THE KING’S DEMONS

Part One

Before you ask, yes, Sue knew The King’s Demons was only two episodes long. She could barely contain her excitement, in fact.

Sue: I’m especially looking forward to visiting Turlough’s home planet so we can get to the bottom of where he comes from, and what he was doing in that bloody school.

The story begins on 13th century Earth. In a nobleman’s hall, a feast is underway.

Sue: Turlough’s home planet isn’t what I was expecting. They appear to be stuck in the Middle Ages.

Incredibly, Sue fails to compare the opening scene to Game of Thrones. I’m disappointed.

Sue: At least the incidental music sounds appropriate this week. That’s something.

The feast turns sour when an argument between King John and a nobleman, Ranulf, ends in a duel between Ranulf’s son, Hugh, and a very fiery Frenchman.

Sue: This is Earth, isn’t it?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Are they going to do a proper historical again? You know, without silly aliens running around?

Meanwhile, on the TARDIS, Turlough doesn’t care that they have landed on Earth again. In fact, he never even mentions his home planet.

Sue: So why did he bring it up in the last story? What was the point?

In other news, Tegan has changed into her third costume in as many years.

Sue: Can we turn the contrast down a bit? Her outfit is blinding me.

The King's DemonsThe Doctor and his companions arrive in the middle of a jousting tournament. King John welcomes them as his demons.

Sue: He’s very calm, considering what just happened. I thought he’d want to burn them at the stake or something.

The Doctor decides to stay for a bit.

Sue: At least the Doctor shut the TARDIS door. He’s learning.

The Doctor takes a seat next to the king and we are treated to a thrilling duel between Sir Gilles and Hugh. Hugh is unseated from his horse and Sir Gilles moves in for the kill.

Sue: If this was Game of Thrones, he would slice his bollocks off without a second thought.

Ah, there it is. Finally.

The Doctor persuades the king to spare poor Hugh’s life.

Sue: They are freezing to death out there, especially Turlough. I think he’s coming down with hypothermia, bless him.

The King's DemonsThe actor who plays Ranulf rings a bell.

Sue: His voice is very familiar.
Me: He is pretty famous.
Sue: It will come to me eventually. His beard doesn’t exactly help.

Hugh (who reminds Sue of a very young Hywel Bennett) decides to turn against the Doctor and his friends.

Sue: You ungrateful ****. He just saved your life!
Me: Do you recognise the actor playing Sir Gilles?
Sue: No. He isn’t French, though. South African, maybe, but definitely not French. Nicol would be mortified if she heard his accent.

But when she sees Sir Gilles in a close-up…

The King's DemonsSue: He has a very rubbery face. Hang on, I think it’s actually made from rubber. His voice is wrong, too. Wait a minute… I know that style of overacting… it’s the Master!
Me: Is that a question or a statement?
Sue: No, it’s definitely him. I’m positive.

Sue is on a roll, because a few seconds later she pins down the actor playing Ranulf, too.

Sue: He used to sell life insurance to the over-50s during the adverts for Countdown. I think you got a free pen or a carriage clock when you called him.
Me: Yes, that’s exactly what Frank Windsor is best known for. Well done, you.

King John is acting very strangely indeed.

Sue: The king has been hypnotised by the Master. It’s obvious.

Tegan wants to leave. That’s twice in two stories.

The Doctor: A while longer, then we’ll go.
Sue: We haven’t even reached the first cliffhanger yet! What kind of companion are you?

Ranulf’s cousin, Sir Geoffrey, arrives at the castle on horseback.

The King's DemonsSue: I must say, this looks very nice. Very Robin Hood. Wasn’t Robin Hood a big thing back then?
Me: Robin of Sherwood came out the following year. Were you a fan of that?
Sue: No, I had a life.
Me: But it was on ITV.
Sue: Gary probably watched it.

In the dungeon, four guards have come to collect an Iron Maiden.

Sue: That’s the Master’s TARDIS. I could write this, you know.

Back in the hall, King John is entertaining his guests with a song.

Sue: Who let Jethro Tull into the building?

I’m a little drunk so I sing along.

The King's DemonsSue: What is this song about?
Me: Killing muslims.
Sue: It’s a nice tune, but he really needs to work on the lyrics.

The Doctor and Sir Gilles get into a disagreement.

Sue: How can the Doctor fail to recognise his arch-enemy? It’s preposterous. Look at him!
Me: Listen to him!

The Master’s accent is getting riper by the second.

Sue: (As Inspector Clouseau) Do you have a license for your minkey?

The Doctor and Sir Gilles have a sword fight.

The King's DemonsMe: Of course, this isn’t the first time the Doctor and the Master have gone at each other with swords.
Sue: Yes, I remember. That fight was a lot better than this one. Jon Pertwee ate a sandwich in the middle of it. He didn’t give any to Jo, either. I’ll never forgive him for that.

The episode concludes with the Master discarding his disguise.

Sue: BORING!

 

Part Two

The King's DemonsThe Doctor takes the Master’s Tissue Compression Eliminator away from him.

Sue: Shrink the ****er! What are you waiting for?

A tense stand-off ensues.

Sue: If I were Tegan, I’d walk up behind the Master and I’ll cut his head off with my sword. And then I’d say, “That was for my auntie!”

The king’s men place the Master in the Iron Maiden but it’s not what it appears.

Sue: I knew it was his TARDIS. The Master is taking the piss.

The Master’s TARDIS materialises in the dungeon where Turlough is being held.

Sue: Turlough’s thinking: “How many guys dressed in black has the Doctor pissed off over the years?”

The King's DemonsMeanwhile, the Doctor gets knighted.

Sue: If that isn’t a real king, does it still count?

The Master wants to interfere with the signing of the Magna Carta.

Sue: It means Great Charter. I know that and I didn’t go to ****ing Eton.

The Doctor decides to keep the Master’s TCE.

Sue: If you had a device that could shrink things like that, you wouldn’t stick it in your trousers. It might go off in your pants.

Sue isn’t engaging with The King’s Demons, and she believes she knows why:

Sue: It looks great – the sets are fantastic – and it’s directed very nicely too, but the plot isn’t doing anything for me. It’s a tedious run around in a castle.

However, just as the boredom threatens to overwhelm her, she meets Kamelion.

