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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Classic Rewatch: Day of the Daleks

Day of the Daleks

Five years without a go-round with your favourite sinister salt shakers is one heck of a dry spell. Shoehorning them into the middle of a temporal causality loop story rife with guerilla future freedom fighters, gorilla thuggees, and a Time Lord who’s been tipping into the wine cellar before attempting a mad dash on a fat-wheeled trike just pushes the whole thing into lunacy. (Sweet, delicious lunacy.) How could you possibly improve upon this sack full of angry cats? Why, bring in updated effects and a delightful Nick Briggs some forty years later, of course.

As Jay departs the studio to batten down the hatches for a hurricane in Texas, Keir and Haley are joined by Don Klees to throw back a bottle of red, a few nibbles of exquisite gorgonzola, and enjoy “Day of the Daleks”. Season 9 hits the ground running with bigger aspirations than the effects team could provide (and if you ask Jon Pertwee, fewer Daleks than the script required), but thanks to a present-day producer who wanted something more for the 21st century DVD release, we have an extraordinary “Special Edition” that provides what we feel is an applaudable enhancement, or ‘nip and tuck’, to the original Third Doctor and Jo Grant paradoxical adventure. Added bonus? Haley gets her first exposure to the UNIT Dating Conundrum — and her ability to put aside continuity concerns may be in jeopardy forevermore.

EXTRA: We find out exactly what it is that our guest Don does for Acorn Media (the popular British TV streaming platform).

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Classic Rewatch: Colony In Space

Do you love adventure? Do you look dashing in black and red shoulder pads? Do you take certain pleasure in running mamby-pamby colonists off their government-appointed lands in the interest of thinly-veiled corporate greed? Do you have a hairstyle that would make both Sonny Bono and Liberace stare slack-jawed? Then you may have a future…in the Interplanetary Mining Corporation! Benefits include your own poorly-sighted rifle; keys to a sweet Daimler Haflinger buggy-type-thing; the most killer looking helmet this side of a Megaman game cartridge cover; and all the insufferable primitives you can keep in subjugation through violent means. The future — is now!

This week, we welcome friend Chris Kocher to join in our return to the GPR Classic Rewatch Series with “Colony In Space”. The Master is back at his Season 8 shenanigans, and the Third Doctor and Jo have their hands full dealing with him, along with starving colonists, lizard-impersonating robots, three flavors of oddly crafted indigenous species, and a bunch of jack-booted mining thugs bent on stripping the planet of valuable resources. Oh, and did we mention a Doomsday Weapon? Yeah, there’s one of those, too. Settle in to your launch seats, this one gets busy.

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Classic Rewatch: The Claws of Axos

The Claws of Axos

The most interesting fictional adversaries have more in common than they do in conflict: Holmes and Moriarty. Gandalf and Saruman. Kenobi and Vader. Burger King and Ronald McDonald. What may make their ‘familiar contempt’ even more intriguing, perhaps, are the instances where they must put aside their differences and work towards a common goal — typically their own survival. We present, as a grab-your-popcorn-and-just-enjoy examples, the Doctor and the Master trying to jointly outwit an alien force that is quickly outgrowing and outmaneuvering them both, no thanks to the inherent greed/stupidity of a few humans in power.

(Also, electro-pasta-beasts, ’embiggened’ frogs, and mumbling country bumpkins clumsily riding bikes into freezing ponds. This is Classic Who at some of its finest, people — the agony and the ecstasy in a single story.)

This week, we relish the 1971 classic, “The Claws of Axos”. Pertwee and Delgado are at their finest, the costumes and effects at their most questionable, and the story is aces. Pull up a bowl of psycho spaghetti, and dig in.

BONUS: We play a round of “UNIT Must Have a Star Labs Division”, an alt-universe character improvisation game. (Coming soon to a convention near you!)

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Classic Rewatch: The Mind of Evil

The Mind of Evil

It doesn’t take much to rattle some people. For those poor souls, their fears and concerns weigh so heavily upon them, the slightest provocation send them reeling into fits of worry and despair. Others are made of sterner stuff — but as we’ve learned from so many stories, everyone has their limits. There have been a number of science fiction series who have toyed with the idea of criminal rehabilitation via some form of mental reconditioning (Star Trek, Fringe, The Twilight Zone, Babylon 5, just to name a few), but as in so many instances across the decades, Doctor Who was among the first to explore the concept.

This week, we consider the many important developments that occur within the Pertwee story, “The Mind of Evil”. UNIT is at the forefront, and we gain a fuller appreciation for Yates and Benton; the Doctor and the Master face off once again, with iconic performance from Delgado, and a deeper understanding of their know-thine-enemy relationship; and Jo Grant establishes herself as a valuable, adaptive, resourceful, and daresay indispensable companion to the Third Doctor. Suffice to say, we consider it encouraged, if not required Classic Who fare.

Bonus: We run down the stellar guest list for the upcoming RegenerationWho 3 convention in Baltimore, Maryland, and the number of discussion panels we’ll be hosting through the weekend. Hope you join us!

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