TIME-FLIGHT

Part One

Sue: Peter Grimwade again? So he writes and directs at the same time, does he? Excellent.

Let’s see how long it takes her to work it out, shall we?

The story begins with Concorde in flight.

Time-FlightSue: Bloody hell, it must have cost the BBC a small fortune to film inside Concorde. Unless this is stock footage from an old British Airways training film. I can’t tell.

Suddenly, the plane disappears into thin air.

Sue: (Singing) Bermuda triangle, try to see if from my angle.

Meanwhile, on the TARDIS, Tegan is back in uniform.

Sue: No wonder they all look so depressed. It’s the stench of BO.

The crew is actually mourning Adric’s death.

Sue: Oh, yeah… Sorry, I forgot about him.
Me: Forgot?! We only watched it last night!
Sue: I am so over it. Move on.

Tegan and Nyssa want to know why the Doctor won’t save Adric.

Time-FlightSue: No, don’t do it! That would break the laws of time and common sense. And is it just me or is Nyssa still trying not to laugh?

The TARDIS crew take Sue’s advice and they make a conscious decision to get on with their lives.

Sue: At least they mentioned it, I suppose. It would have been a bit weird if we’d joined them sipping cocktails on a beach after the last episode.

The TARDIS is heading for Earth when it buffeted by time turbulence. Despite this, the Doctor still manages to get them to Heathrow airport.

Sue: Hey, if that’s Heathrow airport, that means they can get rid of Tegan as well!

The TARDIS has materialised over a runway. Its appearance perplexes air traffic control, which is staffed by one man and his boss (and whose moustache reminds Sue of Ron Swanson from the sublime Parks and Recreation). The TARDIS dematerialises before anybody can get hurt.

Air Traffic Controller: It’s gone. It must have been a light aircraft.
Sue: Well that’s alright, then. It’s only Heathrow ****ing airport, we always let light aircraft stray into our flight paths. Jesus!

The TARDIS makes a short hop.

Tegan: You’ve landed us right in the middle of a Terminal building!
Sue: She’s never bloody happy, is she? She doesn’t want to go. Not really. Well, that’s tough – just push her out the door and go!

The Doctor and his companions loiter in the Terminal instead.

Time-FlightSue: How brown is this airport? Are you quite sure they haven’t landed in 1972?

When questioned, the Doctor uses his UNIT connections to ease his way into the plot already in progress.

Sue: Excellent, we haven’t had a UNIT story for ages. It’s good timing because we had one in the new series on Saturday. It must be fate or something.

One telephone call later, the Doctor and his chums have full security clearance.

Sue: Makes a nice change to being arrested for a crime you didn’t commit. I feel as if we’ve been spared an episode.

Concorde is so beautiful, Sue’s EastEnders detection alarm fails to go off when First Officer Bilton and Captain Stapley approach it.

Sue: It’s a design classic. Everyone I know who has travelled on it has told me how amazing it was. I wish I’d flown on it too but, unfortunately, I didn’t have more money than sense.
Me: I remember owning a die cast toy Concorde when this story went out. I loved it to bits, but then I broke its nose off and it literally ended up in bits. A wheel fell off it as well, I think.

The TARDIS is transported to the plane’s hold.

Sue: If Adric was still here, he would have landed it inside without all this faffing about.

Time-FlightTegan is overjoyed when she is confronted by a supersonic icon.

Sue: Why is she still here? Why didn’t she head straight for the Qantas check-in desk as soon as they arrived at Heathrow? She definitely doesn’t want to leave. It’s all a big act.

Time-Flight‘s direction fails to impress Sue.

Sue: Peter Grimwade must be having a bad day. The direction is okay but it’s nothing special. It’s very flat.
Me: Peter Grimwade didn’t direct this story, he just wrote it. The guy who directed Black Orchid directed this.
Sue: You can tell. It’s workmanlike at best.

The Doctor jumps into the TARDIS console room so he can flip it the right way round.

Sue: I can imagine Matt Smith’s Doctor doing something daft like that. I really liked that.

Concorde passes through some time turbulence and the TARDIS instruments tell the Doctor that they are travelling backwards through time. However, when the plane lands, everything appears to be normal.

Sue: Oh, that was a bit of an anti-climax. It’s not very often that the Doctor is wrong.

Time-FlightBut something isn’t quite right – Nyssa can see decaying corpses for a start.

Sue: Were they waiting for their luggage to turn up?

The location suddenly takes on an unreal hue.

Sue: Their flight has been diverted to the capital city of Chromakey. This is not good.

It’s here that Sue’s EastEnders alarm finally goes off.

Sue: Oh, it’s Barry’s boyfriend, Colin!

I’m sure Michael Cashman will be flattered with that extensive summary of his career.

The abrupt shift in tone from a beautiful location to a fake studio set fills Sue with disdain.

Sue: It’s all gone pear shaped. And it started so well.

We cut to a control room where an oriental sorcerer is chanting over a white globe.

Time-FlightSue: Am I supposed to think that’s you-know-who?
Me: Does it look like him to you?
Sue: How should I know, he’s always in disguise!

I’m sure we’ll return to this later.

Sue thinks she has the sorcerer’s plan sussed.

Sue: So he’s hijacked a plane and he’s hypnotised all the passengers into thinking they are all having a wonderful time in the Times Square, when in reality they are probably mining for something. It’s always ****ing mining.

The Doctor tells his companions that Heathrow airport won’t be around for another 140 million years.

Sue: I’ve heard of the hotel not being ready on time but this is ****ing ridiculous.

Concorde’s wheels almost buckled when it landed on the prehistoric plain.

Me: My toy Concorde had the same problem with our carpet.
Sue: What rubbish. How do you hypnotise people so they don’t suffer from whiplash? Why didn’t all the alarms go off? It’s nonsense!

But wait! Another Concorde has landed here as well.

Me: Look! There’s my toy!

Time-FlightThe episode concludes with, well, I’m sure Sue can explain it.

Sue: A shower cubicle is assaulting the Doctor.

The credits roll.

Sue: How could they follow Earthshock with that?

 

Part Two

The Plasmatons envelop the Doctor again.

