Classic Rewatch: Carnival of Monsters

Yes, we’ve been doing this podcast for well over five years. Yes, we’re all pretty positive, upbeat people who not only share enjoyment of the Doctor Who legacy, but enjoy each other’s company, as well. But no, we don’t always agree. In fact, in instances like this, we differ wildly. It’s okay, though. We’ll keep Jay around because he’s a genuinely good-hearted, intelligent, humorous guy. (Even if he would have no idea what a PRECIOUS GIFT of a classic story this was if it charged up behind him and dope-slapped him across the back of the melon. But we kid, we kid!)

Our Classic Rewatch progress brings us to the mad “Incredible Journey Meets Groundhog Day” conditions of “Carnival of Monsters”. We discuss the many, many sci-fi tropes that Robert Holmes wields in this Season 10 adventure, the ongoing awesomeness of Jo Grant, the first glimpse of not-Harry-Sullivan, the effectiveness/detriment of an intentionally underdeveloped political backstory, and the costumes. Oh, the COSTUMES. Knock back a quick chota peg to brace your nerves, and let’s begin!

EXTRA: Our interview with our most beloved, incomparable, and endlessly energized Jo Grant herself, Katy Manning, joining us once again from the festivities at L.I. Who 5!

Sorry again that the baby decided to nibble on you, Katy. We still love you!

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Classic Rewatch: The Mutants

Kafka has nothing on the minds of Dave Martin and Bob Baker. Well, then again, maybe he does, but we’ll be darned if The Metamorphosis is half as entertaining as watching a civilization of warriors (looking like a group of roadies from a Journey tour who found a side gig as extras in Game of Thrones) try to stave off a transformation into a chittering bug-people, all while trying to exert their independence from a tyrannical alien race — who just happen to be the last vestiges of a rapidly collapsing Earth Empire. Oh, and did we mention the poisonous daytime atmosphere, radioactive caverns, or insane figures of authority on all sides? It may be six short episodes, but you might need a road map and a rest stop along the way.

Stephen Webb of the Coal Hill AV Club joins us for many, many trips to and from the surface of Soros in the Third Doctor story, “The Mutants”. With the customary ‘too many megalomaniacs in the kitchen’ scenario, along with a Braveheart-like uprising, you almost don’t need big-eyed aliens. But you’ve got ’em, friends. Keir enlightens Jay on a bit of “hey I know that guy!” casting, Haley and Stephen debate the effective use of Jo Grant’s character, and we all find a greater appreciation for “Super-Ky”.

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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: 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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