‘Time Crash’ (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

Five meets Ten

Watch this before you watch ‘Voyage of the Damned’.

This is an 8-minute ‘Children-in-Need’ mini-episode that was shown on the 16th of November 2007. This is really exciting for ‘Doctor Who’ fans as the Doctor meets…well, himself. It’s David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor meeting Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor. This had me excited when I saw it.

I’d seen Peter Davison’s Doctor before in stories like ‘Earthshock’, ‘The Five Doctors’ and ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’. When discovering that Peter would be appearing with David Tennant’s Doctor in a ‘Doctor Who’ mini-episode for ‘Children in Need’, I got immensely excited.

It was a dream come true for me, since I wanted there to be an episode where a new series Doctor meets a classic series Doctor. Even for an 8-minute episode like ‘Time Crash’, a meeting like this doesn’t get any better since Peter Davison and David Tennant are so well-matched here.

‘Time Crash’ is by Steven Moffat and was directed by Graeme Harper (who directed Peter Davison before in ‘The Caves of Androzani’). I really love how the Fifth and Tenth Doctors meet each other, since the Tenth Doctor is in awe of meeting his previous self like a ‘Doctor Who’ fan.

The Fifth Doctor doesn’t know who this ‘skinny idiot’ is and doesn’t take him seriously. I love the comparisons between the Fifth and Tenth Doctors with the brainy specs and trainers. I also love Ten’s comments on ‘the hat, coat, the crickety cricket stuff, the…stick of celery, yeah’ with Five

Peter hasn’t lost his Doctor, despite having aged since the last time he appeared in the TV series. He continues to impress as the Fifth Doctor. He’s done plenty of Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ especially with Sarah Sutton as Nyssa. I love Peter’s lines of dialogue for this mini-episode.

David’s Doctor compliments Peter’s Doctor during the mini-episode. It was great to see these two together and it was very fitting, since Peter began the trend of young Doctors in the new series. David follows a line of actors playing ‘the old man in a young man’s body’ in the TV series.

I loved it when the Tenth Doctor makes reference to previous people and adventures in the Fifth Doctor’s life including Nyssa and Tegan; the Cybermen and the Mara; Time Lords in funny hats and the Master. I found it funny when the Master’s rubbish beard got a mention in the episode.

For me, ‘Time-Crash’ is the best multi-Doctor story from the new series of ‘Doctor Who’. Peter Davison and David Tennant became my favourite Doctors from the series. It gives me great joy watching this mini-episode with the two of them together. This ends with the Titanic crashing in.

‘Time-Crash’ rating – 10/10

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12 thoughts on “‘Time Crash’ (TV)

  1. darrowby85

    Probably a minority opinion here, but I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would, because I thought the Fifth Doctor was written a bit out of character and was just too grumpy here.

    He did have his grumpy moments in the TV episodes but it was mostly when all the bickering and complaining from his companions got too much for him, and it was offset by charm and curiosity.

    The other time he found a stranger, Turlough, in his Tardis, he was much more friendly, open and curious.

    Of course, maybe the increased grumpiness comes with the “ageing” effect of shorting out the time differential or whatever… 🙂 Does that mean we all end up getting grumpy when we get old? I hope not!! I suppose I’m just thinking that there’s already too much grumpiness out there in the real world without making beloved characters more grumpy than they need be… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Vicky.

      Okay, interesting to find someone who didn’t like ‘Time Crash’. I appreciate your thoughts on this mini episode.

      I didn’t find the Fifth Doctor too grumpy or out of character when I watched this episode. Mind you, this episode was written by Steven Moffat. So I suppose it’s debatable whether he got the Fifth Doctor’s character spot on in the same way he wrote for the First Doctor in ‘Twice Upon A Time’. Nowadays I find his writing mixed, varied and pretty average, especially with an inconsistent approach to it.

