The Time Meddler part 2

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    Craig @craig

    Episode two. The Meddling Monk.

    The Doctor is trapped, but at least he has toast from a modern toaster for breakfast. The monk is definitely not of this time. Vicki and Steven have to do with berries from the forest for breakfast.

    After doing the whole “being captured then being freed” thing they search for the Monk and the Doctor.

    I think it’s one of Steven’s defining moments when he says “God be with you”. He doesn’t really believe in God, but it seems that he now believes in time travel. Sort of.

    Oh, minor problem, the vikings are also invading.

    This was one of those episodes where they gave William Hartnell a rest. Those who watched “An Adventure in Space and Time” will understand why.

    You can find part one here:

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Good stuff, this episode. Forty eight years old, and it kept me pretty gripped.

    Yes, the toaster screams ‘not 11th Century’ for the Monk. He’s also being pretty generous on the breakfast; sausages, eggs and toast. I like the way the pre-recorded voice over fools you into thinking William Hartnell will be in the episode. What with all the exciting stuff happening, it wasn’t until the final scene that I suddenly twigged he’d never appeared. This was most unlike the equivalent episode in The Web of Fear, when I was very aware Patrick Troughton wasn’t around.

    Our very low budget Saxon hamlet (pop. 6, as far as I can work out) seems to have some highly skilled trackers in it. The men are considerably less polite than Edith, but possibly that’s because the Doctor appears old enough (once Edith got a good look at him) to be ‘harmless old man’, whereas Steven is the right age for a warrior.

    Ooh, invading Vikings! Five invading Vikings. Okay, a budget-invasion. But the Viking costumes look very good, like the costume designer found some lovely hire stuff in Bermans or Angels that was left over from a big budget movie.

    Hmm… Edith seems terribly traumatised. Are they trying to hint ‘rape’ as well as the visible evidence of ‘pillage’?

    Okay, that was possibly the Worst. Fight Arranging. Ever. Did someone have the nerve to claim a credit for that? Yes, they did.

    There’s a bit of a battle of wits going on – that Monk is clever. One jump ahead of Steven and Vicki. His plan is to trap them the same way he did the Doctor; let them investigate, then spring the trap when they find the gramophone. But because he gets the wounded villagers turning up at the monastery expecting help, it doesn’t work. Hoist by his own cover story.

    And the Doctor’s pulled the ‘furs under the cover’ trick. So how did he get out? Presumably we’re going to find out next week, possibly with the reason a fake monk is hanging around a tiny village that’s being invaded by Vikings. 🙂

    Troughton1966-69 @troughton1966-69

    I have never seen the Time Meddler and to be honest i don’t really want to see it. I don’t want to see it because a saw the dvd trailer for it’s release and it looked terrible.

    Craig @craig

    @troughton1966-69 You should never base your viewing decisions on trailers.

    If something is bad they stick all the best bits in the trailer, then you’re disappointed when you watch it.

    If something is good they often have no idea how to convey how good it is in a few minutes, because all of it is good. Where do you start?

    Therefore, if a trailer is brilliant I usually think the final product is gonna be poor, but if the trailer is a bit muddled, not sure of itself, it’s probably gonna be a good film or TV show.

    So basically, think about reconsidering 😉

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I agree that some of the early serials were pretty good at diverting attention when the lead was away. Here, having the Doctor locked up (hardly a new occurrence) and supported by a bit of recorded voicework does the job pretty effectively.

    I’ll also agree that the fight is a bit laughable. It’s actually the one scene that makes me think “studio bound” when watching it – @wolfweed suggested last week that the production rarely feels like that, and I’d agree, but the lack of dynamic action in the fight and people carefully not trying to move out of camera shot is pretty obvious.

    The rest is really enjoyable. Steven gets the realisation that, yes, time travel is possible. I love the “This way” said simultaneously between Steven and Vicki as they head in different directions. Steven eventually follows her. Actually, talking of Steven and Vicki, I think they may be the only time when two companions were both from Earths far future, so even contemporary Earth settings would have been weird to them.

    I always wondered about the reaction of Edith myself. It’s a suggestion that something traumatic has happened and nothing more, for obvious reasons. The words of the head Viking (love his helmet – no horns!) seem to suggest the men are a scouting party, so I can’t help thinking the group went pretty off message with their “bit of fun”. Nothing says covert intelligence like attacking the natives, a bit of pillaging and looking like they’ve had a skinfull and staggering back to the ship.

    Another low key cliffhanger this week. Last week – the Doctor is locked up (business as usual). This week – the Doctor appears to have escaped! (ditto). Are we gripped?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Was the Monk snorting snuff, or something less innocuous? Psychic pollen from the candle meadows of Karass Don Slava, perhaps?

    Eldred’s wild stare makes him look like Michael Palin in a Monty Python sketch…

    Edith’s violation is very much implied – the darkest that Dr Who ever got.

    Unfortunately this scene is followed by the worst fight ever staged – EV-ER! (David Anderson, hang your head in shame!)

    Perhaps Bill Hartnell has regenerated into a heap of furs?!?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Was the Monk snorting snuff, or something less innocuous? Psychic pollen from the candle meadows of Karass Don Slava, perhaps?

    It’s snuff, officer, I swear. I have absolutely no idea how it could possibly have ended up in my snuff box. As to heating it up inside a TARDIS rotor…


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