Me: (Singing) You’re in the colony of Slippermen…
Sue: Very funny.
Me: I can’t take credit for that. Patrick Sanders on Twitter pointed out the similarity between this lot and an old Peter Gabriel Genesis routine. He’s right – it’s uncanny.
Sue: It’s the wrong song anyway. It should be (singing): Workin’ at the car wash…

Time-FlightKalid transports Bilton and Scobie to his lair. The look he gives them is priceless.

Sue: (As Kalid) Yeah, I’m dead clever, me.

One of Concorde’s passengers is an academic.

Hayter: Professor Hayter, University of Darlington.
Sue: WHAT? The University of Darlington? Is he having a laugh? This really is proper science fiction, now. The University of Darlington? Ha!

Professor Hayter’s specialist subject is hypnosis.

Sue: You’d have to hypnotise yourself if you lived in Darlington. Apologies to Mark Gatiss, but seriously? The University of Darlington??!

They see a strange building in the distance, but when they approach it, Nyssa has a panic attack.

Sue: No one is rushing to help her, even though she is displaying all the classic signs of a heart attack. How very odd.

Nyssa is possessed by an alien force. She warns our heroes not to approach the citadel.

Sue: That was Nyssa’s best moment in the series so far. And it wasn’t even her.

Tegan volunteers to stay with Nyssa while Captain Stapley accompanies the Doctor to the citadel.

Time-FlightTegan: You’re more use to the Doctor. I’ll stay with her.
Sue: Another blow for feminism. She’s much more handy than the captain anyway. When was the last time he shot a Cyberman in the chest, eh?

The Doctor rounds on Professor Hayter for his willingness to abandon his fellow passengers to their fate.

Sue: What I want to know is how could the University of Darlington afford to fly their staff on Concorde? It doesn’t make any sense.

Sue isn’t very impressed with Kalid’s make-up.

Sue: Now that we can see it in a close-up, it looks as if a pigeon has shat plasticine all over his head. His teeth are minging as well. And is it just me or does he sound like Chris Eubank? I can’t take him take seriously.

In the sanctum’s chamber, Concorde’s passengers are hard at work, probably for the first time in their lives, which may explain why they are making such a pig’s ear of it.

Sue: What is that thing they are banging on? Is it a giant tortoise? Look at the guy who’s trying to use the palm of his hand as a mallet! What is he doing? Give them some proper tools!

Time-FlightCaptain Stapley finds Bilton but the poor man believes he is flying a plane.

Sue: I’d pretend I wasn’t in this episode if I were him.

Stapley jogs his First Officer’s memories:

Stapley: Remember Tegan?
Sue: (As Stapley) Yes, the Australian with the BO problem. We had a good laugh about it, remember?

Kalid continues to monitor events on his globe.

Sue: He keeps having to waft his own farts away. And when he’s chanting, he sounds like he’s singing Shaggy’s Mr. Lover Lover.

Nyssa and Tegan enter the citadel, but when they turn a corner.

Sue: Eh? What?

Time-FlightThankfully, Adric is just an illusion.

Sue: That was some of Matthew’s best acting. Has he gone for good now? Was he contractually obliged to appear in all the episodes or something?

I tell her how Matthew Waterhouse appeared so they could keep his departure a secret. This way, his name wouldn’t be missing from the cast list for this story in the Radio Times, which would have been out when Earthshock Part Four was broadcast.

Sue: I don’t care what anybody says: JNT was a genius.

And then…

Sue: It’s the Melkur! Hey, is it…? No, it’s just another illusion. Ha! I had you going for a second there.

I’m just surprised she got the Melkur’s name right, although she drops the ball when a Terileptil appears.

Sue: Oh, it’s one of them. You know, the android shoppers.

Time-FlightWhen Stapley and Bilton make it to Kalid’s lair, a two-headed snake keeps them at bay.

Sue: That doesn’t look anything like the Mara!

And then something happens. I can’t remember what exactly, and I didn’t jot anything down in my notes. I may have nodded off. Anyway, whatever happens, Kalid ends the scene vomiting all over himself in the corner of his cave.

But it isn’t Kalid! It’s… go on, have a guess.

Sue: NO WAY!

Yes way.

Sue: Well, I didn’t see that coming. I’m shocked. Not in a good Earthshock way, but in a “Oh no, here we go again” sort of way. It just doesn’t make any sense. Why did the Master throw up on himself like that? And why bother dressing up at all? What was the ****ing point? There had better be a bloody good reason for it.

 

Part Three

Sue: Shall I tell you what the best thing about Time-Flight is? It’s the theme music. Not the incidental music, the theme music.

Grimwade’s writing credit appears again. Sue sighs.

Sue: Peter should stick to directing. I don’t think even he could have saved this script.

The Master is back!

Time-FlightSue: (As the Master) So, after I escaped from Castrovalva, I thought to myself: I know what I’ll do – I’ll steal a couple of planes and then I’ll dress as a racist pantomime villain. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.

The Master admits that the planes were accidentally trapped in his time contour.

Sue: Well of course they were. It was silly of me to think he could have done it on purpose.

The Master threatens Stapley and Bilton with his tissue compression eliminator.

Sue: Be careful, lads. He could turn you into a pair of collectible figurines.

The Master uses the Doctor’s TARDIS to travel to the sanctum’s chamber.

Sue: Why not just walk there, you lazy bastard!

When Stapley and Bilton infiltrate the Doctor’s TARDIS behind the Master’s back, it feels like we are watching a very camp episode of The Benny Hill Show.

Sue: I think I’ve finally worked out why this is Glen Allen’s favourite story.

Stapley can’t work out how to pilot the TARDIS.

Sue: This is very funny. Just imagine the spin-off if he manages to hit the right button.

In the sanctum’s chamber, the passengers have stopped hallucinating.

Time-FlightSue: They’ll be writing very stern letters to Watchdog as soon as they get home. This was not in the brochure! Having said that, they seem to be taking the news that their flights have been delayed by a few million years in their stride. I’d be livid.
Me: They’ll all revert to savagery when the complementary nuts run out.

Meanwhile, Captain Stapley passes the audition to be the Doctor’s next companion with flying colours.

Sue: He’s great. He likes to get stuck in, he’ll believe just about anything, and I bet he’s handy with his fists.

