Monday 17 October 2011

329 The Time Monster Episode Six

EPISODE: The Time Monster Episode Six
TRANSMITTED: 24 June 1972
WRITER: Robert Sloman (and Barry Letts uncredited)
DIRECTOR: Paul Bernard
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Myths & Legends: The Time Monster, Underworld & The Horns of the Nimon
Episode Format: 625 low band video colour restored using 525 ntsc video

The Doctor rescues Jo from the Minotaur but returning to the surface they find Atlantis ruled by the Master who summons Kronos, destroying Atlantis. The Master takes Jo prisoner and flees in his Tardis, but the Doctor Time Rams it with his own Tardis to stop him escaping with the crystal to control Kronos. Kronos itself, now back in it's right mind and freed from the crystal's control, saves both Tardis and intends to punish the Master, but he manages to escape. The Doctor & Jo return to Earth where Stuart & Ruth unfreeze the Unit troops and return a now naked Sergeant Benton to adulthood.

Oh it's over. Thank the Lord! Look I may have had a bad couple of days writing this but I've found the end of the story, and indeed the later half of this season quite dreadful. Sorry, it's done nothing for me. The best bits were ripped off from the Dæmons: as in the last episode of that story Jo tries to sacrifice herself here completing the time ram when the Doctor hesitates. And to top it off the monster of the title destroys Atlantis just as Azal claimed in the Dæmons! I know the Time Monster was a replacement for an earlier storyline, Daleks in London, which was junked when Barry Letts & Terrance Dicks decided to use the Daleks in Day of the Daleks but still.... Although the end of the broadcast ninth season of Doctor Who, production of Doctor Who continued filming a serial for the tenth season, The Carnival of Monsters. But before that would be shown a very special story would launch the 10th season.

All six episodes of the Time Monster were found in the BBC Enterprises holdings in 1978 on Black & White film. Later, in 1981, colour 525 line NTSC broadcast video tapes of the entire series were returned from Canada in 1981. In 1987 it was discovered that the BBC held a "low band" (basically B&W) 625 line video tape on episode 6 of the Time Monster. Labelling indicated that it had been made 1st December 1972, almost certainly for training purposes. Using the same technique that had married B&W film with the colour from off air video tapes Restoration Team member Paul Vanezies built a new version of episode 6 matching the luminance from the BBC's 625 line b&2 tape with the chroma information from the NTSC 525 line tape to produce a new, near perfect, 625 line colour version. The DVD contains a short feature showing this restoration work and that performed on the rest of the serial.

The Time Monster was novelised by Terrance Dicks in 1986. I loved the book when I read it aged 13. It was released on Video in November 2001 as part of The Master tin with Colony in Space. It was released on DVD in March 2010 Doctor Who - Myths & Legends along with Underworld & The Horns of the Nimon, two other stories with ancient Greek influences.

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