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< State of Decay
The Keeper of Traken >

Warriors' Gate

Rating Votes
10
8%
7
9
11%
9
8
33%
28
7
27%
23
6
13%
11
5
6%
5
4
1%
1
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2
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Average Rating
7.5
Votes
84
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
7
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: JMChurch25Review Date: 5/14/19 3:02 pm
2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The final story of the E-Space trilogy and the last TV story for Romana II and K9 sees the Fourth Doctor and team become trapped in a null white void between universes with destroyed alien robots all around them and a mysterious ship containing a crew with a dark secret. Things rapidly turn into a strange mix of sci-fi and fairy tale that focuses on the direct theme of nothing and how it affects each character, being, and race in the story.

This theme translates out into the sets and shooting which is full of eerie music set to a pure white void with gorgeous cinematography and set design that really stands out. This makes "Warrior's Gate" perhaps the most visually creative and highest concept story of the whole trilogy and by and away one of the most interesting stories in all of Classic Who provided you can manage to make it through the nigh-incomprehensible plot. It ranks among some of the most confusing stories of Classic Who such as "Time-Flight" or "Ghost Light" and Steve Gallagher's writing doesn't exactly do much to help less hardcore sci-fi fans along. But at the same time, there is a surreal feel to it that does keep it from being bad and it plays with temporal concepts in a fascinating way that left an obvious impact in future stories such as the Gallifrey series and even "It Takes You Away" from Series 11.

Each member of the cast still works as well with Tom Baker and Lalla Ward doing their best with what they have in this story. Unfortunately, Ward's departure from the TARDIS does feel a tad forced and unearned. It doesn't feel like this character would make the choice of leaving for the reasons given in this story despite her kind and altruistic nature and despite the dialogue and direction treating like it some big event, it feels extremely underdeveloped and something that just kind of happened rather than being a thread through the story. It's very reminiscent of the way Leela left the TARDIS in sporadically finding a random lover on Gallifrey who she's only had about 2 to 3 lines of dialogue with and it feels just as random. But it's still a sad moment and I hate seeing her go and leaving the Doctor with Adric who is ok in this story but only because I don't remember anything he does over the course of the narrative.

Frankly, I wish the story's elements gelled better together and the pacing and plot really hamper viewing it unless you are seriously into some of the metaphysical concepts it plays with. But "Warrior's Gate" is still an interesting watch, a stronger story of the season, and a good end to the E-Space saga. It's also an absolute must if you are a fan of Romana and K-9 even if their exit is the weakest part of the narrative. 
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
6
Has Prerequisite(s):
Yes
Reviewed By: XxDachshundxX Review Date: 4/18/19 12:08 am
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Warriors' Gate, the fifth story in Season 18, is one of the strangest Doctor Who stories ever. It is similar to Ghost Light in that it is very hard to follow and the plot is barely discernible.

After watching the special features on the DVD, its incredible that we got something this good. Production was plagued with problems, each of which could have halted production. The script was novel length and about as descriptive as one, which needed to be severely edited down. The director was ahead of his time and attempted to produce something that would have been ambitious even now, with many of his plans going awry to the point of the BBC hiring another director (Graeme Harper) for certain scenes. The story was very unpopular with BBC bosses and even JN-T stated that he had no idea what it was about. What's worse is that Tom and Lalla had tension between them and they only look at each other once in the entire story.

Yet what they produced is a masterpiece of 80's sci-fi and is the only story from the E-Space trilogy that works as part of it. Set design is incredible, especially the inside of the ship and the Gateway. I love the fact that both the spaceship and the laser device look like creatures, as it creates a lovely visual metaphor. The Doctor and Romana are great here, and Adric is not nearly as annoying as he was in State of Decay. Lots of lovely imagery in the recurring motif of coins being tossed as well as the metaphor of the gateway. What I love most about this story is the Tharils. Its essentially a study into their society and history, the rise and fall of their empire. They are so mysterious, and I love it! I love the visuals of the black and white scenery, and the travelling through mirrors, and the fading between the past and the future with the axe and cobwebs. I love the juxtaposition between the technological space crew and the almost mediaevel Tharils. Everything is so mad and crazy and fantastical and I love it!

