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Episode 1: May 20, 1972 - Episode 6: June 24, 1972
Date of the First DVD or VHS
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Author of the Entry:
Richard Scully, University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, email@example.com
Daniel Nkemleke, Universite de Yaounde 1, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Bernard (Director)
Barry Letts (Producer)
, 1926 - 2005
Robert Sloman (1926-2005) was an English actor who later worked as a screenwriter for television. Educated at Exeter University, he collaborated with Doctor Who producer Barry Letts on several classic stories for the series, including: The Daemons (1971), The Time Monster (1972), The Green Death (1973), and Planet of the Spiders (1974) – the latter being Jon Pertwee’s final adventure as the Third Doctor, and Tom Baker’s first (brief) appearance as the Fourth Doctor. His Doctor Who credits always contained strong moral messages, aimed at challenging adult viewers as well as the primary audience for the series - children. These included the nature of evil, the dangers of unethical scientific experimentation, spiritual awakening, and – most significantly – the problems of environmental degradation, pollution, and globalization. A planned serial drafted by Sloman eventually became Day of the Daleks (1972) – the first time the aliens had been seen since 1967’s The Evil of the Daleks. Sloman also co-wrote the plays The Golden Rivet and The Tinker, for West End (London) theatres. The screenplay for The Tinker was then adapted to the feature film The Wild and the Willing (1962). Sloman also worked for fully 20 years at London’s Sunday Times newspaper (1954-74), rising to the position of distribution manager for that major weekly. He then moved-on to become the wholesale distributor of all the London Sunday papers. He died, aged 79, at his home in Devon, in the south of England, in 2005.
Bio prepared by Richard Scully, University of New England, email@example.com
Jon Pertwee – The Doctor
Katy Manning – Jo Grant
Nicholas Courtney – Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Richard Franklin – Captain Mike Yates
John Levene – Sergeant Benton
Roger Delgado – The Master
Marc Boyle – Kronos
Ingrid Bower – Face of Kronos
Ian Collier – Stuart Hyde
Catherine Howe – Dr Ruth Ingram
John Wyse – Dr Percival
Neville Barber – Dr Cook
Barry Ashton – Proctor
George Cormack – King Dalios
Ingrid Pitt – Queen Galleia
Donald Eccles – Krasis
Aidan Murphy – Hippias
Susan Penhaligon – Lakis
Derek Murcott – Crito
Michael Walker – Miseus
David Prowse – The Minotaur
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
Dicks, Terrance, Doctor Who – The Time Monster, London: Target, 1986.
‘The Time Monster’ was typical of early-1970s Doctor Who (1963-1989; 2005-present) and its focus on a large regular supporting cast (the United Nations Intelligence Task Force – UNIT), Earth-bound alien invasions, and espionage themes. The story sees the Doctor (an alien ‘Time Lord’ from the Planet Gallifrey, in exile on ‘present-day’ Earth) and his companions (Jo Grant and the officers and men of UNIT) investigating strange time-travel experiments at Cambridge University, conducted by a ‘Professor Thascalos’ (actually, the Master – a renegade Time Lord and the Moriarty to the Doctor’s Holmes). Through the use of a shard of crystal, the Master has awakened Kronos – and ancient alien Chronovore, who feeds on time itself – and whose arrival on earth several thousand years earlier was the catalyst for the destruction of Atlantis (dealt with previously in 1967’s ‘The Underwater Menace’). Following a battle between the Time Lords, the action shifts from present-day Earth to ancient Atlantis, where the Master has managed to entrance Queen Galleia, in an effort to retrieve the remainder of the crystal, so that he can gain control over Kronos and his enormous powers. The Doctor seeks to retrieve the crystal himself, guarded by the Minotaur. But in the meantime, the ageing King Dalios has been deposed by his wife, Galleia, and she and the Master imprison the Doctor and Jo Grant upon their return from the quest, seizing the crystal in order to summon Kronos. The Master soon finds that he cannot entirely control the Chronovore, and escapes, leaving the monster to rampage and destroy Atlantis (the very ‘historical’ events related earlier in the storyline now being fulfilled by the Doctor’s involvement. The Doctor pursues the Master, and via some combat between the two Time Lords’ TARDISes, triggers the final emancipation of Kronos. Grateful, the time monster reverses much of the destruction caused by his visit to present-day Earth (although Atlantis still lies, destroyed).
‘The Time Monster’ is a key example of early 1970s British television entertainment. Watched by between 6 and 8 million viewers during its six-week broadcast, the serial is a notable example of a science fiction appropriation of Classical myth, in imitation of the B-movies of the same period (and in reflexive tribute to the series’ own mythology). The time travelling theme of the program was a handy device for justifying the incursion into mythical Atlantean history; and the Doctor and his companions serve as useful avatars for the young audience-members as they are introduced to and familiarised with the pseudo-historical and mythical context of the storyline (or, rather, reacquainted with matters with which they may have been familiar; with such themes only slowly being phased-out of British elementary-level schooling in the 1970s).
BBC Online, Doctor Who – The Classic Series: ‘The Time Monster’ [Archived website], at bbc.co.uk (accessed August 17, 2018) [comprises analysis and details from: Paul Cornell, Martin Day & Keith Topping, The Discontinuity Guide, 1995; David J. Howe & Stephen James Walker, Doctor Who: The Television Companion, 2003].
Harmes, Marcus K., Doctor Who and the Art of Adaptation; Fifty Years of Storytelling, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, esp. pp.68 ff.
Howe, David J. and Walker Stephen James, Doctor Who: The Handbook: The Third Doctor, London: Virgin Publishing, 1996.
Howe, David J., Stammers, Mark and Walker Stephen James, Doctor Who: The Seventies, London: Virgin Publishing, 1994.
Keen, Anthony G. ‘It's about Tempus: Greece and Rome in “Classic” Doctor Who’, in Space and Time: Essays on Visions of History in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television, edited by David C. Wright, Jr., and Allan W. Austin, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010, 100–115.
Keen, Anthony G., ‘Sideways Pompeii! The Use of Historical Period to Question the Doctor's Role in History’, in Impossible Worlds, Impossible Things: Cultural Perspectives on Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures, edited by Ross P. Garner, Melissa Beattie, and Una McCormack, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2010, 94–117.
David Prowse – the actor who portrayed the Minotaur – is more well-known for his role in the iconic black suit as Darth Vader in the Star Wars series of films (1977-2016).
Episode 1: 7.6 million
Episode 2: 7.4 million
Episode 3: 8.1 million
Episode 4: 7.6 million
Episode 5: 6.0 million
Episode 6: 7.6 million