THE TIME MONSTER

Episode One

The Time MonsterSue: A Time Monster, eh? I bet the Master’s in this story. He’s a monster and he knows about time.

It just so happens the Doctor is having a vivid nightmare about his arch-nemesis.

Sue: She shoots, she scores!

The Doctor is woken by Jo, but the dream continues to disturb him.

Sue: Did Jo drop some acid in the Doctor’s tea? There’s a lot of that going around lately.

Meanwhile the Master is posing as a Greek scientist at a research institute at Cambridge University.

Sue: Is the Master working at a university, now? God help them. And him.

Two research scientists are bickering in a lab. To summarise: Stuart is a bit cocky and Ruth is the proud owner of a fire-damaged bra.

Sue: Is this the first feminist episode of Doctor Who?
Me: I wouldn’t get your hopes up, love.

The Master is using a crystal from Atlantis in order to tinker with time.

Sue: Haven’t we been to Atlantis before? Isn’t that where the Fish People live?
Me: Oh, don’t start.

The Doctor wants to know the Master’s whereabouts, so he instructs the Brigadier to issue a World Wide Warning.

Sue: The Doctor is still waiting for the World Wide Web to be invented, bless him.

When the Master arrives at the research institute, Sue notes the time on the clock tower.

The Time MonsterSue: Why was the Doctor having a kip at 9:40 in the morning? The slacker. And why is Jo posing for the cover of Vogue? I love her boots, by the way. Oh, and TOMTIT is a stupid name. Which idiot came up with that?

Why, the Master, of course.

Sue: If the Master is the most wanted man on the planet, how did he walk into a university job with military connections? He didn’t even bother to shave his beard off, and that’s his most distinguishing feature!
Me: He’s putting on a Greek accent.
Sue: Is he? I thought he had a cold.
Me: Maybe the research institute wanted to bolster its RAE score and they recruited the Master in a hurry. You know what it’s like.
Sue: “You will obey me. You will give me that sabbatical. You will give me unlimited access to your research beacon funding stream.”

Ruth launches into another feminist rant about how shit men are. Stuart protests, but Ruth reassures him he needn’t worry because he doesn’t count.

Sue: Stuart doesn’t count because Stuart is obviously gay.

Meanwhile a window cleaner is preparing to give the institute’s windows a nice polish.

The Time MonsterSue: The angle on that ladder is too shallow. He’ll definitely fall with an angle like that. Are you sure he’s a real window cleaner? A real window cleaner wouldn’t have a ladder angle as shallow as that. Maybe he’s a spy? Or an undercover inspector from HEFCE?

Back inside the lab, Stuart and Ruth are conducting a TOMTIT trial.

Sue: The door that’s supposed to protect everyone from radiation is just an ordinary door with a keyhole and shuttered windows, which might even be open. How is that going to stop radiation from leaking out? This episode is a Health and Safety nightmare.

The first thing the Brigadier sees when he arrives at the institute is a window cleaner sprawled out on the tarmac.

Sue: Told you. That fall had nothing to do with the Master’s time experiment. It was the bad ladder angle that did him in.

The Doctor and Jo take Bessie out for a spin, and when the Doctor engages the car’s Super Drive, it races off at incredible speed.

Sue: This is what I remember about Doctor Who when I was growing up: that stupid yellow car. Actually, I think I may have seen this episode. This silly Benny Hill Show-style driving is very familiar.

The Doctor tracks down the Master’s time meddling with the help of a portable time sensor.

Sue: Couldn’t the Doctor have designed a device that was a little less phallic? It looks like Jo is reading those numbers off a testicle. Ruth is going to love that.

The Brigadier and Benton have also arrived for the TOMTIT demonstration, but the Master manages to conceal his identity under a bulky radiation suit.

Sue: Stuart’s thinking, “Why haven’t I got a suit as good as that? My radiation suit is shit compared to his!”

As the power level rises, the Master beckons for Kronos to come.

Sue: What the **** is a Kronos when it’s at home?

And then the credits come crashing in.

Sue: That was pretty good. We’re definitely on a roll at the moment.

 

Episode Two

The Time MonsterSue: What did the Master just say?
Me: He said, “Muwhahaha mawawawa muwhahaha.”
Sue: That’s what I thought he said. He should probably take that suit off before he opens his mouth again.

The Doctor bursts in and he orders someone – anyone! – to reverse the polarity.

Sue: That’s his answer to everything, isn’t it? I can just imagine the Doctor running an IT helpline: “Have you tried reversing the polarity yet?”

