The BBC continues its quest to complete the Doctor Who
back catalogue on DVD (where are the Blu-ray versions)
and what a good job they continue to do. This release sees
the release of two Peter Davison stories in one collection
- Time Flight, the last episode of Season 19, and Arc
of Infinity, the first story of Season 20....
Flight is a four part story that was written by Peter
Grimwade and directed by Ron Jones. It was originally transmitted
in March 1982.
the death of Adric (hooray) the Doctor is trying to take Tegan
and Nyssa to the Great Exhibition when the Tardis is caught
in a time wake and forced to make an emergency landing at
Heathrow airport. They discover that the wake coincided with
the disappearance of a Concord. Using the Tardis inside another
Concord, the doctor travels back in time to discover that
Kalid, an alien wielder of magic is attempting to harness
the power of the Xeraphin.
a lot of the shows of this period Time Flight ended
up far too convoluted for its own good. Anthony Ainley is
almost completely wasted as the Master/Kalid, which is a shame.
As a side note, as a callow youth I found his number in an
actor's directory and gave him a ring. Rather than telling
me to bugger off, he spent a good hour chatting to me. What
a nice man. However, in this show he disguises himself as
Kalid, which made absolutely no sense. After all, until the
doctor turned up, he was the only living person there. Who
on earth did he think he was hiding from. When the Doctor
first meets him you get the feeling that the only reason he's
dressed like that is that the Doctor has stumbled across the
Masters grubby weekend secret.
a premise the idea of a Concord being drawn back to a prehistoric
setting as a springboard for a Doctor vs. Master story sounds
like a good idea, until you remember that at this time the
BBC wasn't exactly throwing money at the show. In the accompanied
interview Peter Grimwade states that a writer should push
the boundaries, which as an idea sounds great until you discover
that in order to realise you're dream the BBC is going to
give you ten bob and a pack of sticky backed plastic. The
scenes in Heathrow are the high point of the show. It is only
when they travel back in time that the show's limitations
become obvious. The sets are cheap and unconvincing.
said the cast do what they can with Grimwade's script, though
you get the feeling that they were getting a bit knackered
in the last show. The season had seen better scripts and better
disc is presented in the original 4:3 presentation, with optional
subtitles, and the picture is surprisingly clear for a show
of this age. Even with one of the naffer stories the Beeb
still finds loads of great extras to sweeten the pill. First
off we have Mouth on Legs (13 min 39 sec) which is
an amusing interview with the lovely Janet Fielding (Tegan)
about how she came to be in Doctor Who and her experiences
on the show. There are three deleted scenes, some leftovers
from the studio recordings (19 min 34 sec), some outtakes
and a short interview with Peter Grimwade (4 min 13 sec).
the second page of extras you get a photo gallery, which irritatingly
you still can't use as wallpaper and two PDF's of the Doctor
Who Annual and the Radio Times listings for the
show. Having learnt from other DVD producers, the Beeb has
included a trailer for the forthcoming Time Warrior
DVD, with what looks like new special effects. Last, but not
least, is the option to have either a feature length commentary
or production notes in the form of subtitles. What can you
say but thanks to the generous old Beeb.
second story is also another four part story. Arc of Infinity
was written by Johnny Byrne and directed by Ron Jones. It
was originally transmitted in January 1983.
in the Tardis, having left Tegan in Heathrow, the Doctor and
Nyssa are attacked by an antimatter creature who requires
the imprint of a Time Lord to manifest. They travel to Gallifrey
to discover who has leaked the information and are drawn into
a desperate fight to stop the creature from crossing over
and destroying the matter universe. Meanwhile, a backpacker
goes missing in Amsterdam and his friend turns to the only
person who can help - the backpacker's cousin, Tegan.
what happened here, the Beeb must have won a few bob on the
races as production values on Arc are very high, including
filming in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, it's a case of nice pics
shame about the script and what's with all the running? The
first story starts positively sedately compared to when the
Doctor reaches Gallifrey, which has transformed itself into
a combination of coffee bars and corridors - corridors which
are apparently impossible to walk down. All that running started
to exhaust me after a while. That said the show looks positively
sumptuous compared to Time Flight. There's new sets,
new costumes, especially the impressive design for Omega's
costume. Though in the same breath Omega's henchman, the Ergon,
looked just like an elongated rubber chicken.
enough for the first and only time in Who history an
actor appear who would eventually play the Doctor. Colin Baker
stars as Commander Maxil.
again the show is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio,
with a print that is a little grainy at times. You get the
option of subtitles, as well as a full length commentary,
and the chance to listen to the music only; there is also
an informative production text option.
extras the disc kicks off with Anti-matter from Amsterdam
(34 min 57 sec) which looks at the making of the show,
with many of those involved adding their points of view. The
Omega Factor (14 min 57 sec) concentrates on the character
of Omega. There are some deleted scenes and the choice of
watching the show with either the new CGI shot on or off (go
with on) and a piece called Under Arc Lights (11 min
33 sec) which is some leftover studio shots of the show being
made. You get the continuities and a photo gallery as well
as a PDF of the Radio Times and the Doctor Who Annual
as well as the same trailer for Time Warrior that was
on the previous disc.
both shows have their weakness' they still represent great
nostalgia value. Throw in the absurd amount of extras on the
two discs and you have a package that is defiantly well worth