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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One of these stories is OK, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who - Time-Flight [1982] / Arc of Infinity [1983] [DVD] (DVD)
'Well, would you do it again?' someone asks Peter Grimwade in The Making Of, and yes, apparently he would have.

So, somebody has nicked Concorde have they? And the Dr and Co go to find it on another Concorde, and it turns out that the Master is dressed up as a an Arabic magician, and he's making all the passengers do stuff for him - I don't know why - is it all something to do with Xeraphas?

It's a mercy the acting's so good because it's not just the story that's crap, the design's rubbish as well; the set of prehistoric Heathrow is only twelve feet deep, while it really should have been done on location on Exmoor, the Plasmatons *look* like an economy measure ('Do they really *need* arms?'), the floating snake thing looks silly (wot, no fangs?), and the sets for Khalid's palace aren't much cop either - what's it doing there anyway? The Concorde in Prehistoric Land, doesn't look in the least bit convincing.

The transformation of Khalid into the Master looks like an excuse for some goo ('That'll boost the ratings').

Heathrow Airport looks good (like in The Faceless Ones) and the staff are played well - Peter Cellier wasted with a cough and a spit (but check out the out takes where one actor declares just how much rubbish he knows it is), and then poor Tegan gets left there, just a month ago she was fighting Cybermen, now she's just saved two Concords, and they've dumped her. Was it something she said? 1/5, and that's for the acting.

But it's Arc of Infinity and she's back! What is the Arc of Infinity again?

Oh, goodness knows, the plot isn't really very good anyway - you want to stop someone bonding with the Dr and so you're going to kill him Do what? Can you really come up with no better idea than that? I give up.

That aside, it's actually quite a pleasing little romp - it's well written, for all of it being nonsense, which can excuse a duff idea or two - and the acting is generally good. It's a pity that Borusa has turned into such an old buffer (but it's nothing compare to the transformation the Dr will do in a couple of years!); why could they not have kept Angus McKay? More to the point, why's Michael Gough not playing him and Leonard Sachs not playing the Dr's old friend? Looks like somebody missed a trick.

Colin Baker's very good isn't he? What a super actor, and just right in the part; wouldn't it be nice if he could get to play the character again in the Five Doctors?

The Capitol on Gallifrey lacks scale, but the filming in Amsterdam looks very good and great fun, and it really makes the story - even if the reason for being there is pretty spurious, it looks great - and if the story does have clay feet, it does keep them well hidden - it is well told.

Omega? Well, I'm not sure. Stephen Thorne's still alive now, so I don't know what there was to stop him reprising the role he'd had such fun with in 1973. No offence meant to Ian Collier, who's very good, of course, but he ain't the big man. (Though to be fair, the scene of his slow degeneration and collapse in Amsterdam is very well accomplished).

But I really don't know why someone approved the design for the Ergon, or why Omega thought it made the ideal heavy. My best guess is that Glitz sold it to him (though he's still got 23 left in his garage). 3/5
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