The Doctor assures Jo they haven’t arrived too late.

Sue: You’re about 80 years too late as far as Stuart is concerned!

Benton is told to guard the lab, just in case the Master comes back.

Sue: Aww, poor Benton. I bet he had a hot date lined up before the Brigadier dragged his sorry arse over there. No wonder he feels lonely. Somebody leave him a magazine or something.

The Doctor tries to explain Chronovores to Jo.

Sue: They sound impressive. Powerful beings that can eat time? I have to admit, that’s pretty scary.

The Doctor locates the Master’s TARDIS.

Sue: So the Master’s TARDIS looks like a computer bank? That’s nice.
Me: You can buy a toy version of the Master’s computer bank TARDIS, you know.
Sue: Not while you’re married to me, you can’t.
Me: You’re probably right. The cats would eat the Kronos crystal.
Sue: You didn’t tell me it came with its own Kronos crystal.

Stuart looks in a mirror and cries.

Sue: That’s me every single morning; I know exactly how he feels.

The Doctor persuades Stuart to tell him about his nightmare. “Come on, old chap,” he says.

Sue: “Old chap”? Is he taking the piss?

Meanwhile Benton is extremely suspicious when he’s instructed to leave the premises by Dr Percival (who is under the thrall of the Master).

Sue: Just you stay there, Benton. Don’t you ****ing move, son!

Benton telephones the Brigadier on an internal line.

Sue: Don’t UNIT have ****ing radios?

The Master answers Benton’s call with the Brigadier’s voice.

Sue: So the Master is basically Derren Brown and Jon Culshaw all rolled into one? He could have had his own show on BBC1 if he’d given up all this taking over the universe nonsense.

Benton is still suspicions, so he stakes out the lab, just in case.

Sue: Benton isn’t just a pretty face, you know.

The Time MonsterSadly, just when it appears Benton has the upper hand, the Master makes him fall for the oldest trick in the book.

Sue: Oh, Benton! And you were doing so well!

The Master plans to team-up with Kronos so they can rule the universe together.

Sue: Yeah, there’s no way Kronos will turn on you later. Not a chance. You go ahead and team-up with another alien superpower. It’ll be perfectly fine. You knock yourself out.

And then, to top it all, an Atlantean priest suddenly materialises in the lab.

Sue: Okay, who ordered the palm reader? Actually, that was another good episode. I’m really enjoying this.

 

Episode Three

Sue: Poor Stuart, although I have every faith the Doctor will fix him in the end. Does Stuart become a companion? He’d be great.

The Time MonsterThe Master summons Kronos.

Sue: It’s a giant cockerel. It’s a giant cockerel that can eat time. Well, it’s unique; I’ll give ’em that.
Me: It’s awful! Kronos makes the Fish People look like the ****ing Xenomorph from Alien!

And then Sue drops a bombshell.

Sue: My CB handle was Atomic Rooster.

I pause the DVD.

Me: You never told me you had a CB radio.
Sue: CB radio was all the rage before the internet was invented.
Me: How did you come up with a handle like Atomic Rooster? Are you sure you weren’t a fan of early 1970s Doctor Who? Is there something you’re not telling me?
Sue: We used to call our cousin Tommy ‘Tom Tit’ when we were young. Maybe I was influenced by this story, after all.

The Master uses Kronos to slow down time.

Sue: I’m used to that. Especially with these six-parters.

The Time MonsterThe Doctor explains what’s going on, but the Brigadier doesn’t buy it.

Sue: Why doesn’t the Brigadier believe the Doctor after everything they’ve been through together? It’s absurd. I don’t like it when they write the Brigadier as an ignorant buffoon. It doesn’t suit him.

The Doctor cobbles together a machine that will disrupt the Master’s time experiments from an empty wine bottle, some cutlery and a dirty mug.

Sue: That’s a bit daft.

A UNIT convoy has been tasked with transporting the Doctor’s TARDIS to the institute, and the Master monitors its progress on his futuristic wristwatch.

Sue: That’s way ahead of its time. You know, the Master could make a killing if he just invested all his time and energy into personal computers. He’d be better off working with Steve Jobs than a giant chicken that can eat time. It’s just a thought.

The convoy is suddenly attacked by a knight on horseback.

Sue: This is the sort of stupid thing the Mad Monk would do. Excellent stunt horse, though. Is the horse a full-time member of HAVOC?

