Mortimus was a renegade Time Lord who had been a friend of the Doctor's on Gallifrey until he fled to meddle in history under the alias of "the Monk". (TV: The Time Meddler) According to one account, it was mostly the Doctor who addressed him as such, though he wasn't really interested in his real name being used to identify him, (AUDIO: The Secret History) although Mortimus once said that most people called him "The Monk". (AUDIO: The Blame Game)
Early life Edit
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, Mortimus 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)
As a renegade Edit
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)
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)
Still in his first incarnation, having only one heart, (PROSE: The Mutation of Time) the Monk was in 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. 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)
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!)
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, last seen leaving the Monk on an ice planet. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
Death's Champion Edit
Now using his real name, Mortimus made himself a champion to the Eternal Death. Capturing the Chronovore Artemis, (PROSE: No Future) Mortimus used her to give Morka the power to kill the Third Doctor, (PROSE: Blood Heat) resurrect the Garvond, (PROSE: The Dimension Riders) empower Huitzilin, (PROSE: The Left-Handed Hummingbird) and restore the Land of Fiction. (PROSE: Conundrum)
Mortimus then aided the Vardans' scheme to avenge themselves on the Doctor and the Sontarans by conquering Earth, a planet 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
Travels with Lucie Miller Edit
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 1006 Ireland, 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
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
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 Antoene 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
In a new body with a large moustache, 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 heard about the Second Doctor's trial and exile on Earth and decided to visit the Doctor to see 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 Last Great Time War Edit
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. (AUDIO: Divorced, Beheaded, Regenerated)
After the Time War Edit
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 imposter 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)
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
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.
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)
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. (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 predecessor 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)
Behind the scenes Edit
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 called him "the Meddling Monk".
The title "the Monk" derives more from Steven and Vicki's attempt to call him something, at least 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".
Other matters Edit
- The Monk has the distinction of being the first member of the Doctor's then unnamed race, besides the Doctor himself and Susan, to appear in the series. The name Time Lord would not be used until The War Games.
- The Monk is also the first recurring villain other than the Daleks, and the first individual foe to return.
- For some time, there was speculation that the Monk was an earlier incarnation of the Master and the War Chief (in part due to a statement in Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon that the Doctor and the Master were the only two Renegade Time Lords ever to leave Gallifrey), an idea which is stated as fact with the former in The Doctor Who Role Playing Game. However, no actual narrative media has ever drawn this connection.