Production Code: 5S
Season 18, Story Number 114
No episode stills are currently available for this story.
Each episode is identified with date of transmission, duration, ratings in millions, and (for 1963-1974 only) archive status.
03 January 1981 | 22'54" | 7.1
10 January 1981 | 23'47" | 6.7
17 January 1981 | 22'15" | 8.3
24 January 1981 | 24'53" | 7.8
Archive Status: All four episodes exist as PAL 2” colour videotape, always held by the BBC’s Film and Videotape Library. A 71-edit of episode 2 also exists.
(Doctor Who), Lalla Ward
(Romana), Matthew Waterhouse
(Adric), John Leeson
(K9), Clifford Rose
(Rorvik), Kenneth Cope
(Packard), David Kincaid
(Lane), Freddie Earlle
(Aldo), Harry Waters
(Royce), David Weston
(Biroc), Vincent Pickering
(Sagan), Robert Vowles
(Gundan), Jeremy Gittins
Travelling through E-Space, the TARDIS is hijacked by Biroc, a Tharil, who phases into the ship and operates the controls. He directs it to a white void at the centre of the Time Lines.
Biroc is the imprisoned navigator of a ship, the Privateer, carrying many of his Tharil brothers into slavery as time-sensitive navigators. He has brought the ship to the void to try to rescue his race.
The Doctor follows the image of Biroc through the void to a strange stone gateway, wherein a dusty and deserted banqueting hall is still laid for a meal. Biroc disappears into a mirror as the Doctor watches and time begins to jump about as the Doctor finds himself back in a period when the hall was occupied. Biroc explains about his mission to free the Tharils, but then their meal is interrupted by Gundan robots, creations of the Tharils' humanoid slaves, who in turn enslave the Tharils.
The Tharils have realised the error of their formerly dictatorial ways and are now intent on escaping to continue their lives in peace.
Rorvik, the insane commander of the slave ship, tries to break out of the void by back-blasting the gateway with his engines. Instead, the mirrors reflect the blast back, and the ship is destroyed, freeing the Tharils.
Romana and K-9 elect to stay with the Tharils to help them free the remainder of their people from slavery, and the TARDIS is flung back into N-Space.
Synopsis from Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted.
(Assistant Floor Manager), June Hudson
(Costumes), Graeme Story
(Designer), Barry Letts
(Executive Producer), Peter Howell
(Incidental Music), Pauline Cox
(Make-Up), John Nathan-Turner
(Producer), Graeme Harper
(Production Assistant), Angela Smith
(Production Unit Manager), Christopher H. Bidmead
(Script Editor), Dick Mills
(Special Sounds), John Dixon
(Studio Lighting), Alan Fogg
(Studio Sound), Peter Howell
(Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer
(Title Music), Mat Irvine
Warriors Gate completed the E-Space trilogy with two significant changes to the show: the departure of Romana (Lalla Ward) and of K-9 (John Leeson). The story replaced a working draft called "Sealed Orders" by Christopher Priest, which also focused on the Time Lords wanting Romana to return to Gallifrey. This was the last story to have visual effects designed by Doctor Who's most well-known effects designer, Mat Irvine. Production assistant Graeme Harper directed some of this story while Paul Joyce was unavailable. The working title of the story was "Dream Time." This story was actually promoted in Radio Times as the first in a new season of Doctor Who. This was due to the fact that, unusually, the season had broken for two Saturdays over the Christmas holiday period. Lazlo, the Tharil prisoner revived toward the end of Part Two, is never referred to by name in the story's dialogue; his name is given only in the closing credits. John Leeson returned for the pilot episode "K-9 and Company" as well as for the "Five Doctors" special and as a minor role in "Remembrance of the Daleks," while Lalla Ward married Tom Baker after leaving the show. The two were married only for 18 months, though Ward returned briefly for the "Dimensions in Time" special and then later reprised Romana in several installments of Big Finish's Doctor Who audio series, continuing established literary continuity by having Romana be the newest President of Gallifrey and eventually devoting an entire miniseries, "Gallifrey," to her exploits.
For more in-depth information about the contents of this story, a complete episode-by-episode detailed breakdown can be found at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
Released as "Warriors' Gate" as part of “The E-Space Trilogy Boxed Set” (along with "Full Circle" and "State of Decay") in the UK [October 1997] and Australia/New Zealand [November 1997] (boxed set: BBC catalog #6229; individual tape: BBC catalog #6232), US/Canada [July 1998] (WHV catalog #E1421), episodic format, photomontage cover. UK release included footage from the "Destiny of the Doctors" CD-Rom game.
A small selection of music from the story was released on LP and cassette on "Doctor Who: The Music" arranged by Dick Mills and John Walley, released by BBC Records (1983); it was rereleased on "The Best Of Doctor Who Volume 2 - The Five Doctors" released by Silva Screen (1994).
Novelised as “Doctor Who and Warriors' Gate” by John Lydecker [pen name for Stephen Gallagher] (Target #71), first released in 1982 with cover art by Andrew Skilleter. Included as part of the “First Doctor Who Gift Set” released in 1982. An extract from the extended version
exists on Gallagher's website.
For more details on the various novelizations of this story, with additional background material, artwork and details of both UK and foreign releases, visit On Target