The King's DemonsSue: Well, I didn’t expect that. Its design is fabulous. It looks like a glamorous crash test dummy. ****ing hell, it moves! I bet it didn’t come cheap.

Kamelion can transform himself into any person his user wishes. But that’s not what impresses Sue.

Sue: He’s got man boobs!

The Doctor believes that Kamelion has a mind of his own.

The Master: Kamelion will not turn on me.
Sue: Are you insane? Everybody turns on you!

The Master wants to become the Emperor of Chaos.

Sue: That sounds like a really depressing job description to me. How could you run an empire based on chaos? No one would do what you told them. He hasn’t thought it through.

The Doctor forces Kamelion to take on Tegan’s appearance and Turlough ushers her into the TARDIS, brandishing a sword like a maniac.

Sue: I love Turlough. He never does anything by halves.

The King's DemonsThe Master is furious.

The Master: Mediaeval misfits!
Sue: Stupid scriptwriter!

Back on the TARDIS, Kamelion quickly gets his feet under the console.

Kamelion: I would make an excellent colleague.
Sue: Is Kamelion a companion?
Me: It certainly looks that way.
Sue: No way! How’s that going to work?
Me: Wait and see.
Sue: Actually, they could get a different actor to play him each week. It might work.

Tegan isn’t very happy with this arrangement.

Sue: Come on, Tegan, just take it back to your room and think really hard about Simon Le Bon or Gary Kemp.

The King's DemonsThe Doctor has had enough of Tegan’s bleating and he threatens to take her home.

Sue: You can’t blame the Doctor. She really is a stroppy cow. And if by some miracle he ends up missing her, he could always ask Kamelion to impersonate her. Sorted.

The credits roll.

Sue: So, that was the end of Peter Davison’s second season?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Oh.

 

The Score

Sue: That was rushed. I think they were desperately trying to pad out the season, and they just threw that together when time was running out. The performances were okay, and the sets and locations were very nice, but it didn’t go anywhere. Who cares?
Me: What are you going to give it?
Sue: Well…

 

Coming Soon

 

117

Comments

  1. Matthew Kilburn  October 14, 2012

    Sue is generous in giving this a five, though she is right about the sets; a pity that the script fails to put the setting to any sensible use. For mediaeval colour Doctor Who, The Time Warrior remains my first choice.

  2. Martin  October 14, 2012

    Theres something very wonderful about Sue’s song.

    • DPC  October 14, 2012

      +1!

    • Auntie Celia  October 15, 2012

      Oh how I agree! I am only sorry it is played on the guitar and not upon the lute. It would be heavenly with harmonies from Gary and Nicol and I should be thrilled to hear how Susan would sound with a sackbut behind her. Perhaps dear Neil and a friend could join in and create a truly pentatonic version?
      “The King’s Demons” on the other hand is rotten and so wasteful of the talented Miss Isla Blair.

  3. Jamie  October 14, 2012

    Oh Sue that was beautiful….sort of…ish.
    You remind me of a bespectacled cross between Patti Boyd/Harrison/Clapton (Present day version) and Heather Mills.

    • Andrew Bowman  October 14, 2012

      Some weird amalgam of former wives of Beatles? Hmm, through in Cynthia and you may have a point 😉

      • Andrew Bowman  October 14, 2012

        *throw* in Cynthia! Sorry, I must have been distracted! lol

    • Nick Mays  October 14, 2012

      Are you pulling her leg? ;o)

      Brilliant madrigal Sue – and yeah, a poor (premature) end to the season.

      • John Miller  October 16, 2012

        It was never meant to be the end of season story. THAT was meant to be a Dalek story that never got made, thanks to yet another BBC strike.So The Time Meddler II joins The Horns Of Nimon in that regard.

  4. Phuzz  October 14, 2012

    So how long do you think it’ll take to get through the new series then?

    😉

  5. Jamie  October 14, 2012

    (sings) ‘ ….so I’ll give it one less than six’

  6. Dave Sanders  October 14, 2012

    One thing that’s always bugged me about The King’s Demons: it’s 1215. Would anyone be using the word ‘engine’ then? It certainly wouldn’t be in the context and meaning that Kamelion clearly gives it, that’s a dead giveaway for a start. Speaking of which, the Master totally wins this one. Without anyone clearing up the mess, he’s got to have. Nobody seriously believes anything gets accomplished by Rubbish Hood and his Moaning Men going ‘leg it’ at the end and leaving local politics in a turmoil, surely? Give it a week after word of this incident gets out, and the real King John will probably find himself deposed – and if he doesn’t go, then the Crusades certainly will, replaced by war with the French. Again.

    • Silent Hunter  October 14, 2012

      Probably a bit too early for the word “engine” – Dictionary.com lists it as 1250-1300.

      • Ian Walker  October 15, 2012

        OED has the etymology as Anglo-Norman, and definite use as an ‘clever instrument/device’ from the 11th C and a ‘siege machine’ from the 12th C, so it’s pretty OK in context.

        I bet the TARDIS hates translating Old English. I know I do.

        • Dave Sanders  October 15, 2012

          That was kind of what I thought – siege engine. Every single knight in that scene would immediately take that to mean HOLY SHIT WEIRD PEOPLE WANT TO DESTROY US KILL THEM WITH FIRE.

          • Ian Walker  October 15, 2012

            Hmmm, not quite. It’s from the same Latin root as ‘ingenious/ingenuity’, and probably the most common use of the word ‘engine’ at that time would have been ‘a complicated/mystical/magical device of unknown power’ from which they then derived ‘siege engine’ as an ‘engine’ for use in seige warfare. Not necessarily something to be feared; they might have wondered if they could capture and use it for themselves. Don’t forget this is the BBC in the eighties, there were probably Oxbridge mediaeval history graduates working as runners all around the place who would pick up on things, and the prominent use of the word suggests that the writer had done some research anyway.

          • Dave Sanders  October 15, 2012

            Couldn’t Terrence Dudley have devoted a bit of that time to an ending?

    • John G  October 15, 2012

      I think the Doctor has some justification for leaving things in turmoil, because they were like that in reality. The sealing of Magna Carta would soon be followed by civil war and French invasion, and only John’s death would eventually help end the crisis.

      • Dave Sanders  October 15, 2012

        Then what the fuck did the Master think he was even DOING there for Christ’s sake? What are they TEACHING at the Academy history course?

