Short thoughts on Doctor Who, disc by disc (originally published June 2012)
The Time Monster
Tonight’s soundtrack: Foetus, “Outside Of Time”
Like Al Pacino, my childhood love affair with Doctor Who was intense, but short. For all the memories and powerful emotions, I was likely only profoundly into the show between 1983 and 1986. After that (save for one night, also memorable), I didn’t watch or think much about Doctor Who for twenty years. Oh, I kept all the memorabilia and could use my knowledge as cultural coin, but I definitely… well, for now let’s just say I get Amy Pond.
The point of which, for tonight’s purposes, is - I wasn’t there when the tribe voted on which bits of Doctor Who are supposed to be bad.
Don’t worry, I’ve been catching up on what you fans write on the internet. And even with my fantastically engorged ego it’s tough to escape the gravity of so much righteous negativity. Still. I’ve picked up the jargon. I’ve felt the need to get preemptively defensive even in these dithery micro-essays. You guys are that good.
But I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about when you complain about The Time Monster. This story is great! Or at least no worse than anything for years on either side.
Look at how suave Roger Delgado is. You know, I’d probably like this one if its only saving grace was that the Master seduces a Hammer Horror Scream Queen. But it’s also got the Doctor being all Buddhist in a gentle scene with Jo, the (I’m told) rude rhyming slang of TOMTIT, Atlantean sets and costumes with money spent on ‘em, TARDIS on TARDIS action, cosmic birds, multi-dimensional temporal geometry, and, of course, nuddy Benton.
It’s mad and beautiful and you guys should come over here, where we picked up our hearts after twenty years in a time bubble, to see it from this perspective.