Monday, November 01, 2010

Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest

I was browsing at Moviestop on Saturday morning and came across a used copy of Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest. This is one of two animated features featuring the voice of David Tennant as the 10th Doctor. The other one, Dreamland, is also available on DVD. Quest features 2D cell style animation mixed with some computer graphics and Dreamland is a full CGI cartoon.
The first thing I noticed about Quest was the rather limited animation, looking something like the old Filmation cartoons where the same stock animation was used over and over. You know. Left profile of Doctor. Right Profile of Doctor. Left three quarter view of Martha. Right three quarter view of Martha. Doctor walking. Martha Walking. Etc, etc.
Doesn't really matter. Still gets the story told.
The second thing that stood out for me is how well animation works for a SF series because you can show things that it's difficult or prohibitively expensive to show in live action. The cartoon features space cruisers, metal birds, walking oil rigs, and a bunch of robots. You could probably do most of that with CGI, but not on the budget of a weekly TV series. Plus, you don't need stuntmen, caterers, carpenters, lighting techs, etc. Just voice talents and people who can draw and animate.
The Infinite Quest follows The Doctor (David Tennant) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) in a race across several galaxies to try and find The Infinite, an ancient object said to be able to grant people their heart's desire. Unfortunately a nasty space pirate named Baltazar is also after The Infinite and his heart's desire is to see the Doctor dead and the Earth destroyed. The animators use their unlimited location budget to send the travelers to a desert planet, a tropical world besieged by giant insects, and the frozen prison planet Volag-Noc.
It's a fun cartoon, very much in the spirit of the live action show. The DVD has some cool extras, including interviews with all the voice talent and footage of Tennant and Agyeman recording their lines. Also it's a chance to visit with the 10th Doctor yet again, even if it's just his voice. And I got it for four bucks, used.

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