Mortimus (PROSE: No Future) was a time-traveller of the Doctor's own kind, by most accounts being a renegade Time Lord like them. (PROSE: No Future, Divided Loyalties; AUDIO: The Side of the Angels, etc.)
Adopting the name, or at least the ethos, of "the Time Meddler" (COMIC: 4-Dimensional Vistas) he travelled in a TARDIS of his own throughout Earth's history, "meddling" with it in a manner the Doctor denounced as reckless and counterproductive. After an encounter with the First Doctor in 1066 Northumbria, Mortimus became known to the Doctor and his companions as "the Monk", due to his choice of disguise. (TV: The Time Meddler) While he noted that it was mostly the Doctor who addressed him as such, (AUDIO: The Secret History) he later acknowledged that most people called him "the Monk". (AUDIO: The Blame Game) He did, however, express irritation at being called "the Meddling Monk", (AUDIO: Divorced, Beheaded, Regenerated) another descriptor used for him by the Doctor in Northumbria. (TV: The Time Meddler)
According to a dream about his childhood in the Deca that the Fifth Doctor experienced under the influence of the Toymaker, Mortimus had once been a friend of the Doctor's on Gallifrey until he fled to meddle in history. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties)
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 As a renegade
- 1.3 Grander exploits
- 1.4 Mustachioed meddling
- 1.5 A new body
- 2 Alternative timelines
- 3 Personality
- 4 Appearance and clothing
- 5 Behind the scenes
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
On Gallifrey[edit | edit source]
Like all Time Lords, Mortimus was taken from his family at the age of eight for the selection process in the Drylands. Staring into the Untempered Schism as part of a Time Lord initiation rite, he was driven mad by what he saw in the Schism. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)
According to a nightmare had by the Fifth Doctor, Mortimus and the First Doctor were both part of the Deca in the Time Lord Academy. When the Doctor uncovered Time Lord files regarding the Guardians, Mortimus was one of the first to delve into their secrets. He dropped out of the Academy after the Doctor, Rallon and Millennia took an illegal trip away from Gallifrey to the Celestial Toyroom. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties)
On Gallifrey, Mortimus was an initiate of one of the colleges of scholars in the Capitol, trusted with keeping secrets, (PROSE: No Future) and also worked for the Celestial Intervention Agency. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel) During this period, he was responsible for the Legions' imprisonment. (PROSE: The Crystal Bucephalus) According to the Master, Mortimus "crossed and double-crossed" the CIA. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)
Leaving Gallifrey[edit | edit source]
After becoming an agent provocateur for the High Council, Mortimus found an interest in intervening in history. Becoming aware of other worlds where everything he believed in was meaningless, Mortimus turned to politics, attempting to "create a purpose out of nothing". Finding politics to be full of betrayal, he retreated into hedonism, out of a desire for harmless fun. Through "some sort of controversy", the High Council betrayed Mortimus. (PROSE: No Future)
Fifty years after the Doctor and other members of the Deca left Gallifrey, the Monk escaped in a Mark IV TARDIS and decided to become a renegade as well, meddling with history for amusement. (TV: The Time Meddler) After he left Gallifrey, Irving Braxiatel heard that Mortimus had headed in the direction of Earth. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)
As a renegade[edit | edit source]
Early adventures[edit | edit source]
The Monk worked as an advisor to both the Moroks and Yartek, leader of the Voord. (PROSE: No Future) Mortimus encountered the Celestial Toymaker at one point, and the Toymaker took a liking to him due to their similar personalities. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties)
The Monk lent mechanical assistance to the builders of Stonehenge by providing anti-gravity lifts; according to his logbook he gave Leonardo da Vinci tips on aircraft design, and he placed £200 in a London bank in 1968 and then travelled forward two hundred years to pick up a fortune in compound interest. (TV: The Time Meddler) At some point, the Monk encountered the Daleks and developed a fear of them. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
The Battle of Hastings plot[edit | edit source]
Still in his first incarnation, (PROSE: The Mutation of Time) the Monk went to 1066 Northumbria trying to prevent the Normans from winning the Battle of Hastings as part of a plan to guide England into an age of technological prosperity when the First Doctor encountered him, using a progress chart to keep track of the proceedings. After the Monk's plans were prevented, the Doctor sabotaged the dimensional control of his TARDIS, making it the same size inside as outside. With his TARDIS interior reduced to dollhouse proportions, the Monk was seemingly stranded in 11th century England. (TV: The Time Meddler)
Further battles with the Doctor[edit | edit source]
Sometime in the 21st century, the Monk tried to rig elections in what may have been the United States to stop President Sinatra from winning a third term of office. As he began this mission, he landed his TARDIS on a busy freeway. The Sleeze Brothers, El Ape and Deadbeat, collided with it, damaging their vehicle. At the same time, the companion-less Seventh Doctor landed his TARDIS in the same area.
