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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Doctor Who Rewind - The Time Monster

TOMTIT is causing all kinds of time anomalies, KRONOS is kidnapped by The Master, and someone has hit the fast forward button on Bessie's dashboard. It must be 1972, and we are watching The Time Monster.

So, Jo and the Doctor have been called to Newton Research Unit at Cambridge University on a hunch that the Master is back on Earth and up to no good. Which of course he is. On the way the Doctor engages Bessie's Super Drive mode, it's a bit of a Keystone Cops moment as the car zooms along at breakneck speed.

What they find at the Institute is time moving very slowly, plus some rather dodgy FX involving the Brigadier trying to run in slow motion, he's arrived to investigate the TOMTIT (Transmission of Matter Through Interstitial Time) experiments. Yes it's all very silly but highly enjoyable.

The Master is posing as Professor Thascalos (the Greek version of his name) to conduct time experiments, using a crystal trident to tap into Chronovore, a creature from outside time that feeds on time itself, who was once attracted from the vortex to ancient Atlantis. In doing so, the Doctor explains, that the whole universe could disappear up its own arse, or something similar.

The Master uses TOMTIT to transport himself to ancient Atlantis where he steals a magical Seal of Kronos that will help him control the Chronovore which attacks
Dr Percival, the director of the institute.

The Master can not control the Chronovore, a creature from outside of time which attacks time itself. Basically he's in it right up to his elbows. But as we all know the Master is anything if not persistent in his fiendish plans.

There then begins a cat and mouse battle between the Master and the Doctor, using time as the weapon, with some very strange results, the funniest of which is Seargent Benton being transformed into baby Benton.

With the Doctor being ejected out into the time vortex things don't look too good at all. But Jo is able and willing to come to his aid.

There is a fair bit gadgetry in this story, the portable time sensor is a handy device that allows its user to detect fluctuations in time, and there's TOMTIT which really does go tits up. We also get to see the Masters TARDIS (which has a fully functioning chameleon circuit).

The Chronovore when it materialises is a big white light with what looks like a white giant cockatiel flapping about inside. It's an interesting interpretation of the creature that literally snacks on time itself.

We also get to see the Doctor using his telepathic skills to reach out to Jo and get her help.

There's also a lovely quiet moment between the Doctor and Jo when he tells her a story from his youth, it's a lovely moment of reflection and wisdom that really brings out the philosophical aspect of his character.

All in all then this is a fun, thrilling time romp that has some interesting twists and turns. And a few surprises.

Next time on Doctor Who Rewind, we celebrate 10 glorious years of Doctor Who with a look at the 1973 anniversary special, The Three Doctors...


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