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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Doctor Who Rewind - The Time Warrior

Doctor Who Rewind
The Time Warrior

A new monster is unleashed on the audience, one whose head bares an uncanny resemblance to that of a commonly consumed vegetable. And, there's a new lady in the Doctors life. It's the first serial of the 11th season of Doctor Who.

Yes the first appearance by two DW classics. Firstly, in the Middle Ages a strange golf ball spaceship crashes and a mysterious, decidedly short helmeted alien (Linx) walks out, declares Earth for the glory of his home world, and offers local bandit Irongron magic weapons that will help defeat his enemies and make him rich.

Linx's ship is badly damaged, so he hatches a fool proof plan, using an Osmic Projector he just so happens to have lying around, to kidnap several leading scientists and have them help repair it.

The Doctor is investigating the strange disappearances when in walks a rather attractive young reporter called Sarah Jane Smith who simply won't take no as an answer when asking for an interview with him. Smith sneaks on board the TARDIS and ends up dazed and confused in the Middle Ages.

Linx builds Irongron a fighting robot knight, who unfortunately couldn't even defeat a fly. Which puts a bit of a damper on Irongron's plans to take out The Lord of Wessex.

The high point of the this story has to be the reveal of Linx to the audience. That head. That mouth. And that flicking tounge darting in and out of his mouth. You probably wouldn't be able to get away with that now in a kids programme.

Theres a very strong cast for this story including david Daker's wonderfully loud and visceral performance as Irongron. It's all very Game Of Thrones and he certainly seems to put the wind up Kevin Lindsay as Linx. A proper Sontaran, unlike the tamed Strax from the recent incarnation of Who. Elsewhere Dot Cotton aka June Brown puts in a solid role as Lady Eleanor.

Despite the robot knight being a bit if a push over, the story has some wonderful touches. Liz Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) initially starts off thinking the Doctor is working for Linx and joins the opposition against him. She takes no time at all to finding her feet in this story, not even slightly concerned that she has been taken back in time at all.

The one thing that let's things down a bit is some of the decisions by director Alan Bromly takes regarding FX. For example for the Castle explosion at the end, he opted to use stock footage of an explosion totally different to what was required. Resulting in a disjointed, laughable finale. And although, new CGI effects are available on the DVD, they too are a pretty shoddy affair.

Next time on Doctor Who Rewind, Dinosaur's invade London.


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