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Reviews for The Time Warrior

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A better time....

By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 20 September 2007
Rating:   9

I havent seen this story since it was first broadcast. It took me back to when I was much younger & it was love at first sight with Sarah Jane. Not only is it Sarah Jane's first story but the first sighting of Sontaran's ! This is a great story, great acting & wonderful sets. Also a chance to see June Brown, Dot Cotton from Eastenders, with a very cut glass, posh BBC voice. They only thing that is a let down is the special effects, but luckily this DVD gives you the chance to watch the story with new CGI effects. This really enhances the story, espically the explosion at the end. Really intersting "Making of" documentary as well filmed at the castle where the original story was filmed. Highly reccomended.

A Shock for Sarah

By:Sam, Plymouth
Date:Sunday 16 December 2007
Rating:   10

It was a brilliant idea from the start. A spaceship landing in the middle ages. A mizx of history and future in one. Never done before, and probably nothing like this will ever show up again. Dot cotton in her younger years, watching her on Eastenders. It's a shock!!! This is better than all of the other sontaran stories put together. And Jon Pertwee is a brilliant actor. I was gobsmacked to hear he died just after i was born. Elisabeth Sladen was brilliant in this. Seeing her latly with her own spinoff is brilliant. 10/10 Definatly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


By:Trevor Smith, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 23 January 2008
Rating:   9

The third Doctor, A first sighting of Sarah Jane, A first sighting of the Sontarons, The first mention of Gallifray. Just magic. A tip, watch it with the new CGI effects option. It improves the viewing so much, espically the explosion at the end. Highly recommended.

Commander Linx rules (well...)!

By:Huw Davies, Taunton, United Kingdom
Date:Saturday 1 November 2008
Rating:   10

I strongly disagree with the statement 'All Doctor Who stories with 'time' in their name are rubbish'. Timelash is a good example of this statement possibly being true, but the opposite can be said for this...
A brilliant historical setting that feels authentic (in a way, it is) that is the perfect home for this story of a lone Sontaran trying to return to his 'glorious' war. Commander Linx looks brilliant too - better even that today's versions, and a world away from the orange balloons of The Two Doctors
The extras are good too - 'Beginning the End' is a brilliant, informative documentary filmed at the castle used for filming of this story, and the CGI effects greatly add to the story.
Story - 10/10
Extras - 10/10
Overall - 10/10

When sci-fi meets the Middles Ages

By:Konstantin Hubert , Ireland/France
Date:Sunday 28 June 2009
Rating:   8

The Time Warrior is innovative in several aspects: it introduced the great companion Sarah Jane Smith, the warlike Sontaran (an outstanding alien) while the Doctor’s home planet, Gallifrey, is named for the first time. Moreover, for the first time “Episodes” were called “Parts” and a new title sequence and logo are introduced. All these innovations are enough to make it a reference story in the show’s history. However it is innovative even in terms of plot, thanks to its intelligent and original premise: an alien crash-lands on Earth (Middle Ages) and abducts scientists from the 20th century in his effort to repair his damaged star ship.

Since the beginning Time Warrior sets itself apart from other historical serials: We witness a peculiar alien’s (Sontaran Linx) contact with people of the Middle Ages beside his damaged ship and then the action is transferred to a 20th cen. scientific complex. Scientists are kidnapped, while a quarrelsome and greedy bandit called Irongron allies with Linx in his attempt to gather powers in the war against the people of Wessex Castle. It is an amazing blend of historical setting and science fiction, shot in the location of Peckforton Castle. This is not the trite alien invasion that had characterized sci-fi movies in the 50s or other DW serials. The Sontaran Linx seeks to repair the ship and leave and not to conquer or research anything. Irongron and his men are the ones that exhibit here their ambitions to conquer.

Thus, Time Warrior shows us the alliances between men and an extraterrestrial creature and the clash against their enemy: between Irongron's army and the Sontaran (this alliance being shallow) and between the people at Wessex Castle and the Doctor. It is a typical story of the show's non-violent nature, because although both the Sontaran and Irongron are warlike enemies, the Doctor does not have recourse to force against them, neither he nor Sarah Jane get injured and even when Wessex Castle is besieged no one gets injured and in fact no melee combat occurs. The Time Lord serves at the same time as the mysterious defender of this castle and as the saviour of the abducted scientists. He uses various gimmicks to outwit his opponents and fulfill his goals, including a strange gas he prepares to repel the enemies.

