|Doctor Who character|
|The Meddling Monk|
|Home era||Rassilon Era|
|First appearance||The Time Meddler|
|Last appearance||The Daleks' Master Plan|
|Portrayed by||Graeme Garden (Big Finish Audios)|
The Meddling Monk, or simply The Monk, was a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Played by the British actor Peter Butterworth, the character appeared in two stories, The Time Meddler and The Daleks' Master Plan, as an adversary of the First Doctor. They were written and co-written respectively by Dennis Spooner.
The Monk was the possessor of a stolen Mark IV TARDIS – superior to the Doctor's and with a fully functioning Chameleon Circuit. The Doctor hypothesised that the Monk left the Doctor's then-unnamed home planet, Gallifrey, some 50 years after the Doctor did.
At this early stage in the history of the series, the name Time Lord and the details of the Doctor's origins had not yet been devised. The Monk liked to meddle in history and to change it for his own amusement and for what he considered to be the better: lending mechanical assistance to the builders of Stonehenge; giving Leonardo da Vinci tips on aircraft design; making money by using time travel to exploit compound interest; and, when the Doctor first encountered him, attempting to prevent the Norman Conquest as part of a plan to guide England into an early age of technological prosperity. On that occasion he wore the guise of a monk in order to gain the trust of the 11th-century locals of Northumbria, hence the name by which he became known.
The Doctor stranded the Monk in the 11th century by stealing his TARDIS's dimensional controller, which reduced the interior dimensions of the time machine to minuscule size. The Monk eventually restored his ship and tracked the Doctor to a volcanic planet, where he attempted to maroon his enemy by destroying the Doctor's TARDIS's lock. However, the Doctor managed to repair it and next materialised in Egypt, with the Monk still following him. While there, the two encountered the Daleks, and the Doctor stole the directional unit from the Monk's TARDIS (later destroying it when he tried to use it in his own ship, as it was incompatible), causing the Monk to lose control over his TARDIS's navigation. The Monk was last seen marooned on a desolate, icy planet.
- This section concerns the appearances of the Monk in various non-TV media.
In the Doctor Who role-playing game published by FASA in 1985, the Monk features as an earlier incarnation of the Master, who is depicted as being his sixth incarnation which he personally chose after a failed rebellion on Gallifrey forced him to flee. After the events of "The Time Meddler", the game suggests that the Monk was able to replace the missing dimensional components, but a minor miscalculation sent him, and his TARDIS to a planet in the 'crack' between realities, a planet which he later named 'Merast' and used as a base of operations. It also cost him a full regeneration, however he was able to keep his current appearance. After the Monk's second encounter with the First Doctor on the planet Tigus, he regenerated into the incarnation of the Master first seen in Terror of the Autons. It should be duly noted however, that the game itself has a passage in its introduction which declares that the module contains information which sometimes reflects the opinions, conjectures, and outright fabrications injected by its Time Lord authors and that the Gamesmaster is free to introduce alternative explanations and interpretations to any concepts presented within it.
In the Doctor Who Monthly comic strip 4-Dimensional Vistas (DWM #78-#83), the Monk teamed up with the Ice Warriors in a complex plan to build a giant sonic weapon. In this portrayal, the character (who piloted a TARDIS also shaped like a police box) did not wear a monk's habit, and was referred to as "the Time-Meddler"; however, it was clearly the same character. The Monk was easily defeated by the Fifth Doctor. He later reappeared in Follow That TARDIS! (DWM #147), in which the Sleeze Brothers hijack the Doctor's TARDIS in order to pursue the Monk across time and space after he damages their car.
The Monk also turned up in the New Adventures novel No Future by Paul Cornell, in which he was given the name "Mortimus". The novel was the last of a story arc published to coincide with the series' 30th anniversary in 1993, in which the Seventh Doctor encounters various alternate realities that have been created due to the Monk's meddling with time, including a reality where the Third Doctor was killed in his confrontation with the Silurians (Blood Heat), attempting to distract the Doctor while he helps the Vardans to invade Earth, thus getting their mutual revenge on the Doctor for their losses during their past confrontations with him. Although the Monk seemingly traps the Doctor on the same ice planet he was himself exiled to, thanks to the betrayal of the Doctor's companion Ace, it is revealed at the conclusion of the novel that Ace was simply pretending to side with the Monk to defeat him, the novel ending with the Monk being apparently captured by a Chronovore that he had imprisoned to help him alter time. A chapter removed from the novel would have revealed the Monk was a former operative of the Celestial Intervention Agency; later books have hinted at this.
The Past Doctor Adventures novel Divided Loyalties by Gary Russell, features a dream sequence where a young Mortimus is portrayed as a friend of the Doctor's, and a member of a cabal of rebellious young Gallifreyans at the Academy known as "the Deca". The group also included the Doctor, the Master, the Rani, Azmael (from The Twin Dilemma), the War Chief, and Drax (from The Armageddon Factor). The Monk of an artificially-created parallel universe made a brief appearance in the PDA The Quantum Archangel, working with the Master, the Rani and Drax to destroy the Earth.
The Eighth Doctor discovers a new incarnation of the Monk in the Big Finish Productions audio drama The Book of Kells. Voiced by Graeme Garden, the Monk is once again pretending to be a human monk, this time at the Abbey of Kells in Ireland, 1006. Calling himself Thelonios, he used the illuminated art skills of the other monks to create a circuit to repair his TARDIS. He also had his own companion, who happened to be the Doctor's former companion, Lucie Miller. It turns out that several of the Doctor's recent adventures had been manipulated behind the scenes by the Monk. He and Lucie reappear in The Resurrection of Mars, this time waking up cryogenically-frozen Ice Warriors on the Martian moon of Deimos, centuries before history says they should so in the future they won't wipe out a world. When Lucie realizes what kind of person the Monk is, she leaves him. He in turn coaxes another of the Doctor's companions, Tamsin Drew, to join him. After that, he sets off to reunite with the Daleks, planning to loot Earth of its art treasures and get his final revenge on the Doctor, in Lucie Miller / To the Death. He repairs the Dalek Time Controller who had been hurled back through time after a battle with the Sixth Doctor and on Dalek orders leaves a virus on Earth to weaken humanity. However his plans backfire when the Daleks betray him, resulting in the deaths of Tamsin, Lucy, and the Doctor's great-grandson Alex, although the Monk saves the Doctor – who, a broken man, nevertheless dismisses the Monk utterly – and Susan in an attempt to make up for his role in the Dalek attack.
- Lofficier, Jean-Marc (1981). Doctor Who Programme Guide. W H Allen & Co Plc.
- Spooner, Dennis (Writer); Camfield, Douglas (Director); Lambert, Verity (Producer). The Time Meddler. Doctor Who. BBC.
- Nation, Terry (Writer); Spooner, Dennis (Writer); Camfield, Douglas (Director); Wiles, John (Producer). The Daleks' Masterplan. Doctor Who. BBC.
- Keith, J.Andrew (1985). The Doctor Who Role Playing Game The Master. FASA. ISBN 0-931787-94-7.
- Keith, J.Andrew (1985). The Doctor Who Role Playing Game The Master. FASA. p. 17. ISBN 0-931787-26-2.
- Keith, J.Andrew (1985). The Doctor Who Role Playing Game The Master. FASA. p. 32. ISBN 0-931787-26-2.
- Keith, J.Andrew (1985). The Doctor Who Role Playing Game The Master. FASA. p. 4. ISBN 0-931787-26-2.