Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time (TV Short 1993) Poster

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Whirlwind two part skit!
mjshannon20 October 2000
This story starts like a regular episode with the Rani in her TARDIS following the Doctor's TARDIS and generally up to no good ( she is trying to collect all the Doctor's selves to complete her menagerie), with a young travelling companion. The Rani has trapped the disembodied heads of the first two Doctors in a Time Tunnel (this must have looked very wild in the original 3-D transmission!). We then join the Seventh Doctor and Ace exiting the TARDIS in front of the Cutty Sark. Things then move very fast and get very confusing. The Rani apparently wants to capture one specimen of every living thing which will then allow her to have the power to control evolution (I gleaned much of this information from The Seventh Doctor Handbook as it's not really clear in the two part skit). Why many of the companions are needed instead of just one human, for instance, is not explained. However, this is still a ton of fun. This came out the year (1993) that the Doctor Who movie "The Dark Dimension" was to have been released and as a bonus this would have been the cherry on the cake. In reality, though, "The Dark Dimension" was cancelled and this was the consolation prize thrown at fans--quite a letdown in that context! It should be remembered, however, that this production was made for Children In Need and all actors donated their time and services free of charge. One wishes there was more screen time for each Doctor and interaction between them but time is literally of the essence here and even with the brevity of time on screen each shines as if they have never left the role (except Hartnell and Troughton of course who are just floating heads!). Many companions appear as well and one can only think of what could have been with more time. I mean the Sixth Doctor with the Brig as well as Susan and the Third Doctor and Victoia are just three examples. All of the meetings of Doctors and companions are fun but oh so brief. Towards the end tons of old monsters appear (a Tractator, Tetrap, Sea Devil, Zog from the stage play "Ultimate Adventure" among many others). The final resolution to this mystery is very confusing but it's still fun to see the Seventh Doctor, Leela and K9 together! One will miss the 3-D effects that this was originally filmed in and may become a bit dizzy with the rotating camera work but this is harmless Who fun. If you can find someone with a copy of this give it a view, if not for any other reason, to see the final official screen adventure of Jon Pertwee as the Doctor!
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More important than it seems
michael-stead26 June 2006
At the time this was just viewed as a gentle skit, with the chance to see a few old Doctors, who agreed to appear because of the charity aspect, when there was no chance of formally arranging for them to appear in the show – even if it had been running then.

Within the bounds of their existing dispositions (Tom and Jon both being irretrievably dotty, and Peter having lost the peachy bloom of his youth) everyone played the show for real and even though they were only brief, there were some lovely performances from Louise Jameson and Lalla Ward, as well as the other supporting cast.

Outside of the context of the skit, this item has a wider cultural impact, as it brought together Doctor who at its most camp, with East Enders at it's most depressing and had the two realities created for the BBC interact in an absolutely serious manner. In many ways this was a Doctor Who episode rather than an East Enders one, although it fits equally well, or badly, into the continuity of each. East Enders is as much a work of fiction as Doctor Who, but represents television's vision of the ordinary, everyday, kitchen sink lives of its viewers – the same viewers who would sit down to watch Doctor Who, so in some sense this is an example of how the BBC picture the Doctor walking out into the audience.

There had been an idea in the 1960s to have both the Beatles and the cast of Z-Cars turn up in Doctor Who and neither proposal quite worked. Here the mingling of East enders and Doctor Who was pulled off, and even though it was like fingers down a blackboard for fans at the time, it could prove to be a much more important cultural marker for media historians of the future.

As an adventure it just about held together and pressed forward to a conclusion, however for those fans who prefer to see plot holes, this is Doctor Who as Swiss Cheese.
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Dimensions in Time
robertgerlach12 May 2005
Yes, you saw my vote. I rated it 10 out of 10. The story was incomprehensible garbage for the epic length of 10 minutes of screen time.........but it had very charitable aims -- raising money for the children in need. Since the show was in limbo at this time, this was our 30th Anniversary Doctor Who story. With the exception of the 1997 New Zealand Commercials, this was the only time that Tom Baker reprised his role as the Fourth Doctor in costume in a Doctor Who story since "dying" in "Logopolis". (Come to think of it, this is Davison's & Colin Baker's only ON-SCREEN reprise of their incarnations in costume after they left the show.)Jon Pertwee makes a final bow as the Third Doctor.

