It's easy to hate on The Time Monster, but who doesn't love the Queen of Atlantis's cleavage? With some other commentary and a defense of Jo...

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Summary: Doctor Who has had its various vamps and sexpots throughout the years, and it has been remarked that the companions (largely female) are for the dads, but... Also, talk about the episode in general...

BLOT: (04 May 2013 - 11:47:40 AM)

It's easy to hate on The Time Monster, but who doesn't love the Queen of Atlantis's cleavage? With some other commentary and a defense of Jo...

Here I am, meandering through another unnecessarily-six-episodes-in-length classic Doctor Who serial, The Time Monster, wondering why we spent three episodes of UNIT acting like a comedy sidekick and then had an episode of two TARDISes getting it on while Pertwee makes fake-backwards-talking, and why the technobabble started out ok but went further and further south, and then the most gratuitious cleavage in Who history shows up:

So there's that. Almost makes up for the man in spandex flapping his arms about while people scream, "KRONOS! OBEY ME!".

[Note: Ingrid Pitt is lovely and talented, and there is no disrespect meant towards her. It is interesting that an episode that starts with at least a mild nod towards feminism in science goes that deep into a cleavage shot (admittedly tame after some of Pitt's racier Hammer Studios work).]

I like the basis of this one, but they should have summoned Kronos in the first ep, done the Time Vortex stuff in the second, hit up post-Atlantis in the third, and then they could have been done in four episodes.

I imagine this one was great for the kids, though, with the phallic "time sensor", and the flappy-armed monster, and "TOMTIT" being said a dozen times, and Bessie driving around at three times film speed, and the Brigadier running in place with a bemused look on his face, and the goofy Stu making fun of feminism and then growing old and and the spinning wine bottle flashing thing. Oh, and the Benton Baby.

It has that same sort of weird inventive goofiness that was prominent in a fair number of Seventh Doctor stories, but stretches it askew and seems unaware of what it is trying to do with the script's comedic elements seeminly missed by the director [or deemed unnecessary]. Well worthy an edit. At least the Time Vortex mechanics are expanded and it probably laid the groundwork for many more later, worthy episodes with chronovores and such.

Finally, Jo Grant (and Katy Manning) never get the respect they deserve. Just about everything that people attribute to companions like Sarah Jane or Nyssa or Rose, Jo did it (to some degree) first. She argued with the Doctor, played dumb just to get him to talk to the audience, went through vent shafts for him, she risked her life to save him, and had the whole "not quite a romance, but some sort of strong bond" thing. Most every problem with her comes from scripts being stretched out 2+ episodes more than they should, and so she gets dumped to side plots that would never have been around had it been kept as tight as the Tom Baker era ownward dealt with.

Doctor Who


Written by Doug Bolden

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