Wednesday 9 February 2011

079 The Time Meddler Part 2: The Meddling Monk

EPISODE: The Time Meddler Part 2: The Meddling Monk
TRANSMITTED: 10 July 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Time Meddler

The next day the monk makes the Doctor breakfast using a toaster, frying pan and tea pot serving it on a tray with modern crockery & cutlery. However his ungrateful guest throws it at him from within the cell (Another week off for Hartnell who remains unseen and only heard in a recording). Vicki is worried out in the woods, Steven finds them some breakfast of Blackberries. Steven doubts they are in the 10th Century. The travellers are seized by villagers. While outside the Monk is met by two women of the village who have brought him food. He's looking out to sea with binoculars waiting for something.... The Doctor hammers on the inside of the cell door wanting to be let out. The monk spots an approaching Viking ship and is pleased that they're coming at last. Vicki and Steven have been taken to the village. The villagers argue about whether to let the travellers go or kill him. They meet Edith, the woman who spoke with the Doctor last night. The headman releases them to proceed on their way. The Vikings land and scale the cliffs. Vicki & Steven arrive at the monastery and meet the Monk who tells them no stranger has visited them. The Monk accidentally reveals to them that the Doctor has been there so Steven & Vicki decide to break in. Back at the village the Vikings attack and assault Edith. The men of the village blame the travellers but Edith tells her husband it was Vikings. The villagers attack the Vikings causing many of them to be slain and injured by the superior warriors. The chief elder Wulnoth takes his friend Eldred to the monastery for help as Steven & Vicki are breaking in. The monk sees Steven and Vicki but is called to the door by the villagers allowing them too to find the gramophone recording of the song. They find the Doctor's cell empty apart from his cloak.

A little slow moving but Peter Butterworth is just superb as the Monk and so watchable that you don't notice! Lots of nice little touches dropped in to keep the mystery of where and when the Monk comes from in your mind.

As we've said, the principle guest star for this story is Peter Butterworth. At this time he was already well known but was shortly to find fame in the Carry On series of films. He made his d├ębut in 1965's Carry on Cowboy with fellow first timer Bernard Bresslaw who would later appear in Doctor Who as an Ice Warrior. William Hartnell is famously the Sergeant in the first film, 1958's Carry on Sergeant, while future Doctor Who Jon Pertwee has several appearances in the Carry On series. Film companions Roy Castle & Bernard Cribbins both have Carry Ons on their CV while prominent Carry On star Joan Sims appears in a Colin Baker story. The list of actors who have been in both Doctor Who and Carry On is so legion that it beats even my OCD/ASD powered list making ability. (I started one: it was huge when I gave up!)

The only other cast member in this series that I know anything about is Alethea Charlton who plays Edith. She was in the very first Doctor Who story playing cavewoman Hur.

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