Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Meddling Monk
The Meddling Monk
The Meddling Monk
 Name: AKA The Meddling Monk

 Format: Television show, Book and Audio.

 Time of Origin: Gallifrey, 50 years later then The Doctor

 Appearances: "The Time Meddler", "The Daleks' Master Plan", "No Future", "The Book of Kells", "The Resurrection of Mars", "Lucie Miller", "To the Death", "The Secret History" (Behind-the-scenes role in the events of "The Defectors" and "Last of the Cybermen")

 Doctors: First Doctor, Fifth Doctor, Seventh Doctor and Eighth Doctor; manipulated the Second Doctor and the Sixth Doctor into ‘switching places’ but did not face either directly.

 Companions: Vicki, Steven Taylor, Sara Kingdom, The Brigadier, Sergeant Benton, Captain Mike Yates, Ace, Bernice Summerfield, Susan Campbell, Lucie Miller and Tamson Drew; Jamie, Zoe and Jo Grant were involved in one of the Monk’s plans but never learned of his role in events.

Book - Divided Loyalties
Divided Loyalties
(Gary Russell)
 History: A Time Lord like The Doctor, Mortimus originates from Gallifrey, where he and the First Doctor were friends at the Academy, as revealed in a flashback of the Fifth Doctor's in "Divided Loyalties". Mortimus, however, is different from The Doctor, but not really on The Master's scale of evil - at least, at first. Although just trying to improve some things in "The Time Meddler", in his next appearance in "The Dalek's Master Plan", he was determined to get at The Doctor for ruining his plans, and in their final battle in "No Future", The Monk changed history in The Doctor's past to stop him dealing with an invasion of Earth, having finally gone over the edge, because The Doctor meddled with history here and there was seen as a hero, while all the monk had wanted to do was improve history, and was viewed as a villain.

The Monk made his debut in Doctor Who in the First Doctor television show "The Time Meddler", when the First Doctor and Vicki, just after the departure of Ian and Barbara, land at the Northumbrian Coast in 1066, just before the Battle of Hastings, and realized that Steven Taylor, a man they met during "The Chase", has stowed away on the TARDIS, Steven dismissing their claims that they had travelled in time when he discovered a modern wristwatch that The Monk had dropped earlier. Although it was quickly made obvious that The Monk was a time traveller as his monastery included such historical anomalies as a modern tea set, it was not until later in the story that Steven and Vicki learned that The Monk was another member of The Doctor's race, The Doctor speculating that he left their home world half a century before The Monk. Although The Monk captured The Doctor to prevent him interfering with his plans to alter the outcome of the Battle of Hastings by destroying the Viking fleet that weakened Harold's army before the Battle, The Doctor was able to escape, while Vicki and Steven learned that The Monk had already interfered with history in more minor ways, teaching DaVinci about powered flight and collecting a fortune in a bank by depositing some money and then travelling forward two hundred years. Outraged at The Monk's flippant use of time travel to interfere and reshape history simply because it was more 'fun', The Doctor managed to stop The Monk's plans by convincing the local Saxon villagers that The Monk was a Viking spy, causing them to remove the 'flares' that The Monk had provided the Vikings with - really missiles that would have destroyed the fleet -, subsequently removing the dimensional circuit from The Monk's TARDIS, leaving the ship's interior the same size as its stone tomb exterior, and thus useless to The Monk.

In the First Doctor’s next battle with The Monk, The Doctor, Steven, and new companion Sara Kingdom were confronted by The Monk while on a newborn planet while attempting to escape the Daleks ("The Daleks' Master Plan"). Although the Meddling Monk attempted to trap The Doctor and his friends there by damaging the TARDIS lock, The Doctor was somehow able to use his ring to destroy the lock and open the door. When The Meddling Monk tracked The Doctor to Egypt, along with the Daleks, despite The Monk's attempt to ally with the Daleks, The Doctor managed to trick the Daleks into moving The Meddling Monk's TARDIS by locking its Chameleon Circuit in the form of a Police Box, as well as stealing The Monk's directional unit. Although Sara died in the final confrontation, The Doctor was able to use the directional unit to track the Daleks back to their home planet and trigger the Time Destructor ahead of schedule, while leaving The Monk trapped on an ice world as he could no longer steer his ship.

