Friday, September 3, 2010


Hello everyone, the Historian here, along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, MisterMother and Photobug, bringing you the last episode of the second series of Doctor Who! Before we begin, a few announcements. Firstly, just as Doctor Who takes a break between seasons, so will the TARDIS Project. Our break, though, will only be three weeks and we will be back on 1st October with a very special Project event! (I'll give you a hint: it slots right into watching Doctor Who in summer 1965, but it isn't "in continuity" with the show.) Have no fear, though, between then and now I'll be posting both the wrapup for this story and one for season two. Announcement number two is more of a plea: We still have not gotten even one response to our survey. Please take a minute and let us know how we're doing!

But enough of that--let's get to the summary!

Episode summary: First aired 24 July 1965. Steven and Vicki kneel down to investigate the sarcophagus and discover small doors that the cable seems to be coming out of. They push the doors open and crawl into.....what appears to be a TARDIS control room! "It's a TARDIS!" says Vicki. "The Monk's got a TARDIS...!"

Elsewhere in the monastery, the Doctor still holds his sword to the Monk's throat, demanding answers. The Monk reveals that the signal fires he asked to be lit are supposed to lure King Hardrada's fleet in for a landing. When they are in position, the Monk will destroy them! The Doctor is aghast.

In the Monk's TARDIS, Steven and Vicki are amazed to discover a collection of art and objects from all sorts of time periods and places. Steven finds some mortar-like missiles, thinking they look like some kind of neutron bomb projectiles. Vicki, meanwhile, has located the Monk's logbook. The two are shocked by some of the entries: the Monk is the one who suggested the idea of powered flight to Leonardo Da Vinci, he managed to make a fortune by depositing money in a bank in 1968 and withdrawing it in 2168 (which makes one wonder about the monetary system surviving the Dalek invasion!)...

The Doctor realizes that the Monk is a "time meddler!" The Monk is smug; he is sure the Doctor will approve of his plan. The Doctor, however, is horrified. Doesn't the Monk remember the Golden Rule of Time-Space Travel, never interfere with the course of history? The Monk merely smirks; it's more fun his way! And, he says, he makes things better! After all, how could Stonehenge have been built without his anti-grav lifts? This time, however, he is out to change history in one swoop: by destroying the Viking fleet, he'll keep Harold from having to come north to Stamford Bridge. No weary army, no desertions and Harold will beat William of Normandy at Hastings! The Doctor is amazed and, the Monk assumes, delighted. But the Doctor declares that he is thrilled to be in the right place and time--to stop the Monk's plan! But the Monk replies that he hasn't stopped it yet. The Doctor demands the Monk take him to the Monk's machine...and backs up his demand with a swordpoint. The Monk begins to lead the Doctor away.

Elsewhere in the monastery, Sven, who has awakened from the bump on the head the Doctor gave him, calls for Ulf. As he wanders, he is seen by Eldred, still recovering from his wounds. Eldred recognizes the Viking and realizes he must warn others. Sven finds his friend trussed up where the Monk left him. Sven is all for returning to the forest, but Ulf convinces him to stay, both for safety and for the treasure the monastery must hold.

The Monk has led the Doctor to the sarcophagus. He gloats a bit about how his machine camouflages itself to fit into its surroundings and how much nicer is is than the Doctor's TARDIS, but the Doctor won't let him stall. The two bend down and enter the machine.

Eldred leaves the monastery, making for the village to warn his people.

Inside the Monk's machine, Vicki and Steven have found the to-do list. But what does he want to do all of it for, Vicki wonders. At that moment, the Doctor and the Monk arrive, and the three friends have a joyful reunion. The Doctor hands Steven the sword and starts to examine the Monk's control console. He is impressed--the machine is a Mark 4, though he is slightly evasive when Vicki asks if it's a newer machine than the TARDIS. Then she remembers--the Doctor doesn't have a machine any longer, it was washed away by the tide! Nonsense, the Doctor replies, reassuring her. It will be fine. He then turns to the Monk and asks about the changes made to his "splendid machine." Apparently, the Monk's craft has "automatic drift control," allowing it to essentially hover in space. The Monk mentions that he'd tried to get into the Doctor's TARDIS, but found it locked, why would that be? "Mind your own business," the Doctor snaps. Steven breaks in and asks if the Monk and the Doctor are from the same place. The Doctor confirms this, but believes he's from some fifty years earlier than the Monk. He turns to the Monk and demands to know the reason behind the meddling. The Monk replies that he wants to improve things. If Harold remains king, there will be no contest for France (the Hundred Years War, among other conflicts), there will be more stability and, with the Monk's help, technological progress. Jets by 1300! Shakespeare writing Hamlet for television! ("Yes, of course, I do know the medium!" sniffs the Doctor.) The Doctor, exasperated, turns away, wondering whatever they are going to do with this irresponsible man...and the Monk uses this distraction to slip out of his machine...

