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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"That was the daisest daisy I'd ever seen..."
―The Doctor
The Time Monster
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 9
Story Number: 64
Doctor: Third Doctor
Companions: Jo Grant
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Captain Mike Yates
Sergeant Benton
Enemy: The Master
Writer: Robert Sloman
Director: Paul Bernard
Broadcast: 20th May - 24th June 1972
Format: 6 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: The Mutants
Following Story: The Three Doctors

The Time Monster was the fifth and final story of Season 9.



The Master, in the guise of Professor Thascalos, has constructed at the Newton Institute in Wootton a device known as TOMTIT - Transmission Of Matter Through Interstitial Time - with which to gain control over Kronos, a creature from outside time. The creature is summoned but the effect proves uncontrollable.


The Doctor has a foreshadowing dream in which he sees the Master, a trident-shaped crystal, and images of ancient Atlantean culture.

The Master, adopting the alias of Professor Thascalos, uses his cover to tap into the resources of the Newton Research Unit at Cambridge University to conduct time experiments. His TOMTIT (Transmission of Matter through Interstitial Time) experiment, assisted by Ruth Ingram and Stuart Hyde, is focused around transmitting matter by breaking it down into light waves. Having hypnotized Dr Percival, the Director of the Institute, into doing his bidding, the Master’s cover is maintained. He is particularly interested in examining a trident-shaped crystal in his possession, which he uses to power the TOMTIT device, attempting to summon an entity called Kronos.

The Doctor and Jo Grant visit the Institute following a signal from a time-field detector. He finds time moving slowly as the TOMTIT experiments disrupt the normal flow while Hyde, who is caught in the field of the experiment, ages to more than eighty years. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who also witnessed the TOMTIT experiment, has the project evacuated and begins to hunt for the Master, whose cover has now been blown. The Doctor explains to Ruth and Jo that Kronos is a powerful Chronovore, a creature from outside time that feeds on time itself, who was once attracted from the vortex to ancient Atlantis using a crystal trident larger than the one used by the Master. That one remains in Atlantis. The Doctor suspects capturing the Chronovore is the Master’s aim too, forecasting such a step to be a danger to the entire created universe.

Meanwhile Krasis, Atlantean High Priest of Kronos, is transported through interstitial time by the Master to the present. The Master seizes the Seal of Kronos from the priest and uses it to summon the chronovore. A white, feathered, bird-like figure, Kronos exudes power and devours Percival without compunction. It is contained briefly by the Master, but breaks free and Krasis surmises this is because the Master only has the smaller fragment of the original crystal.

The Doctor and his allies have been alerted by the actions of the Master and he builds a time flow analogue to interrupt his rival’s experiments. The two enemies attempt to outwit each other, often with strange consequences: historical characters (and a V2 rocket) are transported into the present; Stuart Hyde is restored to youth, though Sergeant Benton is reverted to a baby when he is caught in TOMTIT’s flow; and several UNIT troops, led by the Brigadier, are frozen in a time bubble. The two Time Lords even pit their TARDISes against one another, and the Doctor is ejected into the vortex, but survives thanks to Jo and his TARDIS.

In ancient Atlantis the aged and wise King Dalios is troubled by the disappearance of Krasis and the threat to the true crystal of Kronos, which is guarded by the Minotaur at the heart of a maze. The Master has traveled to Atlantis in search of the true crystal and soon inveigles himself at the Atlantean court, wooing the vain and gullible Queen Galleia and embroiling her in plots and schemes. Dalios warns of the dangers of the time when Kronos served Atlantis, but his wife is not moved by his pleas or his suspicions of the Master, whom he knows not to be an emissary of the gods. When the Doctor and Jo arrive, the old King – far older than he looks, since Kronos gave him the power of longevity – forms a bond of trust with the Doctor. The Doctor then faces the Minotaur to rescue Jo, duped into the maze by Krasis, and the creature is destroyed. The crystal is now produced from the maze – but the Master’s plotting with Galleia has borne fruit and he has usurped the throne, with Dalios deposed and arrested. Jo and the Doctor are soon detained too, and witness Dalios' sad death after mistreatment and torture.

When the Council of Atlantis meets, Galleia's faith in the Master is broken when the Doctor informs her of Dalios' death. Krasis, however, is still in his thrall and uses the great crystal to summon Kronos to Atlantis once more. In the resulting melee the Master flees in his TARDIS with Jo Grant in tow. The Doctor heads off in his TARDIS in pursuit while Kronos destroys the city and people of Atlantis.

In the Vortex, the Doctor threatens their mutual destruction by causing a Time Ram by which both TARDISes would occupy the same space/time co-ordinates. The Master, knowing the Doctor could never cause Jo's death, calls his bluff. Jo, however, has no such hesitation, and initiates the Time Ram. Kronos is set free and, thankful for this action, saves the Doctor and Jo and returns them to their TARDIS. Kronos intends to subject the Master to endless torment for his imprisonment, and the Master begs for mercy. The Doctor appeals successfully for the Master's life, who then flees in his own TARDIS. The Doctor and Jo return to the Institute as Ingram and Hyde operate the TOMTIT machine one last time, thereby returning the UNIT men to normality, albeit leaving Benton in a nappy. The machine then overloads, its time experiments at an end.



