The Impossible Pacifist (Live)

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama recently wrote:

Whether we will be able to achieve world peace or not, we have no choice but to work towards that goal. If our minds are dominated by anger, we will lose the best part of human intelligence – wisdom, the ability to decide between right and wrong. Anger is one of the most serious problems facing the world today.

In the aftermath of Series 10, as we look back upon the arc of the Twelfth Doctor from “Deep Breath” curmudgeon and callousness to the pleas with the Master/Missy for kindness in “The Doctor Falls”, it reminds us that in the pursuit of a peaceful world (or Universe), there are times when even the most altruistic individual feels the pressures of maintaining pacifism in the face of compounding unrest and anger.

It got us wondering: Science fiction has historically proven that truly pacifist characters will either meet an unfortunate end, or have to set aside their ideology in dire moments in order to achieve their altruistic ends. With the War Doctor and other examples of our own beloved Time Lord following suit, is it even viable to have a truly non-confrontational character in the genre?

With continued thanks to the staff of (Re)Generation Who 4, we share our panel discussion on the idea of the Doctor as a pacifist character, how suitably the title fits, and whether there are striations in the representation or fulfillment of that descriptor across the decades of the program. Graciously joined by Charles Martin, Kathleen Schowalter, Don Klees, and Heather McHale, we also draw upon some terrific audience contribution to the conversation about science fiction, altruism, and morality.

EXTRA: How difficult could the question “Which Hogwarts house would the Doctor be sorted into” really be? Well…

NEWS:

Play

(Re)GenerationWho4 Preview

If you’ve been a listener to this cast for anything more than an episode or two, first of all, you have our deepest thanks. But moreover, you’ve immediately learned that we get a little excited over things that we get involved in, or attend, or hear about, or brush up against in market aisles, or…well, you get the idea. We’re a lively bunch. So it should come as no surprise that when Oni and Harknell, showrunners for the Maryland-based (Re)GenerationWho conventions started sharing their ever-increasing roster of star guests for this fourth year, we may have lost our collective little minds.

As. Should. You.

This week, we blather enthusiastically about what we’re going to see, hear, and do at the upcoming (Re)GenerationWho 4 convention in Baltimore on the weekend of March 23, 2018. With Capaldi and Gomez in attendance, along with Davison, Baker, Talalay, the entire Fifth Doctor’s TARDIS Team, and so much more, we barely have the wind in the sails to share the panoply of panels (you like that?) we’re hosting throughout the weekend. But we dig deep! Or…breathe deep. You get the idea. Requesting permission to SQUEE!

NEWS:

Play

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.

NEWS LINKS:

Play

Series 10 In Review

Series 10 in Review

Christmas may be a painfully long way off, but when we think about it, we’ve actually been handed twelve days of gifts, courtesy of the BBC. (Sorry we didn’t get you kids anything in return…unless you count merchandising profits, in which case, you’re welcome.) Series 10 of Doctor Who was arguably a triumph, particularly for those who have been stalwart in Stephen Moffat’s defense, been overwhelmed by Peter Capaldi’s fanboy-earns-title-role portrayal of the Doctor, and the highly praiseworthy performances by Matt Lucas, Michelle Gomez, and the incomparable Pearl Mackie.

We may be in complete denial of the fact that the end of an era is nigh, and there may be those rabble-rousing few who grumble “good riddance” in troll-scented tones across cyberspace, but we here at the Citadel studios consider ourselves fortunate that we have a dozen entertaining, thought-provoking, sometimes amusing, and very often emotionally stirring episodes to add to the Whovian pantheon. It has been a stellar season, and we are the better for having experienced it.

This week, we look back at the breadth of Series 10, and reflect on its entertainment and emotional effectiveness. Joined by friend of the cast Kathleen Schowalter, we unpack the themes, tones, and conveyed message of the season as a whole, wherever applicable. Friendly disagreements ensue, and differing opinions are acknowledged and respected, but very little blood is shed, honestly.

BONUS: We run through the obligatory superlatives among the episodes, selecting our highs, lows, cheers and jeers among the twelve.

NEWS LINKS:

Play

World Enough and Time

World Enough and Time

We could not count the times over the course of the past five-plus years on GPR that we have come to the defense of Steven Moffat. His writing, his style of production, his casting choices, his vision for the series, his whimsical-bordering-upon-maddening way of talking about the program through vague words and red herrings. Through it all, we recognized that he is a consummate fan, like us in many ways, and he revels in putting forth stories and ideas that delight and astonish him — in hopes that we will share in that delight and astonishment.

With this most recent episode, he must be grinning like the cat who ate the canary at what he has accomplished…and he’s not quite finished with us yet.

This week, we release our grip on the edges of our seats long enough to reflect on “World Enough and Time”, the penultimate episode of Series 10, and the first of an unofficial trilogy leading up to the end of Moffat’s tenure as showrunner, and the close of Peter Capaldi’s time as the Twelfth Doctor. Given the perfect storm of a solid TARDIS team, the fascinating return of Mondasian Cybermen, and the baffling duo of Missy and the Harold Saxon Master, we had high expectations. We were not wrong. In fact, we were unprepared for how intense it would be. We discuss the emotions (many), the tone of Rachel Talalay’s direction (chilling), the complexity yet plausibility of the script (wonderful), and the questions left to be answered…or so we hope…with the series finale episode to come, and yet a regeneration that is reported to occur months later, but yet…BUT YET.

Oh, Steven; you brilliant, maddening, magnificent bastard, you.

BONUS: We announce the winner of our latest listener contribution contest, where we discussed the DW contributions of Mark Gatiss!

NEWS LINKS:

Play