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Time Crash (TV story)

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Time Crash
Time Crash main
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Featuring: Fifth Doctor
Main setting: Inside the TARDIS
Key crew
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Graeme Harper
Producer: Phil Collinson
Release details
Story number: N/A
Season/series: 4
Premiere broadcast: 16 November 2007
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1x8 minute, mini episode
Production code: CIN2
Confidential: Children in Need Special
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Time Crash was a special Doctor Who "mini-episode" produced for the 2007 Children in Need appeal. It featured a brief encounter between the Fifth and Tenth Doctors and was written by Steven Moffat. It also served as the explanation of how the Doctor's TARDIS was breached by the Titanic at the end of Last of the Time Lords and thus leads directly into Voyage of the Damned. Although some might consider it a linking scene, it was very much a part of the overall continuity of the BBC Wales series of Doctor Who.

Former Doctor Who actor Peter Davison returned to reprise the role of the Fifth Doctor for the first time on television since the 1993 Children in Need special Dimensions in Time, with his original costume faithfully replicated. This special marked the first instance in which an incarnation of the Doctor from the classic series met an incarnation from the revived series.

Synopsis

After saying his goodbyes to Martha Jones at the end of Last of the Time Lords, the Tenth Doctor accidentally pilots his TARDIS into the path of... the Fifth Doctor's TARDIS! As the current Doctor muses over aspects of the Fifth, the Fifth Doctor becomes increasingly worried as their combined TARDISes threaten to rip a hole in space and time the size of Belgium!

Plot

The Tenth Doctor has just said goodbye to Martha, and is attempting to take off when the TARDIS goes haywire.

Suddenly, someone else is in the TARDIS: the Fifth Doctor. The Tenth Doctor realises straight away this is his past incarnation and begins reminiscing about his adventures in his fifth incarnation, much to the latter's confusion. The Fifth Doctor, irritated, decides that the strange, skinny bloke in his TARDIS is an obsessive fan of his — possibly affiliated with LINDA. The Tenth Doctor, to his own bewilderment, can't convince his past self otherwise, butting back about the Fifth's need for brainy specs and a celery stick as a clothing decoration.

Meanwhile, the collision of the TARDIS with its past (or future) self threatens to tear a hole in the universe the exact size of Belgium (which, as the Fifth Doctor remarks, is a rather undramatic description). The Fifth Doctor despairs of finding a solution in time, but the Tenth purposefully, if maniacally, manipulates the TARDIS controls, and averts the disaster.

The Fifth Doctor is stunned - firstly at the unexpected solution, as the Tenth has managed to create a supernova at the exact same time and place as the impending black hole to cancel it out, and then at the realisation that the other man is in fact his future self. His later self knew the solution only because he would remember witnessing it now.

The Tenth Doctor starts reminiscing once again, telling the Fifth Doctor that he loved being him and having his youth and optimistic worldview. He reveals that he took quite a few of his current traits from him, such as wearing trainers with his outfit and having a voice that becomes squeaky when he shouts. Plus, he demonstrates that he too has his own "brainy specs". The two Doctors then bid each other a warm goodbye: "To days to come," says Five, raising his hat. "All my love to long ago," replies Ten with a bow. The time streams then start separating. As the Fifth Doctor rejoins his, he calls out one last time, warning his future incarnation to put up his TARDIS shields.

But, suddenly, it's too late to put up the shields, and the Titanic has plowed through the wall of the TARDIS...

Cast

Crew

On initial broadcast, the only member of crew credited was writer Steven Moffat.

