Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Time Monster (Episode 4)


Originally Broadcast 10th June 1972
Written by: Robert Sloman

In a nutshell: In similar situations to episode three, the Master attempts to leave for Atlantis, however the Doctor makes a drastic attempt to stop him.

Review: Firstly, I’m surprised we’ve still not made it to Atlantis, as the Master has had this planned since episode one or two and the Doctor has been aware of it since the opening ‘dream sequence’ of the first part. However this part makes up for us not being there yet, as we get some really great interaction between Doctor and Master.

I’m speaking, of course, about the scene of a TARDIS within a TARDIS where our characters are seemingly forced to speak to each other. Delgado obviously steals the scene from Jon Pertwee, being given the better lines as he’s the villain, but Pertwee’s performance puts up a good fight. It all turns sour, though, as Kronos returns. As he began to emerge this time, I loved it, it looked convincing and menacing. But then! Director Paul Bernard decides to go over the top, drawing out his cliffhangers and using poor editing once again to show the man-in-a-costume for far too long. The writing was drawn out a bit as well and I’m not sure why the Master’s laugh suddenly decided to echo.

Stuart and Ruth had more to do here as well, Stuart tries to get a backbone and Ruth decides to try and force her feminism onto us again. What a tiresome pair these are, although they’ve gotten much better since their initial episode, although it’s probably because Sergeant Benton’s there to carry some of the scene for them.

I think it’s a given in fan circles that the new TARDIS interior designed for this episode is disgusting and the least liked amongst everyone, showing the Doctor and the Master have equal taste as now they coincidentally decided on the same ‘desktop theme’ for the same adventure. I bet that’s embarrassing! The story itself has got a lot better and the episode cliffhanger was fantastic, although as I said, overlong. It actually puts both our main characters into a different ‘what the heck’s gonna happen next?’ scenario making me genuinely want to start the next episode to see poor Jo going round and round on the Master’s TARDIS monitor.

That hideous Tardis interior

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