredibly stupid. The writers also contradicted both themselves and the show by destroying Atlantis, twice.

    “The Time Monster” was a longer, padded retelling of “The Daemons” steeped in fascinating pseudoscience involving time instead of occult lore. It wove tales of Atlantis, with Greek myth and many familiar tropes. It’s also the last time UNIT faced the Master, who was wonderful once again. The idea of having a DOCTOR WHO story about time makes much more sense than a nightmare triggering one of the Doctor’s adventures, even an entertaining one.

  7. Katrina

    ‘The Time Monster’ is a story that either works in its campiness for you or not.

    I really like ‘The Time Monster’s’ melodrama. This has many of the aspects I love about classic Doctor Who – the Doctor’s schoolboy gadget to disrupt the Master’s time tantrum. The Brigadier obviously wanting to send both of the timelords to their rooms for being naughty children. And underestimated, clever female characters.

    I rate it 3.5

  8. Daniel McGinley

    This season ending story is mostly slated by fans, however if you enter into the spirit of it, it’s actually a load of fun. Had the feel of the last day of term at school where you get to wear your own clothes and bring in games to play. The cast and crew are clearly letting their hair down and having a load of fun and being silly. Exhibit A: Tomtit. Exhibit B: The shape of the Time Sensor device. C. Naked Benton

    The script comes in for much criticism but it’s witty and the right sort of amusing. Sure, the plot is somewhat woolly but this is overcome by its enthusiasm and the scope of the ideas. Anything timey and sci-fi in Dr Who is a good thing; the space looped Tardises (is that the right plural?) in episode 4 being a great example. Most six partners of this era are full of pointless filler but the change of location to Atlantis in the later episodes freshens things up and stop it from dragging, the shift in location / time echoing stories like The Ark and Troughton’s The Enemy of the World.

    Some thoughts:

    – After zero women in the previous story (The Mutants), balance is restored with Dr Ingram. Pushes the feminism agenda a bit much at the beginning but a strong, brave, confident leader towards the end.

    – Ok so Kronos is ridiculous – but still good right? Funny how the introduction of colour makes the Pertwee era look centuries more modern than the first two Doctor’s stories, yet compare the scenes of Kronos flapping about with that of the smooth flying Menoptra of the Web Planet seven years (and much smaller budget) earlier.

    – Whilst not making much sense, the Knight charging at theUNIT jeeps was a great visual, a well executed stunt. Talking of that scene, can anyone explain why the Civil War dudes just keep attacking despite being taken out of their own time and the presence of future technology?

    – It’s well known the Tardis chameleon circuit is broken, thus the iconic Police Box. But why does the Master’s turn up in Atlantis as a 1970’s giant computer?

    – Good to see a new console room – only ever seen here. Can’t decide if it’s any good, just happy to have a proper Tardis with a monitor for seeing outside again.

    – Some say it’s hammy, but this is up there with Ainsley’s best performances as the Master. The regular appearances have become fatiguing but good to see him back on great form. Considering it’s his primary objective. someone should count up the number of opportunities he has to kill the Doc in all his episodes but dillies and dallies and doesn’t do so.

    – We need to discuss the Time Flow Analog. The Doctor often makes devices out of stuff he finds but this really pushes the limits of imagination. Doesn’t work – just add an empty tea cup. That’s not even the worst part of this scene. Doctor asks for a narrow-necked wine bottle and Stuart picks one off the floor, literally at the Doctors feet.

    – Jo’s line at the beginning of episode one is the most English line ever uttered: [that was..] ”a real pippin of a dream. I’ve bought you a cup of tea”. What even is a pippin?

    – Everyone laughing at the end of an episode is the worst kind of trope. Don’t do it.

    So overall, yes this is flawed but it’s not as bad as people say. If you engage with it on its level it’s a few hours of good, ridiculous entertainment. Stop hating it and enjoy it for what it is.


    Updates from the WBW podcast review:

    The Minotaur of Greek mythology lived on Crete and was killed by Theseus

    The time-eating creatures you may have been thinking about could have been the Reapers featured in new Who episode Father’s Day.

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