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Dimensions in Time
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Series Number:
Main character:
Enemy: The Rani
The Rani's alien menagerie
Setting: {{{setting}}}
Writer: John Nathan-Turner and
David Mansell (as David Roden)
Director: Stuart McDonald
Producer: John Nathan-Turner
Broadcast: 26th November
- 27th November 1993
Format: 1 7-minute and 1 5-minute episode
Prod. Code:
Previous Story:
Following Story:

Dimensions in Time was a two part adventure broadcast in 1993 to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Doctor Who. It featured many of the characters from the original series. Despite this, the story is generally regarded as a Doctor Who pastiche, and not a canonical story.



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 themslves instead materializing in Cutty Sark Gardens in 1993. 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 control, to attack the Doctors and their companions.






  • Time Tunnel



Races and species


Earth Based Locations

  • China
  • Great Wall of China
  • Cutty Sark Gardens

Foods and Beverages

  • Gherkins in a Jar

Story Notes

  • This story was broadcast as a segment of the Children In Need charity telethon, with Part One being introduced by Noel Edmonds and Jon Pertwee (in character as the Doctor), and Part Two being broadcast as part of Edmond's House Party programme.
  • Broadcast in a 3-D television format which could be viewed normally or with special glasses.
  • This story is generally not considered to be canon by most Doctor Who fans.
  • Commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who in 1963.
  • Jon Pertwee's last (official) on screen performance as the Doctor before his death in 1996. He would, however, go on to play the role in two audio dramas for BBC Radio, plus the fan-made film Devious which BBC Video would go on to release in 2009 alongside The War Games.
  • It featured Tom Baker's first and as of 2009, only on-screen performance as the Doctor since leaving the series. He had turned down a part in the twentieth anniversary story, "The Five Doctors," a decision he later said he regretted. In 2009, Baker reprised the role for a series of audio dramas for BBC Audio entitled Hornets' Nest.
  • Because First Doctor William Hartnell and Second Doctor Patrick Troughton were both deceased (as was Hartnell's Five Doctors replacement Richard Hurndall) by the time this story was produced, the idea was developed to use still images of them, already caught in the Rani's temporal trap. Because the stills could not be made to look three-dimensional, busts of the actor's heads were fashioned and filmed for the special.
  • For scenes set inside the Rani's TARDIS, the Doctor's console from the original series was set inside a TARDIS console room mock-up constructed for a recent fan convention, the original console room for the series having already been destroyed.
  • This story features guest and cameo appearances by various characters from the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders, with the bulk of the story being set in the same neighbourhood as that series. While cross universe stories in which the Doctor meets characters from various other television, film, and literary works have long been a popular motif in fan fiction pieces, this is probably the first professionally produced instance of such a motif being employed in a Doctor Who story, outside the occasional in-joke reference in the Doctor Who novels. Five years after this story was produced, Louise Jameson joined the cast of EastEnders for two years as Rosa Di Marco.
  • The Daleks were to have featured (the segment was shot), however due to disputes with Terry Nation's estate it was removed.
  • Lalla Ward, as Romana, gets the honour of uttering the obligatory inquisitive, "Doctor who?" Romana is the only character seen on her own during the story.
  • This was the only story co-written by longtime series producer John Nathan-Turner and marked his final official involvement with the franchise he joined in the late 1970s (and as such can also be viewed as the final televised production by the "old guard" that had overseen the series since 1963. This was one of only a handful of "classic era" stories to be credited to two writers (previously a house pseudonym had been used for some stories written by more than one person, i.e. "David Agnew", although this was far from universal, with writing teams such as Bob Baker and Dave Martin also being common). The next occasion in which two writers are credited would not be until the 2009 episode Planet of the Dead, which was coincidentally also co-written by the then-current series producer.


  • Part 1 - 13.8 million
  • Part 2 - 13.6 million


to be added

Filming Locations

  • BBC Elstree
  • Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London
  • The Cutty Sark
  • National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • Leela can remember which companion she was before the last time change, indicating that Ace has been changing back and forth into different companions, just as the Doctor has been changing back and forth into different incarnations of himself. How this is possible, considering that the companions are all different individuals as opposed to the same one in different versions like the Doctor, or how Ace could be two different companions at the same time, is never explained.
  • The illusion theory hits a snag, however, during scenes in which the Doctor is seen with more than one companion; could Ace's consciousness be split between two different people? Similarly, at least one companion, Romana II, is seen on her own and she doesn't actually encounter a Doctor. Romana not encountering a Doctor makes sense considering her Doctor, the Fourth, isn't directly involved in events; this is contradicted somewhat by Leela encountering a Doctor, however, these three errors could be explained by the Rani by changing the Time Line, or Romana may not have been taken out of time and placed in the loop, if the novels are taken into account, she and Leela should both be on Galifrey, which explains how Leela knew which companion she was in, where the unspecified K-9 model are from
  • The Rani is seen in Albert Square at the end of episode one and the start of episode 2 - yet manages to get back to her TARDIS in mid air later in episode 2.
  • Why does the Rani need to involve the Doctor at all? If she just needs a human to complete her collection, it would be easy enough to take one without the Doctor getting involved. As a recurring villain, however, she likely has issues with the Doctor, and wants to cause him grief. She has however only 'fought' him twice... So it's acceptable to believe that this is another oversight by John-Nathan Turner.Even though she has only fought him twice on TV, she like the Master has known the Doctor since childhood.
  • If the Rani wanted a human to finish her menagerie, why doesn't she just take one from Albert Square? She may need a specific human, which is why she kidnapped Romana, thinking she was human
  • In the scene in 2013 with Kathy Beale and Pauline Fowler depict that they are alive. In 2006 both characters got killed off. This story is, on the most part, not accepted as canon, and there is no way EastEnders takes place in the Doctor Who universe. Therefore, it is irrelivant.


  • As this story is generally not considered canon, there is no real continuity with the original series, aside from the characters. It is possible to fit this into continuity, however, by suggesting (as strongly implied by the ending) that the whole thing was some sort of illusion experienced by the Seventh Doctor and Ace. Since Ace looks older as Sophie, who played Ace, had matured since 1989, this would likely place it at some point after Survival and prior to Ace and the Doctor gaining Bernice Summerfield as a companion in the Virgin New Adventures novel series. The best placement would be after Survival but before the Big Finish audios she appears in and the BBV audios if you consider them canon, since she is more mature in them and Hex's fate hasn't yet been revealed in the audios. In the New Adventure "First Frontier" the Seventh Doctor claims that Dimensions in Time was a dream.
  • Susan calls out for Ian and Barbara, the Doctor's first human companions, when she initially finds herself displaced in time. Her mode of dress is closer to what she wore during her time on the TV series, and is less "mature-looking" than what she wore in The Five Doctors. Although the actress is older, it's possible this version of Susan may fall somewhere between her departure in The Dalek Invasion of Earth and The Five Doctors. That, or if the illusion theory is correct, the Doctor is projecting a combination of Susan's different ages from his own memories.
  • Romana's appearance comes without explanation as to how or when she left E-Space. If the illusion theory is correct, then this can be discounted. According to spin-off media novels and later Big Finish audio productions, however, Romana did return to N-Space and became Lord President of Gallifrey, although this is not referenced during her brief time on screen.

Public Release

See also

to be added

External Links

This article uses material from the "Dimensions in Time" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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