Bryn Williams gets animated...
The Infinite Quest was originally split into
twelve weekly parts of about three & a half minutes each, and broadcast as part of the CBBC show
Totally Doctor Who. This wasn't a show I watched or really took an interest in. But after the penultimate episode of Series 3, The Sound of Drums, there was a trailer for an entire compilation broadcast of The Infinite Quest. So 10:30am, Saturday June 30th 2007, I sat down to watch this animated adventure. I know it's aimed at a very young audience but I enjoyed it. Possibly more than I should've. It also left me championing more animated Doctor Who adventures.
The Infinite Quest begins with the TARDIS arriving on the
warship of the evil Baltazar (Anthony Head), just as he intends to turn
every living creature on Earth into diamonds by enveloping the entire
planet in a field of plasma fire. The Doctor (David Tennant) manages to
stop him with a spoon - take that Peter Capaldi.
The Doctor & Martha (Frrema Agyeman) find out
about Baltazar's new plan to find the legendary spaceship Infinite
which has the power to grant whatever one desires. Fearing that if
Baltazar finds the Infinite he will use its powers for evil, the Doctor
& Martha set out to find it first and stop Baltazar...
The animation isn't quite as good as Dreamland, especially when it comes to the Tenth Doctor. I'm not a fan of the genre but I guess there's a touch of the Japanese Anime to it. But, just like Dreamland, without the budget restrictions of a live-action show things can be presented on a much
grander scale; from alien planets with three suns on the horizon, to
snowy landscapes, to underground prisons, to jungle worlds, to huge
derelict ships floating in space. There are locations here that the
live-action series could only dream about. It's a tick in the pro's column for producing a series of animated Doctor Who adventures.
The Infinite Quest also gives us a more varied cast of characters; from huge Mantasphid Queen bugs, to slinky stylish
robots, to huge mechanical birds, to lizard-men, to an entire futuristic
pirate crew who are nothing but skeletons, to Baltazar with his shutter
blind like eye-protectors and tubes of green bubbling liquid attached
to his mask. In the modern series each one would work as a villain of the week, and most would tear up a design budget. Tick number two.
It's clear how this was broken up into short installments, and possibly it might work even better viewed that way (I've never seen it in shorter chapters as even the DVD release is a complete 45 minute version), as some elements are jumped over and a few characters appear and disappear quite quickly, but what I really liked about it was that it had a feel of the Classic series about it but edited at a modern pace. Think The Key To Time story-arc, or The Daleks Masterplan, those kind of adventures which took in many planets and locations. Simply put, if you enjoyed stories like that and consider yourself a Doctor Who fan then The Infinite Quest should be for you. Tick three.
As we know now, since 2007 there has only been one more animated Doctor Who adventure, Dreamland, which is a shame as there is real potential in the medium. Pretty much anything is possible and any story can be told. The technology is also much cheaper now, and so a series of well written CGI adventures could be a great solution to give us more Doctor Who throughout the year.
I'd watch them. Would you?