Patrick Troughton’s final adventure as Doctor Who
is something of an epic by the show’s standards. For The War Games
spans a full ten episodes, and gives on of the most endearing popular actors to take on the title role a fitting, and quite unsettling, send off.
The last Doctor Who> adventure to be filmed in black and white, The War Games sees the Doctor, along with companions Jamie and Zoe, seemingly in the midst of the trenches of World War I. But things soon take a puzzling turn, when the Roman Army appear, as well as American civil war soldiers.
The mystery of just what’s going on in The War Games keeps the interest going throughout the story’s prolonged episode count. Granted, there’s some lag on its journey, but the subsequent digging into the Time Lords as a race that the adventure contains is fascinating and very welcome.
When Troughton does finally end his tenure, it’s not in the showy blockbuster way you might expect of today’s Doctor Who. And while, of course, the title character would re-emerge in the form of Jon Pertwee, it’s still some ending.
Packaged up with the usual high standard of extras that we’ve come to expect from classic Doctor Who DVDs, The War Games is a strong serial, and a welcome addition to di sc. More Patrick Troughton stories would be much appreciated… --Jon Foster
The TARDIS arrives on a planet where a race known only as the Aliens have gathered soldiers from a number of different wars in Earth's history, brainwashed them and put them to battle. Their aim is to form an invincible army from the survivors and use this to take over the galaxy.
The War Lord is assisted by a Security Chief and a War Chief, the latter of whom the Doctor quickly recognises as a member of his own race, the Time Lords. The War Chief has provided the Aliens with the time vessels, SIDRATs, that are essential to their scheme; but he secretly plans to double-cross them and seize power for himself.