        • John G  October 15, 2012

          As Sue so often says of The Master, he just doesn’t think things through…

  7. Philippa Sidle  October 14, 2012

    That was hilarious, particularly the singing score. I’m going to miss this blog when it’s over!

    • DPC  October 14, 2012

      I started re-reading older stories… “The Daleks” in particular, as your post made me recall her saying there was nothing to compare it to… re-reviewing some of the old stories she gave low scores to, I do wonder if some scores might go up… “The Daleks”, despite eps 5-7 being a little too long, is still a winner in my book. The first 4 eps are taut, with ep 5 being the turning point, which starts good but goes downhill…

      • Jane  October 15, 2012

        Nope, Sue is properly unforgiving of a naff ending.

        • Paul Greaves  October 15, 2012

          That’s why they won’t be doing the Eccleston-Smith series. Naff-endings-a-go-go!

  8. Andrew Bowman  October 14, 2012

    The King’s Demons is a fairly plodding adventure, although it certainly has a rather naive charm which, while not not making it especially good, is certainly inoffensive. The Master’s disguise was so thin that “Is it the Master?” was inverted to “It is the Master!” almost straightaway, but Kamelion was a hugely ambitious concept. A Mark One Teselecta, if you will. Five is a fair, if slightly generous, score. Good guitar work as well 🙂

    As for Glen’s trailer… marvellous stuff!

    • Dave Sanders  October 15, 2012

      They managed to MAKE A TWO-PARTER PLOD. >_<

  9. Antti Björklund  October 14, 2012

    Haven’t seen this, but will watch it.

    Sue really has developed an eye for seeing The Master or his TARDIS.

  10. Simon Harries  October 14, 2012

    I haven’t seen these two episodes since they were given a summer repeat in 1983. I’m not sure I’m going to bother watching them any time soon!

  11. DPC  October 14, 2012

    Sue: If you had a device that could shrink things like that, you wouldn’t stick it in your trousers. It might go off in your pants.

    Sue: It looks great – the sets are fantastic – and it’s directed very nicely too, but the plot isn’t doing anything for me. It’s a tedious run around in a castle.

    ===

    Two of MANY fab comments to be sure!

    Ainley as Sir Gilles worked visually, but the voice is a near-instant giveaway… that helped ruin this 2-parter…

    The story does feel _flat_ it’s uninvolved, the Master’s plan is just dim (even the Doctor admits to it… and with the production issues, I’m amazed it got finished at all..

    The swordfight seemed underwhelming, too…

    That it gets rated a ‘5’ is quite a miracle, given what hinders what could have been a much better story…

    Best wishes in expediting the book! Will wait with bated breath for next week!

    And November!

  12. Jazza1971  October 14, 2012

    “Sue: Can we turn the contrast down a bit? Her outfit is blinding me.”

    Oh dear, this doesn’t bode well for CB!

    • Jane  October 15, 2012

      I wonder if Sue will insist on doing the new series as workers’ compensation for what’s gonna happen to her eyesight…

      No, it’ll just be more foot rubs.

  13. RL  October 14, 2012

    Turlough and Ibbotson go for a ride isn’t haunting, it’s quackingly intense!

    Taking me ages but give me a couple of days and send you the tab, pretty sure it’s in the key of L#, possibly R.

    • PolarityReversed  October 16, 2012

      In case anyone really cares, that “quacking” little ditty sounds to me like G-D7 repeating, with the melody starting on the 3rd (B), taking the pattern down the G scale, followed by a walk up the chromatic scale, first time round in single tones, then in thirds, extended and adjusted to resolve back on G.

      Also if anyone cares, the “madrigal” from this story is most easily playable on the guitar as: Am-Em-Am.

  14. Wholahoop  October 14, 2012

    Five for meh story seemed a bit generous but to be fair most of those points are for the scenery I guess.

    • Frankymole  October 15, 2012

      Wasn’t the main hall set from the first series of “The Black Adder”?

      • Leo  October 15, 2012

        I think this was recorded before the first Black Adder. Filming and video recording in December 1982, apart from one day’s remount the following month, whereas The Black Adder seems to have had its location filming in January and February 1983, according to a documentary about it a few years ago, with the studio work presumably being after that. Couldn’t say whether it was the same set.

        • John G  October 15, 2012

          You’re right, although there was also an untransmitted pilot episode of The Black Adder made in 1982 – not sure exactly when, but most likely before The King’s Demons. I don’t know if the two productions did share any sets, although it seems unlikely.

          • Leo  October 16, 2012

            The pilot had a sixteenth century setting, I don’t think it had any of the same sets.

  15. John G  October 15, 2012

    Like other commenters, I would give this a lower score than 5. A Doctor Who story set in this period should have had a lot of potential, but this is flat, boring and throwaway, wasting talented actors like Isla Blair. The endless prattling about “demons” soon gets very irritating, and I don’t even think the sets look that impressive, certainly not by the standards of other period Who stories. Mind you, Kamelion did have potential and it’s a shame that tragedy intervened and would prevent that potential from being realised. It is also a pity that strikes forced the season to end on such an anti-climactic note.

    I sense Neil wasn’t impressed by the work Sue associated Frank Windsor with, though being too young for Z Cars I always regard him as the Miracle-Gro man! Anyway, enjoy your break and I will count the days impatiently to your next entry, which I am keenly anticipating. Will the next story be consumed as first shown, or with added cliffhangers?

  16. John Callaghan  October 15, 2012

    Applause to Sue for her song! I’d offer to send her a John Callaghan commemorative mug, but there aren’t any. If she has a phrase she’d like me to paint on a mug and send to her, let me know.

    Having multiple actors playing Kamelion makes perfect sense to me, and I’m surprised it didn’t really happen more than once, especially considering (a) the next story! What a gift for them! (Especially explaining Richard “the First” away) and (b) the complications they had with using the robot prop.

    • Frankymole  October 15, 2012

      Yes, it was Robert Holmes’s plot to use an “android duplicate” in his next commisioned story, shades of “The Chase” I suppose. But the BBC didn’t give him much support (if only Uncle Tewwy was still script editor!)… still I know a lot of Dallas Adams fans who are very happy about some future action along these lines (they’re very keen on him in Robin of Sherwood’s “The Hounds of Lucifer” too). Can’t say more for fear of spolier-than-thou retribution 😉

      • Frankymole  October 15, 2012

        ^^ Meant “The Swords of Wayland”. Darn Robin May novelisation! Still, any chance of a “Wife in Sherwood” if we can’t have “Wife and Blake”? 🙂

        • John G  October 15, 2012

          I’d second that – I’m sure Sue would be more than happy to watch Michael Praed!