Besieged by angry brothers and an irate Doctor, the Monk slipped back into his TARDIS and took off. The Brothers hijacked the Doctor's TARDIS at gunpoint and ordered him to follow the Monk's TARDIS through time. A chase ensued, and the two TARDISes flitted to several famous mysteries in Earth's history. Finally, the Doctor and the Sleeze Brothers made the Monk's TARDIS implode, apparently causing the creation of the Bermuda Triangle. (COMIC: Follow That TARDIS!)
Alliance with the Daleks[edit | edit source]
The Monk ran into the First Doctor again on the volcanic planet Tigus. The Monk sabotaged the lock on the Doctor's TARDIS, though that did not stop him from getting inside. The Doctor stole the Monk's direction controls to use in his effort to stop the Daleks.
The Monk's TARDIS landed in ancient Egypt. Knowing of the Daleks, the Monk decided to help them regain the taranium core to avoid being exterminated himself while trying unsuccessfully to convince the Doctor and his companions of his honourable nature. The Doctor overpowered the Monk and placed him in a sarcophagus, where he was found by Steven Taylor and Sara Kingdom. He caused them to be captured by the Daleks but was also held by them. The Doctor tinkered with the chameleon circuit of the Monk's TARDIS, making it take various shapes, finally that of a police box. The Doctor was forced to give the taranium to Mavic Chen, enabling his companions and the Monk to escape the Daleks. The Monk entered his TARDIS before the Daleks could recapture him. However, the Doctor had stolen its partially compatible directional unit, and the Monk arrived on an ice planet. Realising he'd have to wander in time and space as lost as the Doctor was, (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) he became stranded on the planet as he constructed new circuits and repaired his TARDIS. (PROSE: No Future)
Death's Champion[edit | edit source]
Now using his real name, Mortimus spent decades planning his revenge, accumulating information and stealing useful devices, and financing his operations by taking on discreet commissions across the universe. He made a deal with the Eternal Death to become her champion, thinking it wouldn't be too demanding, and also met the Eternal Vain Beauty in Paris, exchanging gold for his blood. He also killed the Minyan Antokh to obtain his blood, regretting that the required poison was expensive, along with blood from a Mandrel, Silurian, and Dalek, and collected spheres from the Sisterhood of Karn. Using all this in a ritual performed on the edge of the universe, he summoned the Chronovore Artemis and captured her with Vain's blood, which she thought was human.
In his explorations of the universe, he found Varda and broke the time loop with Artemis's power, freeing the Vardans. Forming an alliance, he began to interfere in the Seventh Doctor's past, (PROSE: No Future) allowing Morka to kill the Third Doctor without regenerating during their encounter, (PROSE: Blood Heat) though he admitted he should've realised this would only create an unstable mini-universe. After reading about it in the Red Book of Gallifrey, (PROSE: No Future) he resurrected the Garvond, (PROSE: The Dimension Riders) and then empower Huitzilin, (PROSE: The Left-Handed Hummingbird) feeling a sort of empathy with the creature. Finally, since he considered it such an interesting place and "couldn't leave it to fizzle out," (PROSE: No Future) Mortimus restored the Land of Fiction, (PROSE: Conundrum) removing the Master of the Land from his timestream and giving him infinite power, in order to gain more time and remove any future notes and escape clauses the Doctor left for himself.
