Classic Rewatch: Frontier In Space

Frontier In Space

Doctor Who has always been rife with complex backstories and themes of conflict drawn from the news and events of the time. Call it “present day problems, presented in another day”, if you will. From workers striking against the regime, to species in tense stalemates on the brink of war, to contending with the horrific aftermath of genocide and mutually assured destruction, the program has used our own chaotic world and its occupants as the inspiration for otherworldly tales. When we see the similarities between the happenings on screen, among strange alien species, in far-off locations, at unfathomable leaps into the future, it can certainly give us pause.

This week, we’re joined by friend and fellow podcaster Drew Meyer (of Who and Company) to enjoy — and ponder — the final Pertwee episode to feature Roger Delgado as the Master, ‘Frontier In Space’. Six episodes go by seamlessly in this interplanetary skirmish in the borderlands, with exceptional performances by Delgado (possibly his best), Manning (equally absolutely superb), and the supporting cast, as well as a most enjoyable twist in the final seconds, letting us know that the harrowing tale is not yet complete. We all agree that this story deserves rewatching, as well as recommendations to those wanting to dive deeper into the Third Doctor’s tenure.

EXTRA: We have a few minutes at the Long Island Doctor Who (L.I. Who 5) convention to sit and talk with the pioneering director of Doctor Who himself, Waris Hussein!

Waris Hussein LIWho5

Photo credit @kimalysong

NEWS:

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Two Whos and a Lie! (Live from L.I. Who 5)

As expected, the weekend spent in Long Island with a few thousand good-natured and excitable Whovians was a whirlwind of laughter, surprises, fascination, and even dancing (yes, that was Barnaby Edwards leading what could only be described as “The Dance Floor Revolution of the Daleks”). Through it all, GPR opted to keep spirits up and minds confused, with a series of game show panels designed to entertain and amuse. We sincerely hope we met our self-appointed challenge.

This week, we share the live recording from the Long Island Doctor Who Convention (L.I. Who 5) of our audience participation game, in which players (you lovely listeners) attempt to identify the false fact from amid a trio of odd trivia. As Jay was unable to join us in New York, our good friend Alyssa Franke of ‘This Week in Time Travel’ helped us on the stage, and ten rounds later, we spilled back out into the con with some new facts learned and new friends met.

Immense thanks to Ken Deep, Amanda-Rae Prescott, Billy Davis, and the entire LI Who staff and volunteers for making another great convention a reality. (Or was this our reality after all?) Thanks as well to all our contestants, panelists, and those who simply stopped to chat with us throughout the weekend to comment and/or commend us for the work we do on GPR. Your input and support give us life.

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The L.I. Who 5 Preview

Our crack GPR team is scattered across the North American continent, but there are a few events on the calendar that regularly have us all converging on the same spot (Blinovitch Limitation Effect, be damned!). The Long Island Doctor Who convention is at the top of that list, and anyone who has attended in the four years prior knows precisely why.

This week, we have the L.I. Who showrunner himself, Ken Deep, back with us to discuss the Herculean efforts that go into putting such a convention together. We talk highs and lows, challenges and triumphs, and that “fan-based con feel” that you simply can’t replicate anywhere else.

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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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Live from L.I. Who 4

Live from LI Who 4

We’ve had returns to alien worlds last seen when humans only perceived the world in black and white, scaly monsters thawed from the icy depths, and accoutrements on the TARDIS console that haven’t had hands jammed into them in over a generation. There’s something magical in realizing that a new episode of Doctor Who is actually using something from the “classic” era. (And hey, with the news today that Rona Munro is coming back to write an episode for Series 10, that counts, right? DARN RIGHT, it does.)

This week, live from Program Room C of the Long Island Doctor Who Con (or #liwho for everyone on the inside), we invite our audience in on the cast to discuss “Classic Renovations”. With the successful reintroduction of villains like the Ice Warriors and Great Intelligence, as well as conventions like the TARDIS Telepathic Interface and HADS, which other aspects of “classic” Doctor Who could see a successful return to the “modern” series? From characters, to locations, to technology, Keir and Haley sit back with more than a few drinks, and invite con attendees to hypothesize what could be brought into the current program, with varying degrees of update or rejuvenation.

Huge thanks to Ken, Billy, Amanda, Katie, Andre, Chris, and the entire L.I. Who team for yet another fantastic year. Our warmest dual-hearted hugs to all the GPR listeners who joined us, as well, and kept the conversation lively, light, and energized. 

“Give me pigeon headgear, or give me death.” Oh, yeah.

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