It would have made lots of money if it had been released on video (now DVD)but I can see why many agreed to do it on the condition that it wasn't repeated or released in any way.

For the Doctor Who collector, I would recommend watching it for the historical significance. However, I would not recommend this as an introductory show for a potential Doctor Who fan.....
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Final Call for Old Doctor Who
MightyCaptain20 April 2005
For those who believe Sylvester McCoy didn't play the Seventh Doctor on screen in the years between his final TV outing, Survival and the 1996 TV Movie- Allow me to introduce Dimensions In Time, a charity special aired in 2 parts in November 1993. McCoy and Ace actress Sophie Aldred reprised their roles for this mini-reunion that reunited all the living actors to play Doctor Who alongside many of their old companions from the original series. Kate O'Mara (a recurring villain from the Sixth and Seventh Doctors eras) returned as the Rani in a new scheme to control the nature of evolution. While clearly not to be considered on the same scale as a normal production of Dr Who or even previous specials like The Five Doctors, this skit is still fun to watch as it is the last time we see Jon Pertwee as the flamboyant Third Doctor (he passed away three years later) and very likely the final time we will ever see McCoy, Tom Baker, Peter Davison and the much lamented Colin Baker play their interpretation of the character on screen. The new series, which began transmission last month, is not likely to utilise their talents as head writer Russell T Davies has stated he wishes to not focus on the past so much in his reinvention of the series. So taken for what it is- this is a good if all to brief celebration of the first 26 years of the legend that is Doctor Who.
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zedthedestroyer31 August 2001
Weird, fun, and a little embarrassing to watch at the same time. The first 3 minutes alone feature more scene-chewing than a normal Dr Who episode. In the first scene we see the evil Rani barking orders at her studly young assistant while clay heads of the late William Hartnell and the late Patrick Troughton spiral around her TARDIS console room. If that's not enough to make you think you have the DTs, we're then presented with a scene with Tom Baker's Doctor in Tetris-land kicking the OTT - meter up a notch.

I still enjoyed this story, though, even if it didn't make a lick of sense. It was cool seeing all those Doctors and companions stirred together in one big mix (Seeing the 3rd Doctor paired with Melanie and the 6th Doctor paired with Ace was bizarre). Jon Pertwee and Colin Baker in particular seemed the most enthusiastic to be involved in the project.

So, if you're a Doctor Who fan, try to find this story. It has an infamous reputation, but it's well worth at least one viewing.
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serves its purpose
dr_foreman22 June 2004
"Dimensions in Time" is not really a proper Doctor Who episode; it's a charity skit. The way fans talk when they bomb it, you'd think it was the pilot for a new series!

As a fan, I enjoyed seeing all the Doctors again, even if they were paired with strange companions (note that Louise "Leela" Jameson clearly out-acts Sylvester McCoy). The Rani's looking a bit long in the tooth, and she appears to have acquired a gimp servant, but on the whole it's nice to see her, too.

Tom Baker makes his only return appearance as the Doctor, hamming it up like a loon while a duff special effects vortex whirls around him. I wonder why he refuses to wear anything but the purple costume these days? Maybe the old one reminds him too much of his heyday...

