Doctor Who - The Arc of Infinity
John Nathan-Turner for BBC
directed by Ron Jones
starring Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Michael Gough, Leonard Sachs, Ian Collier, Colin Baker, Paul Jerricho, Elspet Gray, Neil Daglish, Andrew Boxer, Alastair Cumming
written by Johnny Byrne, script editor: Eric Saward, music by Roger Limb
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Peter Davison), Doctor Who (classic series)
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Ok, before I start writing my synopsis let me state that the story of
this episode is incredibly muddled and actually unintelligible, so whoever
has seen this one might thing he has seen something completely different
from me. Still, I hope I managed to make heads and tails of at least the
key elements of the story ...
There is this antimatter being, Omega (Ian Collier) - first seen in the
episode The Three
Doctors -, who is actually a Timelord and who wants to return to
the real universe by taking over the body of Doctor Who (Peter Davison) -
but the Council of Timelords cannot let that happen and have the Doctor
executed - even though it's not his fault that Omega wants to take him
over, and even though there is obviously a traitor among the Council of
Timelords (who later turns out to be Hadin [Michael Gough], the Doctor's
best friend among the Council).
The Doctor of course did not really die but got caught in the Matrix,
the source of all wisdom of the Timelords, where he meets Omega who wants
to persuade him to do something. And to really put the pressure on the
Doctor, Omega has kidnapped his former (and future) companion Tegan (Janet
Tegan has made a trip to Amsterdam, where she, her cousin Colin
(Alastair Cumming) and his friend Robin (Andrew Boxer) have in a crypt
stumbled upon something which appears to be the outpost of Omega's
operations - why this is in Amsterdam, Earth and not on the Timelords'
home planet Gallifrey - apart from the fact that producer John
Nathan-Turner thought it would be nice to make a company trip - I fail to
understand. Anyways, eventually the Doctor makes it out of the Matrix with
his companion Nyssa's (Sarah Sutton) help, and in his space and
time-machine TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) they travel to
Amsterdam, free Tegan and company and throw a spanner into Omega's works.
Ultimately, Omega turns into a splitting image of the Doctor and makes a
getaway running through the streets of Amsterdam - but his structure in
our universe is terribly unstable, and after being hit by one of these
futuristic weapons the Doctor and company in his pursuit carry, he just
Future Doctor Who actor Colin Baker plays Gallifrey's no-nonsense head
guard in this one.
As I said at the beginning, the script is pretty muddled, and many
story elements make no sense at all - especially the whole Amsterdam bit
-, and many subplots just seem to go to nowhere in particular, which of
course totally reduces dramatic tension of any sort. Pretty bad, even for
a Doctor Who story from the 1980's, not the best decade of the series in