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William Hartnell
The Time Meddler
First Doctor Logo


Synopsis


Vikings!
Vikings!
 The TARDIS lands on the Northumbrian coast, where new companion Steven discovers a Viking helmet and The Doctor deduces they must have arrived in the 11th century.

 Steven remains sceptical, especially when he and Vicki encounter what appears to be a Saxon hunter with a modern wristwatch. Investigating a nearby monastery, The Doctor discovers further anachronisms.

 Who is the mysterious monk observing the time travellers’ every move, and why is he so interested in the outcome of the Battle of Hastings?

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Two
Production Code: S
Story Number: 17
Episode Numbers:78 - 81
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"The Monk" (whole story), "The Paradox" (episode 1)
Production Dates: May - July 1965
Broadcast Started: 03 July 1965
Broadcast Finished: 24 July 1965
Colour Status: B&W
Studio: Ealing Television Film Studios and BBC Television Centre (TC3 and TC4)
Location: None
Writer:Dennis Spooner
Director:Douglas Camfield
Producer:Verity Lambert
Story Editor:Donald Tosh
Production Assistant:David Maloney
Assistant Floor Manager:Gillian Chardet
Designer:Barry Newbery
Costume Designer:Daphne Dare
Make-Up Designers:Monica Ludkin (Episode 3) and Sonia Markham (Episodes 1, 2 & 4)
Incidental Music:Charles Botterill and From Stock
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Brian Hodgson
Studio Sounds:Brian Hiles and Ray Angel
Lighting:Ralph Walton
Fights Arranged By:David Anderson
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: William Hartnell (The First Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Maureen O'Brien (Vicki) and Peter Purves (Steven Taylor) Guest Cast: Peter Butterworth (The Monk) Additional Cast: Alethea Charlton (Edith), Peter Russell (Eldred), Michael Miller (Wulnoth), Michael Guest (Saxon Hunter), Norman Hartley (Ulf), Geoffrey Cheshire (Viking Leader), David Anderson (Sven), Ronald Rich (Gunnar the Giant)Setting: Northumbria (1066) Villain: The Meddling Monk

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
78The Watcher03 July 196524'05"8.916mm telerecording
79The Meddling Monk10 July 196525'17"8.816mm telerecording
80A Battle of Wits17 July 196524'10"7.716mm telerecording
81Checkmate24 July 196524'00"8.316mm telerecording

Total Duration 1 Hour 38 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 8.4
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)65.15%  (Position = 98 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2003)298 Points (Position = 50 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)72.81% Higher (Position = 75 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)75.23% Higher (Position = 77 out of 241)


Archives


 All episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings.



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Notes


The first link to The Doctor's past is revealed as he meets for the first time a member of his own race - The Meddling Monk.

The Meddling Monk is played by Peter Butterworth who has appeared in a number of the Carry On films. The Meddling Monk's name, as given in later novels - Mortimus - is not revealed in this story. He is simply The Monk, The Meddling Monk or The Time Meddler. This character would make one return on screen in the 12 episode epic "The Daleks' Master Plan".

William Hartnell did not appear in episode 2, "The Meddling Monk", except for the reprise from the previous episode and a voice-over, as William Hartnell was on holiday during the recording of this episode.

Alethea Charlton also appeared in "An Unearthly Child" as the cavewoman, Hur.

We learn that there are different types of TARDIS' - The Doctor refuses to tell the Meddling Monk what type of TARDIS his is.

The interior of the Meddling Monk's TARDIS utilises the same set as The Doctor's except that the central control console is stood on a dais.

The Meddling Monk's plan is to save Harold's army from having to attack the Vikings by destroying them with an unspecified weapon, ensuring that William is defeated at Hastings and thus bringing a period of peace to Europe. Vicki and Steven postulate that if Harold defeated William at Hastings all the history books and even their memories would change instantaneously

The Doctor is able to thwart The Meddling Monk by removing the dimensional control unit out of The Meddling Monk's TARDIS, thus shrinking its interior and leaving the meddler marooned.

