The Infinite Quest was a special animated Doctor Who serial broadcast during Series 3. It was written by Alan Barnes, directed by by Gary Russell and featured David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones.
It 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 Tenth 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. Baltazar falls through the rusting floor. At Martha's prompting 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 brooch, 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 as he sold him out. 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 heated by artificial suns and where Oil Corporation is 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, the first mate 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 all right, 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 Martha'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 onto the plank. Kaliko withdraws the plank, causing Swabb to fall onto the sand, though he survives. 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 bugs which swarm 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, though the Doctor says he is an arms dealer. 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 killed his parents. 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 Martha 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 Queen asks Meregrass what they should do but he replies that he was only helping her in the first place because he thought he would be paid, meaning he doesn't give them the code to activate the weapons and leaves. The Doctor notes that they can't let him get too far as he has the data chip. The Queen then reluctantly decides that the Mantasphids will surrender. Kelvin says that there is no protocol for dealing with bugs because of the atrocities they've committed but the Doctor points out they still have a right to live. As the Earth commanders announce the Mantasphid hive is due for imminent destruction, Martha then suggests that they surrender instead of the bugs. Kelvin opens a communication to the commanders, and the Doctor (in a pirate voice) surrenders for the bugs, claiming he is "Doctor Vile" and was holding their Queen hostage. The hive destruction is then cancelled. The Doctor 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 the 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 3,005 (with another 6000 in consideration) 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 the door.
The door bursts open, and the Doctor is revealed to be with the real governor (Lok), 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 has broken back into prison because of the governor. Meregrass sold him a program meaning the warders saw him as Lok and Lok as him. Lok 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 the cells from 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, though Baltazar goes after Gurney — Martha goes over to Caw as he is dying, and Caw explains that he was promised Gold for helping Baltazar. The Doctor arrives — but cannot help and Caw dies. 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 and now has Gurney's chip (having presumably killed him too). 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 after three years on Volag-Noc — he has grown Squawk by feeding him molten gold, re-programmed Lok to run a fairer prison and then he upgraded Squawk's fusion chamber to make him travel faster than light so that he can catch up the two and three quarter years. He says the ship once had one of the Great Old Ones, but by now it is dead and there is only an echo left, enough to show your heart's desire. As he talks, Baltazar arrives and sees lots of gold, with which he plans to make a fleet and destroy the Doctor, Earth and Volag-Noc. 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, who is returned to Volag-Noc and imprisoned. The Doctor 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
- The Doctor makes mention of the greatest chefs on Earth and the Copacabana Beach.
- 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.
- Martha wonders if the Doctor's request to call out random numbers is like a "space lottery".
- Sand can interfere with the operation of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver if it clogs the inner components.
- The Ceres system is mentioned.
- 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 episode index at the back of the 2011 edition of Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia places this story between 42 and Human Nature.
- 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.
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.
to be added
- 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)
- Gurney says that the Doctor's crimes have earned him two billion years in prison. The Twelfth Doctor would later spend billions of years imprisoned inside a Confession Dial by the Time Lords. (TV: Heaven Sent)
Home video releases
- Released on a single DVD in the UK on 5 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).
- It is available to download on iTunes.