Overall, a fun time-killer that was more than welcome when it debuted during Doctor Who's long (and mercifully over!) period of purgatory.
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No, it's not good...
Chris-19525 September 2005
... but it was made for charity, so I have a hard time being too critical of it. It's fun for fans, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. Even fans, though, may be alarmed at seeing all these characters crammed into one ten minute film. Some have aged to the point that it's just odd seeing them play the same characters. Tom Baker especially looks so different that it's a little off-putting. And Louise Jameson just looks silly in that Leela costume -- kind of like an aging hippie whose trying to sell you incense at a renaissance fair. Still, it's nostalgic fun. The only offensively awful thing about it is the terrible floating heads they use to represent Hartnell and Troughton caught in the time stream. Surely they could have used their actual images.
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Who sucked for a while already I see
Horst_In_Translation23 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time" is a 13-minute live action short film from 1993, so this one will have its 25th anniversary next year. I think this was made for the Children in Need special, so the cause is certainly a honorable one, but the execution is kinda shoddy. I think the story was never interesting, but the specials from this franchise have done nothing for a long time now than randomly include older doctors and some science stuff, time travelling etc. I don't think these ones here are maybe as full of themselves as the new ones, but this does also not mean it was a good watch. effects were also kinda forgettable, even for the early 1990s. The quality of the antagonist I am still undecided on. As a whole, I am glad it was this short as even for a film under 15 minutes there aren't enough entertaining moments in here. The cast does not really offer any names known outside the Doctor Who universe. Anyway, I have never been a big fan of the franchise, so I may be a bit biased here I guess, but also it needs to be said that none of these special ever come close to getting me interested in checking out the series. I would only recommend this short film we have here to the very biggest Doctor Who fanboys/-girls.
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They literally edited these episodes the night before broadcast
gollumsmeagolrocks31 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The editing in this is notably terrible, so even if the plot was good, I have no way of knowing because of how horridly confusing everything is due to the disjointing experience of the editing. It shows since John Nathan Turner, the man who should have never touched Doctor Who, admitted these episodes were not edited until the night before the broadcast. Not only that, but the music is just awful. Absolutely dreadful.

After viewing a re-edited version so I could actually comprehend what was happening, It's STILL dreadful. It makes logical sense, they tell the story fine. The problem is, the story they're telling ISN'T GOOD. The overall goal of the Rani is to gain an earthling to complete her menagerie so she can control universal evolution by having every life- form in existence to experiment on. How is this threatening? So she can create life. So? Is any character in this put at stake in any way in this? This is idiotic. This is not threatening or villainous. No one is going to suffer because of a new lifeform. Then they never truly explain certain things about her unnecessarily complex plan to rid of the Doctor. So he's put through a twenty year time loop, but why does this give her the Doctor's past incarnations? If she could put him land in this time loop, couldn't she just already put him in the vortex meant to trap him anyway and stop this whole stupid story? Another thing never explained is the fact of how the companions work. All the doctors are just supposed to be the seventh incarnation in his past bodies, which is confusing enough. But the companions are all supposed to be actually different people. Why? Why does she even need to capture every incarnation of the Doctor to trap him in the time vortex for all eternity, let alone ANY of his companions? Just through his TARDIS in there, the time loop isn't necessary. On top of that, they say there is a centralized focus for the time loop, and the Doctor literally says the town is not the focus. Then they just forget he said this, and never actually say where the focus IS. All these unexplained necessities make for a poor story. You'll wished you spent your 20 minutes watching a classic who episode rather than this awful mess.
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Crap, but charitable crap
a_gulliver23 August 2005
Really, the only saving graces of this are that we got to see the five living Doctors on screen along with many past companions and 'monsters'. This could well be the last time we see certain characters, and was the last appearance of Jon Pertwee as the Doctor. Dimensions In Time was also John Nathan Turner's last Doctor Who production credit.

Otherwise the plot is totally incomprehensible, we don't see inside the Tardis (the set had been destroyed), the cross-over with East Enders seems silly and the 3D process it was shot in was only mildly impressive. At the time it was nice to see Doctor Who back, but I cannot imagine this would have turned anybody onto the show at all.

As it was a charity do it will never be released on DVD or repeated (that was a condition of its production) so you will only be able to see off-air VHS recordings. But truly it was an awful programme.
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Only for DR Who Fans
medrjel10 February 2002
Fortunately, I am one, but for anyone else, this program is horrid. The story is so contrived and confused, it's impossible to follow. Hence, Don't try. This was written for one of those charity fundraising specials, and is just a showcase to see all of the living Dr. Who stories one more time. The big plusses are:

1) final Jon Pertwee performance as the Dr.