      I drew inspiration from ‘Time Crash’ when writing for Peter Davison’s Doctor in my Fifth Doctor stories on my blog as well as from the TV episodes and the Big Finish audios. I’d like to think that ‘Time Crash’ is a good example of the Fifth Doctor’s character, despite him looking aged in the episode compared to David Tennant.

      I suppose it depends on your point of view whether we get grumpier as we grow older. Maybe it’s a male thing, I don’t know. I see Peter’s Doctor as an old man in a younger man’s body, so I expect there to be an element of grumpiness in the character. Also, I’m sure Peter Davison drew inspiration from William Hartnell’s Doctor to add grumpiness to his character.

      But still, I don’t know. It’s debatable whether the Fifth Doctor is too grumpy or out of character in this story. I found him okay in terms of character.

      I’m not sure if Peter Davison objected to how his Doctor was written for this episode and whether he found it too grumpy or out of character. I’ll have to ask Peter next time I see him in Folkestone in May whether he found his Doctor in ‘Time Crash’ out of character or too grumpy.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Vicky. Interesting insight you have.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sirtoweringrage

    Hello, Tim.
    Well, I always thought Five to be sometimes showing exasperation and impatience with his companions rather than being downright grumpy, although I ‘m quite sure there’s more than a degree or two of overlap between those states.

    In Time Crash I think he does perhaps does come across as slightly more grumpy than usual, but that’s just my opinion.

    Do we get grumpier as we get older? Well I think so, I’m 102 years old and well known for being extremely grumpy even at the best of times, but when I was a youngster I was a much milder character, indeed I was known back then as Sir Faintly Annoyed.


    Sir T.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Sir T.

      Thanks for sharing and adding your thoughts on this subject.

      I think you and Vicky (Darrowby85) raise some good points about the Fifth Doctor being grumpy than usual and I can see where you’re coming from on this angle. But I still can’t help like ‘Time Crash’ as it was a joy for me to see my favourite new series Doctor – David Tennant – interacting with my favourite classic series Doctor – Peter Davison – in this mini-episode. It’s rare they do that in the series and I would’ve like to have seen more new series episodes compared to what we get nowadays.

      My main issue about ‘Time Crash’ is that it’s not long enough and that it should have been a full-length episode. Perhaps we could have seen more of the Tenth and Fifth Doctors interacting with each other had it been that length in the episode. I would have liked it if Russell T. Davies wrote the episode itself and then we would have two Christmas specials or at least one Christmas Special and a New Years Day Special at the time this was shown. Even better, ‘Voyage of the Damned’ should have featured both Fifth and Tenth Doctors in the episode to make more exciting than it was. Nyssa and Tegan could have appeared it in more and that would have made my ‘Doctor Who’ fan day. 😀

      I hope that the way I’ve written my Doctor Who stories featuring the Fifth Doctor don’t show him as ‘grumpier than usual’ and that they’re keeping with his character. Timelord007 seems to think so far and I’d like to think so too. I love ‘Time Crash’ and consider it a great multi-Doctor episode. But I can appreciate you and Vicky having issues with the way the Fifth Doctor was written in the episode. Again that has to do with Steven Moffat’s interpretation of him (despite being a fan of his era) and again I will need to check with Peter Davison to see whether he was satisfied with the way his Doctor was depicted in the episode.

      102 years old? Yikes! You haven’t aged a bit. I wonder what you’ll be like at 1000 years. Lord Boiling Berserk perhaps? 😀

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, Sir T.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sirtoweringrage


    Oh, I like Time Crash, I enjoyed watching it. think that maybe Moffat slightly overdid the grumpiness, but not to the extent that it took away my enjoyment. So in a way I’m agreeing with you and with Vicky too,as I can see both points of view.

    Yes, I agree with you that we could definitely have done with Time Crash being a full length episode.

    Voyage Of The Damned? They probably blew the entire budget on Kylie Minogue’s fee and anyway my fellow grump, Clive Swift, would probably have objected to Five, Nyssa and Tegan pushing his name further down the billing!