My only problems are that I don't like Rorvik and his breakdown at the end is really out of character and badly acted, plus the first Part is very, very padded. I also wished Romana's exit was made into more of a subplot that had been explored throughout the story, where she felt sympathy for the Tharils and decided that she wanted to help them. Her departure is very like that of the ending of Roald Dahl's haunting kid's book The Witches, where the Grandmother and boy decide to dedicate their lives to hunting down the witches, and then it just ends.

But overall, Warriors' Gate is a rich and enjoyable fantasy romp that I enjoy greatly. I definitely recommend it to everyone.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
8
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: BrainofMorbius23Review Date: 3/5/19 1:23 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Interesting. Experimental. Abrupt.
This story ends the e space trilogy well I’d argue though not with its rather lacklustre send offs for Romana and k9.
The story centres around a crew stuck in white void with their inslaved time sensitive captives acting up. The doctor and co also are insnared in this void.
Within the void is also a gate that may well lead them out!

The story is visually quite striking and often also quite clever. It has some great cast and even gives k9 a rather comical part (just when you think oh they just blew him up again) he spends most the story reversing around nagging ... it’s a riot!

I won’t go to much further than to say I neglected this trio of stories and this one especially. After years of not seeing it or remembering it I must say it’s pretty great actually!
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
9
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: TCar96Review Date: 9/13/16 5:09 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Warriors Gate, the cynics may say, is undergraduate pretension and nigh-on impenetrable. As an undergraduate, with plenty of time to rewatch and a taste for pastures of Who beyond the Williams / RTD comfort zone - I LOVE Warriors Gate.

Before the light at the end of the tunnel (N-Space), the Doctor, Romana & Adric must first get through the tunnel of 'null space', where they find themselves trapped with another timeship. It's hard to discuss the thematic worth of Warriors Gate without getting into spoilers, if you wish to avoid, stop reading now.

Thematically there's slavery, entropy (obviously, season 18 after all!), meta-elements, departure, arrival, life, death, redemption, recompense and remorse. K9 - out. Romana - out. From start to stop, this is heavy, heavy stuff. Dramatic and eerie synth adds to the jawdrapping model work, splices of castles and Gothic architecture starkly juxtaposed with timeships against a backdrop of nothing. Cutting from past to present, to, well... nothing! There's an absolute wealth of concepts and science fiction here, all gelling together rather than pulling the story apart.

This is all aided and abetted by some awesome direction, cinematography and lighting. Match shots, cso, model work, povs - it has to be the most energetic and frantically directed pieces of Doctor Who up to the early 80's. Performances are all spot on, with the frying of one Tharil genuinely harrowing.

This despite attributing to the mature tone and almost extended universe charm of Warriors Gate, is to its detriment. I believe its possible to query whether Doctor Who ought to ever cross the Rubicon from upsetting to harrowing - but I certainly hold that this cannot be attempted within minutes of a comic double act. The Holmesesque crew gags frankly feel out of place - like throwing Frobisher into the Caves of Androzani. Whilst our leads have subtle jokes, raising the sombre mood of the piece, the guest cast seem to performing a very different interpretation of Warriors Gate. Though not ruinous, the tonal inconsistency is a shade off. Equally problematic is the scale of confusion shrouding the episode. I'm firmly of the camp that a failure for concise clarity is the fault of the production, not the viewer. The recent episode Heaven Sent is a great example of doing this right - high conceptual bizzarro SciFi, easily digestible. Warriors Gate is occasionally a little too hard to follow due to odd choices in pacing exposition, again nothing too ruinous and fairly forgivable given the level of experimentation on display.

Finally, Adric. After State of Decay it's a shame to see Adric so underused, and when used, mischaracterised (i.e. having none). This is even more irritating given Adric is the one regular cast member who is not time-sensitive nor used to such high concept adventuring - a perfect fish out of water character to help us along, woefully under utilised.

These niggles leave Warriors Gate just short of a perfect 10, though nevertheless an essential must watch. As close as televised Who dare to get to Big Finish and VNA levels of brain bending - probably too close for anything more than a very rare treat, and all the more enjoyable and valuable for the rarity!