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"Hey, I'm the Doctor! I can save the universe with a kettle and some string and look at me, I'm wearing a vegetable!"
The Tenth Doctor and the Fifth Doctor meet in a special taking place in between 'Last of the Time Lords' at the end of Series 3 and 'Voyage of the Damned' at the beginning of Series 4. You have been warned: it would most likely be quicker just to watch the episode, seeing as it's only 7 minutes long, than to read the following recap. As well as YouTube, it can also be found on the season 4 DVD.
The episode begins with a recap of the end of 'Last of the Time Lords', with Martha leaving and the Tenth Doctor indulging in one of his current favourite ways to pass the time: staring into space in a state of maudlinness.
He eventually snaps out of it and potters around the console; but when he pulls the take-off lever everything explodes and sends the Doctor flying. The camera briefly turns upside to stress how serious this really is. There's a cool little effect with echoes of the Doctor following around what he's doing. When everything settles down the Doctor demands to know what all that was about, and begins checking the instruments, absent-mindedly apologizing to the Fifth Doctor, who is also checking the console, when the two bump into each other... wait a sec.
Realization dawns. Ten goes "What?" Five goes "What?!" Ten goes "What?!" again, which slightly punctures the punchline of the joke a bit since they both should have said the final "What?!" together at the same time, which would have been awesome, but never mind.
Credits roll. David Tennant AND Peter Davison's names in big words. (Literally the only thing that could have made this special better would have been to use the Davison-era version of the title theme.)
Back on the TARDIS, the incidental music does in fact come from the Fifth Doctor's era. This is utterly awesome.
Five testily demands to know who Ten is. Ten, on the other hand, is utterly thrilled, despite his own acknowledgement that it's "totally wrong, big emergency, universe goes bang in five minutes but... brilliant!". Five is obviously not impressed by Ten's prattling, announces that "I'm the Doctor!" and demands to know who Ten is again. Ten, who is clearly experiencing an intense fangasm (he's not the only one), excitedly confirms that "you are the Doctor!" In the tone of someone talking to a kid who has been held back a couple of years and thinks that two and two equaling four is the coolest thing ever, Five makes it clear that they've established that and demands to know whether there's something wrong with Ten.
In response, Ten merely makes fun of Five's 'frowny face', before pointing out that said a bit saggier than he remembers and the hair's a bit greyer, which Five appreciates about as much as you'd expect (especially as this comes with added prodding and rubbing - no, not like that). Ten explains the fact that Peter Davison's clearly much older than he was in 1983 and only just fitting into his old costume with some technobabble about the time differential shorting out. After this helpful bit of exposition, Ten continues his appreciation of Five's 'crickety-cricket' stuff, but struggles to come up with anything complimentary to say about the stick of celery in his lapel, although it's clearly a brave fashion choice on Five's part.
At this point, Five's had enough, snaps and yells "Shut up!" (note to self: don't criticize the celery). Whipping off his hat to show how serious he is, Five points out that there's something very wrong with 'his' TARDIS, he's got to do something very quickly and it'd be a lot easier if he didn't have some "skinny idiot ranting about every single thing that happens to be in front of him." Five had never been this openly nasty before, even in high-pressure situations. Ten apologises in a very humbled and hurt fashion, but perks up immediately though when Five turns around and he gets to see the back of his own head. He's a bit less impressed with Five's emerging bald-spot, though.
Five decides to go on the offensive again and demands to know what's happened to his TARDIS, Ten obviously having changed 'the desktop theme' to 'Coral' since Five's time, which is worse than the leopard skin, apparently. Ten geeks out again when Five puts on his 'brainy specs', happily needling him by pointing out that Five doesn't even need to wear them, but thinks they make him look clever.
A level five alert indicating a temporal collision interrupts the fun and games. Five panics, and begins to run around the console. Continuing his quest to not notice the painfully obvious, he babbles about how it's as if there's two TARDISes occupying the same space, but there's only one TARDIS present. In any case, there's two time zones 'at war in the heart of the TARDIS', ominously noting that the paradox resulting from it could blow a hole in the space-time continuum. Ten, who has been watching Five dance around the obvious conclusion with a 'Dude, seriously' expression on his face, twists the console monitor to face Five, who's a bit deflated to learn that the hole will only be the size of Belgium, which as holes in the space-time continuum go is apparently a bit small. Could have been worse; it might have been the size of Luxembourg.
Ten offers his sonic screwdriver to Five, who rejects it. Obviously smarting a bit from his earlier dressing down, Ten bitchily points out that Five 'went hands free': "Like, hey, I'm the Doctor, I can save the universe with a kettle and some string! And look at me, I'm wearing a vegetable!"