...Straight into the waiting Sven and Ulf. He quickly tells them he is an ally of Hardrada...and the Doctor, Steven and Vicki (now emerging from the sarcophagus) are the real enemies!

In the Saxon village, the villagers gather to listen to Wulnoth. He confirms with Edith that the Doctor mentioned that there would be a Viking invasion. The crowd murmurs in surprise. Wulnoth then reminds them that the Monk asked for signal fires to be lit on the cliffs! Edith declares that she believes the old traveller told the truth and Wulnoth puts it together for the villagers--signal fires to bring the Viking invasion down on them! Edith denounces the Monk as a Viking spy...just as Eldred drags himself into the village, warning of Vikings in the monastery! The villagers, incensed, run off to arm themselves to march on the monastery.

Sven and Ulf are having problems carrying a heavy box for the Monk. He assures them that the box contains "charms" to help signal their fleet to quiet waters. He laughs; little do they know that the box carries the nuclear ammunition for the cannon on the cliffs!

Steven hops down to where the Doctor and Vicki are sitting against the sarcophagus. All three have been bound hand and foot; Steven had been trying to find a sharp stone to cut their bonds with no luck. He's confused; surely the Monk can't win, since history and his memory says William defeated Harold, right? Vicki's not so sure. She thinks that once the Monk succeeds, even their memories of history might change. Certainly, the history books will--they haven't been written yet, after all! Steven starts to realize the implications of time travel. The Doctor, meanwhile, has been trying to figure out what to do with the Monk. He must be stopped!

The villagers, armed with staves and spears, make their way to the monastery and arrive just as Sven, Ulf and the Monk emerge carrying the box. The Vikings drop the box and run back into the monastery, pursued by villagers! The Monk, meanwhile, has hidden. After the last Saxon passes him, he hitches up his habit and runs out into the forest, furious that his plans have been disrupted! As he runs, the Vikings run after him into the forest, still pursued by the Saxons!

Inside, Edith has untied the Doctor and his companions. She tells them that Wulnoth and the villagers will catch the Vikings and the Monk, though the Doctor isn't so sure. He thanks Edith and tells her that they will soon be continuing on their travels. She asks him to return to the village to say goodbye and get the villagers' thanks and he agrees absent mindedly. She takes her leave and the Doctor begins his pan to stop the "time meddler." He tells Steven to go into the Monk's machine and find him paper and a pen. He is going to write a note to the Monk...

In the forest, the Monk suggests Ulf and Sven go towards a well where they can hide. Once they leave, he ducks out of the way. The two Vikings quickly return, having found no well and now no Monk...and the Saxons are upon them! The Monk, meanwhile, has slipped off...

Inside the Monk's machine, the Doctor is at work beneath the control console. He extracts a piece of machinery, handling it very gingerly. Vicki tries to look in, but he warns her away, telling her she could get a very nasty shock. Steven gives the Doctor a long skein of string which the Doctor wraps around the device. Having shooed both his companions out of the machine, for what he's doing is very dangerous, the Doctor uses the length of the string to pull the device out of the console, stepping out of the machine himself as he does so. He is delighted, though he refuses to tell his friends precisely what he has done to the Monk's machine. He leaves the letter he has written to the Monk on top of the sarcophagus and the three friends leave to return to the TARDIS.

The Monk, wheezing, runs back towards the monastery, having evaded the Saxons.

