Monday 27 May 2024

What's Wrong With... Warriors' Gate

One of the most problematic productions of the classic series, this story saw the director dismissed at one point, only to be reinstated later. Paul Joyce saw himself as a bit of an auteur (as had Lovett Bickford on The Leisure Hive). The high pressure, time constrained, environment of a BBC electronic studio simply wasn't the place to experiment the way he wanted to - so he quickly fell behind schedule. There were problems with the set (and allowing the camera to film off it), and he hadn't prepared a camera script which might have kept him on track.
These behind the scenes problems don't translate to the screen, fortunately.
Warriors' Gate does have the reputation for being somewhat hard to follow, however - thanks to the non-linear nature of the Tharils. They are able to move through time, taking others with them.

In State of Decay, Tom Baker wanted to have a scene where the rebels throw a load of spears at the Doctor through the open TARDIS door, and he then emerges with all piled up in his arms - implying he has caught them all.
This was vetoed as being a bit too silly, and making the Doctor out to be a superhero. Interestingly, in this story we have the Doctor come under attack by a Gundan, defending himself with a handy weapon.
We cut back to him and he's holding a whole pile of broken weapons. It's as silly as the vetoed scene, but presumably was passed by producer and script editor in that it doesn't make him out to be the superhero.

The Privateer crew are a little too incompetent and lazy to be believable. How can they not know how there own big gun works?
They're supposed to be ruthless slave-traders, but you wonder how Rorvik puts up with them - or indeed how he came to a captain.
If the Privateer regularly captures Tharils, how come they got lost this time? They must make the journey between the different universes a lot. Is it just this particular CVE that's different? If so, it isn't explained.
Why do the Time Lords not know about the time-sensitive Tharils? Why have they allowed them to be enslaved by Rorvik and his buyers?

How did the enslaved humans manage to create the Gundans? We're not told of the timescale between the different periods, but it would be nice to know how one society led to another.
Why do the Tharils leave the spaceship after it has blown up? Couldn't they have done this before when there was less risk to themselves?
Why is the domain of the Tharils monochrome, when people who inhabit it do so in colour? Why was the banqueting hall not monochromatic?
Romana defends the Doctor from Rorvik by... slapping him rather feebly with a clipboard.
She and Adric manhandle Dwarf-Star alloy as though it were plastic - despite it supposedly weighing tons.
Is E-Space really going to furnish Romana with everything she needs to build a TARDIS, even if K-9 does have the blueprints?
VFX are good - apart from the metal wire holding the Gateway model together being exposed in slow motion.
At least with Leela's departure, they cobbled together a reason by having her fall in love with Andred. Romana's fails to get any effective build-up - simply deciding entirely out of the blue that she's going to give up her whole universe to help people she's only just met - one-time slavers themselves, who we haven't had a chance to work out if they can be trusted or not.

No comments:

Post a Comment