Some disjointed thoughts about ‘The Time Warrior’. Is it sexist? Is Linx really a girl? And what is the correct Socialist attitude to Irongron?
1. Men Are From Earth, Sontarans Are From… umm… Saturn? No, couldn’t be. ‘Saturn’ is an anagram of ‘Rutans’ for a start…
‘The Time Warrior’ is the chronicle of a failed romance. Irongron and Linx. The odd couple.
|Made for each other.
The initial attraction. The slowly dawning mutual realisation that they have much in common. They take turns helping each other out. Terms of affection pass between them: Linx is Irongron’s “brother” and will be his “general”. Physical intimacy follows, as Linx allows Irongron to see his face then almost takes his arm as they leave to deal with the android knight. Irongron gives Linx a familiar nickname (albeit a rather unkind one). Then the inevitable falling out. Linx feels disappointed. He questions Irongron’s commitment. They squabble. There is a physical fight. Violence always changes a relationship irrevocably. An uneasy aftermath. Awkward attempts to rescue and preserve the friendship. “Thanks good toadface… er, good Linx”. Irongron helps the bound Linx in an act of residual solidarity. They stand face to face, close together, Irongron fascinated by Linx’s visage. “I was struck down from behind,” says Linx, not wanting to lose face in front of Irongron, but also sounding almost as though he is pleading for sympathy and solidarity. Then there is the final drunken argument. Linx is ready to move on but Irongron doesn’t like the idea of being dumped. He does the dumping, he doesn’t have it done tohim. “For the last time Linx,” says he, “let there be no more talk of leaving!” But Linx makes it clear, his spaceboots were made for walking and that’s just what he’ll do. Then, of course, the ultimate break. Linx was going to leave and destroy all Irongron’s stuff in a final act of scorn. The drunken, spurned Irongron tries one last time to delay the dumping. He gets physical again. Linx puts him down.
They were made for each other, but that itself is what makes their union impossible. That and the inevitable social stigma against same-sex and different-species relationships (talk about a double standard!).
Am I actually arguing for a gay subtext? No, perhaps not. But there is something unusually… well, ‘relationshippy’ about the way Irongron and Linx come together and then fall apart. Linx even tries to get rid of Irongron’s friends, or at least to push them out of an inner circle which increasingly includes just him and Irongron. Irongron, meanwhile, does a lot of tipsy complaining to his best mate about how unreasonable Linx is.
|“My Sontaran doesn’t understand me.”
2. Sexism and the Citadel
I’ve argued elsewhere that ‘The Time Warrior’ is actually fairly good on the issues of feminism and sexism (everything being very relative, of course).…