Fri, 13 July 2007
The Infinite Quest is an animated serial based on the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was aired in twelve weekly parts (three and a half minutes each) starting 2 April 2007 as a segment of the children's spin-off show Totally Doctor Who. However, on Totally Doctor Who, it was revealed that the final episode (after episode 12) will be shown at the end of the "Omnibus" episode, thus increasing the total to thirteen parts, making the compiled series the equivalent length of a standard episode of Doctor Who. The compiled story was broadcast on 30 June 2007, coinciding with the finale of Series 3.
The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones set off on an adventure through space to find the datachips to unlock The Infinite, a huge spaceship that can grant people their heart's desire. However, the evil Baltazar is also searching for the ship.
An alien named Baltazar has set his sights on Earth, planning to compress its population into diamonds. The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones arrive on his ship to stop him. The Doctor threatens him with a spoon, which Baltazar cuts in half with his metal claw hand. The spoon happens to be made of a special fungus, which when introduced to the metal ship quickly begins to rust it. As the ship falls apart, the Doctor frees Baltazar's huge metallic bird, Caw, who carries Baltazar away. The Doctor muses that Baltazar will end up on the ice prison planet Volag-Noc at some point.
Some time later, Caw takes the Doctor and Martha to his home planet, where he gives Martha a brooch as a gift. He also spits up a datachip, explaining that it and three others like it hold the location of The Infinite, an ancient spaceship that can grant people their heart's desire. Each datachip leads to the next one. At first unwilling to search for it, the Doctor is forced to when Caw notes that Baltazar has a copy of the datachip. As the two set off on their quest, Caw is revealed to be working for Baltazar.
The first chip leads to the planet Boukan, where the pirate captain Kaliko is raiding the living oil rigs they find there. She is wearing the next datachip as an earring. Assuming the Doctor and Martha to be spies for the oil companies, Kaliko tells her crew of skeletons to throw them overboard, unaware that her first mate, Mr. Swabb Mate, is in fact the spy. Swabb stages a mutiny and has the oil rigs shoot down the ship, but their poor aim causes them to scatter the crew in doing so. After Swabb is knocked out, the Doctor reveals the reason for their visit to Kaliko. She tries to escape in a pod, but is found murdered after landing near the TARDIS. With nothing left to do, the Doctor and Martha take her datachip and follow it to the next one.
The next chip is on the planet Myarr, being used as a necklace by a lizard alien named Mergrass. Mergrass has been hired to advise the Mantasphids, alien bugs, on military strategy against the humans attacking them, but in reality is little more than a gun-runner. During an attack by the humans, a pilot is captured. He reveals that the Mantasphids invaded the planet for its fertile dung, and that the humans were there first. To rid themselves of the bugs, the humans have decided to bomb the entire area. The Mantasphid Queen turns to Mergrass for help, but is unwilling to pay him for it, and as such he refuses to arm the weapons he provided her with. As Mergrass leaves, the Doctor is forced to defuse the situation by impersonating the supposed pirate-master of the Mantasphid, which proves successful. Quickly telling the pilot to work with the Mantasphid for the benefit of both species, he follows after Mergrass. By this point, Mergrass has also been killed, so again the Doctor and Martha take the left-behind datachip and head for the next plant.
The final datachip is on the ice prison planet Volag-Noc. Upon arriving, the Doctor is quickly identified as a wanted criminal and dumped in a cell with a damaged robot. Martha is taken to the Governor of the facility, a human named Gurney. He has the final datachip locked in a safe. As they discuss things, both Martha and the Doctor discover that Gurney isn't the Governor, but one of the prisoners. The robot Locke who is sharing the Doctor's cell is in fact the Governor, and the Doctor shouldn't have been put in the cell in the first place. Locke decides that all the prisoners are irredeemable and orders their execution, giving Gurney a chance to shoot Locke and escape with the datachip. The Doctor manages to prevent the prisoners' execution.
