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Episode Guide
The Time Meddler
Production Code: S
Season 2, Story Number 17
Written by John Lucarotti
Directed by Douglas Camfield

Each episode is identified with date of transmission, duration, ratings in millions, and (for 1963-1974 only) archive status.

The Watcher
03 July 1965 | 24'05" | 8.9 | 16mm t/r
The Meddling Monk
10 July 1965 | 25'17" | 8.8 | 16mm t/r
A Battle of Wits
17 July 1965 | 24'10" | 7.7 | 16mm t/r
24 July 1965 | 24'00" | 8.3 | 16mm t/r
Archive Status: All four episodes exist as 16mm telecine recordings. A print of episode two was held by the Film & TV Library when audited in 1978. Incomplete prints of all four episodes were located in Nigeria in 1985 and returned to the BBC archives, while complete prints of episodes one and three were returned in 1992. A sequence of Saxons stabbing Vikings in episode four is still missing from the print. Telesnaps (off-air camera photographs) from this story exist in the hands of private collectors.
William Hartnell (Dr. Who), Maureen O'Brien (Vicki), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Peter Butterworth (Monk), Alethea Charlton (Edith), Peter Russell (Eldred), Michael Miller (Wulnoth), Michael Guest (Saxon Hunter), Norman Hartley (Ulf), Geoffrey Cheshire (Viking Leader), David Anderson (Sven), Ronald Rich (Gunnar the Giant)
The Doctor and Vicki discover that Steven Taylor has stumbled on board the TARDIS prior to its departure from Mechanus. Steven is sceptical of Vicki's explanation that the ship is a time machine, but the Doctor assures her that they will soon show him the truth of the matter.

The TARDIS lands on the Northumbrian coastline in the year 1066. Here, the three travellers meet the Saxon villagers Wulnoth (Michael Miller), Edith (Alethea Charlton) and Eldred (Peter Russell) and come into conflict with the Viking raiders Sven (David Anderson), Ulf (Norman Hartley) and Gunnar the Giant (Ronald Rich), who are on a reconnaissance mission for their King, Harald Hardrada, prior to a planned invasion of England.

Also present in this time is the Monk (Peter Butterworth), a mischievous rogue from the same planet as the Doctor who travels from place to place in his time machine endeavouring to 'improve' things - for example, enabling the ancient Britons to build Stonehenge with the aid of his anti-gravitational lift. Currently he is engaged in his 'master plan': trying to engineer events so as to reverse the outcome of the Battle of Hastings. Appalled at such frivolous interference with the course of history, the Doctor determines to put a stop to it - an aim he eventually achieves by removing the dimensional control from the Monk's TARDIS, reducing its interior to miniature proportions.

Synopsis from Doctor Who: The First Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted.

Production Team
Gillian Chardet (Assistant Floor Manager), Daphne Dare (Costumes), Barry Newbury (Designer), David Anderson (Fight Arranger), Monica Ludkin (Make-Up), Sonia Markham (Make-Up), Charles Botterill (Percussion), Verity Lambert (Producer), David Maloney (Production Assistant), Donald Tosh (Script Editor), Brian Hodgson (Special Sounds), Ralph Walton (Studio Lighting), Brian Hiles (Studio Sound), Ray Angel (Studio Sound), Delia Derbyshire (Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer (Title Music)
Story Notes
The first link to the past of the Doctor is revealed as he meets a member of his own race in the series for the first time -- the Meddling Monk. The working title for the story was "The Monk"; the working title of episode one was "The Paradox". The Viking ship scenes were selected from BBC stock footage. William Hartnell did not appear in "The Meddling Monk" except for the reprise from the previous episode and a voice-over, as Hartnell was on holiday. The TARDIS now stands for "Time and Relative Dimensions in Space" as opposed to "Dimension" (see "An Unearthly Child"). There is no "next episode" caption at the end of episode four; instead, the closing credits are rolled over static images of the Doctor, Vicki and Steven Taylor. Syndicated versions of this story exist -- especially in the version circulated to the US -- that skip the first few minutes with the discovery of Steven in the TARDIS and instead cut straight to the main story.
For more in-depth information about the contents of this story, a complete episode-by-episode detailed breakdown can be found at the Doctor Who Reference Guide.
Additional, more detailed information about the production of this story can be found at Shannon Patrick Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel).
Video release
Released as "The Time Meddler" in the UK [November 2002] and Australia/New Zealand [December 2002] (BBC catalog #7268), US/Canada [October 2003] (WHV catalog #E1854); photomontage cover; episodic format. UK and Australia/New Zealand release sold only as part of the "First Doctor Special Edition Boxed Set" along with "The Gunfighters" and "The Sensorites"; US/Canada version sold individually as well as part of the "End of the Universe Collection" 13-tape set [October 2003] (WHV catalog #E1840).
In Print
Novelised as "Doctor Who - The Time Meddler" by Nigel Robinson (Target #126), first released in 1987 with cover art by Jeff Cummins.
For more details on the various novelizations of this story, with additional background material, artwork and details of both UK and foreign releases, visit On Target.
Screencap Descriptions
Descriptions of each story screen capture above right, top to bottom:
  • The Monk (Peter Butterworth) oversees the landing of the Doctors TARDIS
  • Vicki, the Doctor and Steven (Maureen OBrien, William Hartnell and Peter Purves) examine a Viking helmet
  • the Doctor meets the Monk
  • Edith (Alethea Charlton)
  • the Monks TARDIS is reduced in size
  • natives during the Norman conquests