mandag den 30. marts 2009

Who Review #65 - the Time Monster

The Doctor has a nightmare where he seas volcanoes, the Master and a crystal shaped like a trident. The Master is masquerading as a Professor Thascales and has a trident shaped crystal; he is working on a new machine: TOM-TIT (transmission of matter through intersticial time). The Brig and Benton head off to watch a demonstration of the machine. The Doctor makes a sensor to detect time disturbances, in order to alert him when the Master's TARDIS is used. TOM-TIT is operated by the Master's research associates, Ruth and Stewart, and the time sensor starts operating. The Doctor and Jo head off to locate the source of the time disturbance and discover it is at the lab where TOM-TIT is. The Master (concealed in a protective suit) strats his demonstration for the Brig and co.; he summons Kronos as the power builds dangerously high.

Jo and the Doctor arrive at the lab; where time is influenced and Stewart is aged. The machine is turned off; Stewart says he has seen Kronos, and the Doctor learns of Thascales - Greek for Master. The Brig orders Yates to bring in UNIT troops and bring the TARDIS. The Doctor examines TOM-TIT and spots the crystal of Kronos. The Doctor tells Ruth about the Chronovores, creatures outside time and space which feed on time; the whole of creation is in danger if the Master uses the crystal to summon Kronos. They turn on the machine in an attempt to understand the massive power build up. The Doctor is convinced the actual crystal is back in time, in Atlantis, and is connected to the one in the machine. In Atlantis, a crystal glows and a priest awaits Kronos. The Doctor talks to Stewart, who has begun to recover. The Master returns to the lab, after luring Benton away (he thinks) by immitating the Brig's voice in a phone call; Benton doubles back. The Master knocks out Benton and starts the machine. A light fills the room and the face of the priest in seen.

Krasis, the High Priest of Poseidon, materialises in the lab. Benton escapes and warns the Doctor. The Master, using information from Krasis's seal, starts the machine again and summons Kronos. There is another disturbance in time, which slows time down near the lab and which returns Stewart back to normal. Kronos returns to his domain. Krasis tells the Master that his crystal is but a piece of a bigger crystal, which is in Atlantis. King Dalios guards the secret of the crystal, and begins to share it with Hippias. In the tunnels, by the crystal, is a creature, the guardian of the crytal. The Doctor makes a gizmo to spoil the Master's plans but it soon goes to pieces. UNIT drive up to the lab; the Master summons a Knight who charges them and forces the troops to drive off the road. Then they are attacked by roundhead soldiers; but then they disappear, to be replaced by the sound of a Doodlebug. The engines cut and it falls on the UNIT position, exploding. The Brig tries to hail Yates, but there is no answer.

The UNIT men make it out, their transport destroyed and some men injured. The Master prepares to leave for Atlantis; the Doctor materialises around the Master's TARDIS, which leads to trouble as the TARDIS is also inside the Master's TARDIS, leading to multiple rooms (a bit like what we see later in the Tom Baker story Logopolis). Benton, Ruth and Stewart make for the lab but the Master gets away in his TARDIS. They talk via their intercoms; they have placed time locks on each other. The Brig and his men are frozen in time; Ruth tries to rectify the situation by using TOMTIT. It doesn't work, instead it turns Benton into a baby! The Doctor is forced to leave the TARDIS; he warns the Master about the destruction, but he summons Kronos who takes the Doctor into the time vortex. Then the Master ejects the TARDIS and Jo into the vortex as well.

The Doctor communicates telepathically, via the TARDIS, with Jo. She is instructed to pull a lever; the Doctor is saved from the time vortex. Hippias begins to argue with Dalios because the rains have not fallen and food grows short. The Master, Krasis, the Doctor and Jo arrive in Atlantis. The Master tries to hypnotise Dalios but without luck; the Master is arrested. The Queen (the gorgeous Ingrid Pitt) is enamoured with the Master; they begin to plot. The Doctor talks with Dalios about Kronos; only Dalios has seen Kronos, so he begs the Doctor to help him prevent the chronovore's return. Both the Doctor and the Master want to get to the crystal under the citadel, where it is guarded by the Minotaur (David Prowse, Darth Vader in Star Wars) . Jo hears that the ueen intends to send Hippias to slay the Minotaur; she send Lakis, the Queen's handmaiden, to tell the King and Doctor whilst she follows Hippias. Krasis throws Jo in the corridors and locks the door; the Minotaur roars at it approaches her.

Jo runs and is pursued by the creature. The Doctor rushes to her aid. Hippias fights the Minotaur, saving Jo's life, but is killed. The Doctor knocks out the Minotaur and finds the crystal. The Master has taken charge and takes the crystal. The Doctor, Jo and Dalios are thrown into a cell; Dalios is dying and he sees the doom of Atlantis. He begs the Doctor to save the city and passes on. The Master promises the Atlanteans that they will see Kronos; he loses favour with the Queen when Dalios's death is reported, but it's too late - Kronos appears and Atlantis is destroyed. The Master escapes with Jo as his prisoner. The Doctor threatens the Master with a time ram (the TARDIS's will exist in the same space-time coordinates, leading to their mutual destruction and saving the universe from Kronos. Jo operates the switch when the Doctor hesitates. They end up in a nothingness outside of reality. Kronos appears (in the shape of a female.) She promises them freedom because they released her; the Doctor saves the Master from eternal torment at the hands of Kronos. He escapes in his TARDIS. Ruth and Stew use TOMTIT to heal the time rift. The Brig rushes in and is perplexed: where is the Master; what is Jo wearing; where's Benton? Baby Benton returns to his normal, adult self.

The Time Monster is a mixed bag. Some of it is really awful and just plain tedious. The Doctor's gizmo - made of a bottle, some forks and tea leaves - is not going to be saved by suspending disbelief. There is a lot of padding. Reviewers have noted that this story tries out plot elements from the Dæmons again (not surprising as Sloman wrote both stories); it isn't anywhere close to the magic of that story. Kronos appears as a guy dressed in some sort of white chicken suit and flaps about, looking silly.

One of my Whovian friends, in Mississippi, is always saying: "the only bad Doctor Who is no Doctor Who", so on that motto I'll go quickly to what I liked.

The ending is the funniest of the lot - was Benton still in a nappy? Ingrid Pitt just oozes sex appeal - no surprise there. The Master and the Doctor have some good, verbal sparring moments.

Classic Jo
Her mini and platform boots.

Not a good end to the season but that was to be made up for in the next story for sure...!

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