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

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

The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did

What Quill Did

“Sometimes, you want to know how the other half lives.” This may be the case when you’re daydreaming about life in a higher income bracket, but if you’re an indentured alien warrior going to otherworldly and other-reality extremes to free yourself of your oppressor, you might want to draw up a quick pro/con list before agreeing to get sucked into a funky glowing French press machine and being asked to battle mythological deities in order to merely reserve a spot for a rather dodgy surgical procedure. (“Don’t blink” takes on a whole new meaning.)

This week, Jay and Haley try to comprehend the alternate planes presented in the seventh Class episode, “The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did”. It’s the flip side to the goings-on while the students were in detention, and we try to figure out who got the short end of the stick on those outings. Oh, and Jay misses a critical detail of the episode’s final moments that changes darned-near everything for him. (That’ll teach him to check text messages while viewing…)

Bonus Segment: A wonderful few minutes talking with Ace herself, Sophie Aldred, live from L.I. Who 4!Sophie Aldred LIWho 4

News Links:

Play

Detained

Class: Detained

It doesn’t matter what you did to get here, or didn’t do, or what the “real story” is. The fact is, you’re in detention, that fact isn’t going to change, so you might as well take your lumps, and get it over with. That is, unless a malevolent sentient chunk of glowing geode happens to knock your localized region out of time and space, in which case you had better get used to seeing the same faces around you for the next…what, two or three epochs? But the odds of that happening are beyond extraordinary, so keep your voices down, your hands to yourself, and the hour will be over before you know it. (Or was that really an hour, in relative time?)

This week, we’re eager to return to Class, for the sixth episode, “Detained”. Our misfit gang of five are in detention for reasons only Quill knows (and refuses to give), and being the Coal Hill School, it can’t just be a Breakfast Club-type romp against authority. No, we’ve got asteroids (sorry, meteors), uncomfortable truths, and more guilt than you can shake a ruler at. It’s quite a gamble for Patrick Ness to play the “bottle episode” card on only the sixth episode of a new series, but does it pay off?

Bonus Segment: We get wistful (and weird) for a while with the lovely Daphne Ashbrook, live from L.I. Who 4!

daphne ashbrook at liwho

News Links:

Play

Brave-ish Heart

Brave-ish Heart

Ah, young love. It has the power to inspire, to uplift the soul, to make one feel superhuman, to give one the courage to take on a physical incarnation of malicious darkness and pure evil that threatens to tear through the fabric of our universe and slaughter us all in an act of vengeance against wrongs we never knew existed. Or, you know, to write endless trite love songs. Ooh, baby, baby.

This week, we resolve the previous Class cliffhanger in the fifth episode of the season. April and Ram are in the “Underneath” to face the Shadow King directly, Charlie and Matteusz are grappling with genocide, Quill finds herself at odds with the newly discovered Governors, and there are enough confused parents to suit everyone. Thankfully, Tanya is here to sum it all up with succinct perfection.

Bonus Segment: We are honored to get to know Jeremy Radick, who portrayed (the unsung hero) Gareth in the 1996 Doctor Who movie, as we interview him at L.I. Who 4.

Jeremy Radick at LI Who

News Links:

Play