Doctor Who: The Time Meddler (Story 17)
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Top Customer Reviews
The story itself is quite good and the region 2 disc that I've seen, thanks to a friend, doesn't look too bad so I should think that the region 1 disc will look as good. I hope so as that's the one I'm buying. There are still 11 seconds of the fourth episode that are still missing due to overseas distributors' editing it for viewing. One of the special features goes back and uses both telesnaps, off air recordings and the such to recreate this scene as one of the special features.
First of all, "The Time Meddler" shines as the prototypical example of the so-called pseudo-historical story, that delightfully distinctive blending of science fiction elements and past historical settings so typical of Doctor Who. Afterwards, that is. Up until this story, the purely science fiction stories and the purely historical stories had remained worlds apart, alternating with each other in almost lockstep fashion. What an innovative brainstorm it was to fuse the two! And something of the excitement of this unusual new approach communicates itself through the mood of the storytelling: we're pulled along by puzzle upon apparently irresolvable puzzle as the Tardis arrives somewhere along the northeastern coast of England in 1066 and what seems like an onlooking medieval monk seems less mystified than intrigued, as if by an unexpected but familiar sight. A monk, as it gradually turns out, who happens to own a wristwatch, a gramophone record player, an electric toaster, a first aid kit with penicillin, and...a Tardis?!Read more ›
The important distinction between the two types was that the historical stories contained no science fiction concepts. The villains were regular humans, not evil alien monsters. Fights took place using swords or pistols, not death-rays or blasters.
THE TIME MEDDLER changed all this by combining the science fiction with the historical (pseudo-historicals as they became known in fan nomenclature). Looking back, it's intriguing to see how the production team played on viewer expectations by opening with an adventure set in the 11th century and only slowly dropping clues that a subversion of this story-type is unfolding: a modern wristwatch is found in the woods; a monastery has a phonograph (which apparently broadcasts the "Chant" album across the countryside).
The story is relatively straightforward. Landing in England in 1066, the TARDIS crew are puzzled by the aforementioned anachronistic clues. The one thing they have in common is a monk who has recently appeared in a previously abandoned monastery.Read more ›
The pure historicals are ones like Doctor Who - The Aztecs, where the TARDIS crew winds up somewhere in the past, runs into trouble and has to get out. This is all done without them having to deal with any kind of monsters or sci-fi peril.
But after a while, the powers that be decided the show needed to have a sci-fi angle to every story, so gradually the pure historicals faded away, leaving behind a beast called the pseudo-historical. These are stories that take place in a historical setting, but feature sci-fi elements to them. Aliens meddling in Earth's past, power-mad time-travelers meddling in Earth's past, robot's meddling in Earth's past or, surprisingly enough, other Time Lords meddling in Earth's past.
The first of these, appropriately enough, is "The Time Meddler", where another Time Lord (though they weren't called that yet), called the Monk, goes back in time to change the outcome of the Battle of Hastings. He's not exactly evil, more of just a problem. Naturally the Doctor has to put a stop to this nonsense.
The story is quite good as is the acting, and the Doctor comes off as something more heroic than the usual anti-hero role the First Doctor had. I loved what he wound up doing to the Monk at the end of the story.
As for the rest of the episode... well, the sets and costumes are good, as one expects for a historical story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Hartnell story introducing another time lord and another Tardis.
Really sets the stage for the future stories regarding the time lords.
The Collection is growing!!!!! Thank you for having this awesome story!Published 13 months ago by VictorSlim3D
First time we meet another Time Lord in Who history. Always wondered what happened to this fiend.Published 15 months ago by E. Guerrido
when another time traveler goes back to 1066 to stop the Vikings from invading England the doctor, Vicki, and Steven most stop him from rewriting history. hint another tardis.Published on July 29, 2014 by daryl drumheller
I'm not a big fan of this episode and the North American DVD certainly does not warrant a $100-$150.00 price tag, I don't care who is selling it. Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by Ferris Bueller
Doctor Who always lets us know we cannot change the past, we can only view it. That is good to knowPublished on April 24, 2013 by Sandra Gass