View Poll Results: What do you think of Time-Flight?

Voters
11. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: It means The Master has finally defeated me.

    0 0%
  • 9: You could do more than grieve. You could go back

    0 0%
  • 8: Andrew, I didn't know you had a New York stopover.

    0 0%
  • 7: Happy landings, Doctor

    1 9.09%
  • 6: No, Doctor you never understand. You never do.

    2 18.18%
  • 5: So you did escape from Castrovalva

    1 9.09%
  • 4: What comes from it killed my Father

    1 9.09%
  • 3: I thought you were going with The Doctor.

    3 27.27%
  • 2: So did I.

    2 18.18%
  • 1: They canít even remember their own names. Theyíre in a trance.

    1 9.09%
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  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: Time-Flight



    Ahhh... tooma... shamalll...

    The Master has a plan. No-one knows quite what he's up to, something to do with ancient forces of the Xeraphin and Concorde on primeval Earth or summat.

    What do you think of Time-Flight then?

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    I only have bizarre, hazy recollections of this one. Like The Time Monster, it's a story that I can only remember watching after getting rather drunk. I'm sure that we must have done the commentary and / or the documentaries on Time Flight, but my memories are seriously weak.

    The things I can remember are: Nigel Stock, wasted; The Master in a strange outfit; Concorde with its tiny little wheels; monsters made out of blu-tac; and gallons and litres of slime.

    Oh yes, there's the Master and the Doctor swapping TARDIS components like traders at a junk sale. I suppose those circuit-boards might have looked futuristic back in the 1980's.

    I would like to buck the trend and claim that Time-Flight had something to redeem it. Sadly I suspect that it's a rather boring and silly story. I'll watch it sober one day and let you know!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    Sadly I suspect that it's a rather boring and silly story. I'll watch it sober one day and let you know!
    You are quite correct, it is rather boring and silly, it has nothing to redeem it whatsoever, it's a bit...rubbish really.


    looking at the results so far in the poll, I think this is going to be the lowest rated of the season.

  4. #4
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    When you grow up you don't care who "directed" what story, but when you're older you realise that it's everything. The director is the person who shapes the story; who gives it it's personality; who moulds its mood. "Time Flight" is BORING, and as we all know kids, that is the worst crime of any Doctor Who story. It's director is BORED, it's performers are BORED and that shines through.

    Somewhere there is a world where someone really interested in the potential of "Time Flight" directed it. The Concorde cockpit scenes, done in studio so they could be properly staged and not look like a dreary 1980's Air New Zealand commercial, are tense and dramatic. The lighting is dim (because the electrics have gone down when the plane passed through the time tunnel) so the Doctor is wrestling with the plane's controls as the deep mauve lights of the time vortex flicker over his face.

    The resultant freed money is used to film the outdoor scenes on location, so blasted Heathrow is a wilderness outside. Some decent character actors have been cast in the supporting roles, so we have some really dynamic, interesting performances. Fans wax lyrical these days about Judi Dench's sublime, tense performance as Angela Clifford and Nigel Havers' Andrews.

    Best of all are the underground scenes in the caverns of Xeriphas, and the unearthly visions of the Doctors foes that flicker in and out as Nyssa and Tegan struggle onwards through a dazzling array of video effects, a bit like "The Claws of Axos" where they try and escape from Axos.

    Ainley is mostly filmed in dark, moody lighting, skillful direction showing only his gloved hands moving over instruments. His Kallid guise is grotesque, a sort of Face Dripping Blood, "The Deadly Assassin" Master except done better, in fact in most early scenes all you can see are his ghoul like eyes shining through the darkness. Plus Ron Jones has insisted on some dialogue to be added explaining that the "disguise" is actually a twisted half-form version of the Master, who was mortally wounded escaping Castrovalva and tried unsuccessfully to regenerate; he needs the power of the Xeraphin to rewind his condition.

    Somewhere, there is a story like this. But what we get is a show that no-one really cared about. And if they didn't care making it, how can we care about watching it?

    Si.

  5. #5
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    It's certainly not my favourite Davison story by a mile, but Si, your vision of what Time-Flight should have been like sounds great. I don't care for what we've got, and I hardly bother watching this Davison story at all.

  6. #6
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    Bravo for Si's version of Time Flight!

    I quite agree and we have a good yardstick for the quality of the actual story in the Target novelisation, which I remember as being quite exciting at the time. It certainly wasn't a disappointment.

    There were a number of bad decisions made on Time Flight - sorry, there was an endless list of appalling decisions. They seem obvious now, but it's hard to believe that someone could make a TV program and put so little care into it.

    So what is good about Time Flight? Where are it's redeeming features?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  7. #7
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    The actual plot isn't bad. It has Anthony Ainley in it (to screw up a story with him in and make it BORING is actually quite a feat). The image of concorde on prehistoric Earth, perhaps with the odd Dinosaur towering over it, has the potential to be very iconic and pure "Doctor Who". Professor Haiter needed to be played by Rex Robinson, returning as the same character from "The Three Doctors" which would have been brilliant. The Xeraphin are a good idea, and if they'd bothered they could have staged a special effects shot of the TARDIS travelling on the wing of Concorde.

    Best of all, they could have linked it to "Earthshock" somehow, as both feature Prehistoric Earth and time travelling technology. Imagine if the Doctor had been forced to bail out of Briggs' freighter with Scott and had arrived on prehistoric Earth at the start of "Time Flight" (Scott and June Bland and Beryl Reid would have livened up the Doctors tussle with the Master no end).

    "Don't be silly Tegan, there's nothing here! We're trapped on Earth at the time of the dinosaurs!"
    "But Doctor - LOOK!".
    She points to the sky, to see Concorde descending through the treetops to crash into a volcano. Cue pre-credits.