Book - No Future
No Future
(Paul Cornell)
 After this, The Monk decided to try a new strategy, as revealed in his next appearance in the New Adventures book "No Future", driven to the brink of rage and despair at the fact that he was seen as a villain simply for trying to improve history while The Doctor - now in his seventh incarnation - had reached a point where he even left messages for his past selves to aid them in solving the current crisis, meddling in history wherever he saw fit (The fact that, on many occasions, The Doctor’s involvement appeared to have been part of history originally seems to have had no impact on The Monk’s anger). During a trip to the outskirts of the universe, The Monk had managed to trap the Chronovore ("The Time Monster") Artemis, using her immunity to the laws of cause and effect to greatly enhance his powers, as well as making a deal with the Eternal Death to become her Champion, in opposition to the Eternal Time and her new champion in the form of the Seventh Doctor. Determined to get revenge on The Doctor, The Monk travelled to Varda - the homeworld of the Vardans, a race whose invasion of Gallifrey had been defeated by the Fourth Doctor and subverted by the Sontarans ("The Invasion of Time") -, releasing them from the time loop that they had been trapped in and offering the Vardans his services in planning an invasion of Earth to avenge their defeat at the hands of The Doctor and the Sontarans, Earth being a strategically important world to the Sontarans as well as being precious to The Doctor. High on his newfound power, The Monk attempted to prevent The Doctor's interference by arranging for the Third Doctor to die in his confrontation with the Silurians ("Doctor Who and the Silurians"), but when this simply created an alternate universe, he contented himself by resurrecting the monstrous Garvond after The Doctor believed he had averted its creation ("The Dimension Riders"), binding The Doctor to Huitzilin, a psychically-enhanced Aztec warrior ("The Left-Handed Hummingbird"), and restoring the Land of Fiction after it was destroyed by the Second Doctor ("The Mind Robber" and "Conundrum").

With The Doctor occupied in stopping those new threats - although The Monk always knew that The Doctor would defeat them -, The Monk established a new identity on Earth in the 1970s in the form of industrialist Robert Bertram, removing various clues that The Doctor would leave himself in the future to help himself stop the crisis while assisting the Vardans in establishing themselves as subliminal signals in Earth's media, subtly brainwashing the humans to make them more susceptible to the Vardan influence. He also provided UNIT with virtual reality training equipment that would further subvert their wills and turn them against The Doctor, although this plan was only partly successful as The Doctor's old friends The Brigadier and Sergeant Benton were able to retain their own minds thanks to The Brigadier's Buddhist training - inspired by The Doctor's example - and Benton's disinterest in the modern media, allowing them to warn other soldiers of the danger. Although these signals were discovered by some people, the discovery actually worked to the Vardans’ benefit as they resulted in the formation of the terrorist group Black Star, who were convinced that UNIT were using the subliminal messages to keep threats secret from the public for their own purposes, The Monk escalating the subsequent riots using mood-manipulating technology of his own.

Having apparently won The Doctor's companion Ace to his side, taking advantage of the current hostility between her and The Doctor due to such actions as The Doctor allowing Ace’s old lover Jan to die ("Love and War"), The Meddling Monk then managed to get himself named as UNIT's Scientific Advisor after a particularly violent riot, declaring The Doctor and his allies a ‘Foreign Hazard’ to be shot on sight. After Ace had apparently stabbed The Doctor, allowing them to capture him during a mock sacrificial ritual, The Monk subsequently took him to the ice planet where The Doctor trapped The Monk after their last fight, intending for The Doctor to use up all his remaining regenerations as he starved to death on that planet, taunting The Doctor with the evidence that his compaions and the humanity he valued were such flawed beings. However, having taken a piece of paper from the desk that was the current appearance of The Monk's TARDIS, The Doctor was able to use that paper to escape, mocking The Monk's envy of his friends and allies as he disabled the Vardans by broadcasting a signal that would trap the Vardans in a carrier wave and banish them from Earth.

