Me: It’s 1993.
Sue: A very special year.
Me: Yes, it’s Doctor Who‘s 30th anniversary.
Sue: It was the year you met me, you idiot.
Me: Oh yes. Funnily enough, we did meet 20 years ago this month, but forget about that – this is Doctor Who‘s 30th anniversary.
Sue: So what I am watching tonight? And why have you been so nice to me today?
I tell her how, in a parallel universe, BBC Enterprises made a multi-Doctor special called The Dark Dimension, and even though it wasn’t very good, it was still better than what we ended up with in this universe.
Sue: Is this the one with the 3D glasses?
Talking of special equipment, I’ve brought a bottle of Jack Daniels along for this one.
Me: Every time you don’t recognise somebody, you must have a drink.
Sue: Oh no. You know what my memory is like. You cannot be serious.
Me: Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. And if not, you’ll get smashed.
We begin in Crinkley Bottom.
Sue: Good old Noel Edmonds. Thank God he hasn’t been arrested for anything dodgy yet.
Me: Yeah, not even Noel’s House Party.
Noel has a visitor.
Sue: Jon Pertwee looks well. Did this go out live?
Sue: You can tell.
The Doctor: (to Noel) I’ve seen you in the year 2010. You’re still on television.
Sue: Yeah, you’re doing this game show called Deal or No Deal. It’s shit but the grannies seem to like it.
The Doctor and Noel prepare to introduce the Doctor’s new adventure.
Sue: Oh, so this isn’t the actual thing yet?
Me: No, this is just the introduction.
Sue: Oh thank God for that. I was wondering how they could string this out for 15 minutes.
Noel Edmonds: And remember, you can influence the outcome.
Sue: It’s 3D and it’s interactive? This is years ahead of its time, you know. Have we got any 3D glasses?
Sue: Would you like me to get some?
Dimensions in Time begins in the Rani’s TARDIS. She recognises the Rani but she doesn’t know who Cyrian is.
Sue: I don’t remember him at all. He looks like one of Duran Duran’s Wild Boys.
Me: It’s Keifer Sutherland.
Sue: Is it? Bloody hell, so it is.
Me: They wanted Sir Ian McKellen but they had to settle for a young Keifer Sutherland instead. Well, it is the 30th anniversary so they had to pull out all the stops. Now have a drink for not recognising him.
Sue: The Rani has carpeted her TARDIS. That’s nice.
The disembodied heads of the first two Doctors fly past.
Sue: Has the Rani decapitated the Doctors? What a bitch!
Sue: They got Orbital to do the music. That’s nice.
Me: They didn’t get Orbital to do the ****ing music. Now take another drink for getting it wrong.
Sue: It’s a bit speedy, this. And the music is a bit fast too.
Me: Are you drunk already?
Sue: You know what I’m like with spirits. This has got honey in it and it’s going down a treat.
The Fourth Doctor sends out a warning.
Sue: Don’t worry, Tom. All you have to do is sit in a sound booth. No, you won’t even have to stand up, you lazy bastard. Still, at least he actually turned up this time.
The Fourth Doctor: Two of my earlier selves have already been snared in her vicious trap. The grumpy one and the flautist.
Sue: Flautist? He played the recorder. Even I know that.
The Fourth Doctor is in pain.
Sue: His IBS is kicking in.
The Seventh Doctor and Ace arrive at the Cutty Sark in 1973.
Sue: About time. He’s the proper Doctor at this point, not Tom ‘I can’t really be arsed’ Baker.
Suddenly there’s a flash (“Very cheap”) and then Ace finds herself in the East End of London with the Sixth Doctor. There’s a lot for Sue to process and the penny only drops when…
Sue: Gita! It’s Gita and Sanjay from EastEnders!
Me: Finally, she gets it.
Another flash and the Sixth Doctor and Ace are replaced by the Third Doctor and…
Sue: That’s Bonnie Langford. I should have got that wrong on purpose; I need a drink when Bonnie is on screen.
The Third Doctor doesn’t know where he is.
