Timestamp #5: The Keys of Marinus

Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus
(6 episodes, s01e21-e24, 1964)

Timestamp 005 The Keys of Marinus

This is a great serial that is a effectively a series of short stories linked by a common thread. The companions carry the story quite effectively for two episodes while William Hartnell took a much needed vacation. Hartnell’s energy after his return made what was a simplified courtroom/detective procedural sing where it could have otherwise fallen flat. I had some problems with the detective story, but there’s also not a lot of wiggle room for the writers in a somewhat slow-paced 20 minute presentation. These companions are smart, which is something I’m enjoying as this team comes together. The resolution of the arc once the group acquires all the keys was also quite brilliant.

I also give a tip of the hat to the production team for saving money on the TARDIS materialization/dematerialization by using a model. It may not look like much in today’s era, but it was quite well done for what they had available. I almost want a model TARDIS like that one.


Rating: 4/5 – “Would you care for a jelly baby?”


UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Aztecs




The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.

2 thoughts on “Timestamp #5: The Keys of Marinus

  1. You know, they sell TARDIS toys now that are about at the same scale as that model. 🙂

    Keys is a lot better than a lot of people give it credit for so I’m glad that you liked it. One of the problems of many of the longer 60’s serials is pace. Keys keeps its pace up by constantly keeping the characters moving. It stays fresh so you don’t have time to get bored.

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