Doctor Who-Time-Flight (1982)

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Mouth on Legs
Featurette-Jurassic Larks
Featurette-Peter Grimwade Interview
Deleted Scenes
DVD-ROM Extras-1983 Doctor Who Annual
DVD-ROM Extras-Radio Times Billings
Audio Commentary-Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Eric Saward
Informational Subtitles
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 98:09 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:34) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ron Jones

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Peter Davison
Sarah Sutton
Janet Fielding
Richard Easton
Keith Drinkel
Michael Cashman
Peter Dahlsen
Brian McDermott
John Flint
Peter Cellier
Judith Byfield
Anthony Ainley
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    As fans everywhere celebrated the loss of Adric, the Doctor (Peter Davison), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) are in mourning. To cheer themselves up, the Doctor plots a course for a great science fair in Victorian England. Alas the TARDIS nearly collides en-route with a tear in the space-time continuum, avoiding it only by materialising at modern day Heathrow Airport (well, modern day if you were watching in 1982). There they find that a Concorde has gone missing just prior to landing and the Doctor rightfully predicts it has been sucked into the tear in space-time. At the request of UNIT, the Doctor packs his TARDIS in the cargo hold of the next available Concorde and has the plane piloted along the same trajectory in order to find out where the first ship may have gone.

    The tear in space-time is in fact a wormhole back in time, though to the same place, some 140 million year earlier. Alas, this isn't clear to the Concorde's crew at first as a rather unscrupulous fellow name Kalid (who looks like a misplaced henchman from The Talons of Weng-Chiang) has used the power of a mysterious device to hypnotise them into believing they are at modern day Heathrow. Kalid has enslaved the crew of the original Concorde using the same mind control and has them working at digging up a mysterious ancient power source. Nyssa forms a psychic bond with the ancient power source and may prove the key to rescuing the enslaved passengers and crew and repairing the tear in space-time, but an old foe of the Doctors is determined to see that isn't the case.

    Time-Flight is a half-decent finalé to Peter Davison's first season as the Doctor but, like much of that season, it is far from a classic. The story starts out quite strongly, but runs out of steam about two thirds of the way through and ultimately finishes up in a bit of a mess of contrivances. The highlight of the story really is Davison's Doctor, who has formed a distinct and charismatic personality by this point.

    Time-Flight is certainly recommended for fans.

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Transfer Quality


    The video looks very good for a show that is 25 years old. It is not quite up to the standard of the best Doctor Who restorations, but certainly not far behind.

    The episodes are presented in their original 1.29:1 full frame aspect ratio.

    The episodes are sourced from a mix of 16mm and video and scenes from both different sources look surprisingly consistent and reasonably sharp. A moderate degree of low level noise is present throughout the video-sourced scenes and a similar level of film grain is visible in the 16mm scenes. Contrast levels and black levels are both excellent and very true to their intended source. The colour is very consistent, though a touch pale throughout.

    There are no significant MPEG compression related artefacts visible. A number of analogue video artefacts are noticeable, however, but none are terribly distracting (particularly to anyone used to the standard typically found in Doctor Who releases). The most noticeable being occasional comet trails and mild cross-colouration during those scenes that were shot on video (typically the in-studio scenes). Some of the blue-screen shots have noticeable edge enhancement, but it does not really look out of place for the rather dated effects.

    This restoration also features a couple of entirely redone effects sequences which were produced to replace a couple of shots for which the original video had deteriorated considerably. The new effects blend seamlessly into the mix and are would be very difficult to detect without having them pointed out.

    The English subtitles are white with a black border. Based on the section I sampled, they appear accurate and well-timed.

    This is a RSDL disc. The layer change occurs between episodes 3 and 4, at 73:34.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    An English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kbps) audio track is available.

    The dialogue is clearly audible throughout and at a good level in the mix.

    The score is fairly typical Doctor Who fare. The score is clear and well mixed.

    There is modest pro-logic surround use throughout the episodes, mostly around music balance. Very little bottom end makes its way to subwoofer level however, though that's not much of a surprise.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    This set features a reasonably diverse set of extras.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Fairly standard animation with clips and audio form the show.

Audio Commentary with Peter Davison (Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and Eric Saward (script editor)

    The four commentators provide a very interesting and rather chatty commentary. The anecdotes are reasonably well focussed to the story and its production.

Mouth on Legs Featurette (13:39)

    A featurette on Tegan, the fifth Doctor's feisty Australian companion and Janet Fielding's experiences with the character (both within the context of the show and in the years since). Fielding is a particularly good sport, which makes this featurette a good watch.

Jurassic Larks Featurette (19:34)

    A sort of "Making Of" style featurette that has been assembled from production footage and outtakes. A basic narrative set of subtitles explains what is going on throughout. The featurette does a great job of laying bare how the special effects came together and the clever use of props to produce larger than life effects. This really is riveting stuff for Who fans!

Peter Grimwade Interview Featurette (4:13)

    A 1987 interview conducted by Nicholas Briggs with the writer/director of Time-Flight. A very focussed interview on the production and development of this story as well as the process of developing for the television medium.

Deleted Scenes (3:45)

    A handful of relatively un-interesting extended takes.

Outtakes (13:53)

    A grab bag of outtakes that vary from hilarious down to pure padding. Worth a look, but this lot could have used a trim.

Photo Gallery (8:23)

    A fairly run-of-the-mill set of production stills done as a slideshow and backed by one of the better passages of music from the episodes.

DVD-ROM Extras - 1983 Doctor Who Annual

    A PDF copy of the 1983 Doctor Who annual, faithfully re-produced. Featuring stories, comics (with giant ants!) and behind the scenes snippets. This feature is also found on the Arc of Infinity disc.

DVD-ROM Extras - Radio Times Billings

    Four small snippets from the Radio Times, Britain's TV magazine, advertising the episodes' original airing.


    A trailer for the upcoming release of The Time Warrior.

Informational Subtitles

    A set of subtitles with production notes and other trivia about the episodes.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc is currently only available in a double-pack with Arc of Infinity in Regions 2 and 4 (although it comes in its own amaray case and features a separate barcode to the double-pack and Arc of Infinity, indicating that it will probably be released separately at some point), but is available separately in Region 1. The discs available in each region are identical, save for NTSC formatting of the Region 1 disc (converted from the original PAL found on the Region 2 and 4 discs).


    An entertaining and reasonably original (at least for the first two thirds) Doctor Who story.

    The extras are quite worthwhile as well as numerous. The video looks very good for its age. The sound is above average for an older show.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
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