The Time Monster: Doctor Who: Season 9
The Time Monster SYNOPSIS:
UNIT is witness to the TOMTIT time experiments being conducted at Cambridge university. The Doctor follows them down to find the Master is behind the experiments into matter transmission through time. He is using the Newton Research Unit at Cambridge to access the power of a trident crystal in his possession a crystal the Doctor saw in a vision.
The Master succeeds in first summoning the high priest of Kronos from ancient Atlantis and then summons Kronos itself, a Chronovore that eats time. The Master is barely able to capture it within his miniature crystal with help from priest Krasis UNIT delivers the Doctor's Tardis to Cambridge but the Master uses TOMTIT to immobilize the Brigadier and company in a time bubble.
Realising the Master is after the original giant version of the trident crystal to properly capture and control Kronos the Doctor pursues the Master to Ancient Atlantis to stop him from stealing it and holding time and space to ransom with Kronos.
Both he and Jo get involved in a power play the Master is attempting between King Dalius and Queen Galiea. The only way they can stop him is retrieving the crystal first but this will involve getting past it's deadly guardian, the Minotaur
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The Time Monster DETAILS:
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The Time Monster CAST & CREW
Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor)
Katy Manning (Jo Grant)
Nicholas Courtney — Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Richard Franklin — Captain Mike Yates
John Levene — Sergeant Benton
Roger Delgado — The Master
Marc Boyle & Ingrid Bower — Kronos
Ian Collier — Stuart Hyde
Wanda Moore — Dr Ruth Ingram
John Wyse — Dr Percival
Neville Barber — Dr Cook
Barry Ashton — Proctor
Terry Walsh — Window Cleaner
George Lee — Farm Worker
Simon Legree — UNIT Sergeant
Gregory Powell — Knight
Dave Carter — Roundhead Officer
George Cormack — King Dalios
Ingrid Pitt — Queen Galleia
Donald Eccles — Krasis
Aidan Murphy — Hippias
Susan Penhaligon — Lakis
Derek Murcott — Crito
Michael Walker — Miseus
Dave Prowse — Minotaur
Melville Jones — Guard
Keith Dalton — Neophyte
Darren Plant — Baby Benton
Production Staff for Serial OOO:
Writer - Robert Sloman
Director - Paul Bernard
Script editor - Terrance Dicks
Producer - Barry Letts
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The Time Monster REVIEWS
Like Time Meddler & Time Flight, Time Monster is nothing to write home about.
Ok, your lack of fondness toward Pertwee six parters is well founded with this one Grob. It drags on, has a lot of ideas but ultimately not many of them go anywhere.
Not long after coming back from overseas was strung out with jet lag and found the old video of the Time Monster at Mum's and proceeded to watch it. It helped in two respects it initiated a deep and refreshing sleep and reminded me how bad it was, don't think I'd watched it since the UKTV repeats.
Can be summed up as the Master finds a bit of time crystal on modern day Earth and proceeds to set up in sniffing distance of UNIT, so he can unlock it's power, control it and use it against the Doctor & Jo presumably? And Track down the main part of it. Ok why use Earth science for this when he could have done it more effectively in his own Tardis with more futuristic equipment? Presumably to avoid accidents. Wouldn't a time related power be better controlled in a time machine?
Anyway the rather woolly plot just keeps getting more woolley throw in UNIT, some things from the past eg. Knights time warped to the present, the Master hypnotising or trying to exert influence over everyone, Benton trying to be a lone hero and falling for the Master's 'Behind you' routine, a high priest from Atlantis, a rather fake looking Minotaur (for the second time in the series, you find out that's Dave Prowse of Darth Vader fame under that lot?) and the Doctor making 'machines' out of forks, corks and used tea bags like Mcgyver and some seriously badly acted Atlanteans and there you have it - a mess
Ok some cool bits were the face off between the Doctor & the Master in their respective Tardis' at the end for a time ram, and the earlier bit where the Master at last getting pissed off enough to finally 'kill' the Doctor with Kronos in his Tardis, a good cliff hanger. In fact Roger Delgado probably gives his best performance as the Master in this last 'UNIT family' story, pity it's so weak, directionless and over padded. 3.5/10
The action of the Time Monster is set over three parts; the laboratory with Doctor, Stu and Dr Ruth and the Master (complete with ANOTHER silly name and obvious disguise), the Tardis scenes (new interior design too - its the washing up bowl desktop theme!) and finally; Atlantis.
