Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Serial 64: The Time Monster

Doctor: Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor)Companion: Jo Grant

Written by: Robert Sloman
Directed by: Paul Bernard

Editor's Note: Hey guys! Just popping in to give another introduction to another insight from friend-of-the-blog Cassandra! I'm trying to give her the rounds... A Dalek story, every Doctor in turn, a Cybermen story, etc. This is her Master story and boy howdy did this serial turn out to be just awful. I still feel bad about it. So as a result she's got some doozy awesome coming up in the future (one of which I just know I'm going to regret giving away, but c'est la). Anyways. This is Cassandra's take on what is probably going to end up being the WORST Jon Pertwee story we'll ever see (and please don't let anything be worse than this). So... yeah. Enjoy. Next week I'll be back with... more Tom Baker. But the good stuff. The early stuff. You'll like it. Maybe. Hope to see you back here then!

Background & Significance: After co-writing "The Daemons" with Barry Letts earlier in Season Eight, Robert Sloman was then asked to develop yet another story that combined sci-fi elements with mythology in a historical setting with UNIT and the Master along for the ride (because "The Daemons" was so popular). Also to be included were elements of the Doctor's past, which ended up beautifully realized in what I consider to be one of the greatest speeches in Doctor Who history. But we'll get to that later.

But instead of blending medieval images of Satan and cult worship and sci-fi all into some awesome, Sloman chose instead to focus this time on Classical imagery and the myth of Atlantis.

What we end up with, ladies and gents, is "The Time Monster", a seriously underwhelming serial that was boring as hell, and then in the last ten minutes totally jumped the shark in such a way that left me mystified and giggling. Again, we'll get to that later.

I'll forgive Sloman, though, because he went on to write Jo Grant's departure "The Green Death" and Pertwee's swansong "Planet of the Spiders". So that's awesome.

Also interesting to note is that this serial is the second-to-last appearance of Robert Delgado as The Master, "Frontier in Space" being his final appearance before his tragic death.

Oh, and the guy who ends up wearing the Darth Vader suit in the Star Wars movies has an appearance as well.

But enough of all that. Let's take a closer look, shall we?


Part 1:
We begin with stock footage of volcanoes and weird smoky imagery. There’s the Doctor! And the Master! Oh, it’s just a nightmare. Complete with weird faces like this.

The Doctor wakes to Jo and a cuppa tea. Aw. She’s so sweet. But the Doctor is far too troubled by his nightmare. He instructs Jo to find out if there’ve been any severe volcanic eruptions or earthquakes recently. But Doctor, Jo already got the information for you last night. Good ol’ Jo.

Also, go-go boots.

Oh, apparently a large crystal showed up in the dream. What, you mean this one?

According to one Professor Thascalos, this crystal is just “a simple piece of quartz”, and then you find out who he actually is.

Why hello there, Master.

For some reason he’s in a lab coat and working with a Dr. Ingram and this guy named Stuart (he’s plucky, I enjoy him). They’re both upset the Master’s insisting they don’t need to do a trial run before their big demonstration later.

Meanwhile, back at UNIT, Mike Yates is showing Jo on a map where the volcanoes had erupted recently (a little group of islands off the coast of Greece). The Doctor isn’t really paying attention to them, cuz he’s the Doctor and has more important things to do, duh.

That is, until Jo says “Atlantis”. You know, as in, the Lost City of? Apparently these islands are believed to be all that’s left of it. Interesting.

The Doctor rings up the Brigadier for a little chat and tells him to put the world on alert for the Master.

We get a tiny cutaway to the Newton Institute and see the Master walking out of the building. But we never focus on him, so for all we know it could just be some dude in a suit walking with dramatic music.

The Brigadier drops by to see the Doctor cuz he’s super skeptical about what the Doctor said. A dream? Hardly anything to go on. Dubious indeed.

This picture amuses me.

