WARRIORS OF THE DEEP

Part One

Warriors of the DeepSue: Are we underwater this week?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Good. (Singing) Stingray! Stingray. Dudda-der-da-der-da-Stingray!
Me: Okay, settle down.

On a Sea Base in the year 2084.

Sue: Nice set. It’s huge. I like it when they build the set on two levels. There’s lots of movement, too. Yes, it’s very nice.

It’s not long before we meet some old friends. Or is it enemies? I can’t keep up.

Sue: It’s the Ice Warriors!

I sigh.

Sue: I don’t know! They do look familiar, though. It’ll come to me eventually.

On the TARDIS, the Doctor and Turlough are having a man-to-man chat.

Sue: I don’t like Peter Davison’s hair. It’s too short. There’s nothing to grab hold of.

I sigh again. Deeply.

The Doctor has decided to show Tegan some of Earth’s future.

Sue: Why bother? She’ll only moan about it when she gets there. She’s like you in that respect, Neil.

The Silurians are preparing to defrost their relations.

Ichtar: Our Sea Devil brothers have lain entombed, waiting patiently for this day.
Sue: Ah, yes, they’re Sea Devils. I remember now.
Me: They are not Sea Devils.
Sue: Then what the **** are they?
Me: Silurians!
Sue: Okay, calm down. They all blend into each other after a while. Have their third eyes always lit up like that when they talk?
Me: No, that’s new.
Sue: I thought so. Is it so we know who is talking? That’s very clever.

Sorry, but I’m all sighed out.

Warriors of the DeepTensions are running high on the Sea Base.

Sue: Who designed the costumes? Was it Michael Jackson? Are we watching Thriller: The Musical?

The Base’s sync operator is a very nervous man named Maddox.

Sue: He reminds me of a young Mark Gatiss.
Me: Are you insane?
Sue: It’s his lip. It’s uncanny.

Maddox and a crew mate named Karina discuss Maddox’s inability to do his job properly.

Sue: This actress isn’t very good. This reminds me of one of those old sixties stories where you had lots of incomprehensible foreign accents running around on a base. I hope the Sea Devils kill her first.

The Sea Base’s Medical Officer, Solow, is in cahoots with an officer named Nilson. Let’s see if Sue can spot the legendary actors playing them.

Sue: It’s Greg!
Me: Yes. Now what would Greg do?

Warriors of the DeepA little background information is probably required: about five years ago, Sue and I watched every episode of original 1970s series of Survivors. And we didn’t even blog about it. I know! What were we thinking? Anyway, Sue became obsessed with Greg Preston, as played by Ian McCulloch. In fact, Greg was such a hero to Sue for a short while that whenever she had to face a difficult decision, she would always ask, “What would Greg do?”.

Sue: I can’t believe you didn’t tell me Greg was in this. I’ve missed Greg.

However, when it comes to identifying Solow, she’s hopeless.

Sue: That’s Ingrid Pitt? The Ingrid Pitt? The one with the enormous tits?
Me: Yes.
Sue: She’s not doing herself any favours in that outfit.

Speaking of outfits…

Sue: Why is Tegan walking around in a beach towel?

Maddox is hooked up to the Sea Base’s missile computer.

Sue: He needs this job like a hole in the head.

Warriors of the DeepThe Base is placed on Yellow Alert.

Sue: There isn’t time for a quick game of Asteroids!

When the simulation comes to an end, Sue makes a very important observation:

Sue: Manscara is rife in the future. I can’t believe that Greg is wearing make-up. That’s not right. That’s not right at all.

The Silurians continue to plot and scheme, but Sue can’t understand a word they’re saying.

Scibus: The temperature level inside is below the range of the sensors.
Sue: Yeah, and your voices are below the range of my hearing. Speak up!

The TARDIS is shot down by a security satellite and it materialises on the Sea Base. The Doctor and his companions explore their surroundings and they stumble across a chemical store filled with canisters of hexachromite gas.

The Doctor: It’s lethal to marine and reptile life. I thought they would have banned it by now.
Sue: That gas will come in handy later. It’s just a hunch.

Maddox is taken to Solow’s psycho-surgery unit with a suspected nervous breakdown.

Sue: Isn’t a sync operator just a fancy name for a washer-upper? You know, like a hygiene technician is a cleaner.

Nilson wants to reprogram Maddox. He asks the Base’s commander, Vorshak, for access to the programming disc.

Sue: I like the guy who’s in charge. He has a very reassuring voice. He reminds me of Jean Luc Picard. I keep expecting him to say, “Make it so”.

Nilson is told to take care of the disc. If it fell into enemy hands, the consequences would be disastrous.

Sue: What would Greg do? Well, he wouldn’t cake his face in girly make-up, that’s for sure. Actually, he’d probably take the disc and then he’d make some soap out of it.

Warriors of the DeepWhen Vorshak has left them to it, Solow and Nilson programme Maddox to follow their commands.

Sue: At least they are making an effort and they aren’t just hypnotising him like every other villain does. This looks complicated.

Turlough calls for a lift but his actions trigger the Sea Base’s alarm.

The Doctor: It has to be done in sequence. It’s what’s called security.
Sue: Sarcastic bastard. Why doesn’t he brief his companions on this kind of thing before they leave the TARDIS? He should put a quick PowerPoint together on the sort of things they should look out for. A little bit of risk assessment never did anybody any harm.

The Doctor decides to create a diversion by overloading the Sea Base’s nuclear reactor. After all, what possible harm could it do?

Sue: What the hell is he doing? That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen the Doctor do. Has he lost his mind?

The Doctor is attacked by a security guard (quite right, too) and he ends up tumbling into a pool of water.

Sue: Ooh, that was good. I’ll give him a 8.5 for his technique, but points off for the splash.

Tegan wants to rescue the Doctor but Turlough stops her.

Turlough: Face it, Tegan. He’s drowned.
Sue: WHAT? Is Turlough still trying to kill the Doctor? He’s only been in the water for a few seconds, and the Doctor can hold his breath for HOURS. Everyone knows that!

The credits roll.

Sue: Stupid cliffhanger. I’m sorry, but I haven’t got a clue what anyone is up to. But it’s not too bad, I suppose. The sets are very nice.

 

Part Two

Warriors of the DeepThe Doctor falls into the pool again during the episode recap.

Sue: I still don’t buy this. He just fell into some water. So what? Is it made of acid? Ice water? What?

Of course, the Doctor is perfectly fine and he swims across to an underwater hatchway.

Sue: That was pretty good. That had a James Bond vibe to it.

Tegan and Turlough decide to return to the TARDIS.

Sue: They don’t look that upset given the Doctor’s supposed to be dead. I’m surprised Tegan didn’t hang around to see if he regenerated or not. I also think Turlough just wants a time machine for himself. He’s very shady.

The Silurians appear to be pleased with their progress so far.

