The Full Wiki

Time Crash: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

Time Crash
Series: Doctor Who TV stories
Series Number: Series 3
Story Number: Children in Need mini-episode
Setting: Inside the TARDIS
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Graeme Harper
Producer: Phil Collinson
Broadcast: 16th November 2007
Format: 1 8 minute, mini episode
Previous Story: Last of the Time Lords
Following Story: Voyage of the Damned
"Cause you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor."
―The Tenth Doctor to the Fifth Doctor

Time Crash was a special "mini-episode" produced for the 2007 Children in Need appeal. It featured a brief encounter between the Fifth and Tenth Doctors and was penned by Steven Moffat. It also served as the explanation of how the Doctor's TARDIS was breached by the Titanic at the end of Last of the Time Lords. As such, it was very much a part of the overall continuity of the BBC Wales series of Doctor Who.



The Tenth Doctor accidentally pilots his TARDIS into the path of the Fifth Doctor's TARDIS which threatens to rip a hole in space and time the size of Belgium!


This story follows on from the previous episode the Tenth Doctor has just said goodbye to Martha, and is attempting to take off when the TARDIS suddenly goes haywire.

Suddenly, someone else is in the TARDIS, the Fifth Doctor. The Tenth Doctor realises straight away this is his past incarnation and is soon reminiscing about his adventures as the Fifth Doctor, much to the latter's confusion. The Fifth Doctor decides that the strange skinny bloke in his TARDIS is an obsessive fan of his--possibly affiliated with LINDA--and the Tenth, to his own bewilderment, can't convince his past self otherwise. Meanwhile, the collision of the TARDIS with its past (or future) self threatens to tear a hole in the universe; one the exact size of Belgium, which, as the Fifth Doctor remarks, is a rather undramatic description. The Fifth Doctor despairs of finding a solution in time, but the Tenth purposefully, if maniacally manipulates the TARDIS controls and averts the disaster.

Stunned by the unexpected solution, the Fifth Doctor realises that the other man is in fact his future self. The Tenth Doctor bids a warm farewell to his past self; and, with a final warning to his future self to restore the TARDIS shields, the Fifth Doctor rejoins his own timeline.

But suddenly, it's too late to put up the shields... the Titanic has plowed through the wall of the TARDIS.


Production crew


  • The Tenth Doctor mentions running into The Master recently. The Fifth Doctor asks if he still has his "Rubbish beard", a reference to the fact that, discounting the decayed version of the Master encountered in The Deadly Assassin and The Keeper of Traken, the Master (as portrayed by Roger Delgado and, later, Anthony Ainley) was bearded. The Fifth Doctor cannot be taking into account the incarnation of the Master played by Eric Roberts as he hasn't met him yet and he was beardless.
  • The Tenth Doctor's reference to Lucy Saxon following a question from the Fifth as to whether the Master still has "that rubbish beard?" is a reference to a term used in gay culture. A "beard" is the wife of a man who has not outed himself but wishes to keep up the appearence of a happilly married heterosexual man. The Master used Lucy Saxon to more plausibly maintain his fictitious identity.
  • The Tenth Doctor asks the Fifth Doctor about Nyssa, Tegan, the Mara, Cybermen and Time Lords in funny hats.
  • The Tenth Doctor mentions the (Fifth) Doctor's celery.
  • The Titanic crashes into the TARDIS at the end of the scene. The Fifth Doctor warns the Tenth to put the shields up. Not doing so resulted in the Titanic crashing into the TARDIS.
  • LINDA are mentioned (looks like the Fifth Doctor is aware of the group, which may have shown how the Tenth Doctor knew where to find Elton, yes Jackie called Rose back to Earth, but she probably never said where as she just wanted to see Rose, so 5 knowing about LINDA helped 10 remember where to materialise, or the Tardis may just have checked
  • The Tenth Doctor makes mention of the TARDIS's Helmic regulator, Zeiton crystals and venting the Thermo-buffer.
  • The Doctors have a slightly testy relationship (with the Tenth Doctor criticising his predecessor's decision to go "hands free" without a sonic screwdriver and his decision to wear a stalk of celery in his lapel). This is consistent with previous televised multi-Doctor adventures that have had the various parties getting on each other's nerves. In keeping with the previous stories, however, differences are set aside for the greater good and the different incarnations part on friendly terms.

