Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 13)

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Just held together by wishful thinking!

Technically, I’m cheating doing this.

The last part of The Infinite Quest didn’t air on its own – the thirteenth instalment and overall conclusion to the piece was only broadcast as part of an omnibus edition of the story. Really, right now, I should be reviewing the entire story as a whole, to comment on and analyse how it fits together as one piece. Indeed, I certainly would have watched it that way, and it would have been in this format that any occasional rewatches would have been.

But, to be honest, I can’t take it. I cannot bring myself to go through The Infinite Quest in that much detail. I’m sure it’d be mildly entertaining, and a perfectly pleasant way to pass the time – but if I watch it in its entirety, I’m inviting myself to write a full thousand and something word review. And I’ve already dedicated more than enough time to The Infinite Quest. (I suspect I’ll come to regret it and some point.)

In any case, it’s not actually a very good conclusion. There’s a point at which it’s worth being forgiving of a child’s animated story, and a point at which you have to say – actually, no, look, there was a lot of potential here that you simply didn’t use. In the end, the story flounders, and it’s a shame. The idea of “your heart’s desire” is an interesting one – a simple one, and a basic one, but undeniably an interesting one. It’s surely one of the more resounding ideas across fiction and storytelling across time; there are countless Greek myths that refer back to it, and it’s a staple of fables and allegories and so on. It comes down to temptation, basically – which is right there in the Garden of Eden. So it’s a pretty grand idea, but there’s still a lot to do with it.

To simply go “I don’t believe in this” as a way of resolving it is – well, it’s weak. There’s no other way of looking at it. It could have been taken in a much different direction; really, the idea of your heart’s desire is enough to sustain a single 45-minute Doctor Who episode on its own merit anyway. (Consider The God Complex, which basically proves that concept, albeit by working from ‘greatest fears’.) What does it mean that Martha’s greatest desire is the Doctor?

Actually, it’s worth considering what this might have been like as a full episode. Not to pre-empt a future post, but I’m firmly of the opinion that Martha’s love for the Doctor should have been built up much more gradually – it was, to my mind, established far too early. It might have been interesting if, following a few episodes of set up, seeing the Doctor as her heart’s desire was what made Martha herself realise how she felt. There’s something interesting to play around with there, I’d argue (especially if she doesn’t get it at first – “my desire is to be rescued”, perhaps?).

Still, though. I’m overthinking this a bit. Of course I am. It’s a cartoon for kids – a bit of fun, throwaway fluff that wasn’t subject to anywhere near the level of oversight as proper episodes. It’s just a little bit of “ooh, this exists, that’s nice” filler. I suspect I’d have enjoyed it a lot more if I wasn’t trying to draw blood from a stone each week – or, you know, five hundred ish words a week.

It’s alright. That’s about that, really.


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 12)

doctor who the infinite quest review animated cartoon tenth doctor martha jones totally doctor who alan barnes gary russell anthony head hearts desire

You’re a bad influence.

There is literally nothing to say about this one. Less than nothing in fact, I suspect.

The opening, I admit, confused me – the Doctor on his own, stranded on the planet. Is that how it ended last week? I’m fairly certain I haven’t missed an instalment; rather, it just didn’t make that much of an impact on me week-to-week. That, I suspect, would have been a weakness of the series as it aired – could anyone actually remember each bit, week on week? Was that ever a concern, particularly? Difficult to get inside the mind of an eight-year-old to ask about it, really, and I certainly don’t remember myself.

Again, I’m inclined to question the necessity of the serial structure somewhat. I don’t think, given the format of the series, it actually works – with three-ish minute episodes, there’s not going to be enough time to develop an ongoing narrative appropriately. In part that line of thinking might have motivated this – the belief that you can’t build a discrete narrative each week, hence you should have a cliffhanger structure to build something larger. But, as I think I’ve elaborated on at length, this doesn’t actually work here.

