Doctor Who

Episode Comic Relief Special

Time Crash

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Nov 16, 2007 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
223 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Time Crash

After Martha says goodbye to the Doctor and leaves, he is surprised to find a problem with the TARDIS. Suddenly, a man materializes - the Fifth Doctor. But why's he here, and what's happened to the TARDIS?

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  • A classic example of Old School meets the New Kid on the Block, and neither disappointed.

    I have to say, after Dimensions In Time I've always been nervous about charity special episodes of Doctor Who, but this one was a bit special. The first meeting of an Old Doctor with a New One, and done in style with just the right amount of self deprecation.

    Now this won't win Steven Moffatt a Hugo Award, but his mantlepiece must be getting a little crowded by now, but it was well written. A nice balance of outright comedy (it was a night of fundraising fun after all) for the casual viewer and in jokes and continuity references for the hard core fan.

    From the moment Davison appeared, you could see from the beam on Tennant's face that this wasn't just another day at the office, this was a man being paid to work with a childhood hero, who looked just as much the Doctor now as he did back in 1981, OK a little bit saggy, but amazing that at 56 Peter Davison is actually older that William Hartnell was when he first played the crotchety old man.

    The two styles of the Doctors from different eras was well captured and separated with the "cool" Ten hamming it up against the more "reserved" Five. A surprising amount of Doctor Who legend was crammed into the 8 minutes, and some Douglas Adams to boot, this was a thoroughly enjoyable romp.

    Not only was it enjoyable, it took the highest viewing figures for the whole Children in Need night - great chap, both of him.moreless
  • Collision Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Graeme Harper

    Fifth Doctor: "Who are you?"

    Tenth Doctor: "Oh brilliant. I mean, totally wrong, big emergency, universe goes bang in five minutes but brilliant". Fifth Doctor: "I'm the Doctor and who are you?"

    Tenth Doctor: "Yes you are, you're the Doctor".

    Okay so given the fact that in the space of three seasons that this show has thrown many a thing that could be deemed fan fiction in our faces, is the meeting of two Doctors really enough to shock us? After all, we've had The Doctor turn human, kiss every single one of his companions (including Captain Jack) and RTD did make a lot of slashers happy by playing up the homoerotic tension between The Doctor and The Master in the last three episodes of the third season as well the fact that we've had Daleks versus Cybermen but a collision of Doctors is always going to be something special.

    Cohesively, "The Three Doctors" had the strongest of plots with Omega but "The Five Doctors" tugged at certain strings and "The Two Doctors" was also something fun to behold. I would mention "Dimensions In Time" but like many people, I really do want to deny that particular spoof's existence.

    Twenty three years after his departure in "The Caves Of Androzani", Peter Davison's dashing, if somewhat mixed Fifth Doctor is back and as a result, we're treated to seven minutes of sheer geekiness as Davison sparks off brilliantly with David Tennant's Doctor. In fact, it's probably the first time since "Last Of The Time Lords" that the Tenth Doctor gets to have a bit of fun.

    Of course there's an element of confusion to be had as well. The appearance of the Fifth Doctor can only spell an array of disaster and while Tennant gets to act like a geeky fan boy (not much acting required), Davison's Doctor isn't pleased to see a younger version of him swanning around in his TARDIS and acting like he's been sleep deprived for a month.

    The Doctor is pleased to see his older self but he doesn't have any problem in giving his fifth incarnation a dressing down. Now for everyone who thinks wearing celery is as lame as having to eat the stuff, there's a little bit of teasing at the vegetable's expense. Teasing aside, there does seem to be a merging of two worlds (TARDISES?) and it's up to the memory of both Doctors in order to solve things. While the main danger plot doesn't convince as much, it's the last moment of the serial that will really hits home for a lot of viewers. Now we know that writer Steven Moffat and David Tennant are big fans of Peter Davison's tenure on the series and there's a nice bit of lip service just as the Fifth Doctor begins to leave. Plus the way this ties into "Voyage Of The Damned" is quite nice. Maybe next time The Doctor will play attention to putting up his shields.

    - Although not credited, the last scene in "Last Of The Time Lords" with Martha opens up this scene rather nicely.

    - Unsurprisingly enough both David Tennant and Peter Davison are titled in the credits for this. That would be the first time for two men in Doctor Who, credit wise.

    - There are mentions of Nyssa, Tegan, the Cybermen, the Mara, Time Lords with funny hats and The Master so this could be set before "The Five Doctors" for the Fifth Doctor. - Oh and The Master is gay Not really, but the joke was too good to pass up and come to think of it, the Fifth Doctor had the most interactions with The Master outside the Third Doctor.

    - This is also available on the Season Four DVD box-set due out on November 17th 2008. Thank God for YouTube because I actually fell asleep when this originally transmitted.