Story notes

  • This is the third filmed contribution by the new series production team to Children in Need. In 2005, they had offered the Children in Need Special (aka 'Pudsey Cutaway'). In 2006 they provided a live concert of music during the traditional Children in Need charity time period, and subsequently offered it to home viewers prior to the original broadcast of The Runaway Bride.
  • After it was cancelled, the original series was briefly revived by the inaugural Doctor Who filmed entertainment made especially for Children in Need, entitled Dimensions in Time. In 1993, The Five Doctors was also broadcast as a part of, though not made especially for, the Children in Need charity drive.
  • This story marks the first appearance of a Doctor from the original series appearing in the new series, although recognisable drawings of original series Doctors can be seen in Human Nature.
  • This story is directed by Graeme Harper who also directed Peter Davison's last story (DW: The Caves of Androzani).
  • Steven Moffat (writer) also wrote the Comic Relief story, The Curse of Fatal Death.
  • The special was introduced by Terry Wogan and John Barrowman.
  • Peter Davison's name appears in the credits, the first time (discounting the 1996 TV movie) that an original series Doctor has had his name at the start of an episode.
  • The Fifth Doctor remembers how to save the TARDIS when he is the Tenth Doctor because, as the Fifth, he saw what the Tenth did. This is a reference to time going in a straight line, which makes sense, but was not discussed in DW: The Three Doctors or DW: The Five Doctors.
  • This is the first official episode of Doctor Who written by Steven Moffat that doesn't use his theme of highlighting childhood fears.
  • This episode marked the final use of the 2005 arrangement of the "Doctor Who theme" by Murray Gold; a new arrangement by Gold would be introduced in the next episode, DW: Voyage of the Damned.
  • According to writer (later executive producer-designate) Steven Moffat, in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine #389, the events of Time Crash are considered canonical.
  • This is the first televised "multi-doctor" story in the history of the show that did not include Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor, who had appeared in DW: The Three Doctors, DW: The Five Doctors and DW: The Two Doctors


to be added

Filming Locations

Myths and rumours

  • When the Fifth Doctor asks if the Master "still has that rubbish beard," the Tenth replies, "No ... well, a wife." This was interpreted by some fans as being a gay culture reference; a "beard" is a slang term for a member of the opposite sex who joins a homosexual individual in a marriage or other relationship in order to mask the fact that one or both partners is gay. Moffat confirmed it as a gay joke in Death Ray Magazine in 2008, when he proudly claimed "I've got the record for gay jokes. I've got the gayest joke of all time in Doctor Who - I've got the "beard" joke about the Master". However, the presence of the joke does not necessarily confirm that the Master, himself, was gay.

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • If the Tenth Doctor recalls this meeting from when he was the Fifth Doctor, then why was the Fifth Doctor so worried about his regeneration in DW: The Caves of Androzani? Perhaps in the heat of his impending "death" the Fifth Doctor simply forgot about his future encounter or perhaps time was in flux. There also seems to be a strong suggestion that the ringing of the cloister bell triggers the Tenth Doctor's memories.
  • The Fifth Doctor is shown wearing the cricket jumper, coat, and dress shirt from Season 19 and 20 but his pants are clearly the orange pants from the Season 21 outfit.
  • If the Tenth Doctor tells the Fifth Doctor about meeting the Master in that incarnation then he would have known that he wasn't the Last of the Time Lords (although this may partially explain the Doctor's extreme reaction to the news that Professor Yana has a Chameleon Arch fobwatch). Possibly, because the Doctor met the Master several times after his Fifth incarnation, he assumed that the Tenth meant one of those other encounters (such as the TV movie, in which the Master has a wife, no beard, and acts in a rather camp manner; see the above reference to the double meaning of "beard").
  • The Tenth Doctor was at least as much confused meeting himself as the Fifth Doctor and he did not expect the Fifth Doctor thinking he is a fan (Although he should have remembered it). It might be that the Fifth Doctor, being aware of the problems that paradox may cause, locked these memories in the back of his mind, and remembered at the moment he heard the Cloister Bell
  • Throughout the story, the Doctor's hand-in-a-jar is located to the right of the console (as seen by viewers), but with the glass turned away from the camera (the illuminated interior can barely be glimpsed. It is in this position as Ten says goodbye to Five. Immediately after, the crash into Titanic occurs, and the hand-in-a-jar is suddenly positioned at the same spot on the floor, but with the glass facing the camera. Surely the impact of the Titanic crashing into the TARDIS would have moved the jar, even if just a little.
  • Two episodes previously, in DW: The Sound of Drums, the Doctor claims that Time Lords can always recognise one another, and in that episode and the preceding DW: Utopia, he recognises the Master on sight (even after having spent a considerable amount of time knowing the Master only as his human form, Yana). However, in Time Crash, the Fifth Doctor does not recognise the Tenth. In DW: The Five Doctors, the First Doctor does not realise who the Fifth is, although it doesn't take that much to convince him. The Fifth Doctor, however, instantly recognised his younger self; similarly the Tenth Doctor identified the Fifth without any delay.
  • When the Tenth Doctor asks where the Fifth Doctor is in his life, why does he only reference Nyssa and Tegan and not other companions, particularly Adric. Perhaps he didn't want to cause any time-paradox issues by mentioning a companions the Fifth Doctor may not have yet met (Nyssa and Tegan travelled with the Fifth from the very start). As for Adric, he presumably didn't want to remind his younger self of his death.
  • The presence of two Doctors apparently will create a Belgium-sized hole in the universe. This did not occur any other time different incarnations of the Doctor met (at least onscreen). The damage is suggested to be in fact caused by the two TARDISes merging. Also, in The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors and The Two Doctors the meeting of the Doctors was at least partially orchestrated by the Time Lords, who may have been able to negate any such effects.
  • The revived series has expanded on the idea of the TARDIS being alive, and Jack Harkness (and possibly also the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor) has a quantity of "TARDIS coral" with which they can grow a TARDIS. In DW: The Impossible Planet, the Doctor confirms that TARDISes are grown and not built. The TARDIS's "coral" appearance is presumably meant to reflect this. However, this episode reveals that the coral look is only one of several possible "desktop themes". Perhaps the coral theme is the default, as it was how the TARDIS looked when it was originally grown. Or maybe the default look is a completely different "organic" look that we've never seen before. Just because they are partly organic doesn't mean they have to look like coral. There has also never been an on-screen reference to "TARDIS coral" from Harkness or anyone else; a deleted scene from Journey's End (included in the Series 4 DVD set) shows the Doctor giving the Meta-Crisis Doctor a piece of the TARDIS, but it is never referred to as a coral and is never shown in great detail. The use of the term "coral" is an example of "fanon" -- facts made up by the fanbase and assumed to be canon over time, even though they have no on-screen confirmation.
  • The two Doctors address each other as "Doctor". Is the Doctor's name really such a secret that he can't even tell himself? He has shown fondness for the term "Doctor" over the years, and would have no reason not to use it here. Alternatively, it could be that the Doctor does not ever want to utter his own name; as Steven Moffat suggested, there must be some "terrible secret" about the Doctor's name. In the Five Doctors, the Second Doctor addressed the Fifth Doctor as Doctor, too.