On the surface, Martha catches up to Gurney, but can do little to stop him without a weapon. At the same time, however, Baltazar arrives riding Caw. Gurney shoots down Caw, but is apparently dispatched by Baltazar off-screen. Caw dies from the damage caused by Gurney's shot while the Doctor and Martha comfort him. Baltazar then takes the two hostage, forcing the Doctor to show the way to The Infinite. He also reveals that Martha's "brooch" is actually Squawk, Caw's child, which flies to the body of his parent. Once the Doctor locks in The Infinite's location, Baltazar takes control of the TARDIS — as flying the TARDIS involves little more than a button-press, he no longer needs the Doctor. He leaves the Doctor to perish in the snow.
On The Infinite, Baltazar orders Martha to find the hold, which she does by accidentally falling through the deck. In the hold, Martha finds the Doctor waiting for her, but quickly realises that it is a creation of the ship: the ship is doing as promised. The real Doctor is close by, however, riding a matured Squawk. He quickly knocks Baltazar out and comes to Martha's aid. The Doctor informs her she just has to reject the vision, which she does, causing it to fade away. The Infinite tries to find the Doctor's heart's desire but he wards it off. He explains that for him it has been nearly three years, in which time he weened Squawk and helped re-establish Volag-Noc, making sure to tone down the somewhat homicidal Governor. He further explains that the heart's desires granted by The Infinite are little more than illusions, the last spark of whatever powerful being died within its walls. Baltazar has not yet realised this; he is standing in a treasure, oblivious to Martha's warnings about the illusion. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to vibrate the wreckage, causing the ship to fall apart. He and Martha flee in the TARDIS, leaving Baltazar to rely on Squawk, who has been trained by the Doctor to take Baltazar back to Volag-Noc. With the day saved, the Doctor and Martha resume their adventures.
 Cast notes
 Outside references
One segment of The Infinite Quest is shown each week during Totally Doctor Who, having begun on 2 April. The serial, animated by Firestep, is the second officially licensed, animated Doctor Who serial, the first being the flash-animated Scream of the Shalka (2003). Missing episodes of the 1968 serial The Invasion were also animated for that serial's 2006 DVD release. Both of these animations were produced by Cosgrove Hall. The BBC describes Firestep as "the creative team behind previous Doctor Who animated adventures for the BBC."
An earlier animated series based on Doctor Who, to be produced by Nelvana for CBS, was planned in the 1980s, but fell through. Production art had been drawn up by Ted Bastien. Three limited animated webcasts - Death Comes to Time, Real Time, and Shada - were made and 'cast' on the BBC Website before Scream of the Shalka.
Tue, 3 July 2007
A year after the events of "The Sound of Drums", Earth has been closed to all species and labelled as in "terminal extinction". Martha returns to Britain, having travelled the world since teleporting away from the Valiant at the moment of the Master's triumph. Her TARDIS key, still generating a perception filter, has kept her hidden all this time. She meets Thomas Milligan, a doctor-turned-freedom-fighter, who can lead her to one Professor Docherty. Martha herself has become a figure of hope against the Master, rumoured to be the only one capable of killing him.
Meanwhile, on the Valiant, the Master is keeping the aged Doctor in a 'dog-kennel' tent as his humiliated prisoner, Martha's family as his servants, and Captain Jack Harkness in chains. Lucy Saxon is still his companion, but shows evidence of physical and emotional abuse. The Master shows the Doctor the world he has created: the new Time Lord Empire. Across the planet, warships are being built to wage war on the rest of the universe. The Doctor has "only one thing to say", but the Master doesn't want to hear it. After a failed attempt by the Jones family, Jack, and the Doctor to gain control by stealing the Master's laser screwdriver, the Master sends out a transmission intended for Martha. Watching in Docherty's lab, she sees the Master suspend the Doctor's capacity to regenerate and age him by a further nine hundred years, shrinking him into a tiny, frail creature. Instead of being dismayed, Martha draws hope from the Doctor's continued survival.
Though the Toclafane have proven to be virtually invincible, Martha reveals that she stumbled upon one that was struck by lightning, and with the data gathered from the incident Docherty is able to replicate the required conditions. Upon examining the sphere thus captured, they make a horrifying discovery: the Toclafane contain the conscious remains of the humans from the year 100 trillion. There was no Utopia, only more darkness, and with everything dying around them the humans cannibalised and regressed themselves, becoming the child-like Toclafane. The Master brought them back in time using the TARDIS, which could only travel between Utopia and present-day Earth. The contradiction of the Toclafane killing their own ancestors is made possible by the paradox machine built by the Master. Martha is horrified when the Toclafane quotes young Creet that she met on Malcassairo, telling her that the Toclafane have shared memories of the last of humanity. When questioned as to why it wishes to kill its own ancestors, the Toclafane responds, "Because it's fun" followed by maniacal laughter. Tom subsequently shoots it dead.