Certainly, there some meat on the bones of this story. There are lots of interesting ideas throughout; I wonder how this would have worked as a whole series, expanding each minisode to 45 minutes in length? It wouldn’t, I suspect, have been wholly sustainable – an interesting experiment, but you’d end up spending too much time on single ideas for a series that’s meant to thrive on variety and change and the fact that there’s something different week on week. Perhaps a novel series, then – a series of quick reads? That I suspect would work – indeed, they did something quite similar to that in 2009, following the same basic structure, and the search for a similar mysterious MacGuffin. I think Alan Barnes might have written for it, actually.

There is something quite nice about The Infinite Quest, which I perhaps haven’t given the series adequate credit for. It does, obviously, aim to be “Doctor Who for children” – but at no point does it dumb things down. It’s not patronising, it’s not simplistic; in short, there’s nothing here that couldn’t sit quite comfortable within an actual television episode of Doctor Who. (Irrespective of quality and all that.)

Which is because, of course, Alan Barnes is remarkably well steeped in all of this. I mean, I know that, of course – I’ve read and enjoyed lots of his Doctor Who work before. I fear I’ve given him too much of a ribbing for The Infinite Quest, really; it’s limited by its format far moreso than its content, but it really could have been both. Much as I’ve complained about the difficulty of writing about it, the fact that some sort of intelligent (ish!) comment can be sustained about it demonstrates that, in the end, there is something good about this.

And, you know, having something good to write about is my heart’s desire, or something. I don’t know. I’m finding it increasingly difficult to tie my posts together with nice little concluding lines.


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 11)

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The Infinite isn’t real!

I’m cutting it pretty fine with this one – twenty minutes to the deadline. I think, if I found the Infinite, my heart’s desire would be the ability to manage my time better. (Certainly, no one could ever argue that The Infinite Quest doesn’t have an alluring idea at the heart of it! I think the last Doctor Who MacGuffin that I wanted this much was those sleep pods from Sleep No More, because I would love to not have to sleep as much as I do.)

This instalment opens with Cor, the golden bird from the start of this miniseries, flying in – and dying. That’s one of the things I did remember from The Infinite Quest, the fact that the bird died. And the fact that it had a slightly confused system of morality and was a bit of an inconsistent character, but hey. It seems that everyone’s a critic, even when they’re young.

Regardless, though, this moment does demonstrate something of a difficulty with The Infinite Quest. Essentially, you can’t make emotional moments land. That’s just an obvious result of having literally two-dimensional characters – not only is there not a great deal of facial expression, there’s not a huge amount of vocal work to carry these moments. Freema Ageyman gets, I believe, a lot of undeserved criticism for her acting, but I do feel like voice acting isn’t exactly a strength of hers. (Though it’s probably also worth noting that she likely wouldn’t have had a lot of preparation time for The Infinite Quest, and probably hadn’t gotten particularly far into filming series 3 and actually performing as Martha anyway – I’m sure she’ll do a wonderful job with Big Finish when the time eventually comes!)

From there we move into the TARDIS. There’s an odd little quirk there actually, where the animation just gives up and they do a fade shot – which, interestingly, happened the last time they had to go into the TARDIS too. Is it particularly difficult to animate a movement across rooms? It feels like it shouldn’t be something that’s too hard – but again, if it is, it’s something that perhaps makes you question this style of animation. It’s really just not fluid enough.

(Of course, though, my lack of knowledge about animation is probably on full display at this point. I just do not know enough about it – how much more expensive is it to give us the more expressive, more fluid style of animation? My understanding is that this sort of flash animation from Cosgrove Hall was favoured by the BBC because not only was it good with likenesses, it was cheap – and I can certainly understand the cost cutting motive. If it was just for the likenesses, though, I’m not sure it was worth it – much better to go for visual style than accuracy, I’d say.)

Ultimately, then, this is a bit of a duff instalment. But, with the return of Balthazar, it does seem as though next week’s episode might be something a little more impressive…


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 10)

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It’s the only way.