The Brigadier then mentions something called TOMTIT that’s going to be showcased at the Newton Institute this afternoon. Ah, it all starts to piece together. But what the hell kind of acronym is TOMTIT? Honestly. Even if it does stand for the “transmission of matter through interstitial time”, couldn’t you have found a different way to phrase it? That’s just silly.

So The Brigadier’s all upset the Doctor is bailing on their date when Benton shows up. He’ll do.

Back at the Newton Institute, some old guy behind a desk is calling the Master out as a fraud. But the Master gets his hypnotist face on, and all is well.

Man. Wish I could do that. Wouldn’t have to do homework ever again.

Back at the lab, Dr. Ingram and her lovely assistant Stuart are doing some tests. It’s thrilling. Woo. Numbers.

Stu must be as bored as I am, because he has the bright idea to do a trial run anyway. Awesome.

Have you ever noticed how thrilling the guys writing for the Third Doctor think sitting around talking technobabble and writing on clipboards is? Spoilers, it isn’t. I get that the Doctor is UNIT’s scientific advisor and everything, but come on. Maybe that’s why he gets a shiny yellow roadster to muck about in.

Anyway, the Doctor’s building a Time Sensor. He and Jo share a lovely moment when he quizzes her on what that might possibly do and she answers correctly. Yay Jo! Go you!

At the Newton Institute, there’s button-pressing and radiation suit-donning, and some random window cleaner’s decided to wash the window of the lab today. Ho hum.

We cut back and forth twixt the Newton Institute and UNIT headquarters, watching these various machines do stuff. Though I enjoy the Time Sensor a lot more, because it spins and lights up and makes noise. I have the attention span of a small child when it comes to this sort of thing.

And here marks the Doctor’s first mention of Venusian anything. I’m going to be keeping track. He’s obsessed.

The Time Sensor goes off, indicating there’s a disruption in time afoot.

They’ve done it! They’ve transferred matter from one room to the other!

But something’s gone wrong and for some reason our friend the window cleaner falls backwards off his ladder in slooooowwwww mooootion.

Dr. Ingram and Stu (literally) dance around the lab but their party is crashed by the Master, who’s wearing his angry face. Probably because this episode is still not over and nothing’s really happened.

The Doctor and Jo try to figure out where the signal came from. The Doctor proposes a road trip. You know what that means.

It’s Bessie time.

UNIT and the other higher-ups who’ve been invited finally show up to find this on the front drive.


The Doctor and Jo are enjoying their trip through the English countryside when the Time Sensor starts up again. Second mention of Venusian sh*t. They head toward the Newton Institute.

The Doctor’s hell-bent on stopping the demonstration of TOMTIT and puts Bessie into “Super Drive” to get there on time. Don’t believe me?

Which sends them barreling down the road crazy ridiculous fast and it’s the funniest thing ever.

Everyone convenes in the lab and waits for the Master to show up. There’s more technobabbley exposition for the benefit of the Brigadier and those at home not paying attention because this is so boring.

The Master shows up in a radiation suit to hide his identity and begins the demonstration… But he’s overloading the system with power and we see him shouting “Come, Kronos! Come!” (I’m resisting the urge to make a really dirty joke here.)

Part 2:

The Master pimps out of there while everyone is distracted by Stuart in the other room getting overloaded with power.

Jo and the Doctor show up, but something seems to be happening because Jo has a creepy face on.

The Doctor gets out of the car and runs in semi-slow motion to the lab and starts bossing people around to get the machine turned off, which they finally manage to do. They all rush to check on Stuart, who now looks like this.

Gross. And what is it with me reviewing serials where people are aged abnormally quickly? First Tom Baker, now this guy. Seeing a trend here. I mean, the effect is cool when used properly, but it just feels like a cheap gimmick in this serial.

Based on something the Brigadier says, the Doctor theorizes that Stuart’s personal timeline accelerated to the point where he aged rapidly in a few moments. But how?