  17. Jay  October 15, 2012

    No, really, like I said before, I was in hysterical aftershocks the morning after I watched this a few weeks ago. It was just SUCH a fucking Ainley story! The pointless disguises! The king doing an improptu jam! A damn robot that can’t do anything! The PITIFUL Master scheme! “Time-Flight” made me laugh…this just hurt me.

    Then I met Pip and Jane last weekend…..

  18. Perry Armstrong  October 15, 2012

    This story’s ‘caper’ feels much more like something (a regenerated?) Meddling Monk might do…
    Missed opportunity, perhaps, to turn a middling Master story into a comic romp!

    • John Miller  October 15, 2012

      Er, this IS a regenerated Meddling Monk story. DWM #75 previewed this and said as much. Everything this season has an aspect from the Doctor’s past. So the Master has come full circle, once again meddling in a significant Middle Ages event, thereby trying to change the course of England’s, and thus Earth’s history.

      Can I say that I LOVED The King’s Demons on first viewing, and still enjoy it today. I think a “5” is unfairly low, especially since Sue loved Enlightenment and Mawdryn Undead. Still, we can’t all have the same taste can we?

      Also, couldn’t Kamelion have worked using just a bloke in a costume? Yes, it’s a clever invention and all, but did anyone think it actually WAS just a man in a suit?

    • Professor Thascales  October 15, 2012

      “This story’s ‘caper’ feels much more like something (a regenerated?) Meddling Monk might do…”
      Good point.

      I might give this a 5 as well. It plods, it’s not very good, it’s sort of pointless, but it has a number of fairly enjoyable moments.

      • John Miller  October 16, 2012

        As stated above, it “feels like a regenerated Meddling Monk story”, because that’s precisely what it is. Season 20 was about old villains, old concepts etc. So it’s basically a retelling of the first story The Master appeared in.,, Doctor and companions arrive in Middle Ages, but something isn’t right. Respected member of society is acting strange, and knows too much for the time. Local people at first are weary of Doctor and companions. Truth unveiled that strange-acting person is The Master, who wants to change the course of history to suit his own ideals about “order”. Doctor foils his plot, locals turn on Master, Doctor sabotages Master’s TARDIS. And it’s no spoiler alert to say he’ll be back.

        • Antti Björklund  October 16, 2012

          The Meddling Monk and The Master are not the same person.

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            No, they’re different incarnations of the same person, the same way Peter Davison’s and Matt Smith’s characters are different incarnations of the same person.

          • John Miller  October 17, 2012

            Or the whole bit about Borusa being powermad then. That only came MUCH later. Or how the aliens(who had been erased from history) escaped back to their planet(which had been surrounded by a forcefield by the Time Lords) with the War Chief’s body(which they had completely left, believing him to be dead), or the fact that one of the plot points in the War Games is that the Doctor can’t speak German, or the fact that Dicks can’t even spell the same character’s name consistently from one page to the next or(continued page 94)

        • Antti Björklund  October 16, 2012

          No they are not. The idea of The Meddling Monk may have evolved into The Master, but there is no way they were ever meant to be the same person. The Meddling Monk appeared last in 1966, whereas The Master appeared for the first time in 1971.

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            However, interviews with Dicks and Hulke, as well as their novelisations of stories, as well as Doctor Who Magazine all point to them being the same. The idea that they are NOT the same is what came much much later.

          • Antti Björklund  October 16, 2012

            As far as I know, nothing in the televised episodes point that way. The novelizations may have differences to the televised episodes, that is why I personally only take the televised stories as canon.

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            Well, if only the tv stories are “canon” , then there’s nothing in them that says they aren’t the same person. There’s still of course the real-world. Malcolm Hulke stated:

            “There was a peculiar relationship between the Master and the Doctor:one felt that the Doctor wouldn’t really have liked to eliminate the Doctor…you see the Doctor was the only person like him in the whole universe, a renegade Time Lord, and in a funny sort of way they were partners in crime”.(he also say “the universe”, not “the Doctor Who Universe” 🙂 )

            Doctor Who Magazine’s own preview of this very story stated:

            “Perhaps it is that the beloved TARDIS, that has a mind of her own, that is responsible for yet another trip to Earth. Maybe. Or then again, as the Ship materializes in 13th Century England does the Doctor have plans to visit his old friend, Edward of Wessex. One thing that becomes apparent very early on is, as per usual, events do not proceed as planned. The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough find themselves at a colourful pageant where, guess who, gets embroiled in the inimical world of jousting. A seemingly friendly Sir Giles does appear to have a strange hold over his liege. Being her world Tegan is the only one to sense that the whole scenario has a wrong feel to it. With nothing tangible to substaniate her feelings, she keeps her thoughts to herself. Eventually, adding fuel to the rapidly building fire, the Doctor meets a very confused Sir Geoggrey de Lacey. He had just travelled directly down from London and an audience with King John! Deep within the Doctor’s mind a memory stirs. Thirteen century. “This is the time of Magna Carta, isn’t it?” He searches the inner recesses of his memory for the illusive information. A long time ago, didn’t someone mention to me about jet liners is 1320 AD? And there was Shakespeare’s Hamlet on television?” Just a muddled memory is there a grain of truth trying to breath through. A truth with devious implications! The King’s Demons, serial coded 6J, is penned by the now Doctor Who regular, Terence Dudley. Terence was also responsible for Four to Doomsday, Black Orchid and A Girl’s Best Friend. Directing The King’s Demons, a two parter and the last of the twentieth season, is Tony Virgo.”

            The Target novelisations(overseen by Terrance Dicks) of course go even further, but you have chosen not to count them as “canon”…

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            That’s “Master” wouldn’t really have liked to have eliminated the Doctor(typo!)

          • Antti Björklund  October 16, 2012

            I fail to see any reference in both of those quotes that the Meddling Monk is The Master.

          • Jazza1971  October 16, 2012

            I’m with Antti on this one, I prefer to go with what is seen on TV. Nothing is shown to suggest that the Master and the Meddling Monk are the same.

