Dimensions in Time
Doctor Who serial / charity crossover with EastEnders
Cast
Others
Production
Directed byStuart McDonald
Written byJohn Nathan-Turner
David Roden
Produced byJohn Nathan-Turner
Incidental music composerKeff McCulloch
Production codeC280X[1]
Running time2 episodes, 7 minutes and 5 minutes
First broadcast26 November 1993 (1993-11-26)
Last broadcast27 November 1993 (1993-11-27)
Chronology
← Preceded by
Survival
Followed by →
Doctor Who

Dimensions in Time is a charity special crossover between the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and the soap opera EastEnders that ran in two parts on 26 and 27 November 1993. It was filmed on location at Greenwich and the EastEnders Albert Square set, situated at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. It featured all of the actors to have played the Doctor still alive, many of the character's companions and several of the EastEnders stars of the time. Produced for the Children in Need charity following Doctor Who's cancellation in 1989, this special was the only drama broadcast in celebration of the show's 30th anniversary.

Plot

The Rani has opened a hole in time, allowing her access to the Doctor's timeline. She uses this to cycle through the Doctor's lives, causing him and his companions to jump back and forth between past and present incarnations. Her intention is to capture all of the Doctor's selves in a time loop, trapping him in London's East End; she has already captured the First and Second Doctor in the time hole. This causes the Fourth Doctor to send a message to his remaining selves, warning them of the Rani's plan:

Mayday! Mayday! This is an urgent message for all of the Doctors. It's vitally important that you listen carefully to me, for once. Our whole existence is being threatened by a renegade Time Lord known only as the Rani! She hates me. She even hates children! Two of my earlier selves have already been snared in her vicious trap. The grumpy one and the flautist, do you remember? She wants to put us out of action, lock us away in a dreary backwater of London's East End, trapped in a time-loop in perpetuity. Her evil is all around us! I can hear the heart beat of a killer. She's out there somewhere. We must be on our guard and we must stop her before she destroys all of my other selves! Oh... Good luck, my dears!

The Seventh Doctor and Ace are confused when the TARDIS lands in Greenwich, near the Cutty Sark, thanks to the Rani's attack on the TARDIS. The Doctor finds a newspaper showing the year to be 1973, but before he can make any more conclusions, the Rani causes time to jump. Ace finds herself in Albert Square in 1993 with the Sixth Doctor. Local resident Sanjay tries to sell Ace some new clothes from his stall, and when his wife Gita tells the Sixth Doctor that it is going to be all the rage in 1994, the Rani jumps time again.

The Third Doctor and Mel Bush appear from the time jump, and question an old Pauline Fowler and Kathy Beale on when they are. When Pauline and Kathy reply that it is 2013, another time jump occurs. In 1973, Pauline and Kathy remember the assassination of President Kennedy, while Kathy tells off a young Ian Beale. The Sixth Doctor and Susan Foreman appear, but she wonders what has happened to 'her' Doctor, the First.

After another time jump to 2013, Susan changes into Sarah Jane Smith and the Doctor changes from the Sixth to the Third Doctor. They start to piece together what is happening to them, but the Rani lets loose her menagerie of specimens, including a Cyberman, Fifi (from The Happiness Patrol), a Sea Devil, an Ogron and a Time Lord from Gallifrey in the next time jump. In 1993, the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Peri are attacked by the Rani's menagerie, and after they tried to warn Pat Butcher of the danger, the Rani stops them outside the Queen Vic.

In 1993, after the Fifth Doctor changed to the Third Doctor in the next time jump, with Liz Shaw, the Rani took control of Liz's mind. As Mandy Salter tries to stop the Rani, Captain Mike Yates of UNIT comes in Bessie to save the Third Doctor and get him to The Brigadier who is waiting for them.

After another time jump, the Doctor changed to the Sixth Doctor and after he says goodbye to the Brigadier time jumps again. In 1993, at the Arches, Phil and Grant Mitchell find Romana looking for the Doctor, but they point her to Dr. Harold Legg. As Romana walks past the Queen Vic, the Rani captures her, in front of Frank Butcher.

Back in 1973, the Third Doctor explains to Victoria Waterfield who the Rani was and thinks that her control is breaking down, as they return to the TARDIS.

After the Seventh Doctor lands the TARDIS in 1993, Leela escapes from the Rani, after being cloned in the form of Romana. This results in an additional Time Lord brain imprint being left on the computer inside the Rani's TARDIS instead of the human one she needed, which gives the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and K9 the edge needed to rig up a device to overload it, sending the Rani into the time tunnel where she had trapped the First and Second Doctors and freeing the Doctors' other selves from the loop. As the Seventh Doctor and Ace leave in the TARDIS, the Doctor observes "Certainly, I – I mean, we – are difficult to get rid of."

Production

Cast notes

This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (April 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
EpisodeTitleRun timeOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [citation needed]
1"Part One"7:3426 November 1993 (1993-11-26)13.8
2"Part Two"5:2727 November 1993 (1993-11-27)13.6
This was David Roden's first professional script. Roden's original draft featured Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, meeting the Brigadier, Nicholas Courtney, en route to a UNIT reunion – and becoming involved in a battle with a crashed spaceship full of Cybermen. The script was entitled Destination: Holocaust, and featured the Seventh Doctor and Brigadier holed up in a burning church, trying to fight off the advancing hordes of damaged Cybermen. This original idea, written by David Roden, was vetoed by Nathan-Turner after it became apparent that Children in Need wished for the story to be a tie-in with EastEnders. Despite loving the originally proposed script, Nathan-Turner also had concerns about the cost, which would have included several lengthy night-shoots and a much larger special effects budget.

Broadcast

Ratings

Dimensions in Time achieved viewing figures of 13.8 million viewers for the first part and 13.6 million for the second part, making them two of the most highly watched episodes of Doctor Who ever produced. The highest single audience figure was for Part Four of City of Death, at 16.1 million viewers.

References

  1. ^ "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - Dimensions in Time - Details". Retrieved 13 December 2007.
  2. ^ EastEnders episodes dated 2 February 1993 and 4 February 1993