E. Sladen makes her debut here as reporter Sarah Jane Smith and, along with the Sontaran and Irongron, she steals the show. Bold and curious, charming and eccentric, she inadvertently finds herself in the TARDIS and in the Middle Ages thus taking part in her first adventure. The scene in which she speaks to the Doctor and discovers the Time Lord’s nature is one of Time Warrior’s classic moments. The Sontaran (K. Lindsay), with his toad-like brownish head, the great outfit, the humanoid and yet so alien appearance, is a striking creature, wonderfully designed by Robert Holmes. It is no wonder that Sontarans were used again and that they have made their comeback even in the new series (Sontaran Stratagem/Poison Sky). When it comes to the bossy Irongron, perfectly played by D. Daker, he is one of the series’ most memorable and imposing one-off characters, albeit annoying at times, because of his irritable and vociferous disposition.

On the minus side, some of the story’s action scenes appear funny because poorly executed: for example, the Doctor’s chase in the end of Part 2 or the shooting scene in Part 4 in which, not to our surprise, the Doctor doesn't get a scratch. The plot includes some basic flaws: why doesn't the Doctor try to use the TARDIS to transport the scientists back to the 20th cen.? Since men of the 20th cen. can repair the ship, why does Linx negotiate and ally with some of the medieval people? Not only he does not ignore them but he also very eagerly seeks to talk to them, gives them guns, constructs a robot knight for them and makes promises to them like a politician, whereas he knows they cannot help him. It could be said that they give him a shelter, Irongron’s castle, which houses the ship is but this was pointless. In fact in the end, the ship takes off while still in the castle and it obviously explodes as it crashes into its inner walls!

Despite a few flaws, Time Warrior stands as a solid and of course original title of the classic series. I recommend its DVD, which although not one of the richest ones in terms of extras, features extras of the usual BBC quality.

A real mixed bag

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Wednesday 25 May 2011
Rating:   5

This story is one of those few Doctor Who stories that does pull you left and right in terms of its merits and shortfalls.

Kevin Lindsay must be given a large amount of credit here, for his interpretation of the first Sontaran we see is flawless. A great new alien foil for the Doctor. And the make up here too and costume are all highly commendable given the fact there were obvious budgetary limitations inherent for this story. And his voice is totally different than that of his later, also memorable Kanpo in The Planet of The Spiders.

But I feel that maybe David Daker as Irongron is just a little too over the top. Maybe kings of that time would have acted like this, but for me it just makes a large chunk of the story too farcical for words to describe. Its his clamer scenes when he actually works better, rather than his totally stupid bluster.

And the working robot looks rather pathetic too. But Ive never been one to dwell on weak looking effects. its part of what made the show what it was.

Elisabeth Sladen bucks the story up no end with her very strong characterisation which sadly seemed to greatly diminish in her two Tom Baker seasons in the role of Sarah Jane Smith. She immediately grabs the attention in a good way. Her views on where she thinks she is at the end of part one and the beginning of part two are highly amusing and well directed.

But is it just me or does Jon Pertwee not really get all that much to do in this story other than chuck stink bombs over a wall and try to fight off a sontaran? He just seems to be a bit of a spare part for the most part of the story. And this is bad as Jon deserves far better treatment. Gratefully it didnt happen all that often in his time as the Doctor. But even in the bits he's in he prooves just how brilliant a Doctor he was. The final scene of the arrow in the neck of the Sontaran is also very well done. Although the rather tepid explosion is rather sad, considering the BBCs penchant for brilliant explosive work. The CGI extras really help this one no end for a change.

Nick Courtney in his single episode is also keenly felt, although he's only in two scenes really. I always loved his character. He always was so well utilised in the Third Doctor's run of stories.

June Brown though seems rather off par. not even Dot Cotton here. Alan Rowe is a little better, but not all that much, hardly as good as the character of Skinsale in Horror of Fang Rock. So all in all, a real mixed bag that doesnt really hit the target as great Doctor Who. One story where the pros arent in as high abundance as the cons im afraid to say.

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