Friday 11 February 2011

081 The Time Meddler Part 4: Checkmate

EPISODE: The Time Meddler Part 4: Checkmate
TRANSMITTED: 24 July 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Time Meddler

The Monk plans to signal the Viking fleet to land and then destroy them, allowing Harold's army to ride fresh to Hastings without having been involved in battle. Steven & Vicki find the Monk's collection of artefacts & technology plus his diary of attempted time meddling. The Doctor is enraged with the Monk and reminds him not to interfere. The Monk claims to have helped build Stonehenge with an anti gravity lift! The Doctor vows to prevent the Monk's plan. Sven the Viking wakes and seeks Ulf but is seen by the recovered Eldred. The Monk shows the Doctor his Tardis disguised as an altar. Eldred sneaks out of the monastery to warn the villagers. The Doctor marvels at the Monk's later mark IV Tardis. Vicki tells him the tide came in but the Doctor is confident it has survived intact. The Doctor admits he comes from the same place as the Monk but 50 years earlier by his reckoning. The Monk escapes but is captures by the Vikings. However he claims that he's in league with them and that the Doctor's party are their enemies. Eldred tells the villagers about the Vikings and they come to the monastery. The Monk deceives the Vikings into taking his weaponry to the cliff top. The Tardis crew are tied up and the Doctor vows to stop the monk. The villages set on the Vikings but they & the Monk escape. Edith frees the Tardis crew. The Vikings are caught (and killed though we don't see it as there's 12 seconds of footage missing from this episode, cut by the New Zealand censor and this is where it would be) The Doctor tampers with the Monk's Tardis and is delighted with his work. They decide to return to the Tardis, leaving a note for the Monk. The Monk returns to read the note and laughs. He enters the Tardis to find that the Doctor has removed it's dimensional control causing the inner dimensions to collapse to the size of the outer ones marooning the Monk in 1066. The Tardis dematerialises from the beech.....

That was a satisfying conclusion to the story. Lots of Hartnell & Butterworth made it all worth while.

The Time Meddler came to prominence in the early 1990s when it was chosen to open a repeat season in 1992 and followed by The Mind Robber, The Sea Devils, The Daemons, (surprisingly) Genesis of the Daleks, Caves of Androzani, Revalation of the Daleks and Battlefield. It was released on VHS in late 2002 in a boxset containing the last 3 complete William Hartnell stories not yet on Video - also included were the Sensorites and the Gunfighters. It was released on DVD in 2002.

And that concludes Doctor Who season 2. Generally I've enjoyed this season, with the exception of the one real clunker. I've only had to resort to audio for two episodes as well. Sadly it will be another TEN episodes before I next get to watch a complete episode as we're now entering the period of the program really devastated by the junkings of the 1970s. So I'm afraid that in the next few weeks they'll be lots of listening to CDs instead of watching on DVD or Video. So tomorrow we start Doctor Who Season 3 with Galaxy 4 Part 1: Four Hundred Dawns.

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