Serial Review: The Time Warrior (Season 11)
In episode #008 of the Raggedy Podcast, we pretty much all agreed that his story was pretty much garbage. Thinking about it more in the weeks since seeing and reviewing hasn’t really done much for it in my memory, but it’s been long enough that I feel like I can do a formal written review.
The problems of the serial basically boil down to two major problems as I see them: absolutely awful direction, and a supporting cast that perpetually makes me cringe. There are few performances in Doctor Who I was more irritated by than those of pretty much every single medieval character in the story. Jon Pertwee is wonderful as always, and Elisabeth Sladen is very strong in her debut as Sarah Jane Smith, but the only one-time character that was well acted at all was the Sontaran.
As far as the direction, I feel like this story is a perfect example of things that you should never do as a director. Awkward zooms here, terrible long shots for action sequences, this serial has it all in terms of bad camera decisions. He probably didn’t help much in terms of the hammy performances from his supporting cast, either.
I know there are a lot of people who love Robert Holmes, and this story is certainly notable for being the first appearance of the Sontarans as well as Sarah Jane, but beyond that I think it is really devoid of value. The plot has no gravity, the actors have no acting ability, and the director can’t direct. That makes this one a failure, in my book.