The Third Doctor: Excuse me, my good woman, but what year ith thith?
Sue: Is that Pauline Fowler? I don’t remember her looking like that.
The Third Doctor: MADAM, WHAT YEAR ITH THITH?
Sue: He desperately needs some new dentures.
Pauline, Kathy and Me: TWO FAUSAND AND FIRTEEN!
Sue: Hang on, they should be dead. Pauline and Kathy died years ago. This doesn’t make any sense.
Susan Foreman arranged to meet Ian and Barbara for a quick pint at the Queen Vic, but they are nowhere to be seen.
Sue: That’s Susan. Phew, what a relief.
A shot avoided.
Sue: She’s aged well. Shame I can’t say the same for Colin.
And then Sue has two more famous faces to contend with…
Sue: Okay, that’s Sarah Jane Smith – awwww – and… ****ing hell! What’s happened to Sharon? She looks a right clip.
Sue downs another drink without having to be told.
Sue: I do hope Adric comes back. I miss Adric.
She becomes very nostalgic all of a sudden.
Sue: It’s fascinating to see Albert Square twenty years ago. I can see how everything has changed over the years. I’m really enjoying this. It takes me right back.
The Fifth Doctor is joined by two companions.
Sue: Okay, that’s Peri and the other one is… don’t tell me… I know this… ahhhhh! Oh I give up. Who is she?
Me: It’s Nyssa. Now have another drink.
Sue: Since when did Nyssa start working in a bank? Hey! It’s Fat Pat! This special is full of dead people.
And it’s not just dead people.
Sue: Hey! That dog is supposed to be dead!
No, she’s not talking about Roly, she’s pointing at Fifi the Stigorax.
Sue: I really like the direction.
Me: Right, I definitely need a drink.
Sue: The camera movement is lovely. I haven’t got a clue what’s going on, though. Can nobody see these things or do they think there’s a Doctor Who convention in the Queen Vic?
Part One concludes with the Rani triumphant.
The Rani: You’re all going on a long journey.
Me: How long?
The Rani: A very long journey.
We return to Crinkley Bottom…
Sue: Sylvester McCoy should be doing these bits, not Jon Pertwee.
Sue casts her vote for Mandy. And then we both have another stiff drink.
Sue: It’s not very good, is it? If I were you, I would have been worried at this point.
Me: I can laugh about it now, but at the time it felt like a dagger to the heart.
Sue: So you didn’t watch Part Two, then?
Me: Of course I bloody did. And so are you. Nice try, though.
We begin with a quick recap.
The Rani: You’re all going on a long journey.
Sue: How long?
The Rani: A very long journey.
Me: Nicely done. You are definitely getting the hang of this now.
Mandy comes to the rescue.
Sue: Yes, Mandy the slapper came good in the end. I bet Big Ron must have been gutted. I wonder if he had any lines?
The Third Doctor is joined by Liz Shaw.
Me: Who’s that?
The Third Doctor: No Liz, you mustn’t.
Me: Too late. Drink up.
Suddenly, a car comes hurtling into the square.
Sue: It’s Betsy. Oh no, that isn’t Benton driving her, is it? No, it’s okay. It’s the other one. The one you can’t trust.
Mike drives the Third Doctor away.
Sue: Keffing hell. Give me the whole bottle.
The Doctor is taken to a waiting helicopter.
Sue: So that’s where the budget went. Oh it’s the Brig. Yay!
Me: This is the only time that the Sixth Doctor and the Brigadier meet on television.
Sue: It was hardly worth it, was it? Awww, I always feel a bit sad when I see the Brigadier.
Two giant babies are prowling Walford. They find a Time Lady taking a dump in their garage.
Romana: Have you seen the Doctor?
Phil Mitchell: Doctor Legg is the only doctor round here, love.
Romana: Doctor who?
Sue: I bet Steven Moffat loves Dimensions in Time. It’s timey-wimey and it’s got his favourite joke in it.
Frank Butcher: Well, I’ve seen them thrown out of the Vic, but never dragged in.