Five again demands to know who Ten is. Ten mysteriously encourages Five to 'take a look'. Five then comes to the dawning conclusion that Ten is... "a fan!" ( which is technically true) This is evidently not the response Ten was expecting. Whilst Five continues to panic about the impending crisis ("Two minutes to Belgium!"), Ten finally decides that Five, who is apparently a lot denser as well as being chronologically younger, obviously needs it spelt out for him, but Five merely interprets this as Ten saying he's Five's biggest fan and, after pausing his frantic prodding at the console to discuss in detail just how great he is, makes a gratuitous reference to LINDA from 'Love & Monsters'. Ten then tries to hammer it through Five's strangely dense skull that one day he's going to be shaving Ten's face.
The Cloister Bell rings. Five begins to panic again, and Ten decides that it's time he actually did something other than prattle. In another helpful bit of exposition, Ten points out that it's all his fault because he forgot to put the shields back up after rebuilding the TARDIS following 'Last of the Time Lords', and uses some technobabble to cause a supernova and a black hole forming at the exact same instant, which cancels out the paradox. Five watches incredulously, since he was just about to do all of that himself, and based on this bit of Timey Wimey Ball-insight finally works out that Ten is his future self. Ten tries to celebrate Five finally catching up the rest of the world with a high five, but Five just looks at him like he's spouted a second head.
The TARDISes begin to separate, and Ten tries to work out where Five is in his time stream by making references to Tegan, Nyssa, the Time Lords and the Master having a different kind of "beard" now (namely, a wife). Five begins to fade away, but Ten brings him back by flipping a switch. Ten gives Five his hat back and makes a lovely speech telling Five how much he loved being that incarnation, since it gave him to opportunity to just loosen up, play cricket and have a laugh after the pompousness of his previous selves. He then points out all the ways that Five continues to inspire him, with his sneakers and his squeaky voice and his glasses (and essentially, this is all David Tennant talking, while the fanboys and girls of the world start tearing up). Touched, Five raises his hat in salute: "To days to come." "All my love to long ago," Ten replies, and Five disappears.
Ten begins to potter around the console again. Five's voice archly reminds him to put the shields up; at that moment, the Titanic crashes into the wall, and we're into "Voyage of the Damned".
5th Doctor: "Naturally, now and then, people notice me. Start up their little groups - that LINDA lot...are you one of them?"
- Comic Book Time: The Fifth Doctor's older appearance is handwaved as being due to some sort of Timey-Wimey Ball effect, which by implication applies to all past multi-Doctor stories.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: An already sweet, funny episode turns into a complete howler when you go back and realize the two people arguing through the whole episode are a man and his father-in-law. (True, Tennant and Georgia Moffett weren't married at the time, but they are now.)
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: More like punching so many holes in the fourth wall you're not sure what you're seeing (which is oddly fitting, since the episode is about a hole being punched in the universe; evidently the Fourth Wall took some battering). Towards the end, you're not sure if the scene is Ten gushing at Five, David Tennant gushing at Five, or David Tennant gushing at Peter Davison. Regardless, it's absolutely adorable.
- Heck, the fourth wall is so screwed up it could be Ten gushing at Peter Davison.
- Flat What: Ten ends the episode with a very confused one.
- Future Me Scares Me: The Fifth Doctor discovers there are worse fates than turning into Colin Baker.
5th Doctor: "Who are you?"
10th Doctor: "Take a look."
5th Doctor: "Oh...oh no."
10th Doctor: "Oh yes."
5th Doctor: "You're...oh no..."
10th Doctor: "Here it comes, yeah, yeah, I am."
5th Doctor: "A fan!"
- Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: "...tear a hole in the space-time continuum about the size of-... the exact size of... Belgium?" And then Five starts counting down "to Belgium".
- My Future Self and Me
- Mythology Gag: The phrase "two minutes to Belgium" sounds like Four To Doomsday, the name of a Fifth Doctor episode.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Tennant right around when he says "And the trainers", says a distinctly Scottish sounding 'and'.
- Please Keep Your Hat On Ten tells Five this after seeing the latter's thinning hairline.
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: The Fifth Doctor dons them for the first time in over 20 years.
- Reality Subtext: "'Cause you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor." The joy of it all seems to be leaping off of Tennant's face.
- So My Kids Can Watch: A non-violent example--Davison said that he took the role again to impress his kids. And in the process overloaded his eventual son-in-law's geek meter.
- Stable Time Loop
- Timey-Wimey Ball