OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 522
STORY NUMBER: 108
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 22 December 1979
WRITER: Anthony Read
DIRECTOR: Kenny McBain
SCRIPT EDITOR: Douglas Adams
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
RATINGS: 6 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Myths & Legends: The Time Monster, Underworld & The Horns of the Nimon
An ageing Skonnan battlecruiser travels from Aneth to Skonnos carrying the last payment of tribute. The crew overload the systems trying to make the journey quicker and are dragged off course, killing the pilot. The Doctor is modifying the Tardis' systems, with vital systems disconnected, when K-9 detects that the Tardis is moving and accelerating. They sight the Skonnan space ship where the surviving co-pilot attempts to contact Skonnan control. On Skonnos the Skonnan leader Soldeed returns from having spoken with the Nimon with promises of greatness. The Tardis collides with the Skonnan space ship with the Doctor extruding a forcefield from the doors enabling them to board the ship where they find the radioactive hymetusite, and then the Anethan children locked in a room. They tell the Doctor they are the bearers of the tribute from Aneth. The Doctor wonders if someone is artificially creating the black hole he believes they have encountered. The remaining pilot finds the Doctor & Romana taking them to the bridge. Skonnos detects that the ship has vanished and Soldeed goes to inform the Nimon. The Doctor uses the grativic aomaliser from the Tardis to help the ailing ship, but as the Doctor returns to the Tardis the pilot, eager to get back to Skonnos with his cargo of sacrifices, activates the ship's drive leaving the Tardis behind and taking Romana with them. On Skonnos Soldeed meets with the Nimon, a massive bull headed creature. An asteroid hurtles towards the Tardis threatening it's safety.....
Doctor and Romana help stricken spacecraft. Except this is just the hook to get them involved in the story. If you haven't figures it out by the end of the episode the appearance of the bull headed Nimon should give you a big clue: we're doing Theseus & The Minotaur!
This is Anthony Read's first solo script for Doctor Who, having previously been one part of the first Doctor Who incarnation of "David Agnew". However while he was Script Editor Read commissioned Underworld which plays with the myth of Jason & The Argonauts, so he's returning to similar territory here. And like Underworld, many of the names in this story have mythical origins:
While the name Teka, Seth female companion. doesn't seem to have a mythical origin. The heroine of the Minotaur story is King Minos' daughter Ariadna so it's not taken from there. While Doctor Who 429 draws our attention to the similar sounding Attica, which is the region of Greece where Athens is found, it's worth pointing out that Teka is an anagram of Kate and thus probably based on a relative of one of the production team.
Oh look, there's the triangle/hexagon patterned walls again! They're all over the place in this story.