Sue is definitely pissed. You could say that she’s pickled like a gherkin in a jar. Oh, please yourselves.
Meanwhile, at the Cutty Sark.
Victoria: Who was that terrible woman?
Sue: Yes, who is that terrible woman? That one, there.
Me: If you don’t know her name, you know what you have to do.
She almost gets the next one right.
Me: Close. It’s Leela, but it’s an easy mistake to make. You don’t need to have a drink for that one.
Sue: Wanna bet?
The Seventh Doctor is joined by…
Me: Yes, but which version?
Sue: Oh, **** off.
The Seventh Doctor: I’m trying to overload the Rani’s computer, enhance the power of the time tunnel to pull her TARDIS in and not me.
Sue: Does anybody actually understand this? Sober, I mean.
Sue: It’s a shambles. The BBC should have lost the rights to make Doctor Who when this went out.
Before we know it, Dimensions in Time is over.
Sue: No wonder you were in such a foul mood that week in 1993. I didn’t think it was that bad. It was just a bit of fun. But you must have found it really painful to watch. Oh well, Doctor Who came back in the end. Everything worked out fine. And it could have been worse. It could have been Eldorado.
Me: What mark are you going to give it?
Sue: Does it count?
Sue: There’s your answer.
If you feel compelled to watch Dimensions in Time again after that, I strongly suggest that you watch the version that includes the Production Notes. They are very enlightening…
I can’t leave it there. That would be cruel. Plus Sue is half-cut and it would be a shame to stop now.
Me: Okay, so two days after they broadcast that abomination, BBC1 screened a documentary about Doctor Who.
Sue: That’s nice, dear.
Me: But I can’t find a copy.
Sue: Oh, that’s a shame. Stick Game of Thrones on.
Me: But I’ve got a copy of the extended version, which was released on VHS the following year.
Sue: So is it 1994 now?
Sue: In that case, the honeymoon period is definitely over.
More Than 30 Years in the TARDIS
A working knowledge of this documentary will help you follow this. And even then it might be tricky.
Jon Pertwee: I had a great belief that it was much more frightening to stay on Earth. That all the threats should come to Earth.
Sue: I don’t usually agree with Jon Pertwee but he’s dead right, you know.
Toyah: I really enjoyed the tantalising fear and I really believed what I was watching.
Sue: Is that Toyah Willcox’s voice?
Sue: Just checking. This Jack Daniels is very strong.
The pre-titles sequence features a re-enactment of the Auton invasion of Ealing Broadway.
Sue: That was a great moment. Terror of the Autons. Are you impressed that I know that?
Me: It’s Spearhead from Space actually, but yes, I’m still impressed, oddly.
Sue: This opening sequence is very nicely done. You can tell that some effort has gone into this.
Nicholas Courtney: The Doctor can only regenerate 12 times. Then it really is the end.
Sue: What will they do after that? Will Doctor Who have to finish? They’d better make sure the last two Doctors last as long as possible.
Toyah: Four episodes into the new Doctor Who, I’d forgotten who William Hartnell was.
Sue: You and me both, love.
The First Doctor: Oh, so you’re my replacements – a dandy and a clown.
Sue: A scruffy drunk and a Tory.
Patrick Troughton: The way I made it serious was by making him a bit of a clown to start with.
Sue: I didn’t realise that Patrick Troughton was so posh. Pour me another drink.
Lowrie Turner: Clothes are obviously very important to Doctor Who. I don’t know where he gets them from. Somewhere in space.
Sue: I bet you fancied her, whoever she is.
Me: I did not!
Sue: She’s like the other posh bird that you fancy. You know, the one who married the one from Peep Show. Pour me another one, you bastard.
Eric Saward: He was very much James Bond.
Sue: I definitely would have shagged Eric back in the day.
Me: That’s your last drink.
The Fourth Doctor: Even the sonic screwdriver won’t get me out of this one.
Sue: Matt Smith would be ****ed without his sonic screwdriver. He never stops waving it about.
