a real world point of view
|The Infinite Quest|
|Main enemy:||Baltazar, Caw and Squawk|
|Main setting:||Baltazar's ship in Earth orbit, Pheros, Boukon, Myarr, Volag-Noc and the Infinite, 40th century|
|Producer:||James Goss, Ros Attille|
|Number of episodes:||13|
|Premiere broadcast:||2 April - 29 June 2007|
|Format:||animated; eps 3'30" ea.|
The Infinite Quest was a special animated Doctor Who serial, featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones, which was produced for Totally Doctor Who. The show's live-action stars voiced their animated counterparts in this, the first made-for-television animated Doctor Who adventure. The serial was initially broadcast in twelve instalments of approximately three and a half minutes each; the thirteenth and concluding chapter, however, was not broadcast individually, but was incorporated into a re-edited omnibus version that incorporated the preceding twelve parts. The total running time of the serial was approximately that of a regular live-action episode. Although produced by the BBC using the show's actors, and clearly set within the Series Three timeframe, The Infinite Quest is not considered an episode of the third series.
Baltazar is aboard his spaceship looking upon a digital display of the Earth. Caw is with him, in a spherical cage. Baltazar gives the order for the plasma cannons to prepare to fire upon the Earth. The TARDIS materialises aboard Baltazar's ship. The Doctor and Martha Jones step out, and the Doctor tells Martha of Baltazar's title as scourge of the galaxy. Baltazar reveals that his plan is to consume the earth in a field of plasma fire that will compress all carbon-based life forms and reduce them to diamonds. The Doctor reveals his plan to stop Baltazar using a spoon he produces from his pocket — which Baltazar chops in half, causing it to fall upon the deck. The Doctor explains that the spoon was made on a planet that specialised in hydroxide fungus, which causes the deck of the ship to rust quickly. The Doctor frees Caw from his cage with his sonic screwdriver before flying off in the TARDIS. The Doctor predicts the most likely planet for Baltazar to be put in prison would be Volag-Noc. The Doctor asks Martha to give him three random numbers for the destination settings - which take them to Copacabana Beach. As they fly off, Baltazar's ship falls apart with the rust but Baltazar escapes riding on Caw, vowing to get back at the Doctor.
The Doctor is flying the Tardis at high speeds, when Caw catches it in flight, and takes it to his home planet of Pheros. He gives Martha a present for saving him, then tells The Doctor that Baltazar has been released from jail - and that he fears that Baltazar will come after him. Caw goes on to say that Baltazar is looking for The Infinite - an object that will give him his heart's desire. The Doctor believes this to be just a legend, but Caw tells him that Baltazar knows how to find it. He coughs out a data chip - which Baltazar has given him for safe keeping - and tells The Doctor that you need to use each chip to find another one - then that will lead you to the infinite. The Doctor goes to break the data chip to keep the Infinite lost, but Caw stops him, saying that Baltazar has a copy. The Doctor decides to go on the quest to prevent to Infinite fall into Baltazar's hands. As he leaves in the Tardis, Baltazar is revealed behind it. Caw confirms that the "tracker" is in place - and Baltazar boasts that the Doctor will lead him to his heart's desire - and he will have his revenge.
The Doctor and Martha land on the first planet - called Boukon, a world where oil corporations are taking the last of the oil to fuel the empire, because they ran out on Earth. The rigs begin to move towards the travellers when a ship comes up from the sand and uses ropes to attach itself to one of the rigs. In the process, the Tardis falls off the edge onto the sand. The captain introduces herself as Captain Kaliko, and explains that they are destroying the rigs to help "fuel the poor" because prices have become too high. She then accuses the travellers of being oil corp spies, and orders her (literal) skeleton crew to kill the travellers.
