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Customer Review

on February 6, 2008
These are 2 stories that are unlikely to be at the top of anyone's wish list. They are at best also-rans.
"Timeflight" is the 1st and the weaker of the 2. the Doctor tries to take Nyssa and Tegan to the 1951 Festival of Britain and it goes wrong, landing them in Heathrow Aiport in the midst of "The Mystery of the Missing Concorde". The Doctor tracks it down to prehistoric Earth where The Master has (disguised as a strange oriental figure) been nicking the craft and people in the hope of gaining power from a race of malevolent aliens. Needless to say the Doc sorts it out.
There is a decent story there somewhere but it's got lost under the weight of its own fuzzy logic.
Why does The Master need to dress up as an oriental pantomime villain?
What does he really want the Concorde for?
There are never any statisfactory answers to what is going on.
Davison and the companions are good and Nyssa gets a few brief moments of something to do other than look sympathetic. Janet Fielding is particularly good when Tegan gets to finally play at Air Hostess, calming hysterical passengers and in a beautifully underplayed farewell as the Tardis leaves her behind. This is of course undercut by her return in the next story.We also get a quick cameo from a couple of old monsters, including Adric!
Anthony Ainley well, he comes on and does his Master bit and that's fine if nothing special , but before the reveal his performance as the Master's disguise character Khalid is pure Spike Milligan! It truly belongs in a lost Goon Show somewhere.
Aliens the Xeraphas make no lasting impression and the "Plasmaton" monsters are truly pathetic, apparently made from papier mache and washing up foam. methinks the budget was biting.
Undemanding fun, if you turn your brain off.

The extras lack a documentary but there is some production footage and the commentary to tell us about the story's troubled production. Fiedling and Davison are on top form and especially funny about working on Concorde and supporting actor now turned politician Michael Cashman.
There is a good interview with Janet Fielding about her whole Dr Who experience & a brief bit of interview footage with story writer Peter Grimwade.
"The Arc of Infinity" is a better effort, starting the next season after the 1 that Timeflight ended. The Doctor returns to Gallifrey to be executed for having allowed an invader to link with his body. The alien saves him and turns out to be the daddy of all renegade timelords Omega, trying to find a way back to the real world.
Omega's plan fails and he becomes a walking timebomb that the Doctor must stop.
It's a bit of a mess but there is still lots to enjoy. The Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan are all good as the actors playing them deliver the goods. Obvious to say but Colin Baker playing the tough guard Maxil makes quite an impression, and it's not hard to see why he got the top job later.
Micheal Gough is okay but uninspired and Leonard Sachs gives a rather duff performance. The pair of them matched with lacklustre turns by Eslpet Gray and Max Hastings make the Timelords home look like a retirment village in Eastbourne. Paul Jericho at least is good as an untrustworthy Castellan.

Ian Collier gives a good performance as Omega playing villain and victim alternately and his costume is good. As for the Ergon, at least as bad as the Plasmatons, a terrible 80's monster.

There is too much reliance on continuity for impact. Even casual viewers are meant to know who Borusa is, and more to the point who Omega is. there is too little information for those who never saw the characters to understand their significance. The revelation that Omega from the Three Doctors has returned after 10 years is not actually used as the climax for episode 3, but is so close to it that the revelation he cnotrols the matrix (itself never properly explained) was probably met with head scratching.
When the story is good though, it is very good. The callous way the Doctor is scapegoated and marked for execution (although when he next confronted those who condemned him he might have reacted more) and Nyssa's reaction to his apparanet death. Omega's reaction at being "alive again" and the Doctor's reunion with Tegan.

The extras include a proper documentary (and a good one too), a thumping good commentary as Colin Baker joins Davison and Fielding (watch for Colin's hilarious story of being mistaken for a runner by Mr. Jericho!)optional upgraded effects (which are good but not very striking) and a featurette on the character of Omega. Like most of the short featurettes it isn't given enough time to go anywhere.

A fun package, but for diehard fans only.
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3.8 out of 5 stars