5.0 out of 5 stars A great finale for Davison's first season
The crew is still suffering from the Death of Brave Adric, who died at the hands of a Cyberman in Earthshock. So the Doctor decides to take Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) to nineteenth century England for a celebration, but something outside the TARDIS causes problems and they end up at Heathrow airport in 1982. The Doctor has to figure out what has...
Published on Jun 19 2001 by Gwyn Jeffers
3.0 out of 5 stars Season 19 ends on a bit of a rum story
Following Adric's death from the previous story, the Doctor decides to cheer Nyssa and Tegan by taking them to the Great London Exhibition of 1851, but something draws the TARDIS off course, forcing them to...of all places, Heathrow Airport in contemporary England, where Tegan wanted to return (q.v. The Visitation.) After using his UNIT credentials to get them out of...
Published on Feb 9 2004 by Daniel J. Hamlow
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3.0 out of 5 stars Season 19 ends on a bit of a rum story,
They find the answer in the Jurassic Period, which is where the time contour that hijacked them ends. The crew and passengers of the other flight are under some hypnotic influence, all that is except for a Professor Hayter, a university scientist specializing in hypnotism who was unaffected. He thinks that the plane was hijacked by the Soviets and that they are behind the iron curtain.
The sight of a crashed spaceship, a citadel, and a grotesque-looking Oriental magician named Kalid, leads the travellers to believe there's more to their predicament.
Nyssa plays a larger role by acting as a medium for some aliens divided into good and evil halves, and there's a kind of sixth sense about her, which may come from her being from Traken. And at least Tegan finally gets to be a stewardess, having worn her uniform all throughout the season.
I can't tell more without spoiling the rest. Paleontology seems to be a weak case in Doctor Who (q.v. The Silurians, The Sea Devils). 140 million years ago is indeed the close of the Jurassic Period, but then the Doctor says they must be near the Pleistocene Era. Two goofs: he must have meant the Cretaceous Era, and second, it should be the Pleistocene Epoch, which wouldn't occur for another 138 million years after.
Some credit should be given to British Airways giving producer John Nathan-Turner permission to feature the Concorde and airport authorities giving him the go-ahead to film at Heathrow.
Occasionally, the series has some stories that don't cut the mustard, and sadly, Timeflight is one of them. The regulars come out good as usual, with worthy performances from Richard Easton (Stapley) and Nigel Stock (Hayter). The main problem, though, is the concept of two Concordes being hijacked to the end of the Jurassic Period and the bad story idea and execution.
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable, but nothing special,
2.0 out of 5 stars Forgettable,
Lately I've tried very hard to enjoy the Peter Davison era of Doctor Who. I remember liking the flashy, stylized look when I was very young, I had no qualms with Peter Davison's Doctor or Anthony Ainley's Master, and to this day I still like Nyssa and even Tegan (to a point). But 'Time-Flight' is one of the many Davison era stories that has not stood the test of time well at all. The Doctor and crew investigate the mystery of a missing Concorde jet and find a devious plot is afoot. An excuse to film some shots at Heathrow Airport, the acting in this outing is mediocre, the story plodding and uncompelling and the visual effects and sets are too pathetic to ignore this time.
The strain of having filmed an entire season of the show before this finale is obvious as the main cast rather feebly o through the motions. References to the death of Adric are a nice touch, but cannot distract the viewer from the unexciting tasks the various characters get to perform. The guest cast fare no better, with the faceless airline crew and passengers suffering from lifeless writing as well as mediocre acting, and Ainley's Master has quite a few absurd scenes and scenery to chew embarrassingly.
The Plasmatons are unusually laughable monsters, looking like unmenacing masses of plastic sandwich bags that get to lumber and sometimes hover over Sarah Sutton. The model FX of the Concorde blend unsuccessfully with stock footage of the real McCoy, but they complement the shoestring budget wasteland sets perfectly (obviously there wasn't even money to go to a quarry this time). There are a few points of merit in the look of the 4 episodes - the early location filming at Heathrow is very good, as is much of the footage actually shot on the Concorde (which makes the transition to the studios all the more jarring). The cliffhanger ending is unexpected if odd.