Stapley sabotages the TARDIS but the Master isn’t bothered.

The Master: I now have all that I require. The TARDIS, for what it’s worth, is yours.
Sue: Exactly! Why would he want that heap of shit when he’s got his own. His TARDIS can sit in a chair and fire laser bolts from its eyes. The Doctor’s TARDIS just confuses people.

Inside the sanctum, which Sue compares to an up-market toilet, her mind begins to wander.

Sue: Peter’s celery is a bit limp. He really needs to sort that out.

Professor Hayter decides to make the ultimate sacrifice for the gift of ultimate knowledge.

Sue: Just think of all the modules he could have taught at the University of Darlington. What a waste.

Time-FlightScobie bumps into Angela, a flight attendant he has probably slept with (ask Sue), and he manages to break her conditioning.

Sue: British Airways took a risk when they agreed to be in Doctor Who, don’t you think? That scarf is blatant product placement. It would be hard to distance yourself from this if it went wrong.

If?

Me: What do you think British Airways thought when they saw Time-Flight for the first time?
Sue: Somebody probably got fired.

A Xeraphin materialises in the middle of the up-market urinal.

Sue: His suit is very tight. Just saying.

And then Sue begins to lose the will to live.

Time-FlightSue: This is crap. I’ve stopped paying attention to it. I just don’t care any more. Rub my feet, this is torture.

The episode concludes with the Xeraphin transferred to the centre of the Master’s TARDIS. Or, in short:

The Doctor: It means the Master has finally defeated me.
Sue: Yeah, right… For ****’s sake.

As the credits roll.

Sue: I was really looking forward to Peter Davison but this series is all over the place. Please tell me that it gets better. I don’t think I can stand it any more.

 

Part Four

Time-FlightSue: Come on, let’s get Shite-Flight out of the way. Let’s get rid of Tegan and let’s move on.

Stapley and Bilton take the TARDIS back to the Doctor with the help of Hayter’s ghost.

The Doctor: My dear Captain, you really are the most remarkable man to pilot the TARDIS, and with such precision!
Sue: Are you joking? Any idiot can fly it these days. What’s the big deal?

Sue falls silent for a good five minutes.

Me: You’re not saying very much.
Sue: I know. I can’t be bothered. What can I possibly say about this? The plot involves a plan where they have to dig a hole for Concorde to sit in while they change the tyres. And then they have to build a runway. It’s bollocks. It’ll take them months! And even if they did take off, where are they going to go? Prehistoric New York?

Time-FlightThe Doctor does a deal with the Master: his temporal limiter for the safety of Concorde’s passengers.

Sue: Are they still hallucinating? They look like they are hanging around a MacDonald’s in Heathrow airport. They aren’t reacting like they’ve been kidnapped by aliens.

They change the plane’s tyres.

Sue: No ****ing way! They aren’t Concorde tyres! That’s the tyre from a Mini Cooper! They are definitely taking the piss, now.

Cue a rant from Sue involving alloys and measurements that mean nothing to me.

Sue: And another thing – where are the stairs, eh? How are they actually getting in and out of the ****ing planes? Give me strength.

Tegan is given the job of ushering the passengers back on the plane.

Tegan: Ladies and gentlemen, we do apologise for the delay. Your flight is now ready for boarding. Would you care to proceed to your aircraft immediately?
Sue: (As Tegan) I hope you can all jump – the door is miles away.

Incredibly, Concorde manages to take off, runway or no runway.

Sue: Un-****ing-believable. You can even seen the Terminal buildings in the background!

Time-FlightWhen Concorde is back in the air, Sue is even more damning.

Sue: The plane on the ground had silver engines but the plane in the air has black engines. Oh, why do I even care?

The Doctor programmes the flight computer and the plane enters the time contour. It vanishes and reappears.

Sue: It’s like that film with the Navy in it. You know, when their boat goes back in time.
Me: The Philadelphia Experiment.
Sue: This is more like The Philadelphia Light Experiment.

Back at Heathrow, Tegan thinks about her future.

Tegan: It’s not exactly dull travelling with the Doctor.
Sue: Yes it is! Even the Doctor fell asleep on the TARDIS floor during this episode. Leave while you still can!

The Doctor manages to trap the Master on the planet Xeraphas.

Sue: That makes no sense. None whatsoever.

The Doctor hopes it will be for good this time.

Sue: It never bloody is, though, is it?

Tegan wanders through the airport.

Sue: Doesn’t she have a funeral to go to?

Time-FlightAnd then Doctor and Nyssa do a runner before Ron Swanson can launch an official investigation. In the confusion, Tegan is left behind.

Sue: I feel sorry for her. She deserved a decent goodbye scene at the very least. She looks very bitter, actually. Be careful what you wish for, chick.

The credits roll.

Sue boos.

 

The Score

Sue: I’d like to give the captain one.

1/10

Sue: The rest was crap.

No extras tonight, Sue just wants this story to go away. But I can’t untie her before I’ve shown her this:

Sue: That was a 1000 times better than Time-Shite. Thanks.

 

Coming Soon

 

105

Comments

  1. Dave Sanders  September 27, 2012

    That’s nothing. Wait till Sue cops a load of who turns up in Peter Grimwade’s next academic estabishment.

  2. Steven  September 27, 2012

    Sue lost the will to live during Time-Flight at the exact same moment that I did. I feel gratified.

  3. DPC  September 27, 2012

    ” No, don’t do it! That would break the laws of time and common sense. And is it just me or is Nyssa still trying not to laugh?”

    HEHE!

    “Sue: How brown is this airport? Are you quite sure they haven’t landed in 1972?”

    In 1972, the airport would have been vulgarly and garishly colored… 😀

    “Sue: Makes a nice change to being arrested for a crime you didn’t commit. I feel as if we’ve been spared an episode.”

    Nice!!

    “Sue: Why is she still here? Why didn’t she head straight for the Quantus check-in desk as soon as they arrived at Heathrow? She definitely doesn’t want to leave. It’s all a big act.”

    In “The Visitation”, it’s suggested by Nyssa that Tegan did not want to leave… maybe Tegan has bipolar disorder?

    The TARDIS inner dimensional rotation was cool…

    “Sue: What rubbish. How do you hypnotise people so they don’t suffer from whiplash? Why didn’t all the alarms go off? It’s nonsense!”

