If the third story in the Legacy of Time boxset was a little light on plot, the fourth story, Relative Time is from some angles wafer thin. This story brings the Fifth Doctor into play and the relative angle is (guess!) his daughter in many sense of the word Jenny. It’s another crossover but also brings us the Nine as a bonus. How does it work? Let’s chat…
Matt Fitton both script edited the set (with Guy Adams) and wrote this story. It revels in bringing Peter Davison and Georgia Tennant together and we get the early squirming discomfort we’d imagine when the Doctor meets Jenny who declares herself his daughter. Let’s grab the Big Finish synopsis:
Disaster strikes inside the Time Vortex, and the Fifth Doctor is thrown together with someone from his future… someone claiming to be his daughter! Kleptomaniac Time Lord, the Nine, believes it’s his chance to steal something huge. But Jenny just wants her dad to believe in her.
The story is very much about relationships with the foreground Nine story almost window dressing. The same is also true of the big Vortex problem, and while it plays to the damaged Earth timeline we saw in The Sacrifice of Jo Grant I found it under-explored. Then again this is only a single disc release, and knowing Matt I’ve probably missed some hints I won’t realise until the end!
I also kept thinking the Nine wasn’t necessary to this, and the part could easily have been the Monk with minor tweaking. Just a thought.
I’ve developed a theory this whole set is about the TARDIS explosion we saw in Matt Smith’s time. We know there was a TARDIS with a problem from Lies in Ruins and the damage is centred around Earth as we saw in the previous story and in Split Infinitive. Why blow up a different TARDIS when we already know of one from the TV? It’s not much of a theory, but clues are thin on the ground. I reserve the right to revisit when I know the ending and point out everything I missed.
Overall, Relative Time, is an energetic, moving tale and as a parent I couldn’t help being moved by the central motif of the father / daughter relationship. Next stop is Sixie, Charlie and DI Menzies – can’t wait!