Conveniently for me, there’s some rumours afoot that BBC Worldwide want to put forward a new Doctor Who spinoff (presumably disappointed with Class), and that it’s likely to be an animated series.

At the minute, they’re quite unfounded rumours – I’d be quite dubious of reading much into them, to be honest, and there’s not really any concrete confirmation, or much likelihood they’re necessarily true. (Although having said that, depending on the form they take, they could tie in quite nicely to the fresh start under Chibnall – not too dissimilar to the TARDISODES they tried out when David Tennant started, or the minisodes and general ephemera at the beginning of Matt Smith’s tenure.)

But in any case, it’s a nice springboard for me to talk about something that’s tenuously connected to The Infinite Quest, without actually having to talk about The Infinite Quest very much, because this week’s one was rubbish again. Which rather neatly leads me to my grand point about how to do animated Doctor Who (which I’ve touched on previously) – don’t try and serialise it.

Or at least, don’t try and serialise it if you’re only doing three minute clips, because that’s not really going to sustain a proper narrative. The Infinite Quest you know always had one eye on the omnibus edition, but it was created for these weekly instalments. Any Doctor Who animated show would presumably fall in the same basic format – I’d be very surprised if they announced there were going to be proper half hour stories, because that’s surely too expensive – and so it needs to be pitched in a way that it can work in a self-contained manner.

Basically, a Doctor Who animated cartoon would have to be the longer Simpsons couch gags – a mini narrative, but still something quite creative and with a distinct identity of its own. It’d likely be well placed to draw from the backlog of Doctor Who comics that are out there, which have basically adapted quite well to the limitation of “short Doctor Who story, making use of a primarily visual medium without the actors”.

It’d also likely have to have the incumbent Doctor; the furthest you could diverge from that would be one offs about the monsters and suchlike, rather than bringing back Paul McGann, which everyone seems to want. I know there were plans for a Doctor Who animated programme, akin to what I’m describing, albeit with classic Doctors again – I’m not so sure about that. I know I’d love it, but… actually, I’ve almost changed my mind mid-sentence. It could work! But I think that’d have to be something you build up to, for a possible second series, rather than being part of the premise from the start. (But then, maybe I’m wrong.)

I also suspect it’d need to be relatively light in tone – frothy and fun, rather than dark and depressing. I’m sure animation can carry those themes, but I’m not wholly convinced that that’s the place to try and do dark Doctor Who. You would also have to sacrifice photo accuracy for fluid animation – one of the big problems with The Infinite Quest is how static it is. Something like this, where the characters are stylised yet still recognisable, is basically perfect.

Having written all this, I’ve actually managed to convince myself an animated Doctor Who type thing (which would definitely go on CBBC and YouTube) could actually be quite fun. So long as they learn from The Infinite Quest and make something… well, something that’s entirely the opposite, I suppose.


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 9)

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We’ve only been here five minutes!

So, this one was reasonably good actually.

Is anyone who’s reading these actually familiar with The Infinite Quest, when it’s broken down into the different parts? I probably could have given you a brief overview of the premise, if not necessarily what happened week on week – so it occurs to me that it might be worth explaining what, exactly, happens in this one. If nothing else, it’s a good way for me to start to fill in some of the wordcount.

In this one, we see the Doctor and Martha arrive on Volag Noc – a prison planet that’s been discussed before, and is perhaps not entirely dissimilar to Star Trek’s Rura Penthe. It’s sketched out quickly – of course it is – but it does benefit from having been spoken about before; there’s a certain weight and significance attached to this place already that couldn’t have been established simply within one episode. On a broader level, though, this has been something that The Infinite Quest has been good at generally – creating a diverse set of planets that, while simple, do have a sense of character to them. The breadth of locations has been a good way to keep this feeling like something new each week, all while still following the single plotline.