Ichtar: Excellent!
Sue: Hey! Get your own bloody catchphrase!

The Sea Devils begin to stir.

Warriors of the DeepMe: Do you remember the Sea Devils?
Sue: Yes, I think so.
Me: They used to walk around in string vests. They’ve gone all leather, now.
Sue: Well, it’s the 80s, isn’t it? You can’t blame them. String vests are very 1970s.

The Doctor makes it back to dry land.

Sue: This is a classic corridor story, isn’t it? They built some really nice corridors and they’re definitely going to use them. Relentlessly.

The Doctor comes across an unconscious security guard. The Doctor begins to remove his wet clothing and then we cut to a Sea Devil.

Sue: Hey! Don’t cut there! Go back!

The lead Sea Devil, Sauvix, reports to the Silurians.

Sue: Oh yes, I remember this lot. They looked better the first time round. Their shoulder pads are too extreme. Even Joan Collins wouldn’t be seen dead in them.

The Sea Devils are ready for combat.

Ichtar: Excellent, Sauvix.
Sue: Cervix? CERVIX? What kind of name is Cervix?

Yes, I think Sue may be going deaf.

A Sea Base worker named Preston is searching for the Doctor.

Warriors of the DeepSue: I really like the Base’s spiral staircase. It reminds me of the American Big Brother house. I bet she’s just come from the Head of Household room and she’s decided to use the Power of Veto.

If you don’t happen to watch the American Big Brother, trust me, that was quite funny.

Preston and her team walk straight into the TARDIS.

Sue: For ****’s sake! Lock the ****ing doors!

The Doctor arrives on the bridge but Commander Vorshak doesn’t trust him.

Sue: That costume does nothing for Peter Davison’s arse.

Meanwhile, a Silurian craft takes off from its hidden base.

Sue: I like their little submarine. It has the face of a dolphin. Actually, the design is rather good in this story. The Sea Base set is great.
Me: You don’t think it’s over-lit?
Sue: Not really. You want to see where you are going, don’t you? You don’t want to trip over anything when you are at work.
Me: Have you been on a Health and Safety course, recently?
Sue: The only thing I don’t understand is why so few of the crew are wearing helmets. If water came in, the only survivors would be the guards.

Warriors of the DeepNilson and Solow prepare to activate Maddox.

Sue: If you really loved me, Neil, you would have told me that it wasn’t Greg and it just looked like him. This is ruining everything for me.

The Silurians unleash the dreaded Myrka. Yes, dreaded.

Sue: Why do I know that name? Have we seen the Myrka before?
Me: No.
Sue: Are you sure? I have definitely heard that name before. Are you quite sure we haven’t seen a Myrka before?
Me: Well, when we went to see Toby Hadoke’s Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf at Stockton-On-Tees Art Centre in 2008, when we having a cigarette outside the venue, we ended up talking about the Myrka to a complete nutter for 30 minutes.
Sue: Toby was that much of a nutter, was he?
Me: No, this was a different nutter. I’m surprised you can remember it. I thought you’d tuned out.

And then, after all that build-up, the Myrka finally puts in an appearance.

Sue: Oh dear.

At least she has something to take her mind off it:

Sue: The door is even worse than the monster. Is it made from marshmallow?

The Myrka breaks through the bulkhead doors.

Sue: I’m surprised it didn’t eat its way through.

The credits roll.

Warriors of the DeepSue: That was terrible.
Me: You know who’s to blame, don’t you?
Sue: The writer? The special effects department? The producer?
Me: No. Margaret Thatcher.
Sue: Why? Is the monster supposed to be a metaphor for Thatcher? I don’t get it.

I tell her how Thatcher’s decision to call a snap election in 1983 forced production on Warriors of the Deep to be rushed forward, with regrettable consequences.

Sue: Add it to her list of crimes, the bitch.

 

Part Three

Warriors of the DeepSue: This hasn’t improved since yesterday.
Me: This story’s nickname is Warriors on the Cheap.
Sue: I’m not surprised. I don’t understand why they need this stupid Myrka thing anyway. They’ve already got the Silurians and the Sea Devils. How many monsters do they need?

The Myrka menaces the Doctor and Tegan.

Sue: What’s it waiting for? Is it having a little dance?

The Doctor throws an ammunition magazine at the Myrka and the blast disorientates the beast.

Tegan: It’s blinded!
Sue: They should have blinded the audience. That would have been more merciful.

Meanwhile, Turlough storms onto the bridge with a gun.

Sue: I love Turlough. He always gives it 100%. He’s great. I don’t care if turns out to be a bad guy, I just like having him around.

Commander Vorshak monitors the situation from the bridge.

Sue: Every time they say his name, I’m reminded of the guy from the Watchmen with the sock on his face.

Sadly, the harsh lighting is showing up more flaws than we’re used to:

Warriors of the DeepSue: Is that Greg’s bald patch? I really wish you hadn’t shown me this, Neil. I wanted to remember Greg as he was, in his rugged jumper and blue parka, not as a Michael Jackson impersonator with bad hair. I hate you, Neil.

Sue is struggling to say anything positive about Warriors of the Deep.

Sue: At least the music isn’t medieval. Will that do?

The Sea Devils enter the Base.

Sue: It’s like the opening to Star Wars, but with really slow turtles instead of stormtroopers.

The Sea Devils’ helmets are a cause for concern, too.

Sue: They look like samurai turtles. There was obviously a copyright issue and they couldn’t dress them up as ninjas.

Greg, sorry, Nilson and Solow decide to use the Sea Devils as a distraction.

Sue: Greg is just a few short steps away from wearing eye make-up like Ingrid Pitt’s. Actually, that’s not fair. Everybody was at it in 1984. I was a hairdresser when this went out and people came into the shop with zig-zag make-up on all the time.

Me: Did anyone ever ask you for a haircut like Ingrid Pitt’s?
Sue: Funnily enough, they didn’t. And I would have been fired if I’d agreed to try. There isn’t enough hairspray in the world. No wonder the ozone layer is ****ed.

Ingrid takes on the Myrka single-footed.

Warriors of the DeepSue: Ingrid Pitt’s shit. I’ve seen episodes of Mystery Theatre Science 2000 with better special effects than this.
Me: Have you ever seen Rentaghost?
Sue: No. Why?
Me: It doesn’t matter. Let’s not make things worse.

The Sea Devils attack.

Sue: The Sea Devils are using little fans that menopausal woman carry around with them.

The Myrka comes face to face with the Doctor and Tegan again.

Sue: Look at it dragging its fat arse around that corner. It’s pathetic. And how slow is it? Why are all the aliens moving at a snail’s pace?
Me: You’re right, there should have been a quicker way.
Sue: I’ve just noticed that the crew have triangular zip compartments on the back of their suits. How is that pouch useful? If you tried to put your pen in there, you’d end up breaking your arm. It’s ridiculous.