The Time MonsterYates has some terrible news for the Brigadier: the convoy is stuck in the mud.

Sue: It’s a Land Rover Defender! You can’t get a Defender stuck in the ****ing mud! It’s a Land Rover Defender! Do me a favour!

When Yates evacuates the vehicle, which is currently resting on a gentle slope, Sue is apoplectic.

Sue: I turned my Freelander on its side in a ditch in Kielder once, and I still got it out in less than 10 minutes. So that is ridiculous. Yates cannot be stuck in that mud! Court martial the ****ing idiot!
Me: Simmer down, Sue.

As the Doctor and Jo set out for the stricken convoy, the Brigadier suggests a quick race.

Sue: That’s a red rag to a bull, you nit. Geddit? U-NIT? Oh, please yourself.

As the Doctor roars away in Bessie, Sue hums The Benny Hill Show theme under her breath. And then the Master stalls UNIT with some time-scooped Roundheads, or as he likes to call them “17th-century poltroons”.

Sue: (Laughing) The Master gets all the best lines. It looks like he’s really enjoying himself.

The Master snatches a Doodlebug from World War II and drops it on the UNIT convoy. The explosion is massive.

Sue: Was that Yates I just saw flying though the air?

 

Episode Four

Stuart isn’t pleased when Ruth and Jo suggest they head back to the lab to nobble the Master.

Sue: He was 88 years-old not that long ago, so you can’t blame him for not wanting to get involved. I bet he just wants to chill out with some Pink Floyd and a spliff. I like Stuart.

The Master takes Krasis inside his TARDIS.

Sue: The Master’s TARDIS is nice and clean. It’s almost sparkling. It’s a lot neater than the Doctor’s. But why is half a washing-up bowl missing from the bottom left-hand corner of his wall? That’s very odd.

The Doctor and Jo rush inside their TARDIS.

Sue: The Doctor and the Master must have redecorated their TARDISes at exactly the same time and in exactly the same way. I mean, what are the chances of that? And why have they both got half a washing-up bowl missing from the bottom left-hand corner of their walls? That’s a bit of a coincidence, too.
Me: Perhaps they filmed both TARDIS scenes on the same set?
Sue: (Throwing a cushion) Do you reckon?

The Doctor materialises his TARDIS around the Master’s TARDIS, but when he walks into the Master’s TARDIS, his own TARDIS is already waiting for him.

Sue: That’s brilliant. Yeah, I liked that a lot. That was really imaginative.

The strain on the Doctor’s TARDIS causes Jo to fall on her coccyx. It’s definitely her coccyx because the word is bandied around the TARDIS like it’s about to go out of fashion.

Sue: Coccyx… Giant cockerel. Is that a clue?

The Time MonsterBack at the lab, Ruth and Stuart are trying to free the Brigadier, who’s been frozen in time. Unfortunately, their tinkering turns Benton into an infant child.

Sue: Aww, baby Benton. How cute.

And then, after a quick gloat, the Master unleashes Kronos.

Sue: Yep, it’s definitely a giant, glowing cock.

The Doctor and Kronos disappear.

Sue: Why wasn’t that the cliffhanger? That would have been a great cliffhanger.

Instead the Master explains to Jo, in mind-numbing detail, exactly what happened. And then he bids Jo farewell as his TARDIS detaches itself from hers.

Sue: That cliffhanger wasn’t half as good as Kronos eating the Doctor. Still, this is a very good story so far. I’m definitely not bored by it.

 

Episode Five

Me: There’s a famous actress coming up soon.
Sue: This is me we’re talking about, remember.
Me: Okay, there’s a vaguely familiar face coming up soon. (Pointing at Ingrid Pitt) There she is, over there.
Sue: Is that Rula Lenska?

An Atlantean named Hippias (“That name has to be a joke”) criticises Kronos for being such a terrible god.

The Time MonsterSue: The Atlanteans remind me of the Dothraki from Game of Thrones crossed with the band KISS. (Pointing at some wicker furniture) Do you remember those chairs?
Me: Yes, it’s an Emmanuelle chair.
Sue: Trust you to think of that. My best friend at school had a chair like that. We used to fight over who got to sit in it.
Me: Do you recognise the person sitting in it yet? I’ll give you a clue: she’s in one of my favourite films.
Sue: Emmanuelle?
Me: The Wicker Man.
Sue: That’s never Susan George!
Me: That’s Straw Dogs, you idiot.
Sue: It’s not Britt Ekland…
Me: No, it’s Ingrid Pitt.
Sue: I’ve never heard of her.
Me: She’s best known for her horror movies.
Sue: She isn’t the greatest actress in the world, I can tell you that much. Although I can see why you might like her. Enough said.

