So, what’s next?
This is actually the one I remember best, as it happens. Not because of any particularly memorable aspect of the episode in and of itself – no, it was because in this one Barney Harwood (who was one of the presenters of Totally Doctor Who) made a cameo appearance, so they did a whole feature on him going down to the recording studio and so on as part of that week’s episode. He was also an extra in Love & Monsters – you can see him hanging around behind Mrs Croot in the street scene – and they did a thing on that at the time too. I was quite fond of Barney Harwood back then, he was a good presenter. He has a silly haircut now, but I assume he’s still similarly good at his job.
Still not actually a lot to say about The Infinite Quest.
I’m impressed by the fact that these stories are maintaining something of a… I suppose a political angle? That’s perhaps an inaccurate way of describing it, but it’s nice to see that thread about oil shortages and what have you being maintained across this little instalment. It gives the impression that they’re reaching for something wider, something grander, than just a treasure hunt. There’s a feeling that actually this story has a bit of meat on its bones; it’s not quite as insubstantial as one might think. Admittedly, there’s no real way to tell if that’s true or not, because of how spaced out it is – but perhaps the omnibus edition will prove to be a powerful anti-capitalist polemic? (Hahaha.)
I also quite enjoyed the resolution to the problem, with the Doctor surrendering on the behalf of the Mantis Queen. It was a little rushed, and I don’t know that they could pull it off exactly like that in a real episode, but it was actually a very clever idea – it’s a great way to quickly wrap up the plotline and move it forward. Quite possibly that’s an idea I’ll steal one day and try to pass it off as one of my own. (Sorry, Alan Barnes.)
There’s also a nice little callback with the Doctor’s “oh no, no, don’t do that” moment to Martha. Would be interested to know if that’s in reference to Tooth and Claw or to The Shakespeare Code. Presumably the former, but possibly also the latter. It’s difficult to find much in the way of production details about The Infinite Quest, which is actually a little bit of a shame – I’m sure there’s some quite interesting stuff to learn about the commissioning process, how it was viewed internally, so on and so forth. It was pointed out once that Dreamland is never mentioned in The Writer’s Tale, suggesting something about how important it was considered by Russell T Davies – I can’t help but wonder if it would have been broadly similar with The Infinite Quest.
Ultimately, it’s another instalment of The Infinite Quest. That isn’t missing an adjective, much as you may assume it is. This is just another one. Yep. Yeah. That’s the case.