Nilson and the Doctor engage in some fisticuffs, but Nilson gets the upper hand and he drags Tegan away at gunpoint.

Sue: Don’t mess with Greg, even when he’s wearing eyeshadow.

Warriors of the DeepTurlough decides to sit it out in the Sea Base’s bedroom.

Sue: Day 47 in the Big Brother House and Turlough is preparing for the Power of Veto competition.

Tegan pushes Nilson into a dead Myrka, but when he gets up again.

Sue: He’s got green paint on his jacket.
Me: Are you sure? Maybe it’s slime.
Sue: It’s ****ing paint! Look!

The Doctor disorientates Nilson with a blast of ultraviolet light. Nilson wanders blindly into some Sea Devils, and they shoot him.

Sue: Why are they shooting at Greg? He works for them, doesn’t he?
Me: Have you been paying attention? He doesn’t work for the aliens, he works for the other side.
Sue: What other side?
Me: I don’t know. China, maybe?
Sue: China! What the hell are you talking about?
Warriors of the DeepMe: It’s not specified in the script. It’s described as another power bloc. It would have been the Russians in 1984, but it could be the Taliban in 2084 for all I know.
Sue: The Taliban wouldn’t let you wear eyeshadow like that.
Me: Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Greg’s dead.
Sue: WHAT? He didn’t make it to the final episode?
Me: No.
Sue: The lucky bastard.

 

Part Four

The Doctor is about to be shot by a Sea Devil.

The Doctor: Haven’t we met before?
Sue: I don’t want to be a racist, but can how he tell? They all look the same to me.

Turlough has been locked in the Base’s bedroom.

Warriors of the DeepSue: I’ve just noticed that the crew bed’s are covered in bubble wrap. How will they get any sleep? They’ll be popping all night.

The Silurians and Sea Devils gain control of the bridge. Of course, Sue notices the Sea Devil with the lopsided head.

Sue: Is that Sea Devil in the background having a nap? It’s tiring work, killing humans.

Tegan wants to rescue the Doctor but, once again, Turlough would rather save his own skin.

Sue: I really like Turlough. He’s got hidden depths. There’s still a lot to learn about this character. He’s fascinating. And played by a great actor, too, which helps. I don’t know why he didn’t keep it up.

The Silurians want to start a nuclear war between the two human power blocs.

Sue: The storyline is very bleak. But isn’t that what Greg wanted to do? They should have joined forces. They could have saved themselves a lot of time.

The Doctor begs the Silurian leader to reconsider.

Warriors of the DeepSue: I wish the Doctor would change out of his plastic sack. Are his proper clothes drying somewhere in the Base? I hope his jumper hasn’t shrunk.

A Sea Devil accidentally kills itself when it ruptures a canister of hexachromite gas.

Sue: The direction is appalling. Everything is so flat. It feels very old-fashioned and claustrophobic. I want to see a big battle outside, in the sea. But that’s not going to happen, is it?

The Doctor is faced with a moral dilemma.

Sue: Just kill them. There’s only a handful of them and there are billions of people on Earth. It’s hardly a dilemma, is it?
Ichtar: Soon it’ll all be over.
Me: Thank God for that.
Sue: Actually, I’m enjoying the last episode. The concept isn’t bad. I just wish it had some atmosphere.

When the missile run commences, the Base’s lighting is subdued.

Warriors of the DeepSue: This is how they should have lit it from the very beginning. It’s a million times better already. You can hardly see a thing.
Vorshak: I will not be responsible for the destruction of my own kind.
Sue: He’s not a great actor, is he? He should sound a lot more desperate than that. He sounds like he’s reading out his shopping list. And you’d expect him to put up more of a fight. He had his hand out ready to do the deed long before the Sea Devil forced him into it. Lazy direction and bad acting. Fatal.

Tegan revives a Silurian, but as soon as her back is turned, he tries to kill her.

Sue: There you go, kids. Remember: never help your enemy – they will just shoot you in the back.

The Doctor struggles to stop the launch.

Sue: I need something visual so I can follow this. It’s not enough for me to stare into Peter Davison’s dreamy eyes. Actually, forget I said anything.
Vorshak: Now concentrate, Doctor. Let nothing distract you.
Sue: (As Vorshak) Especially my fruity voice.

The Doctor manages to stop the missiles in the nick of time. It has taken him a great deal of effort.

Sue: Finally, some decent eye make-up.

However, the supporting cast are all dead.

Warriors of the DeepThe Doctor: There should have been another way.
Sue: The Doctor is genuinely upset. I think he might have a little cry. Bless him.
Me: I have something to confess.
Sue: Don’t tell me there’s a special edition with a CGI Myrka.
Me: No. I stopped watching Doctor Who after Warriors of the Deep Part Three.
Sue: What?
Me: For four years.
Sue: But you’d have been, what, 14 years old? It’s understandable. Hormones. Girls.
Me: The Myrka.
Sue: You should have stayed for Part Four, though. You might have changed your mind.

 

The Score

Sue: The two episodes in the middle were dreadful but it pulled itself together for the last episode. I thought some of the concepts were very strong, but there were too many monsters, not enough variety in the location, and the direction was poor. Peter Davison was very, very good, though. Even if he did look like a sack of potatoes.

4/10

 

Coming Soon

 

90

Comments

  1. Dave Sanders  October 24, 2012

    That’s the thing about lots of water, it quickly rushes downhill.

    Wouldn’t a Survivors blog also be ‘Terry F***ing Nation’ every single entry?

  2. Lewis  October 24, 2012

    4/10, if you ask me, is very generous.

    Gets a 1/10 from me. Definitely one of the worst.

    • Dave Sanders  October 24, 2012

      And heeeeeeeere comes the flood of comments! Oh dear. The lurkers.

      Stick WotD on in the background while you’re working and zone off, and it’s a credible 4/10.

      It’s a 1/10 if you actually look at it. The gun battles are can’t-be-arsed even by Pennant Roberts’ standards.

      • Lewis  October 24, 2012

        I aint no lurker :p I’ve been posting here for ages. My image seems to have vanished though and I shortened my name. I’ve never really re-watched or had the urge to. Not keen on Davison anyway, and this… I mean, right after The Five Doctors too. Such a let-down.

        • Dan  October 24, 2012

          So you managed to miss the entire Colin Baker era, and then started watching again when I stopped!

          Oh well, at least you’re going to watch it again now with Sue. Looking forward to that!

          • Dan  October 24, 2012

            I seem to have posted in the wrong place. How confusing.

      • Lewis  October 24, 2012

        Although you missed a good joke there.

        “And heeeeeeeere comes the flood of comments! Oh dear. The Mykras.”