    - This was also directed by Graeme Harper who directed Peter Davison's departure in "The Caves Of Androzani".

    Quote, Unquote

    Tenth Doctor: "Cos you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor".

    Fifth Doctor: "To days to come".

    Tenth Doctor: "All my love to long ago". The more I watched "Time Crash", the better it seems to get. All these mini-scenes from Doctor Who add to the show and seeing as Steven Moffat himself said this was cannon, I'm more than happy to agree with it. It's nostalgic without going overboard and it was for Children In Need to boot.moreless
  • Don't get me's great...just a little silly.

    Don't get me was great...just a little silly. Peter Davison was great and he brought humour even if it was for 7 minutes. David Tennant and Peter Davision bounce off of each other very well and there isn't a dull moment.

    Some of the younger viewers might not have gotten it but it was still entertaining.

    Full of humour and a little bit of a filler that you don't necessarily need but is still fun to watch.

    I gave it a medium rating in Dr Who terms which is a very high rating compared to other television shows.

    Well written and very clever.moreless
  • doctor who being doctor who and running into... himself

    this is very normal thing in this series of series, the doctor running into himself. for some odd reason tempral cosality doesn't effect the doctor at all. it doesn't matter if he runs into himself 200 times. but as this happens they always make it funny and quite insiteful. as it is tho it was a great way to use a bit of the old doctor in a new episode, and a interesting way to introduce the next episode of the christmas break episode. as it is tho, i would have much prefered they stoped doing it, but you can't argue with clasic doctor whoisms.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When The Fifth Doctor confronts the Tenth Doctor he accuses him of being a fan and asks if he's part of that L.I.N.D.A Lot.

      This same group was a group of people that go hunting for the Doctor. They form this group in season 2 Episode 10 Love and Monsters. As in that episode they form a group called L.I.N.D.A which stands for London Investigation 'N Detective Agency. It is Most likely that a group like them was created during the Fifth Doctors Time as well.

    • Though many monsters from the old series have appeared in the new series, and a couple of old assistants, this is the first time one of the original Doctors has appeared in person in an episode of the new series, though drawings of previous Doctors have appeared in John Smith's notebook in Human Nature

    • The Cloister bell sounds half way through the episode. This was first heard in the original series story Logopolis and is always a portent of impending disaster. It also been heard at least twice in the new series, in the previous Children in Need special and in Last of the Timelords when the TARDIS was converted to a paradox machine.

    • Tenth Doctor: What?

      Fifth Doctor: What?

      Tenth Doctor: What?

      It has become a tradition of the Tenth Doctor to utter "What?" to himself several times in a row for the "unexpected event" at the end of each season. Here we see the same thing with him rather more literally saying it to himself.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Fifth Doctor: (Looks around at the walls of the TARDIS) What have you done to my TARDIS? You've changed the desktop theme, haven't you? What's this one, "coral"?
      Tenth Doctor: Well...
      Fifth Doctor: It's worse than the leopard skin!

    • Fifth Doctor: Who are you?
      Tenth Doctor: Ohhh, brilliant. I mean, totally wrong; big emergency, universe goes "bang" in five minutes, but ... brilliant!

    • Tenth Doctor: You know, I loved being you. Back when I first started, at the very beginning, I was always trying to be old and grumpy, the way you do when you're young. And then I was you, and it was all dashing about and playing cricket and my voice going all squeaky when I got excited. I still do that, the voice thing, I got that from you! Oh, and the trainers, and [puts on his glasses] snap. 'Cos you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor.

    • Tenth Doctor: Hey, I'm the Doctor, I can save the universe using a kettle and some string, and look at me I'm wearing a vegetable.

    • Tenth Doctor: Ooh, the back of my head.

      Fifth Doctor: What?

      Tenth Doctor: Sorry, sorry, it's not something you see every day is it, the back of your own head. Mind you, I can see why you wear a hat, I don't want to seem vain, but could you keep that on.

    • Fifth Doctor: It really would help if there wasn't some skinny idiot ranting in my face about every single thing that happens to be in front of him.

      Tenth Doctor: Oh, OK, Sorry.

  • NOTES (4)

    • According to Doctor Who Confidential, the Fifth Doctor's coat and trousers are originals that were on loan from the Blackpool Doctor Who exhibition. The trousers had been previously altered in order to fit Colin Baker for the regeneration scene in The Caves of Androzani and the opening of The Twin Dilemma. The jumper was knitted specifically for the episode, and the hat was a new roll-up Panama with the original band sewn on.

    • This mini-episode had 10.9 million viewers on its original airing. That was the highest viewing figures for the show since the premier episode, Rose, back in 2005. However, it was then beaten by Voyage of the Damned later in 2007.