Dr. Ingram name-drops Professor Thascalos and the Doctor puts it together—“thascalos” is Greek for “Master”.

Old-Stuart starts awkwardly writhing and mumbling stuff that is supposed to be ominous and indicative of impending doom before passing out again. During this scene we discover the Doctor has no bedside manner at all. Ironic, hm?

The one discernible word we get out of Old-Stuart is “Kronos!” Hey, isn’t that what the Master said in the lame excuse for a cliffhanger last time?

Back at UNIT, Mike Yates gets his orders from the Brigadier via staticky radio. Even though there’s two telephones right there, and I’m sure there’s phones in the Newton Institute the Brigadier could use. Hasn’t anyone heard of efficiency?

The Doctor takes a peek at this troublesome glowy crystal, identifying it as the Crystal of Kronos.

Then he waxes eloquent on the Time Vortex and what a trippy place it is. It’s really interesting and kind of badass.

Oh, and Kronos is a scary time-eater. Whatever. I’m much more interested in the Doctor… which is a problem. But I’ll explain why later.

Meanwhile, the Master is kicking back in his office, smoking a cigar and drinking some scotch. No, really.


Old-guy-who-got-hypnotized comes blundering in. I guess this is *his* office... And his cigars and liquor. Heh. Double-awesome. I love the Master.

Using some handy-dandy exposition, the Doctor and Dr. Ingram link Kronos to Greek mythology and Atlantis. See where this is headed yet?

Apparently the Atlantians used the crystal to trap Kronos however long ago. Now the Master’s trying to jailbreak him, for whatever reason.

Hey Doctor, why don’t you go ahead and show us where the Master’s TARDIS is?

The Master’s doing some math to try and figure out why the power build-up occurred. The Doctor comes to the same conclusion and decides to switch on the machine to see what happens. Great idea, Doctor. It’s not like someone almost died from the effects of the machine or anything.

The Doctor has another good idea and decides to open a door that says “Warning Radiation” while the machine is running.

And then he makes Benton GO INTO THE ROOM TO TOUCH THE CRYSTAL UNPROTECTED. Holy sh*t, Doctor, did you take stupid pills today or something?

Luckily, everything works out all right. Whew. Had me for a minute there, Doctor. But why can’t Benton move the crystal? Oh, because it’s not even here and linked to the crystal in the past in Atlantis? Why yes, that makes perfect sense.

Then some melodramatic lightning happens!

A half-naked altar boy runs away from a different crystal that is also glowing on its pedestal. It’s blurry and unfocused all of a sudden, so it must be the past.

The priest creepily approaches the glowy crystal. Some shirtless guy with a lot of eyeliner watches weirdly from the shadows.

Back in the present, Old-Stuart discovers what’s happened to him.

Sucks, man.

Benton’s hanging out in the lab by himself when he receives a fishy phone call from the old-guy-who-got-hypnotized, with instructions from the Brigadier that he should leave the lab. When Benton doesn’t believe him, he gives a phony number to get in contact with the Brigadier himself.

So the Master picks up….. and speaks exactly like the Brigadier. So trippy.

Benton leaves, giving the Master full clearance to head back into the lab. Oh, but he is a clever boy, Benton, and he climbs back into the lab through an open window.

And then we get our first youtube, because I think it’s kind of funny what happens to Benton, and I do so enjoy The Master.

Hahahaha. Did you see the look on the old guy’s face when the priest appears in the middle of the room? Priceless.

Part 3:

So this priest from Atlantis shows up in the lab and it’s pretty hilarious.

As it turns out, his name is Krasis, and he serves Poseidon. The Master questions him about Kronos and Krasis gets all up in his face for profaning the holy secrets or whatever.

Fascinating as this all is, if Kronos is your villain, and we’re in episode three and still haven’t seen him? We have a problem.

So the Master makes overtures to Krasis: if he helps subdue Kronos, the Master will make him a ruler of the universe alongside him. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Benton makes his escape, but the Master lets him go. He thinks he’s got this one in the bag, now that Krasis has arrived.

