Classic Rewatch: Planet of the Spiders

Planet of the Spiders

Everyone has their phobias, be they great or small. For some, they focus on mortal dangers, like heights, open waters, small spaces. For others, they are rooted in the misunderstood or the alien, such as snakes, French mimes, or spiders. So what is the Doctor’s fear? What is that one flaw in their character that could be exploited so adeptly by a powerful adversary, that even they are found without rebuttal, without a plan, without a solution? It’s rats, isn’t it? Gotta be rats. I mean, seriously. RATS.

This week, we bid the fondest farewell to Jon Pertwee as our Third Doctor, as we chant into being a six-episode chase through “Planet of the Spiders”. Haley and Jay enjoy this story for the first time, as Keir picks their brains like so many sentient eight-legs to gather their thoughts on Yates’ redemption, Pertwee’s denouement, the need or lack thereof for the humans of Metebelis III, and the Brigadier’s floofy haircut. Honestly, you expect a serious, thought-provoking conversation about the regeneration of one of the most revered iterations of the Doctor…from us?

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Classic Rewatch: The Monster of Peladon

The Monster of Peladon

If you know us well, you know that even when assessing the most lopsided and poorly executed story from Doctor Who, be it the new or classic era, we’re going to strain at our harnesses to remain positive, and find commendable aspects of the script, the production, the performances. Headed into this week, a number of you expected us to have to get a well-balanced meal and a good nap in first, in order to do the same with our second materialization on the fledgling Federation planet of Peladon.

Sorry to disappoint you, but we didn’t have to work THAT hard. We rather like a lot of this story. In fact, some of us were really looking forward to it.

Podcasting colleague Alyssa of ‘This Week in Time Travel’ joins us to rewatch the penultimate Third Doctor Story, complete with mining revots, ghostly Aggadors, and our favourite hermaphroditic cephalopod. We revel in the glory of badger wigs, discuss Elisabeth Sladen’s ability to forge an iconic scene out of a lesser script, and wonder if Michael Cera is somehow the love child of shady scientist Eckersley. (There. Now you can’t un-see it. You’re welcome.)

EXTRA: We put a perfectly nice person in front of the squad, and subject Alyssa to a session of “Five Rounds, Rapid”.

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Classic Rewatch: Death to the Daleks

We can thank Terry Nation for the conceptualization and creation of one of the most iconic and long-lasting villainous forces ever created in televised science fiction. What we can’t always thank him for is a really compelling story that uses them.

This week, we scratch our heads a bit at the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane story from Season 11, “Death to the Daleks”. All the basic components of a great episode are there, from concept to cast, but the end result…well…

At least we get to play a little Myst: Doctor Who Edition, and find our way through the rooms of a dead city by solving puzzles. Thanks, “Dave”!

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Keir will be part of the huge roster of podcasters and creators who will be producing exclusive content made available to those who take part in the #WhoAgainstGuns initiative by donating to one of the many non-profit organizations working to put an end to gun violence. To learn about the project, the people involved, and how you can participate (and signal boost), please visit:

 

 

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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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