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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Empress of Mars

Empress of Mars

The nobility of the warrior, the code of conduct to which they adhere, has been the subject of dramatic entertainment for millennia. From the amphitheaters of Ancient Greece, to the television programs of today, we can still be awed by the discipline and honor exemplified by history’s greatest warrior civilizations. The reptilian species of Mars once held this level of esteem — one facet of a complex and unique nature — and the Doctor himself recognizes it. “They could slaughter entire civilizations…and weep at the crushing of a flower.”

In the latest Doctor Who episode, the Ice Warriors are once again formidable, noble, and fierce. Long Live the Queen.

This week, we look to Mark Gatiss one more time, perhaps the last time, to tell a Whovian tale in “The Empress of Mars”. In a set of circumstances wonderfully unique to this program, our Doctor takes Bill and Nardole to the red planet in 1881, only to find the British Royal Army already there, making short work of crossing a very powerful — and irascible — queen. We discuss the deflation of patriarchy, the true villains of the tale (hint: they aren’t reptilian), the restored glory of the Ice Warrior species, and the return of a Pertwee-era character that closes a wholly entertaining continuity loop.

Bonus Segment:

As more entries roll in for our “Let’s Discuss Gatiss” contest on Facebook (open until 23 June), we pull on one of the threads within to reflect on Gatiss’ many episode contributions to Doctor Who, from ‘The Unquiet Dead’ all the way up to ‘Empress of Mars’. Reactions to his legacy seem to fall into two camps: he’s either a skilled storyteller who incorporates “moments” from time to time that throw viewers; or he’s a mediocre writer who occasionally has moments of brilliance. Got an opinion? Join the discussion — and be entered to win some DW swag, in the process! [Note: we recorded this episode before the recent interview Gatiss held where he discussed his controversial “protest” to casting in ‘Empress of Mars’. More on that next week…it would have had a profound impact on our opinions, for sure.]

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Classic Rewatch: The Seeds of Death

The Seeds of Death

It is a time of peril for the inhabitants of Earth. A time when technology has left us complacent, and the worst of all evils can prey upon us, with complete disregard for the billions of lives at stake. No, it’s not the 2016 presidential election — it’s Jamie, Zoe, and the Second Doctor as they face the Ice Warriors once again. And this time? They’re packing spores. Or…dish soap. We’re not quite sure.

This week, the GPR team romps about with the sixth season classic, “The Seeds of Death”. With a strong supporting cast, plenty of running and tumbling, all the questionable props and sets we’ve come to love, but an equivalent share of interesting camera work and practical special effects, it’s a true something-for-everyone six-parter you’re sure to find enjoyment in.

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