Animated Discussion

DW Infinite b

Cartoon Who

It has probably escaped the attention of many of the 7 million regular viewers that Doctor Who gets every Saturday night that there is another, new, Who series running concurrently on Friday afternoons as part of Totally Doctor Who on Children’s BBC. Delivered in 3 minute chunks each week, The Infinite Quest is brought to us from the same team (although they have a new name) who gave us The Scream Of Shalka and the animated “lost episodes” of the classic Patrick Troughton story, The Invasion. It has an extremely different feel to the main show (as you’d expect) and the three minute installments each week make it a little hard to follow but there are some great visual elements and a nice little story that runs through the episodes as the Doctor and Martha are being tricked into tracking down a number of artifacts that will lead them (and the bad guy) to a legendary spaceship, the eponymous “Infinite”. Nice cameo’s from Anthony Stewart-Head and Lisa Tarbuck have added an extra touch of class. Hopefully, we’ll get the chance to watch as them all as a whole, seamless episode after its conclusion and should make for a good DVD extra at least.

The Totally Doctor Who show in which the animation can be found is a huge improvement on the slightly chaotic first series. Pre-recorded well in advance and now located in Upper Boat, the recording studio for Doctor Who and all its spin-offs, TDW is like a specially-made Blue Peter for younger Who fans. Bits and pieces can be a little odd and sit uncomfortably in the programme (this week, given that The Family of Blood featured creatures who smelt out their prey, there was a smelling challenge for one of the hosts and a guest), but in the main it’s all good fun. Barney Harwood and Kirsten O’Brien present in a typically boisterous fashion with invasive backgorund music, snappy direction and distracting camera work that do nothing for me personally but I assume keep “the kids” happy. However, along with the cartoon there’s also some behind the scenes interviews, clips from forthcoming episodes, and studion guests to keep the older viewers satisfied. I just wish they had had this kind of programme when I was 10 years old and was watching Castrovalva.

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