    Oh ‘m sure you don’t overdo the grumpiness factor for Five in your writing, Tim. You stick very much with the spirit of Five’s original run.

    Lord Boiling Berserk? I shall make a note of that name for future reference and possible use.


    Sir T.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      That’s okay, Sir T.

      Glad my suggestion for Lord Boiling Berserk impressed you. 😀

      I’m glad you like ‘Time Crash’ and that you enjoyed watching it. I suppose Steven Moffat did ‘overdid it’ with the grumpiness part of the Fifth Doctor’s character, but for me it wasn’t a big issue. How come Five didn’t realise Ten was his future self earlier on in the scene is another matter though. Seriously, how come didn’t recognise Ten as future self? Shouldn’t their minds have joined telepathically in that moment? Or is there something in the TARDIS preventing that? Or did Ten do something to make Five not recognise him in the same way he remembered how to get themselves out of their Belgium hole or something – wibbley-wobbly, timey-wimey, you get the drill. ARGH!!!!

      I’m glad you agree with my point of view though as well as VIcky’s. I’m also glad you agree ‘Time Crash’ could have been a full length episode. Yeah it would have been issue if they couldn’t afford Peter Davison with Kylie Minogue taking most of the budget for ‘Voyage of the Damned’. Well, Clive Swift shouldn’t have been so grumpy, if DWM interviews are to believe that he was, when he appeared in ‘Voyage of the Damned’. 😀 Heck, ‘Time Crash’ should have been a full-length episode for Children In Need night like ‘The Five Doctors’ then we can include Nyssa and Tegan with the Fifth Doctor before the Titanic crashed into the Tenth Doctor’s TARDIS. 😀

      Thanks. I’m glad you find my writing for the Fifth Doctor is in keeping with the original series. Let me know which stories you like from my ‘Doctor Who’ series.

      Thanks Sir T.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. darrowby85

    Hi again,

    I didn’t *dislike* Time Crash at all – sorry if my original comment came over too negatively, particularly as it’s obviously a favourite of yours.

    In particular, the idea behind it is just lovely – New Series Doctor meets Classic Series Doctor and his enthusiasm comes over as ‘fanboying’, and I love anything where there is meta or fourth-wall-breaking stuff going on. And I enjoyed (in a slightly painful-to-the-brain way) trying to get my head round the whole business of Five seeing Ten remembering Five doing stuff or whatever it was that was going on there. I’m still not sure whether it actually made sense or not… argh, recursive occlusion (maybe)!

    The hole being the size of Belgium was funny. (I’m really very fond of Belgium because I spent some great times there during my student days and it’s actually a really fun place – best chocolate on the planet, great food, art and architecture and lots of different beers to try – but for some reason everyone does seem to think it’s deadly dull.) The fact that they dreamed up a fix for the problem in about 2 seconds, when in a ‘real’ serial it would have taken about half an episode and a lot of tinkering and a whole load of doomy countdowny stuff, was also humorous in a more subtle way.

    Re. grumpiness, maybe everyone takes from a character the aspects that appeal to them most and leaves the rest. Of the many things I like about the Fifth Doctor, one is his boyish enthusiasm which seems to be the opposite of grumpiness. I do like his sarcasm and occasional exasperation, though, and perhaps it’s also the case that you can get away with a lot more sarcasm and tetchiness without coming across as grumpy when you’re handsome and young-looking than you can when you’re still good-looking but visibly older. 😀

    I’ve read some of your writing, although not yet enough of it and in enough detail to do it proper justice, and I felt that you got him spot on – like sirtoweringrage above I found that you had written him to be very much in the spirit of the TV series and I could just imagine him saying some of the lines you gave him. I didn’t feel that you made him grumpy at all.

