The Time Meddler


Previous Next




The Time Meddler

Serial Code


First Transmitted

3 July 1965

Final Ratings







previous arrow
next arrow


Regular Cast

William Hartnell (Dr Who), Maureen O Brien (Vicki), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor)

Guest Cast

Peter Butterworth (Monk), Alethea Charlton (Edith), Peter Russell (Eldred), Michael Miller (Wulnoth), Michael Guest (Saxon Hunter) [1], Norman Hartley (Ulf) [2-4], Geoffrey Cheshire (Viking Leader) [2], David Anderson (Sven) [2-4], Ronald Rich (Gunnar the Giant) [2].


Written by Dennis Spooner
Directed by Douglas Camfield
Produced by Verity Lambert


The TARDIS seems emptier without Barbara and Ian – at least until The Doctor and Vicki discover that the astronaut Steven stowed away before they left Mechanus. Steven’ skepticism toward time travel pushes The Doctor to confront him with living proof. Shortly after landing on a beach in England, they discover a Viking helmet, but Steve remains unconvinced. Instructing Steve and Vicki to wait with the TARDIS, The Doctor seeks further proof.

Heedless of the Doctor’ warning, Steven persuades Vicki to explore the cliffs above the beach, where they find an abandoned wristwatch. Meanwhile, The Doctor investigates a ruined monastery, where he encounters an electric toaster, a gramophone playing ecclesiatic chants, and a monk who traps him in an alcove.

Eventually, The Doctor realises that the famous Battle of Hastings is only a few weeks away. That should provide ample proof for Steven, but who is this mysterious monk, and what is his interest in the events of 1066?


  • This is the first story in which the acronym TARDIS is said to stand for “Time and Relative Dimensions in Space”, rather than the singular “Dimension” as had been used in An Unearthly Child.
  • This was an error made by Maureen O’Brien during recording, and was retained throughout much of the series’ history.
  • The Time Meddler is the first example of what is known in Doctor Who as the “pseudo historical” story, as opposed to the pure historical stories, which are set in the past but have no science fictional elements attached to them.
  • The working title for this story was The Monk. The working title of episode 1 was The Paradox.
  • All episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings. First appearance of another member of the Doctors race. and another TARDIS.
  • Print of episode 2 is held in the Film & Library.
  • Incomplete prints of all episodes were found in Nigeria in 1985. Complete prints of episodes 1 and 3 were returned to the archive in 1992. Sequences showing a Saxon being stabbed in episode 4 are still missing from the print.

    Order the Time Meddler DVD via the BBC DVD Page

  • trailer

    error: Content is protected
    Skip to content