Doctor Who: Season 20, Episode 1

Arc of Infinity: Part One (3 Jan. 1983)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Horror
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On Gallifrey, someone on the high council is perpetrating a treasonous act - transmitting the Doctor's bio-extract from the space/time matrix to an anti-matter being. On Earth, two English ... See full summary »



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Title: Arc of Infinity: Part One (03 Jan 1983)

Arc of Infinity: Part One (03 Jan 1983) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Episode cast overview:
Leonard Sachs ...
Ian Collier ...
The Renegade (voice)
Paul Jerricho ...
Neil Daglish ...
Max Harvey ...
Andrew Boxer ...
John D. Collins ...
Maya Woolfe ...
Hostel Receptionist
Malcolm Harvey ...


On Gallifrey, someone on the high council is perpetrating a treasonous act - transmitting the Doctor's bio-extract from the space/time matrix to an anti-matter being. On Earth, two English lads spend their last night in Amsterdam sleeping in a crypt where they're attacked by an alien creature under the same anti-matter being's control. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

3 January 1983 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Peter Cushing was considered for the role of Borusa. See more »


The Doctor: Well, you know how it is. You put things off for a day, the next thing you know it's a hundred years later.
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User Reviews

Passable first episode.

Doctor Who: Arc of Infinity: Part One starts as a shadowy unseen treacherous Timelord informs his sinister master that because of time, present location & personality the Doctor (Peter Davison) has been chosen... A renegade Timelord (Ian Collier) leaves the anti-matter Uinverse known as Rondel, a collapsed Q-Star which shield's anti-matter & is a gateway between the anti-matter & matter dimensions that has becomes known as the Arc of Infinity. The renegade tries to bond with the Doctor in order to reverse his polarity & remain in our Universe but fails. On Gallifrey the Timelords become aware of what is happening & activate the recall circuit inside the TARDIS to land it in the security area on Gallifrey...

Episode 1 from season 20 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during January 1983 & was the first story from Peter Davison's second season as the Doctor. After the absolute disaster that was Time-Flight (1982) that ended season nineteen I was hoping for a return to form although by the time Arc of Infinity was made the divine right to expect it had long gone, sure during the 60's & 70's there were some poor Doctor Who stories but there were almost always a couple of gems in a season but unfortunately during the 80's this was not always the case & genuine true classics became rather thin on the ground. Arc of Infinity kicked off the twentieth anniversary season of Doctor Who & it does so with a whimper rather than a bang, in a strange case of coincidence (yeah, right) the villain from the opening tenth anniversary season story The Three Doctors (1973) makes a reappearance as does the Doctors home planet Gallifrey & his people the Timelords. Originally scripted under the titles of The Time of Neman & then The Time of Omega before being retitled Arc of Infinity by Johnny Byrne this story suffers from the same basic problem as Time-Flight in that the plot is too confusing with far too much pointless pseudo-science which makes no sense. There are just so many instances of unfathomable exposition which will mean nothing to the average person, it will just leave them scratching their heads as one baffling explanation for an event is given after the other & even seasoned Doctor Who fans will some of it less than easy to follow. The cliffhanger ending to this episode is also really weak & you don't need to watch Part Two to work out how it's going to be resolved. On the plus side with no Tegan as a companion it's just Nyssa & the Doctor which I must say I thought they worked really well against each other & I would have liked an entire story with just Nyssa & the Doctor.

For some pointless reason producer John Nathan-Turner insisted Arc of Infinity shoot on location in Amsterdam (in these scenes you can see the public standing there looking straight into the camera), only the second time at that point that an episode of Doctor Who had been filmed outside the UK after City of Death (1979) from season seventeen was partially shot in Paris. Since we last saw Gallifrey in The Invasion of Time (1978) during season fifteen they have had the interior decorators in & the results look a bit cheap with beige sofa's & horrible multi coloured plastic deco. The Timelord costumes still look good though. This episode is also notable because Colin Baker has a large role as Commander Maxil who of course would go on to play the sixth Doctor over two seasons after Peter Davison left the role. A special mention goes to Ergon, a silly monster that looks like a giant bony plucked chicken.

Arc of Infinity: Part One is an OK episode thanks to no Tegan & the fact it gives Nyssa a chance to shine, unfortunately that situation would soon change...

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