        • Cliff Chapman  October 24, 2012

          No, he *exactly* that joke. A bit better. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • DPC  October 24, 2012

        Yup, the battles were… bad. Given the whole story was rushed in production, I can give it some slack but… “credible” is not the word I could accord it…

  3. Simon Harries  October 24, 2012

    Darn, I was just editing you a little compilation video of Dobbin moments to pop onto YouTube… still, Sue didn’t make the comparison, so no harm done. I really ought to watch this story again, as I have seen it only once, on original tx. It’s not that everyone says it’s shit, I’ll happily make up my own mind. The trouble is, it seems so bleak that I just can’t face watching it. I’ve got a copy of Threads and I can’t face watching that again either… Not that I’m comparing Threads with Warriors of the Deep. That would be silly, wouldn’t it?

  4. Philippa Sidle  October 24, 2012

    So you were about five stories behind me, Neil. And I didn’t watch again until 1995!

  5. Jazza1971  October 24, 2012

    Glen? Nilson?? Greg??? I can’t stand the confusion in my mind!!!

  6. Graeme MacLennan  October 24, 2012

    Hey Neil, v much enjoying the blog. You might want to reassure Sue this is definitely the worst fifth Doctor story of the season…

  7. Glen Allen  October 24, 2012

    Ah, definitely a “one to take the piss out of when you’re drunk with friends” story I’m afraid.

    And this whole sequence I imagined Sue being quite hysterical and getting more so as it went on…..

    Sue: China! What the hell are you talking about?
    Me: Itโ€™s not specified in the script. Itโ€™s described as another power bloc. It would have been the Russians in 1984, but it could be the Taliban in 2084 for all I know.
    Sue: The Taliban wouldnโ€™t let you wear eyeshadow like that.
    Me: Anyway, it doesnโ€™t matter. Gregโ€™s dead.
    Sue: WHAT? He didnโ€™t make it to the final episode?
    Me: No.
    Sue: The lucky bastard.

    But Im guessing it wasn’t that exciting.

    Nilson

  8. Smith  October 24, 2012

    Yeah, Warriors is shit. Doesn’t stop me from enjoying it, though. I managed to write an essay that quite convincingly painted it as a piece of art.

    Ingrid Pitt karate-chopping the Myrka is one of the reasons I love Doctor Who. ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. encyclops  October 24, 2012

    I’m glad Sue gave this a 4 — it means she can still give lower scores to either of the two other stories this season that are awful.

    The thing is, if the Myrka were the only weak spot here, I don’t think I’d have a problem with it. Is it that much worse than the Garm? Or, to tread dangerous ground here, the use of bubble wrap in “The Ark In Space”? As a kid, I just accepted lousy costumes, iffy CSO, and weak SFX as a matter of course. So what mattered to me more than the Myrka itself was how people reacted to it and how it was used, which is why it’s crap here and the bubble wrap is at least tolerable in “Ark.”

    I was more into the Silurians returning and (what seemed at the time like) dark, intense political intrigue as a kid, but even then this was a drag. Nowadays I can’t imagine sitting through it unless it’s to hear the commentary. No wonder they had to bundle it with “The Silurians” and “The Sea Devils.”

    My favorite part of this writeup was Sue’s cheerful enthusiasm at the start of it for an underwater adventure. If only!

    • DPC  October 24, 2012

      Oh, come now, “The Awakening” and “The Caves of Androzani” are not that bad… ๐Ÿ˜€

      But given that “Warriors” ties in both Silurians and Sea Devils, a good story or not, it’s that lore that binds them together. And unique… if only a certain Hartnell story existed, with a certain 6th Doctor story that wasn’t made but should have been, one can fathom another oddball double-pack being released…

  10. Thomas  October 24, 2012

    Well, this is it. My absolute least favorite story, bar none.

    Granted, I’ve yet to see Celestial Toymaker (which sounds like something I’ll hate) and *that one*, but I honestly doubt they’ll be quite as boring, misconceived, or just appalling on every level like this one is. It’s probably the only Who story (aside from 42, which was my least favorite until this popped along) where I can find almost nothing good to say about it– the regulars are all good, but the rest is just dour.

    GAH. At least it’s uphill from here.

    • Tom Wake  October 24, 2012

      Which is *that one*, out of interest?

      • Thomas  October 25, 2012

        The infamous one that’s due fairly soon here- 6S. if I recall correctly.

    • John Miller  October 25, 2012

      It’s not all uphill from here. Sue still has the entire Mccoy/Ace era ahead of her. I feel nothing but sympathy.

      • Thomas  October 25, 2012

        The McCoy years are some of the highlights of the series for me (and even if it weren’t, my point was that since this is the nadir for me, nothing else comes close to it, so thus it would all be uphill after this. And there’s no way even the worst excesses of the McCoy era come anywhere near Warriors of the Deep. :P).

      • Matt Sharp  October 27, 2012

        Personally, I’m hoping that Sue enjoys the McCoy era, as it’s one of my favourites; just as I hope that she can somehow find a way of enjoying the awkward misfire that is the Colin Baker era as it may finally allow me to engage with it too.

        It proves one thing, though; there’s clearly no point trying to predict what Sue will think of something because the Ways of the Not-We are strange and mysterious indeed. Ask yourself:

        What would Sue do?

        We just don’t know.

  11. Paul Campbell  October 24, 2012

    I think I was up to a scene with the Doctor and Turlough facing off with Vorshak and Nilson on the bridge when my flatmate walked intothe living room. “Where is he this time?” he asked, “Planet of the side-partings?”

  12. DPC  October 24, 2012

    “Cervix” – yup! I fell for that line as well…

    “Sue: Hey! Get your own bloody catchphrase!”

    In the 1980s, they all had used it! The Cyber-Leader, the Tereleptil Leader, the Silurian… one day I ought to compile a list. It’d make a lovely sidenote somewhere…

    The story does have some good ideas and moments, but the rewrites and industrial action totally clobbered the thing… and, oh dear, the Myrka… ๐Ÿ™‚

    The season improves by leaps and bounds, and given I can sit through “Warriors” and find things to like (especially the Silurian lore moving forward), while not being a great opener, it’s not a total clunker… but at times it certainly tried to be one…

  13. DPC  October 24, 2012

    Forgot to add:

    “Say cheeeeeese”… ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ The JNT reference was iffy, but the Malus bit was gold!

  14. Marty  October 25, 2012

    There should have been another wave.

    Sue better buckle in for the bleak stories because they just keep on coming.
    What was it in the 80s that produced such bleak stories? The intentionally bleak stories that is, not the ones that are so bad they’re bleak.

    What anoys me, very fan like is that the Silurians’ eye flashes when they talk instead of being a useful bit of their anatomy. It just makes them like a Dalek and it’s never addressed what those lights on a Dalek actually do.
    At least the Silurians’ eye *did* something, but in this story it’s been castrated to a flashing light and in the new series they lop it off entirely.

    The Myrka isn’t that bad.
    Well, it is.
    But they were trying, like most stories if you use you imagination it was a great idea. Not really sure how it could have looked good even with extra time.
    But it looks good in Big Finish’s Bloodtide. Where it just roars and is in audio.

