Doctor Who: Warriors’ Gate (Story #113)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting null space visuals

Romana and K-9 leaving doesn't make much sense or get enough respect for their characters


Scream if you’re going to randomly leave this series!!!

The Doctor (Tom Baker), Romana (Lalla Ward), and Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) continue their voyage in E-Space in an attempt to break into the parallel dimension.  When they find themselves trapped in a strange null-space between the dimensions, they encounter another time travelling vessel which uses a race called Tharil to guide them.  As the null space begins to collapse, the time to escape is getting short.  The Doctor, Romana, and Adric find themselves at odds with the captain of the travelling ship Commander Rorvik (Clifford Rose), and escaping E-Space may mean leaving some behind.

Doctor Who:  Warriors’ Gate falls in the eighteenth season of the long running British series Doctor Who.  The story was aired in four parts from January 3, 1981 to January 24, 1981.  Following Doctor Who:  State of Decay, Doctor Who:  Warriors’ Gate has been collected in The Tom Baker Years as Story #114 and is sold as part of The E-Space Trilogy with Stories #112 and #113(depending on how you count Shada).


A boy and his robot dog

This series a big one.  It has the conclusion to the E-Space Trilogy and this leads to the departure of Romana and K-9.  The E-Space Trilogy isn’t very connected story-wise since each serial functions independently of itself.  I almost feel however that the E-Space adventure should have been more like the Key to Time series which spread out over a whole season.

I have to say that Romana and K-9’s leaving are rather unceremonious.  I knew going into this series that they were leaving and I kept watching the clock wondering when it would happen.  In the last few minutes of the show Romana randomly decides to leave and the Doctor practically chucks K-9 to her for her to take to the dimension behind the mirror “to fix his memory”.  Romana had been with the show for a while and I wish she had gotten more of a proper send-off.  Tom Baker did give Lalla Ward a send-off by marrying her a few weeks later, but the marriage didn’t last.


Ok…catch you later!

I think some of the effects in the episode are kind of interesting.  There are some bad effects with characters passing through the mirror and much of the whole episode is green-screen.  The Tharils just kind of look like bad versions of Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (or less wolflike versions of the creatures from Doctor Who:  Inferno). The “null space” area is a lot like George Lucas’ THX 1138’s prison and has a creepy feel to it…scenes in that part of the show I find kind of interesting and visually compelling.

Doctor Who:  Warriors’ Gate brings an end to the E-Space Trilogy, and it feels like Tom Baker is starting to tie up the loose ends on his run on Doctor Who.  I’ve heard there were some problems on the set at the time already and the direction of the show wasn’t necessarily where he wanted to go.  This might be influencing my view of this series, but you feel like something is starting to end.  Doctor Who:   Warriors’ Gate was followed by Doctor Who:  The Keeper of Traken.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  State of Decay (Story #112)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Keeper of Traken (Story #114)

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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