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Near Bottom of Davison Era Episode

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 21 December 2017
Rating:   2

"Arc of Infinity" was one of the least of the Davison-era episodes. Johnny Byrne, who had written a cracking good story in "Keeper of Traken," here comes up with a very drab story. Much of this is down to extremely vague science and not much of a grasp of the backstory. In fact, it feels as if the script were quite hastily written, with some ad hoc off-the-cuff explanations thrown in. Just what is the Arc of Infinity? How does it "shift"? Why does its shift matter? A matter-antimatter explosion would certainly be worrisome, but not of the universe-ending proportion that it is made out to be. Near the end, we also get the dreary scenes of the side characters sidelined to watch the Doctor do his magic. They fret and worry, then all go "yay" when he succeeds. A similar thing happened in "Four to Doomsday" and was not particularly interesting in that show either. Terrance Dicks does his usual job of reproducing the script with minimum amounts of dressing up. The storytelling is a bit clumsy at first, but once he gets into it, the Dicks manner of racing along and not giving the reader time to think comes through. So, while the book is very true to the original episode, not much more is learned from reading this. The many problems of the script remain.

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