Classic Rewatch: The Time Monster

The Time Monster

Oh, those beloved gems of the Classic Who era, those perfect vertices between the complexity of script and clunkiness of execution that make them so near and dear to our Gallifreyan hearts. Those episodes where a handful of minutes can separate one of the most touching emotional dialogues the Doctor has ever shared with a companion, from one of the goofiest looking monsters ever to flap wildly about the screen. Dear, sweet 1972, you will always be a golden year to us.

This week, we’re pleased to be joined by Will and John of the Mutter’s Spiral podcast, chatting away about the six-part Pertwee and Delgado adventure in Atlantis, ‘The Time Monster’. With the ideal amalgam of content and camp, character and craziness, it’s an immediately enjoyable story with enough to please both rabid Third Doctor and Jo Grant fans, while still giving those of us with a little sense of self-effacing humor plenty to snicker at — with love, always with love. The Master has never been closer to triumph, the Doctor and Jo have never been more symbiotic, the supporting cast is exceptional, and the monster is…well, it’s a flying, flapping bird suit made of toilet paper. (What, did you think we were going to sugar-coat it?)

EXTRA: We spend a big ‘ol chunk of time thrilled over the BBC One announcement of the three new companions — no, wait, “friends” — who will be joining the Thirteenth Doctor in Series 11. ME also, of course, ponder the careful phrasing of the official press release, and get stereotypically pedantic about semantics.

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Classic Rewatch: The Sea Devils

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Absence from the Master makes both hearts grow fonder. Take a short hiatus from full-tilt, beards-to-the-wall Roger Delgado stories, and his dastardly return is like that delicious thin mint after a massive four-course meal. Pair that little morsel of menace with a digestif of a Silurian spin-off species, and you’ve got a Whovian meal to remember.

This week, we slowly rise from the depths of main show hiatus to absorb the six-part aquatic adventure, ‘The Sea Devils’. Pertwee and Manning are back in the Master’s crosshairs, this time attempting to lure another reptilian (well, amphibian, to be precise) race out of hibernation to claim back the planet they believe the uppity ape descendants have wrongfully occupied. With the help of the Royal Navy to enable great location shoots and officers as extras, as well as a supporting cast of characters you can’t help but enjoy — oh, Trenchard, you cad — our studio guest Heather McHale joins us to revel in this Season Nine oceanic extravaganza. Crank up your hovercraft, load the onboard DVD player, and let’s dive in.

EXTRA: Our first round of panel announcements are in for Long Island Doctor Who (LI Who) 5, coming in November!

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Classic Rewatch: The Daemons

The Daemons

The early seventies were a wild time. The Summer of Love was drawing to a slurred, hazy close. Darker tones and imagery were starting to replace the flowers and neon colors in modern art, and interest in the shadowy fringes of history, science, and culture were becoming not only interesting, but influential. Psychedelic rock was giving way to new sounds, like a group of ragtag blokes from Birmingham who called their group ‘Black Sabbath’. Being the consummate trendsetter and fashion nameplate that he is, the Master wasted no time in capitalizing on this shift in style. Now, if he could only find a minion with stony resolve…

This week, we’re joined by none other than Jeremy Radick (Gareth in the 1996 Doctor Who Movie) to enjoy a rewatch of the Third Doctor occult classic, “The Dæmons”. We enjoy the living hell (oh, the puns) out of this bizarre adventure, from autonomous Bessie, to to “Fight Club with Benton”, to the origins of Osgood and…the Weeping Angels? It may not be the BEST Pertwee era story, but we’ll be burned at the stake if it’s not one of the most entertaining. Eoh, eoh, Azal!

BONUS: We play a little “Ask Jeremy Anything”, spanning Whovian topics from the classic era to Jodie Whittaker’s casting.

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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!

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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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