Battle of the Spin-Offs

It is a foregone conclusion, from a television programming and development standpoint, that a series so popular and successful as to run a span of over fifty years is sure to take a swing at tangential or “spin-off” series at one time or another. Doctor Who has had numerous such attempts, most notably the 2006 action-drama Torchwood, the 2007 series The Sarah Jane Adventures, and most recently, Class in 2016. Each had a target audience, a clear intent for what it provided its viewers, and a conscious decision as to how “connected” it would be to the DW series.

This week, the GPR squad each takes on the mantle of one of the Doctor Who spin-off series, and discusses its success as a standalone series, as well as its contributions and connections to the original programme.

Bonus Segment: We play a little round of “Title of My Life”…using Doctor Who story titles, we describe some aspects of our own lives, like ‘high school years’, and ‘first date’ experiences. (It’s…a little TMI.)

News Links:

Play

Classic Rewatch: Inferno

Inferno

There are elements of “classic” Doctor Who that make even the most die-hard fans a little uneasy. Low-budget limitations on effects, rushed plot devices, possibly a poorly-cast extra who can’t seem to keep from pulling focus, even as a dead body. But then there are the exemplary stories, the ones where the acting, pacing, story concept, and the precarious balance of action and wit all add up to a pitch-perfect viewing experience. We may gush a bit, like so many podcasting volcanoes, but this one is about as good as it gets…and we’ll die on that hill.

This week, we slip sideways in our own realities in complete enjoyment of the Third Doctor adventure, “Inferno”. An action-packed, yet intellectually compelling story, we’re given fantastic performances from John Pertwee, Caroline John, and Nicholas Courtney, as well as the supporting cast, who get double-duty as they play their alternate-dimension dopplegangers: a first for the Doctor Who series, addressing the idea of parallel universes. All this, and radioactive werewolves? Point us at the controls, you had us at “The Doctor’s Door Handle”.

Bonus Segment: Keir, Jay, and Haley define their own “Gallifrey One Photo Bingo” cards, guessing at what pictures will emerge from this, the 28th year of the Los Angeles-based Whovian convention. (Want to help us out? Make sure you hashtag #gally1 in the photos you post on social media, and consider going a step further and tagging @GallifreyRadio to let us know what you spot!)

220haley 220jay 220keir

News Links:

Play

The Lost

Class: The Lost

The adage states that the strongest metals are tested through fire. While we may not fully grasp the accuracy of a blacksmithing reference, we’ve seen (and perhaps experienced) instances where an individual’s resolve strengthens under adverse conditions, or bonds between two or more seem to deepen after emerging from emotional or physical trials. But is an exception, or a rule? Aren’t there just as many examples of comraderies that dissolve in the face of opposition, of relationships that break under the pressure of life’s rigors and stressors? What is a more compelling story to us, as audience members: the a band of misfit friends who find the means to rally together against insurmountable odds; or the same group realizing their differences and conflicts, and having to make personal decisions to go it alone?

This week, we complete the freshman season of Class with the tumultuous finale, “The Lost”. The five are in shambles after painful truths have been brought to light; Quill is not only mysteriously pregnant, but also mad as hell and prepared to enact her long-sought revenge on Charlie; and the Shadow King is apparently free of his bonds, and out to reclaim his title — and April in the process. Oh, and lest we forget — the Governors have a bit of a secret behind that oddly labeled door…

Bonus Segment: Class in Review. We look at the first season of the series in total, discussing its success as a Doctor Who spin-off, as a standalone series, and the chances it has for renewal (before it has even aired in many major countries).

News Links:

Play

Doctor’s Exit, Stage Left

As we eagerly await the premiere of Series 10, news comes to us from the BBC that hits us like the proverbial ton of bricks: Peter Capaldi will be leaving at the end of this season, exiting alongside showrunner Steven Moffat.

This week, Haley and Jay spend time discussing this and other Whovian news, and then wildly speculate about what’s to come in light of it all.

News Links:

Play

Classic Rewatch: The Ambassadors of Death

The Ambassadors of Death

♬ Just sit right back, and you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a trip to Mars
You’d better clear some time, we warn
It’s told in seven parts.
Some astronauts went missing, and
When UNIT gets involved
They call upon the Doc and Liz
And things quickly devolve. ♬

This week, we find the diamonds in the radioactive rough that is the Third Doctor story, “The Ambassadors of Death”. Liz Shaw shines, the Doctor demonstrates his ability to merge science with magic and (a dash of secret-agent-man), and Bessie becomes the go-to transportation for more characters than ever before…possibly since. We are reminded of the perils familiar to the late 1950s serial The Quartermass Experiment, and the fact that space suits are inherently creepy-looking outfits (something that Doctor Who chooses to remind us of regularly, as in the Vashta Nerada, the Impossible Astronaut…)

Bonus Segment: Keir and Haley play a bit of “This Week In Whovian History”.

News Links:

Play