Then Is the New Now

Look, the Round Things!

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult…I looked back on childish things and waxed nostalgic on just how awesome it all was. Seriously. Those were the days, you know? Rubber monsters! Machines that went “bing”! The round things!

We spend some time this episode looking at all the elements of “classic” Doctor Who that have been incorporated in some way into the modern (post-2005) series, be it a revisitation, an overt reference, or an extremely clever Easter Egg. We discuss characters, locations, technology, and even dialogue and designs that honor the ‘time that was’, lovingly enjoyed in the ‘time that is’.

EXTRA: We test the waters (pun intended, naturally) of a new game idea for ‘Desert Island Doctors’. Who would be your ‘survivalist’ Doctor?

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Earth Year 2017 in Review

Earth Year 2017 In Review

The calendar year 2017 was one of tumult around this blue-green planet of ours, for sure. Highs and lows, moments we could raise our fists, and moments we hung our heads. But cutting through all the clouds of unrest, like the beacon of light from a certain sonic device, the Whovian fandom has had plenty of reason to consider this a good year. Why’s that, you ask? Well, we’ll tell you. (Cue fanfare and pomp music, and enter company of minstrels.)

Looking back on the year, we run down some of the highlights that we as fans of Doctor Who have enjoyed from on screen, in audio, comics, books, and among the community channels. We revel in this jewel of a series from Peter Capaldi, the close of the Moffat era, and the arrival of Jodie Whittaker. We take time to acknowledge all the incredible releases from Big Finish and Titan Comics, as well as a few book releases that have graced our shelves this year.

EXTRA: We open up the suggestion box to you, good listeners, on topic ideas we can run with in 2018 until Series 11 finally arrives. GET THEE TO A COMMENT THREAD-ERY!

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Twice Upon a Time

In the Venn Diagram of Whovian anticipation, we stand at the tiniest of intersects. We desperately want Peter Capaldi to stay; we eagerly await Jodie Whittaker’s arrival. We adore where the stories have brought us of late; we are nearly shaking with anticipation for where Chibnall and his staff will take the tale.

And here, amid all the tumult and dissonance that threaten to drive us mad during what is supposed to be a holiday season, time stops — and all is quiet.

This week, we bid a most emotional farewell to our Twelfth Doctor, and shout in triumphant welcome to our Thirteenth. Steven Moffat gives us his final television story, and more characters returning than you could have imagined, in “Twice Upon a Time”. We unpack the themes, messages, subtle inclusions, and even a possible musical easter egg or two. There are a lot of feels flung about, but we lock it down as best we can, and even keep it together through a line analysis of Peter’s (read: Moffat’s) final monologue.

Be kind.

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The Companion Exit Strategy

Traveling with the Doctor changes lives. History has shown us the many natures of such a change: lives that open to a new awareness and sense of purpose in a larger universe; lives that are reminded of the value and comforts of home; lives that end abruptly, or even tragically. As viewers, we may identify with certain companions over the seasons, and when the time comes that they leave the program, we might react positively or negatively to the way in which that departure is written.

This week, joined by Mike Solko of the TimeScoop podcast, we walk the list of modern Doctor Who companions, and discuss how fitting (or unfitting) their exit from the program suited the character. We agree on a few (Donna), disagree pretty emphatically on others (River), but as it happens so often on GPR, we gain a broader perspective of the impact these characters have on the audience, and how much the show has really come to mean to us all.

BONUS: We go around the room, and choose how we would want to leave the TARDIS, if we were companions ourselves. (Ah, fandom.)

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It’s About Time

Jodie Whittaker, The Thirteenth Doctor

For over 53 years, the Doctor Who program has gone through a number of changes and evolutions: sometimes written into the construct of the show; other times in reaction to circumstances unforeseen. It is a complex and often messy collection of stories and characters. Doctor Who promotes the intellectual pursuits, the defense of those who call for help, the ethics of brains over brawn. It has attempted to be both a reflection of the issues familiar to the viewing audience, and an escape from those issues into the world of pure science fiction. There have been omissions in these efforts, however, and one that is clear to both those familiar and unfamiliar with the program is that, despite the conceit that the titular character can completely change their physiology at a point of mortal ailment, at no point among the dozen (plus) actors blessed to portray the Doctor, has a single one been a woman.

Until today.

With a single minute video announcement that rocked the foundations of one of the most globally recognized science fiction programs in history, the role of the Thirteenth Doctor has been handed to Jodie Whittaker — and we could not be more thrilled.

Joined by fellow podcasters Danica and Brandon of Doctor Whooch, we spend a full hour on the subject of the Thirteenth Doctor casting decision, looking at the impact of such a momentous step in the evolution of the show, making sense the reactions of the public, reviewing the career and talents of Ms. Whittaker, and considering the ways we might keep ourselves from going insane waiting until as late as 2019 for Series 11, and the beginning of this bold new era.

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