Wednesday, January 13, 2010

5S2 - Warriors' Gate 2

Much like a large portion of Episode Three of State of Decay, a large chunk of this episode is spent watching The Doctor extract information from an electronic source (in this case, a Gundan robot) while everyone else gets all the action to do, and, also like State of Decay, those same scenes that threaten to be dull are actually the best parts of the episode.

It's mostly down to the fact that we, the audience, are as interested in what the Gundan has to say as The Doctor is (and, later, Rorvik). The approach to this story is very abstract, but what makes it believable is that what's happening on screen is abstract and odd to the characters, as well. Never before have dramatic characters and audience alike been so keen to hear the answers. When the Gundan has his head swiped off by his less loquacious companion, thus stopping the tale dead, we're as disappointed as Rorvik and The Doctor are.

I could be all smug and go on about how brilliant the moment is when The Doctor replaces the goblet in this episode that he will knock over in Episode Three, but I never caught it on the first few viewings, and have only ever had it pointed out for me when reading books about it years after the fact. Part of the reason I didn't notice it upon the initial viewings is probably because I wasn't looking for it, but it's mostly because the moment is treated so subtly that it's easy to miss. Director Paul Joyce doesn't focus on The Doctor picking the goblet up in this episode, but instead gives us the payoff in the next episode when, decades in the past, The Doctor knocks the goblet over in the first place.

Halfway into this story, and it's nowhere near as confusing as I thought it would be, but it is still one of the most unique Doctor Who stories to date.


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