Downtime is a spin-off of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It is a sequel to the Second Doctor serials The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear.
Downtime stars Nicholas Courtney, Deborah Watling, Jack Watling and Elisabeth Sladen reprising their roles as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Victoria Waterfield, Professor Edward Travers and Sarah Jane Smith, respectively. It introduces the character of Kate Lethbridge-Stewart.
Many years after trying to take over the world, the Great Intelligence is back once more. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, now retired, and Sarah Jane Smith have to stop it, but this time without the Doctor's help. Victoria Waterfield and Professor Travers have also returned, but whose side are they really on?
Sometime after Victoria had parted company with the Doctor on 20th century Earth (Fury from the Deep), she is lured back to the Detsen Monastery in Tibet (The Abominable Snowmen) by a dream telling her she'll find her late father there. Instead, she finds the Great Intelligence, which still possessed the mind of Professor Travers (The Web of Fear). 15 years later, Victoria is the vice chancellor of New World University. New World is an institution that claims to offer spiritual guidance to distraught youth. In reality, New World is the headquarters for the Intelligence's new plan to conquer the world by infecting all of the computers (a plan the Intelligence tried again in “The Bells of Saint John” after technology had significantly advanced). Both the administration and students await the coming of a “new world” that will be heralded by the chancellor, the Intelligence-possessed Travers. Victoria's motives are well-meaning but misguided, having been manipulated with a promised “light of truth”. The students themselves have been brainwashed through their computer courses and are slaves of the Intelligence. Outsiders refer to them as “chillys”. The Intelligence needs a final missing Locus to attain its goal. It believes the Brigadier has it, but the locus is actually with his daughter Kate and grandson Gordon on their narrowboat. New World attempts to gather information on the Brigadier by asking Sarah Jane Smith to investigate him. Sarah lies about knowing the Brigadier and later warns both him and UNIT. The Intelligence then arranges a meeting between the Brigadier and a corrupt UNIT captain named Cavendish. Throughout the story the Brigadier is aided by a New World student named Daniel Hinton, a former student of his from the Brendon School. The Intelligence's conditioning failed on Hinton, though at times he is still under its influence and at one point becomes a Yeti. He can communicate with the Brigadier through the bardo or astral plane.
In addition to Downtime there is a second DVD containing extras which will include Behind the Lens , a behind the scenes look at the production with never before seen footage, and Post Production , a glimpse into the editing, sound and visual effects work.
Both parts available on DVD for the first time.
Technical details, RTP 087
70 mins approx.
Year of release