            And the Hulke quote about The Master having to be the meddling monk because Hulke says that The Master is the only other renegade time-lord is problematic. Firstly, there is a well established history of a current production team ignoring/being ignorant of passed adventures (how many time as Atlantis been destroyed?) so there is no way of knowing if Hulke was even aware of the Meddling Monk. Secondly, the Master isn’t the only other renegade apart from the Doctor. We had the War Chief in Hulke’s co-written story and there have been numerous such renegades since then.

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            The latter one points to the Time Meddler. It is saying that the mysterious “Sir Giles” is the character who also spoke about Shakespeare putting his plays on television.

            The former states that there are(or were at the time, the 70’s) TWO renegade Time Lords..the Doctor and the Master. But(gold on to your hat!) The Monk was a renegade Time Lord as well.

            See, if I said “mutants in metallic armour who come from Skaro and say “exterminate!” ” everyone would know what i mean. Someone would say “oh, but you never said “Daleks” “but everyone knows what it means. Well, nearly everyone….

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            Hold. Typo day for me 🙁

          • Jazza1971  October 16, 2012

            I quite liked the image of “gold on to your hat”!

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            The War Chief is another incarnation of the Master. Hulke co-wrote the War Games, and wrote several Master stories. He also co-wrote (with Dicks) the Making of Doctor Who. He also novelised several stories.

            Dicks meanwhile was script editor from the late Troughton era through Pertwee. e co-wrote War Games, wrote several stories in his own era(often completely changing the writers’ scripts!), co-wrote Making of Doctor Who, and novelised more stories than anyone else. As well, as being editor of the Target Books for years.

            That there have been other renegades since is irrelevant. Up to that time there were only two, one called Doctor and once who was at that time called The Master. Any subsequent renegade Time Lords wouldn’t have been renegades yet. And of course Hulke would know about the War Chief as well!

          • Jazza1971  October 16, 2012

            But there is nothing on screen to suggest that they are all the same person. And Dicks, who co-created both The Master and The War Chief has never made any link between them, either on or off screen.

          • Antti Björklund  October 16, 2012

            I begin to understand your point. Maybe it’s just me but I find it a little hard to see how five years apart a totally different production crew thought “let’s use a villain from five years ago but rename him”. I accept that aspects of The meddling monk could have been used as inspiration, but -save for this possible exception- The Master’s plans are totally different than those of The Monk’s.

            Maybe it’s just me being a nuwhovian (I only started watching in the 21st century).

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            For those of us whose introduction was largely through the Target Books(overseen by Dicks, who actually wrote most of them too!) it was obvious that they were the same. Dicks’ novelisation of Terror of the Autons contains one passage:

            A hope flashed into the Doctor’s mind. ‘You’ve come to
            tell me the exile is over…’
            The Time Lord shook his head. ‘I’m afraid not, Doctor.
            As a matter of fact, I’ve come to bring you a warning, An
            old friend of yours has arrived on Earth.’
            ‘One of our people? Who is it?’
            The Time Lord pronounced a string of mellifluous
            syllables—one of the strange Time Lord names that are
            never disclosed to outsiders. Then he added, ‘These days
            he calls himself the Master.’

            So “The Master” is a new name at the time of Autons, not something he’s been called for years. It then goes on to state how “the Master”(new name) had tried to raise an army and conquer the galaxy, but the Doctor had alerted the Time Lords. The Time Lords had erased the Master’s allies from ever having existed, but The Master got away. The Doctor is surprised that The master had a working TARDIS. Again, it stops short of saying “it’s the War Chief, dummy!” but still. And that’s Terrance Dicks, not some fanboy.

            Hulke’s “Doomsday Weapon”(Colony In Space) states:

            There have been two[Tardises}stolen,
            you know.’
            The young Time Lord didn’t know. ‘By our enemies?’
            he asked.
            ‘No. By Time Lords. They both became bored with this
            place. It was too peaceful for them, not enough happening.’
            The old Keeper smiled to himself, as though remembering
            with some glee all the fuss when two TARDISes were
            stolen. ‘One of them nowadays calls himself “the Doctor”. The other says he is “the Master”.

            It then goes to go over the plot of The War Games AGAIN before seguing into a Master sequence. And oh yes, TWO Tardises had been stolen up to that point, one by The Doctor, and one by The Master.

            The Sea Devils confirms this:

            ‘It would be difficult for you to understand,’ said the
            Master, ‘but my TARDIS is my proudest possession.’
            The Doctor laughed. ‘You don’t even own it! You stole
            it from the Time Lords!’
            ‘As you stole yours!’ retorted the Master. ‘Now please,
            let’s not start to get all moral. I’m not going to render up
            my TARDIS to anyone.’

            ‘We used to be great friends,’ said the Doctor.
            ‘Hundreds of years ago, when we were both young Time
            Lords, we were inseparable. After all, we had a lot in
            common.’
            ‘What, for instance?’
            He turned to her. ‘You know the Golden Rule of the
            Time Lords—just to sit and watch, but never actually do
            anything? He and I are different. We wanted to get out into
            the Universe, to meet other species, to explore.’
            ‘One for good and the other for evil?’ said Jo.
            ‘Yes, you could say that.’

            So, it’s The Doctor and the Master. They are the TWO Time Lords who got bored and left Gallifrey(in stolen Taerdises). But then the War Games contains:

            The War Chief took the Doctor into his private office
            just off the war room and told his bodyguards to leave.
            ‘Now,’ he said, ‘a traveller in a time-space machine. There
            is only one person you can be.’
            ‘I had every right to leave,’ said the Doctor.
            ‘And to steal a TARDIS?’ The War Chief smiled. ‘Not
            that I am criticising you. I left our people too. We are two
            of a kind.’
            ‘We most certainly are not!’ the Doctor protested.
            The War Chief shrugged. ‘Well, we were both Time
            Lords. Tell me, why did you decide to desert our kin?’
            ‘I had reasons of my own. Rather different from yours, I
            imagine.’

            Of course, there’s also The Monk!

            Now, can you imagine any kid growing up reading these books and coming to any other conclusion?

            Maybe if The Master ever says he would like a Saxon called Harold to rule Britain you’d agree? 🙂

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            Oh, also from War Games:

            The War Chief’s eyes came to rest on the Doctor. Zoe
            thought she detected a moment of mutual recognition
            between the Doctor and the War Chief, as though they had
            once known each other.