References

Story notes

  • This is the third filmed contribution by the new series production team to Children in Need. In 2005, they offered the Children in Need Special (aka 'Pudsey Cutaway'). In 2006 they provided a live concert of music during the traditional Children in Need charity time period, and subsequently offered it to home viewers before the original broadcast of The Runaway Bride.
  • In 1983, The Five Doctors was also broadcast as a part of the Children in Need charity drive, although it had been produced for the show's 20th anniversary.
  • After the original series was cancelled beforehand, the 1993 Children in Need special Dimensions in Time featured a broad selection of the original cast (many playing their characters for the first and last time since their televised adventures).
  • This story marks the first appearance of a Doctor from the original series in the new series, although recognisable drawings of original series Doctors were previously seen in TV: Human Nature. Archive footage of the previous Doctors would later be used in TV: The Next Doctor, among other stories.
  • This is the first on screen TV appearance of the Fifth Doctor since TV: Dimensions in Time (and his first in-continuity on-screen appearance since TV: The Caves of Androzani).
  • This story is directed by Graeme Harper, who also directed Peter Davison's last story (TV: The Caves of Androzani).
  • Steven Moffat (writer) also wrote the Comic Relief story The Curse of Fatal Death.
  • The special was introduced by Terry Wogan and John Barrowman.
  • Peter Davison's name appears in the credits, the first time (other than the 1996 TV movie) that an original series Doctor has had his name at the start of an episode. This would next occur in the mini-episode TV: The Night of the Doctor, featuring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and also written by Steven Moffat.
  • This is the first official episode of Doctor Who written by Steven Moffat that doesn't use his theme of highlighting childhood fears.
  • This episode marked the final use of the 2005 arrangement of the "Doctor Who theme" by Murray Gold; a new arrangement by Gold would be introduced in the next episode, TV: Voyage of the Damned.
  • According to writer (later executive producer) Steven Moffat, in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine #389, the events of Time Crash are canonical.
  • This is the first multi-Doctor story of the revived series.
  • Time Crash is the first canonical televised "multi-Doctor" story in the history of the show that did not include Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor, who had appeared in TV: The Three Doctors, TV: The Five Doctors and TV: The Two Doctors. Troughton had since died from a heart attack in 1987.
  • Incidental music from the Fifth Doctor era is used as part of the background music.
  • According to Doctor Who Confidential, the Fifth Doctor's costume consisted of an original series coat, shirt, trousers and hat band borrowed from an exhibit, and a new hat and hand-knitted jumper. The trousers had extra fabric sewn into the bottom, which identified them as the pair worn by Colin Baker in his first scenes as the Sixth Doctor. Peter Davison also remarked that a real stick of celery was included in the ensemble, rather than the fake piece used during most of his tenure.
  • When the Tenth Doctor puts on his "brainy specs", he says "Snap!", referring to the children's card game in which players must say "Snap!" when two of the same card are played. The Doctor previously said "Snap!" to himself in The Two Doctors, when the Second and Sixth Doctors met. River Song later said "Snap!" when she showed the Doctor her sonic screwdriver.
  • This story takes place immediately after Martha leaves the TARDIS in TV: Last of the Time Lords. A cutaway during her farewell in the original episode allows for this episode to occur between that episode and TV: Voyage of the Damned.
  • The Fifth Doctor muses that the new series' TARDIS console room is a desktop theme named "Coral". He also says it is worse than "leopard skin". His criticism of the TARDIS' redecoration is similar to that made by the Second Doctor to his immediate successor in TV: The Three Doctors. The Tenth Doctor would later criticise the decor of the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS in TV: The Day of the Doctor.
    • The revelation that the TARDIS console room design can be changed like a computer desktop is consistent with previous indications that the interior can be easily and dramatically reconfigured (TV: Castrovalva), and clarifies the differing look of the TARDIS interior in TV: Doctor Who (1996), as well as minor changes seen over the years during the classic series. The different appearance of the console room during the mid-Tom Baker era is explained on-screen as being a secondary control room. (TV: The Masque of Mandragora)
  • The Tenth Doctor tells the Fifth that he loved being him, saying that before that he "was always trying to be old and grumpy and important like you do when you're young", presumably referring to previous incarnations such as the First Doctor.
  • The Doctors have a slightly testy relationship. The Tenth Doctor criticises his predecessor's decision to go "hands free" without a sonic screwdriver and his decision to wear a stalk of celery in his lapel, while the Fifth Doctor calls his successor a skinny idiot and critiques his tendency to comment on "every little thing" he sees. This is consistent with previous televised multi-Doctor adventures that have had the various parties getting on each others' nerves. In keeping with the previous stories, however, differences are set aside for the greater good and the different incarnations part on friendly terms.
  • Steven Moffat revealed in a 2007 interview that the Master "beard" joke was an intentional reference to homosexuality. "I've got the record for gay jokes. I've got the gayest joke of all time in Doctor Who — I've got the 'beard' joke about the Master." In slang, a beard can mean a woman who joins a gay man in a marriage or other relationship in order to mask the fact that one or both partners is gay.

Ratings

  • 11.0 million

Filming locations

Myths and rumours

  • If what the Tenth Doctor says is correct when describing the Fifth Doctor's placement, this story must take place some time after TV: Arc of Infinity and before TV: Mawdryn Undead for the Fifth Doctor. The Tenth Doctor makes the only references to imagery from the Fifth Doctor era: Nyssa and Tegan (who were with the Fifth Doctor from his first moments) and "Time Lords in funny hats" (presumably recognisable to any incarnation of the Doctor), giving no clear indication from when in his time stream the Fifth Doctor had been taken.

Production errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • At the end of Time Crash, the Doctor pushes a button just as the Titanic is heard. In TV: Last of the Time Lords and TV: Voyage of the Damned, however, the Doctor pushed the button then flicked a switch before the Titanic is heard.

Continuity

Home video releases

Bbcdvd-voyageofthedamned

Voyage of the Damned DVD Cover

  • Initially released in a vanilla edition alongside Voyage of the Damned on 10 March 2008. Extras include the Children in Need Special: Time Crash and Confidential Cutdown.
  • Released in the Series 4 DVD box set in November 2008 along with the rest of the series.
  • Released in the Series 4 Bluray set in November 2013 along with the rest of the series.
    • This release was initially bundled with the first four series of the revived Doctor Who.

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