Classic Rewatch: Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Invasion of the Dinosaurs

If you were handed the keys to a spacious house, complete with every amenity, and seated on a sprawling property, but every room had a distinct and inescapable unpleasant odor, could you still enjoy the place enough to call it home? If you won a high-performance luxury car, but the trunk (boot) kept popping opening randomly and the radio wouldn’t stop playing “Memories” from Cats at full volume, could you make it your daily commuting vehicle?

It’s difficult to gain the fullest appreciation from something that has so many wonderful characteristics, but simultaneously exhibits egregious flaws. We want to celebrate the positives, and somehow pretend the negatives are at least dismissible, at most misinterpreted. Sure, some aficionados will click their tongues at a crazy straw in the bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but does that really make it any less exceptional of a vintage?

This week, television editor and fellow Gonna Geek Network podcaster Wil joins us to revel in the story and cringe at the effects of ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs’. Malcolm Hulke’s script and Paddy Russell’s direction provide the canvas for exceptional cast performances, but the shortcomings of the effects have become infamous legend since 1974. We are consummate optimists, however — so we boldly tackle the pterodactyls, take aim at the T. Rex, and celebrate the many things that make this six-part Pertwee and Sladen something truly memorable, in a good way.

EXTRA: A little “Five Rounds Rapid” Q & A with our new guest!

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Classic Rewatch: The Time Warrior

The Time Warrior

You can mark exact timestamps in your life that could be described as “where I was when” moments. The birth of children, superlatives like first kisses or last goodbyes, the instant when meeting a personal hero. These are carved within our memories like sculptures that adorn our mind palaces, capable of transporting us instantaneously back to wherever and whenever we were on first experience.

For a few of us at Gallifrey Public Radio, one of those “statues of memory” is the remarkable likeness of Elisabeth Sladen, grinning with eagerness and spark, adorned in a roughspun woolen tunic.

With barely contained enthusiasm, we charge the proverbial castle walls in our rewatch of the opener for Doctor Who‘s Season 11, “The Time Warrior”, joined by Deb Stanish of the Verity! Podcast. We discuss the merits of the story, the pros and cons of “Monty Python” elements of humour, the early representations of Sontarans, updates to effects (and title sequences), and of course, the arrival of our patron saint, Sarah Jane Smith. Bringing wide-eyed energy, love for adventure, quick wit, an inquiring intellect, and feminist strength to the role from her first scenes, we all agree that the pedestal upon which this companion stands is both tall and revered — even if we may connect her in our minds more often with another (slightly more eccentric) Doctor.

EXTRA: What is there to do with a first-time guest, than play a little “Five Rounds Rapid”? Deb’s a great sport with our fast-paced line of questioning.

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Classic Rewatch: The Green Death

The Green Death

Who knows what complex intricacies of chemistry and biology go into the attraction of people in love. Sometimes, the introductions and courting span months, years, even decades, before any “legally binding” pairing takes place. Other times, an overeducated Welsh mushroom farmer in corduroy bell-bottoms and a David Cassidy haircut swoops in, and your BFF up and deserts you to get married inside of a day.

Pfft. Companions. What can you do, eh?

This week, we bid a fond farewell to Jo Grant, as she parts company with the Third Doctor in the Season 10 closer, “The Green Death”. Joined once again by Don Klees of Acorn Media, we look at this emotionally charged (and ecologically relevant) story. We discuss the exceptional pacing, performances, and the 101 effective uses of genetically modified fungi.

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Classic Rewatch: Planet of the Daleks

Planet of the Daleks

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was a season of “classic” Doctor Who that had fans then and now reveling in the performances, loving the on-screen chemistry, and even enjoying the plotlines and creativity that writers and producers were bringing to the table.

And then…Terry Nation came back. Without much to offer in the ‘originality’ department. But hey — purple fur cloaks for everybody!

Joined this week by television producer and devout classic Whovian, Dave Barsky, we go many, many levels below the surface to find the positives in the 1973 story, “Planet of the Daleks”. We discuss the performances of Pertwee, Manning, and Horsfall, the absence of Roger Delgado, and the apparent importance of rocks. Lots, and lots of rocks. Grab your favourite purple shag carpet, sit back with a warm bowl of strawberry jam curative, and enjoy!

EXTRA: We play a little “Five Rounds, Rapid” Q&A with our guest Dave.

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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

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