The Infinite Quest was an animated Doctor Who adventure that aired at around the same time as the show’s third season. It was made up of 13 short episodes that totaled 45 minutes (the length of a single episode).
Anthony Head (is he a Sir now?) voices Baltazar, an evil 40th-century dude with a robot parrot sidekick; he has the typical villain aspiration of wanting to conquer and/or destroy. The TARDIS appears on Baltazar’s ship, and the Doctor and Martha thwart his initial plan of compressing the population of Earth into diamonds.
However, Baltazar’s real desire is to find the Infinite, a lost space ship from the beginning of time that has the power to grant people their hearts’ desires. Its location is a secret, and the only way to find it is by collecting a bunch of datachips scattered throughout space. Now the Doctor is in a race to get to the Infinite before Baltazar or really bad stuff will happen.
Hunting for Datachips
The Doctor and Martha get the first datachip from Baltazar’s parrot.
The second datachip is on a pirate woman’s earring; she and her literal skeleton crew wage war against living oil rigs on a desert planet.
The Doctor mediates a conflict between humans and mantis creatures to get the third chip.
And the last chip is in a prison facility on an ice world.
After the Doctor gets the Infinite’s location, Baltazar steals the TARDIS to get there, but we learn that it’s now so old that all it can do is grant illusions and nothing more. The Doctor uses his Sonic Screwdriver to rip the Infinite apart, and Baltazar is taken to the ice planet prison.
Like The Keys of Marinus and the famous Key to Time storylines in Classic Who, The Infinite Quest gives the Doctor another mission where he has to go to different locations to collect MacGuffins. Overall it wasn’t bad, but my main issue was the pacing. It may have been better to watch it in its original form of multiple, shorter episodes instead of one long one. It felt too fast, quickly going from location to location with little time to breathe. But in some ways it also felt repetitive and I started losing interest towards the end.
The writing was fine and true to the show; it’s been a long time since I’ve seen season 3, but Martha was portrayed especially well here. In the series, from what I remember, she got the shaft and was just an unremarkable presence in a lot of her episodes, barring one or two exceptions. But in The Infinite Quest, she’s at the forefront showing her intelligence, quick wit, and resourcefulness.
The animation is decent, if fairly limited, relying on a lot of close ups with the occasional long shot or action shot, and a dash of 3d CG mixed in for vehicles and the mantis alien. But the facial movements were very fluid and expressive, and it’s about as good as the recent animated restorations of lost Classic Who serials. I’m really surprised we haven’t gotten more Doctor Who cartoons like this.
It’s perfectly serviceable but there’s no need to watch it unless you’re a big fan of the Tenth Doctor or Martha (or a completist).
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