3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
three good additions in Season 18,
This review is from: Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy (Full Circle / State of Decay / Warrior's Gate) [DVD] (DVD)
Different for Dr Who and contains an extra freshness that began in 'The Leisure Hive' and continued for the rest of Tom Baker's final year. A very good tenure; much better than most trash of the previous season (The Horns of Nimon... errrgh). The new producer was right in making these stories link and follow on from each other. It feels epic like one big story.
Full Circle: Its okay, the first two episodes being the best. It was interesting to have The Doctor not as involved with the plot early on and have him just slip into the story. As it move along, it runs out of steam. The plot eventually becomes non-existant and it is unclear what the whole Starliner thing is about. K-9 wobbles after some Marshmen for a long time, Romana is a zombie for most of the story and the teenage characters are just annoying! The best thing about this story is that it made me like Adric for some reason; poor Matthew Waterhouse was never that bad.
State of Decay: An entertaining, well scripted and acted story. The atmosphere mirrors that of the 1931 Dracula film as well as the Hammer series. The dark lighting and setting echoes the 'gothic era' stories of Season 13 (The Brain of Morbius etc). Terrance Dicks was always (and still is) a Doctor Who pro who knew what made a good show; the plot folds out neatly over the four episodes and Peter Moffat's slight, soft direction works well in making a threatening set-up. I prefer what he did with 'The Visitation' later on, but this is still good stuff.
Warrior's Gate: A controversial piece of television for its time and still disliked by some fans. My opinion? It is the best story of this set. Why? Its quite hard to explain. The main thing is the direction, its genius. Hats off to Paul Joyce! Some of the greatest direction in the history of the show. It moves with great speed and is very cinematic in choice of angles; because of this, it is one of the Classics that will not date easily. The choice to use a plain white background is very chilling and claustrophobic for the characters as well as making them seem vulnerable and trapped within E-Space. The Gundan robots are pretty awesome looking and realistic, as does the spaceship crew. This is what makes this story special to me: the high production values (no wobbly sets in sight thank you very much!). The story can be considered confusing to some but it all comes clear eventually. Tom Baker gives a good performance, as does Lalla Ward and K-9 & Adric are used very little which benefits the story a lot (I hate K-9).
The special features are many and quite impressive too. If you like Doctor Who, buy it!