As they march on the Doctor and Martha, one of the skeletons, called Swabb, fires his gun to stop them, and suggests that they dispose of the bodies in the rigs they have destroyed to make it look like an accident. However, he whispers to the Doctor that they will be alright, making The Doctor think he is an oil corp spy. The captain makes them walk the plank, but the Doctor threatens to use his sonic screwdriver to destroy the ship. At that point, Swabb confirms the Doctor's suspicions by revealing that he is an oil corp spy, and asks the rest of the crew to help turn on the captain, promising them new bodies. The Doctor explains they are not with oil corp, but Swabb says it doesn't matter and orders the rigs to attack the ship.
The oil rigs are not very good shots, but eventually they hit the ship, and it crashes into the sand. Martha is threatened by Swabb - who says that he will take Matha's body as his new one, but he doesn't notice the Captain sneaking up behind him. Before she shoots, the Doctor comes up with his head in the steering wheel, knocking Swabb off the edge of the ship onto the sand. The travellers then turn to the Captain, asking her about her earring. She guesses that they are looking for the Infinite - and takes off in her escape pod. The Doctor and Martha go looking for her, and find the wreckage of the ship - with the captain dead. They take the data chip and move on to the planet of Myarr . They arrive in a city - which Martha notices is missing lights. Suddenly, they are faced with a swarm of bugs all around them.
As the bugs continue to swarm, the travellers are saved by Ulysees Meregrass - a toad like creature - who explains that he has an understanding with the bugs - which are called Mantasphids. He explains that they are at war, and that he is providing arms for their Queen. As they talk, they hear the sirens of ships approaching. The ships attack the area, and hit a tower - which falls towards Martha. Martha wakes up, and the Doctor explains that the tower was actually made of Dung. He then talks to the Queen about the humans, but she says that she already has an adviser in Meregrass. As they talk the bugs reveal that they have caught a pilot of one of the ships. The Doctor asks to see what they are fighting, and a strange creature comes in. He goes towards the Doctor with his arms stretched out to attack him.
Martha spots that the creature is actually just scared, and the Doctor removes the mask to reveal a human - who introduces himself as Pilot Kelvin. He explains that it is actually the bugs who are attacking the humans - saying that the bugs have destroyed his home and family. The Doctor demands to know why, and the queen explains that the planet has lots of Dung. Meregrass then asks for his money for delivering the weapons, but the queen refuses, saying that they do not make deals with fleshy bipeds. However, they hear the sirens of ships attacking again - and Meregrass leaves the queen saying that he only helped because he thought he would be paid. The Doctor notes that they can't let him get too far as he had the data chip. He then asks Kelvin what the ships will do, and Kelvin says that they will burn the whole area. As The Doctor ponders this, the ships get closer to the bugs.
The Doctor asks Kelvin to order the ships to stop - saying that the bugs can surrender, because they have a right to live. Kelvin says that there is no protocol for dealing with bugs, so Martha says that they should surrender for them. Kelvin opens a communication to the commanders, and the Doctor (in a pirate voice) surrenders for the bugs. He then asks the bugs to provide light for the humans to help combat the oil shortage, and leaves to avoid being captured. As they go down a tunnel, they find Meregrass Dead, and note to similarity to Kaliko earlier. However they have to move on and find the next chip - which is on Volag-Noc. They arrive on the planet - which is the coldest place in the galaxy. Martha asks where the prison is, when the Doctor is suddenly caught in a circle of lasers, and taken below the surface.
However, he has simply been taken into the prison, along with Martha. They are met by a robot, which confiscates the Doctor's screwdriver, and then scans them for convictions. Martha has none, but the Doctor has several and is sent to prison cell 8447. The bot then takes Martha to the Governor of the prison. The Doctor arrives in the cell, where he introduces himself to his android roommate. He then starts to help the android- who is suffering from a pain. Martha meets the Governor, and demands that the Doctor be released - but notices the safe which contains the data chip. The governor reveals the doctor's charges - and says that this earns him 2 billion years in prison. In the cell, the Doctor realises that the android has been inhibited, and the android helps him escape. The Governor is informed of the breakout in the cell, and accidentally reveals that he is not the real governor. Suddenly, a mysterious force starts cutting through a door at the side.
