Doctor - William Hartnell
Steven Taylor - Peter Purves
The Monk -
Edith - Alethea Charlton
Eldred - Peter Russell
Wulnoth - Michael Miller
Saxon Hunter - Michael Guest
Ulf - Norman Hartley
Viking Leader - Geoffrey Cheshire
Sven - David Anderson
Gunnar the Giant - Ronald Rich
Director - Douglas Camfield
Producer - Verity Lambert
Script Editor - Donald Tosh
Designer - Barry Newbury
Assistant Floor Manager - Gillian Chardet
Costumes - Daphne Dare
Fight Arranger - David Anderson
Make-Up - Monica Ludkin
Make-Up - Sonia Markham
Percussion - Charles Botterill
Production Assistant - David Maloney
Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
Studio Lighting - Ralph Walton
Studio Sound - Brian Hiles
Studio Sound - Ray Angel
Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
Title Music - Ron Grainer
The Doctor, Vicki, and new
companion Steven Taylor arrive in Saxon Northumbria on the eve of the Viking
and Norman invasions.
It is 1066, a pivotal moment in British history. The hand of a mysterious
Monk is at work in the nearby monastery, intending that history takes a
Episode One - 'The Watcher'
A bored Vicki is moping around the TARDIS, clearly missing the
company of Ian and Barbara. The Doctor offers to take Vicki back
home if she is so unhappy, given he never really gave her much
of a choice when they left Dido. This conversation is
interrupted by a sound coming from the TARDIS' living quarters.
Convinced it is a Dalek, the Doctor and Vicki prepare themselves
for an attack. However, instead of a Dalek, a human form is
revealed to the travellers - Steven Taylor, who collapses to the
As he is discovered, the TARDIS materialises on a rocky shore
line. From atop a cliff, a monk looks down at the time machine,
clearly paying it a lot of attention.
Meanwhile in the TARDIS, Vicki and the Doctor are helping Steven
to recuperate. Steven explains that as the Mechonoid City
collapsed, he escaped from the rubble and looked for the Doctor.
He luckily found his space ship and collapsed in it before the
Doctor and his companions left the planet. As Steven starts to
feel more normal Vicki begins to explain that the TARDIS is a
time machine - Steven is far from convinced and brands the
TARDIS an IDBI - I Don't Believe It. The Doctor asks Steven to
put his doubts to one side and suggests that Vicki show Steven
where to get washed and changed so they may go and explore.
In the outside world two humans, dressed in tunics and living in
primitive, tent-like structures, are interrupted when another of
their party comes to inform them that a box has landed on the
beach - thinking it washed up from a ship wreck. The two men go
to explore it.
The travellers have disembarked the TARDIS and are exploring
their surroundings. Vicki discovers a Viking helmet that the
Doctor dates to the tenth or eleventh century. He suspects this
is where they have found themselves. Steven remains sceptical
saying that the helmet may have been left there as the plaything
of a child. The Doctor and his friends decide to go exploring.
The Doctor goes off alone, leaving Vicki and Steven to make
their own way. As the travellers go along, the Monk sneaks from
behind a rock and inspects the outside of the TARDIS, trying the
door before moving on. He makes his way up the cliff and towards
a monastery. Contemplatively, he enters and locks the door
behind him. Soon singing starts.
The two men who have gone to look for the TARDIS are
disappointed to discover the ship is no longer there due to the
high tide. They speculate that the waves have dashed the ship
against the rocks.
Later on that day, the Doctor is exploring the area. He stumbles
across the homestead of the couple who went to look for the
TARDIS. As he snoops around, looking for clues of the time he
has landed in, he turns to have a stick pushed against his
throat, forcing him to be still. The stick belongs to the wife
of the house. She apologises for her rough behaviour, saying
that you can't be too careful with strangers. She soon becomes
very hospitable, offering the Doctor mead and chatting with him.
From their conversation, the Doctor learns it is the summer of
1066, just before the Viking invasion that preceded the Battle
of Hastings. Whilst the woman is fetching more mead the singing,
which has continued throughout the conversation, distorts and
warps as if it is created by an inhuman voice. The Doctor
cross-examines the woman, guessing that the monastery has only
just come back into use and no one has seen any of the monks.
With this information he goes to explore the mysterious
Elsewhere, Steven and Vicki are interrupted in their
explorations by another figure. They hide in the undergrowth,
waiting for the man to disappear, but he bends and seems to
inspect something very closely. Worried that it might be
something of theirs, Steven confronts the man, which ends in a
scuffle. Steven is hit and the man escapes. Steven has got what
the man was looking at. It is a modern-day watch.