    The ideas in this story were good over all actually.
    But I think it would have worked better, much better if this had just been a spy/base under seige sort of story. Yes it’s been done before but JNT was all about revisiting old concepts and this one could have done it marvellously. As Sue points out a base with lots of strange accents is something we’ve had several times before.
    The two power blocs, the saboutage, this future is nicely laid out and it could have been a good spy thriller sort of thing. And then the Silurians and the Sea Devils are inserted in. Even just having the Sea Devils in it could have worked, but it’s much a case of over egging the pudding having them both in this story.

  15. Warren Andrews  October 25, 2012

    Margaret Thatcher may have been responsible for pre-production being brought forward but that only affected the building of the Myrka. She isn’t responsible for the dire script and appalling direction. I loath this story, the scripting of the Doctor is atrocious – constantly going on about honorable Silurians when the story does nothing to back it up.

  16. Terry Francis  October 25, 2012

    I really like “Warriors of the Deep”. I can see past the dodgy effects and dodgy acting and just enjoy what is a fairly well-written script and storyline. Maybe I’m just easily pleased!

    • Thomas  October 25, 2012

      Maybe, ’cause there’s barely anything in the script that recommends it. I’m all for looking past shoddy production values for a great story (heck, that’s the Graham Williams era in a nutshell, and I love that era), but here…it’s just bad .

  17. John S. Hall  October 25, 2012

    I think that if the set designer and lighting-person-in-charge had actually read Johnny Byrne’s description of the Sea Base — a rusty, dark, claustrophobic place like a submarine, and not a bloody supermarket — that would’ve gone some way to disguise the monsters’ flaws rather than highlighting them.

    And no comment on the Silurian with the untucked head and visible zippers? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I try to give this story some slack, considering its less-than-ideal production circumstances, but man!

    Janet Fielding used to say how some of what ended up being takes, the cast thought were just rehearsals, so they didn’t always give it their all, and a lot of the time it shows.

    • Frankymole  October 25, 2012

      “no comment on the Silurian with the untucked head and visible zippers?” – no, nor apparently on the huge close-up where you can clearly see the actor’s eyes blinking behind Icthar’s “reptilian” transparent painted plastic ones…

      • John Miller  October 25, 2012

        The only thing worse is if some idiot thought it would be a good idea for the female Silurians to have breasts… ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Nick Mays  October 26, 2012

          … which only goes to prove that the ‘modern’ Silurians with their breasts, human dentition and human eyes MUST be some sort of repitilian/mammalian crossbreed… a point which he new series has done nothing to address other than the Doc’ s throwaway comment “I’ve met them before. Different species but….”

          I suppose there must have been several different Homo Reptilia races at some point. I bet Mac Hulke would have had something to say about the current lot and the ‘Warriors’ lot… and not complimentary either.

          Anyway, Warriors of the Deep… BIG let down. Germ of a good idea, but so badly executed on all levels as to be one of those oft-quoted ‘nails in the coffin’ of the original series. I do have a soft spot for Rent-A-Myrka though… those poor guys are giving it all they’ve got which really isn’t much to start with. A sort of one-trick pony if you will…

    • Gavin Noble  October 25, 2012

      Saward probably stopped the designers from doing it as suggested in the script because he wanted the decrepid look for his own story later in the season I imagine.

      Personally I don’t have an issue with the design in the story in terms of the sets and lighting etc. I think it looks pretty good and the Sentinel 6 model at the start is excellent.

      Some of the acting is a bit woeful and the less said about Ingrid Pitt’s ‘karate’ the better, but I still enjoy watching this story. The Myrka is pants obviously but I can understand why it was included in the plot – if only it had been realised better.

      Davison is excellent as always and his final line is wonderfully delivered.

      One of my guilty pleasures this one and I think Davisons’s last few stories are certainly a big improvement on the 20th anniversary season.

    • Warren Andrews  October 25, 2012

      The thing is Tony Burroughs, the set designer, did read the description in the script. He read Saward’s rewrite of “Bright white space station style base”. I can see why Saward would want a change from rusty and forgotten (his own script this season would do it) but for a writer who always complains about bright lighting it wasn’t helpful.

      Warriors of the Deep is an example of everyone just doing their normal thing but that having a detrimental effect on the production. Burroughs’ design was his usual “jigsaw” style that he had done with Traken, Four to Doomsday and Black Orchid, the structure could have walls moved around to create new rooms. Fine normally but on a script with as many scenes and set requirements, it eat into studio time and prevents specialised lighting.

      Pennant Roberts was fine on something like Survivors where it’s all there for you, you don’t have to create a world as the script does that. But on Who you need someone who can add that extra something. Sadly he was a “that’ll do” guy. The Myrka didn’t have to fail so badly. As FX designer Mat Irvine says, if it had been shot right it would have worked. Roberts was of the “if we paid for it, we should see the whole thing”.

      Johnny Byrne’s ideas were solid, he was quite eloquent on the DVD’s but all those ideas just never come through in the script. And it doesn’t help when Saward rewrites it and tries to be sensitive to the writers ideas but doesn’t have the same conviction – hence we get the whole empty anti-war message and the Doctor’s unjustified support of the Silurians whilst constantly attacking the humans.

      If a story has major issues then it becomes easy to pick out one failure and make it the focus. There’s so little to appreciate that one failure takes all the disappointment.

      If anything, it’s Shada’s fault this got made!:)

      • Dave Sanders  October 25, 2012

        Actually, JN-T was the ‘if we paid for it…’ guy and overruled Pennant Roberts’ attempts to strip the Myrka’s airtime down to the bare minimum. It may be easy to kick the director, but once this story – and Timelash – have both become damage-limitation exercises, there’s not much creatively any director can do.

        • Warren Andrews  October 25, 2012

          I stand corrected but Roberts still could have been a bit more creative in how he shot it and given a sense of drama to the scenes featuring it – something to the story is seriously lacking. Johnny Byrne was very impressed by Saward’s Earthshock story, yet much of that success comes from how Peter Grimwade handles it. The weak sense of drama is something in all Pennant Robert directed Who stories.

          The Magma Beast in Caves may have been a weak costume (personally) I don’t think so but Graeme Harper still makes its moment dramatic as does David Maloney with the rat in Talons.

          The Myrka isn’t helped by Davison’s Doctor sighing when it appears. We the audience rely on the character reactions to feeds our responses, a Doctor looking depressed by a monster doesn’t help.

          WOTD is a story that I hold in such high contempt partly due to the Doctor – I think Davison is much better in the next story.

          • Dave Sanders  October 25, 2012

            Well, JN-T was kept as far out of the way as possible on Caves while Graeme Harper and Eric Saward nurtured it with Robert Holmes, which could explain why we saw far less of the Magma Beast – JN-T didn’t get to put his spoke in quite so much. It might also explain a bit of what happened next, if there was less of a presence around to subsequently reign JN-T back a bit (if the anecdote about Robert Holmes’ gallery observations is true).

