View Poll Results: How would you rate Warriors' Gate?

Voters
17. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: All right? Superb!

    3 17.65%
  • 9: The noblest story of them all

    0 0%
  • 8: Tharil-ly brilliant

    5 29.41%
  • 7: It does have a certain legendary quality

    4 23.53%
  • 6: We'll all be in trouble when the pickles run out

    2 11.76%
  • 5: The intersection between Good and Bad

    0 0%
  • 4: We're losing it

    1 5.88%
  • 3: I'm not hopeful.

    0 0%
  • 2: Even the backblast backlash can't save this one

    1 5.88%
  • 1: The wrong sort of nothing

    1 5.88%
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: Warriors' Gate

    "Zero coordinates. Ponder on that."

    The Doctor, Romana, K9 and Adric reach the mysterious gateway that intersects E-Space and N-Space, meet the Tharils, The Gundans and the tired crew of The Privateer.

    But what do you think of the strangest story in Season 18?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    Not watched it in a while - but I always remember this as a bit of an odd one, almost feeling Sapphire and Steel in places, but I loved it.

    Although poor K-9!!!
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  3. #3
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    I'm enjoying revisiting season 18, so I may well upgrade my opinion on this (as I have with State of Decay). But... at the moment my memory is of something that is very sluggish and laboured in places, and even worse in which not much happens. Part 3 is about the Doctor walking from A to B, if memory serves - it looks great, all that black & white photo stuff, but is it gripping, exciting, Saturday teatime entertainment....

    Not to mention, I don't think you can 'get' the plot from the TV story at all - I only started to understand it once I'd read the book. Ghost Light & Fenric may have been a bit light on explanations, but they were there - with WG I'm not sure it's even there at all.

    I have been wrong before though!

  4. #4
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    There's a temptation with stories you don't understand to think they are simply too complex for you to comprehend, and therefore worthy of huge respect. Even less celebrated nonsensical stories invite your own theories and the suggestion that they must, in truth, make some kind of sense - or there must be missing "information" that can make them make sense. When the TV Movie documentary was released last month, and it was revealed that the script was actually being cobbled together during filming, there was a cold moment when the truth dawned - this thing, this slice of Doctor Who, simply does not make sense. It doesn't fit together.

    "Warriors Gate" invites the same conclusion; it had a very troubled production, such that the Director bailed out. Worse, it's at least 50% badly made. There are directorial flourishes such as the coin, and the monochrome backgrounds, but all this does is to make the story irritating - not through its own fault, but perhaps because fans seize on these attempts to make it pretty and use them to declare it as a masterpeice. Is this what matters? Visuals are a huge part of the success of a story, but this story is unrewarding because it NEVER makes you understand it. Someone will come along and be able to tell me it all makes sense I'm sure, but it's not just a case of it making sense. It's that the experience of watching it doesn't give you pleasure through a puzzle that is then explained; it just gives you lots of conflicting peices then everything blows up. If watching "Warriors Gate" was a fun experience, I would finish Episode 4 knowing why the mirrors were there, and why K9 is somehow repaired on one side of them, or just what the point of all that tossing was. But I don't. And if watching the story isn't any fun, how can it be of any merit?

    Si.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Si Hunt View Post
    There's a temptation with stories you don't understand to think they are simply too complex for you to comprehend, and therefore worthy of huge respect. Even less celebrated nonsensical stories invite your own theories and the suggestion that they must, in truth, make some kind of sense - or there must be missing "information" that can make them make sense. When the TV Movie documentary was released last month, and it was revealed that the script was actually being cobbled together during filming, there was a cold moment when the truth dawned - this thing, this slice of Doctor Who, simply does not make sense. It doesn't fit together.

    "Warriors Gate" invites the same conclusion; it had a very troubled production, such that the Director bailed out. Worse, it's at least 50% badly made. There are directorial flourishes such as the coin, and the monochrome backgrounds, but all this does is to make the story irritating - not through its own fault, but perhaps because fans seize on these attempts to make it pretty and use them to declare it as a masterpeice. Is this what matters? Visuals are a huge part of the success of a story, but this story is unrewarding because it NEVER makes you understand it. Someone will come along and be able to tell me it all makes sense I'm sure, but it's not just a case of it making sense. It's that the experience of watching it doesn't give you pleasure through a puzzle that is then explained; it just gives you lots of conflicting peices then everything blows up. If watching "Warriors Gate" was a fun experience, I would finish Episode 4 knowing why the mirrors were there, and why K9 is somehow repaired on one side of them, or just what the point of all that tossing was. But I don't. And if watching the story isn't any fun, how can it be of any merit?

