Fresh off the nadir of the Jon Pertwee era, we're treated with another inauspicious start to a story with Episode One of The Time Monster. There's more garbled and confused storytelling right from the get-go. The Doctor has a dream about The Master (whose appearances have become so common now that his initial scene at the TOMTIT lab doesn't even warrant an introduction), which seems to be of dreadful importance, but its significance is forgotten almost instantly once Captain Yates and Jo start investigating. (The beginning of this story also is remarkably similar to the beginning of The Daemons.)
Ah, yes - TOMTIT. Was this the best acronym for a time experiment that writers Robert Sloman and (an uncredited) Barry Letts could come up with? Surely they would have realized the ridicule they would get by using that name, no? And why is The Brigadier and not The Doctor going to a demonstration of TOMTIT when he clearly, and admittedly, knows nothing of the process? Nor, it appears, does he know much about anything anymore. What has The Brigadier been doing during his few weeks off from the show, anyway, to get so stupid? And what is the point of the scene where a window washer falls off the ladder after he sees TOMTIT in action?
Ruth and Stuart seem to be in a different programme altogether. I keep expecting to hear slightly bemused laughter from the studio audience every time they engage each other with their "with it" banter. Ruth is apparently a keen feminist (as her almost every single sledgehammer-subtle line in this episode attests), but her and Stu have the following exchange when debating whether or not to carry out a test without Professor Thascalos present:
RUTH: Men! It's their conceit that bugs me!
STU: Hey, I'm on your side, remember?
RUTH: You don't count.
STU (tired of being treated like the "big sister" that he is): Don't I? And why not, may I ask?
RUTH: Look, don't bully me, Stu, or I think I might burst into tears!
Nice, Ruth. Way to stay strong under pressure. The episode ends with the viewer unaware of any impending danger, other than The Master shouting "Come, Kronos come!". Looks like we're in for another rough ride...