The door bursts open, and The Doctor is revealed with the real governor, who is attacked by the other security bots. The Doctor uses the Psychic paper to find out that the fake governor is actually Constantine Ethelred Gurney who have broken back into prison because of the governor. The Governor orders that all prisoners be killed because they are beyond rehabilitation. Gurney shoots the android once, and escapes in the lift - chased by Martha. The Doctor manages to stop to cells being sterilised, and then heads out to help Martha. Martha chases after Gurney, but he threatens to shoot her - when suddenly Baltazar flies in on Caw, proclaiming his revenge.
Gurney shoots Caw, forcing him to crash - Martha goes over to him as he is dying, and Caw explains that he was promised Gold for helping Baltazar. The Doctor arrives - but cannot help. Baltazar comes over and explains that he needed the Doctor's help to get the data chips - and says that he killed both Meregrass and Kaliko to help their quest. He forces them in the Tardis, and explains that he has tracked them using the brooch that Caw gave Martha. He knew that only the Doctor could read the chips as they are older than recorded history. He then forces the Doctor to use the chips to find where the Infinite is, and then makes him set the controls for, saying he will kill Martha if he doesn't help. Once the Doctor has set the controls, he shoots the Doctor because he doesn't need him any more.
The Doctor wakes up on the snowy surface, which is deserted. In the Tardis, Baltazar and Martha reach the Infinite - and he forced Martha to look for the hold of the ship. She walks along, and is met by the Doctor, who hugs her. At the same time, The Doctor arrives on Squawk - who has difficulty landing. Baltazar tries to turn Squawk, but The Doctor throws a rock at Baltazar to shut him up - he then demands to know where Martha is. Martha, still in the hold - asks the Doctor about the treasure - to which the Doctor replies "the heart's desire". She realises that this is not actually the Doctor, but her Heart's desire. The fake Doctor then glows white inside - ready to attack Martha.
The real Doctor arrives, and explains that Martha has to get rid of the illusion, which she manages by saying that she doesn't believe it. The ship then tries to find The Doctor's desire - but fails. The Doctor explains to Martha how he arrived - he has grown Squawk by feeding him gold, and then he upgraded his fusion chamber to make it travel faster than light so that he can catch up the two and three quarter years that it took him to do this. As he talks, Baltazar arrives and sees lots of gold. Martha and The Doctor try to convince him that this is just an echo of its power, but he doesn't listen. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to destroy the ship, and they head to the Tardis. The Doctor stops Baltazar from entering, and they take off. The Doctor explains that he has left Squawk to take Baltazar back to Volag-noc. He then asks Martha for more destination settings as they go on their way.
- The Doctor - David Tennant
- Martha Jones - Freema Agyeman
- Baltazar - Anthony Head
- Caw - Toby Longworth
- Captain Kaliko - Liza Tarbuck
- Swabb - Tom Farrelly
- Ulysees Meregrass - Paul Clayton
- The Mantasphid Queen - Lizzie Hopley
- Pilot Kelvin - Steven Meo
- Control Voice - Barney Harwood
- Gurney - Stephen Greif
- Governor Lok - Dan Morgan
- Warden - Dan Morgan
- Squawk - Toby Longworth
- Writer - Alan Barnes
- Director - Gary Russell
- Animation - Firestep
- Production Designer - Edward Thomas
- Sound Design - Doug Sinclair, Howard Eaves, Paul McFadden
- Dubbing Mixer - Peter Jeffreys
- Composer - Murray Gold
- Music Arranger - Ben Foster
- Production Runner - Scott Handcock
- Production Accountant - Elaine Stephenson
- Post Production Co-ordinator - Vickie Mansell
- Production Manager - Kirstie Reid
- Production Executive - Paul Williams
- Executive Producers for CBBC - Gillian Scothern, Reem Nouss, Jon East
- Producers - James Goss, Ros Attille
- Series Producer - Gilliane Seaborne
- Executive Producer - Mark Cossey
- Executive Producers for Doctor Who - Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner
- In the first episode, the Doctor makes mention of the greatest chefs on Earth and the Copacabana Beach.