    • Though originally transmitted as a UK exclusive as part of the Children In Need annual Telethon, the episode is now available on DVD (Region 2) accompanying Voyage of the Damned.

    • This mini episode was made for Children In Need and fits chronologically between Last of the Timelords and Voyage of the Damned. It actually slightly rewrites events at the end of Season 3, such that the effect for the crashing of the Titanic was modified. In the Season 3 ending it ripped through the fabric of the TARDIS, in Time Crash it dislodged panels, which are then seen being wound back into place in Voyage of the Damned. The paradox nature of Time Crash was used by the production team to alter the effect to make it easier to undo in the following story.

  • ALLUSIONS (15)

    • The Doctor: Does he [the Master] still have that rubbish beard?

      In the original series, the actors who played the Master (Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley) sported a short goatee.

    • Tenth Doctor: Back when I first started at the very beginning I was always trying to be very old, grumpy, and important like you do when you're young.

      This refers back to when the series first started in 1963, when the Doctor was played by William Hartnell (then aged 55) as a white haired crotchety old man. At this point the Doctors character was under 350 years old. When Peter Davison took over the role in Logopolis in 1981 he was 29, making him the youngest ever actor to play the Doctor (not including Matt Smith), at this point the character was somewhere between 760 and 900 years old. Ironically when Time Crash was filmed Peter Davison was 56 years old, making him one year older than the crotchety old man we first saw.

    • Tenth Doctor: You know what Doctor, you were my Doctor.

      This is a little bit of "Breaking the fourth wall" letting David Tennant confess to Peter Davison that he was the Doctor he grew up with. It is a common phrasing with fans of the old series to say "he was my Doctor" to mean that was the actor they grew up with in the part, the one they most identify with the role.

    • Tenth Doctor: Where are you now, Nyssa and Tegan, Cybermen and the Mara?

      Continuity references back to the Fifth Doctor's companions Nyssa and Tegan, and The Mara, an enemy only ever faced by the Fifth Doctor, in two stories, Kinda and Snakedance.

    • Tenth Doctor: Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey.

      This is the Doctor's way of explaining away paradoxes, first used in Blink.

    • Tenth Doctor: And just to finish off, let's fry those Ziton Crystals.

      A continuity reference to original series story Vengeance on Varos

    • Tenth Doctor: Flooring the helmic regulator.

      A continuity reference to original series story The Ark in Space and later referenced in the new series episode Smith and Jones

    • Tenth Doctor: Venting the thermo buffer.

      A continuity reference to the Fifth Doctor's first story Castrovalva

    • Tenth Doctor: Yeah that's my fault really, I was rebuilding the TARDIS, forgot to put the shields back up.

      In the previous episode The Master converted the TARDIS into a paradox machine. This is what the Doctor was fixing when he forgot to raise the shields.

    • Fifth Doctor: That LINDA lot

      This refers to a group of Doctor Watchers first mentioned in the series two episode Love and Monsters.

    • Fifth Doctor Two Minutes to Belgium.

      This uses the Douglas Adams reference to Belgium (being something very bad) and combines it with a reference to the Doomsday clock. This is a "virtual clockface" maintained by The University of Chicago since 1947 (when it was 7 minutes to midnight), and the proximity to midnight is meant to reflect the likelihood of a global catastrophe. The closest it has ever been is 2 minutes between 1953 and 1960.

    • Tenth Doctor: Need this [offers sonic screwdriver to Fifth Doctor]

      Fifth Doctor: No I'm fine thanks.

      Tenth Doctor: Oh no of course, you mostly went hands free didn't you.

      In the original series the sonic screwdriver was destroyed in the Fifth Doctor story The Visitation, written out because it was considered too easy to use from a scripting point of view. It didn't reappear until the TV Movie in 1996.

    • Fifth Doctor: It could blow a hole in the space time continuum the size of... Well actually the exact size of Belgium.

      The mention of Belgium is a nod to the late great Douglas Adams, who was a script editor and writer for the original series. In Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy the word Belgium was one of the rudest known words in the galaxy.

    • Tenth Doctor: Brave choice the celery, but fair play to you, not many men could carry off a decorative vegetable.

      The celery on the Doctor's jacket was a trademark part of the Fifth Doctor's costume. It's purpose was finally explained in his final episode The Caves of Androzani as a device to warn him of gases in the Praxis range, to which he is allergic.

    • Tenth Doctor: Mind you, a bit saggier than I ought to be, hair's a bit greyer. That's cos of me though, the two of us together have shorted out the time differential. It should all snap back in place when we get you home.

      Shorting out the time differential was a reference to the original series episode Mawdryn Undead in which it was explained if the two Brigadiers touched that is what would happen. In this case it is used to explain the ageing of the actor playing the Fifth Doctor appearing as old as he would if he'd arrived at this point in his life without regenerating.