            Now, as stated earlier, Terrance Dicks was the editor of most of these books. If he thought Hulke had overstepped the line, he could have done something about it.

            The later “Time Meddler”(post-Dicks’s involvement mind) also puts the knife to a popular Paul Cornell myth:

            Outside on the staircase the Monk appeared, holding
            aloft a burning torch. He regarded his captive’s pathetic
            attempts at escape with evil amusement.
            Their eyes met and in that instant a flash of recognition passed between the two old men.
            The Monk threw back his head and laughed
            triumphantly. He had the Doctor in his power; nothing in the world could interfere with his plans now.

          • Jazza1971  October 16, 2012

            You make a good case for them being one and the same, but this only goes as far as the novelisations – this was never shown or hinted at on screen. And if you just take the novels as cannon then Barbara and Ian me the Doctor for the first time at the beginning of “The Daleks” following a car crash in the fog… 😉

          • John Miller  October 16, 2012

            Getting back on-topic(,,,,) one of the reasons I love the King’s Demons is because it’s that “return to first adventure” feeling. I can understand how people may feel it plods, or whatever, but compared to Mawdryn(for me at least) it zips past.

          • Andrew Bowman  October 16, 2012

            Just to add further fuel to the fire, in the Big Finish Audios, the Meddling Monk is played by Graeme Garden, he of the Goodies. These are during the later 8th Doctor and Lucie adventures. Clearly, the intent there is to separate the Monk from the Master (the Master have been swallowed by the TARDIS, lest we forget). Authorial intention or otherwise, it would seem most fans would accept that the two are different characters. All this “he now calls himself The Master” could just as easily suggest that the War Chief is indeed an earlier incarnation of the Master. Also, if we’re looking to the literary adventures for proof, then the Doctor, the Master, the Rani *and* the Monk were all at the Academy together, as mentioned in Divided Loyalties, I think it is. Maybe the Master landed at the time of the signing of the Magna Carta and just wanted a bit of a laugh that day? Or possibly to frame the Monk? Both are as plausible as anything else. 🙂

          • John Miller  October 17, 2012

            I am aware of the audios/books, Andrew. But those came much later, and were written by people who had no part in the creation of the characters. Much of their writing was based on false information anyway. The first was the DWM comic which seemed to think that the Time meddler(not the Monk!)’s Tardis was stuck in the form of a police box. The next was Cornell’s godawful “No Future” which contradicted both the comic and The Daleks Master Plan. The whole premise is that the Monk(now called Mortimus) was marooned on the ice planet, which was never even remotely the case. And the Book of Kells picks up from there, wherever “there” is. Then we get Jon Meddle’s Timelink, which thinks that the Monk is still trapped on that ice planet! Cornell’s Discontinuity Guide states that there’s dialogue in Time Meddler which explicitly states that the Monk and the Doctor have never met before, yet when challenged, no one can provide said dialogue. The Dark Path has the Master using a new alias of “Koschei”, which means the Doctor fails to recognise him. Yet, in Divided Loyalties, the Master has always been Koschei, the Monk is at the academy with the Doctor and Koschei, and the Monk leaves Gallifrey BEFORE the Doctor. DWM gave the young Master the name of “Magnus”, yet in Divided Loyalties Magnus is the War Chief. And don’t even get me started on that “Basil Rathbone the Preacher with the Rosette who has decayed back to Geoffrey Beevers” nonsense”.

            Admittedly there is nothing onscreen that ever unambiguously states that they are the same person. However, the evidence in the novelisations(which were after all overseen by Dicks), as well as interviews etc. strongly point to that being the case. There is nothing that even hints that they AREN’T the same. The only “evidence” is that the First Doctor doesn’t instantly recognise the Monk in Time Meddler. But if the First Doctor not immediately recognising another Time Lord disqualifies him from being the Master….

          • Jazza1971  October 17, 2012

            It’s interesting that you don’t mention “Timewyrm: Exodus” in which we meet the War Chief once again, and no where in that book does it make any attempt to suggest that he is The Master, but that he is in fact the renegade time lord known as the War Chief. What makes this significant is the fact that the book is written by Terrance Dicks.

          • John Miller  October 17, 2012

            Largely because it can’t exist. At the end of the War Games, the War Lord and all his men are erased from ever having existed by the Time Lords. Timewyrm:Exodus features the son of one of these men, who has full memories of these events. Eh?

            Of course, the Virgin Books set out their own ideas about continuity and only published books that followed that continuity. One that is often totally at odds with the television show.

            Lastly, Dicks may simply have changed his mind over time. Or maybe he was worried about all the legal hassles, and back payments of royalties etc. Or maybe he simply lost his marbles, if “Warmonger” is anything to go by…

          • Thomas  October 18, 2012

            I think all your ‘connections’ are hazy at best, and most of your warrants are “Surely the authors would’ve been aware of the connection being made” when there’s no concrete evidence to point either way. I mean, if Barry Letts and Robert Sloman can forget they destroyed Atlantis a year after they did, I think Hulke or Dicks might forget about the War Chief two years later.

            To date, the FASA RPG is the only source to make the connection between the Meddling Monk and the Master- everything else assumes they’re different (the War Chief is assumed much more often to be a previous regeneration, but again I don’t think it’s ever explicitly been linked). Of course Doctor Who has no canon so if you wish to believe what FASA says or what you believe, you’re entirely free to do so. But to argue there was ever an intentional linking between the three characters is a bit silly, IMO.

  19. Marty  October 15, 2012

    Loved Sue’s song at the end.

    The King’s Demons is a story that didn’t really need to happen. Kamelion didn’t need to happen really.
    A bit of style with no substance.
    This could have been a 1 episode story and then they could have commissioned another 1 part story, or maybe chucked a bit more money at The Five Doctors.

  20. chris-too-old-too-watch  October 15, 2012

    Yay Sue: again perfectly right, totally boring with no massive + or -.

    As for Kamelion, it was so obvious that JNT had bought the prop and had to shoe-horn it in somewhere that anything would do.
    Simon LeBon was never the sex symbol of DD: that honour fell to John Taylor…..

  21. robert dick  October 15, 2012

    I watched this yesterday too. It wasn’t very good, but it was nice to see Tegan actually had proper sarcastic lines – not just moaning, actual sarcastic responses.

