Doctor Who #330: The Time Monster Part 5

"Now you try to flatter me. You'll pull a string and want to see me dance."
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Jun.17 1972.

IN THIS ONE... Politics and romance in Ancient Atlantis.

REVIEW: Since the 70s era started, the only places we've visited outside the present day were futures with matinee serial dialog and strange music cues, so it does the series a world of good to spend an episode in the past, even such a fantastical version of it. The sets and costumes are lavish, the music is evocative, and the dialog, though formal and stylized, is witty and poetic. As a big fan of the BBC's Shakespeare productions (and I, Claudius), I got really caught up in this courtly drama. It's certainly brought out the best in the regulars, with Jo acting as she did in The Curse of Peladon (ancient-ish settings are her element) but bringing more humor (she's delicious as she taunts the Master with "Curses, foiled again"), the Doctor finding a kindred spirit in the equally long-lived King Dalios, and the Master trying to pick up the Queen with some well-chosen double-entendres. Why couldn't The Time Monster be ALL like this?

Dalios is a fascinating character, well aware that Kronos isn't a god and beating the Master in their skirmish of words. He has a twinkle in his eye, but is also haunted by visions of Atlantis' inevitable destruction. That Kronos once perpetrated its temporal shenanigans on Atlantis isn't made plain exactly, but it's there in Dalios' warnings about a curse of plenty that once made his people weak and lazy. Had we spent more time on this island, we might have been better able to explore all this. Representing the fairer sex is Queen Galleia, played by Polish-born horror film sex symbol Ingrid Pitt, a character who shows power and intelligence without knocking you about the head with it as a certain female character in the present day keeps doing. Galleia plays her games and convincingly romances the Master, but she cares about her kingdom and husband as well. Now stop looking at her chest (yes, I know it's calling to you). As a matter of casting, her accent is interesting because it suggests she's from abroad, a princess from another land married off as part of an alliance. After all, Delios is much older than she is, her red hair seems atypical of the Atlantean race, and she has a cat (but she's too fair-skinned to be Egyptian, surely). She brings even more exoticism to the story. We'll see her again on the program, but not as well cast, in Warriors of the Deep. But that's in a while.

But wait, isn't there a TARDIS sequence as well? There is, and it should not escape mention. There we find the Doctor, in the vortex, using the TARDIS' telepathic circuits to contact Jo so he can have her materialize the ship around him. What's interesting about this is that the communication contains a jabber of unfiltered "subconscious thoughts" that suggest a Time Lord's mind is a very active and complex place. Most disturbing is the voice that whimpers. Hear it? Brrrr. And if I may trot out yesterday's theory about the two TARDISes being in phase, it may explain why the Master's doesn't camouflage itself in Atlantis. Its connection to the Doctor's likewise hampering its chameleon circuit?

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - It looks and sounds so great, I'm not missing UNIT at all. Benton will just have to stay a baby for an episode longer.


Mitchell Craig said...

They could have dumped Parts 3 and 4 and got us to Atlantis all that much sooner, but perhaps in another universe...

Jo's Atlantean couture wouldn't look so far out of place in 1972.

There's also a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-style connection between Doctor Who and Star Trek here. Guest star Ingrid Pitt played opposite Clint Eastwood in Where Eagles Dare, who later went on to direct Mystic River, featuring Kevin Bacon, who played the villain in X-Men: First Class beside Charles McAvoy as young Charles Xavier, who was played by Patrick Stewart in three previous X-Men movies; before that, of course, he was Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame.

Siskoid said...

Can't we get there faster through Peter Cushing's guest-starring role in Space 1999, then to Mission Impossible and thus Leonard Nimoy?

Pitt was in The Vampire Lovers with Cushing.

Mitchell Craig said...

Error on My Part: It was James McAvoy who played Young Xavier.

I prefer my trip - more stopovers. AND PIE!


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine