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Doctor Who: The Time Warrior (Story 70)
Doctor Who The Time Warrior
Story 70
Actor: Jon Pertwee
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
NR     2008     1hr 36min

A terrifying clash between the past and future threatens the entire human race and plunges the Doctor and Sarah into a chilling race against time. When top scientists begin to mysteriously vanish, Doctor Who finds himself ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Jon Pertwee
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Drama, Science Fiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Studio: BBC Video / Warner Bros.
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 24
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A "Timely" release for SARAH JANE and the SONTARANS
Kevin J. Loria | New Orleans, LA USA | 01/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With the success of the BBC's Sarah Jane Adventures (UK series targeted for younger viewers)and the pending 2008 return of the Sontaran's to the 4th season of Doctor Who it is a great time for the DVD release of the "Time Warrior." Not only was the story a season opener and the 3rd Doctor's final season played by the groovy Judo-chopping Jon Pertwee, but it introduces one of the Doctor's finest companions Sarah Jane Smith as played by Elisabeth Sladen. Sarah returned to say her farewells in season 2 of the 2006 Dr. Who only to get her own CBBC spin-off.

The Story: England's scientists are being snatched and transported to the middle-ages by a stranded alien. UNIT asks the Doctor to sort it out, while the lovely and plucky young reporter Miss Sarah Jane Smith stows-away on the TARDIS as the Doctor tracks the scientists into the past. Ultimately, Sarah ends up at odds with the Doctor believing he is the time-napping villain and teaming-up with a local King and Queen to storm the baddies castle. Eventually, the two ally themselves to face the true foes, including the war-mongering armored Sontaran supplying the locals with centuries advanced weaponry.

Some neat moments are the introduction of a "fighting mechnical-man" to the middle-age tyrant in which an archer stays his execution by pumping arrows in to the machine as it continues to march ever forward. A scene which is repeated later with sword and axe-play as the Doctor is disquised as the robot.

The action in this one is typical of Pertwee's years, as is the over-the-top writing for the late great Robert Holmes, especially dialogue for Bloodaxe and his minions, who in one scene refer to the Doctor as a "Long-shanked rascal with a mighty nose!" The strength of the original series has always been the great location work giving the long running sci-fi fantasy series a grounding in the real world, the nearly 35 year old episode was filmed at a real castle, Peckforton Castle. The on-screen chemistry between the Doctor and Sarah certainly foreshadows the highlights to come in the shows future, even in these formative stages of character development Sladen is a joy to watch and is my favorite companion (follow closely by Billie Piper ofcourse). New fans of the series will appreciate this "historic" meeting between Doctor and sidekick.

The DVD has lots of extras and easter eggs, including OPTIONAL CGI SPECIAL EFFECTS to bring the 1973 story visually up-to-date, if you chose. Since the History of the Sontarans Documentary was included in the Sontaran Experiment DVD, "Beginning the End" talks with cast, producers and script editors on location at Peckforton. Extensive interviews include guest star Jeremy Bulloch who played Hal the Archer, Star Wars fans may not know his face, but are surely familiar with his name as Emipire and Jedi's original Boba Fett.

"A straight line may be the shortest distance between two po
Crazy Fox | Chicago, IL USA | 04/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First things first, "Time Warrior" is a story of many firsts. The Doctor identifies his home planet as "Gallifrey" for the first time, adding another fragment to the ever-developing mythos of the show's mysterious main character. One of the Doctor's most memorable human traveling companions, Sarah Jane Smith, makes her first appearance here, instantly adding a lively spark to the show and bringing the women's lib movement (still in its early stages as of 1973) into its overall equation with understated grace and a dash of wit. Next, the Doctor and Sarah Jane come up against the militaristic Sontarans for the first time in the person of Commander Linx. The Sontarans make for great villains, single-mindedly militant and delightfully arrogant, their sleek black-leather battle armor oddly juxtaposed with their almost humorously pudgy potato heads. It makes sense then that they've shown up in several stories over the years (and yet again soon this year), but arguably this their first appearance is also their best. Often they come across merely as cruel bully thugs, but the character of Linx, while including all of that in spades, is complicated just a bit by hints of a sincere code of honor and a sense of fair play, not to mention boyish curiosity. Then too, just in terms of make-up and costume, Linx wins out as the most visually convincing Sontaran so far, and Kevin Lindsay's performance enlivens the character perfectly. Finally, "Time Warrior" also sees the first appearance of the iconic opening sequence with the multi-colored time vortex that would continue to be used throughout most of the Tom Baker years and in many ways could be said to be the inspiration for the current version as well.

What's more, "Time Warrior" also presented viewers of the time with the first pseudo-historical tale in quite a while. That's bound to strike us as a bit odd today since this format, cleverly mixing historical settings with science fiction elements, seems quintessentially "Doctor Who" as nothing else. Typical, possibly even prototypical. And this is a fine example somewhat vaguely reminiscent of the first (Doctor Who - The Time Meddler (Episode 17) of 1965), taking place in medieval times and involving an alien arming the locals with technologically advanced weaponry, only in this case in exchange for shelter and materials with which to repair his damaged spacecraft and rejoin the ever ongoing war between the Sontarans and the Rutans. The tense and obviously temporary self-interested relationship between Linx and the robber-baron type Irongron is well depicted. Indeed, the story includes a few nods towards the colonialist repercussions of this kind of exchange, and the early scene where Linx steps out of his ship and plants a Sontaran flag in the soil, claiming the planet and its possessions for his empire right in front of the bewildered inhabitants is simply priceless.