Look at this guy’s get-up, will you.

After some coaxing, Krasis finally reveals to the Master that the necessary [whatever] to bend Kronos to their will was lost some five centuries earlier. Looks like you’re out of luck, guy. Nothing else was handed down except the magical crystal and some high priest bling.

The Master realizes that the answer he is looking for is contained on this high priest bling and he gets pretty excited. Maybe you do have this all figured out, Master.

Elsewhere, Benton runs to tell the Doctor that the Master’s in the lab. I sense a showdown.

The Master figures out the measurements from the high priest bling pretty quickly, and switches on the machine. Krasis makes a silly face.

Outside, the Brigadier prepares an assault on the institute. But just as everybody starts to run off, Old-Stuart’s face starts to change and become young again. Well that was easy. Thank you, time feedback.

In the lab, Kronos shows up. Turns out this fearsome monster is a guy dressed as a blinding white bird with a weird helmet. Kronos flaps around screeching, and then eats Director Percival, the old-guy-who-got-hypnotized-and-was-apparently-useless-enough-to-get-killed-off-in-episode-three.

The Master figures out that the high priest bling Krasis gave him can control Kronos, and then locks him in the radiation room?

Okay, Kronos is supposed to be this fierce badass monster WHO FEEDS OFF OF TIME ITSELF and you neutralize him in less than a minute? (Literally, less than a minute of screen time. I timed it.) That is so lame.

Outside, because of the time feedback from the machine, everyone runs towards the building in slow motion that is obviously being acted out by the actors and not just a trick of the film during editing. It. Is. Hilarious.

But because the Doctor has ten times the reflexes as us humans (as he told Jo earlier during the Bessie Super Drive scene), he runs everyone to safety away from the time bubble.

Kronos ricochets around the radiation room til he’s sent back into the crystal when the machine turns off. Well that was spectacular, wasn’t it.

The Master throws a tantrum about not being able to control Kronos as he should, and Krasis mentions in his priestly way that the crystal the Master is using is not the actual complete Crystal of Kronos, but a small part of it. You can probably guess where the rest of it is.

And then we’re treated to more Atlantis, where guy with the eyeliner is showing his king that both the crystal and the high priest are gone.

The king, Dalios, tells Eyeliner Man that he is over 500 years old. Well, that’s awesome. And then, because the high priest is gone and supposed dead, he shows this kid where the actual Crystal of Kronos is kept. Oh, and there’s a Minotaur that guards it too.

Told you he had eyeliner.

Back at the Institute, the Doctor and friends have all gathered in Stuart’s living quarters, presumably outside the reach of the “hiatus in time”. Over tea and marmalade sandwiches, the Doctor explains what was happening. It’s a jolly good time, indeed.

The Master proposes a trip to Atlantis whilst the Doctor goes around collecting odds and ends from Stuart’s apartment.

Hey! I do that all the time in restaurants with my trash and the leftovers! Who knew I was dabbling in Time Lord technology? For indeed, it is a Time Flow Analogue, designed to screw up the Master’s experiments.

But the Master is on to him and destroys the thing remotely. Somehow. DON’T QUESTION THE SERIAL, IT IS LAW.

Hark, here comes Captain Yates with the TARDIS. You remember him, don’t you?

The Master overhears the radio transmission and somehow sees the trucks rolling along on this nifty little wrist device and it blows Krasis’ mind.

I want one. Do you think it has Instant Streaming?

The Master, because he is a show-off, messes with the dials on the TOMTIT machine and calls forth all this random stuff out of time to delay the convoy with the Doctor’s TARDIS. Like this:

“Some goon in fancy dress.”

And this:

“Another hallucination.”

The Doctor and Jo, and the Brigadier all head off in their respective vehicles to rescue the UNIT folk from Roundheads. There’s another fun sequence that involves Bessie and Super Drive.

