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< 4.6 - The Resurrection of Mars
4.8 - Prisoner of the Sun >

4.7 - Relative Dimensions

Rating Votes
10
13%
17
9
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8
8
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44
7
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39
6
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15
5
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7
4
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Average Rating
7.6
Votes
131
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 4/26/15 11:11 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Relative Dimensions has the Doctor trying to give Lucie the “perfect Christmas” by having her make Christmas dinner for him, his granddaughter Susan, and his great grandson Alex. The Doctor hopes that Alex has a lot more Time Lord in him than he appears to and that somehow he has telepathic Time Lord abilities buried somewhere as his DNA is only 7% Galifreyan. Given that, the Doctor’s talk about leaving Alex the TARDIS seems a tad ambitious, and a bit premature as the Doctor has five more regenerations left at this point. The idea of the Doctor as a scheming Great Grandparent wanting to ensure someone carries on the family enterprise is an interesting idea, though.

There’s a lot of interaction between the family, and the story does manage to get you to care about what happens with Alex. The story does have the Doctor acting very First Doctorish, which is reminiscent of how many people will revert to type around family. The Doctor’s overall in setting up this Christmas with Susan and Alex, along with Lucie seems ill-conceived. The effect on Lucie is to make her feel like she doesn’t quite fit and to think the Doctor really doesn’t want her to travel with him, but wants Alex. Yet, that's often the case with plans like this. There's a lot of nice scenes with Lucie and Susan interacting and you get insights into how they feel about the Doctor's behavior. Most of this isn't even said, but they take gentle but decisive steps at the end of the story. The Doctor ends up that relative who you like well enough and treat nicely at Christmas but who you really have to back away from less they take over their life. It's a fascinating dynamic to see the Doctor in.

The "monster" isn't bad but feels a tad obligatory. It's interesting and serves to give us a threat to deal with, but is nothing to write home about.

The music is superb with some very festive moments worked in. Overall, this is a fine character piece and a good Christmas special that improves with re-listening.
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Reviewed By: MTLReview Date: 10/13/11 12:46 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A really nice little piece of character development, as we get to focus on the Doctor and the key people in his life in a unique situation - everyone has a different side at Christmas time.

McGann is on top form here, whether he's knackered after Christmas shopping, excitedly waiting for presents to be opened or dealing with a deadly threat. I've never really had a problem with Susan as a character, but she has definitely become a far more interesting character since we have seen her life after the Doctor. It seems to me this is the first time we have seen her angry and Ford handles this very well.

Last but not least, Jake McGann, who failed to impress me in his debut, has definitely improved for this release, but he still doesn't sound natural in front of a mic and I'm worried that the character may have less of an impact than he should do. He does a few moments of triumph, whether it's badly handling small talk or discussing architecture, but I hope he continues to improve on his potential.

The story isn't particularly gripping but still intriguing, as we explore how the Doctor's past and his view of it has affected him, in a far more emotional way than you would expect. A much more upbeat special than 'Death in Blackpool', but as such isn't as memorable.
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Reviewed By: Planet KlibignaitisReview Date: 12/19/10 9:07 am
1 out of 3 found this review helpful.

There were complaints that last year's Christmas Special was a little too bleak for some tastes, so here, Marc Platt gives us an intriguing, life-affirming story that is as concerned about the Doctor's relationships with his Granddaughter and Great Grandson as it is about the current danger from some deadly 'bats'.
While the bats are treated almost as an incidental, it is important if the story is to hold our interest, that we care about the small cast. Susan is always welcome, but her character has never been hugely challenging and sadly, Alex simply isn't very likeable. Whilst he's a lot easier on the ear than he was in the earlier 'An Earthly Child', he still comes across as sort of Adric/Romulus and Remus hybrid, which isn't particularly inspiring, particularly as there are seeds of a return for both of them sown here.