On the clifftops, the Doctor, Steven and Vicki look down. The TARDIS is below on the beach, safe and sound. Steven asks if the Viking fleet will pass to land elsewhere. Yes, the Doctor answers, and then (and Vicki joins in) history will be allowed to take its natural course! Steven replies that he's beginning to like the idea of being in the crew on a time machine, but Vicki tells him not to get illusions; the Doctor is the "crew," she and Steven are just passengers! And welcome ones, the Doctor replies with a smile and they begin to look for a safe way down the cliff to the ship.

The Monk, meanwhile, has arrived at the monastery. Dirty and disheveled, he makes his way to the sarcophagus, realizing he needs to get away and start again somewhere else. He finds the Doctor's letter and is vastly amused by the idea that the old man left him a note. He begins to read...the letter says that the Doctor has taken steps to stop the Monk's meddling. But, laughs the Monk, what could the Doctor do to stop a Mark 4? He leans down to enter the machine, but is forced to stop short--his face completely fills the doorway and the control room has shrunk down to miniature size! The Doctor has taken the Monk's dimensional control! The Monk is marooned in 1066! Yelling the Doctor's name, the Monk crushes the note in his fist and sits down next to the sarcophagus.

On the beach, the TARDIS dematerializes, ready to take its crew to a new adventure....


This week, poor Ketina's hands were out of commission, but another member stepped into the breach. So we have Schmallturm's Stupendous Transcript! (Trust me, there's a definite stylistic difference!)

