Dreamcasting (from ReGeneration Who 3)

This fandom is practically built on hypotheticals. Within the tempest of swirling “what if” and “I’ll bet that”, there are flying chunks of theory that range from the innocuous pipe-dream wishes (as in, “I wish they’d bring back Captain Jack, just one more time”) to the overly righteous demands (“if they don’t bring Jack back this season, I’m quitting the fandom forever”). As we get more and more invested in the infinite possibilities the program allows for, we may spend more time pondering the impact of certain character development and casting decisions.

And then, of course, when none of them come to pass, we stomp our feet, fire off a few snarky tweets, and go back to watching. We’re fans. It’s what we do.

This week, we call an audible in our planned GPR programming, and share with you all a panel discussion on wishful casting, recorded at (Re)Generation Who 3 in Baltimore. Joined by guests Tai Gooden, Don Klees, Heather McHale, and Ian McCann, we posit future casting for Doctor Who, including hypotheses about new characters under the Chibnall era, possible returns of classic characters, and since this was recorded a full two months before Whittaker’s announcement, we enjoyed a raucous “Next Doctor” discussion.

** Producer’s note: for those waiting for the conversation we had scheduled for this episode, that being the interview with Brian Biggs of the Whovian Running Club, we’ll be getting to that in exactly 2 weeks’ time…Keir did something rather stupid over the weekend, injuring his back, which ruled out the opportunity to have live guests in the studio. (He should’ve known not to take up parkour. Seriously.)

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Classic Rewatch: The Curse of Peladon

Look at yourself in the mirror. Take a long, pensive look, and contemplate what you would do if the people you cared for, the cause you believed in, and the principles upon which you base your sense of self were challenged by one antiquated law. We are advanced, enlightened people, and recognize that “old law” must be regularly reviewed and scrutinized to ensure that it still applies to modern society. Such an observation doesn’t even skip a beat in our minds. But then again…we’re not the Paladin of Peladon. (And his perfunctory position on protocol.)

This week, we lose at least ten minutes staring at a spinning mirror as we enjoy a rewatch of the Third Doctor classic, “The Curse of Peladon”, joined by the delightful and insightful Charles Martin of The Happiness Patrol podcast. Chock-a-block full of great acting moments (particularly from Katy Manning), pivotal depictions of the Ice Warriors, and a tight, engaging script from Brian Hayles, we have more reasons to love this story than you can shake a broken spear shaft at.

EXTRA: Hey, look, we made it to 250 episodes! To reflect on this milestone, the GPR hosts take a moment to reflect on some of the ways we have evolved as a podcast from our tinny-sounding, less sunshiny early days. And thank you, listeners, for being part of that evolution!

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Does This Smell Spoiled to You?

We’ve probably all fallen victim to it. Many of us have either inadvertently or (shamefully) explicitly done it ourselves. The issue of ‘spoilers’ are nothing new to storytelling, from publications and stagecraft, to radio broadcast, to screens large and small. But the inflammatory act of ruining another’s naive anticipation of a story twist or outcome is just as prevalent now as ever — daresay more so, because of the instantaneous nature of sharing immediate thoughts on multiple social networks, as well as the behavior of some news and entertainment outlets (read: tabloids) who want nothing more than to boost their reader numbers and advertising revenue by being the first to blast out headlines that tell-all, spoil-all.

This week, we take some time to look at the nature of spoilers as they have affected the Doctor Who program, in recent past, as well as present moment in the anticipation of Series 11. Joined by writer, blogger and frequent convention panel guest Ian McCann, we discuss the spectrum of spoiler definitions, the ‘courtesy moratorium’ and ‘statute of limitations’ on withholding detailed conversation about what has aired, and how to deal with differing global broadcast schedules, time zones, and the ever-changing nature of live-time versus down-time viewing. We also consider how official (and unofficial) releases of information like casting and episode synopses may fall under a spoiler umbrella, and what lengths networks may have to go to in order to keep hold of the reins regarding news about their own program.

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Classic Rewatch: Day of the Daleks

Day of the Daleks

Five years without a go-round with your favourite sinister salt shakers is one heck of a dry spell. Shoehorning them into the middle of a temporal causality loop story rife with guerilla future freedom fighters, gorilla thuggees, and a Time Lord who’s been tipping into the wine cellar before attempting a mad dash on a fat-wheeled trike just pushes the whole thing into lunacy. (Sweet, delicious lunacy.) How could you possibly improve upon this sack full of angry cats? Why, bring in updated effects and a delightful Nick Briggs some forty years later, of course.

As Jay departs the studio to batten down the hatches for a hurricane in Texas, Keir and Haley are joined by Don Klees to throw back a bottle of red, a few nibbles of exquisite gorgonzola, and enjoy “Day of the Daleks”. Season 9 hits the ground running with bigger aspirations than the effects team could provide (and if you ask Jon Pertwee, fewer Daleks than the script required), but thanks to a present-day producer who wanted something more for the 21st century DVD release, we have an extraordinary “Special Edition” that provides what we feel is an applaudable enhancement, or ‘nip and tuck’, to the original Third Doctor and Jo Grant paradoxical adventure. Added bonus? Haley gets her first exposure to the UNIT Dating Conundrum — and her ability to put aside continuity concerns may be in jeopardy forevermore.

EXTRA: We find out exactly what it is that our guest Don does for Acorn Media (the popular British TV streaming platform).

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The Moffat Legacy

Steven Moffat

That faint brogue. That kinky hair. That incredible knowledge of Whovian trivia. That uncanny ability to divide a fan base with a single line of dialogue. Oh, Mister Moffat, no matter what the world thinks of you in five, fifteen, or fifty years’ time, your contributions to Doctor Who will never be forgotten. One may love or loathe his writing. One may commend or condemn his executive decisions. But he is unquestionably a devoted and dedicated fan of the show, and has done what he firmly believes to be a fan’s service to that universe.

As we watch our calendars to away the approach of his final episode as showrunner, we reflect this week on the overall impact of Steven Moffat’s tenure. From the characters he has brought into existence, to the villains created, to the story arcs that moved the program forward (and yes, as positivists, we do believe the direction was forward), and finally, to the opportunities or hindrances that he may be presenting to his successor, Chris Chibnall, we examine the Moffat era in all its global impact.

BONUS: We ask for your feedback in planning panel submissions for LI Who 5!

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