By this time the Doctor has found his way to the monastery.
Little does he know he is expected by the monk who unlocks the
door for him. The Doctor moves through the building, following
the singing. Finally he finds the source of the noise - a
gramophone attached to a large amplifying device. The Doctor
stops the record, but before he goes any further, bars crash
down, trapping him in the room. The monk makes his way towards
the Doctor, laughing manically.
Episode Two - 'The Meddling Monk'
The Monk makes the Doctor breakfast with his toaster and
electric griddle. He offers it to the Doctor, who petulantly
rejects it, throwing what appears to be the contents of a
washbasin into the Monk's face.
Steven and Vicki have spent the night in a clearing. As Steven
goes to fetch breakfast, leaving Vicki asleep, the two men who
went in search of the TARDIS the previous day stumble across
her. Luckily Vicki awakes before they can do anything. However,
as Steven returns and the two make their way back to the TARDIS,
the two friends are ambushed and taken back to the village.
Elsewhere, the Monk is given food by women of the village, which
he accepts gratefully. He goes off to wait on the cliffside.
Soon, he sees a Viking longboat loom over the horizon, which
When Steven and Vicki are taken to the Saxon village, an
argument breaks out between the two men. They are Wulnoth and
Eldred. Wulnoth is the headman of the village and wants to let
the travellers go, whilst Eldred is convinced they are spies for
the Vikings and should be kept. After a vociferous argument,
Wulnorth's wife, Edith, the woman with whom the Doctor spoke the
previous night, intervenes. Eventually it is decided the
travellers may leave. Edith gives Vicki provisions for the trip
and says the last she saw of the Doctor, he was heading off to
explore the monastery. Vicki and Steven head off to join him.
By this time the Vikings have made their way to dry land. The
leader gives orders to three others, Sven, Ulf and Gunnar the
Giant, to survey the land and sack the first village they come
to for provisions. The two men make their way into the
Steven and Vicki have arrived at the monastery, only to be told
by the Monk that he has seen no one out of the ordinary for the
last few days. Steven presses him to go in and ask the other
monks. While he is gone, Vicki and Steven become convinced the
Monk is lying to them. They devise a plan to see if he really
hasn't seen the Doctor. When the Monk reemerges to say the monks
haven't seen him, Steven asks him to keep a look out and
"remember the description I gave you." When the Monk retorts
with a description of the Doctor, Steven and Vicki know he is
lying; they did not give a description to the Monk. They propose
to break into the monastery that night to free the Doctor.
Late in the night, Wulnoth's village is sacked by the Vikings
and Edith is wounded. When Wulnoth and Eldred return, they find
her body. Eldred immediately suspects Steven and Vicki, but
Edith struggles to say it was Vikings. Wulnoth and his men
follow the Vikings' tracks and soon catch up with them. This
leads to a mighty battle in which Eldred is wounded and Gunnar
is killed. The two men make their way to the monastery for
While this is happening, Steven and Vicki break into the
monastery and look for the Doctor. As they explore, they
discover the Monk's gramophone and suspect something is awry.
The Monk sees them and silently stalks them through the
monastery until the arrival of Wulnoth and Eldred at his door
soon distracts him. He goes to let them in. As he does, Steven
and Vicki arrive at the prison door and break in - only to find
the Doctor gone, replaced with blankets to make it look like he
Episode Three - 'A Battle Of
Investigating how the Doctor might have disappeared, Steven and
Vicki find a secret passage. They decide the Doctor has used it
and elect to follow it. As they leave the cell, the Monk comes
to check on the Doctor, only to find the door open and the
secret passage breached. Before he has any time to explore
further, he is called to the aid of the two Saxons.
After his escape, the Doctor has found his way back to the Saxon
village and the company of Edith. She tells him where his
friends are. She also informs him of the Vikings' arrival. The
Doctor decides the Monk and the Vikings must be linked somehow
and he must face the Monk again. He reassures Edith that this is
not the main invasion; he has knowledge of the Vikings from "the
places I have visited". He is aware that they arrive at the
Humber and are defeated, but as he leaves he says it is possible
that the Monk's presence might affect this.
Meanwhile Steven and Vicki have emerged from the tunnel and
cannot find the Doctor. They decide to go back to the TARDIS,
hoping he has done likewise.
