Thursday, January 14, 2010

5S4 - Warriors' Gate 4

In order to watch 750+ Doctor Who episodes within one calendar year, I've found that, unfortunately, I've had to watch episodes in some less than ideal situations - on loud buses, while fighting sleep, and waiting in bus stations and dentist offices. For most stories, I can maintain a reasonable semblance of an attention span while keeping my eyes peeled for the next #41 bus. Not so Warriors' Gate.

And that is no means a complaint, but one of the highest compliments I can pay a Doctor Who story. Doctor Who can often be enjoyed on many levels, but there's perhaps a greater ratio between the very basic plot here (Tharils trying to escape from their oppressors, the crew of the Privateer) and what the real action is all about - The Doctor trying to find the way out of E-Space. Warriors' Gate also happens to be really good, highlighted by some of the best direction the series ever had (even though it caused much strife behind the scenes and nearly got Paul Joyce fired) and a truly believable crew of the slave ship Privateer.

The crew are doing terrible things to the Tharils, treating them like cattle, but their motives aren't evil. Business is business for the crew as they pursue the best bonuses they can get. Thus, their motives are more believable than most other "villains" seen in the series, but the crew is really there to provide a tangible antagonist. Their ship, whose incredible weight is actually collapsing the void around the gateway into nothingness, adds the story a needed sense of urgency.

At the end of the day, The Doctor and Adric leave E-Space, leaving dear friends Romana and K-9 to help the Tharils. But it's the complex journey to that simple ending that makes Warriors' Gate worth watching.


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