Doctor Who: Season 19, Episode 23

Time-Flight: Part One (22 Mar. 1982)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
6.6
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A British Airways Concord disappears on final approach. The Doctor, still reeling from the loss of Adric, becomes involved when his TARDIS miss-fires from its intended destination of London... See full summary »

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Title: Time-Flight: Part One (22 Mar 1982)

Time-Flight: Part One (22 Mar 1982) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
...
Richard Easton ...
Captain Stapley
Keith Drinkel ...
Michael Cashman ...
First Officer Bilton
Peter Dahlsen ...
Horton
Brian McDermott ...
Sheard
...
Captain Urquhart
Peter Cellier ...
Andrews
Judith Byfield ...
Anthony Ainley ...
Kalid (as Leon Ny Taiy)
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Storyline

A British Airways Concord disappears on final approach. The Doctor, still reeling from the loss of Adric, becomes involved when his TARDIS miss-fires from its intended destination of London 1851 and appears at Heathrow airport. The Doctor follows the lost plane into the deep past only to discover he is part of an illusion. This forces him to ask the question: if there is an illusion, who is the conjurer? Written by chapman_glen@yahoo

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22 March 1982 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This is considered by fans to be the worst story of Peter Davison's run, an opinion shared by the actor himself. He claimed it was a "very good story, but we had run out of money. We filmed the prehistoric landscape of Heathrow airport in Studio 8 [at TV Centre] with a model Concorde in the back of the studio. The monsters were bits of foam. We didn't do the story justice." See more »

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The Doctor: Behind every illusion there's a conjurer. In this case I shouldn't think he went to all this trouble for our entertainment.
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User Reviews

 
A Turkey Makes A Crash Landing
28 January 2014 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Refers To All Four Episodes . Suggestive Spoilers

Still grieving at the death of Adric the Tardis crew land at Heathrow airport and find out a concord has disappeared on its approach to London . Trying to get to the bottom of the mystery The Doctor suggests loading the Tardis on to another concord and flying on a similar flight path .

A week after seeing Earthshock this audience member was still in something of a daze . That adventure would surely have grabbed the casual viewer by their sensitive bits and would have hooked them in to watching more of the same so the audience would be expecting a delicious dessert after the main course feast of Earthshock

Unfortunately what we got was lukewarm vomit and sums up what would be a fundamental flaw from producer John Nathan Turner - creating an audience buzz then following it up with a debacle . This would be most evident in 1984 with The Twin Dilemma following on from The Caves Of Androzani and we see something very similar here . Timeflight is one of the worst stories from the 1980s broadcast a week after one of the very best stories from the 1980s

To be fair the first episode is intriguing and contains a production coup in that it contains extensive filming in Heathrow airport . The problem is that this location filming merely exists as a publicity coup . It must have also cost a few bob because when the story cuts to London 140 million years earlier it's obvious that all the money is spent by the first episode . The scenes set during the Jurrasic period are amongst the most poorly realised in the history of the show . You might have been able to get away with this in 1964 with 405 line television but not in 1982 . I've sat in living rooms that are bigger than the sets seen here and it should have been obvious that this story would be unfilmable . You want to see a concord fly over a Jurrasic landscape ? Then watch a Hollywood movie because anyone thinking they can realise this image on DOCTOR is suffering from quixotic delusion , a fact reflected on screen

There's also a lack of thought gone in to the plotting . Kalid isn't who he claims to be so why does he feel the need to disguise himself ? There's a lack of internal logic to this except to set up a cliffhanger . As for the masterplan ( Geddit ? ) I'm somewhat confused as to what his aims were and how they tied in with capturing concord and the crew and passengers . The story also ends on a totally limp note with the Doctor giving an explanation as to how he's defeated the villain . Since the script was written by an established director , the highly acclaimed Peter Grimwade , you'd think he'd know better than to show and not tell

Timeflight ends Season 19 one of the most enjoyable , contrasting and experimental seasons the programme has given television . Not every story can be a classic but if you're going to make a very below par story it's better to broadcast it mid way through a season where it'll be quickly forgotten . As it stands having a turkey at the end of the season means it'll stick out in the mind of casual viewers who may not be so forgiving when the new season comes around


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