Jo’s boots match Bessie.

For his final trick, the Master deploys a German “buzz bomb” to finish off the UNIT personnel. Not having reached them yet, the Brigadier radios to get the hell out of there, but it’s too late and the bomb drops where the convoy was last seen.

Part 4:

Benton tries to raise them on the radio whilst survivors wobble through the wreckage. Heya Mike, how’re you doing?

Well, at least the TARDIS is still intact. Some yokel who doesn’t know how to count (“one, two, six, heave!”) helps UNIT out with his tractor.

Benton, Dr. Ingram, and Stuart decide to nip over to the lab and pay the Master a little visit. But the Master and Krasis head into the Master’s TARDIS. Heyyy, this looks kind of familiar.

Jo picks up readings from the Time Sensor. The Doctor tells the Brigadier that he and Jo’ll take the TARDIS from here and land it inside the Master’s so they can track him.

… Wait. You can do that?? Well, it’s super tricky and could result in a Time Ram and ultimate destruction, but sure, yeah. Let’s do this.

Hang on, is that the Master’s TARDIS?

But wait, this is trippy.

UNIT’s decided to show up for an assault on the Newton Institute, but the Master throws up another time bubble and makes everything go down in slow motion again. Woo. Krasis heads into the TARDIS as Benton, Dr. Ingram, and Stuart drop in to crash the Master’s party.

But he gets away easily and lamely. Yawn. Nothing is happening.

The Master takes off. There’s turbulence. Jo complains about her tailbone. The Doctor says “coccyx” and makes me giggle. The Master says “coccyx” and sounds like a creeper. The Doctor and the Master bicker and argue and whatever back and forth via the view screens in their respective TARDISes. Third mention of Venusian something or another.

In the lab, Dr. Ingram tries to get the Brigadier and his troops unstuck from time but only succeeds in turning Benton into a baby.

D’aww. Inn’t he cute?

The Doctor for some reason feels the need to join the Master in his TARDIS. The Master summons Kronos again, who noms the Doctor. Jo faints?

So the Doctor is still alive, but floating around in the Time Vortex. Kronos poop. The Master sends the Doctor’s TARDIS with Jo in it into the abyss. Mwahahaha-- *cough* *choke* *sputter* Ahem. Right. Sorry.

Part 5:

Jo wakes up on the Island from LOST because there’s mysterious whispers all around her.
Oh, no, it’s just the Doctor getting patched in through the TARDIS’s telepathic field.

The Doctor walks Jo step by step how to get him back into the TARDIS.


And now we’re in Atlantis and these guys are making a racket.

Must be because King Dalios and his Queen Slut-Extraordinaire are making an appearance before the unwashed masses.

Eyeliner Guy calls out before the King the sucky state of affairs everything is in right now, compared to ages and ages ago. Sucks. If you’re not careful, you’re gonna have a riot on your hands, Kingity-King. Bring back Kronos!

Guess who makes his grand entrance right in the middle of the temple?

The Master claims to be an emissary from the gods and gets right down to business: Kronos. Krasis claims to have seen him. There follows from the crowd the most melodramatic collective gasp I have ever heard in my life. And the Queen totally has the hots for the Master.

A couple minutes later the Doctor lands the TARDIS in the middle of the temple and walks straight into some guards. Oops.

Krasis tries to have the Doctor killed for reals this time, but Eyeliner Guy stops them. Good man. Take them to the King.

Okay, all this Atlantis stuff is interesting, but it took forever to get here and I just don’t even care anymore.

The Master and the King are talking about Kronos or whatever. The Master tries to put on his hypnotist face, but the King’s not buying it. Dude’s over 500 years old, after all. Probably got some tricks of his own up his sleeve. King Dalios calls him on it. It’s pretty great.

And then the Doctor shows up! Hooray! They get an audience with the King, he gets Jo’s name wrong then sends her off to the Queen so the menfolk can talk.