    I’ve not flown in decades, much less ever, so that’s a good point… hypnosis beyond a certain point would have been shaken off…

    “A shower cubicle” – LOL!!

    “Sue: I don’t care what anybody says: JNT was a genius.”

    He had many strengths, which would ensure he’d be kept on, but he wasn’t perfect… as a double-act with the right script editor, combined with good directors and writers, some real magic took place… his era is experimental, so there are some klunkers, but the classics make up for it. IMHO, of course.

    And while the Master’s revival is interesting (as a kid I liked it as the Master was cool), the plot is so complex and convoluted that none of it begins to make sense… 🙁 As some set-pieces it’s cool, but it is not the sum of its parts… 🙁 (Peter Grimwade’s stories do improve, IMHO… especially with one coming up in a couple of years…)

    “Sue: This is crap. I’ve stopped paying attention to it. I just don’t care anymore. Rub my feet, this is torture.”

    I hope the foot rubbing made up for it…

    Sue’s line responding about the Doctor being defeated is a gem as well.

    “Flight of the darned” – LOL!!

    Can’t wait for “Arc of Infinity”! If nothing else,

    *** MINOR SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE TO POST’S END ***

    Maxil is fun to watch, and Colin Fraser is mighty nice on the eyes… if you’re into guys with new wave hairdos and bright yellow socks…

  4. Dave Sanders  September 27, 2012

    Awwwwww, couldn’t you have shown her the seven takes it took an embittered Matthew Waterhouse to get his two lines right? That would have raised a giggle.

    • DPC  September 27, 2012

      Having seen those outtakes, including the one with the novel take on swearing, I’d reckon there’d be a good giggle…

    • Robert Dick  September 28, 2012

      Actually I feel really sorry for Matthew there, he looks really miserable.

      It is a bit of a kick in the teeth to let someone go who was happy to stay, and then make him come back for a morning to see everyone else getting on with it without him. I’d make a few mistakes too if it were me.

      • Dave Sanders  September 29, 2012

        Good job the production team learned from their mistakes too, I mean it’s not like that situation is going to arise again with a major character any time again on JN-T’s watch, eh?

      • Nick Mays  October 1, 2012

        Agreed. Amazing how poor old Matthew’s still getting all the “I should have been Adric” fanboy spite after 30 years, isn’t it?

  5. Dave Sanders  September 27, 2012

    “And another thing – where are the stairs, eh? How are they actually getting in and out of the ****ing planes? Give me strength.”

    Was it Tat or Larry that pointed this out too? To paraphrase, does everyone go up and down the back of a stegosaurus like in The Flintstones?

    • Frankymole  September 28, 2012

      “And when he’s chanting, he sounds like he’s singing Shaggy’s Mr. Lover Lover.” This reminded me of the Discontinuity Guide – I think it was – that mentioned how Kalid appears to chant about Chaka Demus and Pliers at one point. Clearly he’s a reggae fan.

  6. Jazza1971  September 27, 2012

    Oh my! Glen/Greg has done it again! Superb.

    Anyway, I must admit that I am really surprised that Sue scored this one so high, especially when she gave one of the most concise reviews of this story I have ever read:

    “Sue: So he’s hijacked a plane and he’s hypnotised all the passengers into thinking they are all having a wonderful time in the Times Square, when in reality they are probably mining for something. It’s always ****ing mining.”

    Superb!

  7. Paul Lenkic  September 27, 2012

    Qantas.

  8. Jay  September 27, 2012

    The Navy movie is “The Final Countdown”, which I’ve loved since it’s debut.

    It’s probably not much better than this, in all objectivity. However this is the first Who that’s made me say “Holy Shit, this is bad.” and then nearly fall over laughing, overcome with the intensity of the bad. Once the CSO came on it was like a trapdoor.

    • Jay  September 27, 2012

      I’d also recommend “Airport ’79” to anyone that might not have seen it. After that it was NOT a great leap to “Airplane!”.

    • Neil Perryman  September 27, 2012

      I’m thinking about this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087910/

      • Dave Sanders  September 27, 2012

        Sort of apt, since Philadelphia is a variety of soft ripe cheese.

        “Just Philadelphia.” “JUST Philadelphia?” “Well it is my berfday.”

      • Andrew Bowman  September 27, 2012

        Never heard of it. Probably a blessing 🙂

  9. Ozzy Baxter  September 27, 2012

    “Tegan wanders through the airport.

    Sue: Doesn’t she have a funeral to go to?”

    LMAO! She’s right. Wouldn’t Tegan be wanted for the murder of her aunt by now? She and her aunt leave for Heathrow, get a flat tire, Tegan wanders off into a Police Box, and Aunt Vanessa is murdered by The Master. No one in her time sees her again. Then, she suddenly turns up out of nowhere, no telling how long had passed. What’s she going to tell the cops? 😉

  10. Dave Sanders  September 27, 2012

    Neil, can I pop up a quick plug-link to Tine-Flight in the old BTS blog? G’wan, pleeeeeeeeeeeeze? My bits are some of the best gubbins I ever wrote. 🙂

    http://tachyontv.typepad.com/waiting_for_christopher/timeflight/

  11. Glen Allen  September 27, 2012

    Oh my.
    So many great comments

    Sue: (as Tegan) I hope you can all jump – the door is miles away.
    I nearly did a little wee at that…nearly!

    Sue: (as the Master) So, after I escaped from Castrovalva, I thought to myself: I know what I’ll do – I’ll steal a couple of planes and then I’ll dress as a racist pantomime villain. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do…
    I know, apart from an interesting reveal it makes no sense whatsoever…even less so the strange chanting “Vizaal vizaal. chilleee willly Neillly”

    And I need to add it is not my favourite story…but it is a guilty pleasure because I can see what its trying to do….but failing miserably.

    As for the “Flight of the darned” – wow. Just wow

    • Broton  September 30, 2012

      Sue sure likes looking for racist elements.
      I’m beginning to suspect she’s a loony leftie.
      Just a hunch, like.

      • Broton  October 1, 2012

        That wasn’t me, by the way. I’m just really happy Sue knows her early Genesis – happy enough to forgive another mention of f**t r*bs. I mean, I know this site isn’t for kids but….