- In the second episode, the Doctor mentions the Racnoss, Great Vampires and the Nestene.
- The Great Old Ones are also mentioned. The Infinite holds the last vestiges of the power of one of them that died.
- The Doctor destroys Baltazar's ship with a spoon.
- Kevin utters the phrase "kills all known bugs dead." This is similar to the advertising slogans of two well-known products: the UK bleach Domestos and the North American insecticide, Raid ("Raid Kills Bugs Dead").
- The Doctor is threatened on the plank on the pirate ship, a possible reference to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, when Luke Skywalker is doing the same.
Story notes Edit
- The Infinite Quest was broadcast as part of Totally Doctor Who. A behind-the-scenes feature on the making of the serial (included on the DVD) was produced for the children's programme; one of its hosts, Barney Harwood, voices a minor character in the serial.
- The story was also run as a full episode, with the last part following on from the end of part twelve. Total running time is approximately the equivalent of one standard live-action episode; this is the format used for the DVD release.
- Martha Jones explains this adventure in the Sunday, July 01, 2007 Entry in her Blog.
- The compilation adds a shot of the Tardis flying in the vortex in episode 1 after the travellers escape Baltazar's ship.
- The compilation also adds the Doctor Who introduction between episodes 1 and 2 - which is the same as a normal introduction, but with the TARDIS resembling the animated style of the story rather than looking like the live action version.
- The first part aired only two days after Martha's first appearance in Smith and Jones.
- The compilation episode was shown on the same day as Last of the Time Lords.
- The notion of producing an animated Doctor Who adventure or full series is not a new one. The idea has been floated since at least the 1980s. After the series was placed on "indefinite hiatus" in 1989, one option considered was an animated series featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace, with Canadian animation house Nelvana at one point reported to be interested. This project never materialised. In the late 1990s the idea of doing animated adventures for Internet broadcast ("webcast") surfaced. Over the next few years several such productions were made, including Death Comes to Time, Real Time, Shada and Scream of the Shalka.
- The behind the scenes featurette on the DVD (produced for Totally Doctor Who indicates that some scenes were recorded with all the actors present in the same recording studio, while other scenes were recorded with the actors isolated in recording cubicles.
- Anthony Head plays Baltazar; he also guest-starred as Lassar in TV: School Reunion. Head also narrates Doctor Who Confidential and also lent his voice to a number of Big Finish Productions' audio productions.
to be added
- The Infinite Quest (all chapters combined) constitutes a fourteenth episode of Series 3. Although some fans may consider it such, officially the BBC does not consider it an episode of Series 3, punctuated by the fact it was released separately to DVD and not with the rest of the Series 3 episodes.
Production errors Edit
- The Doctor tells Martha "don't do that" when she attempts to speak like a pirate. This follows a similar admonition she received in TV: The Shakespeare Code when trying to talk in "old English", against Rose Tyler attempting a Scottish accent (TV: Tooth and Claw), while Donna Noble would later receive this request twice (in different contexts) (TV: The Unicorn and the Wasp, Midnight).
- Episode 2 implies that some time passes for the Doctor and Martha between the events of episode 1, where they defeat Baltazar and meet the young Caw, and episode 2 where they encounter the older Caw and are given their mission.
- When Martha is eager to rush out of the TARDIS when it lands on Myarr, the Doctor warns that sabre-toothed gorillas could be out there. The Second Doctor with John and Gillian once encountered a tribe of sabre toothed gorillas. (COMIC: The Sabre-Toothed Gorillas)
Home video releases Edit
- Released on a single DVD in the UK in November 2007, with special features listed here. A North American DVD release occurred on 18 November 2008, marking the first time ever that an official, complete Doctor Who adventure had been released to home video in North America without it first having been broadcast there (discounting releases of incomplete serials from the 1960s and Shada).