In her room, the Queen is drooling over the Master. Yeah okay, we get it, you want in his pants.
Eyeliner Guy shows up to deliver Jo to the women. I guess he and the Queen have some history and it’s meant to be tense or whatever? But it’s lost on me and falls flat.

At least your makeup was meant to be together.

The Queen sends her servant girl to the Master to deliver a message: Kronos. That’s Atlantian for “Hey, let’s f*ck.”

Meanwhile, The King pleads with the Doctor to help him to save Atlantis from the imminent destruction that will happen if Kronos returns.

The Master must know Atlantian, cuz here he is in the Queen’s chambers.


Jo’s had a wardrobe change. I like it. It’s classy and so not-70s.

She and the servant girl do some eavesdropping on the sexay conversation happening out there. And let me tell you, even though they’re talking about the Crystal of Kronos the whole time? It is just RIFE with innuendo. Bom chicka wah wah.

So the Master gets the info he’s been looking for: the Crystal is kept hidden under the temple, and only Dalios and Krasis have the keys. Just one problem. The Guardian. And I’m not talking the Key to Time variety.

The Queen volunteers Eyeliner Guy to go get the Crystal past the Minotaur cuz Krasis is too chicken. Jo and the servant girl try to tell the Doctor what’s up but are cockblocked by palace bureaucracy. Jo follows after Eyeliner Guy and tells the servant girl to keep trying.

Jo tries to warn Eyeliner Guy but it’s too late—she’s thrown into the chamber as well, the door has closed, there’s a mighty roar, and Jo has some good old-fashioned cliffhanger face.

Part 6:

Hey, check it out! Minotaur!

Just so’s you guys know, dude in the Minotaur outfit is David Prowse. He went on to wear the Darth Vader suit in all three original not sucky Star Wars movies so James Earl Jones’s voice didn’t have to. How nice of him.

The servant girl has somehow managed to sneak into the King’s chambers and she gives them the scoop about Jo and her new best bud the Minotaur.

The Doctor books it down there and with some signature Pertwee kung-fu gets past the guard trying to assault him and wrests the key to the chamber from Krasis all in one fell swoop. I’m really excited because things are actually happening for once.

Jo and the Minotaur must have had a serious falling-out or something, because he’s about to run at her and gore her with his horns or something gruesome like that. Eyeliner Guy distracts with an interpretive dance routine for two.

Also, you can totally see his panties.

Actually, you know what, let’s just backtrack a little and youtube this so you can see what happens in all of its hokey glory.

So that nonsense happens, Eyeliner Guy bites the dust for good, and oh look, it’s the Crystal of Kronos.

Krasis shows up and threatens the Doctor with death. He demands to see the King, only to discover that a coup d’├ętat happened while Minotaur wrestling. And who’s the usurper? Honestly, if you don’t know by now you obviously haven’t been paying attention to a word I’ve been saying.

(Hint: It’s the Master.)

But where’s Dalios? Oh, alive somewhere. Jo and the Doctor are then imprisoned, and what follows is one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard (remember? I mentioned it earlier). Enjoy.

I’m sorry, but Pertwee nails that. Just nails it. So good.

Shortly after, some guards show up with King Dalios and throw him into the jail cell, bopping him on the head like a field mouse in the process. Dude’s 500 years old, he isn’t really able to cope, and so dies… but not before predicting Atlantis’ doom.

Queen Slut-Extraordinaire addresses her faithful subjects and introduces the Master as new ruler of Atlantis. There’s much speech-making (not nearly as good as the one about daisies, though). There’s promises that Kronos shall be seen today.

Somehow the Doctor and Jo are just chilling out on the steps of the courtyard during all this?

Whoooooops they let slip that Dalios is dead. The Queen FREAKS OUT and tries to have the Master arrested, but not before Krasis triggers the Crystal with some random machine. Here comes Kronos.

