Jon Pertwee (The Third Doctor), Tom Baker (The Fourth Doctor), Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor), Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K-9), Lalla Ward (Romana), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown), Bonnie Langford (Mel Bush).
|Written by||David Rodan|
|Directed by||Stuart McDonald|
|Produced by||John Nathan Turner|
The Rani is assembling a menagerie of sentient life-forms from throughout space and time, hoping to use them to gain control of all individual minds in the Universe. She requires only one more specimen, a human from Earth. Knowing that the Doctor will act to stop her, she creates a temporal trap to ensnare the Doctor in all his incarnations. The Rani has already captured the First and Second Doctors, and the Fourth Doctor attempts to send a warning to his previous and future incarnations, but is too late.
The renegade Time Lady seizes control of the TARDIS and the Seventh Doctor and Ace, en route to China, find themselves instead materializing in Cutty Sark Gardens in 1973. They then find themselves jumping time tracks between the years 1973, 1993, and 2013, in an area within a few miles of Albert Square in London’s East End. The Doctor is also changing back and forth between his Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh incarnations, while Ace keeps being replaced by various past companions.
Worse, the Rani has released her menagerie, all under her
- The Dimensions Of Time and 3-Dimensions Of Time were the working titles for this story. David Roden managed to convince producer John Nathan-Turner not to use either title, and instead settled on Dimensions In Time.
- An original draft of the script featured Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, meeting the Brigadier, Nicholas Courtney, en route to a UNIT reunion – and becoming involved in a battle with a crashed spaceship full of Cybermen. The script was entitled Destination: Holocaust, and featured the Seventh Doctor and Brigadier holed up in a burning church, trying to fight off the advancing hordes of damaged Cybermen. This original idea, written by David Roden, was vetoed by Nathan-Turner after it became apparent that Children In Need wished for the story to be a tie-in with EastEnders.
- Despite loving the originally proposed script, Nathan-Turner also had concerns about the cost, which would have included several lengthy night-shoots and a much larger special effects budget.
Anthony Ainley was initially approached by Nathan-Turner to play the part of the Master in this short story, but he turned it down. Michael Gough was later approached to re-create the role of The Celestial Toymaker, and again Nathan-Turner was turned down. Finally, Kate O’Mara was asked if she would like to reprise her role of the Rani – a request to which she readily agreed. O’Mara was joined by Sam West, who played her sidekick Cyrian.
- The special was one of several special 3D programmes the BBC produced at the time, using a 3D system developed by American inventor Terry D. Beard that made use of the Pulfrich effect. The technology required spectacles with one darkened lens and one transparent one; these were sold in shops to the public, with the proceeds going to Children in Need.
- The Daleks were also supposed to appear, but the segment was pulled after a dispute with Dalek creator Terry Nation over payments, the sequence was not ultimately shot. All actors and crew were working unpaid, with the only stipulation being that it could never be repeated or sold on a home video for profit. The Dalek segment would have seen Peter Davison facing up against them again in the streets seen in the 1984 serial Resurrection of the Daleks.
- David Rodan later went on to write and direct several plays for the theatre before directing and writing short films – including Beginners Please (2006) and the Cornwall Film Festival award winning The Resurrectionist (2006), both starring actor Guy Siner.
- David Rodan worked for the BBC Drama Department in London on the ‘Writers Academy’. During 2007 and 2008 he worked for the BBC Wales Drama Department in Script Development alongside the production team for Season 4 of Russell T Davies’ new Doctor Who. He contributed a short story to the ‘Doctor Who’ novel ‘The Story Of Martha’ (2008).
- Roden also wrote the Doctor Who BBC Audio Exclusive “The Nemonite Invasion” (2009) which was read by Catherine Tate. Roden now script edits for the BBC, most recently on Casualty.
- Jon Pertwees last televised role as the Doctor before his death in 1996.