Whovian Starter Pack (2018 Edition)

We’ve been blessed with the overwhelming and continually growing global success of Doctor Who; we know this. As long-standing fans, we consider it rewarding to see so many new viewers come to discover the program, to journey through the storylines, to question, to wonder, to get invested in the same universe we are passionate about ourselves. Here at GPR, we personally consider ourselves not to be curators of that fandom, but ambassadors.

We invite, welcome, and if asked, guide the interested towards the material in ways that not only have the greatest hope of retention, but that appeal to the interests of each individual. After all, we’re dealing with a series that both prides itself on regular reinvention, but has experimented with numerous storytelling styles and techniques over the decades. This allows us to ‘know our audience’, and steer them to stories that perhaps build upon their personal tastes and predilections; again, cultivating that interest, and hopefully leaving them wanting more.

Being now just over five years since we last attempted to pull together such a ‘primer set’ of first stories, we have some incredible new content to consider when introducing new viewers to the program. While this doesn’t mean everything we considered back in Episode 42 is off the table, it certainly allows us to evaluate those selections (and new) with wider, even more enthusiastic eyes…as if that were possible. From young viewers to mature, from sci-fi fanatics to history buffs to horror-philes, from cynics to the open-minded, we try to find a Whovian entry point that would prove (or has already proven) most effective.

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Classic Rewatch: Pyramids of Mars

There’s always going to be a connection among ancient history, Egyptian mythology, and theories on alien intervention on the Planet Earth. It’s a concept that has been explored so deeply, from sci-fi to actual scientific research, you don’t have to be Giorgio Tsoukalos to be fascinated by the correlation and coincidences. If you offer us an exploration of this tenuous but nonetheless interesting thread between fact and fiction through a Whovian lens, well…you had us at ‘sarcophagus’.

This week, we dive wholeheartedly into this classic among classics, from the 13th season with Sarah Jane and the Fourth Doctor. We are the Sycophants of Sladen. SHE NEEDS NO OTHER. We get invested in the quality of the story, the continuity, the costumes, the new sides of Baker’s performance, and the supporting cast in particular. Even the special effects win us over in large part…with one tiny, insignificant exception. Oh, Sutekh. Keep the helmet on, bruh.

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Once Upon a Time in San Diego

It goes without saying that the events and festivities of the San Diego Comic-Con are legend in the fan communities. From the marketing blitz, to the exclusive merchandising, to the star-studded panels and appearances, it’s a tremendous amount of stimuli to take in if you’re fortunate (crazy?) enough to attend. But on occasions such as this one, where BBC America hosts a bevy of panels, press interviews, and product announcements accompanied by the incoming cast and crew of Doctor Who, you don’t even have to have been there to have your mind blown. Our own brainpans are still fizzling and steaming, days later.

This week, we attempt to process everything that was given to us by cast, crew, and the BBC themselves over the course of the San Diego Comic-Con 2018 weekend. From the release of the new official trailer (in which more words are heard by our Thirteenth Doctor than ever before), to wonderful panels and press interviews with Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, and even producers Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens, to the introduciton and opening sale of the new sonic screwdriver, it’s a cornucopia of Whovian delights.

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Our Summer Smorgasbord

The Stockbridge Showdown

The Stockbridge Showdown (DW Magazine #500): Artist: David Gibbons

Sometimes, we admit, we’re a little easy to distract. Shiny objects, loud noises, one-day sales on sweet-and-salty snacks at the market, the fascinating array of human display at shopping malls, casinos, and convention floors. But we choose to see this as an asset, rather than a weakness: it allows us to be able to absorb Whovian stimuli from a myriad of sources without allowing the majority of our synapses to sizzle out irrevocably. (Note that we said “the majority”, but not “any”. Do you smell toast?)

GPR at ConnectiConThis week, we have resources aplenty to bring interesting Doctor Who discussion to the forefront. From a selection of panels at this month’s ConnectiCon in Hartford, CT, to the latest teaser trailer aired during the World Cup finals, to a great press spread in the Radio Times, Whovians have a LOT to digest. Belly up!

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Classic Rewatch: Planet of Evil

In the world of science fiction, antimatter has been a nearly limitless source of ideas. It can be used to power devices of all kinds, mutate entire ecosystems, rewrite the very timeline, and in extreme cases perhaps even . . . make someone . . . hairy and . . . angry?

This week we revisit the fourth Doctor story, The Planet of Evil, and discuss the Doctor and Sarah Jane encountering the predecessor to Zapp Brannigan and Space Force on a planet that doesn’t quiet live up to the evil moniker.

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