Mortimus then aided the Vardans' scheme to avenge themselves on the Doctor and the Sontarans by conquering Earth in 1976, since it was of continued strategic value to the Sontarans and of importance to the Doctor. His plan was undone thanks to the Doctor's companion Ace, who pretended to side with him until she could free Artemis. The vengeful Artemis subsequently took Mortimus away to make him pay for her imprisonment. (PROSE: No Future)
Mortimus took Antonio Salieri back in time to Salzburg to kill Mozart when he was still a child, intending to cause damage to the Web of Time. Mortimus left before the murder took place and Salieri was stopped by the Seventh Doctor and a tramp. Mozart escaped unharmed. (PROSE: The Tramp's Story)
Grander exploits[edit | edit source]
Travels with Lucie Miller[edit | edit source]
After regenerating, the Monk placed a wanted ad for a willing fellow traveller and chose Lucie Miller as his new companion. Together they met Caligula and the Sensorites, and watched a final of Thordon's Got Talent, before crash-landing in medieval Ireland due to the Monk's malfunctioning "directional whatsit". The pair sought shelter in the Abbey of Kells until the Monk could finish repairs. (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars)
In Ireland in 1006, the Monk sought an artefact known as the Book of Kells, intending to take it away from its predicted destruction, but also hoping to use the artistic skill of its creators to create a new printed circuit to replace a damaged component in his TARDIS. During this time, he once again encountered the Eighth Doctor after grounding his TARDIS with a Time Scoop. (AUDIO: The Book of Kells)
After escaping Kells, Lucie and the Monk went to the planet Questus, where the Monk had travelled back in time to kill the parents of a dictator in an avalanche to prevent the dictator's birth. At this point, after being dragged out of the avalanche, Lucie tired of the Monk's meddling and began to consider his actions amoral, to the point of calling him a murderer. After this, the Monk "dumped" her on Deimos Moonbase in the 23rd century, deliberately placing her there in an attempt to grab the Doctor's attention.
Reawakening the Ice Warriors centuries before they were meant to in order to give them the opportunity to terraform Mars back to how it was prior to their hibernation, the Monk planned to allow them to kill thousands of human colonists in the 23rd century, rather than billions on Halcyon a thousand years later. The Monk used Lucie to stop the Doctor from exploding a bomb that would have defeated the Ice Warriors. Realising he had been unsuccessful in distracting the Doctor, the Monk created an artificial gravity eddy to forcibly bring the Doctor back to Deimos. The Monk took the Doctor's companion, Tamsin Drew, to the aftermath of the Ice Warriors' attack on Halcyon around the 33rd century, convincing her that the Doctor was responsible for the billions of deaths there, and subsequently showing her him apparently collaborating with the Ice Warriors in killing 600 people on a passenger rocket.
Following the conclusion of the crisis, Tamsin told the Doctor that she had "had enough" of what she considered only looking out for his friends and the Web of Time, and was unable to forgive him for condemning the people of Halcyon to their fate, choosing to leave with the Monk. The duo set off to find "some old friends who also [had] a score to settle with the Doctor" to "combine their talents". (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars)
Helping the Daleks[edit | edit source]
The Monk helped the Daleks invade Earth as they had in the 22nd century. In exchange for reviving the Dalek Time Controller - when the Daleks realised they needed someone with superior temporal engineering knowledge to their own to repair it - the Daleks promised him anything he desired. He used a Dalek virus from the far future and infected the Earth. He ejected the virus into Earth's atmosphere and moved forwards in time three years, and gave Tamsin the job of stealing human artefacts from museums for his personal collection. He lied to Tamsin, telling her that he was saving the artefacts for when the human race got back on its feet, but he knew the whole time the Daleks would wipe all humans out as part of the Dalek Time Controller's plan to turn the Earth into a plague planet which would be used to infect all of the planets whose inhabitants would threaten the Daleks in the future. (AUDIO: Lucie Miller)
After the Daleks destroyed the collection in an attempt to kill the Doctor, and then coldly exterminated Tamsin, the Monk was devastated that he had allowed someone he had feelings for to die. Wishing not to cause any more death, he decided to help the Doctor. He saved Susan Campbell and him from the bomb that destroyed the Daleks. Under duress from the Doctor, who finally deduced who had helped the Dalek Time Controller, the Monk revealed it had been he who had released the plague on Earth. He was then ordered to leave the Doctor's sight after the Doctor found out that he had deployed the virus on Earth. He also revealed he had picked up the Doctor's TARDIS approaching the 22nd century, and prevented his arrival in time to stop the invasion from truly getting underway. (AUDIO: To the Death)
Revenge on the Doctor[edit | edit source]
