Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Doctor Who-The Time Monster
                                    In this final story of Doctor Who's ninth season, the Doctor awakens from a dream involving The Master and a series of images he does not recognize. With the help of Jo Grant,the Brigadier and UNIT in general the focus turns towards Cambridge where two physicists Dr. Ingram and Dr. Hyde are working on a device called TOMTITT (Transmission of Matter through Interstitial Time) that would allow solid matter to be transported to other locations,even through solid matter. Aided by the assistance of Professor Thascalos,the experiment soon goes bad when Dr. Hyde is aged decades in a few short seconds by an intentional overload shortly after the doctor and UNIT's arrival on the scene. Thascalos,which as it turns out is yet another name for the Master,is using TOMTITT as a means to contact Kronos. Thought of on ancient Earth,in particular of the city of Atlantis as a god of time,Kronos is actually an omnipotent being  called a Chromovore that consumes time more so than even the time lords can maneuver within it.

                          After thrawting The Master's attempts to use TOMTITT to manipulate time,and thereby reversing Dr.Hyde back to normal age (though Sgt. Benton is reduced to infancy) The Doctor and Jo pursue the Master,himself having kidnapped Krasis,high priest of Kronos in ancient Atlantis to the 20'th century and journeying with him to ancient Atlantis to find the crystal that will allow him to control Kronos and therefore time itself,in their TARDIS. In ancient Atlantis they meet the ancient King Dalios,himself the age of a time lord whom the Master cannot manipulate. His mate the Queen Galleia become infatuated with The Master and is nearly lured into using him to gain power for herself. The end result of this is the Master succeeding in releasing Kronos into Atlantis and being the result of the cities destruction. Having escaped in their TARDIS's the Doctor than plans to destroy the Master (and himself) with a time ram,whereby both TARDIS's would be destroyed so the Master would be deprived of his plan. When this happens,the two TARDIS's are removed from time to the domain of Kronos,who offers the doctor a debt for allow Kronos to escape to it's domain. He wishes he and Jo to return home,but also allows the Master to escape torment by Kronos in a moment of mercy. Although the Master escapes the TARDIS arrives in time for Ingram and Hyde's final attempt to exaust TOMTITT to restore the flow of time to normal,restoring everything including an adult,and naked Benton.

                This is probably one of the most spacious and elaborate of the Doctor Who serials of it's day. And it's somewhat hard for me to see why it generates so much negative responses from even strong Whovians. The pace is very exciting,the low budget special effects are very psychedelic and clever and the story elements are extremely clever. In the Chromovore Kronos,the doctor and the Master have met their match in terms of a life form that can deal with time even more broadly than themselves by consuming it. In this episode the Master's villainy is played up to frightening proportions. Not only does he show no remorse for his diliberate destruction of Atlantis for his own personal gains,but is even prepared to murder in an instant a terrified Jo Grant,dismissing her as "embarrassing to him" in the same manner as the doctor's antique TARDIS which,by the way was given a make over at the time of this episode. Between the captivating sciences of matter transportation and theology,as well as an excellent speculative recreation of a possible culture of Atlantis this is one of the finest serials of the third doctor era.

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