Doctor Who: Infinity Quest [Animated Serial]

I have long been aware of The Infinite Quest, one of two animated Doctor Who stories produced featuring David Tennant as the 10th Doctor, but for years I haven’t had a chance to see it. Now, thanks to the convenience of Britbox, that has all changed!

The Infinite Quest is written by Alan Barnes and directed by Gary Russell. It was originally 13 little episodes that make up one big story, which aired as part of Totally Doctor Who, a Behind-the-Scenes Doctor Who show that used to be on. It aired throughout Series 3 of the revived show and featured the same regular cast–David Tennant and Freema Agyman (as Martha Jones). The compilation version of the story is roughly the same length as a regular episode and the whole story adheres closely to the character development that was current at the time (with Martha’s unrequited attraction to the Doctor), so one could be forgiven for seeing it as a fourteenth episode of that run of episodes.

And if you want to, well, be my guest! It easily fits into the who-knows-when timeframe of Blink, and is actually a better story than a couple of the televised episodes that year. As long as you place it after The Lazarus Experiment and before Utopia, it works a treat.

And like I say, it’s a pretty good story–quite expansive and epic. If it was live-action it’d be a two-parter (at least) just because of all the ground that is covered is so vast. There are at least five different alien environments each with their own supporting cast and action set-pieces. And there are some imaginative ideas packed in there, including mobile weaponized oil rigs, an amphibious arms dealer selling weapons to insects, and a prison with a deposed robotic warden.

In live action it would all have had to have been slowed down and toned down to accommodate budget, but here there is every opportunity pull out all the stops and to race through lots of story at a breakneck pace. The result is a fun viewing experience which the last couple of seasons of the series could have benefited from learning a lesson or two from.

The animation style is clean and attractive as well. Both the Doctor and Martha are looking good here–of course it’s not as nuanced a portrayal as would be possible in live action, but the imagery blended with the vocal performances from the show’s regular cast (at the time) makes the whole thing very watchable. I have previously seen the other David Tennant-starring animated Doctor Who story, Dreamland (which came out a couple of years later), and that one felt a lot muddier to view.

Incidentally, in addition to David Tennant and Freema Agyeman, the story’s cast also includes Stephen Greif, who is well known to many as the original Travis in Blake’s 7, which is sort of Doctor Who‘s sister show from the 1970’s. He plays here a prisoner who has has replaced the warden of the institution he’s been incarcerated in.

Infinite Quest is a nice addition to the Doctor Who canon of stories–a hidden treat if you enjoy the Tenth Doctor and Martha, and want another adventure featuring the pair.

One thought on “Doctor Who: Infinity Quest [Animated Serial]

  1. For the chance for Stephen Greif to finally make a guest appearance in Doctor Who, something I’d have liked to have seen in the classic series because of how much I liked him in Blake’s 7, that was certainly an interest in Infinity Quest. After Dreamland, it was The Adventure Games that started with City Of The Daleks that made me particularly enjoy animated Doctor Who stories.

    Thanks, Ben, for your review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s