The Monk was deeply affected by the death of Tamsin Drew. In his despair, he formulated a plan to remove the Doctor from history so that Tamsin's death would never come to pass, convincing himself that the Doctor alone was responsible. He located Sophia, a time-sensitive Human/Hetrodon hybrid in ancient Greece and used her abilities to create a hole in space-time, which the Monk planned to use to take the Doctor's place in history. (AUDIO: The Secret History)
His early experiments resulted in the Seventh Doctor taking the place of the Third Doctor on Delphin Isle, (AUDIO: The Defectors) and the Sixth Doctor taking the place of the Second Doctor in a Cyber-Tomb in the Kuiper Belt. (AUDIO: Last of the Cybermen) However, with the aid of their companions, the displaced Doctors were able to realise how their past selves would have dealt with the crisis and act accordingly before the Monk's influence was undone and the original Doctors returned. (AUDIO: The Defectors, Last of the Cybermen)
Finally, the Monk lured the Fifth Doctor to Constantinople in the year 540 in the place of the First Doctor, where he successfully replaced the Doctor's timeline with his own after putting the Doctor in a position where he would have to let alien healers take action on Earth or preserve history and let innocent people die. However, Sophia was able to sense the distortion to history as the Monk's casual interference made things worse, and used her abilities to bring the Doctor back into existence. The Doctor brought a group of Antoim warriors to Earth in order to blackmail the Monk into restoring the Doctor's timeline, the Monk faced with being killed by the Antoene for the Doctor's actions and the Doctor only willing to share his plan to stop them if the Monk restored his timeline. Lost for any better options, the Monk obliged before fleeing once again, informing the Doctor that he would return again, although the Doctor dismissed that plan as unimportant. (AUDIO: The Secret History)
Mustachioed meddling[edit | edit source]
A new start[edit | edit source]
At some point after his encounter with the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller, (AUDIO: The Rise of the New Humans) the Monk regenerated into a new body with a large moustache. (AUDIO: The Black Hole) He decided to forget about all his grudges and disagreements from his previous lives and start afresh. (AUDIO: The Side of the Angels)
Meddling in the universe[edit | edit source]
The Monk allied himself with the Seeth and planned to use the Second Doctor's TARDIS to free them from a black hole. He shot a Time Lord Chapter 9 constable called Pavo and used her perception-altering ring to pretend to be her next incarnation. He convinced the Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, and Victoria Waterfield that he was the real Pavo and took control of the Doctor's TARDIS with a Stattenheim remote control. He successfully freed the Seeth, but the Doctor stopped him and sent the Seeth back to their prison. (AUDIO: The Black Hole)
The Monk popped up in 1945 shortly before Winston Churchill's general election loss. Under the guise of Simon Saunders, Churchill’s new strategic advisor, he planned to change the outcome of the election, believing the UK would be far better off with Churchill in charge, though it was hinted that his true goal may have been to manipulate his way into becoming Prime Minister himself.
Involving himself with a double agent within MI5 named Kulcade, the Monk got him to steal artworks, even from Downing Street itself, in order to fund his political ambitions. Initially unbeknownst to the Monk however, Kulcade had a pair of alien siblings working for him (albeit not willingly) to help him steal the paintings and cause disorder by engaging in other espionage activities. Luckily the Seventh Doctor arrived on the scene and managed to intervene, stopping the spy, saving the alien siblings, and making sure that Churchill stayed on the losing path, but not without consequences to their friendship. Meanwhile, the Monk and Kulcade eventually found themselves cornered by Churchill and the police, to be taken into custody for various crimes. (AUDIO: Subterfuge)
The Monk heard about the Second Doctor's trial and exile on Earth and decided to visit the Third Doctor to see him in his new incarnation and get revenge for being trapped in the 11th century. He convinced the Doctor that he would take him to the 51st century where the Doctor could get a vortex manipulator. The Monk did the exact opposite and took the Doctor far into the past during the formation of Earth. He trapped the Doctor on a Delphon ship which was on Earth as it formed. Liz Shaw convinced the Monk to return to the Doctor and save him. The Monk did just that and brought the Doctor back to his exile in the 1970s. While the Monk wasn't looking, Liz stole several important components from the Monk's TARDIS. The Doctor theorised that this would eventually cause the Monk's TARDIS to break. (AUDIO: The Blame Game)
Eventually settling on Earth once again, the Monk set himself up as chief administrator of a clinic that used technology from the future to treat his patients. He employed Doctor Kurdi as his chief physician, funding her efforts to develop a "virus" that would essentially allow those humans infected with it to rapidly evolve to cope with the disease or injuries facing them.
