Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rewatching The Time Warrior

My all-time favourite Doctor Who serial is "The Time Warrior," written by Robert Holmes for Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor.

It's packed with firsts: new opening credits, the unveiling of the diamond-shaped Doctor Who logo, the revelation that the Doctor's home planet is Gallifrey, the introduction of the Sontarans, and the introduction of one of the most-popular companions in the history of the series, Sarah Jane Smith.

The BBC has at last released "The Time Warrior" on DVD, including commentary tracks, pop-up text, a half-hour making-of documentary, and (optionally) new CGI special effects.

Carolyn and I watched it, savoring each of the four episodes one per night; it holds up very well indeed. The dialog crackles (echoing Thomas Hobbes, the Doctor refers to Linx, the Sontaran, as "nasty, brutish, and short," while the medieval robber-baron Irongron calls the Doctor, "a long-shank rascal with a mighty nose"), the cast is excellent, and the story line is very clever. Among many other great bits, it contains what I think is the defining statement by the Doctor about what the series Doctor Who is all about:
Sarah Jane: "You're serious?"

The Doctor: "About what I do, yes. Not necessarily the way I do it."
Highly recommended.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


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