And yet it wouldn't do to go reading too far into these sorts of things, for above all this story is an unabashedly lightweight adventure. A meandering one at that, escaping and infiltrating and generally hopping about back and forth from one castle to the other again and again--but in a way that never drags or gets old. A wonderfully crafted script by Robert Holmes continually keeps things fresh and entertaining, mixing humor and any number of classic little moments with lots of thrilling action sequences (by the standards of the day, certainly, and still holding up reasonably well). This one's a real showcase for Jon Pertwee, perhaps one of the more active and athletic actors to play the role of the Doctor, and here we have him sword-fighting and dodging arrows and repeatedly busting moves with his Venusian martial arts and swinging from chandeliers and so on and so forth--never a dull moment. Aye, verily, 'tis classic Doctor Who at its most merry and vigorous. Miss it not!"
Thomas E. O'Sullivan | Knoxville, Maryland United States | 04/05/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"In any show with a long history of coming and going, THE TIME WARRIOR falls into that "moment" in the life of the series where everything is changing.

This is the beginning of the end for Jon Pertwee as the DOCTOR, it's the introduction of Elisabeth Sladen as one of the most popular companions in the series history, SARAH JANE SMITH, it's the first appereance of a SONTAREN who, like Sarah Jane, would continue on through the series up until the present day. We hear GALLIFREY for the first time. It's the last days of UNIT, the return to time travel as the norm for the series and the return, as well, of the historical story (which would turn up a few times more down the line with Tom Baker and Peter Davidson). THE TIME WARRIOR has so much going on it's a wonder that it manages to hold itself together so well... but it does.

The story is simple... a snoopy, plucky, "girl in the moment" reporter slueths her way into a mystery and then into danger, as the Doctor takes the TARDIS to the Middle Ages to rescue some time-napped scientists and save the world from both a seasoned Sontaren warrior and a pack of bloodthirsty pusedo-frat boys who have it in them to go out and storm castles for supplies.

There's danger around every corner and while the threat is real (and at times disturbing - using the Doctor as target practice, with real guns, is a calculated risk, not simply because of the violence, but because the threat level here is grounded very heavily in reality and unlike ray guns, the chance that the Doctor will be shot, bleed and die is something you can see happening all too easily. While guns in the UK are rare, the fact that they appear here as they do really is a shock - it's a very American style of danger that you didn't expect to find in DOCTOR WHO at the time), you can't help but smile at it all as both Sarah and the rest of the cast give it their level best in making all the rushing back and forth between plot points work.

Linx is a dymanic villian, he's aloof, yet interested in everything around him. While he is in a rush to get back to his war in space, he's still got it in him to tinker with Earth's history and accelerate the arms race looking for possible allies or fodder down the line. Despite being a champion for war and destruction, Linx is a reasoning alien that matches the Doctor's battle for peace. If there is any real downside it's found in the fact that Sarah settles in a bit too easily into the routine and Pertwee's performance, while never bad, never rises above professional - he is the Doctor, but Pertwee, the actor, is just filling the suit from now on until his final story.

The disc comes complete the standard extras... commentary with Sladen, Letts and Dicks is casual and the series is recalled fondly. There are a number of details that stick out, but there are some frustrating moments as Letts will spend a lot of time on some minor details (which, while interesting) that drag out the commentary at all the wrong moments. Sarah's first introduction is marked in a whisper by Sladen instead of a roar, because she doesn't want to interrupt Lett's story about the director which ends up in a dead end.

Likewise with her first time in the TARDIS, Lett's is missing the moment in history while detailing production backstory. It will frustrate you, but, overall the commentary is good. TEXT COMMENTARY is overstuffed with scene breakdowns and alternate story takes, but stick with it, just have the remote handy as some paragraphs appear and disappear quickly.

THE TIME WARRIOR at the time it was made was a solid, well played story that would turn out to be rich in history for the series down the line. For fans, it's a must, your collection could not be complete without it."
Great Start to Pertwee's Last Season
Betaman | Cazenovia, NY USA | 03/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Because of Tom Baker's popularity, many in the US forget that Sarah Jane played an entire season with third Doctor Jon Pertwee before Baker took over. I think the chemistry between Sladen and Pertwee is as good or better than the chemistry between her and Baker. I have always felt that reuniting them in the Five Doctors was a great move.

Historically eclipsed by Baker's popularity, many don't know that Pertwee brought Doctor Who to new levels in ratings and popularity and is one of the primary reasons the show survived. He played the role for 5 years (only 2 years less than Baker) and I feel his last two seasons were by far his best (once he was freed from exile). It is rumored that he would have continued the role, but the BBC was too cheap to give him a raise, despite the shows popularity. I guess those are the limitations of TV funded by the Government and TV Licenses (what is the BBC doing these days with what must be massive revenue from DVD and Video sales?).

Anyway, I will not summarize this story as many others do. This story is a great kick off to Pertwee's final season and as everyone knows introduces the Sontarans, Sarah Jane Smith and the first naming of his home planet, Gallifrey. The time travel and history mix is great as are the over the top medeival characters. Pertwee is relaxed and confident as he goes into his 5th season and his longer, whiter hair seems to suit him more. I highly recommend this episode from what most consider the Golden Age of Doctor Who."