Friday, 10 July 2015

079 The Time Meddler Episode 2: The Meddling Monk

EPISODE: The Time Meddler Episode 2: The Meddling Monk
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 10 July 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 8.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Time Meddler

"Why listen to their lies? They've been put ashore somewhere along to the coast to spy for the Vikings!"

The next day the monk makes the Doctor breakfast using a toaster, frying pan and tea pot serving it on a tray with modern crockery & cutlery. However his ungrateful guest throws it at him from within the cell (Another week off for Hartnell who remains unseen and only heard in a recording). Vicki is worried out in the woods, Steven finds them some breakfast of Blackberries. Steven doubts they are in the 10th Century. The travellers are seized by villagers. While outside the Monk is met by two women of the village who have brought him food. He's looking out to sea with binoculars waiting for something.... The Doctor hammers on the inside of the cell door wanting to be let out. The monk spots an approaching Viking ship and is pleased that they're coming at last. Vicki and Steven have been taken to the village. The villagers argue about whether to let the travellers go or kill him. They meet Edith, the woman who spoke with the Doctor last night. The headman releases them to proceed on their way. The Vikings land and scale the cliffs, dispatching a party to reconnoitre the land. Vicki & Steven arrive at the monastery and meet the Monk who tells them no stranger has visited them. The Monk accidentally reveals to them that the Doctor has been there so Steven & Vicki decide to break in. Back at the village the Viking scouting party attacks and assaults Edith. The men of the village blame the travellers but Edith tells her husband it was Vikings. The villagers attack the Vikings causing many of them to be slain and injured by the superior warriors. The chief elder Wulnoth takes his friend Eldred to the monastery for help as Steven & Vicki are breaking in. The monk sees Steven and Vicki but is called to the door by the villagers allowing them too to find the gramophone recording of the song. They find the Doctor's cell empty apart from his cloak.

A little slow moving but Peter Butterworth is just superb as the Monk and so watchable! It's a good job because, bar his appearance in the reprise and some pre recorded voice segments from off screen in the cell, Hartnell is absent this week and after last week's towering performance it shows.

There's lots of nice little touches dropped in to keep the mystery of where and when the Monk comes from in your mind. In addition to the Gramophone and transistor radio we've already seen there's a toaster, modern kitchenware & plates and a pair of binoculars:

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It's the last of these that he's using to keep an eye out for the Vikings, which was presumably what he was doing on the cliff top last episode.

And when the Vikings show up they do what Vikings always do! We see the scouting party later on walking off with spoils taken from the village and, though not explicitly stated on screen, we're left with little doubt in our mind what they've done to Edith.

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The Vikings are identified as they come ashore: In the left picture on the left with the blonde hair is Sven while next to him with the darker hair is Ulf. The helmeted figure in both photos is the Viking leader while the eye patched man is Gunnar the Giant.

Settle back for a bit of Camfield repeat casting fun:

Sven is played by David Anderson. He was in Marco Polo 5: Rider from Shang-Tu as a Caravan Warrior and then episode 7: Assassin at Peking as a Palace Guard. Camfield was the Assistant Floor Manager on this story. He then plays the Aztec Captain in The Aztecs before appearing as Reynier de Marun in The Lion, the opening episode of the Camfield directed Crusade. He'll be back again in The Dalek Masterplan, another story directed by Camfield, where he plays an Egyptian Warrior in episode 9: Golden Death.

Geoffrey Cheshire, the Viking Leader, also returns in The Dalek Masterplan where he's in episode 3: Devil's Planet (one of the ones we failed to find anyone in in the Crusade!) as Garge before returning as Tracy in the opening two episodes of The Invasion which was also directed by Camfield and features Norman Hartley, who plays Ulf here, as Sergeant Peters in episodes 7 & 8. Hartley was interviewed by Toby Hadoke in Who's Round #122.

Ronald Rich played Gunnar the Giant in this episode. He's in the prelude to The Dalek Masterplan, Mission to the Unknown where he plays one of the Alien Delegates. Which one is up for some debate as we'll see when we get there!

IMDB credits plenty of Saxon extras for this episode as well and some of them are worth looking at

Dougie Dean is the only one of the male extras with prior form in the program: he was Eprin in episodes 4 & 5, The Snows of Terror & Sentence of Death, of the Keys of Marinus.

Derek Chafer is making his first Doctor Who appearance here but he'll be back as a Greek Soldier in the first, Temple of Secrets, third, Death of a Spy, and fourth, Horse of Destruction, episodes of the Myth Makers followed by an appearance in The Massacre 4: Bell of Doom as a Guard, The Gunfighters 2 & 3, Don't Shoot the Pianist & as a Lynch Mob Member, a Cyberman in The Moonbase Episodes 3 & 4 and The Invasion: Episode 6, an extra in The Space Pirates: Episodes 4 & 5, a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians Episode 3, a Prisoner in The Mind of Evil Episode Four, a Guard in The Curse of Peladon Episode One, an Exillon in Death to the Daleks Parts One to Three, a Guard in The Monster of Peladon Part One and the Armourer in The Masque of Mandragora: Part Four, NONE of which he gets a credit for!

Ken McGarvie is another to return in Dalek Masterplan: he's in episode 8: Volcano (1966) as a Cricketer & a Reveller. He's also in The Massacre too this time appearing in episode 1, War of God, as a Tavern Customer before playing a Man in the Newsroom in episode 4 of The War Machines and a Soldier in the Tracking Room in episodes 1 & 2 of The Tenth Planet. Vic Taylor also returns in The Massacre 1: War of God, this time as the Cardinal's Guard. He's then in The War Machines 3 as a Worker and 3 & 4 as a Soldier. He's a guard in The Enemy of the World Episode 4 (1968), a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians Episode 3 appears in The Dæmons as a Villager in the first two episodes and a Coven Member in the last two, presumably the same character throughout!

vlcsnap-2014-10-15-16h52m37s127 All of these are hard to identify but the lone female extra Lyn Turner must be the woman with Edith as she visits the Monk with a food basket. She'd already been in Doctor Who appearing with Edith's actress Aletha Charlton in An Unearthly Child 2: The Cave of Skulls as another Tribeswoman. The Assistant Floor Manager that day was Douglas Camfield. she'll return to the programme in Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode 6 .

On Ian Levine's initial visit to the BBC Film Library this episode was the only from this serial that they retained. It's of a much higher quality than episode 1 looking much sharper and much less grainy than the print recovered from Nigeria.

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