Fri, 13 July 2007
The Infinite Quest is an animated serial based on the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was aired in twelve weekly parts (three and a half minutes each) starting 2 April 2007 as a segment of the children's spin-off show Totally Doctor Who. However, on Totally Doctor Who, it was revealed that the final episode (after episode 12) will be shown at the end of the "Omnibus" episode, thus increasing the total to thirteen parts, making the compiled series the equivalent length of a standard episode of Doctor Who. The compiled story was broadcast on 30 June 2007, coinciding with the finale of Series 3.
The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones set off on an adventure through space to find the datachips to unlock The Infinite, a huge spaceship that can grant people their heart's desire. However, the evil Baltazar is also searching for the ship.
An alien named Baltazar has set his sights on Earth, planning to compress its population into diamonds. The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones arrive on his ship to stop him. The Doctor threatens him with a spoon, which Baltazar cuts in half with his metal claw hand. The spoon happens to be made of a special fungus, which when introduced to the metal ship quickly begins to rust it. As the ship falls apart, the Doctor frees Baltazar's huge metallic bird, Caw, who carries Baltazar away. The Doctor muses that Baltazar will end up on the ice prison planet Volag-Noc at some point.
Some time later, Caw takes the Doctor and Martha to his home planet, where he gives Martha a brooch as a gift. He also spits up a datachip, explaining that it and three others like it hold the location of The Infinite, an ancient spaceship that can grant people their heart's desire. Each datachip leads to the next one. At first unwilling to search for it, the Doctor is forced to when Caw notes that Baltazar has a copy of the datachip. As the two set off on their quest, Caw is revealed to be working for Baltazar.
The first chip leads to the planet Boukan, where the pirate captain Kaliko is raiding the living oil rigs they find there. She is wearing the next datachip as an earring. Assuming the Doctor and Martha to be spies for the oil companies, Kaliko tells her crew of skeletons to throw them overboard, unaware that her first mate, Mr. Swabb Mate, is in fact the spy. Swabb stages a mutiny and has the oil rigs shoot down the ship, but their poor aim causes them to scatter the crew in doing so. After Swabb is knocked out, the Doctor reveals the reason for their visit to Kaliko. She tries to escape in a pod, but is found murdered after landing near the TARDIS. With nothing left to do, the Doctor and Martha take her datachip and follow it to the next one.
The next chip is on the planet Myarr, being used as a necklace by a lizard alien named Mergrass. Mergrass has been hired to advise the Mantasphids, alien bugs, on military strategy against the humans attacking them, but in reality is little more than a gun-runner. During an attack by the humans, a pilot is captured. He reveals that the Mantasphids invaded the planet for its fertile dung, and that the humans were there first. To rid themselves of the bugs, the humans have decided to bomb the entire area. The Mantasphid Queen turns to Mergrass for help, but is unwilling to pay him for it, and as such he refuses to arm the weapons he provided her with. As Mergrass leaves, the Doctor is forced to defuse the situation by impersonating the supposed pirate-master of the Mantasphid, which proves successful. Quickly telling the pilot to work with the Mantasphid for the benefit of both species, he follows after Mergrass. By this point, Mergrass has also been killed, so again the Doctor and Martha take the left-behind datachip and head for the next plant.
The final datachip is on the ice prison planet Volag-Noc. Upon arriving, the Doctor is quickly identified as a wanted criminal and dumped in a cell with a damaged robot. Martha is taken to the Governor of the facility, a human named Gurney. He has the final datachip locked in a safe. As they discuss things, both Martha and the Doctor discover that Gurney isn't the Governor, but one of the prisoners. The robot Locke who is sharing the Doctor's cell is in fact the Governor, and the Doctor shouldn't have been put in the cell in the first place. Locke decides that all the prisoners are irredeemable and orders their execution, giving Gurney a chance to shoot Locke and escape with the datachip. The Doctor manages to prevent the prisoners' execution.
On the surface, Martha catches up to Gurney, but can do little to stop him without a weapon. At the same time, however, Baltazar arrives riding Caw. Gurney shoots down Caw, but is apparently dispatched by Baltazar off-screen. Caw dies from the damage caused by Gurney's shot while the Doctor and Martha comfort him. Baltazar then takes the two hostage, forcing the Doctor to show the way to The Infinite. He also reveals that Martha's "brooch" is actually Squawk, Caw's child, which flies to the body of his parent. Once the Doctor locks in The Infinite's location, Baltazar takes control of the TARDIS — as flying the TARDIS involves little more than a button-press, he no longer needs the Doctor. He leaves the Doctor to perish in the snow.
On The Infinite, Baltazar orders Martha to find the hold, which she does by accidentally falling through the deck. In the hold, Martha finds the Doctor waiting for her, but quickly realises that it is a creation of the ship: the ship is doing as promised. The real Doctor is close by, however, riding a matured Squawk. He quickly knocks Baltazar out and comes to Martha's aid. The Doctor informs her she just has to reject the vision, which she does, causing it to fade away. The Infinite tries to find the Doctor's heart's desire but he wards it off. He explains that for him it has been nearly three years, in which time he weened Squawk and helped re-establish Volag-Noc, making sure to tone down the somewhat homicidal Governor. He further explains that the heart's desires granted by The Infinite are little more than illusions, the last spark of whatever powerful being died within its walls. Baltazar has not yet realised this; he is standing in a treasure, oblivious to Martha's warnings about the illusion. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to vibrate the wreckage, causing the ship to fall apart. He and Martha flee in the TARDIS, leaving Baltazar to rely on Squawk, who has been trained by the Doctor to take Baltazar back to Volag-Noc. With the day saved, the Doctor and Martha resume their adventures.
 Cast notes
 Outside references
One segment of The Infinite Quest is shown each week during Totally Doctor Who, having begun on 2 April. The serial, animated by Firestep, is the second officially licensed, animated Doctor Who serial, the first being the flash-animated Scream of the Shalka (2003). Missing episodes of the 1968 serial The Invasion were also animated for that serial's 2006 DVD release. Both of these animations were produced by Cosgrove Hall. The BBC describes Firestep as "the creative team behind previous Doctor Who animated adventures for the BBC."
An earlier animated series based on Doctor Who, to be produced by Nelvana for CBS, was planned in the 1980s, but fell through. Production art had been drawn up by Ted Bastien. Three limited animated webcasts - Death Comes to Time, Real Time, and Shada - were made and 'cast' on the BBC Website before Scream of the Shalka.