    I’m still not so familiar with how he’s written in Big Finish because I’ve only just started getting into that. (I’m still at the stage of trying not to be too confused by the plots because I am super bad at figuring out who is who when I only have voices and no visuals to go on – I hope this gets easier with practice!!) So far, I get the impression that Big Finish has a somewhat different take on the character than the TV series did, although it’s not yet clear to me exactly how that works out. The plots of most of the stories that I’ve listened to have been really quite different from anything in the TV series so it’s hard to compare. Peter Davison’s voice has changed a bit since the 80s, naturally enough since I suppose acting must put a strain on the voice, and he doesn’t adopt such a ‘posh’ accent any more, so when I listen to him in BF I must admit that I imagine the older Fifth Doctor of “Time Crash” rather than the young-looking fellow dashing around!

    Beyond the Fifth Doctor stories, one of the Big Finish characters I like a lot is Evelyn Smythe, because she is a mature character who avoids the “older=grumpy” stereotype. She can be a bit tetchy at times and she gives as good as she gets with the Sixth Doctor but she has a warm heart and is interested and enthusiastic, which is great.

    Sorry this comment ended up so long! I should probably work on being more concise…

    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Vicky.

      Okay. Apologies if I misinterpreted that you ‘didn’t’ like ‘Time Crash’ at all in your original comments. I’m glad you like it on a level and yes it is one of my favourites. 😀

      Like I said in a previous comment, I wish this episode was longer than 8 minutes. Then we could enjoy a proper full-on ‘Doctor Who’ adventure with the Tenth Doctor and the Fifth Doctor. I wouldn’t mind it if Peter Davison looked aged during the episode. I’d still enjoy him in the episode. I still wish we had that for all the Doctors if they appeared in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ as they wanted to in ‘The Five(ish) Doctor Reboot’. But I suppose we fans can’t have everything, can we? 😀 ‘The Light At The End’s pretty good. I don’t know if you’ve heard that multi-Doctor story yet. I have reviewed it. I hope we’ll get a 60th anniversary Big Finish audio story where the Classic Series and New Series Doctors are together. 😀

      I’ve not visited Belgium yet, although I have had their chocolates and found them delicious. I’ve still yet to visit Paris and Amsterdam from the ‘Doctor Who’ stories I’ve seen in ‘City of Death’ and ‘Arc of Infinity’. I would like to see them. Thanks for sharing your fond memories of visiting Belgium, Vicki. I’m glad you had a good time and didn’t find it boring (surprised people would say that it’s dull).

      Grumpiness and sarcasm isn’t something I would describe a lot about the Fifth Doctor’s character in general. I would describe him as a gentleman who wants to solve a mystery and gets easily agitated and frustrated when things go wrong as he tries to work out and solve a problem. That can mistake him for being grumpy and sarcastic at times, which I don’t think is important in the Fifth Doctor’s character. I like it when he has moments of being polite and kind-hearted and that he has a sense of humour that gets him through the deadliest of scrapes. This doesn’t apply to all the Doctors I’ve seen in the TV series. I like to add humour to the moments of frustration the Fifth Doctor when I write him in my stories.

      Thanks Vicky. I’m very pleased to hear you’ve read some of my writing for the Fifth Doctor in my stories and that you don’t find him out of character or grumpy at all in the way I write him. I’d like to think I’m writing him in the spirit of the TV series and the Big Finish audios, especially as I’ve been able to hear Peter Davison’s voice when I write his Doctor in my stories. I hope you’ll get to enjoy my stories in full sometime in the future. They’re bound to keep you entertained. The first trilogy by me including ‘The Railway of Time’, ‘The Space Hotel’ and ‘Doom of the Dalek’ are pretty enjoyable. I’ve had good feedback on those 😀

