"Brave choice, celery. But fair play to you, not a lot of men can carry off a decorative vegetable."
IN THIS ONE... The Tenth Doctor meets the Fifth in a short 8-minute episode.
REVIEW: A real treat for the fans, Time Crash, brief though it is, manages to elicit both laughs and tears from the reviewer, and I think works as well for new and classic fans alike. For the new fans who don't know anything about Peter Davison's former Doctor, there's Ten's mocking humor and timey-wimey plot convolutions. For classic fans, there's seeing Davison again, of course, and getting all the references, including a musical cue right out of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop when Five takes over, I just now noticed. And what works for both groups is the love letter to one's Doctor. It's definitely a piece of television that KNOWS it's television - something Moffat can be quite good at - so the Doctor as his own fan is metatextual to say the least. Is it the Doctor saying this? Moffat? Tennant himself? (Seeing as Davison would become his father-in-law, there's an added layer to the scene today that didn't exist back then.) Regardless, when the Doctor becomes a fan, he becomes us, and his sentiments, though specific to Doc5, can be applied to whichever Doctor is yours, up to and including Ten himself.
Obviously, which Doctor was willing and available played a role in the final result, but Ten and Five are perfectly matched for maximum comedy. Ten is a motormouth who, of course, gets on Five's nerves, his reputation as the exasperated Doctor well used. And yet they also have similarities, which Ten touches on, a play on how later actors are expected to craft the character from elements of past Doctors. I just can't see this scene working as well with Tom Baker (just sit down, Tennant, and wait it out), can you? According to the Doctor's own opinion of himself, Five is the first "adult" Doctor, more energetic than grumpy, a Doctor out of gloomy adolescence. That's as maybe. Five was really very grumpy, "his" Doctor obviously being Hartnell. By Ten's logic, McCoy was the first adult Doctor, which makes sense both in terms of numbers and performance.
Between the in-character exploration of the show's tropes and the really very sweet ending, what we have here is a companion piece to the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor. Not only do multiple Doctors team up, but they solve problems using timey-wimey memory. Both stories have Doctors comparing cosmetic spectacles as well. They're related to each other. Puzzle maker and puzzle solver, Moffat also uses this interlude to explain why RTD's naughty cliffhanger could happen (though clearly, the fifth Doctor's intervention changed history and the Titanic's design), AND solves the issue of why Doctors look older when met out of sequence - it's that darned time differential shorting out. Lovely stuff, I could watch these two crash into each other several times in a row. And in fact, I did. Amusingly, in the comments section, I refuse to ever do daily Who reviews. Well.
SECOND OPINIONS: My short original review, Your Were My Doctor, had me gushing as well.
REWATCHABILITY: High - A wonderful expression of fandom, both amusing and touching.