Immediately after arriving, the Doctor is arrested and Martha is taken to the governor’s office for further questioning. It’s a good way to split the pair of them up, allowing the plot to develop across two separate strands. In some respects, it feels quite a lot like the first twenty minutes or so of a normal episode, albeit played out at remarkable pace. That’s quite a good thing, actually; it’s nice for The Infinite Quest to be able to more closely mimic the structure of a Doctor Who episode, and makes this particular instalment feel a little more ‘whole’. Plus, there are some rather nice jokes about library fines (and a version of the Doctor that wouldn’t have felt at all out of place in 2013, which is nicely prescient).

It’s soon revealed, though, that the governor Martha met with is a fraud – the real governor has been imprisoned, and the Doctor is his new cellmate. The pair work on an escape, and the episode ends on a cliffhanger that implies the Doctor and the real governor have made their way to Martha and the fake governor. It’s a nice twist, and as mentioned before, it’d feel quite at home in a television episode of Doctor Who. The constraints of the format do show through a little bit, admittedly; the twist has to be dropped in quickly, and through that “character accidentally says something they shouldn’t” trope I’m not so fond of. (Though, admittedly, while thinking about that trope recently I realised it’s something I actually do in real life quite a lot, so I probably shouldn’t complain too much.)

Overall, then, this was actually one of the better ones. And I think it’s probably fair to say that this was one of the better reviews. I’ll probably have to stick to this format going forward.


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 8)

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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.


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 7)

doctor who infinite quest david tennant tenth doctor cartoon animation animated cosgrove hall gary russell alan barnes cbbc

The fleshy bipeds are stupid.

I am starting to feel like a stupid, fleshy biped doing these.

Quite apart from the fact that I’m not convinced anyone is reading them and it’s a little bit of a waste of my time, The Infinite Quest was never meant to be put under this much scrutiny. It’s a little bit of strange ephemera to entertain a group of eight-year-olds, as a bonus part of what was essentially Who Peter. No one was ever meant to write 500 words about every three-minute chunk, and it’s doing a disservice to The Infinite Quest – and indeed anyone who worked on it – to expect it to stand up to that.

Which is essentially my way of saying sorry to Alan Barnes and Gary Russell for all the critique I’m lobbing their way while trying to draw blood from a stone write hundreds of words about The Infinite Quest every week. I like to think they’d react with mild bemusement rather than being particularly offended or anything like that.

But, since Eurovision has delayed 42 for a week that means we don’t have any celebratory Tenth Doctor content without The Infinite Quest. It occurs to me only now that what I should have done was written about the omnibus edition for yesterday’s missing 42 slot, since part of the reason I decided to cover this on a weekly basis was because I couldn’t figure out where to place a full review of the omnibus edition. Oh well. You live and learn. (Or not, as the case may be – I’m probably going to review the omnibus edition on its own anyway, and I suspect there’s a roughly fifty-fifty chance that I’ll go on to do this with Dreamland as well. My apologies in advance to Phil Ford, but at least I’ve said nice things about Into the Dalek before anyway.)

So, back to The Infinite Quest, where I’ve returned to my old trick of writing nearly four hundred words of unrelated nonsense before actually getting down to talking about the little minisode.

I confess, I was a bit disappointed with this one. Previous episodes had some nice little commentary and thematic concerns about moral issues – piracy, capitalism, war profiteering, that sort of thing. It might have been nice, then, had the big bug creatures not been revealed to be the villains; if it were actually the humans who were forcing them to leave their world, rather than vice versa. It could have added another layer of depth to what’s proving to be a relatively flat (haha) story – with that twist in the tale, there would have been a little bit more meat to the story. Given the nature of the story and constraints placed upon it by the format, The Infinite Quest needs to be a bit more about interesting dialogue, concepts and conversations than about big action set pieces. Sometimes it manages that, and sometimes it struggles to be ‘for kids’, under the assumption that means explosions and action sequences. It’s an imperfect marriage.

