Death Comes to Time was a five-episode webcast animated adventure featuring the Seventh Doctor. It was available via the BBCI website in 2001 to 2002. However, unlike the other webcasts starring classic series Doctors that premiered, it is considered alternate to Doctor Who for apparently depicting the death of the Doctor, negating the timeline that led into the TV movie. Also, the portrayal of the Time Lords in this story seems different to the one seen in the usual series, giving them the abilities to revoke TARDISes and release forbidden powers that disrupt the universe.
The root of Death Comes to Time is that, before plans were announced to revive the series, an attempt was made to create a story that would act as the series finale for Doctor Who altogether. This ending would dovetail into a spin-off that would be the spiritual successor to Doctor Who, called The Minister of Chance. The would-be finale depicts the Doctor making a final sacrifice, and an implied downfall of the Time Lord society prior to the events of the story, as the few Time Lords seen in the story are stated to be the last alive. The Doctor's companion, Ace, also ends up on her own, solemnly telling the Brigadier about the Doctor's demise. However, because the Doctor's body is never found, his final fate is unclear.
“Even Time Lords die...”
When a dissident Time Lord group inadvertently caused the destruction of an entire civilisation through interference, its members vowed to repent by serving the Universe not as gods of Time but as mere men. Many years later, this peaceful resolve is severely tested when two of their number are killed -- and the Doctor's seventh incarnation becomes embroiled in the struggle against the apparently unstoppable General Tannis.
Plagued by ominous portents, the Doctor and his companion Antimony must race across the Universe, taking in the Santine Republic, the Great Orion Nebula and the frozen heart of the Canisian Empire. Meanwhile, the mysterious Minister of Chance battles his own inner demons, and former TARDIS traveller Ace finds herself in training for a destiny she never dreamed possible. Matters reach a terrible climax when Tannis' next target for subjugation is identified. Exactly how much is the Doctor prepared to sacrifice in order to save Earth?
to be added
- The Doctor — Sylvester McCoy
- Ace — Sophie Aldred
- Antimony — Kevin Eldon
- Golcrum/Senator Hawk/President— Jon Culshaw
- Admiral Mettna — Jacqueline Pearce
- Casmus — Leonard Fenton
- The Minister of Chance — Stephen Fry
- Senator Sala — Britta Gartner
- General Tannis — John Sessions
- St Valentine — Anthony Stewart Head
- Nessican — Dave Hill
- Dr Cain — Charlotte Palmer
- Speedwell — Stephen Brody
- Campion — Gareth Jones
- Captain Carne — Andrew McGibbon
- Lieutenant Suneel — Michael Yale
- The Kingmaker — Peggy Batchelor
- Pilot— David Evans
- Premier Bedloe — Robert Rietti
- Computer — Julienne Davis
- Megan — Emma Ferguson
- Man - Richard Garaghty
- President of Santiny — Huw Thomas
- Mission Control - David Soul
- Major Bander/Prime Minister— Nick Romero
- The Brigadier — Nicholas Courtney
- Writer - Colin Meek
- Director - Dan Freedman
- Producer - Dan Freedman
- Executive Producer - Richard Fell
- Online Producer - James Goss
- Script Editor - Nev Fountain
- Animator - Lee Sullivan
- Composer - Nik Romero
- Sound - Jon Taylor
- Online Presentation - James Goss, Rob Francis
- Technical Presentation - Wilfredo Acosta, Alec Hale Munro, Ann Kelly, Kim Plowright
- Nessican is one of the Vampires and was imprisoned inside a phantom sun.
- Saint Professor Antenor is mentioned to have been killed.
- Casmus has a companion; Midus the Cat.
- The planet Anamapercis is mentioned and seen.
- The species Annasaurus is mentioned.
- Blue's Bar was mentioned.
- When asked about the story's timeline placement, writer Dan Freeman simply stated "I must admit I don't think I was considering where it was in terms of timeline, I just saw it as a story :)"
- Following the broadcast of Survival in 1989 and the show's subsequent placement on "indefinite hiatus" by the BBC, the idea of producing an animated series based upon Doctor Who and continuing the adventures of the Seventh Doctor and Ace was reported several times in the media; reportedly the Canadian animation house Nelvana was even interested at one point. This project never materialised, but the idea of producing animated Doctor Who adventures resurfaced with the coming of the Internet and the newly emerging format known as webcasting. Death Comes to Time was the first experiment of its kind; it would be followed soon after by Real Time (featuring the Sixth Doctor), Shada (featuring the Eighth Doctor) and culminating in Scream of the Shalka, which attempted to introduce a new incarnation of the Doctor.
- A new Doctor Who logo was introduced for this story. Although it was never used again, the basic shape of the logo would be retained for the new logo designed for the return of the series in 2005.
- The Minister of Chance was given his own spin off series in 2011 entitled The Minister of Chance. However this is not covered by this wiki.
- It is left ambiguous as to what the Kingmaker is. However, it is implied she is a being with greater powers than even the Time Lords. This is yet to be explored on screen or in spin-off media.
- "O'Carolan's Farewell" is played in the first episode. "Allegretto: Allegretto" is played in the fourth episode. "Night on Bald Mountain" and "Pog Aon Oidhche Earraich" are played in the fifth episode.
References in later media
- This reality fits the vague description of one of the realities seen by the Eighth Doctor during the Anti-Time infestation of the TARDIS in AUDIO: Zagreus.
- Death Comes to Time is referenced in multiple of the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures written by Lance Parkin.
- The Canisian invasion of this story is referenced in PROSE: Trading Futures.
- In PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles, Lady Larna asserts that Tannis is one of the threats Gallifrey would encounter before the Enemy, the Minister of Chance is implied to be one of the four surviving elementals, the Santine Rift is mentioned, and the opening narration of Death Comes to Time's first episode is copied by Marnal in The Giants and said to be the first myth of the Time Lords.
- Mount Plutarch appears again in PROSE: The Three Paths, where it is revealed to be another name for Mount Lung. "Mount Plutarch" is associated with the legends of the "untimes" and "unhappened days", with one such legend telling of a Time Lord adventurer journeying to a wise old lady in a cave in the southern mountains.
- Anima Persis is mentioned in PROSE: Relative Dementias and PROSE: The Tomorrow Windows, the former giving an explanation for the state it appears in when Ace visits it in Death Comes to Time.
Original website release/broadcast
- "At the Temple of the 4th" - 13 July 2001
- "Planet of Blood" (1) - 14 February 2002
- "Planet of Blood" (2) - 22 February 2002
- "Planet of Blood (3) - 1 March 2002
- "The Child" (1) - 8 March 2002
- "The Child" (2) - 15 March 2002
- "The Child" (3) - 22 March 2002
- "No Child of Earth" (1) - 29 March 2002
- "No Child of Earth" (2) - 5 April 2002
- "No Child of Earth" (3) - 12 April 2002
- "Death Comes to Time" (1) - 19 April 2002
- "Death Comes to Time" (2) - 26 April 2002
- "Death Comes to Time" (3) - 3 May 2002
CD and other releases
- (archived version)