Saturday 26 May 2012

551 Warriors' Gate Part Four

EPISODE: Warriors' Gate Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 24 January 1981
WRITER: Stephen Gallagher
DIRECTOR: Paul Joyce
SCRIPT EDITOR: Christopher H. Bidmead
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 7.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy (Full Circle / State of Decay / Warrior's Gate)

Held at gunpoint by Rovrik the Doctor sees Biroc through the mirror who admits his race abused their powers and tells the Doctor to do nothing. Adric threatens the ship's crew with the MZ allowing the Doctor & Romana to escape to the Tardis. The MZ is fired at the gateway but just succeeds in destroying itself. Rovrik decides to use a backblast from the ship's engines to penetrate the Gateway but damage to the ship means it will take ten minutes to come to full power. Realizing that the ship's dwarf star alloy hull is distorting the micro universe they find themselves in the Doctor & Romana go to sabotage the ship and prevent it from using the backblast. The Doctor & Romana find their way into the ship through the damaged section where the Doctor is attacked by Rovrik. Romana grants them a little grace by shorting the ship's power system using Biroc's chains. One of the crew attempts to crudely revive the Tharils but kills those he works on. Biroc himself rescues them from Rovrik while Lazlo kills the crewmember and himself properly revives the remaining Tharils. Returning to the Tardis Romana announces she will stay with the Tharils so the Doctor gives her the damaged K-9 which she and Biroc take through the gateway. The backblast comes to full power, but is just reflected back my the gateway, destroying the ship as the Tardis dematerialises and slips through the gateway. Lazlo leads his people out of the remains of the ship and through the gateway. The Tardis passes through the Tharil realm on it's way to N-Space as Romana promises to help Biroc free the Tharils enslaved on many other worlds.

Fabulous. Great end to what's been a superb set of episodes. I knew Warriors's Gate was good but this has just increased my appreciation for it.

This isn't just the end of the story, it's the end of the road for two of our supporting characters. K-9 had been an annoyance to new producer John Nathan-Turner from day 1 who had decided it had to go. Technically problems with the prop had caused delays to shooting but K-9 was a much loved part of Doctor Who at this time and a campaign in the papers had failed to save him. As a sop to viewers it was announced that K-9 would be starring in a pilot for his own television series.... and we'll be looking at that in 9 days time. Also leaving was Romana actress Lalla Ward who, feeling that the show was moving away from a family audience, had decided to move on. Throughout her time as Romana she'd been engaged in an on/off romance with Tom Baker, and shortly after she left the show the two were married for a brief time. In 1992 she married biologist Richard Dawkins, having been introduced by their mutual acquaintance former Doctor Who script editor Douglas Adams.

Warriors' Gate was adapted as a Target Novel by Stephen Gallagher under his nom du plume John Lydecker in 1982. The E-Space Trilogy, containing Full Circle, State of Decay & Warriors' Gate, was released on video in 1997 and on DVD on 26th January 2009.

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