But for all that it is an imperfect marriage, and for all that I do criticise The Infinite Quest, that is because I am doing so from a boring critical perspective as (arguably) an adult. And at the end of the day, this isn’t for me now, and it never was. I shouldn’t be too harsh on it for not being something it was never supposed to be.


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 6)

doctor who infinite quest review martha jones freema agyeman david tennant tenth doctor cartoon animation animated dreamland

A business proposition? Is that what you’re calling it?

Let’s try to engage with this seriously for a moment, because it’s always worth giving that a go every so often.

The sixth part of The Infinite Quest sees the characters in their first new location in a while, and once again The Infinite Quest does make an impressive attempt at trying to be a version of Doctor Who that you couldn’t necessarily achieve on the actual television. Certainly, the swarms of bugs, the giant insect queen, and the frog man aren’t something you would have been able to see onscreen in Series 3 – yet at the same time they still feel at home there, growing organically from Russell T Davies’ somewhat singular fascination with aliens that are based on animals. (I’ll have to ask him about that someday.)

It still faces the limitations of the genre, though – naturally it does. Cosgrove Hall are reliant on a particular form of Flash animation that basically means the people characters are all very static; there’s none of the visual fluidity and kineticism needed to make these creatures really stand out. The insect queen fares a little better, actually, as they make the interesting choice to blend in some 3D animation – though, at the same time, it is a bit distracting. You almost wish they’d been able to do something in a more Simpsons or Tom and Jerry art style; this is fundamentally limited in motion in a way that you don’t want a Doctor Who story to be.

It’s perhaps an overly simplistic way of looking at it, but it occurred to me while I was watching this one – we haven’t seen the Doctor and Martha running in this story, have we? Given that’s something of a hallmark of Doctor Who, you’d expect it to be here; particularly given that, if this is meant to be for kids, it’s probably going to aim for the same sort of tone as the monster two-parters at the beginning of each series, which are always based on running around a bit.

That in turn supports my increasing belief as I’ve been watching these – that they’re not actually for children. Not really, not in any meaningful sense. I can’t imagine a huge part of the Totally Doctor Who audience responded to this in a really positive way; the vaguest recollection I can muster was being a bit disappointed the first episode, and watching it once as an omnibus version. And I was watching Totally Doctor Who every week! For this to have made so little of an impact say something, no?

But if it’s not for kids, then who is it for? I started to get the impression that actually it might have been for older Doctor Who fans, watching the show with their children. (Or just because obsessively consuming everything to do with the show is what we do.) Certainly, there are ideas within it – oil pirates, war profiteering – that are a bit more mature than you’d expect in something like this, to the point of feeling a bit out of place and underdeveloped. So, is it for them?

Well, no, to be honest. It’s a bit of throwaway nonsense created so the BBC Red Button service had something prestige to show itself off for, that also got attached to Totally Doctor Who.

And that shows.


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 5)

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Live by the cutlass, die by the cutlass.

This was the most frenetic of all the Infinite Quest episodes – although all that amounts to is a fast-moving background image. Actually, it’s a little confused in a few places, with a bit of an odd sense of motion and staging. Once again, it’s difficult to describe this as any good.

And, again, I’m inclined to ask what the point of this all is. Like, yeah, it’s the extra additional Doctor Who content for a kids show, but why did it take this form? Because it’s not like it’s actually any good in these three-minute cut scenes, and I doubt it’s going to be any good in the omnibus edition – just a strangely disjointed and oddly constructed fifty minutes.

Really, The Infinite Quest shouldn’t have existed in the format that it does. This form of serialised storytelling isn’t very well suited to the demands of the project; I can’t imagine it would even have held the attention of its audience week on week. It’s actually surprisingly difficult to remember what happened the last week anyway, although probably because not much is happening anyway.

It feels like this is a series that should have taken a leaf from the DWA comics, really. Short comic strips, aimed at the same child audience as Totally Doctor Who, that were typically one and done little runarounds. They could probably have adapted some of them wholesale, in fact; they tended to be quite imaginative, but still would have been well suited to animation. Sketching out an improbably situation or strange world quickly and then resolving it within four minutes – easy peasy.

