Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Doctor Who-Arc Of Infinity

                    While two young men named Stuart and Colin are staying overnight in an ancient crypt after hitchhiking to Amsterdam to visit Colin's cousin in lieu of their reserved room at a local youth hostel, an unknown entity is commissioning one of the time lords for the biological information on the doctor from the Matrix of Galifrey. Meanwhile,just as the doctor is re-adjusting the TARDIS's gunfire proof grace system,he and Nyssa find the TARDIS overcome by a massive extra dimensional force that slows down time within the TARDIS. The doctor is briefly overcome by the presence of an unknown life form that registers to Nyssa as antimatter based. Her research helps the doctor to understand that what they encountered was part of what time lords call the Arc Of Infinity-a powerful intersection between matter and antimatter. At this point the TARDIS's recall systems are activated abruptly and the doctor and Nyssa are whisked away along with it.

                 Once on Galifrey the doctor is shot down by one Commander Maxil,with the permission of Lord President Borusa,the doctors old friend Hedin and the council of the time lords is taken into custody due to bioscans of the doctor showing that his presence has been overcome by an entity intent on using their Matrix to converge the Arc Of Infinity and simultaneously kill billions across the universe. Despite Nyssa and ally time lords Damon and Hedin's protests,the doctor is sentenced by Borusa and Maxil to termination. While Nyssa and Damon's research into the matter indicate the bioscans were forged by someone within the high council,the doctor is swiftly terminated. He then finds his consciousness locked within the matrix-conferring face to face with the unknown life form that took over his body and has suspended his mind and body between the termination chamber and the Matrix.

                    Back in Amsterdam,Stuart and Colin's overnight in the crypt is interrupted when Colin begins constructing some unknown device,doesn't recognize Stuart and disappears. He then goes to the hostel where they were to have stayed. He then intercepts Colin's cousin at the airport,who turns out to be Tegan. She has come to visit her vagabond cousin to cheer herself up after losing her job with Heathrow. She finds herself involved now in the mystery of his disappearance in one not so ordinary crypt. When she and Stuart arrive at the sight of the disappearance,they find an unusual bird like creature their to greet them. The creature promptly transports Tegan and Stewart to the TARDIS of the unknown alien-who promptly uses the mental essence of Tegan in order to manipulate the doctor,still believed by his own people to have died,into doing what he wishes.

                 After asking the doctors seemingly only ally on the high council,Hedin for assistance he allows her and Demon access to the TARDIS to restore its activation unit Maxil had removed just prior to the doctors termination. Via further investigation they discover the fact that the doctor is still alive and trapped within the Matrix. The Castellan meanwhile is convinced,though Nyssa and Damon are able to prove without doubt that the doctors bioscans were faked that he was involved in a conspiracy with someone within the high council. The doctor being let go from the Matrix into his own body,his final encounter with Tegan reveals the location of their unknown adversary. The doctor manages to reunite with Nyssa,Demon,Borusa,Castellan and Hedin-who to his surprise is the time lord who'd framed the doctor as a way of re-animating Omega,the unknown creature who'd merged his bio energy with the doctors so he could live among the time lords.

               While Hedin is killed during the ensuing struggle the doctor journeys with Nyssa in the TARDIS to Amsterdam to find Tegan and Colin,whom Omega has now released from his control. Though with Demon's help they've found a way to halt Omega's reanimation  process,Omega has assumed a humanoid form identical to the doctors. He escapes into the city of Amsterdam just as the doctor and Nyssa arrive. After getting directions from the hostel Colin was to have been staying at before Omega began manipulating him to construct his matter converting fusion device,built in Amsterdam because it was at sea level the doctor,Nyssa and Tegan give chase until they finally encounter Omega-who is now beginning to necrotize due the instability of his matter conversion process. Knowing that Omega's continued life would destabilize the universe,the doctor gives him the narrow choice of dying where he is or being taken back to Galifey as energy. Omega seems to fade into oblivion,after which Tegan and Nyssa invite the now unemployed and eager Tegan to re-join them as her cousin recovers.

                One of the things about the complex and wonderfully realized story I realized is that,as with The Brain Of Morbius I'd actually seen at least the first part of this serial when I was a preteen. I was tuned into that due to the conversation between Nyssa and the doctor about the convergence of matter and antimatter. This story basically asks the question between physical existence and non existence,and the character of Omega who is such a survivalist he risks both the physical and societal stability of his own people to achieve his goals. Of course this is most famously future sixth doctor Colin Baker's very first appearance in Doctor Who as the bureaucratic Commander Maxil,who infamously shoots the doctor in the cliffhanger of the first part of the serial. The special effects are used here to produce from reality bending effects such as a physically warped doctor floating inside a light beam Matrix of thought. Overall this is one of the most thematically complex and visually stunning encounters with the time lords and the doctor in the classic Doctor Who series and as such is not all that bad an entry point for those who've never seen Doctor Who even.
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