Thursday, May 9, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: Time - Flight

Doctor Who: 
Time - Flight 
By Peter Grimwade

“Now listen to me, both of you. There are some rules that cannot be broken even with the Tardis. Don't ever ask me to do anything like that again. You must accept that Adric is dead. His life wasn't wasted. He died trying to save others, just like his brother, Varsh. You know, Adric had a choice. This is the way he wanted it.”

To help them mourn and ease the pain of Adric’s death The Doctor decides to take Nyssa and Tegan to the Great Exhibition.  But as luck would have it the do not arrive where they intended but at Heathrow Airport mainly due to a time disturbance.   They are soon enlisted to help C19 to find their missing Concord.  Apparently Victor Foxtrot just disappeared off the radar and there is no trace of it anywhere.  The Doctor believes it has disappeared down a time tunnel and plans to follow the trail on another Concord with his TARDIS as cargo.

It appears that the other Concord with The Doctor in it did travel back in time but only Nyssa can see that they are indeed back in time.  The Doctor eventually gets everyone to break the spell and they do see the dead bodies that Nyssa has seen and a Citidal which is inhabited by Kalid who mumbles some spells that seems to control Plasmatons.  The Doctor believes the key to all this is in the Citidal and heads there with the Concord pilots leaving Tegan to look after Nyssa who is incapacitated by a spell by Kalid.  When the Doctor gets to the Citadel he finds the source of the power which is a Xeraphin sarcophagus.

Nyssa recovers and with Tegans help make their way to the Citadel but by a different way which leads them to the inside of the Xeraphin’s Sarcofugus.  The Doctor ends up getting into a battle of wits with Kalid who for some reason wants the key to the TARDIS.  Nyssa freaks out and throws an artifact into the tub like thing which seems to be what controls Kalid and he collapses presume dead.  But all is not what it seems as The Doctor finds out it is electronics that was the source of the power and a laughing Master appearing out of Kalids costume ready to wreak havoc yet again.

Time - Flight is not a good story at all. While a good premise it just comes up short as it is pretty dull and is by far hands down the worst story of season 19 or in fact the Davison era.  The creatures are pretty bad also as they used soap bubbles to use as the power to subdue The Doctor and Nyssa.  It just looked so wrong to do that and puts a new level of cheapness to the BBC.   We won’t even get into the green screen stuff as it was 1982 and well they tried.

Anthony Ainley was pretty entertaining in Time - Flight.  While I say that while he was Kalid he was pretty funny.  I know he was trying to be in disguise but the voice he used was pretty funny and the dialog he had to say. Well it made Peter Davison crack up as you can see in some scenes they had together that he was holding back his laughter.  Plus the green puss that spews out at the end is pretty funny also. 

Time - Flight is a story that could have been better if shorter but probably not.  I just found it dull and boring and just not all that interesting of a story. It did have some moments to it as the takeoff of the Concord and the cameo by Mathew Waterhouse.  It also ended on a bit of a cliffhanger as Tegan was left at Heathrow and you had to wait till season 20 to see if she would be back.

Season 19 started with a Master story and ended with a Master story and unfortunately Time - Flight wasn’t as good as Castrovalva but it is one to watch from time to time if only to watch Anthony Ainley’s performance.
Grade C

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