    Quite literally, amazing.

    Si.

  8. #8
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    They should have saved some money for it. It suffers because there's about £5.50 left in the kitty and this story is too ambitious to make on the cheap.

    Some of it is quite good. I really like episode 1, with all the Heathrow stuff and the mystery of what's happening to Concorde. It's all rather intriguing... but then they go back in time, meet some blu-tac monsters with fairy liquid powers and bahm, all that potential is wasted.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #9
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    I for one can't wait until the Plasmatons appear in the new series.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  10. #10
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    You know, with Adric billed in the Radio Times as appearing in Time-Flight (in order to disguise the shock ending of the previous story), there must have been a few people who were expecting the boy to turn up once the Concorde landed in prehistoric times! Now that would have been a version of Time-Flight with a little more life in it! (Well, one more life, specifically...)

    In truth, the script betrays plentiful signs of a writer who was so hard at work thinking up 'exciting' concepts, he forgot to spend any time working them through and trying to ensure they made sense.

    I watched this and Arc of Infinity one after the other when the 'Tegan Tales' DVD set came out, and Arc certainly went up in my estimation by a vast amount in such close proximity to this.

    I've still given it a 4, because there are things about it that keep the attention from flagging, but in truth, it's probably about as dull as Doctor Who ever got, and that's a far worse crime than being 'bad' (and Time-Flight, the poor dear, is guilty of both).

  11. #11
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    I agree with Si and JR, that its worst crime is being boring. Part 1 is pretty good, at least until we arrive in Prehistoric Earth and one of the cheapest looking sets the show's ever seen. The guy playing Captain Stapley is extremely good in that he makes the character very watchable. But other than that.... The explanation of the Xeriphas is all a bit rushed and garbled and I must admit I'd struggle to write it down now if pressed.

    Could have, should have, been so much better, and it's a real shame that such a strong season should have such a limp ending, especially coming after Earthshock.

    Although I would just say that at the time, I was totally stunned by the 'cliffhanger' ending to the season - and if the lovely Tegan HADN'T returned in season 20, what a sad 'oops' departure for a companion that would have been.

  12. #12
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    Was Janet ever really going to leave, or was it all a ruse?

    Sent from my LT15i using Tapatalk
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  13. #13
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    It was all a ruse, but it had me fooled at the time!

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    Do you know, I'm not sure if this is the memory playing tricks or what (maybe I should go and look)... but were you a DWM reader back then Si? Because I don't seem to recall ever being under the impression that Janet was really leaving; for some reason I already knew before they left without her that she was already lined up to be in the following season, so all I was really worried about - as Time-Flight drew to a close - was how they were going to make picking her back up again seem realistic.

    For a 'ruse' though, one intended to make the casual viewers sit up and take notice, simply 'forgetting' to make sure all your companions were aboard before taking off was a rather tasteless way to end the series after what had happened at the end of Earthshock. It was almost like saying: Oh look, the Doctor really doesn't care about his companions.

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    I don't think it was quite that callous. She'd had a traumatic time aboard the TARDIS, so the Doctor probably thought it was kinder to leave her behind. Anyway, she had whinged and moaned to be taken home since day one.

    I can't remember fully, but I don't think we get to see the departure from the Doctor's point of view. We know he doesn't like long goodbyes, so perhaps this was his way around that?

    In fact, as Tegan wasn't a willing TARDIS crewmember until Arc of Infinity, should she even count as a 'companion' at this point?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    I disagree, I think the Doctor genuinely doesn't like Tegan. The look on his face when she comes back aboard says it all.

    Si.

  17. #17
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    Do you know, I'm not sure if this is the memory playing tricks or what (maybe I should go and look)... but were you a DWM reader back then Si? Because I don't seem to recall ever being under the impression that Janet was really leaving; for some reason I already knew before they left without her that she was already lined up to be in the following season, so all I was really worried about - as Time-Flight drew to a close - was how they were going to make picking her back up again seem realistic.
    I was, but as I was 6 I'm not sure how much of it I actually read back in '82!

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiHart View Post
    They should have saved some money for it. It suffers because there's about £5.50 left in the kitty and this story is too ambitious to make on the cheap.

    Some of it is quite good. I really like episode 1, with all the Heathrow stuff and the mystery of what's happening to Concorde. It's all rather intriguing... but then they go back in time, meet some blu-tac monsters with fairy liquid powers and bahm, all that potential is wasted.

    I think nothing sums up how cheap Time-Flight is by the Air traffic controll room of one of the buissest airports in the world being manned by a couple of people in a broom cupboard.

    I find it hard to find anything nice to say about Time-Flight, it's cheap and tacky badley directed and a ridiculous plot with characters that you really couldn't care if they lived or died.

  19. #19
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    So I finally managed to watch this again this afternoon and I actually enjoyed it enough to have given it 7/10. Yes it is flawed and does get a bit bog standard once Khalid is revealed as The Master but it's possibly not as bad it's popularly reputed to be.

    So I've now watched through the whole of season 19 for only the second time ever and the initial response is "Please sir, I want some more..."

  20. #20
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    Damn, you've got a nasty surprise then when Season 20 rolls around...

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    Oh I know. I'm not under any illusions about season 20 (assuming we don't count The Five Doctors, which I love despite its blatant faults) I almost jumped straight to Resurrection of the Daleks but instead persuaded myself to have a break after watching T-F in virtually one sitting and watched some more Bugs this evening instead.

  22. #22
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    Just what is it thet the word "time" kilss a who story.

    Please, please tell me I am wrong

  23. #23
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    What do you mean? The Time Monster is... oh, yes. Well, what about Timelash then, that's... ah, right. Umm...

  24. #24
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    See I told you " Time" is a curse

  25. #25
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    Time of the Doctor?

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