‘The Horns of Nimon’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Nimon Be Praised

The third ‘Myths and Legends’ story, ‘The Horns of Nimon’, is a four-part adventure by Anthony Read. It features the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9, as they face against the minotaur-like Nimon.

Anthony Read was a former script-editor on ‘Doctor Who’ for ‘The Key to Time’ season. Commissioned by Douglas Adams, now script-editor of the show, Anthony wrote this freelance tale.

I really like ‘The Horns of Nimon’! It’s a story that divides fan opinion, but I consider this a guilty pleasure. It’s a very intriguing story and based upon the Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur.

‘The Horns of Nimon’ ultimately became the season finale of Season 17 instead of ‘Shada’. Although by Anthony Read, the tale itself has plenty of Douglas Adams humour which worked well and didn’t.

In the story, the Doctor, Romana and K-9 in the TARDIS collide with another spaceship on its way to the planet Skonnos. The cargo aboard is a group of young sacrifices as tribute from the planet Aneth.

When at Skonnos, the young sacrifices of Aneth are taken to the powerful minotaur-like Nimon in its Power Complex. Will the Doctor, Romana and K-9 rescue them as well as everyone else on Skonnos?

Anthony Read had the inspiration of using a printed circuit board as a labyrinth for the Nimon to dwell in its Power Complex on Skonnos. In all fairness, it is a very clever and intriguing concept here.

However the execution of that concept is poorly handled and wasn’t what Anthony Read had envisaged. This is a shame, as it would have been great to have seen that concept in its proper glory.

As I said before, this story contains plenty of humorous moments on the part of Douglas Adams as the script editor. This meant that some of the cast tended to go over the top in their performances.

Tom Baker is bonkers as the Doctor in this adventure. I enjoyed his moments in this story and whilst he may be too flippant and reckless in his performance, he certainly shows off his confidence in this.

Lalla Ward as Romana is equally great in this adventure. Romana gets to have her own adventure when she’s without the Doctor, as she and the tributes from Aneth venture into the Power Complex.

K-9 is voiced by David Brierley, not John Leeson. As I said in other reviews, I prefer John Leeson than David Brierley. K-9 does have some great moments and I did enjoy his scenes with the Doctor in this.

Graham Crowden (who was a potential contender to be the Fourth Doctor) guest stars as Soldeed, the arrogant leader and scientist on Skonnons. Graham Crowden is very over-the-top in this story. 😀

Janet Ellis (future ‘Blue Peter’ presenter) guest stars as Princess Teka of Aneth. I liked Janet Ellis’ performance in this story. Teka is in love with Seth and believes he will save her and Aneth’s people.

Simon Gipps-Kent guest stars as Seth, the supposed prince and hero of Aneth but actually isn’t. Seth doubts that he can save Aneth’s people, despite Teka’s faith in him, but turns out to be really brave.

There’s Bob Hornery as Sekkoth the Pilot and Malcolm Terris as Sardor the Co-Pilot, taking the Aneth tributes to Skonnos. I’ve used the Pilot and Co-Pilot’s names from Terrance Dicks’ novelization here.

The Co-Pilot (Sardor) is ‘a blundering idiot’ and gets his mate, the Pilot (Sekkoth) killed. He believes himself superior, bullies the Anethians as ‘weakling scum’ and ends up ripping his trousers as he dies. 😀

There’s also Michael Osborne as Sorak, Soldeed’s confidante and John Bailey as Sezom of Crinoth. John Bailey previously played Victoria’s father, Edward Waterfield in the story, ‘The Evil of the Daleks’.

The Nimon as monsters are terribly unconvincing. They’re meant to be minotaur-like, yet they end up looking like lumbering creatures that can’t see where they’re going with the awkward head sets.

I feel sorry for the actors who played the Nimons in this story. They also seem ridiculous in those ‘dresses’ they wear when walking about. Their menacing voices don’t help a lot in their appearance.

There’s a line of dialogue by the Nimon that’s supposed to be funny and yet is absolutely ridiculous. When finding the Doctor, a Nimon says “Kill him, but not yet!” That makes no sense whatsoever! 😀

The DVD special features are as follows. There’s the ‘Who Peter – Partners in Time’ (Part 1) documentary (Part 2 is on ‘The TV Movie’ DVD). There’s also ‘Read the Writer’, which is an interview with writer Anthony Read on his thoughts about writing ‘The Horns of Nimon’ and the outcome of it. There’s also the ‘Peter Howell Music Demos’ for ‘The Horns of Nimon’ and a photo gallery of the story.

There’s also a commentary with Lalla Ward, Janet Ellis, Graham Crowden and writer Anthony Read. There’s an info-text commentary to enjoy and PDF materials including a ‘Radio Times Listings’ of the story and ‘Studio Floor Plans’. There’s also an Easter Egg to look out for on this DVD disc.

There’s a ‘coming soon’ trailer for ‘The Creature From The Pit’ with Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and K-9.

‘The Horns of Nimon’ is a ‘Doctor Who’ pantomime of an adventure. It’s silly and ridiculous in places, but I enjoyed it very much for the fun and inventive style that it had, even if it does not always work.

The ‘Myths and Legends’ DVD box set has been a fun collection of ‘Doctor Who’ stories that feature sci-fi takes on the Greek myths. ‘The Horns of Nimon’ is probably my favourite out of the collection, but they have all been inventive and imaginative which is what I always like to find in ‘Doctor Who’.

‘The Horns of Nimon’ rating – 7/10

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2 thoughts on “‘The Horns of Nimon’ (TV)

  1. (Deep breath) Arrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh The Horns Of Nimon, Arrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhh……(Ok focus Simon focus) i do not like this one as you know from my review lol, Tom Bakers my favourite Doctor but i can’t excuse his lazy performance here going completely over the top on several occasions, Graham Crowden as Soldeed still gives me nightmares because his performance is pure pantomime & when the actor’s chew the scenery it takes away the drama from the story.

    A excellent review as ever Tim & i appreciate you hold this one in higher regard than i do, it’s just not one i can rewatch often.

    “My dreams of conquest”……Arrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhh mind probe, mind probe, weres the mind probe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. I knew this was coming. I know this isn’t one of your favourite Tom Baker stories and I appreciate that.

      I know Tom Baker is bonkers as the Doctor in this, but I honestly can’t help but like his performance. He goes over the top on several occasions yes, but there are moments where I think he’s really good, especially when he confronts Soldeed about where Romana is.

      I can’t help but enjoy Graham Crowden in this story. He’s over-the-top yes, but it’s a performance I find easy to enjoy especially when he’s the villain and misguided in believing the Nimon will save Skonnos for him. The downfall for him is in those last scenes with ‘My dreams of conquest…’ line and him saying “You are all doomed!” just like Frazer from ‘Dad’s Army’. At least he didn’t say “I’ve got an everlasting cold!” as he originally intended since that was cut.

      I found this story an improvement from ‘Underworld’ in the ‘Myths and Legends’ DVD box set. At least this story’s not ‘Love and Monsters’! 😀

      I’m looking forward to reading the novelization of ‘The Horns of Nimon’ by Terrance Dicks soon. I hope that’ll be an improvement on the TV story when I come to read it.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on this story that I know divides fan opinion. I know you don’t hold this story in high regard as I do, but I’m glad you appreciate my thoughts on it.

      Tim. 🙂


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