And I know it’s highly unorthodox to have more than three youtubes, but you just need to see Kronos in action. It’ll only take a few seconds.


So Kronos is out of the box and consequently the set Atlantis starts falling apart all over the place. For some reason Jo tackles the Master as he’s grabbing the Crystal and she rides piggy-back as he escapes into his TARDIS.

The Doctor books it into the TARDIS and goes after them.

The Master tries to discourage Jo by telling her that the Doctor is dead, but she doesn’t believe him, and sure enough the Doctor’s lovely face appears on the TARDIS view screen. He threatens the Master with Time Ram, which means that both TARDISes occupy the same exact space in time resulting in total annihilation.

Cool. Know what this means? The Ultimate Game of Chicken is on, bitches.

The Doctor backs out at the last moment because he doesn’t have the heart to sacrifice Jo. So Jo takes the initiative and gives the control dial that extra push that sends them all into oblivion.


And that’s it, no more Doctor Who.

But wait a second, what’s this?

And then this serial TOTALLY JUMPS THE SHARK.

See the chick with the bad makeup? That is apparently Kronos. What?

No. Yeah. I know. I have no f*cking idea.

Apparently the Time Ram sent the two TARDISes spiraling out to the boundary between two realities. So are all boundaries of reality so pretty and rainbow-colored? That explains so much…

Kronos was freed by the impact and being a kind a benevolent being(????) allows the Doctor and Jo safe passage back to their reality via the TARDIS. But she’s got a vendetta against the Master because he was kind of a douchebag, and intends to torture him for all eternity.

He scurries out of his TARDIS and promptly grovels.

The Doctor, being the Doctor, asks mercy on behalf of the Master so they can take him back with them and deal with him. Kronos agrees. And then he runs off and escapes into his own TARDIS because no one has the foresight to make him get into the TARDIS ahead of them. Sigh.

Back at the Newton Institute, Stuart attempts to feed Baby Benton some good food. I wish they’d just wrap this up already.

Dr. Ingram has managed to rig the TOMTIT machine so that the time bubble is released and the Brigadier and friends are able to move again. It then conveniently crackles and pops like a Rice Krispie.

The Brigadier joins our intrepid group and everything is well again… But what about Benton?


Final Thoughts?: So, um... This was bad.

First off, it definitely didn't need to be six whole episodes in which practically nothing happened. We do get some cool ideas and concepts (Kronos, the time bubbles/gaps, Time Rams, TARDISes being inside each other, etc etc). But that's all they are in this, really: concepts. They don't really serve much to further the plot until the very end, which makes for a deluge of interesting sci-fi ideas bouncing off your audience and flatlining into boredom. No matter how cool the concept is, we're not going to care if it's not tied in to a good story.

Secondly, Kronos was stupid. That's that. The idea was cool, again, but the execution just fell flat. And Kronos was another one of those things that just... was not good storytelling. You're telling us all about what a powerful and very dangerous threat this thing is, and then not bringing it in til halfway through the serial. And then the Master is able to quasi-tame it in a minute? Not good.

Remember when the Doctor was talking about Kronos and how he hangs out in the Time Vortex and what a scary place it is and how the Doctor's been in there before? And I'm much more fascinated in the Doctor's own personal story instead of focusing on the threat? Defeats the purpose of your threat before we even get to see it.

What this did do well was establish a little more of the Doctor's backstory, even if it was only in small doses. But those small doses, like the Daisy speech, were done incredibly well and I found myself riveted and hanging off his every word. Character development and good dialogue are always pluses in my book.

Next Time!: 4th Doctor! Gothic Season! Possession! Sketchy tupperware! And a Companion departure! "The Hand of Fear" coming next Tuesday!

1 comment:

  1. A "UNIT's greatest hits" story could have been great. Sadly, despite the potential mentioned in this excellent review, this is a real load of old rubbish. I'm not a Pertwee knocker, but this really isn't any good.