I’m never going to win this argument in a million years, so I back away slowly.

The Time MonsterSue: Even the Master is checking her out! Look at him gawping at her breasts. Admittedly, it’s difficult not to gawp at her breasts, but even so.
Me: If this were a Hammer film, she would have got them out by now.

King Dalios doesn’t believe the Master is a god.

Sue: There are some great jokes in this story, and this bloke’s performance as the king is fantastic. The script is very, very funny.

The Doctor and Jo arrive on Atlantis in pursuit of the Master.

Me: You wait ages for a god to come along and then two turn up at once.
Sue: Quick question: do Ingrid Pitt’s breasts get their own credit?

When Jo discovers that the Master and Galleia are meeting in secret, she decides to spy on them.

Sue: Don’t go in there, Jo! You really don’t want to see the Master shagging the queen – it could mentally scar you for life. I must say, though, the sets are great. They’ve definitely pushed the boat out for the last two episodes. The BBC are great at this sort of thing.

The episode concludes with Jo being thrown to a Minotaur.

Sue: That cliffhanger was a mess. What the hell happened? The direction is the only thing that’s letting this story down.

 

Episode Six

The Time MonsterJo is harassed by a Minotaur.

Me: That’s David Prowse.
Sue: Darth Vader? Really?
Me: Yes. I’m surprised you knew who I was talking about.
Sue: David Prowse is our Lou Ferrigno, isn’t he? Hang on a minute… Is he wearing carpet slippers?

As the Minotaur pursues Jo, it almost brings the set down.

Sue: (Pointing excitedly) Wobbly set! They must have told him not to touch those pillars, but he just couldn’t help himself.

The Doctor tells Jo a story about a hermit he used to know when he was young.

The Time MonsterSue: What a wonderful scene. Jon Pertwee has never been better. He really went for that.
Me: The ‘daisiest daisy’ line eerily prefigures Dennis Potter’s last television interview, where he refers to the ‘blossomest blossom’.
Sue: If you are going to steal, steal from the best.
Me: But The Time Monster was broadcast years before Dennis Potter’s last interview.
Sue: I know.

I can’t tell if she’s joking or not.

Sue: The direction is pretty bad, though. One of the extras is blocking Jon Pertwee, now. Where the hell has he gone?

The climatic scenes on Atlantis, where Kronos flaps his wings and the city falls to pieces, are very exciting, although Sue has to spoil it by lowering the tone.

Me: The Kronos crystal looks like something Ann Summers came up with for a laugh.

The Doctor threatens to time ram the Master’s TARDIS, even though it means certain death.

Sue: Jo’s very brave. She might be the bravest companion of them all.
Me: I know. And now she’s dead. Stuart and Ruth are the new companions.
Sue: I don’t believe you. I stopped believing you ages ago.

Jo and the Doctor appear to be in some kind of limbo.

Sue: The person in charge of the chroma this week should be shot. Did they run out of time? There’s a ‘that’ll do’ feel about it.

The Time MonsterNot only does Jo believe she’s dead, she thinks it’s “groovy”.

Sue: She’s tripping her bloody tits off.

A woman’s face appears out of nowhere.

Sue: Is that River Song?

No, it’s Kronos. And now that Kronos is free, she grants the Doctor a single wish.

Sue: (As the Doctor) “Can I have a TARDIS that works properly, please?”

The Master begs for mercy.

Sue: That was a bit weird. I don’t buy that at all. Oh, what a surprise, he’s legged it.

Meanwhile in Cambridge…

Me: Ruth and Stuart end up adopting baby Benton.
Sue: (Horrified) No they don’t.

Luckily for John Levene, the squabbling scientists reverse the polarity and Benton returns to adulthood. In his birthday suit.

Me: John Levene was stark bollock naked when they filmed that scene. He said he wanted to play it truthfully. Well, that was his excuse, anyway.

Sue throws another cushion at me.

Sue: Benton had the last line in season nine. That’s nice.

 

The Score

Sue: I enjoyed that.
Me: Amazingly, so did I.
Sue: You have to come to these things with an open mind, Neil. It was the perfect end to the season. It was very exciting in places, it had a good script, and there were some very inventive ideas. It was too long, of course, and the direction occasionally let it down, but I really like how Jo and the Doctor are a proper team now. Yeah, it was pretty good, that.