  12. Puono Ty Frewed  September 27, 2012

    Of course, the Doctor could easily have rescued Adric if he’d wanted to. Adric was inside a sealed box – the freighter – meaning that the Doctor had no way of knowing that he hadn’t rescued Adric at the last moment. In fact, any subsequent Doctor could *still* rescue Adric. Until the Doctor actually sees Adric die with his own eyes, he’s Schroedinger’s Adric – he may be on the freighter, he may not.

    • encyclops  September 28, 2012

      After reading the Earthshock entry, which I did right before I rewatched “The Power of Three” in order to write my review of it, I started tossing around this stupid idea that somehow the Doctor picks up the companions he does because they’re the people whose fates are knowable ahead of time. He can send them into all kinds of danger because he will know, sooner or later, exactly how they end up.

      So no matter what he and Sarah Jane get up to leading up to “The Hand of Fear,” he is well aware that at some point he’s going to get a call from Gallifrey and drop her off on Earth. It’s not that he wants to, it’s not that he CAN’T bring her along, it’s that he DOESN’T. It’s a fixed event. He knows that Susan stays on Earth and Leela stays on Gallifrey, even though he doesn’t know why or exactly when. Romana staying to help Tharils is exactly as expected. And this is why he talks and acts as if he has some foreknowledge of what’s going to happen to Amy and Rory when they leave. And this is why he doesn’t go back to save Adric: he knows he doesn’t. Adric’s fate is to wipe out the dinosaurs (okay, for THAT I think he’s an a-hole) and it’s one of those things that can’t be changed.

      I told you it was a stupid idea. But just imagine if Moffat had posted it to r.a.dw 15 years ago….

      Anyway, Time-Flight is the one story of this season I can’t enjoy even a little bit, partly because I can’t remember it. As soon as I’ve watched it (and granted, it hasn’t happened often, certainly not in the last 15 years) it’s just slipped out of my mind. To this day I only vaguely remember what happens in it, so I was genuinely surprised at some of the moments recounted above. This season has been great for laugh-out-loud moments in the blog, but this entry was probably the funniest so far.

      Hang on, Sue! Two all-time classics coming up next season!

      • Ozzy Baxter  September 28, 2012

        Nice theory! Fits in with Eight giving all sorts of clues and advice to random people in San Fran ’99, as well as Nine telling Rose that he sees what she sees when she’s got Bad Wolf in her head. The Doctor sort of does seem to know. Kind of like with Jack, he probably “feels” it. Like fighting against the timeline in Waters of Mars, Jack’s immortality, or the fractured-verse in Wedding of River Song. Even Seven had that type of knowing insight with Ace. Well considered! 🙂

        • encyclops  September 28, 2012

          Thanks! If just one person thinks I’m not crazy… 😉

    • RichardAKJ  September 28, 2012

      Don’t go there, please. Seriously, just don’t. 🙂

    • PolarityReversed  September 29, 2012

      Schroedinger’s Adric:

      If he had to be in one of two boxes, and you took the boxes to opposite sides of the universe, would you have to open one (thus collapsing the crapform function) to realise that he was crap? Or would you just hope that he was in the other box?

      • Dave Sanders  September 30, 2012

        If Ian and Barbera are still unopened, then I’d phone the banker and hope for something better than a Mel.

  13. tom_harries  September 27, 2012

    “Meanwhile, Captain Stapley passes the audition to be the Doctor’s next companion with flying colours.

    Sue: He’s great. He likes to get stuck in, he’ll believe just about anything, and I bet he’s handy with his fists.”

    I like that. The cabin crew are just about the only decent thing in this. Stapley is sort of a slightly more positive Harry Sullivan.

    BTW, that ‘Flight of the Darned’ thing is fantastic!

    • Siobhan Gallichan  September 28, 2012

      Wait till you see the one for The Five Doctors….

  14. Smith  September 27, 2012

    Will be Nicol joining us for next week, seeing as it contains one of her “favourite” Doctor Who subject matters?

    • BWT  September 30, 2012

      Gawd… That would drive her off forever!

  15. Jane  September 27, 2012

    My rating for Time-Flight has gone up a notch because this entry was so damned funny milk went up my nose. And I don’t even have any milk.

    • Puono Ty Frewed  September 28, 2012

      I think this is my favourite comment so far in the whole of the blog.

      • Jazza1971  September 30, 2012

        I wholeheartedly agree!

  16. Paul Mc Elvaney  September 27, 2012

    So glad you showed Sue the ‘Flight of the Darned’ video, it always cracks me up! Looking forward to Sue’s reaction to a certain Commander next time…

  17. P.Sanders  September 28, 2012

    Heavens, I’ve been namechecked on Wife in Space. I was actually tremendously excited to see that (even if it was for Time-Flight). Made my day, thanks 🙂

    Time-Flight is super-balls shite in a sack. I watched it again last night and I always give it the benefit of the doubt and actually enjoy it for quite a bit, but by episode four my patience has been sorely tried. I can cope with a prehistoric studio set, even the Genesis-Plasmatons, but when you dare us to imagine someone whisking Concorde passengers back in time millions of years only to make them spend three episodes trying to dig through a wall you know the plot is failing. It’s like the great atmospheric first episode of Underworld – all brave-new-world and glimpses into Gallifreyan history, followed by slaves in caves and human sacrifices *yawn*

    • P.Sanders  October 2, 2012

      It also has the single worst DVD cover ever.

  18. Perry Armstrong  September 28, 2012

    The bit I find most hilarious about this serial is when Nyssa says “Look!”, and then it takes – forever – before the ‘soap bubble monsters’ even begin to materialise.

  19. John G  September 28, 2012

    Yet another brilliant post (these Season 19 ones have been priceless), though it’s a shame Sue didn’t notice that scene in part 2 where Peter is desperately trying to keep a straight face when confronted by “Kalid’s” antics!

    Sue’s overall reaction is no surprise, though I must confess that I do find Time-Flight’s sheer naffness quite entertaining. The phrase “so bad it’s good” is overused and generally undeserved, but this is certainly so bad that it is quite a lot of fun, especially when accompanied by just about the most savage DVD commentary of the lot. At least it isn’t boring (unlike the next story) and in fairness to Grimwade he does come up with some interesting ideas, it’s just that the execution is hopeless. Why the production team thought they could effectively make this story on an end-of-season budget, God only knows.