As The Doctor revealed that Ace had always been loyal to him - she had only 'stabbed' him with a pantomime dagger, rejecting The Monk's attempt to win her over as she recognised that the world had to be accepted as it was -, he taunted The Monk's inability to understand what it truly meant to be The Doctor, the other Time Lord unable to accept that The Doctor chose his companions for their ability to disagree with him as they helped each other become better rather than just to provide him with someone to tell him how great he was. The furious Monk prepared to use Artemis to erase this defeat from history and try again, but before he could do so, Artemis snapped free of her containment, having been freed by Ace; Artemis had blocked The Monk’s attempts to win Ace to his side from the beginning, and Ace had simply decided to string him along until she could find a way to stop him. Artemis, now free, nearly destroyed the world in revenge, but The Doctor convinced her to show mercy, although The Monk rejected his offer to come to some reconciliation despite The Doctor having made his peace with Ace for their recent arguments. The Monk tried to escape, but Artemis captured him and took him away to make him pay for her imprisonment.

Audio - The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells
(Barnaby Edwards)
Having somehow escaped Artemis, The Monk returned to The Doctor’s life when he somehow managed to convince the Eighth Doctor’s ex-companion Lucie Miller to travel with him, subsequently acquiring the mysterious Book of Kells from Ireland in 1006 for his collection ("The Book of Kells"). However, he abandoned Lucie on Deimos after an argument when he arranged an avalanche to kill a couple who would give birth to a future dictator, subsequently tampering with Ice Warrior history to create a new timeline where they would re-terraform Mars to take it back from the humans. The Doctor was able to set history on its proper course and rescue Lucie, but his actions resulted in him becoming estranged from his new companion Tamsin Drew, who abandoned him to side with The Monk as she felt that The Monk’s more ‘pro-active’ approach to time travel was better, as the Ice Warriors would now kill billions when they terraformed the planet Halcyon in the future rather than the few thousands who would have died if their current plan with the Monk had succeeded ("The Resurrection of Mars"). Although The Monk was able to trick Tamsin into helping him collect human artefacts from museums in the 22nd century while he helped the Daleks launch a new invasion of Earth - using a Dalek virus he had acquired in the far future -, she rejected him after his role in the invasion was revealed ("Lucie Miller"). After the Daleks destroyed the Monk’s collection and killed Tamsin while trying to exterminate The Doctor, The Monk saved The Doctor and Susan Campbell - The Doctor’s granddaughter and one of the leaders against the Dalek invasion - from the bomb that destroyed the Daleks, but The Doctor, disgusted at The Monk’s role in the invasion, simply ordered his old friend to leave his sight.

Mad with grief after Tamsin’s death, the Monk sought to find some way to remove The Doctor from history completely, eventually tracking down Sophia, a human/Hetrodon hybrid living in ancient Greece, and using her to create a hole in space that he believed would allow him to replace The Doctor’s role in history. His early attempts to attack The Doctor’s timeline resulted in the Seventh Doctor and the Sixth Doctor swapping places with the Third Doctor and the Second Doctor respectively, just prior to crucial events as UNIT were called to investigate an island where an alien ship had crash-landed decades ago ("The Defectors") and the TARDIS crew discovered a hidden Cybermen ship that sought to alter the outcome of the Cyber-Wars ("Last of the Cybermen") - each displaced Doctor feeling that the ‘original’ Doctor present could have done a better job at dealing with the current crisis while their new personas and unexpected arrival just made matters worse - but the two displaced Doctors were able to resolve the crisis and The Monk’s actions were subsequently undone, with the original Doctors returning and all involved parties forgetting that the other Doctor was ever there. The Monk eventually succeeded in his goal of replacing the Doctor when he switched the Fifth Doctor with the First and lured him to Constantinople in 540 AD ("The Secret History"), but Sophia realised what had happened and was able to restore The Doctor, who recruited a group of Antoene warriors to come to Earth and force The Monk to undo the damage he had done to history. The Monk fled once his scheme had been exposed, but whether he is still alive after the Time War against the Daleks - either trapped on Gallifrey ("The Day of The Doctor") or hiding under a chameleon arch ("Human Nature/The Family of Blood" and "Utopia") - remains to be seen.
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Time Meddler
The Daleks' Master Plan
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
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