Doctor Who: ‘The Dream Child’


Every fan of Doctor Who has a favorite version of the Time Lord from Gallifrey, ranging from William Hartnell (the first actor to play the part) to Matt Smith (the current Doctor).

Judging from the subject matter of “The Dream Child,” it looks like the June 2011 graduating class from the D.A.V.E. (Digital Animation and Visual Effects) School had a soft spot in their hearts for the 10th Doctor, who was portrayed by David Tennant.

The seven-minute episode begins with a view of Earth and its Moon, as well as a huge temporal phenomenon nearby.

A voiceover by a little girl then states: “This is my story. I just wanted to be a little girl playing in the sand and growing up to have a family of my own.

“That was never to be. They came to steal my life. They took everything away, but then he came to rescue me. He saved me. He rescued us all.”

With that, the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) appears, and inside is the Doctor (whose voice is provided by Terry Raymond).

“What, a distress beacon,” he says. “I need an excuse for holiday.”

The Doctor’s vessel materializes on Earth near a large church. When he comes out, the first thing he sees is a playground roundabout with a blonde girl on it.

“I love these roundabouts,” the Time Lord states happily. “I was on one of these that was going so fast, time actually started to reverse. Got sick, though.”

“I know who you are,” the girl explains. “My name is Lily (voiced by Aine Graham).”

“Hello, Lily,” the Gallifreyan responds. “There’s a distress call coming from that church. Do you know anything about it?”

“Yes, I called for you,” Lily says. “I know you came to free me. I can’t escape. Help me, Doctor” she cries before she disappears in a flash of bright light.

The Time Lord then enters the church and sees a number of biobeds. The only one that doesn’t have a corpse on it is the device holding Lily.

“This is all wrong,” the Doctor observes. “These contraptions do not belong here. They seem to be powering something, but what?”

He gets his answer when he looks up and sees stained glass windows depicting Cybermen and Daleks.

“No, no, no, no,” the Doctor declares. “This is very bad!”

At that moment, four aliens march onto the podium, and one of them tells the Time Lord: “Halt. Prepare to be upgraded” (Daniel L. Smith, who provided all the alien voices in this episode).

“Cybermen? Really?” the Doctor asks. “That little girl is hooked up to your barbaric machines.”

“The child is our final key,” a Cyberman states. “Her abilities will allow us to create a portal and conquer the Earth.”

“We have fused Dalek technology with our own, creating the ultimate warrior, the CyberDalek,” he continues.

That creature then moves into view, his top half made of Cybermen technology, and his bottom half composed of Dalek mechanisms.

“I am the supreme upgraded life form,” the CyberDalek states. “All will bow to me.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” the Time Lord responds. “You’re saying you, a Dalek, choose to merge with a Cyberman? I thought Daleks were the most feared race in the galaxy. No, the universe!

“I’m just so shocked that one would be content to be turned into a metal humanoid,” he says.

The Time Lord’s ploy works, and the CyberDalek declares that “Daleks are supreme, Cybermen inferior. Must purge. Must plan.”

When the hybrid creature attacks the Cybermen, the Doctor hears Lily’s voice calling for him to enter a portal powered by her remaining psychic energy.

Inside the portal is a lush country setting, which the girl says is “a projection of my dreams. I come here when I need to feel safe.”

“I cannot leave here,” Lily states as she again fades away in a swath of bright colors.. “You must destroy this place–!”

The Time Lord emerges from the collapsing portal only to find that the CyberDalek and the Cybermen have joined forces.

“There is the Doctor,” the CyberDalek declares. “We must stop him. Exterminate!”

Spoiler Alert: If you’d rather watch the fan film’s ending yourself, skip down to the link at the end of this article. If not, just continue reading.

Before that can happen, the Time Lord enters another portal, this one containing an empty room with Lily looking out a window.

“What have they done to you?” the renegade Gallifreyan asks.

“They have drained me to power their portal,” Lily states. “I’m using the last of my energy” to hold back the device.

Once again, the girl disappears in a colorful display, and the Time Lord is forced to run through another portal, which contains a winter setting.

“You do not have to die,” the Doctor says firmly.

“I’m already gone,” Lily replies, noting that her body is just a shell.

When the Time Lord enters another portal, we see the Earth, the Moon and the mysterious energy ribbon.

“That’s a time portal between dimensions,” the Doctor notes. “I’ve dealt with those before.”

“It’s beautiful,” Lily says. “And deadly,” the Time Lord adds.

“My world is on the brink of destruction,” the girl says. “You must seal the portal.”

“Now if I took the hyperatomic subscattered inversion matrix and decoupled temporal flux,” he muses. “Yes, my montometer! That’s it!

“The thing is about montometers, they’re a bit dodgy and never work well, but in this case: brilliant!”

The Doctor emerges from that portal and is surrounded by his alien enemies, so he drops his montometer to the floor, where it emits a pulse that stops time around him.

Noting that the device has “a nasty habit of randomly … exploding,” the Time Lord escapes from the church before it explodes.

Returning to the TARDIS, the Doctor is able to use it to seal the rift and save the Earth.

However, a final image of Lily appears, and before she fades away, she thanks him for saving her. But she also bears a warning that she sees nothing in the future. “Absolute nothingness. The end of time itself.”

And with that tip of the hat to the two-part finale to Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor, it’s time to get my Cyberhat on and get reviewing.

The Good: I’m always impressed with the productions from the D.A.V.E. School. The students there make excellent independent productions with great stories and excellent special effects, and “The Dream Child” is no exception.

I was particularly impressed by the concept of the CyberDalek. Not only did it make a nasty villain, but it also showed some creative juices by going where Doctor Who hadn’t gone before.

The Bad: I had to feel sorry for Lily, who lost her chance for the life every little girl dreams of, but when she was dragged into the machinations of the Cybermen, her only way out was death. Still, she was able to summon the Doctor and help thwart the aliens’ plans while saving Earth.

The Ugly: I wish that when I was back in school, I had projects like making short films featuring my favorite fictional characters. Instead, I had term papers on the results of the Civil War and enormous final exams on Calculus and World History.

(By the way, when I took the last examination in World History class, I feared the teacher would pass out paper and tell us to “state the history of the world, and be specific.”)

If you want to learn more about the D.A.V.E. School, just click on this link. And if you want to watch “The Dream Child,” just click on the link below.

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