          • Anglocat  October 27, 2012

            See, I actually love Davison’s sigh in response to the Myrka; he’s not afraid, just very, very disappointed for/in the . Almost a little embarrassed for them.

  18. Fortmap  October 25, 2012

    Greg already had bad hair in Survivors. He had a MASSIVE comb-over going on.

  19. Frankymole  October 25, 2012

    I sometimes wonder if there are any real Doctor Who fans at all, or just different degrees of self-hatred. Funny how some can look past the dire cape-sporting wibbly-fingered Magma Beast in Androzani, the Giant Hamster in Talons or the Styrofoam Clams in Genesis, but in this story it’s all about the flaming Myrka which isn’t as bad as any of those! By all means critique the script, but Who never looked like a Ridley Scott film, did it?

    • Thomas  October 25, 2012

      I think you answered your own question there- Androzani, Genesis, and Talons are all fantastic stories. Warriors is not.

      A pantomime horse would be much more forgivable in a Holmes script than a Byrne one.

    • Warren Andrews  October 25, 2012

      But those elements only get picked on as the rest is so good and you can look beyond them but with Warriors on the Cheap, it becomes the focus for everything that is wrong as there is so much wrong with the story.

    • Dave Sanders  October 25, 2012

      That’s the point. This is the one that SHOULD have.

      • Dave Sanders  October 25, 2012

        You also forgot Blakes 7’s giant ant.

  20. John Miller  October 25, 2012

    I’m surprised none of the usual gang have tried to tell us this story actually took place in 1984, rather than 2084, After all, 80’s hair, 80’s make-up, 80’s clothes, 80’s computers, the real Cold War was over by the early 90’s. The only evidence for it being the 2080’s rather than the 1980’s is that it is explicitly stated onscreen, and the Production Office stated as such in interviews, releases etc. But clothes and hairstyles trump production notes and onscreen dates everytime….

    • solar penguin  October 25, 2012

      We’re just waiting to see whether or not 2084 really will have the retro-style 1980s look back in fashion again. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      But, yes, of course what actually ends up on screen trumps the creators mere intentions every time. Why would anyone think otherwise?

    • Leo  October 25, 2012

      Things like that only come up when there isn’t a direct date given in the specific story, or set within the title of the programme. So for something like Space 1999, there’s no room for any disagreement about when that was set, because its very title announces it. But if it didn’t, if there was no clue either in the dialogue in the series, or the programme’s title, then the time it was set in would be anyone’s guess. Some time in the 70s, 80s, 90s, or in the 21st Century, who could tell?

      So the only thing we can be sure about when, say, The Seeds of Death is set is that it’s sometime in the 21st Century, with rocket flight still in living memory. No exact. The Android Invasion? If you go by dates given in other stories involving UNIT they’re all incompatible, so again, who knows?

      So, Power of the Daleks, Enemy of the World and The Wheel in Space don’t give exact dates on screen (although there are views based on what might have been intended), meaning that when they’re set is open to dispute. The Moonbase and Warriors of the Deep do, so they’re not.

      • Frankymole  October 25, 2012

        Enemy of the World has two dates shown on screen (Astrid’s helicopter licence plaque, and the scrap of newspaper where the date is actually a plot point. Sadly the telesnaps are a bit hard to make out, being so small, though it looks like Astrid’s (larger) plaque does show that the story could well be set around 2017/2018 agreeing with the year as stated in Radio Times.

        Wheel obviously happens after Seeds of Death because in the latter man has not travelled beyond the moon, yet by Wheel we’re all over the solar system and Gemma Corwyn’s husband died in the asteroid belt.

        Now back to your usual scheduled programme!

        • Longtime Listener  October 25, 2012

          But everyone seems to ignoring the important question: is it set in the REAL 2084, or in some kind of fictional 2084, in which case it is a betrayal of everything Doctor Who has ever stood for??!!!!

        • chris-too-old-to-watch  October 26, 2012

          Maybe dates shown in any story set in the future aren’t AD (whether Gregorian or Julian calender). It could be by then (whenever then is), they’ve changed to another dating system – years post first nuclear explosion, post Mars landing, post first Armageddon war…

    • Dave Sanders  October 25, 2012

      Any story that feels the need to scream LOOK, THIS IS AN ALLEGORY by setting it a precise round number of years distant from the time of making, is automatically docked several points in my book.

    • DPC  October 25, 2012

      On the plus side, “The Ice Wariors”, set in 3000, has everybody looking like extras for “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In”… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      All of these shows are, invariably and inevitable, products of their times…

      • Leo  October 25, 2012

        You bet your sweet bippy.

    • Wholahoop  October 27, 2012

      There is a theory that Greg is another incarnation of the Monk/War Chief/Master. This is a theory I just thought of

      • John Miller  October 27, 2012

        I have no idea why you find this so amusing. Nor any idea why you think it’s some personal theory that I and I alone thought up one uneventful day. As already stated, Malcolm Hulke(writer of The War Games, Colony In Space, The Sea Devils and Frontier In Space) stated that the Doctor and the Master were the only two renegade Time Lords, and went much further in his novelisations. Terrance Dicks wrote the Master’s intro in the Terror Of The Autons novelisation in such a way that only a complete imbecile wouldn’t make the Master/War Chief connection. Doctor Who Magazine promoted The King’s Demons by saying that the villain Sir Gilles would be a villain that first appeared in The Time Meddler. The officially licensed FASA Doctor Who Role Playing Game said outright that The Master and The Meddling Monk are the same Time Lord. And Jon Preddle appeared on Mastermind back in 1988, and wrote about it here(note question 13!) http://nzdwfc.tetrap.com/archive/tsv8/mastermind.html Okay, it’s the New Zealand version of Mastermind, but still… ๐Ÿ™‚ So, we have all this and yet, you still feel the need to giggle and titter about it. Why? Because of “Divided Loyalties”? THAT is something that deserves nothing but scorn and laughter.

        • Leo  October 27, 2012

          The sole reference to The Time Meddler in DWM’s King’s Demons preview in issue 75 is here:

          ‘Deep within the Doctor’s mind, a distant memory stirs. Thirteenth century. “This is the time of the Magna Carta, isn’t it?” He searches the inner recesses of his memory for the illusive [sic] information. “A long time ago, didn’t someone mention to me about jet airliners in 1320 AD? And then there was Shakespeare’s Hamlet on television?” Just a muddled memory or is there a grain of truth trying to break through. A truth with devious implications!’

          Now, that could be hinting several things. Either the writer, who was presumably Richard Landen, thought the methods employed in each story were similar and was drawing a link between them. Or he thought that the Meddling Monk was actually going to be in the story. Or he thought that the Monk and the Master were the same character.

