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TV on DVD: "Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest"

Since the end of Doctor Who's fourth season, I've been going through a bit of Who withdrawal. I like having the Doctor on my television set each week and the long breaks between seasons (especially since the next batch of episodes will be four feature-length specials rather than a thirteen-episode season) seems especially harsh.

So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there IS a new episode of Doctor Who available to watch. Sort of, anyway.

Next month, BBC Video will release the animated special Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest, which presents a brand-new story for the Doctor and Martha Jones. Originally broadcast in thirteen segments of three and a half minutes during children's series Totally Doctor Who, The Infinite Quest is a sort of flashback to the days of the Doctor traveling with Martha Jones and if you're a fan of that particular pairing, the special is a rare treat.

David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, and Anthony Head lend their voices to this animated tale which features the Doctor and Martha tangling with an evil villain Baltazar (Head), who is in search of a mythical ship called The Infinite which has the power to grant your heart's greatest desire. Knowing that Baltazar will bring about nothing but destruction if he gets his hands on The Infinite, the Doctor and Martha set out on a quest to reach The Infinite first, unaware that they are playing right into Baltazar's hands the whole time.

While the story--from writer Alan Barnes--lacks some of the nuance of a traditional, live-action Doctor Who episode (it's clearly intended for children rather than adults), there's still the same fun energy and clever banter between the Doctor and Martha that we've come to expect from the series. I put the plot somewhere early in their partnership (right around Season Three's "The Lazarus Experiment") and there's something incredibly nostalgic about watching their story unfold, given what we know now about how things turn out between the Doctor and Martha.

The animation could be a little smoother and less blocky but there's also a certain charm to the animation style, which is a little rougher and choppier than we typically see in traditional hand-drawn animated fare.

Extras on the one-disc DVD include interviews with David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, Anthony Head, Toby Longsworth, and director Gary Russell, animation and voiceover behind-the-scenes video, animatics, photo gallery, character profiles, and a featurette on David Tennant's Animated Test.

For those of us desperate to catch up with the Doctor, this is at least something to tide us over until Sci Fi and BBC America announce when those of us in the States will get to see the Doctor Who Christmas special. Me, I'm just happy to jump back into the TARDIS for a bit.

Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest will be released on November 18th. You can pre-order this DVD release through the Televisionary Shop for $9.98.


Anonymous said…
The Doctor in animated form? I love it! Especially as Tennant, Agyeman, and even Anthony Head did the voice work. Sounds like fun!
joy said…
Ah! Thanks for the reminder! I watched it on YT over the summer, and was waiting for it on DVD.

My problem is with the ancillary stuff, is that I start forgetting that it's not technically part of the DW show, and the lines blur.

To wit: You know how has like 3 or 4 DW books that are narrated by David Tennant? I bought all of them online, and while it's fun to hear DT do all the voices for Rose/Mickey/Martha/Donna, my problem is that I keep thinking the stories actually happened on the show, show.
Jace Lacob said…
Joy, I think that's always the challenge with ancillary elements to ongoing television series these days. What exactly becomes canon and what doesn't? By its nature (thanks to the time travel element), Doctor Who is a hell of a lot more fluid than some other properties, but it's still a bit of a head-scratcher.

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