This clinic eventually attracted the Third Doctor's interest when he and Jo Grant learned of two suicides where the victims' bodies had begun "evolving" before they died. After seeing the futuristic technology at the clinic, the Doctor believed that the Master was involved before the Monk showed himself. The Monk was offended slightly by the suspicion, calling the Master's feud with the Doctor a grudge.
When the Doctor confronted the Monk about his plans, the Monk tried to force the Doctor to help Doctor Kurdi perfect her serum by infecting Jo with a lethal virus that could only be cured by Kurdi's process. The Doctor was able to both perfect the serum and a means of negating it, but the situation was complicated when the test subjects in the clinic attacked the others, intending to spread out and convert all of humanity into the 'New Humans'. With the aid of a patient who had developed psychic powers to compensate for his quadriplegic body, the Doctor was able to devise a cure that could be dispersed through the clinic's air circulation system. The Monk escaped once again, but the Doctor stole the Monk's dimensional buffers before his departure. (AUDIO: The Rise of the New Humans)
The Monk, now hiding in 1970s New York under the pseudonym "Reverend Mortimer", forged an alliance with Cardinal Ollistra to infiltrate the business industry of the city and construct Gallifreyan structures that would protect them from the destruction of the universe. They also teamed up with the Weeping Angels to power up these structures with time energy in exchange for human prey when they activate the said structures. However, when the Eleven came to him, the Monk helped him to corner Liv and Helen in the museum to save his own life. Ultimately, the Monk was betrayed by the Weeping Angels who, hungry for potential energy, sent him back in time several centuries. The Monk pleaded with the Eighth Doctor to help him, but the Doctor turned his back. (AUDIO: The Side of the Angels)
The Monk then visited Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution to try to take over the world using a weather control device. The Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan were present and the Doctor managed to defeat him. The Monk later recounted this when he spoke as a guest speaker to the Darkon corperation. (AUDIO: How to Win Planets and Influence People)
Escaping the Time War[edit | edit source]
During the Last Great Time War the Monk feared that the Daleks would win, and knew they would not let him survive. He travelled to Earth and turned himself human to escape the conflict. To prevent detection by the Time Lords, the Monk removed his TARDIS' components, but didn't perform a careful job of removing them, badly damaging the TARDIS in the process. He still kept a connection to the Matrix, to see what was going on.
The Monk hid away in an abbey in England during the 16th century. Through his connection to the Matrix he witnessed the disappearance of Gallifrey at the end of the Time War and its subsequent return to the universe. Feeling trapped on Earth in one time zone after badly damaging his TARDIS, the Monk tried to raise Gallifrey's attention by meddling with time. He posed as Henry VIII by utilising his TARDIS' chameleon circuit. His meddling caught the attention of Missy, who was looking for a time traveller in order to plunder their technology.
Missy exposed the Monk as an impostor to the locals. They were prepared to behead him until Missy hypnotised the executioner and they escaped. The Monk ran back to his TARDIS and Missy followed. Stealing what she needed from his TARDIS, Missy departed using her vortex manipulator. This left the Monk trapped inside his broken TARDIS as the villagers tried to force their way in. The Monk, furious that once more he'd been stranded on Earth and one of his people was involved, swore that after he had dealt with the Doctor he was coming for her. (AUDIO: Divorced, Beheaded, Regenerated)
The Monk caught up with Missy when she was stranded in 1605, undoing her interference in the Gunpowder Plot and capturing her. (AUDIO: Treason and Plot) Before he could exact his revenge, they were both captured by Ogrons. The Ogrons were seeking payment for a job the Master had hired them for long ago, and assumed the Monk was the Master. Missy eventually helped the Monk escape and they returned to his TARDIS. She revealed she’d programmed his TARDIS to only work with them both aboard. As he despaired, she claimed this was the start of a “horrible friendship”. (AUDIO: Too Many Masters)
A new body[edit | edit source]
At some point, the Monk regenerated into a new body.