          But DWM, only a few months later, had a comic strip story, 4-Dimensional Vistas, which featured the Monk, seemingly following on from his last TV appearance, with his TARDIS still as a police box (actually inaccurately, cos it had already changed when it materialised on the ice planet, but let’s stick to the point…), something which would have been taken as implying no connection between him and the Master – separate histories and all that. So it would be fair to say that if it was the latter of the above hints that was intended in the preview, the magazine was giving out mixed signals at this time to say the least…

          Indeed, someone writing in to the Matrix Data Bank the very next issue after the King’s Demons preview, 76, referred to the Master and Monk as separate beings and wasn’t corrected by the person writing it (Also Landen? I’m not sure).

          There was also a query to the Matrix Data Bank in issue 97 asking if the Master was the same person as the Monk or War Chief, which was described as “a regular question”. Their answer was that he couldn’t be the latter as he’d been killed and that, while there was nothing to prove he and the former couldn’t be the same, there was little to suggest it either, and that as the Monk was a far less lethal person, they probably weren’t. Now, Landen had moved on by this time, or whoever had been writing the Data Bank, so it may have been a case of the person writing it in 1983 subscribing to the theory of them being one person, and the people writing for it a year or two later not doing so. What it does go to show, though, is that if you rely on things said by DWM over the years, you can find implications either way.

          The Monk would presumably have been copyright Dennis Spooner, having been created by him, in a similar way that the Brigadier was copyright Haisman and Lincoln. That being so, it’s possible that the early 70s production team might have wanted to not make it explicit that the Master was the same character, so as to avoid having to be obliged to pay the rights and seek permission every time they used him. However, it’s also possible that questions over whether or not he might have been the Monk simply didn’t matter to them – he was a character who hadn’t appeared for several years and had been more or less forgotten since his last appearance – so there was no particular need to bring him up in any scripts or novelisations. They certainly didn’t have any requirement to link a character they’d devised with an earlier one, and as any explicit link might have caused rights issues, it was an avenue they had no need to go down in the first place.

          Prior to Planet of the Spiders, it wasn’t really established that regeneration was standard for Time Lords, ad it was unclear whether or not it applied to any other than the Doctor. Given that, then the fact of the War Chief being killed in his story almost certainly means that it was Dicks’ and Hulke’s intention at the time that that was it for the character.

          And the description given in the Terror of the Autons book doesn’t particularly suggest the War Chief to me:

          “Already he had been behind several Interplanetary Wars, always disappearing from the scene before he could be brought to justice.”

          But that isn’t what happens to him in The War Games. It’s clearly the intention of the writers that he’s defeated, caught and killed, and that that’s the end of him. There’s no suggestion in The War Games that the War Chief has previously been responsible for any wars either.

          Nothing wrong with some people choosing to think of them – either any combination of two from the three, or all three – as the same character, if that’s what floats their boat. Fine, it’s a free world, people can think of them how they like. But the case for it is loose enough to leave plenty of room for other options. At most, it’s a suggestion that Dicks and Hulke might have wanted to hint at it in a couple of their books.

          • John Williams  October 27, 2012

            FFS!

          • John Miller  October 27, 2012

            I do NOT want to go down this road again. But some quick points:

            1)I didn’t bring this up, Another fellow did with his “Greg theory”, which i took to be mocking in tone.

            2)The Autons novelisation description I mentioned is much longer than the fragment you used. I could put it all here, but no one would want that.

            3)Yes, different people overseeing DWM, different ideas. But certainly the person who wrote the King’s Demons preview thought Monk=Master. And as you yourself noted, 4-Dimensional Vistas made some major continuity cock-ups(as did the other stories which “re-introduced The Monk”, ‘Follow That TARDIS!’ and ‘No Future’) Not only do ALL of those completely contradict the end of Daleks Master Plan Episode 10, they all completely contradict each other.

            3)Prior to Planet of the Spiders it WAS established that Time Lords could sustain injuries, wounds, radiation, oxygen deprivation etc. etc. etc. far far beyond what anyone from Earth could take. It was also established that Time Lords could change their appearance, and that the new appearance often came with a totally different personality. The word “regeneration” was never used, but that is splitting hairs.

            4)You never mentioned the other stuff…

            5)Again, the two main points are that a)It’s not “my” anything. Many many people believe this, and officially licensed Doctor Who material states as such and b)If someone DOES choose to believe that they’re not the same ::) is it necessary to mock people who believe they are?

          • Leo  October 27, 2012

            I think they were probably just mocking the nature of arguments overall more than anyone personally, just as Neil joked about it with Sue in his Five Doctors write up. Better to ignore or laugh of something like that than treat it as something to cause offence, but that’s just my opinion. Anyway, the basic point, for me, is that there are conflicting potential interpretations which can be taken whichever way you please, so it;s a free choice whichever way you go, if you feel a need to make a choice at all. Also, no, I didn’t quote the whole thing from the Autons book partly for space, and also partly cos that was the bit that was most pertinent to what I was saying.

          • Leo  October 27, 2012

            “nature of the arguments”, that should have said, and “laugh off”. Typos.

          • Andrew Bowman  October 27, 2012

            Are there any indications in the TV programme/novelisations/DWM articles to suggest which incarnation of the Master Roger Delgado played? I recall something about “last incarnation” in The Deadly Assassin, but that doesn’t mean anything. Is it explicitly stated that The Master, as introduced in Terror of the Autons, is the first? Not meaning to stir anything up, but I don’t think I’ve seen this question asked.

          • John Miller  October 27, 2012

            Well, in Autons when he phones the Doctor neither of them recognise the other’s voice on the tellyphone. So, they’ve both clearly changed appearance since they last met(meaning that a Troughton-Delgado encounter could not possibly have happened).

          • Neil Perryman  October 27, 2012

            Is it the Master? No, it’s me turning off the comments once again because everything has gone wildly off-topic. Cheers.

  21. dlee  October 25, 2012

    Sue: Itโ€™s like the opening to Star Wars, but with really slow turtles instead of stormtroopers.

    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. DamonD  October 25, 2012

    A blinded Nilson staggering around, and the Sea Devils still need about half a dozen shots before they actually hit him. Imperial Stormtroopers laugh at that kind of accuracy.

    Warriors is terrible, but watchably terrible rather than dull. So that’s a plus point, right?

    I still think the elements are there for a good story, but the script, direction and production are working against it and that’s a huge triple whammy to try to overcome. The shootout in the airlock between the Sea Devils and the base soldiers, for example, is appallingly staged.

  23. Simon Curtis  October 25, 2012

    Ian McCullough is brilliant. There’s two episodes of the series Manhunt in which he plays a blinding three hander with Robert Hardy and Cyd Hayman.

  24. BWT  October 25, 2012

    Cheers, Neil: “This storyโ€™s nickname is Warriors on the Cheap.”

