Doctor Who: The Time Warrior (Story #70)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Lots of series firsts, looks like it has a bigger budget

The make-up for the Sontaran looks pretty bad at this point


I’ve been transported to the past to a Hammer Film

When scientists start disappearing, the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) is called in by UNIT to investigate.  While undercover, he meets a young reporter named Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen).  When Sarah Jane sneaks aboard the TARDIS, she ends up back in the Middle Ages where a Sontaran named Linx (Kevin Lindsay) is supplying the warring kingdoms with modern weapons in exchange for men to repair his damaged ship.  The Doctor realizes he must become involved and finds himself caught in the middle of the battle that could change the course of human history.


Could someone get this freakin’ fake head off of me?

Doctor Who:  The Time Warrior is the first episode in the eleventh season of Doctor Who and introduced Sarah Jane Smith.  It was a four episode serial running from December 15, 1973 to January 5, 1974.  It followed the Doctor Who:  The Green Death and was released as part of The Jon Pertwee Years collection is Story #70.

In addition to the first appearance of the Doctor’s one of the longest companions Sarah Jane Smith, the episode boasts a number of “firsts”.  The Sontarans first appeared in this episode (with Linx) and the Sontarans become an important character in the Doctor Who series and even the current series.  Another first for this episode was the naming of the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey which had previously had not been mentioned.  The last first is more of a stylistic first with a new opening sequence for the show.


The Doctor and friends just hanging out behind the scenes

The serial is pretty entertaining with the mixing of Middle Ages and modern weapons.  It appears to have a bit bigger of a budget than some of the other serials with the appearance of the castle and lots of exterior sets.  Both Sarah Jane and the Sontaran are good characters and it is fun to follow their first appearance.

Doctor Who:  The Time Warrior is one of the better short collections from the time period and part of the reason is that the episodes had such lasting effects on the series as a whole.  I enjoy the Doctor Who episodes that are a bit scary, mostly from childhood memories of the series, and this one doesn’t fall into that category, but it is still strong (you got to love it whenever the Doctor gets into physical combat).  Doctor Who:  The Time Warrior was followed by Doctor Who:  Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Green Death (Story #69)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Invasion of the Dinosaurs (Story #71)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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