2) First time Tom Baker agreed to reprise his role since he left after his 7 year stint (sorry, his 5 Doctor's appearance doesn't count - that was filmed during his stint as the Dr for the "lost" episode Shada).

As a reunion, it's nice. I don't think anyone else will get it.
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Incoherent garbage -- And that's being generous!
zacpetch2 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
What can I say about this episode that doesn't sound horribly mean?

It's something that must be seen to be believed.

It's got a plot in there somewhere but it's anyone's guess what it was.

It's a final bow for most of Doctor Who's cast members.

It's got the cast of Eastenders in it because... err... nobody really knows why, it just does.

This is utter utter trash that I advise we should burn with fire. Satan himself could produce a better Doctor Who script than this by submitting as a script his soiled toilet paper.

Having said that, the whole thing was for charity. So I guess it was worth it.
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Oh Dear! Is too generous a description.
Whitejedi19 February 2005
I've been a Doctor Who Fan since Tom Baker and was unsure about Peter Davidson when he took over. It was never ever about the actors who tried their best to make the lead their own and Tom, Peter and Jon Pertwee all did a wonderful job. I don't feel embarrassed about this adventure but more angry and annoyed. I thought Sylvester McCoy was pretty dodgy as the doctor until I saw the feature film with Paul McGann and then saw him in the Scottish comedy Still Game when I realised he had the ungodly task of trying to work with poor scripts for the series. Turns out that Sly was actually an exceptional actor forced to make the best of a shockingly poor script. This is absolutely without any doubt no exception and it would seem that anything the late John Nathan Turner wrote or had anything to do with turned to sh}te. This segment in the Doctors long history once again treats the Doctor as nothing more than the court jester brought out to play the fool yet again and is best left to drift into the mists of time as the script is diabolical since the BBC tried to cram what should have been a 120 minute adventure into two five minute cans of worms. At best this is a pantomime and that's exactly how Kate O'Mara and John Pertwee treat their characters and manage to pull the best out of a bad job. Far too much has been crammed into such a short period of time as this and it's just like the parody of Star Wars in 30 seconds only not at all funny. I only hope that Russell T. Davies is a good enough writer to bring the Doctor out of the hole that has been mercilessly dug for him and so far seems to be doing a really good job. Be warned that this is without doubt undeniably awful and should only be viewed by the most die-hard insatiably curious amongst Doctor Who fans.
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Oh Dear
Theo Robertson27 February 2003
I wish to confess to being a DOCTOR WHO fan but when I see something like DIMENSIONS IN TIME I feel nothing but shame and deep embarrassment at being a fan . Okay I know that this nothing more than a filler during the BBC`s annual children In Need appeal that is not to be taken seriously but that didn`t stop my skin turning an extremely deep shade of red at watching it . DIT is possibly the worst thing I have ever seen under the DOCTOR WHO banner as Doctors , companions and monsters come and go for no apparent reason . Nice to know that most fans I`ve discussed it with also despise it
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Bad Dimensions !
mdwright_7526 October 2009
Sorry and all that,but this was crap! yeah it's for a good cause, but only JNT who always wanted to leave Dr Who to do talent shows,would think up a way to mix EastEnders with Who! when I saw this on you-tube I was in shock(and not in a good way!) Poor Jon Pertwee was SO out of it but I can forgive him(just)cause he was my favorite, what the hell was Tom Baker on! maybe the same painkillers Jon was on!Baker was too fruity to be playing the 4th Dr for real,the only cool thing about this mess is when the 6th Dr meets the Brig! Colin Baker seemed to be the only Dr playing THE Dr! but this just shows how much the BBC at the time hated Dr Who, I mean it was only long enough for a movie trailer,and movie trailers make more sense then this poor edited thing!
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