Very little happens in the laboratory scenes - or even outside of them come to that. UNIT are just simply wandering around doing nothing, although Yates gets bombed (yay!) and Benton gets made into a baby (but first manages to let the Master escape - twice!) and the Brigadier, well, all he does is yap into his walkie talkie. Someone resembling - and acting - like a member of a local amateur theatre company materialises in the lab, and then a little later on comes a stuntman dressed up like an over-stuffed pigeon. I'll admit that last bit freaked me out as a kid, but when I saw the Time Monster a couple of years ago I was almost switching channels in disbelief of the ridiculousness of it all. By the way; who sniggered when ever the word TOMTIT got mentioned?
The Tardis scenes are dull too. The Master making the Doctor talk backwards is just plain wince-inducing. Although since its a six parter you gotta feel that way cos it takes the mind away from the boredom.
And so to Atlantis. I reckon by this stage the money had finally run out for season number nine and it was basically a raid on whatever they could find to get them through to the end. Atlantis really sounds wooden and I've never seen a Who set shake so much as this one. And the Minotaur? What the hell was THAT???
However, if there is one thing more idiotic than this costume, it's Jo Grant's one that she paraded around Atlantis in. But its not all bad news in the costume department, cos Ingrid Pitt's boobies are sure as hell bursting outta hers!! Also worth noting is Pertwee delivers a very nice long speech about growing up on Gallifrey. Very good piece there among the tripe.
Probably the saddest thing of all in the Time Monster is the final scene where Benton ages back again and stands up in all his nudie glory. In true 70's TV style; everyone stands there and laughs. Its like an ending to Scoobie Doo innit? In the end I think the production team were trying to capitalize on the success of The Daemons - same writer, same sort of set up, same villain, hey - even Azal and Kronnos came from Atlantis but they are two ENTIRELY DIFFERENT races!!! Work that one out.
I see that it isn't a coincidence that the Time Monster was released as part of the "Master Box Set" on VHS with Colony In Space. Two of the most boring Pertwee stories. Id sure wanna keep locked up in a box as well! I'm going 1.5 outta ten.
All right, so like most of the six parters, the Time Monster is two parts too long... and suffers from lots of padding that really doesn't help the plot whatsoever cos it gives you time to think about it and think. "what the hell is this"!
I couldn't remember much of this one before seeing it on the recent ABC run - but I remember Grob telling me how bad it was... so I was expecting the worst! But I found it watchable!
There are a lot of good ideas - creatures that swallow up time for example were successfully used in "Father's Day" among others. I kind of like the destruction of Atlantis too - OK, and Ingrid Pitt's boosies! The stand off in the TARDIS' (or is it TARDI?) works well, as does the bizarre appearances of warriors who come to fight UNIT... and I kind of like the Magyver moment where the Doc makes a time meddling machine that looks like Julius Sumdermiller had a hand in!
Unfortunately though there is a lot of padding... doesn't the Doctor drive around in Bessie for the bulk of part 1? And the whole dream sequence thing... hang on... the Doctor sleeps??? Actually, the first 4 parts could easily be condensed into two tight ones, and then by the time we get to Atlantis it wouldn't have felt so much like an epic struggle.
Another problem with the script is that they don't seem to know whether to make this a serious one or a fun one... and because of the padding, you get a lot of time to get confused by their confusion.
With a bit of editing, the ideas here could have made a very good tale.