Number : Season 20, serial 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 episodes.

Plot : The Doctor has biodata stolen from the Gallifreyian archives, by an unknown Time Lord traitor. Who is attempting to aid the return of Omega, from the antimatter 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 the Fifth Doctor.

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

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

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

On one hand, a brilliant scientist – founder of Time-Travel and the ‘Eye Of Harmony’; the Time Lords power source. On the other, following the accident, a bitter lunatic; trapped in an anti-matter universe and lashing out at the Time Lords – at every opportunity.

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

To stop Omega stealing the Doctor’s body, the Doctor travels back to Gallifrey, where they execute the Doctor – in a molecular dispersal chamber. However, it is a trick to protect the Doctor, from Omega’s reach.

Eventually, Omega abandons this plan and attempts to physically manifest in a new 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, Omega is persued by the newly reconfigured Doctor. The transference begins to break down and Omega decomposes and returns to back to the 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 the accelerating decomposition and give chase.

Also returning, is Tegan – after apparently leaving at the end of Timeflight. Improbably, Tegan just happens to be in Amsterdam, looking for her cousin. When she meets the Doctor again and decides (after much complaining throughout season 19) to rejoin the Tardis crew.

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

“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 situn gun; as if to stake a claim on the role. It was infact, this turn as Maxil – that brought Baker to JNT’s attention – as a future potential Doctor incarnate.

Arc Of Infinity has alot of good things, going for it. Whilst it isn’t considered one of the best Doctor Who stories. It’s a more than a competently regarded – season-opener. At least watching it for a Doctor Who first; a future Doctor – playing a badguy.

🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪ (4/5)

Old Doctor Who

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