When Docherty asks if the rumours about Martha are true, Martha reveals a gun, developed by Torchwood and UNIT, purportedly able to kill a Time Lord and prevent the ensuing regeneration. Martha has retrieved three of the four chemicals needed for the gun from their hiding places around the world, and has returned to London to find the fourth. After Martha and Thomas depart for a shelter in Bexley to hide, Docherty (who is desperate for information regarding her missing son) reveals their whereabouts to the Master.
The Master thus comes to Earth's surface to capture Martha, killing Tom, destroying the special gun and taking her back to the Valiant. He intends to execute her before the Doctor and her family, at the moment his fleet is launched. As the clock counts down, Martha reveals the real reason she travelled the globe. It wasn't for a fictional anti-regeneration gun, or to fight back, but merely to talk. She told everyone about the Doctor; specifically, she told everyone to think of the Doctor at the same time the Master plans to launch his fleet. Docherty's betrayal was expected, engineered by Martha so that she would be brought on board the Valiant to rejoin the Doctor. Combined with the Master's Archangel satellite network, which the Doctor has had an entire year to get in tune with, this has the effect of charging the Doctor with the combined psychic energy of the people of Earth. This enables the Doctor to restore his youthful physiognomy and end the Master's control. As the Master cowers, the Doctor says the words the Master was afraid to hear: "I forgive you."
With the Master out of the picture, Jack rounds up some soldiers to destroy the paradox machine, but is delayed by the Toclafane. The Master, using Jack's vortex manipulator, teleports himself and the Doctor to Earth, threatening to detonate his fleet and take the Earth with it. The Doctor knows that the Master can't kill himself, and manages to teleport both himself and the Master back to the Valiant just as Jack destroys the paradox machine, rewinding time to just after the US President is killed and just before the Toclafane arrive. All those on the Valiant remember the events due to being at "the eye of the storm", but nobody else will know of the Master's reign of terror in "the year that never happened".
The Master, now defenceless, is handcuffed and stands before the Doctor. The Doctor announces that, since the Master is a Time Lord, he is the Doctor's responsibility and will be imprisoned on board the TARDIS. Francine Jones is talked out of shooting the Master, but Lucy Saxon, with a glazed expression, seizes a gun herself and shoots him. Rather than be a prisoner for the rest of his lives, the Master lets himself die, refusing to regenerate despite the Doctor's desperate pleas. Just before dying in his opponent's arms, the Master muses on the constant drumming in his head, wondering if it will finally stop, and with a smile says, "I win", leaving the Doctor to weep for his lost adversary and fellow Time Lord. The Doctor cremates the Master's body on a pyre. However, after he leaves, a female hand wearing red nail polish is seen taking the Master's ring from the burnt-out pyre, with malevolent laughter echoing in the background.
In Cardiff, Jack decides to remain behind to look after his team, "defending the Earth". The Doctor disables Jack's vortex manipulator to keep him from jumping through time unsupervised. The Doctor then tells Jack there's nothing that can be done about his immortality: it seems likely he'll never be able to die — though he isn't sure about aging. Thinking about what he might look like millions of years from now, Jack confesses his vanity and recalls how, as the first person from the Boeshane Peninsula to join the Time Agency, his good looks earned him the nickname "the Face of Boe".
With the TARDIS repaired, the Doctor is ready to move on. Martha, however, has decided to stay so she can look after her family and finally qualify as a medical doctor. She gives the Doctor her phone so they can keep in touch and says she will see him again, but when someone is in love and it's unrequited, they have to get out: "this is me getting out". Leaving in the TARDIS, the Doctor begins to relax in the console room chair — until the ship is suddenly shaken with great force, and the bow of a ship smashes through the TARDIS' wall. Picking up a lifebelt, he finds "Titanic" written on it, to which he can only respond, "What?!"
 Cast Notes