Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Time Monster (Episode 3)


Originally Broadcast 3rd June 1972
 Written by: Robert Sloman

In a nutshell: The Master, failing to gain control of Kronos, decides he must travel to Atlantis.

Review: This episode is a large step up from the previous instalments, yet it still falls short of being anything close to brilliant. Personally I think one of the problems is the translation from the script to screen, with director Paul Bernard failing to see what Letts and Sloman co-wrote into their adventure. One big failure on this is the appearance of Kronos, which Letts himself has expressed disgust with. For such a powerful being, it doesn’t half look like a man in a crap white suit dangling on Kirby wires. This was just one poor element in the flat direction.

Donald Eccles’ Krasis has been poorly realised as well, although I think this problem is part in the script and part in the direction. Baring in mind the performance Eccles gives, I think he should’ve been written as a seemingly knowledgeable man but is, in actual fact, not too clever. Instead he turns out pantomime and laughable but not for the right reasons.

The Brig is given some awful lines here, Courtney somehow makes the character good, but with those stereotypically drawn out lines even the best of actors struggle. The cliffhanger to this episode would have been one of the best and most shocking in the shows history if not for dragged out dialogue from the Brig trying to holler Yates on the radio.

I’d best find something good, so I’ll say I’m enjoying the Master’s plan at the moment and the fact he’s failed without the Doctor’s interference, therefore having to travel to Atlantis (probably in part four) to gain control of Kronos. But I even find fault with this. If he can pull out planes and knights using the crystal of Kronos surely he doesn’t really need to go to Atlantis for more power and control. Can’t he just survive on what he’s got, as nobody has more power than that?

Pertwee was ok in this episode but I found myself playing ‘guess what line they’ll give him next’ as his dialogue is that predictable in fitting with his other appearances as the third Doctor. Like the previous parts, Pertwee does stuff in his generic Doctor-persona but it’s all stuff we’ve seen and/or heard before in the last two years he’s owned the part. At least he gets to make some random time thingy out of bits of crap in Stuart’s flat. Maybe that’s why he owned that junkyard back in ’63, so he could make his own naff little time experiments whilst Susan went to Coal Hill?

To sum up, this episode stands above the last, yet it’s full of horrendous dialogue, flat direction and hammy-acting from some guest stars.

The Doctor's household sci-fi mcguffin

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