Overall it's really hard to recommend 'Time-Flight' even to a die-hard Who fan. The writing is sloppy and dull, the story is highly prolonged and padded, the acting is unremarkable and location filming aside, the production values are easily the worst of the season. As a Doctor Who story 'Time-Flight' disappoints, as a season finale it does little to get the viewer wanting more, thank goodness most of the other stories from season 19 are far more interesting.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best but worthwhile,
1.0 out of 5 stars One of Who's all-time worst stories,
And Time-Flight is just a plain bad story.
Of course, it had some big shoes to fill--following up on the rather emotionally draining story EarthShock that featured the first death of a companion since the late 60s. EarthShock, while not classic Who by any stretch of the imagination, was very memorable Who and that made it a tough act to follow. Time-Flight failed on virutally every account. Part of it is that the story looks cheaper than usual. The story was filmed on a shoe-string budget when EarthShock ran over budget and it shows. There are some truly laughable sequences. This is one of those stories where having a good quality print and the quality of a VHS release do not help in any way.
But as I've said before--good storytelling has more often than not rescued sub-part effects in Who. Not the case here. The story is laughable at best. The plot is full of gaping holes. At one point a character is killed only to show up a few scenes later with no apparent explanation offered or attepted. In addition, the villain of the piece is painfully transparent and badly done.
Add to this that the regular cast seem bored or embarassed to be working and it all adds up to one of the bottom of the barrel Who stories. If you're a completist then go for it. But if you want to see the fifth Doctor at his best, try something like Mawydrn Undead or Caves of Androzani. Both show the fifth Doctor and Who at it's best....
5.0 out of 5 stars A great finale for Davison's first season,
I really enjoy this episode greatly. You get to see Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) for a brief moment, but there is a catch to why he is there. I greatly recommend this to any Who fan who doesn't have this yet in their collection!
4.0 out of 5 stars Flight across time,
This was a story which seemed doomed to disaster. The limited budget had to cope with finding a way of making two concordes crash-land (the season had already had problems with bringing a giant snake to life), the storyline is a little confusing (it isn't all that clear what the Master is trying to do, or why he bothers with a disguise when there's nobody there to see him), and the stock footage of concorde and the airport was no doubt seen by Heathrow as more a promotional gimmick than anything else.
Strange, therefore, that what we have here is 90 minutes of entertaining, interesting and highly enjoyable sci-fi. The concept of concorde flying through time is an inspired one, the characters are well-written and there are some genuinely haunting scenes. Well worth seeing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Dr. Who,
3.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor and his companions get involved with the concorde,
upset over the death of Adric in" Earthshock", the Doctor promises his companions a trip ito 1851 London. But the trip does not go as planned. The Tardis get caught up in some strange time problem. instead of landing in 1851, the Tardis crew ends up in 1983 London.
The Doctor, with his companions agrees to help find the missing concorde jet. The aircraft crew of another concorde jet help the Doctor. The party follows the same path as the last concorde.
The Doctor encounters an old enemy at the other end of the time tunnell. The Doctor defeats this old enemey. In the process ,Tegan is accidently left behind as the Doctor departs Heathrow airport on the run for airport security! Tegan rejoins the Doctor in the next episode "Arc of Infinity" which takes place on the Doctor's home planet.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of Davison,
By A Customer
Although this episode includes some wonderful footage of Heathrow Airport and a cunning idea of having concords disappear to the Jurassic period, it lacks a sense of adventure and excitement.
If you are one who just got into Doctor Who, I suggest buying "Castrovalva" or "Earthshock" before purchasing this video. Otherwise, if you are a die-hard fan of Doctor Who, go ahead and buy this video. Perhaps you'll like it more than I did.
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Doctor Who: Time-Flight by Peter Davison (DVD - 2007)
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