  22. Dave Sanders  October 15, 2012

    We sing of malaise and Sue’s urge to snore
    At the Doctor that comes after number four
    Though Nation and his tropes had fled
    We’ve Terry ****ing Dudley in his stead
    There was no greater story than
    When Adric was cacked by a Cyberman.

    • Wholahoop  October 16, 2012

      Verse 2
      We sing in praise of scriveners good
      Apart from Terrance for this dud
      Who thought of this unlikely scam?
      Brought to us by Sir Gilles Anagram
      There is no greater story than
      Five’s Caves of Androzan

      I

  23. Richard Lyth  October 15, 2012

    I remember being shocked by the reveal of the Master at the time, but then I was seven years old. And apparently completely blind. I also thought Kamelion would be in every single story from then on, which was a big disappointment. Sue’s song was great though, hope that becomes a regular feature!

  24. Merast  October 15, 2012

    I remember the Master being very Meddling Monkish in this story. I didn’t mind the story really, i’d give it a 7 because they had the decency to keep it to two episodes, imagine if it was four!

  25. Paul Mc Elvaney  October 15, 2012

    Never seen this story and now I have little interest in seeing it, but I loved the review. Sue’s song was wonderful, just when I think this blog cannot surprise me anymore! So pleased Sue has taken to Turlough, Strickson really is a fine actor. Also, Glen’s trailers are just heavenly I’d love if trailers were made for all the earlier stories! Really looking forward to the next one, it’s gonna be a hoot! By the way, what actually went wrong with Kamelion? Why didn’t they just get a different actor for each story?

    • Antti Björklund  October 15, 2012

      The robot’s operator died, taking the how-know to the grave, I believe.

      • Paul Mc Elvaney  October 15, 2012

        Really? Well I suppose that would have put a spanner in the works (so to speak). But that still doesn’t really explain why they couldn’t have used a different actor for the stories.

        • John G  October 15, 2012

          Perhaps they felt viewers wouldn’t like it if there was a new face in the TARDIS crew story after story – it would also mean more expense.

          • DPC  October 15, 2012

            “More expense”?

            Only if they had to get the plastic prop working… One guest actor playing Kamelion just means one less actor to be whatever-person-is-waddling-around-on-a-planet… Keeping Kamelion as a companion would have been lame if all it did was stand next to the console and program the ship for the Doctor…

  26. BWT  October 15, 2012

    Sue: “No. He isn’t French, though. South African, maybe, but definitely not French. Nicol would be mortified if she heard his accent…” (Yep, so would my wife and she’s South African…)

    “The king’s men place the Master in the Iron Maiden…” (Now, just imagine if this had been the cliff-hanger? Mary Whitehouse would have had a seizure!)

  27. solar penguin  October 15, 2012

    “Meanwhile, on the TARDIS, Turlough doesn’t care that they have landed on Earth again. In fact, he never even mentions his home planet.
    Sue: So why did he bring it up in the last story? What was the point?”

    You can cheer Sue up by letting her know that this is the penultimate totally random TARDIS landing in the classic series.

    With only one real exception, from now on it either goes more or less where the Doctor wants, or is forced to land by an outside force.

    • Frankymole  October 15, 2012

      I’m intrigued – what was the random one? Androzani? Twin Dilemma? Ravolox? Can’t be a McCoy…

      • solar penguin  October 17, 2012

        None of the above.

        He went to Androzani because he wanted some sand to make some glass to fix a broken valve. He steered the TARDIS successfully in Dilemma even if he was too crazy to know exactly where he was steering to. And he went to Ravalox to investigate why it was so like the Earth.

        • Leo  October 17, 2012

          Is it Delta and The Bannermen? He and Mel arrive at the tollport without knowing where it is or having intended to go to any particular destination, as far as we can tell, if memory serves.

    • Wholahoop  October 17, 2012

      To be fair he did say at the end, when the Doctor pretended to be taking Tegan home, that they were meant to be going to his home planet. I would have thought that it would have made more sense to have him say that when they landed on Earth at the beginning of the story tbh but what do I know?

  28. encyclops  October 15, 2012

    This is the second Davison story of three that I know I watched as a kid but of which I have only the dimmest recollections. I’m not sure it’s a coincidence that the first was Time-Flight (the Master in a repulsive disguise), the second was this yawner (the Master in a repulsive disguise + Kamelion), and the third also features Kamelion.

    This is also the first Wife In Space ever that I’ve been unable to get excited about, not because the comments aren’t up to snuff but because the story is just THAT uninvolving. Fortunately Sue livened it up with her brilliant score-singing, and Glen’s trailer is just fabulous.

  29. Gavin Noble  October 15, 2012

    Is it wrong that I look forward to Glen’s trailers more than the blog at the moment? The latest one is the best yet.

    • Frankymole  October 15, 2012

      “Is it wrong”? Yes. It is. Perhaps that’s why it is fun 🙂

      Glen’s trailers are superb but I get even more joy from Neil’s efforts (oh – and Sue’s).

  30. P.Sanders  October 15, 2012

    Wow a dull story gets a great blog plus a Sue song. Great blog entry. Plus one of Glen’s best trailers yet. This story would work better without the Master – a rogue shapechanging robot getting caught up in Earth history could, with a few tweaks, work well (the Moff certainly thought so…). And by all accounts the history in this is wonky – unless of course the Doctor has already seen the real history the official history books haven’t told us. I wonder if Kamelion could ever have worked as a companion, played by different actors or not? If he keeps changing shape he has the potential to become another easy escape route like JNT felt the sonic screwdriver or K9 to be. I hope Kamelion’s lack of involvement won’t trouble Sue – or maybe she’ll have forgotten him by next week…

    • Dave Sanders  October 15, 2012

      The King’s Demons isn’t a bad story idea and there’s nothing in terms of style that the new series doesn’t flirt with on a regular basis, it’s just that the pacing on display here is absolutely atrocious. Given three ‘acts’ to fill in 45 minutes, seperated by two ‘commercial break’ points, the new series could do a much better job with it – unveil the Master at the end of the first act, reveal the secret of Kamelion at the end of the second, and then have a good five or ten more minutes afterwards to come up with something more substantial than ‘rocks fall, everyone scarpers’. Bam, sorted.

  31. Antti Björklund  October 15, 2012

    That next time trailer HAD ME IN STITCHES!!

    “John’s” voice is so femininely hilarious!