  • As the TOMTIT experiment goes out of control, the Master bellows "Come, Kronos, Come!"
  • Krasis, High Priest of Atlantis, appears in the lab.
  • A V2 rocket strikes, appearing to destroy Captain Yates and his squadron
  • The Doctor has been expelled into the space-time continuum, and Jo is left alone in the TARDIS to be menaced by the Master
  • The Minotaur menaces Jo in the labyrinth.
  • Benton has been restored to adulthood, but is still clad in a nappy, much to everyone's amusement.




  • The TOMTIT machine works with assistance from the Master.
  • The Doctor has built a time sensor which detects disturbances in the time field.
  • The Master uses his TARDIS to Time Ram the Doctor's.
  • A Chronovore spares the Master.
  • The Doctor gets ejected into the time vortex and speaks to Jo through the TARDIS telepathic circuits.
  • This is one of the stories referencing the destruction of Atlantis.
  • The Seventh Enabling Act allows the Brigadier to take over from government forces.
  • The Doctor makes a Time flow analogue from a Moroccan burgundy bottle, spoons, forks, corks, keyrings, tea leaves and a mug.
  • The Doctor talks to Jo (while they're tied up) about his home; "When I was a little boy, we used to live in a house that was perched halfway up the top of a mountain. Behind our house, there sat under a tree an old man. A hermit, a monk. He'd lived under this tree for half his lifetime, so they said, and had learned the secret of life. So, when my black day came, I went and asked him to help me.'" The hermit appears on screen in DW: Planet of the Spiders.
  • Kronos knows of the Doctor.

Story Notes

  • This is the only appearance of the "washing up bowl" interior for the TARDIS (designed by Tim Gleeson).
  • Dave Prowse, later to play (but not voice) the masked Darth Vader in the Star Wars films, features in an equally incognito role as the Minotaur.


  • Episode 1 - 7.6 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 7.4 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 8.1 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 7.6 million viewers
  • Episode 5 - 6.0 million viewers
  • Episode 6 - 7.6 million viewers


  • Well-known actress Susan Penhaligon, making an early television appearance as Galleia's handmaiden Lakis, was originally to have been credited as Virginia Mull. (Virginia Mull was a different actress who had a small uncredited walk-on role as a serving girl in the Atlantis scenes of this story. Susan Penhaligon, who was a late replacement for actress Ann Michelle, was always to have been credited under her own name.)
  • The Master's alias is 'Thascales'. (The majority of printed and online episode guides say this. Unfortunately, (a) 'Thascales' isn't the Greek for 'Master', and (b) no-one in the story says 'Thascales'. They all say 'Thascalos', which is the Greek for 'Master'. The error first appears in the second edition of Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke's The Making of Doctor Who, and presumably has been taken from there by all subsequent episode guides, without checking against the broadcast episodes. Terrance Dicks, however, has the correct spelling in the novelization.)

Filming Locations

  • Swallowfield Park, Swallowfield, Berkshire
  • Stratfield Saye Park, Stratfield Saye, Hampshire
  • Old Church Farm (road), Hartley Wintney, Hampshire
  • Park Lane, Fair Cross, Berkshire
  • School Lane, Heckfield Heath/Riseley, Hampshire
  • Ealing Television Film Studios, Ealing Green, Ealing
  • BBC Television Centre (Studio 3 & 4), Shepherd's Bush, London

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • In episode one, the interior of the police box prop is visible. You cannot see inside, it is dark because when you walk into the darkness you appear into the console room. The TARDIS is made like this so you don't see into the spaceship.
  • The V1 is black and white. The fact that it is going though time might make it black and white.
  • Since the V1 is moved forward through time while in mid-air, so that it explodes in the programme's present, how can it be that the local remembers it having fallen in the past?
  • The Doctor's supposedly backwards dialogue when played backwards is still gibberish. Perhaps it is gibberish so that people who can understand backwards dialogue won't understand it, and the doctor is non of the wiser that he is talking rubbish.



DVD, Video and Other Releases


Main article: The Time Monster (novelisation)

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: The Time Monster
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - The Time Monster
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): The Time Monster
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - The Time Monster
Season 9
Day of the Daleks  • The Curse of Peladon  • The Sea Devils  • The Mutants  • The Time Monster
The Master - TV Stories
Terror of the Autons  • The Mind of Evil  • The Claws of Axos  • Colony in Space  • The Dæmons  • The Sea Devils  • The Time Monster  • Frontier in Space  • The Deadly Assassin  • The Keeper of Traken  • Logopolis  • Castrovalva  • Time-Flight  • The King's Demons  • The Five Doctors  • Planet of Fire  • The Mark of the Rani  • The Ultimate Foe  • Survival  • Doctor Who: The TV Movie  •
Utopia/ The Sound of Drums/ Last of the Time LordsThe End of Time
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The Time Monster. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "The Time Monster" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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