The Viking ship scenes were selected from BBC stock footage.

When asked what 'TARDIS' stands for, Vicki says that it is 'Time And Relative Dimensions In Space'. This is the first instance of the acronym being explained since the show's debut episode, and the first of the 'D' being said to stand for 'Dimensions' (as would then become the norm) rather than 'Dimension'.

The closing credits at the end of the final episode are played over images of Steven Taylor, Vicki and The Doctor superimposed against a starscape. Also for the first time in the show's history, there is no 'Next Episode...' caption giving the title of the following stories episode.

During production of this story, new producer John Wiles began taking over production duties from Verity Lambert. His first credited story, as Producer would not be until "The Myth Makers".

Even though all four episodes exist in the BBC Archives, episodes one, three, and four were reported missing from the BBC Film and Videotape Library following an audit in 1978. Edited telerecordings of all four episodes were returned to the BBC, in October 1984, from Midwest TV in Nigeria. Complete copies of episodes one and three were then returned in 1992. A 12 second sequence from episode four remains missing from the otherwise complete print of all four episodes. A recreation of this missing sequence was included with the 2008 DVD release.

The story was repeated on BBC2 in January 1992.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first trip in the TARDIS for new companion Steven Taylor played by Peter Purves.

 The first appearance in the show of another member of The Doctor's own race.

 The first appearance in the show of The Meddling Monk played by Peter Butterworth.

 The first time that we learn that there are different types of TARDIS.

 The first use of the explanation "Time and Relative Dimensions in Space" to describe the TARDIS instead of "Time and Relative Dimension in Space" as used by Susan in the debut story "An Uneatherly Child".

 Donald Tosh's first involvement in the show as Story Editor.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 The last story of Season Two.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Vicki and Steven in the TARDIS
Vicki and Steven in the TARDIS

The Doctor and Vicki are surprised to find Steven Taylor aboard the TARDIS. He explains that while in a disorientated state on Mechanus, he stumbled aboard the TARDIS where he then stowed away. The Doctor and Vicki though are grateful he survived the collapse of the Mechanoid city and so help nurse him back to health.

The TARDIS then arrives at a remote spot on the Northumbrian coast in the year 1066. The Doctor, Vicki and Steven exit the TARDIS and start to explore. Steven though is very sceptical of Vicki's explanation that the TARDIS is a time machine. He takes some convincing that the TARDIS can travel in both space and time despite finding a Viking helmet but The Doctor assures her that they will soon show him the truth of the matter.

As The Doctor goes off to find a path up the cliff, Steven and Vicki remain on the beach with the TARDIS. Steven though soon becomes bored with waiting and so persuades Vicki to accompany him in finding there own way up the cliff. When they reach the top there is, however, no sign of The Doctor.

The Time Travellers Discover a Viking Helmet
The Time Travellers Discover a Viking Helmet

The Doctor has in fact come across a Saxon village where he is befriended by a woman called Edith. From her he learns of the recent arrival of some monks the nearby monastery – even though only one of them has actually been seen. The Doctor is curious and so decides to visit the monastery. There he is surprised to discover that one of his own people The Meddling Monk, who travels from place to place in his time machine endeavouring to 'improve' things, is there. The Meddling Monk tricks The Doctor who finds himself locked up in a cell.

Meanwhile Steven and Vicki have spent the night in a wood. Steven is still convinced that they have not travelled in time – despite Vicki trying to convince him otherwise. This however, is not helped when they are astounded to find a modern wristwatch.

The Meddling Monk
The Meddling Monk

Vicki though has something else to worry about. Because when they try to return to the TARDIS they discover that the tide has come in and so they can no longer see the time machine. Vicki deduces that it must have been washed away. But she is even more alarmed when Steven offers another possible outcome – The Doctor had returned and moved it. The reason for her alarm is she knows that The Doctor can not operate it correctly and so they could now be marooned in the past.