On one occasion, the Monk discovered an abandoned ship manned by robots and full of time scoop technology. He took the ship to Loch Ness in 1979 with plans to use the time scoop to depopulate the planet and sell it to an alien race. Before doing that, he used the scoop to bring a plesiosaurus to the loch, increasing the amount of Loch Ness Monster sightings and attracting attention to the loch. The Twelfth Doctor and Clive Finch came to the loch to see the monster and discovered the Monk's plan. The Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to take control of the ship and had its robots restrain the Monk. The Doctor then erased Mortimus' knowledge of the plan with a memory worm and sent him away in his TARDIS. (PROSE: The Persistence of Memory)
Alternative timelines[edit | edit source]
In an alternative timeline, the Monk cooperated alongside the Master, the Rani and Drax to try to destroy the world using a DNA recombinator, turning the human race into a gestalt consciousness which could be used as a weapon to conquer the universe.
Personality[edit | edit source]
The Monk was amoral and enjoyed meddling actively with history to his own selfish ends. He was also incredibly careless when it came to time travel. Unlike other Time Lords, the Monk didn't seem to care about the potential damage to fixed points or to the Web of Time. He also showed the habit of leaving behind anachronisms like a quartz wristwatch and an atomic cannon on a cliff where anyone could find it. (PROSE: The Time Meddler)
One of the reasons for his justification for his time meddling was he watched history repeat time and time again, and he watched as people made mistakes, and he believed that by manipulating events he could ensure those mistakes didn't happen. He had the view, as a Time Lord, he had the right to make decisions which affected history on a large scale. At the same time, he believed nobody was equal. (AUDIO: Subterfuge)
Despite his experience as a Time Lord, the Monk's attitude typically demonstrated a very short-term view when making his plans, intending to alter the outcome of the Battle of Hastings with only vague ideas of how things would work out later. The Monk justified his attitude by proclaiming that he actively helped others where the Doctor used the Laws of Time to justify inaction, although the Doctor argued that not taking action helped others develop further, where the Monk simply gave advanced technology to cultures before they had developed the maturity to use it properly. The Doctor also observed that the Monk often failed to consider the consequences of his actions; as an example, while the Monk's actions saved a woman from a terminal disease, the Doctor argued that by letting history take its course the woman's death could have inspired her family or others to do more research into that disease and led to far more cures and diseases being treated. (AUDIO: The Rise of the New Humans)
The Monk also showed a childish and petulant side to his nature, although he did have a temper, and he could get annoyed and exasperated easily, usually when he was disturbed during his plans like he frequently was in 1066 when his disguise as a monk led to him being forced to tend to injured Saxons even if the role was necessary since the Saxons were a part of his plans. (TV: The Time Meddler)
Throughout all of his lives, the Monk had a boastful side, and he sought praise and liked to think of himself as clever. (PROSE: The Time Meddler) He would boast about his plans and about his TARDIS, and he enjoyed mocking the Doctor whenever they met. Indeed, when he met the Eighth Doctor on Deimos, the Monk took particular delight in taunting the Doctor for his failures despite him being involved in manipulating the situation so the Doctor would need to save Lucie from the Ice Warriors. (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars)
The Eighth Doctor compared the Monk to his previous self when he heard the story from Lucie of how the Monk had taken her to a planet to prevent the birth of a dictator by burying his parents under an avalanche that also destroyed the settlement. The Doctor pointed out that the Monk and his own past incarnation, the Seventh Doctor, were not too dissimilar; they both believed the ends justified the means for some "greater good," and how the Seventh Doctor had a similar mindset for devising masterplans while believing that the needs of the many outweighed the means of the few. (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars)
