Doctor Who: Time-Flight (Story #122)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Fun basic plot and dead Adric

Still not a huge fan of the Doctor's companions Tegan and Nyssa, overly complicated Master plot


Tegan…you’re a flight attendant…see if you can get us an extra bag of peanuts!

The Doctor (Peter Davison), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), and Tegan (Janet Fielding) are mourning the death of Adric (Matthew Waterhouse).  When a return trip to Earth runs into a problem at Heathrow Airport, the Doctor discovers that a Concorde has disappeared into a rift in time.  With a team of pilots on a second Concorde, the Doctor, Tegan, and Nyssa are about to enter the time rift and find the source…and an old enemy in the Master (Anthony Ainley).

Doctor Who:  Time-Flight aired during the nineteenth season of the long running BBC series.  The serial aired in four parts from March 22, 1982 to March 30, 1982.  Following Doctor Who:  Earthshock, Doctor Who:  Time-Flight was collected as part of The Peter Davison Years as Story #123 (or Story #122 depending on how you count the unaired Tom Baker story Doctor Who:  Shada).  The serial is currently out-of-print on DVD.


Oh Master…you and your overly complicated plots that make little sense…

I kind of like the storyline for this serial.  The idea of a jet going through a time portal was explored in the classic Twilight Zone episode “The Odyssey of Flight 33” written by Rod Serling and I always found it one of the more terrifying stories.  This concept was later also utilized in Stephen King’s short story “The Langoliers” which was also made into a movie.

The story gets bogged down by the Master (who once again for some reason disguises himself as an alien named Kalid).  I do like that the Doctor almost has a bunch of companions in this entry because the pilots begin working with the Doctor and trusting him.  It becomes a real teamwork effort between the characters to stop the Master and seal the rift.


Oh no! Mr. Bubbles is attacking!

With Adric dead (though he does appear as a vision in a cameo), the show finally got rid of some of its dead weight…but still retains Nyssa and Tegan.  I don’t like this group of companions and this is part of the reason I struggle with Peter Davison as the Doctor.  While both Tegan and Nyssa sometimes work, I find them both rather bland and generic.  There is a bit of hope at the end of the serial that Tegan has also been “left behind”, but this proves not to be true in the next storyline.


So…what’s going on?

The visuals of the show are good…and really bad.  The Heathrow stuff looks great and I really like when Doctor Who uses real world locations.  I really wanted some great dinosaur stuff in the journey to the past and the illusionary world stuff could have paid off more.  The foam monster stuff was pretty weak and allegedly was a result of a waning budget.

Doctor Who:  Time-Flight is a decent concept with a rather poor execution.  I feel that Doctor Who is turning a bit of a corner here by getting a better written story that the characters can work in.  Doctor Who feels like it is winding down with the last few Doctors of the first run of the series and Doctor Who:  Time-Flight at least is a little bit of a boost in some so-so serials.  Doctor Who:  Time-Flight is followed by Doctor Who:  Arc of Infinity.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Earthshock (Story #121)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Arc of Infinity

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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