In Which Sergeant Benton is Brighter Than He Appears
I almost missed using the treadmill today, because although I thought I set my alarm it was only programmed for weekdays. I woke up with barely enough time to get to work down in the hotel conference center and then was beset by unexpected issues right away. I didn't even manage to get any breakfast at all until nearly 10am, and it was a struggle to be pleasant when I was both hungry and missing my morning workout. Fortunately I was able to draw upon my prodigious acting skills and behave like a decent human being until I was later able to both get some food and to work in two episodes of Doctor Who on a treadmill in the hotel's fitness center. So I guess it all worked out okay, and the new story was even pretty good.
Let's talk about that.
The Time Monster - Episodes 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
The gist of The Time Monster is that the Master is posing as a research scientist at an institute located near Cambridge, using an Atlantean crystal in order to summon a chronovore beast named Kronos. The Brigadier and Sergeant Benton both happen to be on hand to view the experiment (not knowing about the Master's involvement), and then the Doctor and Jo arrive on the scene shortly thereafter.
As usual, it is fun to see Roger Delgado's Master charming his way around all of the secondary characters and metaphorically twirling his mustache as he plots away. This is the next-to-last story that the actor appeared in before his untimely death, and the last story in which he faces off against UNIT, and as such I am deriving as much enjoyment as possible from his appearance.
The real standout in the story so far, though, is Sergeant Benton. He has always been written as an affable soldier, dependable but not necessarily the brightest of the UNIT bunch. The scene in the first episode where he is drafted by the Brigadier to go to the scientific demonstration is priceless, and then he really shines towards the end of the second episode when he appears to have been tricked by the Master into leaving the laboratory empty and unprotected. It turns out, however, that he has not only recognized the Master's ruse but is able to sneak around and turn the tables in order to capture the Master. Briefly. Tragically his victory is extremely short-lived, but what can you do? Two episodes into a six-parter is far too early for the bad guy to really be caught. The second episode ends on a cliffhanger in which (apparently) Kronos has been successfully summoned from ancient Atlantis in order to aid the Master in world domination. Oh no!
The strength of the story so far is in the character writing and performances. There hasn't been much in the way of action, and yet the tension is there in spades with a threat to not only Earth but to all of reality itself. Now that Kronos is on the scene, I expect things to pick up rapidly. I guess I'll find out in the morning.
Assuming I don't oversleep again.
Companion(s): Jo Grant
Episode(s): The Time Monster - Episodes 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,136 today, 1,114,017 total
Distance Walked: 3.75 miles today, 547.95 miles total
Weight: 267.90 lbs (five day moving average), net change -39.40 lbs