8/10

 

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Comments

  1. Erykah  January 13, 2012

    Yes! The Time Monster is brilliant, I knew Sue wouldn’t let me down. One of my very favourites ever.

  2. Dave Sanders  January 13, 2012

    “The door that is supposed to protect everyone from radiation is just an ordinary door, with a keyhole and shuttered windows – which might even be open! How is that going to stop any radiation from leaking out? This episode is a health and safety nightmare.”

    … which is three more words than The End Of Time was.

  3. Nigel  January 14, 2012

    Yes, indeed. Funny how all the Pertwees I detested at the time are now such fun.

  4. Rob Shearman  January 14, 2012

    Hurrah, Gary’s back! I like Gary. He’s this blog’s very own Master. Or possibly, the Meddling Monk.

  5. PSanders  January 14, 2012

    First 7 for The Mutants and now this! I knew Sue wouldn’t let us down. Two fun and massively underrated stories.

  6. Stuart Ian Burns  January 14, 2012

    It is interesting how the once notoriously rubbish Pertwees are being re-evaluated through the dvd releases. They’re still the same old shows, but thanks to the docs and commentaries, we understand the challenges more and are willing to forgive some of the lapses and sort of love them for their ambition.

    The Mutants is still tedious and about four episodes too long though.

  7. PSanders  January 14, 2012

    It’s also a good reminder that these stories were made to be watched in installments like this, not all in one sitting. I can’t imagine anyone making the show in the 60s and 70s ever thought anyone would be watching these stories in a single sitting.

  8. Glen Allen  January 14, 2012

    Ive never heard of Sue or enjoyed any carpentry of hers so who am I to comment

  9. jsd  January 14, 2012

    Nice one! I knew Sue would like this. It’s reasonably fast-paced (for a 6 part Pertwee) and fun. I’m glad Neil gets to find new enjoyment in things he hated by looking through her eyes. That’s rather sweet!

    I wish I could convince my wife to do this experiment too, but I showed her about 90 seconds of Pyramids Of Mars once when the new series had started up and she said “forget it.”

  10. encyclops  January 14, 2012

    After reading this, I’m really looking forward to watching this again. I always thought the Chronovore looked really fabulous, with every connotation of that word — not convincing, of course not, but almost nothing on classic Who ever looked “convincing.” I’ll take a roomful of giant spiders arguing with each other any day of the week, and if they look like puppets, okay, fine. Then Ingrid Pitt, a minotaur (always love me a minotaur), Jo’s Atlantean getup, timescooping action (at least it’s TIME this time), and some Russian-doll TARDIS action…it may turn out to be less than the sum of its parts when I see it on this side of the gulf of years, but I can live with that.

    This blog is the best thing I’m reading on the internet anywhere, bar none. It’s almost as much fun as being there. Thanks to both of you for keeping the experiment going!

  11. encyclops  January 14, 2012

    Also: is the beginning of “Logopolis” a callback to the TARDIS-nesting here? And is the Doctor’s contraption in “The Lodger” a callback to the Doctor’s contraption here?

    • Simon Harries  January 14, 2012

      Apparently the writer of Logopolis, who was having a rare dull and uninspired moment, remembered what another writer had thought of for The Keeper of Traken and copied his idea. But it’s entirely possible that the writer of The Keeper of Traken was inspired by this story. Yes, that’s quite likely.

      As for Sue’s query, “Do Ingrid Pitt’s breasts get their own credit?” If you ever put THAT on a t-shirt, I’ll wear it!

  12. Jazza1971  January 14, 2012

    Wow! So many possible t-shirt moments (by which I mean classic lines from Sue, a lot of my choices are too long for a t-shirt, but hey):-

    1) “The angle on that ladder is far too shallow. He’ll definitely fall with an angle like that. Are you sure that he’s a real window cleaner?”

    2) “This episode is a health and safety nightmare.”

    3) “Bad ladder angle”

    4) “My radiation suit is shit compared to his!” (Seriously, this would make a great t-shirt!)

    5) “Have you tried reversing the polarity, sir?”

    6) “Court martial the ****ing idiot!”

    7) “Coccyx…Or is it just padding?”

    Maybe overkill from me, but that was a fantastic review. The most enjoyable one of the Pertwee era so far. Go Sue!