    For the first time in ages, Sue does seem to be wavering slightly, but I am confident that there is enough good stuff left in the Davison era to keep her on the straight and narrow. After that, all bets are off…

  20. P.Sanders  September 28, 2012

    PS: Flight of the Darned is genius.

  21. Dan  September 28, 2012

    Am I right in saying that the production team pretty much hung this story on the fact they’d had permission to film round Concorde?

  22. Iain Coleman  September 28, 2012

    Jon Blum did a fan-edit of this story that is… well, good would be too strong a word, but it eliminates the Master’s stupid disguise, tightens the story overall and manages to bring out a few moments of charm that are tragically buried in the broadcast version, making the whole thing at least borderline watchable.

  23. Doug  September 28, 2012

    Peter Davison’s Doctor is great on paper: a pacifist, boyish, gentle and far less ecentric than most of the other incarnations, so he should be my favourite. The Edwardian cricketer persona should have been really charming, too. It could have been Raffles in space!

    Unfortunately, the poor writing, increasingly violent stories, bitchy companions and “wet vet” portrayal by Peter ruin all of the potential of this era for me. I think he would have worked better in a warm, friendly Tardis family – with Vicki and Barbara for instance, he would have been fine and it would have brought out the best in Peter as an actor.

    With the bitchiness in the Tardis, was JNT trying to emulate B7? What worked supremely well thre simply does not work in this show.

    BTw, not to sound bitchy or nitpicky myself but it is Qantas, not Qantus, Neil. Cheers.

  24. Doug  September 28, 2012

    Apologies for my own typos above – am trying to learn how to use an Android tablet and I am still unaccustomed to the keyboard. Anyway, yes Peter could have been great and we desperately need more heroic pacifist role models on television but the writing and lacklustre performances ruin this era for me. It is frustrating because I can see so much potential there.

  25. Rassilon  September 28, 2012

    Is there a page\link with all of Glenns voice overs.

    Your really knocking ’em out at present (One last chance for a dig at the pocket billiards maths genius), though when it gets to the CB years I can imagine the longer format may slow things down at least for the first full season. I’m looking forward to The Twin Dilemma (There’s something I never ever thought I’d say or type) & Sues reaction to it.

    Anyway back to the Davison years & at least it’s mostly uphill from now after the dodgy first season.

  26. fromEssex  September 28, 2012

    Saddens me to say it, but pretty much the whole of the Davison era was pretty duff, looking back on it. The thing is, he’s such a good actor and nice bloke that I think, at the time of these stories I was just willing them to be good. I remember enjoying the Enlightenment trilogy, but I bet if I watched them again, I’d be ultimately disappointed.
    The Davison era is the one part of my DVD collection (along with McCoy) that is truly lacking.

    I remember enjoying the Captain’s role in TImeflight and the Professor, but on the whole, it’s fairly dreadful.

  27. RichardAKJ  September 28, 2012

    This was my last Dr Who story. I was 14 and by that time had, err, other things on my mind. From here on in I’m back to where I was pre ’71, watching the stories for the first time and reading Sue’s thoughts. Looking forward to it. Thanks again to you both.

  28. bbqplatypus  September 28, 2012

    This story and the next one are perfect examples of the two different kinds of sucking. Time-Flight sucks because it’s bad. Arc of Infinity sucks because it isn’t any good. Honestly, I have trouble deciding which is worse. I’ll go with Arse of Infinity because at least I can get through Time-Shite without falling asleep. Hell, I can even laugh at myself for watching it.

  29. Frankymole  September 28, 2012

    Just after Earthshock had finished, I managed to persuade my girfriend’s brothers to give the series a watch (they weren’t a BBC-watching household, but the buzz around Earthshock convinced them it must be something special).

    One of them even bought the latest DWM in anticipation of this great show. So, her entire family gathered round the telly, with 13-year-old me there as well, to see what this show I raved about was like. Imagine the cringe-worthy silence at the end of episode 1…

    I don’t think any of them became fans.

    Of course, these days the fan consensus is that Earthshock is a load of old toot as well. I wonder if About Time claims that Time-Flight has the makings of a masterpiece?

  30. Broadshoulder2  September 28, 2012

    This was the straw that broke the camels back in 1982 – I’d gone not to come back to 2004. I strayed onto Resurrection, Trial and Time and the Rani by mistake. But other things took the place of Who.

  31. Antti Björklund  September 28, 2012

    I’d give Time-Flight more than 1/10, personally. Good points from Sue, hadn’t noticed some of the continuity problems.

    Personally, before I watched this episode I had read about The Master’s reappearance (not about which character he was posing as), so as soon as I say Kalid I guessed it was him.

    • Antti Björklund  September 28, 2012

      Saw, not say.

  32. Gavin Noble  September 28, 2012

    The only thing I remember about this story at the time was being happy that Tegan was left behind. Like Sue, I never liked her character. I thought it was going to be good now Nyssa was the only companion because I was in love with her – or what passes as love when your eight!

    Another enjoyable blog and another trail from Glen that makes the next story sound unmissable!

  33. John Miller  September 28, 2012

    Has anyone seen Stephen King’s “The Langoliers” with Dean Stockwell?

    • Robert Dick  September 28, 2012

      No. I saw it with my mum and dad.

      • Glen Allen  September 28, 2012

        LOL @ Robert. That made me laugh

    • EJR Tairne  September 30, 2012

      I was actually an extra in that. I was a purple blur with a white blur on top.

  34. Paul Greaves  September 28, 2012

    I wholeheartedly agree that Time Flight is an irredeemable, steaming pile of horse-shit.

    However, I notice that we’re now straying into “all of the Davison-era was crap” and “this is where Doctor Who ended for me” territory. I can’t be the only who doesn’t feel this way. I was 8 when Davison became the Doctor and although I had started watching with Tom, it was Peter who cemented my love for the show (along with the Target books).