H: Historian
K: Ketina
R: Ronelyn
Sc: Schmallturm
M: MisterMother
P: Photobug

H: I love this story!
P: Me too - it's a morality play. It's about why you shouldn't screw w/time. You've gone from science to morals.
H: The Doctor gets righteously indignant about it. That's a good point.
M: One of the best examples of a crowd going "rabble rabble" I've every heard
H: At least they don't actually say "rhubarb rhubarb;" we've actually heard that clearly in other episodes!
K: We kill Vikings w/sticks!
Sc: The pitchfork hasn't been invented yet.
P: No fire either.
R: Half the makeups made out of gasoline. [Note: joke. Said in a silly accent, yet. --H]
Sc: Didn't they have something in the Rome story about how you couldn't change the past?
H: Well you can but here they say you shouldn't. It goes back to the moral dimension introduced here that Photobug mentioned.
K: The Monk already talked about past things he changed like Stonehenge.
P: The nuclear shells were still outside and so was the Monk, so he could still have done it.
H: But the beacon fires hadn't been lit, so the ships wouldn't come near enough.
R: Maybe the Doctor told the Saxons about him.
K: Maybe it was too late to stop the fleet.
M: The denouement was very nice.
H: The guy who plays the monk is a fantastic comic actor
Sc: I didn't think it was comic.
H: Well his puffing was funny, and how he read the letter - (To MisterMother) and you can see that your theory was not correct.
M: He may not have been the Master but he had a "master" plan and a mark 4!
K: The Master had a mark 4 - they decided not to make the Monk the Master but it all maps.
M: The Monk's not evil enough
H: It doesn't map because of the relationship between the Doctor and the Monk. The Monk is 50 years younger, but the Doctor and the Master went to school together.
P: This guy isn't evil, he's playful.
H: The Monk wants to make the world better, the Master wants to rule the world.
K: There are still parallels.
H: They could have made them the same characters but didn't - probably b/c they had forgotten about htis episode - it was never rerun, after all.
M: They may have thought back to this one when creating the Master, but he's not the Master.
H: It's speculation.
K: This guy isn't evil enough to be a recurring villain.
H: Well...I don't know....
*more discussion about how the Master could have been the Monk blah blah blah I think about Doctor Who too much*
Sc: I thought this was more like a regular Doctor Who episode, like they are starting to form the universe, where there are multiple TARDISes and other people from wherever he's from.
H: The Monk and the Doctor never refer to the Monk's machine as a TARDIS, interestingly. Maybe they're still going with the idea that Susan came up with the name.
M: Both the Monk and the Doctor had big rings.
H: Yes and the Doctor's ring becomes important at various points, being used for different things.
P: It's the modern equivalent of a decoder ring.
H: What has it been used for so far? He used it to power something in the TARDIS...
*think think think*
R: Wasn't it the web planet?
H: I do want to bring up the one moment I said something in the episode, when the Doctor was taking the thing out of the Monk's console, I said "it looks like a hard drive." And it did.
P: Yes, it did.
M: It was nicely done.
H: I love the moment where Steven says "what's going on" and the Doctor points. "Out!"
K: I like that Steven and Vicki are from the future, and they had to think about Leonardo da Vinci. I think it's cool that they have companions who
are a little out of their element.
M: I'm sure it was just a careless writer thing for the Monk to say "a modern police call box?"
K: He should have said a 20th century police call box.
H: He didn't have anything futuristic except his TARDIS--er, "machine."
M: What about the atomic cannon?
*some discussion of tactical nukes I was contributing to so missed typing up - upshot being that they did have nuclear artillery in the 60s so the atomic cannon wasn't too futuristic - I think the shells would have been bigger though*
H: Any more comments about the actual episode or the story? The Doctor didn't think to tie up the viking he knocked out..."Oops, I didn't expect you to wake up!"
K: Steven the hopping vampire? I thought that was funny.
Sc: What's with that line fluff when he was talking to the Doctor?
K: If his hands were tied how did Steven manage to sit down?
M: This episode is about the Doctor being large and in charge.
H: Now that Ian and Barbara are gone this show is more about the Doctor. Ian was always kind of the "out in front" guy, but now it's a little less of an ensemble show. The Doctor is the star.
K: Vicki said that he is the crew and we are just passengers - I liked how he said the line about them being welcome passengers - especially since Steven was a stowaway.
M: At this point they realize the Doctor is the through character and they need to make him more central.
H: He's the only original cast member left.
M: I don't think it was obvious when they started that the Doctor would continue to be the throughline of the show.
H: It was an ensemble show at first. This story was very important for the redefinition of the show.
P: I guess it will get more clear as we approach his first regeneration.
H: My perspective is skewed by having watch way too much Doctor Who, but not quite in this format...and not having watched my way through with all the reconstructions.
P: The concept they come up with keeping the show going while changing the main character changed the show.
*Historian alludes to some various behind the scenes things that happened around the period when William Hartnell left the show, more of which in a little over a year*
P: Why didn't the TARDIS move with the tide?
H: Uhh...because the story said so.
Sc: We don't know how much force the tide exerted.
K: We never actually saw it under water.
H: those were the poshest Northumbrians I've ever heard. [Again, joke.]
Sc: All the actors speak with proper accents.
H: *does impression of standard accent trying to do Yorkshire accent. Badly.*
M: Maybe he has a drift compensator?
H: He made it sound like he doesn't.
M: The implication is that he has an older model than the monk, but maybe he has a newer model - all we know is his chameleon circuit is broken.
P: Why didn't they take the Monk's TARDIS?
M: The Doctor would have had to leave all his stuff behind.
R: "I keep my old man pants in my TARDIS! Ehe!"
P: I thought he was going to lock out the Monk's TARDIS.
K: I thought he was going to stop it dematerializing.
H: I liked how there was so little extraneous stuff in this episode Everything ties together, even when you don't think it will, like Eldred being left behind. We forget all about him, but he shows up, sees the Vikings all ties together.
M: I'm still into the two TARDISes - the Monk seemed surprised that the Doctor's was locked - his wasn't locked - maybe it's not typical for a time machine to have a lock on it.
K: I liked the way they did the entrance to the monk's TARDIS, how you could see they had to duck under the stone - it's interesting how sometimes they do the TARDIS doors differently.
H: Depends how much budget they have for the episode. [Joking--well, ok, only half joking.]
H: Any last thoughts? Since this is the last episode of the season, about the story, the season, the Project in general...
K: I think we were right to watch one episode a week.
P: You said we'd go crazy at the beginning.
K: Did not.
H: Well, actually, you did say that by "Inside the Spaceship" you'd be begging me to do more than one a week.
K: Well I might go crazy when we hit the recons.
H: I think watching one recon episode a week is better than multiples, and "Marco Polo" went well.
K: Yes - I fell asleep the first time I watched a bunch of recons - hey stop typing!
H: No, no keep going...


And that's basically where things ended tonight. (At least that's when Schmallturm stopped typing!)

Remember, there won't be a new episode post for three weeks, but keep an eye out for my story and season wrapups! And please, please drop us a line in our survey post. Let us know how we're doing! And join us back here on 1st October for (I hope) a special treat for the Project members...

Until next time, I remain




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