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An Adventure in E-Space with Tharils
The third and final story of ‘The E-Space Trilogy’ is one of the complex stories ever made. If you find this story puzzling, don’t worry! You are not alone! I still can’t understand what goes on in this story.
This four-part story was by science-fiction author Steve Gallagher. His script was turned inside and out by script editor Christopher H. Bidmead and director Paul Joyce when they were making the tale.
I’ve had the DVD cover of ‘Warriors’ Gate’ signed by Matthew Waterhouse at the ‘London Film and Comic Con 2017’, Olympia, July 2017. I’m glad I shared with Matthew how I found this story complicated as he appreciated that. It was also interesting to hear from Matthew how he found the news of Tom Baker and Lalla Ward getting married at the end of Season 18.
The story has the Doctor, Romana, Adric and K-9 arriving at the gateway between the two universes to get back home. But the price of returning home will mean the loss of one of the Doctor’s friends.
The story was fraught with problems. Although enthusiastic, director Paul Joyce was pretty slow on getting his shots. As a result of this, Joyce was sacked by the producer JNT before he was reinstated.
This story feels pretty dreamlike, especially when passing strange environments in a white void and some of the dialogue doesn’t make sense. The conflict is between humans and the lion-like Tharils.
The human slave traders are led by Clifford Rose as Rorvik, a bad version of ‘Dad’s Army’s Captain Mainwaring. There is also Kenneth Cope (from 1960’s ‘Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)’) as Packard.
The main Tharil is David Weston as Biroc who is this lion-like, time sensitive being that breaks into the TARDIS. There’s also Jeremy Gittins (who played the Vicar in ‘Keeping Up Appearances’) as Lazlo.
There are also the Gundan robots that keep watch in the stone Gateway. I found that moment creepy and frightening, when one Gundan wakes up and makes its way to kill the Doctor as it moves!
Matthew Waterhouse as Adric is rather limited in terms of character in this. He joins K-9 in the white void and he eventually meets up with Romana. I was shocked when Adric sat on K-9 at some point.
Tom Baker as the Doctor is grand as ever. He has defining moments, getting caught in the crossfire between two Gundan robots and he challenges Biroc and his kind on how they used to be enslavers.
This happens to be Lalla Ward’s last story as Romana. I found it rather abrupt when Romana announced she’s leaving the Doctor. It happened so fast and wasn’t well-deserved for Romana’s exit.
But at least she does a noble thing staying behind in E-Space to free the Tharils from slavery. I wonder what has become of Romana nowadays. Is she still in E-Space? Did she manage to escape?!
This is also K-9’s (voiced by John Leeson) last story in the series. K-9 becomes delirious when affected by the time winds. But the Doctor gives K-9 to Romana to keep when they remain behind in E-Space.
The DVD special features are as follows. There’s an interesting commentary with Lalla Ward, John Leeson, director Paul Joyce, script editor Christopher H. Bidmead and visual effects designer Mat Irvine. There’s also an isolated music option by Peter Howell and an info-text commentary option to enjoy.
There’s a making-of documentary called ‘The Dreaming’ with cast and crew interviews; ‘The Boy with the Golden Star’ interview with Matthew Waterhouse and ‘Lalla’s Wardrobe’ frockumentary. There are also extended and deleted scenes; continuities of the story; a photo gallery of the story and a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF of the story.
There’s a ‘coming soon’ trailer for the ‘The Rescue’ and ‘The Romans’ with William Hartnell, William Russell, Jacqueline Hill and Maureen O’Brien.
‘Warriors’ Gate’ is a startling, eerie and bemusing tale to finish off ‘The E-Space Trilogy’. It’s a story I still can’t get my head around, but it is a decent swansong for Romana and K-9 who leave the series.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed ‘The E-Space Trilogy’. It was fantastic watching these stories and the DVD special features with them. I found it interesting exploring how ‘Doctor Who’ changed in the 80s. Each story in the trilogy is different, but they’re worthy for the entertainment of a ‘Doctor Who’ fan!
‘Warriors’ Gate’ rating – 6/10
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