WHO 50: 1972:
The Time Monster.

TV The Time Monster is one of my favourite Doctor Who stories of all time.

Glancing across season nine, which also has the first of the Peladons, The Sea Devils and Day of the Daleks with its epoch defining first use of the phrase “Blinovich Limitation Effect”, most would suggest that the only reason The Time Monster has any merit is because at least it’s not The Mutants.

What they fail to notice is that it’s also one of the most expressively bonkers of stories, that its virtue is that it lacks any kinds of logic, its determination to ignore anything like a coherent story and instead provide us with yet another explanation for Atlantis’s destruction just one year after The Daemons.

It thinks the acronym TOMTIT is a good idea and has most of the actors saying it with a straight face. It has the Chronivore, a man in a brilliant white helmeted chicken costume that couldn’t be convincingly studio lit for videotape in any decade. It has Benton being turned into a baby. It has pre-Star Wars Dave Prowse playing a Minotaur.

There’s also the element of the Doctor making things, like the Time Flow Analogue which he knocks together from a Moroccan burgundy bottle, spoons, forks, corks, keyrings, tea leaves and a mug. It’s a beautiful object and potentially buildable by children at home.

What also of one of the show’s best TARDIS interiors, the only seen once due to fire "washing up bowl" design, a design so good the Master adopts it for his TARDIS at exactly the same time?

But such things are window dressing for one of Roger Delagado’s best performances as the Master, flirting with Ingrid Pitt’s Queen of Atlantis. Whenever anyone complains about Eric Roberts’s interpretation for being “too flamboyant” they’ve entirely failed to notice that this is the character at his most charming.

It’s also the story which features Jon Pertwee’s ultimate moment of charm or in this case moment of Zen, the Buddist-themed story about the Time Lord guru who influenced him as a boy. That remarkable glint in his eye.

Plus there’s the climax, the naked Benton climax, which is hilarious and embarrassing in equal measure.  Remember that next time you're tutting your way through Bad Wolf ...

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