Arc Of Infinity – 1983 – S20 – E1/7

imageNumber : Season 20, episode 1 of 6

Which One : Omega returns.

Cast : The Doctor : Peter Davison
Nyssa : Sarah Sutton
Tegan : Janet Fielding
President Borusa : Leonard Sachs
Chancellor Thalia : Elspet Gray
Councillor Hedin : Michael Gough
The Castellan : Paul Jerricho
Cardinal Zorac : Max Harvey
Commander Maxil : Colin Baker
Omega/The Renegade : Ian Collier
Damon : Neil Daglish
Talor : John D. Collins
Colin Frazer : Alastair Cumming
Robin Stuart : Andrew Boxer
The Ergon : Malcolm Harvey

Written By : Johnny Byrne

Produced By : JNT

First UK Broadcast : 3 – 12 January 1983.

Length : 4 x 25 minute parts.

Plot : The Doctor has his biodata stolen from the Gallifreyian archives, by an unknown Timelord traitor. Who is attempting to aid the return of Omega from his antimatter prison universe. Meanwhile, fate draws Tegan back into a meeting with the Doctor in Amsterdam.

Whats good : The return of Omega. Colin Baker as overzealous Captain of the Guard – Maxil. Maxil shooting Peter Davison.

Whats bad : That they wrote Tegan back in, so weakly – after she left.

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Review With Spoilers : After the last failed attempt to escape his anti-matter prison in The Three Doctors. Arc Of Infinity marked the return of Timelord founder and anti-hero; Omega.

Omega has always been a tragic character, looming over the civilised Timelord society – as an uncomfortable memory.

On one hand, he was a brilliant scientist – founder of time travel and the Eye Of Harmony – the Timelords power source. On the other, following his accident, a bitter madman – trapped in an anti-matter universe and lashing out at the Timelords – at every opportunity. A new series appearance surely beckons for such an interesting and flawed character.

His latest scheme in Arc Of Infinity, is a physical return to the matter universe by attempting to take over the body of the Doctor. He accomplishes this having gotten a Timelord accomplice to steal the Doctor’s Gallifreyan biodata key.

To stop Omega stealing his body, the Doctor travels back to Gallifrey where they apparently execute him in a molecular dispersal chamber. It’s really a clever plan to protect him from Omega’s reach though.

Eventually, Omega abandons this plan and attempts to physically manifest in his own body on Earth (still in the Doctor’s image) – in Amsterdam and goes on a jolly around the city.

Unable to visit the red-light district, as he is being persued by the newly reconfigured Doctor, the transference begins to break down and Omega decomposes and returns to his anti-matter prison.

This whole sequence lifts a page right out of Frankenstein, with Omega as the tragic monster. Especially as Omega enjoys the sights and sounds of Amsterdam but has to flee, when a crowd notice his increasing mutation and give chase.

Also returning, is Tegan – after apparently leaving at the end of Timeflight. Improbably, she just happens to be in Amsterdam looking for her cousin. When she meets the Doctor again and rejoins the crew.

Its clear that they never really intended Tegan to leave the Tardis crew. And her return is improbable, even if it can be explained as coincidence, or Tardis entwined fate – or some other guff.

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“If I’m denied life, then all must perish!” Omega

By far the best part of Arc Of Infinity is Colin Baker’s turn as Maxil – Captain Of The Gallifreyian Guard. He’s an absolute hoot and seems completely unaware that he’s not supposed to be the main villain in this piece, as he chews every scene he is in.

Stomping around in a mood, he even shoots Peter Davison with a stun gun as if to stake a claim on the role. It was infact, this turn as Maxil – that brought him to JNT’s attention – as a future potential Doc.

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Arc Of Infinity has alot of good things going for it and whilst it isn’t considered one of the best Who’s. Its a more than a competent contender to this crown.

At least watch it for a Who first – a future Doctor playing a badguy who shoots the current Doctor; Colin Baker.

🔵🔵🔵🔘⚪ (3.5/5)

Old Doctor Who


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