There’s a certain, particular class of Doctor Who episode where due to a significant mismatch between budget, time, and/or ambition the notorious acronym CSO rears its experimental head. The results are, to say the least, uneven. When used judiciously its barely worth getting remarked upon, but there are others like The Claws of Axos where between the halo around characters and the lack of depth to anything the effects are … distracting. The Invisible Enemy and Underworld fared little better. By the time Warrior’s Gate arrived the least of that serials troubles laid in the CSO. Director Paul Joyce fell so far behind (fired–then re-hired) that lore has it Production Assistant Graeme Harper (yes, that guy) stepped in on the floor to finish–barely.
Still, and despite the fact the Warrior’s Gate is hard to follow, even after multiple viewings, there’s a certain amount of style at work, especially on the other side of the mirror. But like many stories which prove to be too challenging for the atrophying THT Brain Trust, if you have to work this hard to like a story, then it’s ultimately a miss for us.
The hamster of wheel of change had begun to spin up. It would almost be all-change in just three stories time.