At the monastery the Monk uses his knowledge of modern medicine
to nurse Eldred back to health. Wulnoth insists that Eldred stay
with the Monk until he is well. Reluctant to blow his cover, the
Monk consents. In conversation with Eldred the Monk learns that
from the looks of the Vikings the Saxons encountered, a full
invasion may occur within three days. The Monk seems happy at
this news, saying he is on schedule.
Lurking in the undergrowth, the two remaining Vikings, Sven and
Ulf, plan their next move. Sven is keen to continue with the
mission and report back to their group. Ulf insists that the
best thing to do is hide because they are vastly outnumbered by
Saxons. At first Sven is hostile to this plan. He calls Ulf a
coward and threatens to kill him, but soon relents. They decide
on the monastery as the safest place for sanctuary and head
towards the building.
In the solace of the monastery the Monk pores over a plan that
1. Arrival in Northumbria 2. Position atomic cannon 3. Sight
Vikings 4. Light beacon fires 5. Destroy Viking fleet 6. Norman
landing 7. Battle of Hastings 8. Meet King Harold.
Points 1-3 are ticked on this plan and the Monk ruminates that
he must turn to the fourth point shortly. He is interrupted in
his scheming by frantic knocking at the door. The Monk answers
it only to find no one. As soon as the door is closed, the
knocking resumes. Bemused, he goes out to explore, only to be
met by the Doctor. The Doctor points a stick in the Monk's back,
saying it is a rifle and he has come for answers. He leads a
docile Monk into the monastery.
Steven and Vicki arrive at the cliff edge, above where the
TARDIS materialised. There is nothing but sea below. Vicki is
left with two options: the TARDIS has been swept off to sea or
the Doctor returned to it and left them behind. Steven suggests
that they go back to the monastery to seek sanctuary and see if
the Doctor is still there. As they make their way back, they
come across the Monk's atomic cannon pointing out to sea. Seeing
this as yet another sign of the Monk's curious place in history,
they hurry back to the monastery to put a stop to whatever it is
the man is up to. They sneak back in through the secret passage.
Before the Doctor can interrogate the Monk, they are interrupted
by more banging at the door. To avoid the Monk using the
Doctor's more modern dress as a way of turning the visitors
against him, he demands the Monk give him a spare Monk's cassock
before they answer the door. The Monk relents. This plan
backfires when the Doctor, now adorned in the garb of a monk,
opens the door to the Vikings. They immediately take the Doctor
hostage - their plan is to threaten the other monks to hide them
away by threatening the "chief monk's" life.
In the confusion the Monk slips away. The Doctor is put back in
his original cell, where he is guarded by Sven whilst Ulf goes
out to look for the other monks. The Monk sneaks up on Ulf and
knocks him unconscious and ties him up. He then slips out of the
monastery to visit the Saxon village. There he speaks to Wulnoth
and informs him he is expecting a boat to arrive shortly with
provisions for the monastery. He asks the village's support in
setting the fires on the cliff and keeping them lit. Wulnoth
agrees, but when the Monk leaves Edith and he say it may have to
do with the Viking invasion of which the Doctor spoke.
Back at the monastery, Sven looks into the Doctor's cell and
sees the door to the secret passage open. He runs in to
investigate, only for the Doctor to emerge from behind the door
and knock him unconscious. By this time the Monk has returned.
He gloats to Ulf about how the beacons are to be lit and all he
has to do is deal with the Doctor and his plan will come to
fruition. The Monk turns to find the Doctor behind him with
Sven's sword. This time he demands answers.
Elsewhere in the monastery, Steven and Vicki look for the
Doctor. They find a power cable emerging from a sarcophagus.
They find doors in the side of the sarcophagus and open them.
This leads to a TARDIS. The Monk's TARDIS!
Episode Four - 'Checkmate'
As Steven and Vicki search the Monk's TARDIS, the Doctor
interrogates the Monk on his intentions in 1066. The Monk admits
his plan is to destroy the Vikings to allow Harald Hardrada to
take the throne. He believes this will aid humankind. The Monk
tries to convince the Doctor that what he is doing is
altruistic, but the Doctor refuses to agree and orders the Monk
show him his TARDIS.
Steven and Vicki have discovered a wealth of historical
artefacts in the Monk's TARDIS and a journal. It records his
meeting with Leonardo da Vinci to discuss powered flight and
using time travel to collect a fortune in compound interest from
a bank. They also find a crate of bazookas for the atomic
Sven has regained consciousness after his attack by the Doctor.