    I thought Sue was a bit hard on The Visitation and Black Orchid, I’ve always enjoyed Earthshock and consider there to be some really good stuff coming up (Snakedance, Enlightenment, Five Docs, Awakening, Frontios, Resurrection, Planet of Fire and Caves).

    Let’s not forget that the Davison era was pulling in higher average ratings than the Troughton era and gave the Pertwee era a run for it’s money http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Doctor_Who_serials

    Yes, it’s not perfect but no era of Doctor Who is. Personally, I find more to enjoy in Series 19 than, for example, 11 or 17.

    • Nathan  September 28, 2012

      I was 14 when season 19 first broadcast, having watched the programme all my life and it still remains my favourite season.

      • Robert Dick  September 28, 2012

        I was a little younger but the prospect of a new Doctor and the Five Faces season were what hooked me. Not that I didn’t like Tom, more that it was the very idea itself that intrigued me.

        I love that TARDIS crew, they’re *my* era. I’ve done convention/event interviewing since 2008 and if I could get any collection of people on stage together for my dream panel, it would be that TARDIS crew. I’ve interviewed Janet, Sarah and Matthew individually, and Janet and Peter together, but never all four or the three companions together. One day, I hope.

      • John G  September 28, 2012

        Yes, I enjoy Season 19 for the most part, and overall I think it is the strongest Davison season. As you say, there is also still quite a bit of good stuff coming up (though The Awakening wouldn’t be on my list), and I can’t help feeling that by the time Sue has endured Season 24 she will be looking back on this era with a certain amount of nostalgia…

    • Frankymole  September 28, 2012

      To be fair to the Troughton era, Davison’s episodes were shown on a weekday, in prime time (what is now the soaps slot, after 7pm, albeit not against Coronation Street like poor old McCoy) in the depths of winter whereas the 1960s shows were shown on a Saturday afternoon in seasons stretching up to mid-summer. It’s not surprising weekday Who got higher ratings in the early 80s. That also goes for any other Doctor stranded in the post-Grandstand slot. We tend to forget that Hartnell’s mid-term massive ratings were exceptional, and when the novelty wore off (season 3) they went down.

      • Paul Greaves  September 28, 2012

        Ha! Good point. However Troughton had fewer channels to fend off competition from and Saturday evening TV wasn’t exactly nightmare-shift programming. Ultimately, my point is that Davison’s era didn’t do badly in the grand scheme of things and wasn’t the ‘end-of-everything’ as some people might suggest. However there is no way that us fans will ever agree on anything, so I have no idea why I brought it up 🙂

        • Dan  September 28, 2012

          Just as a point of history Channel 4 didn’t exist until about sis months after Time-Flight, and early on enjoyed very low ratings. BBC2 was launched in April 1964 – so from The Aztecs to Time-Flight there were three channels.

          • Paul Greaves  September 29, 2012

            It was November 82 when Channel 4 started but seasons 20 and 21 had to cope with a new weekday channel and the ratings still held up against previous eras of the show. My point remaining that although some people like to say that the ratings rot started in the Davison era, that’s not actually true.

          • Dan  September 29, 2012

            I was just interested in the history really. Actually when people say it was the beginning of the end I don’t think they just mean ratings. Actually I think of Davison’s era more highly now than I did at the time – I did enjoy a lot of it.

    • DPC  September 30, 2012

      Ratings figures don’t indicate quality by default… I was never a fan of populism, but I can’t deny liking much of Davison’s era as well…

      The eps you pointed out as being “really good” I would cite as being really good as well. In one form or another…

      Season 11 did feel boring, and – for a long time – season 17 was too silly, but it’s fun to note how things can change with time…

  35. Nathan  September 28, 2012

    There is actually a reason for the Master “disguising” himself as Kalid and all the vomiting, but to be honest I can’t be arsed to explain it.

    I managed to convince some people in a pub once, but I (and they) were very drunk.

    It’s all in the text!

  36. DamonD  September 28, 2012

    “How could they follow Earthshock with that?”

    Heh, with the bigger quality dissonance still to come…

    If it helps, once you’ve done Time-Flight I think you’ve got the worst of Davison’s run out of the way. There are three or four clunkers yet to come for him, sure, but they don’t quite reach the perfect storm of combined drudging dullness that Time-Flight achieves.

  37. Paul Mudie  September 28, 2012

    Time Flight is the entertainment equivalent of a speed bump, after the joys of Earthshock.

  38. chris-too-old-too-watch  September 28, 2012

    I usually try to watch stories before Neil and Sue, but to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered with this….in fact i think the cellophane wrapper is still on my VHS tape. (And no, I don’t want to buy a DVD of this tosh)

    • chris-too-old-too-watch  September 28, 2012

      Loved the trailer for Arc of Infinite Boredom by-the-way

  39. Tim Cook  September 28, 2012

    I was 10 when this first went out and was watching solely out of brand loyalty. If it wasn’t for ‘Earthshock’, the only decent story (so I thought back then), I might have given up altogther. Davison – great Doctor, crap writers.

  40. Gavin Noble  September 28, 2012

    I’ll always defend Davison as The Doctor to the hilt purely because he was my first different Doctor I had seen. Tom always has been (and I suspect always will be) my favourite Doctor but Peter comes a close second (Matt Smith is third – after that it depends on my mood!).

    I thought then, and think now, he was excellent in the role and always believable in what he did without ever sending the show up on screen. He wasn’t always best served by the stories – but then the same came be said for all the Doctor’s, but he was always the most consistent in how he played the part.

    I love 1980’s Who as much as the earlier decades obviously only being born in 1974 means a lot of what I know about classic Who came from VHS and DVD’s later in life – first episode I ever saw live was Robots of Death Part One and I was hoked from then. There’s some wonderful stories to come and all those sying Doctor Who died in the 1980’s are being a bit disingenuous to an entire era of the show.

    Time Flight is certainly a duff story in many ways but there is far better to come – at least from where I’m watching.

  41. Philippa Sidle  September 28, 2012

    This was the first time I remember thinking any episode of Doctor Who was really crap. However, Sue’s review has brightened that depressing memory!

  42. BWT  September 29, 2012

    “Time-Shite” – Hehehehehe…

    “Flight of the Darned” – classic gold!

