Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity (Story #123)

doctor who arc of infinity dvd cover review
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Divided storyline helps keep the plot going, Colin Baker early appearance

Last episode feels like a rather weak showcase for Amsterdam

doctor who arc of infinity omega takeover peter davison

Hey…you’re invading my matter-space

When someone steals the genetic code of the Doctor (Peter Davison) from the files of Gallifrey, an anti-matter creature called the Renegade tries to bond with him.  Though he is able to stop it, the threat of the Renegade could be a threat to the entire universe if the Renegade were to bond again.  The Doctor finds himself and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) summoned back to Gallifrey where the Doctor might face his ultimate fate.  Meanwhile on Earth, Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding) finds herself caught up in a mystery involving the disappearance of her cousin Colin Frazer (Alastair Cumming) in Amsterdam…but the two seemingly unrelated events could be part of a bigger mystery.

Doctor Who:  Arc of Infinity aired during the twentieth season of the popular BBC series.  The serial aired in four parts from January 3, 1983 to January 12, 1983.  Following Doctor Who:  Time-Flight, the story has been collected as part of The Peter Davison Years as Story #124 (or Story #123 depending on how you count the unaired Tom Baker story Doctor Who:  Shada).

doctor who arc of infinity tegan janet fielding peter davison

It looks like Tegan and the Doctor are hitting an Amsterdam disco!

Peter Davison episodes of Doctor Who often underwhelm, but the promise of a Peter Davison episode involving Gallifrey and an earthly adventure (which isn’t England) does add potential spice to this storyline.  Largely, it is typical classic Doctor Who…but it is a better entry.

The story actually flows rather decently.  With two parallel stories occurring (Davison and Sutton on Gallifrey and Fielding in Amsterdam), the pacing doesn’t seem as stogy or stuttered as some other Doctor Who stories that try to spread themselves too thin.  There is some overly long “running around” in the final episode in Tegan, the Doctor, and Nyssa’s attempt to capture Omega, but it also felt it was necessary to showcase the different location.

The casting is also rather fun.  Michael Gough (who previously was in The Celestial Toymaker (Story #24) is a big enough name through his work with Hammer and other British productions that it made him the obvious villain.  Leela (Louise Jameson) was initially planned for the story and Nyssa’s role wasn’t completely converted.  The biggest appearance in the episode is Colin Baker as a random Gallifreyian named Commander Maxil.  His appearance in this episode led to his casting as the Sixth Doctor (first appearing in Doctor Who:  The Twin Dilemma).

doctor who arc of infinity omega peter davison

Don’t you dare copy my celery!

Doctor Who rarely ventures out of the United Kingdom and going to Amsterdam for a relatively small portion of the story seems rather random.  The previous trip to Paris in Doctor Who:  City of Death had more of a role in the story, but it felt like the city was incidental (it was a decision with the BBC working more heavily in Amsterdam and since it was affordable)…it just doesn’t feel entirely justified.

Doctor Who:  Arc of Infinity is a decent Doctor Who venture in Doctor Who’s later years.  It keeps moving (something that can’t always be said), and the plot is relatively solid.  I do like Gallifrey storylines (especially since the modern Doctor Who was lacking in them for quite a while)…the Time Lords are a bit goofy, but it is nice to see the Doctor’s tense relationship with them.  Doctor Who:  Arc of Infinity was followed by Doctor Who:  Snakedance.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Time-Flight (Story #122)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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