122) TIME-FLIGHT

22 - 30 March 1982

Average Viewing Figure: 8.9M

Plot

When a Concorde vanishes mid-flight, The Doctor discovers the passengers have become slaves to the mysterious, Kalid

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Nigel Stock (Professor Hayter), Anthony Ainley (Kalid/The Master)

Richard Easton (Captain Stapley), Keith Drinkel (Flight Engineer Scobie), Michael Cashman (Flight Engineer Bilton), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric)

Peter Dahlsen (Horton), Brian McDermott (Sheard), John Flint (Captain Urquhart), Peter Cellier (Andrews), Judith Byfield (Angela Clifford)

Hugh Hayes (Anithon), Andre Winterton (Zarak)

Uncredited Cast

Barney Lawrence (Air Steward Dave Culshaw), Leslie Adams, Leslie Weekes, Richard Atherton, Simon Joseph, Jim Morris, Charles Millward

Brychan Powell, Edward Fraser (Businessmen Passengers), Clark Stephens, George Romanov, Tony Snell, Dan Long, Lionel Sansby

Alison McGuire, Jane Bough, Graham Jarvis, Fred Redford, Val McCrimmon, Tim Oldroyd, Sylvia Holmes, Ann Higgins, Gary Dean

Jay Roberts, Beverley Jennings, Jackie Noble, Maggie Pilleau (Passengers), Graham Jarvis, Martin Grant, Steve Fideli, Chris Holmes

Giles Melville, Paul Heasman, Mykel Mills, Nigel Tisdall (Plasmatons), Graham Cole (Melkur), Chris Bradshaw (Terileptil)

Crew

Peter Grimwade (Writer), Roger Limb (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Liz Mace (Production Manager)

Angela Smith (Production Associate), Joan Elliott (Production Assistant), Lynn Richards (Assistant Floor Manager)

Peter Chapman (Film Cameraman), John Gatland (Film Sound), Mike Houghton (Film Editor), Peter Logan (Visual Effects Designer)

Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Nigel Finnis (Vision Mixer), Peter Granger (Technical Manager), Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman)

Rod Waldron (Videotape Editor), Eric Wallis (Studio Lighting), Martin Ridout (Studio Sound), Amy Roberts (Costume Designer)

Dorka Nieradzik (Make-Up Designer), Eric Saward (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), Richard-Manan-Smith (Designer)

John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Ron Jones (Director) 

Uncredited Crew

Wendy Freeman (Make-Up Assistant), Charles Beeson (Floor Assistant), Derek Evans (Design Assistant), Jane Judge (Production Secretary)

Tony Revell (Grams Operator), George Reed (Effects Assistant), Phil Irons, Chris Nickolls (Studio Engineers), Ian Hewitt (Graphics)

Norman Fuggles, Ted Gogarty (Lighting Chargehands), Mervyn Bezan, Robin Smith, Heather Williams (Dressers)

Bill Lovely (Show Working Supervisor), Sarah Bird (Booker), Sheila Hodges (Booking Assistant), Alex Huxley (Props Buyer)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Terminal One, Heathrow Airport, Hounslow, Middx

  • Terminal Three, Heathrow Airport, Hounslow, Middx

  • BA Maintenance Area, Heathrow Airport, Hounslow, Middx

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Deaths

  • Professor Hayter [sacrafices his life to allow the Xeraphin to communicate]

Production Days

  • 9 Days between Wednesday 6 January - Wednesday 3 February 1982

Production Errors

  1. Heathrow Airport can be seen in the background when the aircraft takes off from the Jurassic landscape as well as a bird (modern-day one) which flies across the frame 

  2. The Doctor at one point correctly point out that landing some 140 million years ago would put them towards the end of the Jurassic Period. However he goes onto to say that they can't be far off the Pleistocene era. This is incorrect since the 'Pleistocene epoch' isn't due to occur for another 138 million years. The Doctor surely meant to say the Cretaceous period​​

Working Titles

  • Xeraphin

  • Zanadin

Verdict

Time-Flight is not terrible there I said it. The plot may seem nonsensical and boring and the performances are not worthy of attention but there are certain moments which save it from being one of the all-time worst. A mysterious opening and admirable, underused terminal sets are coupled with poor monsters made from the leftovers of any design team. Some credible use of science and mathematics are never fully used to their advantage. That is the main problems with the story, good ideas which are never fully developed and finalised. The plot is a let-down which never really takes off from the ground and nothing really happens with far too many rushed moments which heavily affect the pacing and structure. Terrible CSO and puppetry shots and bland direction makes for a struggled viewing experience with unfinished plot points disappearing just as quickly as they appear. Decent set designs which probably took up most of the budget which therefore restricted other areas. Time-Flight is not a masterpiece, very good effort, or a good story but it is passable. It just takes one a very long time to get from the start to finish. If you’re set in your ways then fly away from Time-Flight as fast as you can. **​