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22 December 2017 @ 09:43 pm
The Randomiser: Arc of Infinity  
The most notable thing about our watch of Arc of Infinity was that the Teenager joined us for episode 4. To our surprise she was totally smitten. The 80s are the coolest. They have the coolest costumes and the coolest Doctor Who episodes. Given episode 4 of Arc of Infinity is little more than an extended chase sequence through the streets of Amsterdam, I am somewhat at a loss to explain the enthusiasm. Maybe it really is the 80s costumes.

To be honest, the 1980s committed far worse stories than Arc of Infinity. It is mostly pretty solid, even the Amsterdam chase sequence while clearly mostly there to show off the fact that they're filming in Amsterdam, is at least passable. Tegan's cousin Colin and friend Robin may not be played by the best actors ever to appear on the show, but they are by far from the worst and while slightly wooden, they are at least believably awkward and useless. The separation of Tegan from the Doctor and Nyssa for most of the story gives Nyssa a chance to shine where she is often over-shadowed by Tegan's more ascerbic character. The Time Lords are, well, 1980s Time Lords which means they are fine as far as they go. I think one could argue that the Time Lords rarely work that well in person, in either the old series or the new. There are a couple of notable exceptions (I think Deadly Assassin works) but in general making them some combination of bureaucratic, corrupt and a bit fuddy duddy just makes them seem a bit dull and prosaic. Arc of Infinity is one in a line of "some Time Lord has gone bad and the rest are a bit ineffectual" stories, mostly based on The Deadly Assassin's template. It suffers from this being a story we are now familiar with, but it is at least executed competently here.

I'm sounding quite down on this but, to be honest, it potters along at a fair old pace and is entertaining enough, particularly, it would seem, if you are 14.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/474141.html.
louisedennis: Who:Fivelouisedennis on December 24th, 2017 09:28 am (UTC)
Hmm... I'd say it has more than one episode's worth of plot, though maybe not four (and certainly not four in modern terms). I had to remind myself that this was before The Five Doctors so the Time Lord side of things wasn't quite as rinse-and-repeat as it was to come. While The Deadly Assassin does Time Lord politics far better, Arc of Infinity puts at least a little effort into differentiating them and giving them various points of view.

None of these account for random teenager enthusiasm for episode 4, but there you go.