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What I am reviewing is the Doctor Who DVD "Arc of Infinity"
Broadcast 3-12 January 1983
Start of season 20
Since the end of Time-Flight at the end of the previous season a few questions had to be answered for the series. Would Tegan come back to the Doctor and the Tardis ? What could the show do to give more history behind the Doctor and his people from Gallifrey ?
Well, the producer John Nathan Turner had some good ideas to start the new year off with. First of all there would be a location shooting in the city of Amsterdam which is where a lot of the story would be set, and the Doctor going back to his home planet of Gallifrey.
There had to be a new enemy for the doctor or at least an old one that could be revived for a while. The Master, Cybermen and various other villains had been used already and there was an idea about another time-lord. The idea was to bring back Omega, a renegade time-lord who was last seen in Jon Pertwee's story "The three doctors" in 1972/3 as this would work well in the storyline as it was being set on two different planets.
This story had to revive Janet Fieldings character Tegan who at the end of Time-Flight was left at Heathrow airport. It also must tie in somehow with the Doctor and Nyssa being on Gallifrey at the time.
This story was also set to introduce future Doctor Colin Baker who in this story plays commander Maxil.
The Doctor is attacked by an entity while traveling in the Tardis with his companion Nyssa. He survives and the being goes away, but then the Tardis is called back to Gallifrey by the time-lords.
The high council call for the Doctors execution....
Back on Earth Tegan is told that her brother has gone missing in Amsterdam and starts to look for him, not realizing what she is going to find....
Special Features :
Anti matter from Amsterdam:
This documentary by Sophie Aldred features Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Colin Baker as it shows you the location from Amsterdam and behind this story.
The Omega Factor :
The writers look at the character of Omega and give their opinions of why they decided to revive the character and the history about him.
Deleted scenes :
Various deleted scenes from the story from the studio recordings and early edits.
Under Arc lights:
A behind the scenes recording session from the story.
You can watch the story with new 18 new CGI effects added for the DVD.
BBC1 adverts for this story from 1983.
Photo Gallery :
This has photo shots from the making of, studio shots, actors, location shots and behind the scenes.
Isolated music :
You can watch the story with the music only option.
Radio Times Billings :
You can read what the Radio Times had to say on (PDF-DVD ROM) for the story.
1983 Doctor Who annual :
Again the whole annual is there for you to read on (PDF-DVD-ROM).
Production subtitles :
This supplies you with cast details, script, and through development of the story.
Coming soon trailer :
Digitally remastered sound and picture quality.
What I thought :
Yet again this is another story I remembered well from seeing it in 1983. I remembered watching the Doctor and his companions running around Amsterdam and the settings on Gallifrey but couldn't remember the whole story.
However seeing this again made all those memories flood back. Watching this now I found that the Gallifrey setting to be well made and thought out very well. The designs of the Time-Lords were well set out and suited well to the set out of the planet.
I thought it was good to see a new villain in the show (In my case I hadn't been born to watch the 1972 story) and think the renegade time-lord worked well.
I thought that Omega as a villain had a lot going for him for future stories if he was to be included in any of them and would be good to watch him again.
With the Doctor I found it strange to see him traveling with only Nyssa in the Tardis but it was good to see if Tegan would eventually come back and join them.
The actors done great in this story especially as it was in two settings
With the special features I especially liked Sophie Aldreds Anti matter from Amsterdam documentary which I thought had good depth about the story and a lot of knowledge about it. The inclusion with the other actors was great and I remember Peter Davison saying they all got funny looks when they were running about Amsterdam as their characters !
I think the deleted scenes are also a lot of fun to watch even though there aren't that many of them and you can see why they had been cut for the story.
The new CGI effects were good and does not spoil anything about the story, it just gives a different outlook on some of the scenes.
The inlay cover gives a bit of info on the actors which is always nice to read as it does with the special features.
The cover is quite good with Omega, the Doctor and his companions on the front.
It does have a good printed disk with the above mentioned design on it, and when watching the picture quality is great. You can tell it's been cleaned up since the video release and it's now a very clear picture to watch.
You have the option of Dolby Digital sound or just the mono.
If you liked Peter Davison as the Doctor then this one is well worth the watch. It's in the box set with Time-Flight.
ARC OF INFINITY is the 8th 'Doctor Who' story starring Peter Davison, who played the role from 1982 until 1984. This story was first broadcast in January 1983 and was the first story of Davison's second year. The story also Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, and Janet Fielding as Tegan - these two were The Doctor's companions at the time (lucky boy!).
The story has The Doctor back on his home planet of Gallifrey, sorting out problems with the renegade Time Lord Omega (who had appeared ten years previously in the 10th anniversary story THE THREE DOCTORS), whilst his companion Tegan travels to visit a cousin in Amsterdam. Unfortunately her cousin has gone missing, and there is a strange connection between this and The Doctor's problems on Gasllifrey .
I really like this story. It is not often that the show goes on location abroad, and although Amsterdam is kept very much in the background throughout most of the story, it is nice to see The Doctor in this location. It is also nice to see the scenes on Gallifrey - I'm a bit of a geek for Doctor Who continuity, and always enjoy the Gallifrey-related stories. I think that it is a great shame that the new, modern version of Doctor Who has had The Doctor's home planet destroyed as I would love to see what Russell T. Davies et al would do with The Doctor's homeworld.
The real perk to this DVD is the commentary track which brings together Davison with Colin Baker, who would go on to take on the role of The Doctor in the mid-80s after Davison vacated the position. His appearance here is due to his small tole in the story as another character, and the commentary is a really fun listen. There are also a couple of other worthwhile documentaries on the disc.
I highly recommend this DVD to fans of the 'Doctor Who' series.
DOCTOR WHO - ARC OF INFINITY (1983)
Starring Peter Davison as The Doctor, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, Janet Fielding as Tegan
Written by Johnny Byrne
Produced by John Nathan-Turner
Directed by Ron Jones
This review will shortly be posted on ciao under the username phurren2006