Frazer Hines: It’s such a sad thing that the BBC doesn’t have in its archives Doctor Who from day one.
Sue: Yes, it is ****ing sad, love. I still had to sit through them, though, didn’t I?
Ian Levine: If I’d been a day later, we would have lost the very first Dalek story.
Sue: I love Ian Levine. He’s my hero.
Me: Right, you can’t have anything alcoholic to drink for another year.
Sue: Ooh look, it’s Valerie Singleton.
Me: No it isn’t, it’s Carole Anne Ford.
Anne Diamond: The question we asked was: Who created the Daleks?
Sue: Davros. Even I know that.
Nick Owen: And the answer is writer Terry Nation.
Sue: Terry ****ing Nation!
Jon Pertwee: Are you sure that Terry Nation invented the Daleks?
Alan Whicker: Now television offers its rewards.
Sue: Terry ****ing Nation in his big ****ing house.
Ray Cusick: And I never saw Terry again.
Sue: Poor Raymond. Do you think he still feels bitter about it?
Me: He died very recently. I think his last words were “Terry ****ing Nation”.
Jon Pertwee: Answer: Davros.
Jon Pertwee: The inventor of the Daleks was Terry Nation!
Anne and Nick: Yay!
Sue: Oh, **** off. Actually, Jon Pertwee really impressed me, there. He made a point of telling them that Ray was ripped off by Terry. I bloody love him for that.
Ben Aaronovitch: It wasn’t as if it was a concealed subtext in the story. It was right there out in the open.
Sue: I love Ben. I bet he’s a really nice bloke. I’d love to go for a pint with Ben.
Toyah: It was wonderfully perverse. It was red PVC.
Sue: I had one of those Dalek suits. Or maybe it was Gary’s? Either way, we weren’t that impressed with it. It stank. It was a shit Christmas present.
The Peter Cushing movies are given some coverage.
Sue: I remember when you made me watch that bloody film on my own, you bastard. It was rubbish. Apart from Bernard. I liked Bernard.
END OF PART ONE
Sue: I remember those Ice Lollies. I probably just chucked my cards in the bin, though.
Meanwhile, on Pebble Mill at One…
Sue: I loved Pebble Mill at One. I watched it every day. I came home from school for my dinner and I never missed an episode. I probably saw this at the time.
A Cyberman approaches a window pane.
Sue: He just knocks it over.
The Cyberman just knocks it over.
Sue: I knew it! I knew bloody knew it! I told you that I’ve seen this before! My memory isn’t that bad after all.
I don’t have the heart to tell her that she probably saw it on one of the several thousand DVD extras I’ve made her watch over the last two years.
Toyah: I have to say I remember the Cybermen because I thought they were particularly sexy. Because they were so masculine. And there they were in these fetish suits.
Sue: Too much information, Toyah. But I know what you mean.
The Fifth Doctor traps a Cybermen in a door.
Sue: Earthshock. That was a good one. I remember that one a lot.
Terrance Dicks: The colour for monsters is Gween.
Sue: Who’s idea was it to get Terrance to talk about wobots and gween things? Whoever it was, they were definitely taking the piss.
Mike Gatting: It was really quite frightening.
Sue: What’s Mike Gatting got to do with Doctor Who?
Me: **** knows.
Gerry Anderson: But the real tragedy of my life is that my son Jamie is…
Gerry Anderson: …a Doctor Who fan.
Sue: Same thing.
Elisabeth Sladen: There’s a whole new audience. It’s so exciting.
Sue: Awww, her daughter is wearing her costume from Dimensions in Time. That’s sweet.
Valerie Singleton: I should think that Doctor Who is in quite a lot of trouble in his next adventure.
Sue: It’s Valerie Singleton again. The War Machines were ****ing useless, weren’t they?
Sue: RULA LENSKA!
Nicola Bryant: To reaffirm the patently obvious?
Sue: Was that the first time Colin realised that Nicola wasn’t really American?
Me: I’ve changed my mind. Have another drink.
