Warrior’s Gate was the beginning of one of those all-change periods in the history of Doctor Who. The end of the E-space trilogy (along with Full Circle and State of Decay) saw K-9 and Romana leave. Nyssa would in essence come aboard in The Keeper of Traken followed by Tegan in Logopolis and of course Peter Davison in Castrovalva.
Season 18 was not only a time of change but also one of experiment, and no story was more in this vein than Warrior’s Gate. It’s a deliberately strange story by almost any measure with leonine Tharils, magic mirrors, some characters deliberately commenting on the action, and lots and lots of white space. Enough CSO to make Underworld or The Claws of Axos proud.
It was also a troubled production with director Paul Joyce exiting during shooting with the rest picked up by Graeme Harper. The tensions were such that the wary eye can sometimes pick them up on camera, especially from Tom Baker. That doesn’t mean that Warrior’s Gate is not without it’s fascinations, and with quality character actors such as Clifford Rose and Kenneth Cope tromping around in the white of it all there’s plenty to sustain interest, but Warrior’s Gate sure does make you work for it.
The new caps are a big improvement over previous Tour content. Classic Capitology stays on the case next time. They fancy a dance with a pantomime horse. Do you?