    It could have been worse, Neil. Just think, if it had been made in New Zealand or Wales we’d have had to have called it “Worriers of the Sheep”…

  25. chris-too-old-to-watch  October 25, 2012

    Huge amounts of eye make-up, shoulder pads, loud clothes, leather and bright lighting: Warriors of the Deep or a 1980’s Top of the Pops: discuss.

    • John Miller  October 25, 2012

      But many 70’s Whos look like Slade or T Rex on TOTOP. And many 60’s Whos look like something Arthur Brown or Pink Floyd(the REAL one) might have come up with. In the About Time books, they make several such Doctor Who/TOTP connections, stating outright that TOTP is more Dr Who’s sibling show than something like Blake’s 7 or Star Trek could ever be.

      Of course none of the Doctors were kiddy fiddlers….

  26. Paul Mc Elvaney  October 25, 2012

    “What would Greg do?”

    What’s this? Obscure references to early Wife in Space moments? The Saward era has clearly had some influence ๐Ÿ™‚
    Loved the review, and really glad the poor writing hasn’t ruined Sue’s appreciation for the talent of Davison and Strickson.

  27. Robert Dick  October 25, 2012

    Did Sue see Ian/Greg when she was at Dimensions last year? He was a nice chap, I did the interview with him.

  28. Matthew Turnage  October 25, 2012

    Sue and I are on the same page on this story. The last episode does drag it up to a 4/10 even though what precedes it is pretty dire.

  29. Bernard  October 25, 2012

    To those who may have quit the show this early in its run (which ratings really don’t indicate) you are blooming shirkers the lot of ya – Neil included. Its those who stuck with the show to the end (and it wasn’t bitter I was there!) that deserve the rewards of new Who.

  30. John G  October 25, 2012

    “I donโ€™t like Peter Davisonโ€™s hair. Itโ€™s too short. Thereโ€™s nothing to grab hold of.”

    I did enjoy Sue’s barely restrained lusting after Peter throughout this post. She might be interested to know that he had his hair cut because he filmed the 1983 All Creatures Great and Small Christmas special between The Five Doctors and Warriors.

    I also agree pretty much with Sue’s verdict on this much-maligned tale. I suppose for me this is the Davison era’s equivalent of Underworld, a story that can generate stupendous quantities of bile in some quarters of fandom, but one which I am largely indifferent towards. The production values are of course dreadful, but I don’t think the script is really that bad overall, apart from committing the fatal error of making the Doctor look stupid, as there is nothing in the story to give credence to his support for the Silurians and Sea Devils. Perhaps he is still haunted by the memories of Wenley Moor, but many viewers in 1984 wouldn’t have remembered that, and the reptiles we see in Warriors do absolutely nothing to deserve the Doctor’s indulgence. However, despite its many flaws I think I would still prefer to watch Warriors again than Chris Chibnall’s insult to the memory of Mac Hulke that we had to endure a couple of years back.

    Interesting that Sue mentioned how bleak this story is, as we have now reached the point where Sawardian grimness and would-be grittiness really start to supersede the cerebral, Bidmeadian style of adventure that had predominated over the previous three seasons – I am very much looking forward to seeing how Sue reacts to some of the other stories in this vein that are soon to come! Interesting also that Neil stopped watching at this point, as this was not long after I started (though not for that long, as I will explain in due course). Was it Ingrid Pitt channelling Bruce Lee that was the last straw, Neil?

    • Thomas  October 26, 2012

      I’m not a fan of Chibnall’s Silurian story by any stretch of the imagination, but it does more service to the race than this story does- at least there they have characters and personality (part of the whole point of them in the first place), where in Warriors they just become generic monsters (only one of them is named, and he does nothing besides plot evil plots evilly).

      I can’t stand the redesign, and the whole thing is rather clumsily written, but it’s still a good deal better than this tripe, IMO.

      • DPC  October 26, 2012

        I’ve got to agree.

        “Warriors” tries to move the lore forward, but the setup is so generic that it could be any batch of baddies trying to colonize Earth. It does want viewers to remember the previous stories for the setup, but without seeing those and their context, I wouldn’t be much bothered…

  31. John G  October 26, 2012

    I would agree that Chibnall does a better job than Byrne of depicting Silurian society, but this is negated for me by his overt moralising and some very irritating human characters, Amy included. Neither story is very good, but Warriors annoys me less overall. Still, it’s a matter of personal taste.

    • John G  October 26, 2012

      Drat, forgot to click reply!

  32. Matthew Marcus  October 26, 2012

    I have to say I enjoy AWTWIS most when Sue’s marks contradict the “received wisdom” of fandom. Judging by the comments a lot of fans would prefer to have seen this get a 1/10. But the ability to revisit a story with fresh eyes at least once a generation or so is a valuable one. Even a story that no one is ever likely to describe as a great classic!

  33. Neil Perryman  October 26, 2012

    Can I just say, as someone who hated Warriors so much on first transmission that I gave up on the show, that it’s not THAT bad. Sue’s right, the first and last episodes are great and it’s much more watchable than f***ing Meglos. Sue has shown me the light.

    • Leo  October 26, 2012

      F***ing Meglos sounds like it would be quite painful, especially if he’s got prickles all over his anatomy…

    • Dave Sanders  October 26, 2012

      That’s true if you treat Warriors as its own discrete entity, since it’s the most coherent and well-structured of Johnny Byrne’s three scripts (despite the Amsterdam-sized Chekov’s gun) and has a bleakness of tone we haven’t seen since Robert Holmes was in the script editor’s chair.

      The unforgivable part though is that despite the acknowledged classic it contains, season 21 is one of the most viewer-repellent ever, topped and tailed with two visual disasters that would have driven casual viewers away at the start, and not given those who stuck to the end any reason to stick around for the next lot. Nothing in between would have made a sod of short-term difference to the demographics that would have mattered at the time. If they were so hard-pressed for time and studio resources when Mrs Thatcher called the election, was there really no way they could have put Warriors on the back burner for a bit, concentrated on the two-parter and opened the season with that instead? Surely, location filimg would have been unaffacted?

      • Thomas  October 26, 2012

        Traken is surely the best-structured of the Byrne scripts (it’s certainly the best written), I would think.

        And what galls me about Warrior’s bleakness is just how gloomy, downtrodden, and just overall sour it tries to be. Holmes could be really cynical and bleak, but there was still an element of entertainment, or at the very least someone to root for (Talons is from memory his bleakest (though I’m probably overlooking something), and that’s insanely enjoyable). Warriors, on the other hand, constantly makes steps to prohibit you from actively enjoying the story or any of the characters- the Doctor behaves like an idiot, Turlough is at his most cowardly and Tegan her most irritable, and every single one of the guest cast, be they Silurian, Sea Devil, or human, dies at the end. It’s not just bleak, it’s downright sociopathic.

        • Ed  October 27, 2012

          There’s no indication that Bulic dies.[/pedant]

          • Thomas  October 27, 2012

            Huh, that’s right. He just sorta disappears, so I assumed he corked it.