Really, that’s what would have helped The Infinite Quest. In aiming to be a ‘normal’ Doctor Who story but stretched out over thirteen weeks, it ends up being oddly bloated yet still strangely truncated. The approach should have been to go for something simpler – just a series of vignettes and short stories. The Doctor playing chess with a funny looking alien. An old man in China telling his grandchildren how he met the Doctor and Martha years ago. Martha looking for a present for her mother in an alien marketplace.

Maybe I’m overestimating the budget for animation – it could simply be that this is actually quite a cheap way of animating the story, limiting the different locations and so on. Equally, it might have been a marketing thing, with the option of later DVD sales and etc. Or, probably most likely, they thought this was the best idea and I’m just wrong!

I doubt it, though. Because in its week on week format, The Infinite Quest just isn’t very good. And I don’t mean that in terms of “I can’t make any words up to talk about it” – it’s just not that entertaining. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t very entertaining ten years ago, either. I’d be quite interested if anyone does remember enjoying it in that weekly format. Also, quite surprised.


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Ten Years of the Tenth Doctor: The Infinite Quest (Part 4)

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Oh well!

There’s only so many times I can get 600 odd words out of absolutely nothing, and I’m increasingly starting to suspect that I’m about to hit the limit on that.

Literally nothing happens in this segment. Well, not literally. There’s a brief shift in scene and a few bits of dialogue, but it’s clear that this is a segment that no one would have found particularly impressive while it was on. If they found any of them that impressive, that is – I’m starting to question what the point of this was at all. Given the structure of these things, they’re always inevitably so throwaway and meaningless, I doubt they were in any way a highlight of Totally Doctor Who at all.

They’re further hampered by the fact that they’re a week apart. I remembered very little of what was happening last week – why do the Doctor and Martha want to rescue Callico? – and I doubt I’ll remember much of this one next week. These instalments are so immaterial as to be irrelevant week on week, and so you can’t maintain any significant attempt at serialised storytelling. And that’s a problem, of course, because the whole conceit of The Infinite Quest is that it unfolds week by week.

Elsewhere, the episode manages to take everything that should be good about animated Doctor Who and does the exact opposite. Blatantly, this is the cheap one – they’re all just standing around, blinking and little bit, and occasionally moving their mouths. It’s not a particularly well animated piece television – understandably, because it was likely made on a shoestring budget. I’m usually less than inclined to criticise something on the basis of its technical standards, but here the technical process is part of the storytelling – it’s the very medium in which it’s conveyed. So, actually, where the medium falls down it is worthy of critique.

Along the same line of though, I think it’s probably worth discussing the peformances. That’s something I’ve been largely avoiding over the past few weeks, but it sticks out here. They aren’t, to be honest, very good. Freema Ageyman – here, at least – isn’t particularly good at voice acting, and while David Tennant manages better, it’s also clear that he’s not putting in a huge amount of effort. They’re passable, and in some ways their performances are more or less appropriate for the animation, but it is rather weak overall.

On the one hand, that feels like a shame. Yes, this is all just a throwaway bit of nonsense that’s “for kids” – but then, why is it that the stuff that’s “for kids” is reduced to being throwaway nonsense of limited quality? You sort of question the point of this at all, and why “Doctor Who for kids” amounts to something that seemed to have been made on a “that’ll do” basis.

But then, on the other hand, it’s a little difficult to hold them to task for this exactly. In some senses, it’s just part of a process of working out what works and what doesn’t. This is, as it exists in 2007, what Doctor Who looks like on CBBC. Eventually, though, they’ll figure out the right way to do a more simplistic story with weekly cliffhangers, and it’ll be fantastic.

So, yeah. For now, it’s the throwaway nonsense of The Infinite Quest. Eventually, though, they work out how to do The Sarah Jane Adventures, so it all turned out fine in the end really.

(588. That’ll do.)


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