    Si.
    That's all very true and I agree with that 100%.....................the story has great incidental music from Mr Howell though!!!

  6. #6
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    I can see what they were trying to achieve- a story that stands out by being stylish and atmospheric- telling it visually rather than in conventional ways, but I don't think it quite works because unless you watch it a lot of time, it doesn't make much sense.

    The explanations are there, but they're buried and I think you have to work hard to tease them out. I don't want to come on and say it's all very clear, because it isn't, but I have to say I've always found it pretty easy to follow but maybe that's because I'm making up my own explanations from the scant evidence we're given on screen. I'm not sure I'd want to impose my answers on you, but I think I could answer your questions about it Si. Maybe anyway!

    It looks lovely though and has a very different atmosphere to the rest of the season. I don't know that it's a story i love, but it's one I appreciate.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  7. #7
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    "And you ask me to appreciate it?!"

    Sorry, wrong season!

  8. #8
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    Maybe we should first see if we can actually all agree on what it is about? We may all be thinking it's something entirely different!

  9. #9
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    Well this is the thread to do that.

    I know I'm a bit behind on my watching, but I'll endeavour to catch up so I can discuss this one with you all.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  10. #10
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    OK then, well I think the main plot is this: the Tharils can see multiple potential futures (a bit, I suppose, like the Doctor claims he can in The Fires of Pompeii). Right at the start, when Biroc 'sees' the TARDIS he can see one potential future which ends in his people on the ship being freed. From that point, everything he does (crashing the ship, escaping, entering the TARDIS & taking it to the zero place, etc, etc) is to 'guide' the Doctor's actions to make that potential future a reality - which indeed he does, with the Tharils walking free at the end.

    But... (a) I only got that from the book, I've yet to see it in the TV show (although it's been a while since I watched it so you never know); and (b) am I wrong? Is it actually about something different?

    And... I've now watched part 1 and actually really enjoyed it, oh no!!!

  11. #11
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    I love Warriors' Gate. Doctor Who explores dozens of alien worlds in Season 18, but few are as all-encompassing as The Gateway. There's a fascinating back-story of Tharils and Gundans which we actually get to glimpse due to the time-warping that goes on. The atmosphere is incredible, only broken slightly by the discrepancy between the film-stock of the model shots and that of the main studio.

    Of course, it could have been totally dull and portentous if it wasn't for some remarkably witty turns of dialogue and for Tom Baker, who thoroughly lights up every scene.

    I love the fact that there's a shortage of explanations. It's just-about comprehensible, but I don't think that there are too many gaps for the audience to fill in. The concepts of landing at zero co-ordinates, the shrinking of space, the three gateways being one I find intrinsically fascinating - you could build an entire serial around the ideas introduced in Warriors' Gate!

    The direction, as Si pointed out, is only showy occasionally, but I think they made some good choices about the moments to show off. It wouldn't have worked like that all the way through, so we still get some more static scenes. The flourishes are used to build the atmosphere and to make the audience think - even if they don't always work it all out.

    Anyway, it's great!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  12. #12
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    This is a story I've spent too much effort on over the years - half-a-dozen readings of the novelisation to try and get the hang of the plot, and another half-a-dozen readings to get into it enough to see if I even liked it, which I didn't - get into it or like it.

    I've got the gist of it, so the DVD was followable. Visually, it's still very much of its time - which is to say, it's a ninety-minute Duran Duran video, or Legend without the budget; very much style over substance. The plot's buried under lots of artiness: La belle et la bete makeup; monochrome locations onto which the actors are very obviously superimposed; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in space - all attempting to distract from budgetary constraints in other areas. Not for me.

  13. #13
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    I've just watched the first episode of this and was surprised just how much I enjoyed it. The last time I watched this was as part of an early Doctor Who weekend on UK Gold in the early nineties, and I wasn't overly impressed by it at that time...at least not enough to watch it again in the intervening years.

    There hasn't been anything too incomprehensable about the story so far, but we'll see how the story progresses. It has some interesting concepts so far, and the guest cast are all pretty good as well (it was nice to see old Marty Hopkirk himself, Kenneth Cope, here...I had forgotten he was in this. I hadn't seen anything with him in it since he disappeared from our screens in Corrie). A good cliffhanger as well, the one thing I felt was lacking in State Of Decay...

    A good start, though. Let's hope the remainder of the story doesn't disappoint.

