|Dark Dimension story details and excerpts are from The Nth Doctor by Jean-Marc Lofficier.|
|In 1992 BBC enterprises, well aware of the commercial
success of its Doctor Who merchandise, in particular the pre-recorded reissues of the
original BBC television series episodes on videotape, decided that, in view of the then
forthcoming 30th anniversary of the series in 1993, it made sense to produce and release a
special direct-to-video feature film. They commissioned Doctor Who fan scholar Adrian
Rigelsford to write a script, eventually entitled The Dark Dimension...
The Dark Dimension
In 2525 the Seventh Doctor battles a Creature composed of entirely of chronal energy. He is joined in his fight by a group of Eco-Troopers led by a woman named Summerfield. The Doctor is killed, but Summerfield traps the Creature and sends it back in time to its death at the beginning of Creation. However the Creature escapes and finds itself on Earth in 1936.
Exiled in the past, the Creature takes over the body of would be time traveller Professor Hawkspur. Remembering its encounter with the Seventh Doctor, whom it knew to be a time traveller, the Creature deduces that the Doctor must have visited Earth at some time in his past. The Creature waits for the Time Lord and locates him in 1980 at the Pharos Project where it knows the Fourth Doctor will fall to his death from the radio telescope. Before that happens the Creature intervenes and saves the Fourth Doctor by not letting the normal regenerative process take place, simultaneously capturing him and wiping out his memories. As result, the Creature creates an alternate dimension of time, a "Dark Dimension", one in which it now has second chance to eradicate Mankind.
In 1999 Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti and Ice Warriors roam the streets under Hawkspur's control....
The Fourth Doctor joins with the Brigadier and Summerfield and a young teacher named Dorothy McShane. Dorothy has been living a quiet life in 1999 until recently when images of other worlds and strange creatures has invaded her dreams. The Fourth Doctor seems to know her, but the gray haired man is a stranger to her. To solve the mystery and defeat the Creature the group considers their situation.
The Doctor believes that, since he has been removed from the normal course of time, entropy will set in and ultimately erase each of his future incarnations. The Doctor opens a time tunnel and travels to 1936 to discover how the creature came to inhabit the body of Hawkspur. Meanwhile, in 1999, three Daleks show up and attack Dorothy and the Brigadier in the Doctor's base; an abandoned church.
Using the time tunnel to escape, the Brigadier and Dorothy meet up arrive in 2136, an alternative future where the Fifth Doctor is helping human soldiers fight the Cybermen. The time travellers discuss the disruption of the time continum and the threat of the growing entropy. They want to find a way to rescue the Fifth Doctor before he is erased from existence.
But then, the time tunnel opens and Hawkspur's Daleks emerge. While Daleks and Cybermen clash, Dorothy and the Brigadier escape in the time tunnel. The Fifth Doctor is left behind as the Daleks close in...
The Sixth Doctor is surprised by the Brigadier's arrival. The Brigadier warns the Time Lord that his existence is in danger. Then Daleks appear. The Sixth Doctor and the Brigadier run away but are intercepted by Summerfield. She opens another time tunnel and leaves with the Brigadier. The Sixth Doctor is captured by Daleks.
At Hawkspur's HQ, the bodies of the Fifth Doctor and Sixth Doctor are placed in suspended animation.
Meanwhile, the Fourth Doctor has returned to the time tunnel and left 1936. He steps out in a surreal White Void where he meets the Third Doctor who claims to still live -- inside the Doctor's head. Close to despair, the older version of himself gives the Fourth Doctor much needed encouragement.
Dorothy too finds herself in the White Void and discovers the Seventh Doctor. who calls her "Ace". He tells her that before he died he projected a portion of his mind into her. The Time Lords must have then sent her back to the point she would have reached in her life had she never met him. The Fourth Doctor appears in the Void. The Seventh Doctor transfers all of his memories from Dorothy to his past self, then fades away. Now the Fourth Doctor knows everything the Seventh Doctor knew about the Creature.
Dorothy, who now insists on being called Ace, and the Fourth Doctor return to the church. The Brigadier and Summerfield are there, as are four Creature-possessed Eco-Troopers. Ace and Summerfield are captured....
The Fourth Doctor and the Brigadier arrive at Hawkspur's HQ. The Fourth Doctor challenges Hawkspur to a duel. Swords are drawn. The Brigadier sets up an emitter that will create a time tunnel and escapes with Summerfield. They head back to the church, which is really the TARDIS. Ace tends to Alex who dies when released from the Creature's control.
Meanwhile, the Creature is becoming exhausted by its fight with Fourth Doctor. On the roof of Hawkspur's HQ, the Time Lord delivers the killing blow that sends Creature over the edge. But it is Hawkspur who falls to his death. The Creature rises out of the human's body and begins to blast the Fourth Doctor with energy bolts.
In the TARDIS the Brigadier and Summerfield activate the emitters which create a time tunnel at Hawkspur's HQ. The Fourth Doctor manages to push the Creature into the tunnel. Badly injured, the Time Lord collapses. Ace rushes to him. The Fourth Doctor smiles up at her, then regenerates successively into his Fifth, Sixth and finally his Seventh Incarnations. The two reunited friends hug.
Time is restored to the way it was before the creature disrupted it. Ace, who has forgotten about her life in 1999, and her boyfriend Alex, has many questions, none of which the Doctor is inclined to answer. She asks about Summerfield. The Doctor replies:
Meanwhile, the Brigadier places flowers on the grave of his son Alex, who died in 1979 at the age of ten.
|The production of the The Dark Dimension ran into
some unanticipated obstacles which ultimately prevented it from being made. The logistics
of the production, especially with respect to the division of responsibilities between the
BBC and BBC Enterprises, proved difficult to overcome. In particular, the BBC itself is in
charge of production, whereas BBC Enterprises mandate is to generate revenue from
licensing and exploiting the BBCs productions. Consequently, BBC Enterprises is not
normally set up to do productions itself, and lacks the appropriate facilities and staff.
In view of the cameo nature of their roles, arranging for the appearance of the other Doctors in the feature would probably have required complicated juggling, both in terms of rewrites and production schedule. Such things require time and tight planning, a challenge that became insurmountable considering the pre-set release date of November 1993 to coincide with the 30th anniversary.
Finally, having recently decided to join forces with Philip Segal, of Amblin Television, and Universal Television to co-produce a new television series of Doctor Who to be sold to the American market, BBC Enterprises faced a legitimate conflict of interest. Ultimately, it decided to pull the plug on The Dark Dimension.
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Mission to Magnus | Ice Time | The Dark Dimension