His TARDIS was his "pride and joy," (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars) and he loved showing it off to the Doctor, boasting about its features and comparing its superiority to the Doctor's TARDIS, (TV: The Time Meddler) but when he travelled to Earth to flee from the Last Great Time War, he was a bit too zealous in making sure no-one could track him down, making it easy for Missy to strand him in the past. At the same time, he had no problem with abandoning his ship when it was heavily damaged, though it was his own fault. (AUDIO: Divorced, Beheaded, Regenerated)
During a later encounter with the Monk when he discovered the other Time Lord was helping the Daleks re-conquer Earth in the 22nd century, the Doctor stated the Monk was "like a child, a dangerously powerful child," and he "needed to grow up. Fast." Tamsin Drew also claimed the Monk was a child before she learnt the truth of the Daleks' presence on Earth. The Doctor also claimed the Monk to be "out of his depth." (AUDIO: To the Death)
The Monk claimed that he started fresh after every regeneration, adopting a policy of separation between his incarnations. He dropped all grudges held by his past selves and asked those that encountered him to consider the action of his other selves as the actions of different people. (AUDIO: The Side of the Angels) However, this could be attributed to his overarching nature to reflect any responsibility and blame for his past actions onto anyone else, further exaggerating his blatant arrogance and fecklessness. (AUDIO: The Secret History)
The Monk often came across as a wannabe rather than a true villain or hero, with his greater plans and objectives fundamentally undermined by his own inability to recognise his limitations, such as participating in an alliance with the Daleks to conquer Earth because he believed that the Daleks would be defeated eventually. (AUDIO: To the Death) The consequences of his attitude were most clearly demonstrated when he was able to implement a complex plan that saw him taking the Doctor's place in the belief that he could be better than the Doctor, only for his former ally to see the future he would create and recognise that the Monk's active interference in history were making things worse than they would have been if the Doctor had been allowed to continue existing and adopting his usual pattern of stepping in during great danger but otherwise allowing people to make their own mistakes. (AUDIO: The Secret History)
Appearance and clothing[edit | edit source]
The incarnation of the Monk who earned the title during his spars with the First Doctor wore the robes of a 1066 Northumberland monk, initially as part of a disguise. He was a middle-aged, chubby, white-skinned man with a lined, clean-shaven face, a gap in his top front teeth and dark hair cut into a bowl cut. (TV: The Time Meddler)
The incarnation after this was a short, balding older man with a broad face and green eyes. He largely rejected the monk's habit in favour of a tan coloured checked suit with a waist coat and a garish bow tie and pink shirt. (AUDIO: The Book of Kells)
The most memorable feature of the Monk's next regeneration was a large, fair-haired moustache. He was once again pale-skinned and had small dark eyes. Though this incarnation generally no longer wore a monk's robes, gladly dressing up in location- and period-appropriate garb as part of his cons, (AUDIO: The Black Hole) he did wear them when visiting the Third Doctor. (AUDIO: The Blame Game)
The incarnation that encountered the Twelfth Doctor in Loch Ness was powerfully built and wore a richly patterned scarlet robe and a paisley scarf for a belt, pairing this with a pair of sturdy shoes. He had pronounced laughter lines and eyes that twinkled with humour, as though he found a lot to laugh about in life. (PROSE: The Persistence of Memory)
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Name[edit | edit source]
The Monk was almost never actually referred to as "the Time Meddler" or "the Meddling Monk" by himself or others, both of these "names" being taken from the titles of the overall serial and the second episode. However, the Doctor comes close to giving the character these names within the serial, calling him "a time meddler" and "that meddling monk", and later referring to "the Meddling Monk" in the novelisation of Shada, but more as a general epithet than a name. In 4-Dimensional Vistas, the Fifth Doctor refers to the character as "the Time Meddler" and in To the Death and Divorced, Beheaded, Regenerated, Lucie Miller and Missy call him "the Meddling Monk".
The title "the Monk" derives more from Steven and Vicki's attempt to call him something within the confines of The Time Meddler. By the events of the audio story The Book of Kells, the Monk is shown to have appropriated the title, using the name "Abbot Thelonius" as a sly reference to jazz great Thelonius Monk through wordplay reminiscent of the Master's aliases. However, in The Secret History, the Monk remarks that the Doctor is the only person who ever calls him "the Monk".
