Overview: The Doctor and Vicki discover that Steven stowed away in the TARDIS, escaping Mechanus with them; when they arrive in eleventh-century England, Steven is at first skeptical that they've traveled in time. The Doctor encounters a monk who turns out to be a member of his own race; he's traveled to 1066 to change the outcome of the Battle of Hastings, reckoning that England will advance more quickly if the Normans don't succeed in their invasion. The Doctor maroons the monk by sabotaging the latter's TARDIS. (4 episodes)
Regulars: The Doctor (William Hartnell); Vicki (Maureen O'Brien); Steven (Peter Purves).
Memorable Guest Performance: Peter Butterworth gives a smashing performance as the Monk, equally a delight to watch when the Doctor has the upper hand on him and when he's turned the tables on the Doctor. Alethea Charlton, as Edith, the headman's wife, is also very effective, both sensible and capable.
Great Line: The Doctor reacts to Steven's disbelief, holding up a Viking helmet they've found on the beach: "What do you think it is, a space helmet for a cow?" This scene also contains one of Hartnell's most wonderful fluffs: "My dear, I'm not a mountain goat and I prefer walking to any day and I hate climbing."
First Seen: This is our first meeting with another member of the Doctor's race, not yet called the Time Lords -- and, unlike the Doctor, he has a fully functioning TARDIS.
The Last Refuge: The Doctor is able to thwart the Monk through pure ingenuity.
Watchability: One of the best Hartnell stories, a great blend of humor and drama with, on top of it, a striking sense of time and place (Steven is given pause when a villager says, by way of goodbye, "God be with you"). Peter Purves makes a promising debut, both ironic and questioning; and, of course, there's a delicious villain -- funny but by no means inept, and so quite an effective adversary: faced with this challenge, the Doctor (and Hartnell) rise to the occasion.
Production Details: Broadcast Jul. 3-24, 1965. Written by Dennis Spooner. Directed by Douglas Camfield.
Home Video: "The Time Meddler" is out on DVD. Includes: Audio commentary by producer Verity Lambert, Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), story editor Donald Tosh and designer Barry Newbery, moderated by Clayton Hickman; Verity Lambert Obituary: A concise essay looking back at the career of one of Doctor Who's co-creators; The Lost Twelve Seconds: A small part of Episode Four is still missing, and this short item uses an off-air audio recording and an original script to place the missing 12 seconds in context (1 min); Restoration: Featurette showing the techniques used in the restoration of this story 95 mins); Stripped for Action - The First Doctor: A look back at the First Doctor's colorful comic strip adventures (14 mins); Verity Lambert Photo Gallery (2 mins); DVD-ROM feature: Radio Times listings; Production notes; Subtitle option; Photo gallery (2 mins).