  32. Dave Sanders  October 15, 2012

    Since the new series is infatuated with the Doctor teaming up with mad creative type, how about for series 8 he meets H P Lovecraft, and calling it The King’s Deep Ones?

    • John Callaghan  October 16, 2012

      I’ve thought that an appearance by HPL would be splendid too. I’m off-topic, but the main problem would be addressing his racism without trivialising it or derailing the story.

      The Doctor, The Widow And Shub-Niggurath, The Black Goat Of The Woods With A Thousand Young? Or, keeping up the Doctor 5 theme, Enlightenmental?

  33. chris-too-old-too-watch  October 17, 2012

    Just waded through the Master/Monk discussion from John Miller. As a (very)long running fan, I’m afraid I stick to the “TV is canon, nothing else is” school. Nowhere, ever, not once is it stated or even hinted that the Master and the Monk are the same person (with or without name changes). Yes, a TimeLord does say that the Doctor and the Master are old friends, and that the Master has changed his name, but that simply means that they are old friends and the Master has changed his name.
    Even if the mention of “two TARDISes being stolen” from the Target novelisations is taken as canon, does that then mean that the Rani is also the Master? And Drax? And Cho-Je? And all the other Time Lords were come acros? (Or are they the Doctor?)

    • John Miller  October 17, 2012

      No. Because it’s “two TARDISes have been stolen” up to the point of the television Season 8. The Rani was EXILED, which is something different entirely. There is no mention that Cho-Je or Drax ever STOLE anything, nor that they are away from Gallifrey for any period of time. In any case, Drax was during the Graham Williams era, and he admitted they didn’t really follow continuity, largely as they didn’t know it. There are references where the Doctor says that the Master is “meddling with history again”, but that’s just a hint. And we need to remember that when the Time Meddler first aired it was a HUGE shock to see another TARDIS, and another person from Gallifrey(still unnamed). Most lifeforms the Doctor encountered had never heard of Gallifrey, Time Lords, TARDISes etc. and just took him for an Earthman. In the War Games(the tv episodes) the Doctor gave a whole speech about how his people pretty much never leave their homeworld, and how incredibly rare it was for him to actually set foot off-planet. This is reinforced in The Deadly Assassin. And remember, the First Doctor NEVER interfered. All he did was take samples, and notes. Yet that made him a pariah who could “never go home”. In the Three Doctors, Gallifey(still unnamed) is under threat. The Time lords need offworld Time Lords to save them. The Third Doctor is a given. Yet, when they need another one, despite the danger of timescoops, despite the danger of one Time Lord crossing his own timestream, they’re forced to timescoop the Second Doctor. Why not use another offworld Time Lord? Because there’s only one other one, and he’s an evil bastard. Even in the continuity-suspect Williams era Romana realises that when her mission for the President is up, she will almost certainly NEVER leave Gallifrey ever again. Except it wasn’t the Time Lords who even sent her, it was the Guardians. So read Hulke’s quote again, the one where he says the Master and the Doctor were the ONLY TWO renegade Time Lords up to that point(c Season 10)…..And no, Omega wasn’t a renegade Time Lord at all. he was an engineer who everyone thought had been killed, yet had survived in a world of antimatter. He never stole a TARDIS, and nobody up until that point thought he was alive at all. Many people thought he was just a myth in the first place.

      • chris-too-old-too-watch  October 17, 2012

        Hate to break it too you John, but the whole idea of “continuity” doesn’t exist outside the minds of fans. Very few of the writers/producers/directors, especially in the early stories knew anything about what went before them, and cared even less. Trying to manipulate what was said/happened in the TV series, and make assumptions/guess about what was meant to fit a theory may be appealling, but I’m afraid this one just won’t wash.

        I still stand by my comment about canonicity of the novelisations. However, do you honestly want us to believe that the Rani was exiled WITH her own TARDIS? And presumably Cho-Je and Drax just walked away. Or flew spaceships through the then non-existent barrier around Gallifrey…….

    • Sooty  October 17, 2012

      Oh no, you set him off again…

  34. robert dick  October 17, 2012

    I think I’ve lost the will to live.

  35. John Williams  October 17, 2012

    It’s funny but I know of a bloke on an archive television forum who goes on and on about the Master/War Chief/Meddling Monk being the same person. Uncanny resemblance. Maybe they should get together and write a blog about their theories.

    • John Miller  October 17, 2012

      You mean this:

      http://www.kasterborous.com/2012/08/017-the-time-meddler/

      Never heard of him! 🙂

      To Neal, sorry if I’ve got WAY off-topic. But one of the reasons I love the King’s Demons is precisely because how similar it is to the Time Meddler. Of course, I love the NEXT story too., even though it’s little more than a pub quiz.

      It is interesting that Sue’s initial reaction to both Time Meddler and War Games was that the villain was The Master, which started the running gag.

      I’ll shut up about this now…..

      • Wholahoop  October 17, 2012

        Whilst I find your theory free that the Monk/War Chief/Master are one and the same interesting and IMHO perhaps a little out of the box, it is not a point of view I subscribe to so thank you 🙂

      • Andrew Bowman  October 17, 2012

        One last thing, just to clear up any misunderstandings: I like the idea that the Monk becomes the War Chief becomes the Master, it’s just that any evidence you gave to support was circumstantial at best. A fine theory, to be sure, but still just a theory, I’m afraid. 🙂

  36. Neil Perryman  October 17, 2012

    “Is it the Master?”

    • Antti Björklund  October 17, 2012

      What do YOU think?

  37. Paul Mudie  October 17, 2012

    A lovely blog entry for a fairly harmless but mediocre little story. Its only real function was to introduce Kamelion, and he/she/it was a nice idea on paper, but a completely impractical one. Had JNT forgotten all the technical problems they had with K9? Did he REALLY think there was any way to make a humanoid robot work, on the budget he had?

    • Frankymole  October 19, 2012

      Apparently it did work, but the programmer died after this programme was recorded and no-one else could do it properly. Pretty much the same situation as if they had recruited a companion actor who then died, not much could be done, unfortunately.

  38. Glen Allen  October 18, 2012

    Is Sue The Master?
    Is Jo Grant?
    Am I?
    ” I’M SO CONFUSED”

    • encyclops  October 18, 2012

      I love it:

      JO GRANT: (beaming and nodding encouragingly) I AM the Master. Would you like to obey me?