The first villainous Time Lord?[edit | edit source]
Peter Butterworth's unnamed time traveller in TV: The Time Meddler had the distinction of being the first compatriot of the Doctor and Susan to appear on television. There is some difficulty, however, in assigning to him the quality of "first Time Lord other than the Doctor" to appear in the series, as the name of "Time Lord" had yet to make its debut in the series at the time; indeed, it was far from established that the Doctor was a humanoid alien rather than a human from an advanced future civilisation. Absent the context of later continuity, The Time Meddler seems to set itself firmly in the latter tradition, with both the Doctor and the Monk equating "history" and "human history" in dialogue, treating Earth's history as if it were their own; the trinkets and keepsakes collected by the Monk notably all come from various periods of Earth's history, to the exclusion of any other planet.
In the end, the name of "Time Lord" was not used until TV: The War Games, which also introduced a new antagonistic member of the Doctor's own kind; the War Chief. In terms of authorial intent, it could thus be argued that the War Chief was the first true "evil Time Lord" antagonist on television — although one might also make a case for the Celestial Toymaker in TV: The Celestial Toymaker, who was, according to Donald Tosh in BBC DVD: The Time Meddler, initially meant to be a member of the Doctor's own race, and was, unlike the Monk, clearly presented as nonhuman — although this idea was largely abandoned by later continuity, which instead depicted the Toymaker as either a Great Old One or a Guardian of Time.
Indeed, PROSE: Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon explained that the Doctor and the Master were the only two Renegade Time Lords ever to leave Gallifrey, and PROSE: The Three Doctors stated that the Master was the only Time Lord the Doctor had ever fought before Omega; both of these books implicitly squared away the War Chief as an earlier incarnation of the Master, which was Malcolm Hulke's personal belief, but they made no mention of the Monk whatsoever (nor of the Toymaker).
Sourcebooks of FASA's The Doctor Who Role Playing Game took this to its logical conclusion by presenting Peter Butterworth's character in The Time Meddler as an earlier incarnation of the Master, who had been "disguised" as "the Monk", and the War Chief as not the Master himself, but a disciple of his, who had been acting under his guidance. However, stories in the Doctor Who Role Playing Game are not considered valid sources on this Wiki due to their branching narratives and interactive elements.
As "Roger"[edit | edit source]
According to NOTVALID: How The Monk Got His Habit, which is not accepted as a valid source for in-universe articles on this wiki, Mortimus had spent many years satisfying his hedonistic yearnings in Earth's 1970s under the unassuming name of "Roger" by his fifth incarnation. He had acquired a taste for Earth tobacco — which made his voice turn gravelly over time — as well as for Earth's pop music, which he often played on his TARDIS's hi-fi system.
He was "a suave, debonair-looking man", with jet-black, shoulder-length hair, and he bore a long moustache, as well as neatly-trimmed cavalry whiskers. He wore a plum-coloured velvet suit with "tight, figure-enhancing" hipsters.
Other matters[edit | edit source]
- The unproduced Peter Capaldi-era story How The Monk Got His Habit, pitched by Peter Harness, would have revealed the origins of the Monk's habit to meddle in history and of his disguise as a human monk, involving the Twelfth Doctor. A younger Monk (prospectively cast as Matt Berry), only meaning to have a bit of fun, would have been seen to go back to 1917 Russia to make the real Grigori Rasputin listen to the Boney M track "Ra-Ra-Rasputin". To the Monk's surprise, this would have caused Rasputin to go completely mad, throwing human history out of whack; for his penance, the Doctor would have had his old schoolmate regenerate into Rasputin's form and live out his lifetime exactly as it was supposed to go — thus showing not only the first of the Monk's time-meddlings, but also how he got into the habit of posing as a monk; Rasputin being known as "the Mad Monk". A window into the period of the Monk's life prior to these events was revealed in a short story of the same name, presented as the first scene of the unfinished novelisation to the unproduced story, which Harness released as part of Doctor Who: Lockdown! and which is not considered a valid source on this Wiki.
- The Monk is also the first recurring villain other than the Daleks, and the first individual foe to return.
- According to NOTVALID: Dalek: Spoof Scenes, in a version of events where the Last Great Time War was fought against the Drashigs rather than the Daleks, the Ninth Doctor cited the Monk as one of the people who'd perished in the War, alongside Damon and Spandrell.