In Time (1993)
1993, the 30th Anniversary of Doctor Who, fan expectations were rising
as to what the BBC would do to celebrate the 30th year of Doctor Who. The
recent Star Trek anniversary had been celebrated with special programmes
and all manner of events. Rumours were going round that the BBC were to
commission a special 90 minute TV film featuring all remaining Doctors.
It was to be called Doctor Who and the Dark Dimension, if I remember rightly.
There was even a rumour that this would be a pilot for a new series of
Doctor Who. Alas it was not to be, for any of a number of reasons published,
and after much speculation it was cancelled. DWB magazine (Dreamwatch)
in that year published many articles regarding this doomed story. One insight
into why it may have been cancelled is contained within the video production
Airzone Solution. In the "making of" section, Peter Davidson, Jon Pertwee
and Colin Baker discuss the cancelled story, and give their views as to
why it was not produced. (This video can be obtained from BBV, see the
late 1993, the BBC decided to hold a 3D week in conjunction with Children
in Need (TV Telethon). A new 3D process had been created that allowed the
viewer via special glasses to see shows in 3D. Dimensions in Time was produced
using this 3D process. Unlike the old process where if you watched it without
glasses all you saw was a red/green blur to the picture, this new process
allowed people without the glasses to view the programme in the traditional
way (as you can see from the pictures here). It was quite effective. The
only trouble was that for the 3D to work properly, movement needed to be
made in the background and/or something passing in the foreground, in front
of the principle actors. Often the camera did a 360 around the actor(s)
currently talking to emphasise the 3D effect. This resulted sometimes in
making the watcher a bit queasy. The glasses cost £1 and money from
the sale was donated to Children in Need. Dimension in Time was shown in
two parts over the Children in Need weekend. Part one lasted about 9 minutes,
with part two running for about five minutes. It was shown as part of Noel's
House Party - a Saturday night entertainment show, in which it was treated
as a bit of a joke by the host (I won't go it this any further, but those
in the UK know it well).
story was a bit of a mish mash and difficult to follow for the casual viewer.
Basically the Rani (played by Kate O'Mara again) had captured all the Doctor's
incarnations and companions in her TARDIS menagerie. They were stuck in
a time loop centered on 1973, 1993, and 2013. The Doctor's had to avoid
the Rani's collection of Aliens which were under her control and get to
Greenwich, where they discovered one of her captives was Romana. The Doctor
concluded that with having two "time brains" in the Rani's TARDIS, he could
short circuit her menagerie and free his other selves and all the Aliens
too. Told you it was a mish mash. Whether this skit was a very much watered
down version of the cancelled story is a mystery but it has similarities.
The main setting was the Eastenders lot (a BBC1 soap opera) and featured
many actors from the soap. The Cutty Sark and Greenwich were also used.
The skit featured loads of companions and all the Doctors, with the first
two portrayed by spinning heads in the Rani's TARDIS. Two endings were
actually filmed, one involving Mandy, and one involving Big Ron, both characters
from the Eastenders soap. The public could phone in and vote for who they
wanted to intervene in the Rani's evil plan (see picture above left) at
the cliff hanger ending to part one. Mandy was chosen, and the intervention
was a bit pathetic. Liz Shaw was trying to wrestle the gun away from the
Rani, Mandy's intervention ended up with Liz becoming a captive of the
Rani ! There was a special "making of" on a science programme called Tomorrows
World. The short story was treated with disgust by fans. It was something
that was supposed to be taken seriously, but ended up a hilarious mess.
One bit of trivia you might like to know is that Leela (Louise Jameson
pictured middle below with Sylvestor McCoy) is currently in Eastenders
playing Rosa DeMarco, head of an Italian family.
a 50 second clip from Dimensions In Time (Lo-Res 3.2mb & .zip)
play it you will need