  13. Lewis  January 14, 2012

    Annoyingly, the Master can identically copy the Brig’s voice. It’s never been done before and won’t be done again. WHY. It’s such a useful bloody trick he has and he never uses it?!

  14. Liz Myles  January 14, 2012

    Hurrah! Sue loves TIme Monster! Smashing. It’s my very favourite story, and it’s wonderful to read such a positive (and funny) review of it.

  15. Dave Sanders  January 14, 2012

    The Time Monster is basically our equivalent of 60s Batman – tremendous silly fun if you approach it in the right way, but an absolute abcess to all the Bidmeads out there who insist on taking their favourite characters with the utmost seriousness.

    • Leo  January 14, 2012

      I think that kind of reasoning is dubious – it’s a bit like taking a sitcom, any sitcom, doesn’t matter which, and saying that if you don’t find it enjoyable it must mean you have no sense of humour. The reason why I don’t find The Time Monster very funny is the same reason why I don’t find Are You Being Served funny – I just don’t think it’s done particularly well. Nothing to do with disapproval of material that’s considered “silly” on principle. For example, I like Horns of Nimon…

  16. Alex Wilcock  January 14, 2012

    Another terrific, demented outing, though I can’t imagine wearing most of Sue’s best lines on a t-shirt this week (perhaps a special line for university staff). I’m with Jazza1971 on one of them, though: the only Pertwee t-shirt I can imagine wearing is that famous shot of him on the phone with “Have you tried reversing the polarity, sir?” Brilliant.

    Funniest bit was Sue’s fury at Mike Yates and his Freelander, but you can’t really get that on a t-shirt; have you considered sponsorship from LandRover instead?

    “The Master uses the power of Kronos to slow down time.”
    “I’m used to that. Especially with the six-parters.”

    Tops. Mind you, of this particular writing partnership, I’ve always felt that Spiders is the most ‘Barry’ of their scripts together, while this is the most ‘Slo’. She’ll miss the long stories when they’re gone, though. I think you should tell her every second Tom’s a six-parter, just for a laugh.

    “So the Master is Derren Brown and Jon Culshaw? He could have his own show on BBC1.”

    I thought he did at this point.

    “Couldn’t the Doctor have designed a device that was a little less phallic? It looks as if Jo is reading the numbers off a left testicle.”

    Was Sue too excited last week to notice the butt-pluggy shape of Skybase and its “tradesman’s entrance” with “KY”, or what the Investigator’s ship did later? Clearly, at this end of Season Nine no-one on the production team was getting any. Though obviously topping it all with “Dr Ruth” is one of those continuity errors in the real world.

    Also, Pertwee at his most unbearable – back when I reviewed The Time Monster, I gave the story a special prize for Who sexism but noted that the Master still trusts Dr Ingram to do important work for him, which is more than the überpatronising Doctor ever does with Jo – gets another high score from Sue. My Sea Devils case about his hypnotic bouffant’s evil effect on her is now a certainty.

    Though I quite like Episode Five. If, obviously, not for Neil’s reasons.

  17. Hulahoop  January 14, 2012

    I was pleasantly surprised by Sue’s reaction. I was expecting her to really vent her spleen over the tweeness of the Master’s getaway at the end. Maybe the quality of the story made her more tolerant to such an ending?

  18. Mike Trytek  January 14, 2012

    Some great lines from Sue this week.

    I’d like to start the petition to get “Health And Safety Nightmare” and “Calling Atomic Rooster” turned into t-shirts.

    • PolarityReversed  January 15, 2012

      “Calling Atomic Rooster” T-shirts would have to have “On the Side…” written on the side…

  19. Richard Lyth  January 14, 2012

    Sue’s got it right about this one – it’s completely bonkers but strangely enjoyable, and all the fantastic Doctor/Master scenes more than make up for the rubbishness of Kronos and the Atlanteans. And the next few stories are even better, looking forward to seeing what Sue makes of them…

    • Alisaunder  January 14, 2012

      Dont forget, it wasnt so long ago that Sue was watching the Webbed Planet, while most of us havent in years, so her scale might be calibrated differently. That said, I *like* that Sue doesnt have the ingrained reactions most of us do and is enjoying each one on its merits.

      Id like to see Neil’s score before and after, just to compare, and its maybe too late now but it would be interesting to later sum all the scores and see who actually enjoyed Dr Who more, Because I really think it might be Sue. An episode like this he might give a 4, and I think slowly Sue would edge ahead because she actually did enjoy it.

  20. BWT  January 14, 2012

    Best t-shirt?