He goes in search of Ulf. Eldred spots them and runs off to warn
the Saxon village that Vikings are in Britain.
By this time the Doctor and the Monk have reached the Monk's
TARDIS. They compare machines. The Doctor is critical of the
Monk's TARDIS, even though his chameleon circuit is functional
and the machine is a newer model. The Doctor assumes the Monk is
from the same planet as he is, but about fifty years in the
future. As they enter the machine, the Doctor is reunited with
his companions. The companions break the news to the Doctor that
their TARDIS has been washed away by the tide, but he assures
them the tide will have no effect on the ship's position. While
they talk, the Monk escapes. Steven and Vicki chase after him,
but the Monk has run straight into the Vikings. Thinking
quickly, the Monk blames the Doctor, Vicki and Steven for the
Vikings' mistreatment and the Vikings tie them up lest they
cause more trouble.
Back at the Saxon village, Wulnoth and Edith are holding a
meeting of the Saxons. They suspect the Monk is a Viking spy.
The meeting is gate-crashed by Eldred, who relates what he saw
at the monastery. This confirms the Saxons' suspicions and they
head for the monastery.
Whilst Steven and Vicki try to get their heads around the
details of time travel, the Monk is using the unwitting Vikings
to sink their own ships. He claims the bazookas are charms to
help the Viking ships sail to clear waters. They help the Monk
carry these to the ship, but are interrupted by the horde of
Saxons. The Vikings and the Monk escape, pursued by the Saxons.
Edith stays behind to free the Doctor and his companions. She
invites them back to the village for a celebration. The Doctor
says they will attend, but he has a few matters to clear up at
the monastery first.
As they run through the woods, the Monk leads Ulf and Sven to a
dead end. The Vikings are captured by the Saxons, who are led by
Wulnoth; he has the pair killed in retaliation for their attack
on Edith. The Monk escapes towards the monastery.
Meanwhile, back in the Monk's TARDIS, the Doctor is tampering
with the control panel. He carefully ties string around a device
which he eventually yanks on after leaving the TARDIS. He gives
this to Steven and leaves a note for the Monk. The Doctor and
the companions head back to their own TARDIS.
The Monk returns to the monastery and finds the letter. The
Doctor has written that he is sorry he couldn't stay to say
goodbye, but he suspects the Monk will be busy for the
foreseeable future, also explaining that to stop any more time
meddling, he has tampered with the Monk's ship, and maybe he
will return to free the Monk when he has learnt his lesson.
The Monk is initially scornful, believing his more modern TARDIS
is not susceptible to damage. However, when he tries to get back
into the machine, he finds the Doctor has removed the
dimensional control - the device that lets the TARDIS be bigger
on the inside - and has caused the control room to shrink in
size to match the outside, stranding the Monk in 1066.
[Source: TARDIS Wikia]
■ The Monk
■ The Meddling Monk
Things to look out for:
■ The Monk, unlike the Doctor, has control of both the
landings of his TARDIS and its exterior (in the episode, it
mimmicks a sarcophagus); his TARDIS is a Mark IV.
■ All 4 Episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings.
Episode One - A deadbolt lock can be
seen in the monastery door, albeit without any handles attached
Episodes Two & Three - The blankets seen at the beginning of
episode three don't match those seen in episode two.
The Time Meddler
BBC DVD / 2|Entertain (cat.#2331)
Format: DVD -
Region 2 & 4 - PAL UK Episodic
4th February 2008
Commentary by Verity Lambert
(Producer), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Donald Tosh (Story
Editor) and Barry Newbery (Designer), moderated by Clayton
Verity Lambert Obituary - A concise
essay looking back over the career of one of Doctor Who's
The Lost Twelve Seconds - A small
part of episode four is still missing, and this short item
uses an off-air audio recording and the original script to
place the missing 12 seconds in context
Restoration - A featurette showing
the techniques used in the restoration of this story
Stripped for Action: The First
Doctor - A look back at the First Doctor's colourful comic
Verity Lambert Gallery - A
collection of photographs of the trailblazing producer
Radio Times Billings - Original
listings from Radio Times in PDF format (DVD-ROM PC/Mac)
Coming Soon Trailer
Digitally remastered picture and
Not yet released on Audio.
The Time Meddler
Manufactured by: Target
No.126 in the Target Doctor Who Library.
The Time Meddler
Manufactured by: Target
No.126 in the Target Doctor Who Library.