    Oh, and Sue? My father-in-law is was born in Darlington. He moved to Peebles. Yes, your comments are vindicated…

    • John G  September 29, 2012

      All this is putting me in mind of Blackadder and the lines about England’s three great universities – Oxford, Cambridge and Hull (Blackadder: “only two of those are great universities.” Melchett: “that’s right, Oxford’s a complete dump.”) The original Blackadder was also the laird of Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles – just like a certain Liberal MP at the time…

      • Antti Björklund  October 1, 2012

        Who?

        • John G  October 1, 2012

          David Steel, who was MP for the R, S & P constituency.

          • Antti Björklund  October 1, 2012

            Does being an MP make him a laird?

          • John G  October 1, 2012

            No, it was just a little dig on the part of the writers.

  43. Nathan  September 29, 2012

    There is actually a university in Darlington as of this year.

    • Neil Perryman  September 29, 2012

      Teesside has a campus there. Hardly the University of Darlington…

  44. Nathan  September 29, 2012

    Oh, and as for how everyone was boarding concorde, well the master was using his portable lift last seen in Castrovalva 😉

  45. Erik  September 30, 2012

    This was the first and only time I ever remember crying at Doctor Who as a kid. Not because Tegan left, or because Adric’s ghost turned up…. Because it turned out to be the Master AGAIN. I was also forced to watch this in the kitchen on a tiny black & white tv, so it didn’t look that bad. When I finally got round to buying the DVD and seeing it in colour… Well I nearly cried again, to be honest.

  46. Auntie Celia  September 30, 2012

    I have always rather adored Mr.Keith Drinkel, though this is not his finest hour. I doubt it is even part of the same day as his finest hour. Mr. Nigel Stock was such an imp!

    • Charles Norton  September 30, 2012

      No, everyone knows that Keith Drinkel’s finest hour was in BBV’s Zygon.

    • John G  October 1, 2012

      I was watching Keith Drinkel in A Family at War last night. It was an experience akin to watching Who, as they were desperately trying to pretend Camber Sands (or some such beach) was in the Egyptian desert! Anyway, despite this it was several leagues of quality higher than Time-Flight…

  47. Nick Mays  October 1, 2012

    As ever, Sue gets right down to it – and this was one of the funniest blog entries ever – some real laugh out loud moments. An a gem of a J N-T was a genuis comments. (Cue frothing at the mouth of fanboy experts…)

    Back in the day I remember being hugely disappointed with “Time-Flight”. I mean, how COULD they follow Erathshock with this shite? How was this shite even passed as suitable for broadcast? There’s no LOGIC to any of it.

    Why does the Master feel it necessary to pretend to be Kalid? On the off-chance that the Doctor appears? What’s with all the magic and mumbo-jumbo chanting? Or even what’s the green gunge vomit all about? I can’t help feeling Kalid was originally written as a character in his own right, maybe an alien trying to escape from crash landing on prehistoric earth? But then J N-T or Eric Saward decided to shoehorn the Master into the plot and used the clumsy “Master in Disguise” bollocks. The Master’s presence might have worked if he had somehow got caught up in Kalid’s web and was trying the help him, but even that would have been a quantum leap of the imagination and coincidence too far.

    And yeah, how DO the passengers get back on the plane?

    Time Flight must surely be one of the very worst Dr Who stories ever put out… at least “Timelash” had some kind of logic and funny puppets. Even the and could be CGI’d out to make the matrix thing look genuinely dangerous. No amount of CGI would save “Time-Flight”…

    Tell you what… if someone finds all the missing episodes of The Space Pirates or Marco Polo, let’s restore the kharmic balance by wiping all the tapes of Time Flight!

    • Nathan  October 1, 2012

      He wasn’t in disguise. He was in a medium state.

      • Frankymole  October 1, 2012

        It’s less daft than his other medium/summoner alter ego, putting on a dog collar and a pair of specs and using the Latin for “Master” as a name – woo, impenetrable disguise that!

        • Nick Mays  October 1, 2012

          The Daemons is a far better story though.

          And it has Kay Manning in a white dress as a sacrificial – ahem – virgin…

          What’s not to like?

          • Nick Mays  October 1, 2012

            KATY Manning even!

            (The white dress thing had me ‘sending’ prematurely….!)

      • Nick Mays  October 1, 2012

        Ahhhhh – that explains why Captain Stapley hit him. He likes to strike a happy medium…

      • Dave Sanders  October 2, 2012

        The Ainley Master dresses as a medium because he’s neither rare nor well done.

  48. Dave Sanders  October 1, 2012

    Funny how nobody here has yet compared the Ainley Master with Marvin Reducto from Harvey Birdman. “Back off! I have a shrrrrink gun – I’ll make you FUN SIZED!”

  49. Matt Sharp  October 1, 2012

    Even though I know that I’ve seen Time-Flight at least three times (once when it was first broadcast, once when it came out on VHS, and finally when it came out on DVD) I have no memories of it whatsoever, which probably tells you all you need to know about Time-Flight.

    So, last night, in solidarity to Sue, I watched it again. There were a couple of bits I liked – Davison tossing a coin to decide which direction to go, then cheating so that it came up with the result he wanted was very Doctorish, and… er, hmm, there was another thing but… no, it’s gone. It seems the memory of Time-Flight is already fading from my mind. This is probably a good thing.

    There was also a very early appearance from Brian Butterfield from The Peter Serafinowicz Show in episode four.

  50. Dylan Miller  October 4, 2012

    Whaaat?! A one?!?!? That’s a load of rubbish!

    I’m taking my ball and going!

  51. Dylan Miller  October 4, 2012

    And as for the absurdity of the Master’s play acting, I always thought that that was the point. The whole pretending to be Kalid is intended to have no other purpose than to be demeaning to the Doctor when it is revealed.

    Sorta like
    “Ha ha ha! Looks at the stupid shite that I have a blast making you put up with.”

    • Neil Perryman  October 5, 2012

      Yeah, and that’s why he dresses like that when he’s on his own, long before the Doctor turns up. But thanks for playing.

  52. Thomas  October 6, 2012

    I rather like the story, to be honest. It’s cheap, silly, and not very good, but it’s likeable and it tries hard enough. Certainly better than something with seemingly no ambitions like “The Visitation”.