Recap: Doctor Who S19 E7 "Time-Flight"

Sorry Peter, but you're still riding coach.

"The Master has defeated me at last..."
The Doctor (having a sudden attack of Genre Blindness)

Mostly notable for being the first time British Airways allowed filming aboard a Concordenote , "Time-Flight" is one of the sillier stories of Classic Who.

On the TARDIS, Tegan and Nyssa complain to the Doctor for letting Adric die. However, the discussion of Adric gets cut short when the TARDIS crew accidentally ends up at Heathrow Airport. Tegan's happy to be finally back home, and the Doctor, checking the paper for the latest cricket news, avoids arrest by simply telling the airport crew to call UNIT and verify his credentials. When asked, UNIT immediately tells the airport's board members to brief the Doctor on the mysterious case of a missing Concorde. That's right, it's Doctor Who meets The Langoliers!

...Or not so much. As it turns out, the Concordes are vanishing to the Jurassic era, which is where the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and a second plane go to investigate. To no-one's surprise except the Doctor's (and maybe a few who didn't see the anagram in the credits), the Master's back again. He's also in elaborate disguise, as Bronson Pinchot—err, an Asiatic mystic, though he has no reason to be. The Doctor soon gets kidnapped by something resembling moving rocks spouting stock footage of soap bubbles.

There's also stuff about an ancient alien Hive Mind that wants to respawn onto Earth, while the Master wants to use them as the core of his own TARDIS. Oh, and his TARDIS is somehow damaged after escaping Castrovalva. Maybe. The crew of the second plane bumbles around, confused; meanwhile the Doctor, Nyssa, and Tegan... also bumble around. Adric shows up for a split second, only to be told he's supposed to be dead; then he vanishes. (The real reason for Adric's scene is so he'd be listed in the credits, so viewers wouldn't be able to deduce his death just by looking at the credits for the next week's serial.) There's also some really odd stuff involving swapped TARDIS parts, Concorde planes being able to takeoff from unpaved and bumpy ground using compressed air from tires, the passengers effortlessly getting back on board despite the lack of stairs, the Master beating the Doctor at the alien-hivemind subplot and mass hallucinations for random extras wandering around the sets.

In the end, the Doctor beats the Master by getting back to (present day) Heathrow first, thus preventing him from landing. Then, thinking that he's finally gotten Tegan home at last, leaves her there — unaware that she was having second thoughts about the job and really wanted to stay aboard the TARDIS.

Just try to ignore the birds flying around in what's meant to be the Jurassic, OK?

Watch it here.


  • Agent Scully: Professor Hayter, who thinks the entire thing is an elaborate Soviet hoax.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Doctor and Nyssa have dozens and dozens of adventures in the gap between this story and the next.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Professor Hayter, after obtaining the knowledge of the Xeraphin.
  • Big Red Button: Discussed, sort of. When looking for the TARDIS door control, Captain Stapley immediately dismisses the HUGE RED LEVER, presumably for this reason.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In what threatens to be the most barmy moment of Doctor Who (and this is a hotly-contested category), Tegan shepherds the dazed passengers across a swamp and back into the Concorde as though they are on the tarmac at Heathrow.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Doctor says, when cold, it's "times like this I wish I still had my scarf."
    • When Nyssa and Tegan try to reach the sanctum, images of Adric, the Melkur ("The Keeper of Traken") and a Terileptil ("The Visitation") appear in order to dissuade them from going on any further.
  • Cool Plane: The Concorde. And two of them to boot.
  • Crystal Ball: Kalid has one.
  • Danger Deadpan: Captain Stapley of Concorde Golf Victor Charlie shows remarkable self-control and British reserve given the circumstances.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Literally the only reason why the Master is disguised as a Middle Eastern mystic in the Jurassic period. There is no-one with him, or even alive at this point in time, meaning it's entirely for the benefit of the audience at cliffhanger time. On the other hand, it does set up the hilarious piss-taking of the Master's Complexity Addiction in "The Mark of the Rani".
  • Executive Meddling: Not from the studio but from the airport. British Airways were given a copy of the script before filming. They asked for changes to parts that could be considered detrimental to the company, including one line where a flight attendant refers to the passengers as "punters".
  • Face Your Fears: Nyssa's personal illusion is seeing the Master's TARDIS again. "I don't believe in you!" she cries before stomping right through it like a B.A.M.F.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Hayter gives himself up to the Xeraphin so that the Doctor can communicate with them.
  • Hive Mind: The Xeraphin.
  • Just Plane Wrong: That control tower sure is understaffed.
  • Lie to the Beholder: The Concorde crew thinks they've landed back at Heathrow, not in a Jurassic swamp. They don't even feel the plane shake when it touches down in a rough patch. One of the other jet's passengers thinks he's in Russia. A phony Adric tries to block Nyssa and Tegan's path, saying that if they pass through him, he'll vanish for good.
  • Mass Hypnosis
  • Mass Teleportation: Happens to the passengers and crew of the Concorde.
  • Put on a Bus: Tegan. She comes back with shorter hair next season.
  • Significant Anagram: Kalid is credited in the first episode as Leon Ny Taiy — an ambiguously Asian anagram of Tony Ainley.
  • Spanner in the Works: Stapley invokes this by name when he admits he swapped around some of the parts in the Master's TARDIS, hoping to disable it. He thinks it was a stupid idea, since he had no clue what he was doing, but it works nonetheless.
  • Spot the Imposter: Phantom "Adric" is still wearing his badge.
  • To Absent Friends: The brief (read: one minute and fifteen seconds long) discussion of Adric's death. Hopefully they did some more heartfelt mourning off-screen.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The last time we saw the Master he was trapped in a mathematically-constructed city as it collapsed in on itself. The full "explanation" for this was as follows:
    The Doctor: So you escaped from Castrovalva. I should have guessed.
    The Master: As gullible as ever, my dear Doctor.