  14. #14
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    I finished the whole thing off over the weekend - I'll add some more thoughts later, but for now suffice to say (and much to my surprise actually!) I really enjoyed it!!

  15. #15
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    Yep, I really enjoyed it. Despite my previous post, actually there probably is just enough in the story to explain what's going on - but only just, and I still think you'd be unlikely to pick it up in one go. But I guess the moment where Biroc (in part 4) tells the Doctor that "you have seen our past, and our present - now judge if we have suffered enough" kinda covers part of it. Although I did find myself laughing when Romana says near the end, "Don't you see Doctor?" and the Doctor replies, "Of course!" as if it's all sooo obvious!!

    What else? Well, the 'walking through the mirror' effect is unfortunately as unconvincing now as it always was, which is a shame as those are sort of key moments in the story!

    It's the first time I watched the story in more or less one go (well, over a couple of days) and is also the first time, I think, I've really appreciated it. Particularly, it's the first time that Romana's departure actually felt appropriate, rather than just tacked on at the end (although I'm still not quite sure why a race of time sensitives need a Time Lady to make them TARDISes?).

    One other thing that made me smile, is that when Lazlo (the taller Tharil) is walking about he reminded me of Jack Whitehall!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Yep, I really enjoyed it. Despite my previous post, actually there probably is just enough in the story to explain what's going on - but only just, and I still think you'd be unlikely to pick it up in one go. But I guess the moment where Biroc (in part 4) tells the Doctor that "you have seen our past, and our present - now judge if we have suffered enough" kinda covers part of it. Although I did find myself laughing when Romana says near the end, "Don't you see Doctor?" and the Doctor replies, "Of course!" as if it's all sooo obvious!!

    What else? Well, the 'walking through the mirror' effect is unfortunately as unconvincing now as it always was, which is a shame as those are sort of key moments in the story!

    It's the first time I watched the story in more or less one go (well, over a couple of days) and is also the first time, I think, I've really appreciated it. Particularly, it's the first time that Romana's departure actually felt appropriate, rather than just tacked on at the end (although I'm still not quite sure why a race of time sensitives need a Time Lady to make them TARDISes?).

    One other thing that made me smile, is that when Lazlo (the taller Tharil) is walking about he reminded me of Jack Whitehall!!
    I've just finished this myself, and have to say that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I didn't find it too hard to understand, but then again I didn't look too deep into it, I simply enjoyed it for the performances and atmosphere. I mean, I didn't really wonder why the mirrors were there for example, I was quite happy to accept that they were there and were an integral part of the story. They were obviously some sort of geteway/shortcut between different times and places, and an explanation of why they existed wasn't necessary to enjoy the story. I mean, if there had ever been a spin-off series with the adventures of Romana and K9 in E-Space following on from this, then yes it would have been nice to have an exlanation if use of the mirrors was to be a regular feature, but as things stand I was quite happy to accept things just as they were.

    I probably enjoyed this more because it's the first time since its original broadcast that I've ever watched these 3 stories in order. It works much better in its proper context rather than just a stand-alone story.

    8/10

  17. #17
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    next to logololas, it's probably the best story in seasion 18

  18. #18
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    Unlike the previous two stories, which I was more than happy to watch again so soon after the DVD release, I have to admit that I watched Warrior's Gate the other week purely for the benefit of this PS project. I was never that keen on it on original transmission, and didn't understand it much either.

    That sounds all very negative, so I should point out that it is quite watchable but not a story I'm particularly passionate about either. You could say I feel neither negative nor positive about it but somewhere in the middle - quite appropriate really!

    It is a clever resolution to the trilogy, the Tharils are fascinating and it does have some memorable imagery. I particularly like the way that Lazlo gets his own back on the vicious crewmember and electrocutes him - nasty but fitting. Adric doesn't fare well here - largely sitting on or following K9 around, but it's Romana's story and he does much better once she's gone.

    I'll give it 7/10 for this poll, but it's more like a 6.5 really.

  19. #19
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    We've re-watched Episode 1 now.

    Good things - the two odd-jobs who cheer halfheartedly are a step in the right direction; a touch of real life. K9 smoking as Birok enters the TARDIS is a great effect. The whole business of the ship being stuck somewhere, and the rapid cutting between shots, gives this an unearthly, interesting feel even if that opening shot does seem to go on forever. Tom looks really ill but the Gundans are good.

    On the downside is the pretention. There is a whole scene in Episode 1 where the Doctor, Romana and Adric waffle on about the iChing or something and I haven't a clue what on Earth they are talking about! What were they thinking?

    Si.

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