Dimensions in Time

doctor_who_logo_7Year: 1993

Synopsis: The Seventh Doctor and his companion, Ace, find themselves in the middle of a diabolically nonlinear trap of renegade Timelady, The Rani, involving past Doctors, their companions, and the denizens of London’s East End.

• Even though it is the best 30th anniversary year story by being the only one, the special was still fun to watch for those familiar with Doctor Who.
• The concept of doing a crossover episode with the popular soap EastEnders was unique in the history of both shows.
• It was amazing to see many of the Who actors reprise their roles, and in many cases, for the last time.
• All those involved are clearly having a self-aware good time, making up for any narrative weaknesses.

• Can be hard to follow, given its nonlinear approach.
• The premise was a bit too random and silly at times.
• Ran a bit too much on the nostalgia of the unofficially canceled Doctor Who.
• Not clear if the story is considered within the continuity for either show.

“Certainly, I — I mean, we — are difficult to get rid of,” The Seventh Doctor

After being put on an unofficially permanent hiatus in 1989, Doctor Who had already been missing for some time. I was only six years old at the time, and do not think I even knew of the show yet. Watching shows that have been abruptly canceled, I can imagine what Dimensions meant for the long-time fans, even the ones that had not been watching much in the 1980s. This was a real Doctor Who production, even though it was technically fueled by the fresher energy of the EastEnders. As for the story given, well, its complicated. In fact, its more temporally twisted than even the show now. Trapping the Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Doctors in overlapping time loops within the EastEnders universe is rather ridiculous. Can the Doctor(s) find a way out? Of course they can! Like most of the Wilderness Years, this story’s part in the canon is somewhat unclear. But, Doctor Who has negated timelines before and since within the continuity of the show, so we can best assume it did happen, even if the Doctor and his TARDIS are the only ones even vaguely aware of it.

Doctor Who

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