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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Adventure > Time Travel > British TV > Doctor Who: The Time Monster (Story 64/BBC DVD)

Doctor Who: The Time Monster (Story 64/BBC DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B     Episodes: B



Any time that Doctor Who and his arch nemesis, the Master, tangle, the potential for a special story exists.  While The Time Monster does feature a showdown between said characters (portrayed by John Pertwee and Roger Delgado, respectively), the story itself does not always rise to the occasion.  Pertwee himself is very much on his details as the Third Doctor, and companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning) provides solid backup as his companion. T he rest of the cast (Delgado included) also turn in solid performances. So where does this story fall short?  Well, the plot leaves some details a bit murky at certain points--exactly how the hell does the Doctor tail the Master through the time stream?  How does his TARDIS wind up riding inside the Master’s?   Of course, it’s Doctor Who and one cannot dwell overlong on such details.


The fact that Kronos the Time Monster itself looks a bit like an enlarged chess piece with chicken wings doesn’t place it anywhere near the tops of Who’s massive monstrous compendium.  That said, it’s somewhat silly appearance makes it no less dangerous in a story where the Doctor struggles to uncover the Master’s plot to wrest control of the being and use it to control all of time.  The first four episodes of this six-parter take place primarily at Cambridge University’s Newton Research Unit, but the pursuit of the master eventually leads to ancient Atlantis for the final two episodes.  It’s here we meet King Dalios (George Cormack) and the lovely but treacherous Queen Galleia (Ingrid Pitt), and the Doctor must again expose the Master as a scheming, but deadly, charlatan.


Picture and sound are as good as one can expect from transfers rescued from near-oblivion.  The extras on this disc are a bit thin, but the documentary, Between Now...and Now elegantly examines some of the science behind the time travel in the story, and includes contributions from physicist and Who fan Jim Al Kalili and actress Manning.


For most Who fans, what the Time Monster lacks in coherence it more than makes up for with great performances.  The chemistry between Pertwee and Delgado is magic, and watching this story again reminds one of the sorrows of his untimely passing in a car accident while filming in Turkey in 1973.  Who producers had grand plans for a “final” showdown between Pertwee’s Doctor and Delgado’s Master, but it was not to be.  Ultimately, The Time Monster marks another entertaining match-up between the Doctor and the Master.



-   Scott Pyle


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