    A bored Pertwee on the phone: ““Hello, IT – Have you tried reversing the polarity?”

    • Tom  January 14, 2012

      Yes. Just Yes.

  21. John G  January 14, 2012

    8? 8? Much as I love reading this blog (another very entertaining post, by the way), it can occasionally feel as if I have entered a strange, sinister Inferno-style parallel universe, one where The Massacre is only deemed worthy of a 2.

    As far as The Time Monster is concerned I agree with Sue about one thing – it certainly isn’t boring. Trouble is, I can’t get away from the ineffable air of smugness that surrounds the whole thing. It’s as if the regulars and the production team are now so confident and aware of the show’s renewed popularity that they feel entitled to kick back and have a good laugh for six episodes, regardless of the entertainment value of the end product for the viewing audience. I don’t have a problem per se with silly humour in Who – I quite enjoy The Horns of Nimon, for example – but large tracts of this story are just excruciating, particularly when the deadly duo Ruth and Stu hove into view. Making matters worse, this is the story where the Brig turns into an imbecile, while even Roger Delgado is lured into occasional hamminess by the panto-style script.

    Still, really looking forward to the next one, particularly if Gary is in tow, though I fear it won’t do much to shake his anti-Who prejudices. Have a great time in London!

  22. Hulahoop  January 14, 2012

    The other thing that I do like about this story was the seduction of the Queen by the Master with neither a snog nor any suggestion of tonsil hockey in sight. This is perhaps something the new series could bear in mind?

  23. Frankymole  January 14, 2012

    So Pertwee’s “moment of charm” actually worked – and even counteracted the negative impression caused by his patronising attitude to Jo? Miracles never cease.

    It’s great that Sue enjoyed George Cormack’s performance – he gets shoved in the cell just after the Doctor has bene talking about his (the Doctor’s) old mentor. And in a couple of seasons, the same actor shows up – as the Doctor’s old mentor! Pertwee must’ve liked it too, Lis Sladen said that he wanted old friends and familiar faces around him for his final story.

  24. Frankymole  January 14, 2012

    Interesting (?) that some members of Atomic Rooster broke away to form the band “Daemon” 😉

  25. Jake  January 15, 2012

    Sue’s rant about the range rover was priceless, I laughed until cried.

  26. Jason Miller  January 15, 2012

    “Do Ingrid Pitt’s breasts get their own credit?”

    Put that on a lady’s T-shirt. I’ll get it for my wife.

    Sue’s definitely on a roll! Can’t wait for her to encounter the infamous Gell Guards in the next story…..

  27. Mark  January 15, 2012

    I see how the story arc is panning out now; by the end of the experiment Sue will be fully converted into an enthusiastic who fan (or a fanatic who enthusiast – whichever suggests the stronger affiliation), whereas Neil will refuse ever to watch or even discuss an episode again so disillusioned with it he has become by the experience – it’s one of those ironical twist stories!

  28. John S. Hall  January 15, 2012

    I just *knew* Sue wouldn’t let us down with this ‘un! 🙂

    I can understand why people dislike “The Time Monster” so much, but I’ve never been one of them. Yeah, it has its rough patches, but I’d rather watch this one over some of Pertwee’s other six-parters.

    Also, the wicker throne that Galleia is brought in on — it’s called a peacock chair, and in the 1960s sitcom “The Addams Family”, it was what Morticia always sat in.

    Cheers, JohnH

  29. Dave Sanders  January 15, 2012

    ‘The Master uses the power of Kronos to slow down time.

    Sue: I’m used to that. Especially with the six-parters.’

    Some hilarious foreshadowing of Invasion Of The Really Shit Dinosaurs there. 🙂

    • Dave Sanders  January 15, 2012

      No *really*, even the incidental music seems a bit embarrassed in that story. I just got my hands on the DVD, and during the menu sequences, out of all the T-Rex manifestations to include, they’ve picked the one where Dudley’s wobbly synth, in a scale of drooping notes, seems to saying “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear that’s a bit crap.”

      • PSanders  January 15, 2012

        I saw it this week for the first time and quite enjoyed it. Yes when the effects are crap they are totally arse – the dino-wrestling match in part 6 is the nadir, plus any shots of the full-body Chewit monster T-Rex. And the pterodactyl that many reviewers forgive is pretty cack too. But the T-Rex head-only puppet works pretty well (though it doesn’t match the full-body one at all), and the sequence where Sarah is locked in with a waking dinosaur is quite exciting (until it crashes through a wall like a Dangermouse monster). The stegosaurus and triceratops look okay too, though as they’re just standing about that’s not much of an invasion…

        • BWT  January 16, 2012

          Someone is not on the same page as the rest of the class, are they?

