The Time Warrior is one of my all-time favourite Classic Who stories. Not only does it feature the debut of the wonderful Lis Sladen and the Sontarans [looking better here than they ever will until their return in the New Series] it’s also got Irongron and Bloodaxe, another great Bob Holmes double act. Okay, so neither of them are particularly credible as a threat, they’re not nasty as such, they’re more playground bullies who’ve taken advantage of the situation. The story isn’t really played straight but for me that just adds to its charm. And it’s got Lis Sladen, it’s her first story, did I mention that?
I love David Daker’s Irongron, as an actor myself it’s the part I would want to play in the story. And I would never have guessed that the bloke playing Linx is Cho-Je from Planet of the Spiders a few stories later, would you? The cast are uniformly good and it’s one of those stories that I could watch again and again. There’s some great dialogue in a cracking script with a couple of classic lines in it and the whole thing is like a very engaging stage play. The fan edit doesn’t remove too much, about ten minute’s worth in total.
Of course, if you think about it, the plot doesn’t really make that much sense. How on earth does Linx know where to find all these scientists for a start? And if you’re wondering how he manages to get his golfball ship into that dungeon then similarly, how does the Doctor get the Tardis into that room? It clearly won’t fit through the door so it looks like the Brig drags the Doc to the location, tells him what’s going on and then the Doc scoots back to UNIT HQ and travels back there again in the Tardis!
This is one of the stories that have been released with updated CG FX and the ones on show here are really quite good, unlike some others I could mention, so I had no doubts about including them. It does mean a lot of extra work editing them in but they are an additional reason for doing the Fan Edit in the first place. We start with the arrival of Linx’s ship, which utilises a shot from the accompanying documentary on the disc.
There’s a script writing adage which says “get in late and leave early” and it applies to the first scene with Irongron and Bloodaxe to get us straight into the story. They then arrive at Linx’s ship just that little bit quicker in this version and we don’t really need to see him planting his flag. The rest of the story is more of the same , lots of trims and cuts to keep the pace moving.
After Reubish gets taken we cut away before the entirely unconvincing moment where Sarah somehow manages to sneak into the Tardis, that way her arrival in the Middle Ages is as much a surprise to the audience as it is to the Doctor. The landing of the ship in Irongron’s time is spectacularly badly handled and so I used the shot of it taking off from the end of the show, reversed it and slotted it in so we actually see it land this time. I also recut the moment where Hal shoots the arrow at Irongron to make sure the arrow arrives before Hal legs it!