The Time Warrior: Doctor Who: Season 11








The Time Warrior SYNOPSIS:

A sontaran Officer crash lands on Earth in the Middle Ages and forms an alliance with a local warlord called Irongron who agrees to house his ship until the sontaran, Linx, effects repairs to his craft in exchange for weapons from the stars that the alien will provide to his host to conquer the surrounding lands with.

Linx uses an Osmic projector to go forward as far as he can into Earth's future and steals technology and scientists from the 20th century. UNIT get involved in the disappearances and the Doctor manages to trace Linx back to the Middle Ages and follows him in the Tardis while journalist Sarah Jane Smith stows away on board believing the Doctor is responsible for the kidnappings.

Finding that Irongron is being supplied with rifles and fighting robots the Doctor attempts to free the missing scientists but is captured by the local gentry being aided by Sarah. He convinces her Linx is the culprit and gets Sir Edward and his vastly outnumbered men to help take Irongron's castle and rescue the scientists before Linx's ship takes off, and destroys the castle.

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The Time Warrior DETAILS:

Episode Broadcast Run Time Viewership (In Millions)
Part One 15-Dec-73 24:15 8.7
Part Two 22-Dec-73 24:10 7
Part Three 29-Dec-73 23:30 6.6
Part Four 5-Jan-74 24:57 10.6

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The Time Warrior CAST & CREW

The Doctor:
Jon Pertwee (Third Doctor)

Elizabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)

Guest Stars:
Nicholas Courtney — Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Kevin Lindsay — Linx
David Daker — Irongron
John J. Carney — Bloodaxe
Alan Rowe — Edward of Wessex
June Brown — Lady Eleanor
Jeremy Bulloch — Hal
Donald Pelmear — Professor Rubeish
Sheila Fay — Meg
Gordon Pitt — Eric
Steve Brunswick — Sentry

Production Staff for Serial UUU:
Writer - Robert Holmes
Director - Alan Bromly
Script editor - Terrance Dicks
Producer - Barry Letts

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The Time Warrior REVIEWS


The sontarans inauspicious debut! Plus the debut of the most well known title sequence of the show. Funny how new titles can automatically make a series look fresher and newer. Plus arguably the debut of the the classic series most popular companion. Three pretty good hits for the Time Warrior, lifting it above looking tired and worn out.

Thing is unfortunately that is the only three hits for the the Time Warrior. It looks slicker and the pace is even quicker than before and the sontaran, costume and makeup is just excellent as is the character, proving sometimes you really only need one member of an alien race to make them effective. But it is strangely devoid of atmosphere and think your right Grob it's down to the director. Having seen the extras on the DVD, the production team don't hold back with saying they disagreed with a lot of the things the director was doing, especially with effects he came up with. Makes you wonder why they didn't fire the guy and get someone in who could do something with the material because Robert Holmes' script is really good, just not executed very well...

So it's an ok romp in the middle ages, though I must say at the start of the show, what's with Pertwee's hair? It looks like a wig, or an old woman's coif. Luckily Middle ages air returned it to normal. Irongron overacts but is good in a fun way, everyone else is colour less, including Star Wars' very own Boba Fett and Sarah is feisty verging on annoying. Loved the first episode cliffhanger where Linx takes off his helmet for the first time. 6/10


The Time Warrior features:

A new title sequence.A new season.A new companion.A new race of villian.Sound great? Sure. Look great? Yeah. Overall story? Meh.

The new title sequence is I reckon the best one of the classic series. The whole slit scan process is very original and the new shot of Pertwee (updated to show the new Pertwee quoif) is very nice. And we even get him floating through a Pertwee shaped tunnel! It looks very fresh and updated. Great.Meanwhile, Jo has gone off with Professor Mushroom up the Amazon and we have her replacement Sarah Jane Smith. She's feisty, intelligent, resourceful and doesn't take much of Pertwee's condescending schtick. She won't even make him a coffee when he asks her to. Go her.

Linx the Sontaran looks and sounds great. You can probably picture him as someone who worked in car insurance who was used to pushing other people around with petty red tape down the phone line and then suddenly has to go out into the real world and fend for himself. His disbelief at the whole cock-up that is Middle Ages England that he is found himself in is very funny. But that is due to the performance of the actor and the word of the writer.

Cos the production itself goes flatter than Clarissa Flockhart under a falling piano. Alan Bromly is from the "point and shoot" school of directing and by Allah it shows. No tension, no mystery, no nothing. Just point the camera at whoever is flapping the yap and shoot. He doesn't even make any attempt to capitalize on the setting of medieval England. It just looks like a bunch of amateur theatre actors in amateur theatre period costumes wandering around looking totally lost. The bunch of thugs led by Irongron are just a bunch of send-ups and scenery chewers while the nice people of the Wessex Club look like they've just stepped out of a health spa - and what perfect teeth they all have. And clean too. The Time Warrior is not really a story to hit a new audience on the head since it is a season opener. But what other story in season 11 would you replace it with? I'm going with a 3/10.


Firstly I have to ask... Grob... do you know the director / writer / associate producer / grip / best boy of every episode off the top of your head?

Once again, I quite like the Time Warrior. After you put the fun of the new title sequence and new assistant (probably the most famous of both!) aside, we get a pretty good story - lots of fun, and lots of really good characters... which is Robert Holmes' strength. Bits of it are a little ordinary (like say the fighting robot thing... which is pretty pissy), but for the bulk of it, the strength of Irongron and Linx alone could carry it.

The actual introduction of the Sontarans is great - the first reveal of the potato head at the end of part 1 is legendary. However, Holmes' greatest mistake with Sontarans is revealed at the end of their first adventure... they have a massive big hole in the back of their neck that if you shoot (or cover), they die... I hope the new batch we get this year don't have the same "easy out".

This is also probably the best Sarah / Third Doctor chemistry we get ever - maybe that's cos the writing was there that isn't for a lot of the series, or maybe it's just cos it's her first episode and she needs to have that little bit extra to stay... I don't know, all up, I think it's pretty good fun - yeah there's some bad acting from some of the small part players, but the story's strong enough to carry that, and the pace also helps to excuse it.

Nothing brilliant, but definitely nothing that stinks!


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Screen Shots:

The Time Warrior Titles

The Time Warrior Dr and Sarah

The Time Warrior sontaran salute

The Time Warrior Professor Ruebish

The Time Warrior Bloodaxe and Irongron

The Time Warrior Hal the archer

The Time Warrior Duchess and Duke

The Time Warrior Robot knight attacks

The Time Warrior the Doctor

The Time Warrior Bloodaxe Irongron Linx

The Time Warrior Sarah2

The Time Warrior Hal and Sir Edward

The Time Warrior Linx3

The Time Warrior Dr and Prof Ruebish2

The Time Warrior Irongron2

The Time Warrior Sarah and Hal

The Time Warrior Bloodaxe

The Time Warrior explosion

The Time Warrior Irongron dies

The Time Warrior Linx dies