Nicholas Courtney: Three companions have met untimely deaths on their travels through time and space.
Sue: Those two don’t count. Only Adric counts.
Me: Well, he was a mathematician.
Sue: Aww, it’s the Brig. Twice in one night. I’m a very lucky girl.
The Brigadier: Brigadier now. I’ve gone up in the world.
Sue: He was so bloody handsome back then.
We are treated to an exciting UNIT montage. But when Benton does that thing with his fingers from The Mind of Evil…
Sue: TWAT! YOU KILLED IT, LOVE!
Sylvester McCoy: Fifi from Happiness Patrol!
Sue: That dog should be dead. That was the whole point.
Ken Livingstone: The programme has reflected changes in society…
Me: You like Ken, don’t you?
Sue: I do, but I bet I don’t like him as much as you like her arse.
She’s pointing at Zoe’s bum, as seen in The Mind Robber.
Philip Hinchcliffe: I wanted a dynamic role model for the girls who watched the programme.
Me: You almost killed Philip Hinchcliffe, once.
Sue: Yes, and you’ll never let me forget it, will you?
Mary Whitehouse: It’s almost as if they were a bit… sniff… dumb.
Sue: She’s right. Some of it definitely wasn’t for kids.
Mary Whitehouse: The image was left in the mind of the child for a whole week.
Sue: She did have a point. If only she wasn’t so ****ing scary herself.
Meanwhile, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred are lost in the local Laser Quest.
Sue: I don’t remember this episode at all.
END OF PART TWO.
Romana: Ask it how to handle a woman.
Sue: They were definitely shagging when they did that.
Douglas Adams: The moment you have anything in the script that’s clearly meant to be funny in some way, everybody thinks we can do silly voices and silly walks and so on.
Sue: I definitely would have shagged Douglas Adams.
Me: Right, so that’s Douglas, Eric and Ben. Anyone else?
Sue: I don’t want to shag Ben. I just think he’d be good company in a pub. I’m not that easy.
The next caption troubles her.
Sue: Pakistani Dalek Sketch. This is going to be racist, isn’t it?
Pakistani Dalek: Put it in the curry!
Sue: That was terrible. There was no need for that. It was racist and anti-dog all at the same time.
John Nathan-Turner: We decided on a cricketing motif.
Sue: Now I’d definitely shag Peter Davison, even if I didn’t have all this whisky inside me.
Mike Gatting: If a series was on in the winter and I was on tour, I’d get the wife to tape it for me.
Me: Ah, that’s why Mike Gatting is in it! Of course! The cricket connection.
Sue: So why is Toyah Willcox in it?
Me: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.
It takes us a good five minutes to recover from that.
Sue: Oh this is where they almost killed Ace. I’ve seen this before. It feels like it was only yesterday. We can skip this bit.
Sue adores the ending where the little boy enters the TARDIS.
Sue: This is very sweet. He’s a very bonnie lad.
Me: Seeing the inside of the TARDIS through the doorway like that was a big deal in 1993.
Sue: You were easily pleased back then. It’s good, though. I really like the music.
And then the Brigadier is kidnapped by an Auton.
Sue: Ooh, that was very good.
And then Elizabeth Sladen turns evil.
Sue: Definitely not for kids. I’m surprised she agreed to that.
And then Sue sits through Jon Pertwee’s ‘I Am The Doctor’ with an increasingly incredulous look on her face, and then I stupidly point out that the final person seen in the behind the scenes footage is none other than Gary Downie.
Sue: And it was going so well.
Alan Yentob: You might think that. I couldn’t possibly comment.
Sue: How weird. We were only watching House of Cards last night.
Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling are captured by the Daleks.
The Daleks: We shall return! We shall return! We shall return!
Sue: And they did as well. There was a happy ending after all.
The Fourth Doctor: It’s good, isn’t it?
Sue: Yes, that was very good. Well done, Kevin. They’ll have their work cut out doing a better job than that for the 50th.
Me: Anything else to add before I carry you upstairs?
Sue: Yes, I am very, very drunk.