Of course The Doctor is safe, and has in fact escaped, from his confinement. More so he learns of The Meddling Monk’s plans to use advanced technology so as 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.

Steven and Vicki also find themselves at the monastery, and even though The Meddling Monk tells them he has not seen The Doctor, Steven is convinced he is not telling the truth. They manage to enter the monastery and they discover that The Meddling Monk also has a TARDIS disguised as a stone tomb.

Vicki and Steven
Vicki and Steven

Appalled at such frivolous interference to engineer events so as to reverse the outcome of the Battle of Hastings, The Doctor is determined to stop The Meddling Monk. He is soon reunited with his companions and together they all soon come into conflict with Viking raiders who are on a reconnaissance mission prior to a planned invasion of England.

With the help of his companions, and the residents of the Saxon village, The Doctor finally succeeds in thwarting The Meddling Monk's plans by removing the dimensional control from The Meddling Monk's TARDIS, reducing its interior to miniature proportions, so leaving him stranded in 1066 with an angry band of Saxons nearby.

The tide having gone out, The Doctor and his friends are free to leave in the TARDIS, and journey onward to the stars.

 
The Doctor Tricks The Meddling Monk
The Doctor Tricks The Meddling Monk
The Doctor Behind Bars
The Doctor Behind Bars
The Monk and The Doctor
The Monk and The Doctor
Vicki Discovers The Meddling Monk's TARDIS
Vicki Discovers The Meddling Monk's TARDIS
 
The Meddling Monk
The Meddling Monk
The Meddling Monk and The Doctor
The Meddling Monk and The Doctor
The Time Travellers with The Meddling Monk
The Time Travellers with The Meddling Monk
The Meddling Monk Finds His TARDIS Has Been Tampered With
The Meddling Monk Finds His TARDIS Has Been Tampered With




Quote of the Story


 'I've seen some spaceships in my time, admittedly nothing like this.'

Steven Taylor (about the TARDIS)



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
VHS
The Time MeddlerNovember 2002BBCV 7275Photo-montagePart of "The First Doctor Box Set" (BBCV 7268)
Video
DVD
The Time MeddlerFebruary 2008BBCDVD 2331Photo-montageThis DVD release was dedicated to the late Verity Lambert


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
The Time MeddlerMarch 1988Target No. 126Nigel RobinsonJeff CumminsISBN: 0-426-20312-7
Novel
Novel
The Time MeddlerMay 1992Target No. 126Nigel RobinsonJeff CumminsVirgin new cover reprint.
ISBN: 0-426-20312-7
CD
CD
The Time MeddlerOctober 2016Target No. 126Nigel RobinsonJeff CumminsAudio version of the Target Novel read by Peter Purves (Steven Taylor).
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time)Issue 17
Doctor Who WeeklyIssue 22 (Released: March 1980)
Doctor Who WeeklyIssue 23 (Released: March 1980)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 89 (Released: June 1984)
Doctor Who Magazine - After ImageIssue 184 (Released: March 1992)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArticleIssue 185 (Released: April 1992)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 289 (Released: April 2000)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 291 (Released: May 2000)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 307 (Released: August 2001)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 393 (Released: April 2008)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 150 (Released: October 2014)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
William Hartnell
The First Doctor

   

Maureen O'Brien
Vicki
 
Peter Purves
Steven Taylor
   




On Release

VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
 
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   


In Print

Original Target Book Cover
Original Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover

Virgin
NOVEL
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   


Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 17
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 17

CMS
Doctor Who Weekly: Issue 22
Doctor Who Weekly: Issue 22

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Weekly: Issue 23
Doctor Who Weekly: Issue 23

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 89
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 89

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 184
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 184

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 185
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 185

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 289
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 289

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 291
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 291

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 307
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 307

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 393
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 393

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 150
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 150

GE Fabbri


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