  • This is the first on screen TV appearance of the Fifth Doctor since DW: Dimensions in Time (and the first 'official' on screen appearance since DW: The Caves of Androzani).
  • This story takes place immediately after Martha leaves the TARDIS in DW: Last of the Time Lords
  • The Fifth Doctor previously met the first three Doctors (First Doctor, Second Doctor, Third Doctor) in DW: The Five Doctors.
  • The Fifth Doctor has also met the Sixth and Seventh Doctors in BFA: The Sirens of Time.
  • The Fifth Doctor has also encountered the Seventh Doctor in MA: Cold Fusion
  • The Fifth Doctor also encountered the Eighth Doctor in EDA: The Eight Doctors.
  • LINDA is mentioned, they last appeared in DW: Love & Monsters.
  • The reference to "Time Lords in funny hats" is to DW: Arc of Infinity and possibly DW: The Five Doctors,
  • If what the Tenth Doctor says is correct when describing The Fifth's placement, this story must take place sometime after DW: Arc of Infinity and before DW: Mawdryn Undead for the Fifth Doctor.
  • Fifth Doctor identified new series' TARDIS console room's as a desktop theme named "Coral". Also says it to be worse than "leopard skin". His criticism of the TARDIS' redecoration is similar to that made by the Second Doctor to the Third Doctor in DW: The Three Doctors. The revelation that the TARDIS console room design can be changed like a computer desktop rectifies continuity issues caused by the differing look of the TARDIS interior in DW: Doctor Who (1996), and minor changes seen over the years during the classic series. (The different appearance of the console room during the mid-Tom Baker era (DW: The Hand of Fear, et al) is explained on-screen as being a secondary control room.)
  • This is the first televised multi-Doctor story to account for the aging of the actor returning to play a previous Doctor, by explaining it as a byproduct of meeting himself; this covers off the aging of the Doctors in DW: The Five Doctors but not DW: The Two Doctors as the Second Doctor (not to mention Jamie McCrimmon) appear considerably older long before they encounter the Doctor. The Season 6B theory, created by fandom and recognized by some novels, may explain the reason for the Second Doctor's aged appearance in The Two Doctors, but as of 2009 it has yet to be acknowledged in a televised episode.
  • The cloister bell was previously heard in DW: The Sound of Drums.
  • The Tenth Doctor exclaims "Snap!" when displaying his glasses to his younger self. While this is a common expression, it is interesting to note that it is the same word that the Sixth and Second Doctors used to greet each other when they met in DW: The Two Doctors.

DVD and other releases

Voyage of the Damned DVD Cover
  • Released in the Series 4 DVD boxset in November 2008 along with the rest of the Series.
  • Released in a vanilla edition alongside Voyage of the Damned on 10th March 2008. Extras include the Children in Need Special: Time Crash and Confidential Cutdown

See also

External links

  • Entry at A Brief History of Time (Travel)
  • Doctor Who Guide entry

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


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address