‘The Time Monster’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Come Kronos, Come

Greek legends come to life in ‘Doctor Who’!

The ‘Myths and Legends’ DVD box set is what I had for my birthday in May 2010. I loved this DVD box set when I had it. They contain three intriguing ‘Doctor Who’ tales with an influence of Greek myths and legends all the way throughout. They’re also some of the most imaginative of adventures.

I know that this DVD box set of ‘Doctor Who’ stories won’t agree with everyone. The production values vary in all three tales. But for me, these stories helped me with inspiration to write my ‘Doctor Who’ stories, including ‘The Salvador Trilogy’ from ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ series.

The three stories in the ‘Myths and Legends’ DVD box set are as follows. There’s ‘The Time Monster’ with Jon Pertwee’s Doctor and there’s ‘Underworld’ and ‘The Horns of Nimon’ with Tom Baker’s Doctor. Each these three stories are unique in style and taste, despite some of the flaws they have.

The first ‘Myths and Legends’ story, ‘The Time Monster’, is a six-part adventure by Robert Sloman and producer Barry Letts. It features the Third Doctor, Jo and U.N.I.T. and the return of the Master.

This is the season finale to Season 9 of ‘Doctor Who’. It features the Master’s return after he previously appeared in ‘The Sea Devils’. The Master causes trouble, as he uses the power of Kronos.

In ‘The Time Monster’, the Doctor has a nightmare about the Master and seeing a powerful crystal. This leads our main heroes to find the Master at the Newton Research Unit at Cambridge University.

The Master assumes the alias of Professor Thascales when he and his colleagues do work on time experiments using the TOMTIT device. But it goes haywire when the mighty Kronos turns up in glory.

There is undeniably a Greek influence featured in this story, concerning Kronos and the Great Crystal. It gets enhanced when the Doctor and Jo visit Atlantis where some of the action takes place.

There’s also an influence of Buddhism featured in this story on the part of producer Barry Letts. This is indicated in ‘Part Six’ when the Doctor relates a story to Jo about meeting a hermit on a mountain.

These are mixed in with a lot of scientific stuff that is pretty complex, especially concerning time. Most of the time and science is dealt with in ‘Parts One to Four’ whilst Atlantis is in ‘Parts Five to Six’.

Jon Pertwee is superb as the Doctor in this adventure. I like his interaction with Jo in this story and like how he handles matters when confronting the Master and stopping his plans to unleash Kronos.

Katy Manning is equally wonderful as Jo Grant. I like her determination to stick to the Doctor, especially when they go to Atlantis. Jo makes a daring sacrifice between the Doctor and the Master.

Nicholas Courtney is great as the Brigadier, but I think he’s a little impatient in this. After all they’ve been through, he’s still sceptical about odd things and baffled by some of the Doctor’s explanations.

Roger Delgado is terrific as the Master in this adventure. His evil persona matches well with his charm and wit. The Master is convinced he can control Kronos when the Great Crystal is in his hand

Richard Franklin is pretty good as Captain Mike Yates in this story. Mike and his U.N.I.T troops get caught up in the Master’s time attacks, e.g. a knight on horseback; Roundheads and a WWII bomber.

John Levene gets to have an active role in this story as Sgt. Benton. I liked it when Benton gets to come up behind the Master and Percival, after he sees through the trick laid on him to leave the lab.

The monster Kronos is a bird-like flapping-feathered creature that appears out of the crystal. Kronos can be unconvincing at times, even though he swallows people up and he destroys Atlantis instantly.

The guest cast includes Wanda Moore as Dr. Ruth Ingram and Ian Collier as Stuart Hyde, the two scientists on the TOMTIT project. Ian Collier would also play Omega in the TV story, ‘Arc of Infinity’.

There’s John Wyse as Dr. Percival, who becomes the Master’s assistant for a short time. And there’s Donald Eccles (who I’ve seen in a BBC version of ‘Emma’) as Krasis, High Priest of Kronos in Atlantis.

There’s also George Cormack as King Dalios of Atlantis. With him, there’s Ingrid Pitt (who would later guest star in ‘Warriors of the Deep’) as Queen Gallelia, who takes a shine to the Master in this story.

There’s Aidan Murphy as Hippias and Susan Penhaligon (who would star in the Big Finish audio, ‘Primeval’) as Lakis. And there’s also Dave Prowse (Darth Vadar from ‘Star Wars’) as the Minotaur.

The DVD special features are as follows. There’s ‘Between Now…and Now’ documentary, looking at the science of ‘The Time Monster’ with behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews. There is also a ‘Restoration Comparison’ which looks into the ‘before and after’ picture restoration of the TV story.

There’s a photo gallery of the story and there’s a commentary with John Levene, Susan Penhaligon, producer Barry Letts and production assistant Marion McDougall, with writers Graham Duff, Phil Ford, Joseph Lidster and James Moran, moderated by Toby Hadoke. There’s an info-text commentary option to enjoy and PDF materials including a ‘Radio Times Listings’ of the story.

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

‘The Time Monster’ is an imaginative tale from the Jon Pertwee era of ‘Doctor Who’. It may not be considered the best by many fans, but it is very colourful and I did enjoy watching the story on DVD.

‘The Time Monster’ rating – 7/10

The previous story

For the Third Doctor was

  • ‘The Mutants’ (TV)

For Jo was

  • ‘The Mutants’ (TV)

For the Brigadier was

  • ‘The Other Woman’ (ST/Audio)

For Mike Yates was

  • ‘The Face of the Enemy’ (Book)

For Benton was

  • ‘The Face of the Enemy’ (Book)
The next story

For the Third Doctor is

  • ‘Find and Replace’ (Audio)

For Jo is

  • ‘Find and Replace’ (Audio)

For the Brigadier is

  • ‘Find and Replace’ (Audio)

For Mike Yates is

  • ‘The Havoc of Empires’ (Audio)

For Benton is

  • ‘Find and Replace’ (Audio)
Return to The Third Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Jo’s Timeline
Return to The Brigadier’s Timeline
Return to Mike Yates’ Timeline
Return to Benton’s Timeline

2 thoughts on “‘The Time Monster’ (TV)

  1. A fair balanced assessment on this 6 parter Tim, i felt the ambition is in this story but lacks the budget to do it justice, it needed some location filming for Atlantis not be confined to the studio the budget restrictions let it down somewhat but it’s still a entertaining watch nevertheless.

    A excellent informative review Tim.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Time Monster’.

      Yes this story needed a bigger budget to do it justice. This is sometimes the problem with classic series stories as finales in ‘Doctor Who’. The production team spends a lot early on in the story before they run out towards them.

      I enjoyed the imaginativeness of this adventure and I enjoyed how the Doctor and Jo carried the story forward. I especially found them the highlight whilst re-watching the story for this review.

      Tim. 🙂


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