  30. Rollocks  January 15, 2012

    Surprised no ones mentioned that Atomic Rooster were a moderately successful British 70’s rock band. Almost fell for Frankmole’s Daemon gag however..

  31. Paul Mudie  January 16, 2012

    Well now! I was expecting this one to get a right old kicking. The joy of Sue is that she’s unpredictable. 🙂

    She’s going to hate Genesis of the Daleks, isn’t she?

    • Hulahoop  January 17, 2012

      ditto Caves of Androzani?

  32. Jallan  January 18, 2012

    On several past discussions commentators have indicated how horrible they found “The Time Monster” and implied how eagerly they were looking forward to Sue taking the piss out of it.

    But she liked it.

    I liked it too. I thought maybe I had previously watched it somewhat carelessly and missed the bad spots, but on rewatching it again before reading Sue’s comments I still enjoyed it immensely for the most part. Nothing more wrong with it than was wrong with the various preceding and following stories.

  33. DamonD  January 19, 2012

    Beautiful, daft, silly, ridiculous loveable ol’ Time Monster.

    It’s good to see some love for it., I have a tremendous fondness for this story.

  34. Professor Thascales  January 25, 2012

    Yes, I always like this story too, silly as it is.

  35. farsighted99  February 2, 2012

    This one seemed a bit silly the first couple of episodes; the Master being a professor now (actually, he plays a pretty good professor). The Benny Hill moments were a bit odd, and the TOMTIT (what? who dreamed that up) experiment was just a bit too odd. Why wouldn’t the Doctor want to check that out? That’s his speciality. Though I did get a laugh out of the bits of string and a cork he worked up to foil the time experiment later.

    Why was the Master wearing a heavy duty radiation suit when no one else was? Radiation only goes for a foot or two? But never you mind.

    Then the Kronos showed up. A giant flapping human-sized chicken. It even squawked. That was a bit rubbish. And Atlantis, didn’t we do that already? Back again so soon?

    Then the story picks up with all the time stuff: Stuart aging to his 80’s was really great. And the Master’s Tardis being a Computer Cabinet (wow, they were huge then. Just think, there’s probably 100X more power in your mobile smart phone). Then I was completed floored when they did the TARDIS in another TARDIS (and yet another). Loved it.

    Best Sue Quote:
    Sue: That’s way ahead of its time. You know, the Master could make a killing if he just invested his time and energy into personal computers. He’d be better off working with Steve Jobs than a giant chicken that can eat time. It’s just a thought.

    I also liked that the Brigadier got slowed down in time and then frozen.

    I see they redecorated the TARDIS. I don’t like it.

    Then all that nonsense in Atlantis. It didn’t look like the other Atlantis in the the 2nd Doctor’s story. But never mind. It had a Minotaur too. And Ingrid Pitt. Whom I have to admit really stood out in this episode. Her and her cleavage. A bit more glamorous than usual for a family show. And the Master and innuendo; never thought I’d hear that. Another appearance by the giant squawking chicken.. Then later the chicken turns into a beautiful godlike woman. Surprised, usually they turn out to be aliens.

    Anyway, after all the nasty stuff he’s done, the Master still gets away at the end. And Benton made a cute looking baby. It was a bit silly, this story, but not bad. 7/10 sounds good.

    • Leo  February 2, 2012

      Presumably the Master was wearing the radiation suit to conceal his identity from the Doctor and his party.

      • Jazza1971  February 2, 2012

        That’s what I always thought as he only puts on the helmet when they arrive.

  36. Chris Too-old-to-watch  February 21, 2012

    More and more I’m thinking that the “classic” and “rubbish” ratings refer more to the novelisation than the actual programme. Remember that the books were the only way we could “re-view” the episodes: no DVD (VHS) or repeats then. The novelisation of Time Monster was a Terrence Dicks “churn-out-a-script-with-said-put-in” version whilst (for example) Doomsday Machine was an excellent adaptation…..

  37. Wilson  April 10, 2012

    What a lot of people don’t know is that Ingrid Pitt co-wrote an episode of Doctor Who that was never produced. So she had tits and brains. Big, bulbous ones.

    • Chris Too-old-to-watch  April 10, 2012

      Brains or tits?