Doctor Who – Time Flight & Arc of Infinity

Yes, I’m way behind with my DVD reviews again, but I’ll make a start today, and see how far I get…

This was a special double release of the end of the 1982 series and the beginning of the 1983 series. The “theme” such as is, is Tegan’s temporary departure. anyway, here’s the run-down on the two stories in the box:

Time-Flight

Oh dear. This is really not Doctor Who at its best. The plot involves the Doctor (Peter Davison) together with Tegan and Nyssa, arriving (accidentally, of course) at Heathrow Airport, where they soon get involved in a mystery: a Concorde has disappeared in flight. Naturally, the Doctor goes along with a typically bonkers plan of flying an identical plane along the same route, which ends up along with the first plane in the deep past. There, they discover a suitably mysterious sorcerer, who quite naturally turns out to be the Master in one of his typically bonkers disguises. After all the usual fun and games, everyone gets back to the present, after the quite unlikely sight of a Concorde taking off from a very rough surface…

Back at Heathrow, Tegan decides to stay on and return to her job as a flight attendant, but changes her mind just in time to see the Tardis dematerialise. Oooh, cliffhanger!!

To compensate for the dodginess of the story, there are some decent extra features, including:

  • Mouth on legs: Janet Fielding talking about her time playing Tegan
  • Deleted scenes and out-takes
  • The ever-popular production subtitles

Arc of Infinity

This was the opening story of the 20th anniversary season, in which the production team made a conscious decision to bring back enemies from the past. For this story, the lucky returning villain was Omega, first seen in the 10th anniversary story, The Three Doctors. Despite having been trapped in his anti-matter universe last time, he’s back! This time, his plan is to cross over to the normal matter universe by bonding with a Time Lord. And of course, the Time Lord in question just happens to be the Doctor.

For reasons that probably make sense if you look at it the right way, in order to transfer, Omega needs to make use of something called the Arc of Infinity, whcih just happens to stop off in Amsterdam, where assorted events lead to Tegan turning up and meeting the Doctor again[1]. The Time Lords are a bit concerned about Omega trying to get through, so they summon the Doctor to Gallifrey and, err, sentence him to death to make sure Omega can’t get through. Seems a bit drastic, but there you go. For added fan fun, watch out for Maxil, played by future Doctor Colin Baker. It all winds up with Omega managing to arrive in the world of normal matter as a complete replica of the Doctor (including the outfit…), and a lovely confrontation between the two. And after all that fun, Tegan rejoins the Tardis crew.

Overall, it’s a much better effort than Time-Flight. Good fun, and nice to see some location filming. Special features include:

  • Anti-matter from Amsterdam: The usual “making of” documentary, with some Amsterdam scenes.
  • The Omega Factor: A look at the character of Omega, featuring actors and writers
  • Those ubiquitous production subtitles

[1] Resolving that cliffhanger…