Reviews & Ratings for
"Doctor Who" The Time Monster: Episode Five (1972)

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Time Mess

8/10
Author: Christopher Evans from South Wales, UK
10 October 2014

Review of all 6 episodes:

This 6 parter can be roughly described as having a slightly disappointing opening 2 parts, a pretty poor middle 2 parts and a mainly very decent final 2 parts. The overall story is a mess with some very poorly thought through ideas in a jumble with only the final 2 episodes reaching a quality you would expect from the average Doctor Who adventure. Episode 3 of this story is a front runner for worst Doctor Who episode ever yet there are some decent aspects, particularly in episodes 5 and 6 to thankfully stop the whole story from being a disaster.

The story has The Master, well played as usual by Roger Delgado, using a special crystal to try to contact and control an immensely powerful being from 'outside time'. This being, Kronos, is the basis of the mythical Greek God and is the most dangerous example of a 'time eater' (which in revised form later appear in the 2005 story 'Father's Day). He wishes to use Kronos' powers to control the universe but the dangers are that Kronos could destroy the known universe entirely. The Doctor tries to stop him in contemporary Britain with UNIT but also following The Master to the ancient civilization on Atlantis.

The script and story are muddled and silly until finally reaching a greater quality in episodes 5 and 6. There are some good aspects in episodes 1 and 2 which whilst silly in some ways (The Doctor's precognitive dream being one strange and inexplicable plot point) and below the standard of dialogue, story and guest cast acting you expect from Doctor Who, are saved by some decent touches to the build up of the story (mostly thanks to the addition of The Master) and the good regular cast.

Things get particularly bad though in episode 3 which is embarrassing in its nonsensical dialogue and ridiculous ideas. The production is also below par. It is one of the worst episodes of Doctor Who with its qualities being outweighed more than almost any other Who episode by badly thought through ideas and poor scripting. Episode 4 is not as bad but is also poor by the very high standards of the show.

Once things settle down in Atlantis with some great guest characters well played by the likes of Ingrid Pitt and George Cormack the story finally manages to get to a quality level you would expect and there is an enjoyable final third to the adventure.

Taken as a whole though this is clearly one of the weakest Pertwee era stories.

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