TARDIS Index File

The Monk

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The Monk
The Monk tight
Main aliases:
Abbot Thelonious
Robert Bertram
Species: Time Lord
Place of origin: Gallifrey
First seen in: The Time Meddler
Appearances: see list
Main actor: Peter Butterworth
Main voice actor: Graeme Garden
Memorable moment
A Surprise for the Monk - Doctor Who - The Time Meddler - BBC03:34

A Surprise for the Monk - Doctor Who - The Time Meddler - BBC

The Monk — also known as Mortimus — was the alias of a former friend of the Doctor's on Gallifrey and a renegade Time Lord.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

While he still lived on Gallifrey, Mortimus attended the Time Lord Academy with the Doctor and became a part of the Deca. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties)

He worked for the Celestial Intervention Agency. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel) During this period, the Monk was responsible for the Legions' imprisonment. (PROSE: The Crystal Bucephalus) It was during his employment with the CIA that the Monk first found his interest in intervening in history.

Mortimus eventually became aware of other worlds where everything he believed in was meaningless, so he 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. (PROSE: No Future)

As a renegade Edit

After the Doctor left Gallifrey, the Monk also decided to escape and became a renegade as well, attempting to interfere in 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)

Reunion with the Doctor Edit

The Monk owned a Mark IV TARDIS. After seeing the Monk's TARDIS, the First Doctor said they were from the same place, and estimated that the Doctor was "fifty years earlier".

The Monk delighted in meddling with history, specifically the history of Earth, to change it for his own amusement and for what he thought the better. He had previously lent mechanical assistance to the builders of Stonehenge by providing anti-gravity lifts; in his logbook it could be read that he gave Leonardo da Vinci tips on aircraft design, and he placed £200 in a bank on Earth in 1968 and then travelled forward two hundred years to pick up a fortune in compound interest. At the time that the First Doctor encountered him, the Monk was trying to prevent the Norman Conquest of 1066 as part of a plan to guide England into an age of technological prosperity. He wore a monk's habit to gain the trust of the locals, hence the name by which he was usually referred.

After thwarting the Monk's plans, 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 seemed stranded in one time and place. (TV: The Time Meddler)

Second encounter with the Doctor Edit


The Monk is cornered by the Daleks. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)

The Doctor ran into him 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, ultimately leaving the Monk stranded on an ice planet. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)

Ally of the Ice Warriors Edit

4-Dimensional Vistas

The Monk works with Ice Warriors. (COMIC: 4-Dimensional Vistas)

Mortimus allied with the Ice Warriors and battled the Fifth Doctor in a complex scheme involving alternative Earths and a giant Sonic weapon. Mortimus now preferred his own TARDIS to appear as a police box, did not wear a monk's habit, and referred to himself as the Time Meddler. (COMIC: 4-Dimensional Vistas)

The Sleeze Brothers Edit

Some time 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. This apparently caused the creation of the Bermuda Triangle. (COMIC: Follow That TARDIS!)

Death's Champion Edit

The Monk regenerated at least once. When they next met, the Seventh Doctor did not recognise him by sight. (PROSE: No Future)

Mortimus created a series of alternate timelines (PROSE: Blood Heat, The Dimension Riders, The Left-Handed Hummingbird, Conundrum) in a scheme employing the Chronovore Artemis. Mortimus now used his real name and posed as a 1976 record executive in England. He had also, by this time, made himself servant to a being much more powerful and intelligent than himself, as the Champion of the Eternal Death. Mortimus 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 later tried to take Antonio Salieri back in time to kill Mozart when he was still a child. Mortimus was stopped by the Seventh Doctor and the tramp. Mozart escaped unharmed. (PROSE: The Tramp's Story)

Travels with Lucie Miller Edit

The Monk had gained Lucie Miller as a companion from a wanted ad. They met Caligula and the Sensorites, and watched a final of Thordon's Got Talent. After that, they crash landed in medieval Ireland — in Lucie's words, the Monk's "directional whatsit was up the spout" — hanging around 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. During this time, he once again encountered the Eighth Doctor after pulling his TARDIS with a Time Scoop. (AUDIO: The Book of Kells)

After Kells, Lucie and the Monk went to the planet Questus, where the Monk had travelled back in time 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, she tired of the Monk's meddling, telling him, "I don't wanna hang around with a murderer, 'cause even if wanna try and avoid wars and stuff, I mean, it's not worth it if you have to kill people." After this, the Monk "dumped" her on Deimos Moonbase in the 23rd century, calling Lucie an "ungrateful, interfering, aggravating pest". He had deliberately placed Lucie there in an attempt to grab the Doctor's attention.

The Monk had awoken the Ice Warriors centuries before they were meant to — according to the Eighth Doctor — to make them terraform Mars to how it was, killing thousands of human colonists in the 23rd century, rather than billions on Halcyon a thousand years later. Realising the Doctor hadn't taken his bait, 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 him apparently collaborating with the Ice Warriors in killing 600 people on a passenger rocket.

The Monk To the Death

The Monk as he appeared to the Eighth Doctor. (AUDIO: To the Death)

When the Doctor had put things as they were before, Tamsin told him she had "had enough" of what she considered only looking out for his friends and the Web of Time, and condemning the fate of Halcyon in the future to the Ice Warriors and left 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, the Daleks promised him anything he desired. He used a Dalek virus from the far future and gave Tamsin the job of stealing human artefacts from museums for his personal collection. (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. He was then ordered to leave the Doctor's sight after the Doctor found out that he had deployed the virus on Earth. (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. He located Sophia, a time-sensitive Human/Hetrodon hybrid in ancient Greece and used her abilities to create a hole in space-time. This the Monk planned to use to take the Doctor's place in 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). Finally, the Monk lured the Fifth Doctor to Constantinople in the year 540 AD in the place of the First Doctor, where he successfully replaced the Doctor's timeline with his own. However, Sophia was able to sense the distortion to history, 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 obliged, before fleeing once again. (AUDIO: The Secret History)

Alternative timeline 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. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)

Personality Edit

The Monk was amoral and enjoyed meddling actively with history to his own selfish ends. (TV: The Time Meddler)

Lucie Miller called the Monk a "murdering lunatic" and a "homicidal bloomin' maniac", while the Eighth Doctor unfavourably compared him to his seventh incarnation's habit of being "a man with the master plan" working for the "greater good" under the belief of the ends justifying the means. (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars)

Behind the scenes Edit

  • The Monk has the distinction of being the first member of the Doctor's race, besides the Doctor himself and Susan, to appear in the series. The name Time Lord would not be used until The War Games.
  • For some time there was speculation that the Monk was actually an earlier incarnation of the Master or the War Chief, who appeared in The War Games. This is stated as fact in The Doctor Who Role Playing Game. However, this theory has been contradicted by the Monk's appearances in novels and comics.
  • This character was almost never actually called "the Time Meddler" or "the Meddling Monk". Both of these "names" are taken from viewer's out-of-universe knowledge of the titles of the overall serial and the second episode. The Doctor comes close to giving the character these names, however, calling him "a time meddler" and "that meddling monk". In the novelisation of Shada he actually refers to "the Meddling Monk", but in general it's more epithet than name. "The Monk", as a name, 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, it's clear that the Monk has appropriated the name. By the incarnation that faced the Eighth Doctor, he was doing a Master-like wordplay that indicated he thought of himself as "the Monk". He called himself "Abbot Thelonius" — a sly reference to jazz great Thelonius Monk. However, in The Secret History, the Monk remarks that the Doctor is the only person who ever calls him "The Monk".

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