Classic Rewatch: The Brain of Morbius

Perhaps it was the lasting words of (not quite) philosopher Brian Johnson from the (not exactly) famed British think tank AC/DC, who quoted, “Who made who? / Who turned the screw?” The fact remains, there are moments where even the most exalted intellects have their thoughts and actions called into question, be it by their peers, themselves, or one claiming to be their greater. Perhaps if he were keeping an evil genius Time Lord’s spleen in a jar, and lived with that for a few decades instead of the maniacal brain, he might not have gotten into the mess he did. Guess that would have made for a pretty squicky dialogue exchange, however.

This week, Jeremy Radick calls in once again to join us for a lovely stroll through a dark and sinister laboratory, as “The Brain of Morbius” taunts us into action. We collectively adore the set design and visual tone, Jeremy holds the banner high for Philip Madoc (and rightfully so), and we take the briefest of seconds to wonder what Tom Baker would look like in a wrestling unitard. Go ahead. Let that image wash over you. We also find appreciation for “Daredevil” Sarah Jane, verify that the “five second rule” apparently doesn’t apply to brains, and that Condo and Mungo were likely separated at birth.

EXTRA: We pick Jeremy’s brain (sorry, couldn’t help it) about his opinions on what we know thus far about Series 11!

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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: Revenge of the Cybermen

Revenge of the Cybermen

There seems to be a running trend in social media right now of voicing unpopular opinions as conversation starters. While we have no issues with this practice — it does, after all, spur some interesting discussions — it has an undertone at times that implies that what is about to be shared will be upsetting, inflammatory, or the seed of debate-turned-argument. We’re positive people, and try to find some quality and enjoyment in most of what we consume, so we tend not to drift into this sort of thing. That said: we had to put a little more work than usual in highlighting the great things about the Season 12 closing story.

We were ultimately able to, damned if we will be daunted, but just the same. It was work. Sort of like trying to do your job with a rather uncomfortable, distressing pack on your back, that if you attempt to remove it…oh, you get the idea.

This time around, we put Sarah Jane and Harry through some shoulder-gripping struggle, as they deal with a foe they were assured was eradicated in “Revenge of the Cybermen”. The cybernetic soldiers are back with a new look, new voice, and new agenda. Haley learns that the council of Voga don’t know anything about bad poetry, Keir does a little digging to find out why a certain famous seal keeps appearing, and Jay wonders how long it takes to wash gold dust off sweaty hands.

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Classic Rewatch: Genesis of the Daleks

genesis of the daleks

Typically, we’d use this moment to compose a little anecdote about the world around us, a little commentary on social behavior and interaction, and then tie it in somehow to a recurring theme or plot line from the classic Doctor Who story we’re currently revisiting.

Doing so, in this case, would rob us of the time we’d rather be enjoying one of Tom Baker’s most iconic performances, and a remarkably solid script from Terry Nation. (We know you had it in you, old chap.)

This week, we sit back and absorb all there is to one of the most frequently referenced, critically scrutinized, and impactful stories to emerge from the Classic Who library: season 12’s “Genesis of the Daleks”. Haley has to suspend her “all 6-episode stories should really be 4” theory, Keir wonders how great Bettan would have been as a companion, and they both still can’t fathom what Fantom Events is going to cut out of the story for the upcoming cinematic release. (Oh, and we learn that Harry Sullivan really can’t stand shellfish.)

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Classic Rewatch: The Sontaran Experiment

The Sontaran Experiment

Sometimes, when you’ve got a tale to tell, you don’t need to embellish it with a lot of extraneous characters and tangential moments. The beginning, middle, and end just fall into place, straightforward and true. (And you don’t even have to mention that in the crafting of the story, people were getting seriously injured, and it was probably best that you didn’t drag things for any longer, else something really nasty might come about.)

This week, Taylor Nelson from The PODcastica joins us for a surprisingly brief rewatch of Season 12’s two-part story, ‘The Sontaran Experiment’. Neither he nor Jay had viewed it before, and were rather thrown to find that it was the first two-episode story of Doctor Who ever aired. Nonetheless, we all agreed it was a tight, perfectly enjoyable extension to the “Ark In Space” predecessor…perhaps…the Ark Arc? (We’ll show ourselves out.) The TARDIS is missed, Harry is a bit of a clod (again), Sarah Jane stands strong against Styre, and Tom Baker is endearing and amiable, despite an on-set injury that would/should have really impeded his performance. Let’s face it…he’s just that good.

EXTRA: A little “Five Rounds, Rapid” with Taylor!

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