Monday, 27 June 2011

The Time Monster (Episode 6)


Originally Broadcast 24th June 1972
Written by: Robert Sloman

In a nutshell: The Doctor and Jo have made it to Atlantis but have failed to stop the Master, who is adamant on controlling the all-powerful time monster, Kronos.

Review: The final part of this less-than-favoured serial doesn’t get off to the best start, recapping from the poor cliffhanger set from the previous part. Dave Prowse (later to be known as Darth Vader) portrays what is possibly the cheapest and least terrifying looking Minotaur in television. But I’m happy to have such a huge fan-based name enter into the Who mythology, so I can overlook how nasty this turned out.

The Master is on fine form throughout this episode and, indeed, the majority of the serial. Despite some dodgy writing given to him previously in ‘The Time Monster’, Delgado’s incarnation is possibly his most evil in this episode, as he tries to gain control of Kronos. I love the scene where the Doctor is threatening to ‘TARDIS-ram’ the Master (I know it’s not the greatest name in the world!). This scene is my favourite from this story but then it ultimately results in a hideous CSO shot (one of the worst in Barry Letts tenure on the show) with a giant female Kronos, which lets the finale of the story down a little. And don’t even get me started on how pathetic the Master’s escape here is, it infuriates me the amount of times I’ve seen that happen on television!

I don’t really like Ingrid Pitt as much here either, the acting I have nothing against, but the way the character swings her mind to and fro the Master is a bit quick and unbelievable in places.

This episode contains a very famous scene in fandom between the Doctor and Jo, as Pertwee recalls the ‘darkest day of his life’, resulting in him approaching an old hermit who would go on to be mentioned again in the seventies. He also makes an appearance in ‘Planet Of The Spiders’ according to Terrance Dicks (‘The Final Curtain’ DVD Extra on the release), although I’m not sure about that! The monologue, whilst famous, is drawn out a little although I love the performance given by the Doctor and Jo and how they both had the same initial reaction, making my love for Jo as a companion strengthen more.

By the time Atlantis is (quite convincingly) destroyed and the Master (quite lamely) escaped, it’s about time we returned to see how Stuart and Ruth are getting on with ‘Baby Benton’ (a brilliant name). To be honest, I’d forgotten all about this plot line as we’ve disappeared from it for an hour! It just results in Benton growing up (naked) with ‘falling about’ cheesy laughter from the regulars. I just wonder what their laughing at?

Pitt doesn't know quite how much she likes Delgado

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