      Yeah it’s not going to be the same voice that Peter Davison had when he did the TV series for the Big Finish audios. Somehow I’m able to visualize Peter’s Doctor from his youth when I listen to the Big Finish audios. It does take time to get used to the BF audios, but the more times I’ve heard these stories I’m comfortable with hearing Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse and Janet Fielding as their characters despite them being older. I highly recommend listening to these stories as some of them are pretty good. I’ve reviewed many Fifth Doctor audio stories by BF on my blog. You can find links to them on ‘The Fifth Doctor’s Timeline’ and on ‘The Nyssa Challenge’ page which I did from 2016 to 2017. The BF stories with the Fifth Doctor that are my favourites include ‘Circular Time’, ‘Spare Parts’, ‘Psychodrome’, ‘The Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories’, ‘The Stockbridge Trilogy’ (‘Castle of Fear’, ‘The Eternal Summer’, ‘Plague of the Daleks’) and many more.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the BF audios with Evelyn Smythe so far. I’ve listened to some of those Sixth Doctor adventures with Evelyn and have found them pretty good. I’ve not listened to all the Sixth Doctor audios and am still going through the ones with Peri at the moment. But the ones I’ve heard have kept entertained. I like how BF have handled the idea of an older companion with the Sixth Doctor in Evelyn Smythe too. The late Maggie Stables is very good as Evelyn.

      No worries. I tend to write lengthy replies to people’s comments anyway. You should see my responses to some of the comments on my Fifth Doctor stories. They’re pretty lengthy. 😀 I’m just amazed I’ve had more comments on ‘Time Crash’ review lately. 😀

      Thanks Vicky.

      Tim. 🙂


  5. Williams Fan 92

    I like this review Tim.

    I first saw this special on YouTube. Today I watched it in the Collection Season 19 box set and I will presumably watch it again when I purchase Series 4 on Blu-Ray. Even though the Fifth Doctor is unusually grumpy that’s all part of the comedy which worked on me. David Tennant does a great job as well. It’s nice to see father in-law and son in-law working well together. I wonder how ‘Out of Time’ will portray them when they meet each other.

    Speaking of the Collection sets, I bought Season 10 today which means I now own all 9 sets that have been released so far.

    P.s. I recently heard that Dilys Watling, half-sister of Deborah Watling passed away. I’m not sure if you are familiar with her like you are with Debbie, I just thought it was worth mentioning. Coincidentally, I bought a film on Blu-Ray yesterday which starred Debbie called ‘Take Me High’ with Cliff Richard. I’m not sure if you’ve seen or heard of it, but I’m looking forward to watching it even though Debbie didn’t hold it in high regard.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Time Crash’. I still love the mini-episode featuring Peter Davison’s Doctor and David Tennant’s Doctor. I hope to revisit ‘Time Crash’ along with ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’ before I go away to Bedford to see Peter and Sarah in October. I’ve no idea what the next ‘Out of Time’ episode with Peter D and David T will be like. I’ve been behind lately with checking out the latest ‘Doctor Who’ Big Finish audio. I’ve been checking the ‘Time Lord Victorious’ stuff lately and will soon be checking out stories for my upcoming ‘Nyssa Challenge’. I hope to check out more ‘Doctor Who’ audios including ‘Out of Time 2’ with Peter and David soon. Glad you got Season 10 on Blu-ray. Hope you enjoy it. I wonder when Season 20 of ‘Doctor Who’ will come out on Blu-ray. I’d like that to be next in the line-up of Collection Blu-ray box sets of classic ‘Doctor Who’.

      I had no idea about Dilys Watling who was Debbie Watling’s half-sister. Mainly because I don’t watch ‘Corrie’ that much (and she did that in 1966) and I haven’t seen her in other things she’s done like ‘The Two Ronnies’. She has been in a ‘Morecambe & Wise’ episode though. I must check out that sometime when it comes to doing more ‘Morecambe & Wise’ reviews. Thanks for mentioning Dilys Watling though. I’ve also not seen ‘Take Me High’ with Cliff Richard and Debbie Watling yet. I recall Debbie saying something about not regarding ‘Take Me High’ highly. Whether that was at a convention or in her ‘Myth Makers’ interview, I can’t recall. Hope you enjoy the film on Blu-ray though. I’m currently enjoying Debbie with Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines in ‘The Web of Fear’ Special Edition on Blu-ray with the new animated Episode 3. I hope to update my review on ‘The Web of Fear’ with the animation Episode 3 soon.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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