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Doctor Who: The Time Meddler (Dr. Who)

Released on 04 February 2008

Featuring: William Hartnell, Peter Purves & Maureen O'Brien

Format: DVD | Rating: PG

4.0 out of 5 (10 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The TARDIS arrives on an English coastline in the year 1066. Exploring, the Doctor discovers that one of his own people, the Monk, is conspiring to wipe out the Viking fleet and thus allow King Harold to face the forces of William of Normandy with a fresh army at the Battle of Hastings.


  • Commentary
  • Verity Lambert Obituary
  • Photo Gallery
  • Subtitle Production Notes
  • Subtitles
  • pdf files of Radio Times billings
  • "The Lost Twelve Seconds" - 12 lost seconds recreated using off-air audio recording and the script
  • Stripped for action - a look at the first Doctor's comic strip adventures
  • Restoration featurette

customer Reviews

 Average rating (10 reviews)

 Space helmets for cows, and the Doctor aquires a new habit.

| | See all ArmchairPundit's reviews (22)

Season 2.
The Doctor is continuing with his peripatetic lifestyle, and the Tardis materialises on the Northumbrian coast in 1066.
Norways King Hardrada has sent out a fleet of ships to scout out the Saxon's defences, prior to a full scale invasion.
The Doctor meanwhile encounters the Monk, one of his own race, whom has plans to alter the time line by defeating the Viking fleet, with a modern day bazooka.
Thus obviating King Harolds need to trudge all the way up North to defeat the Viking threat.
(Which he did in real life.)
The Doctor is incensed by this meddling with established history and is determined to stop him.
~~~~
Another amusing gem from the prolific Dennis Spooner. This is regarded as the first of the Pseudo-Historicals, and is one of my favourite sixties stories.
I can never feel anything but sorrow for the Monk at the end of this story as he's left stranded. I know he was a rogue, as witnessed by his Tardis full of stolen art treasures, but he did help the ancient Britons build Stonehenge with the aid of his anti-gravitational lift, after all.
"Carry on" film star Peter Butterworth plays the part of the monk with amusing relish. I would have loved to have seen him as a regular recurring.....I hesitate to use the word villain, so I'll say character instead.
And by being "shades of grey" in temperament, as opposed to the "black and white" pantomine personality of another Time Lord renegade from the seventies and eighties, makes the Monk a far more interesting and entertaining character in the process.
Here's an example, when the Doctor asks him why he behaves the way he does, the Monk replies with glee,
"Doctor it's more fun my way...".
No heavy intellectual reasoning, just, it's more fun. I like that!
The Monk is the kind of character that would go back in time just for fun, and etch some contemporary comment on some ancient artifact just to give future archaeologists headaches.
Not an evil character as such, just extremely naughty.
~~~~
One of the reasons that makes me laugh about the comment by non-Who fans who dismiss Doctor Who as being a kids show, is an incident that happens in this story, it's what the Vikings do to Edith, and her almost cataleptic state afterwards. (Thankfully,implied and not shown.)
A similar incident nearly occurs to Barbara in the, "The Snows of Terror" episode of, "The Keys of Marinus".
During this era the show touched upon some of the more brutal aspects of life, aspects it avoided in later years, and that made this era, for me, slightly more believable.
This was the first story to undergo a format change, as the Doctor becomes more of a central character, and the actions of the companions had a "lesser" impact on the outcome of the stories.
Don't let the fact it's in Black and White put you off.
Kids show! Bah, they don't know what they're talking about. It was made by the drama department of the BBC, NOT the Childrens department. The only reason I can see that some people mistake it for a Childrens show was in the UK it was shown at Tea-time!
~~~~
Ep.1~ The Watcher.
Ep.2~ The Meddling Monk.
Ep.3~ A Battle of Wits.
Ep.4~ Checkmate.
Originally broadcast:~ 3/7/65-24/7/65.

 The Doctor isn't the only timelord...

| | See all Hawkman2k's reviews (19)

One of the fully remaining Hartnell stories makes it on to DVD... I saw this for the first time back in 1993 on BBC 2 repeats and it's what got me hooked into the program. It began expanding the who universe, letting the viewer see a tiny bit information about the Doctors past, and the Monk was one of the first "villians" other than the Daleks to return...

 Hartnell episode's stand the test of time.

| | See all umboman's reviews (47)

I really enjoyed it.I prefer this to "new" who.Less special effect's & more story.There is an honesty present -when one of the actor's get's a line wrong,it is left in,not edited out.Everything today is too slick.The Key of Marinus is Awesome & rival's Tom Bakers key of time.I quite forget it is black & white as it is so absorbing.I still find it difficult to believe that the bbc burnt most of the best drama ever to come to television.The remarkable thing is that some of this survived,poor Patrick Troughton did not do so well(Master of the World).I like the fact that Peter Purves appeared as another character in the Chase.They liked him,so gave him another job.I have the video & will probably convert to dvd as it is so good.

 Hartnells 100 years!!!`

| | See all sw1601's reviews (65)

In 2005 Doctor Who returned after so long an absence and they way RTD carries on, you would be forgiven to wonder if there was any Doctor Who before it!!! The Time Meddler is a brilliant story of it's time. Peter Butterworth is perfectly cast as the bumbling Monk. William Hartnell had settled into his role by the end of the 2nd series and you can tell he is enjoying it. It is a great story and introduces the first in a long line of Times Lords and this character is no where near as boring as another one I could mention. It is a shame the BBC dumped so many of the early stories.

 end of season 2 serial on dvd soon

| | See all davrosstory2's reviews (10)

the time meddler is a great episode from the william hartnell era.
the 1st doctor and companions viki and steven taylor end up in 1066and they find a watch, a gramophone and a toaster. what could be more mysterious.

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ActorsWilliam Hartnell, Peter Purves, Maureen O'Brien, Peter Butterworth, Alethea Charlton, Peter Russell, Ronald Rich, Michael Guest, David Anderson, Norman Hartley, Geoffrey Cheshire & Michael Miller
DirectorDouglas Camfield
CertificatePG
Year1965
ScreenFullscreen 4:3
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby (2.0) Stereo
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.