Children in Need in Doctor Who seem to go together very nicely. Back in 1983 The Five Doctors was shown as part of the proceedings. Then 10 years later we had Dimensions in Time another multi-Doctor story but not as auspicious.
A couple of years ago we had the first Tennant scene and now this year we have yet another multi-Doctor story, well a scene anyway.
This scene was the best we have seen in Children in Need since The Five Doctors. It might not have been as long as The Five Doctors, but it had more heart, and more laughs per minute than the twentieth anniversary special.
It also made more sense even though there wasn’t any plot to speak off. What this little scene did do though is make sense of the end of series 3 and explains how on Earth the Titanic managed to crash into the TARDIS, it also proved that just maybe a multi-Doctor might work in this new series as long as they chose a previous Doctor who still looks like they did when they were in the series and who the general public will actually remember playing the part.
It was great to see Davison running around the console like he was twenty-five years younger and getting right back into the part as though he had never stopped playing it.
I know he has had plenty of practice over the last few years in Big Finish, but this is telly and is the real thing, and it was almost like he had never stopped playing the part. He was still the Doctor and in my mind at least showed Tennant a few things about being a proper Doctor.
I loved it when he shouted at Tennant and called him a fan, which is basically how Tennant played the Doctor in this scene, particularly in the presence of another Doctor. I half expected Tennant to pull out his entire collection of Davison Target novels for him to sign both the original photo covers and the reprints.
The script was typical Steven Moffat and there were plenty of great and highly quotable lines. I loved the gentle ribbing of the fifth Doctor such as about his costume and the celery which we can all accept were a bit rubbish but it was also interesting to see how much of the fifth Doctor’s character is present in the tenth Doctor: the breathless enthusiasm; the high pitched squeaky voice when they get excited or are on to something; the trainers and the glasses that they don’t actually need.
It is just a shame then that Tennant seems to find the need to play the part like Tom Baker rather than be his own version of the Doctor which is something that Davison never felt the need to do and is one thing that has always galled me about Tennant’s portrayal of the Doctor.
One thing that Tennant did do that wasn’t acting was his exclamation at the end of the scene when he said that Davison was his Doctor because for most fans of a certain age he was their Doctor and we believed him.
It was nice the way they linked the classic and the new series together with a mention of Linda from Love & Monsters and I loved Davison’s line about the new look console. I never knew that the TARDIS ran on Windows.
They also managed to explain why the Doctor’s always look older than they did originally in a simple throwaway line which is a shame, such is the genius of Mr Moffat just like the other throwaway line about why the TARDIS looks different to how it did in Davison’s era! Sheer class.
It is actually difficult to find fault with Time Crash because there is little wrong with it: it is acted well by the two actors concerned, it is well written, it is well directed, it is enjoyable and it makes you smile.
There are some episodes of the new series (and the classic series) that aren’t as good as this particular seven minutes of television. What better recommendation is there than that?