A Wise Person Once Said…


There once was a campaign in the United States for an investment broker, where the tagline read, “When <company> talks, everyone listens.” You may not have an iota of interest in the stock market, of course, but when the Doctor steps forward, takes a strengthening breath, and begins an oration, the viewing audience joins the supporting cast in rapt attention to what is about to be said. It may even be argued that within the past 3 series, the opportunities for and occurrences of these monologues are steadily increasing — much to our fascination.

This week, Keir and Haley tour a series of the Doctor’s most impactful speeches, from short but sweet consolations to a distraught listener, to the arms-wide, sermon-on-the-mount powerhouses that hold armies at bay, and give would-be gods reason to take heed. We discuss the apparent rise in the breadth and content of these speeches, and the adept way that Doctor Who writers have historically written to the strengths of each actor portraying the titular role.

Some referenced moments for your research:

  • First Doctor to Susan, in “Dalek Invasion of Earth”
  • Second Doctor to Victoria, in “Tomb of the Cybermen”
  • Third Doctor to Jo Grant, in “The Time Monster” (thanks to Ian for the suggestion!)
  • Fourth Doctor to Sarah Jane, in “Genesis of the Daleks”
  • Sixth Doctor to the Valeyard and Inquisitor, in “Trial of a Timelord”
  • Ninth Doctor to Rose, in “Parting of the Ways”
  • Tenth Doctor soliloquy, in “The Waters of Mars”
  • Eleventh Doctor to the assembled armada, in “The Pandorica Opens”
  • Twelfth Doctor to Bonnie, in “The Zygon Inversion”

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Hey, It’s (That Doctor Who Actor)!

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The television shines with that welcome glow, you begin to watch a new program or film for the evening, and all of a sudden, an unexpected familiar face pulls you completely out of the storyline as you realize that you’re looking at one of your beloved Doctor Who characters, but seen completely out of character. (Does that make sense?)

This week, we discuss instances where Doctor Who alum appear out-of-the-blue in shows or films we weren’t prepared for, forcing us to try and reconcile the conflicting thoughts caused when seeing this strange new person, against the Doctor, Companion or other Whovian we truly know them to be.

(Editor’s note: Jay was extremely tired, and misspoke. Honestly, he does know the difference between Kenneth Branagh and Kiefer Sutherland. The spelling and pronunciation of their names, for example…)

Listener Contributions:

  • Deb Stanish, Verity Podcast (via Twitter): “Well, Barrowman in Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is a classic. 😉 But my fave is Eccleston in Revengers Tragedy.(Editor’s other note: we originally quoted this as Shark Attack 2. Clearly, we are highly remiss in not knowing that it was the cinematic genius that is Shark Attack 3 that Deb meant to refer. How dare we?)
  • Esther (via email): “Okay, my two movies for your podcast is Paul McGann in The Importance of Being Earnest (had to watch it for school) and Billie Piper in Mansfield Park.
  • Mike Solko, Time Scoop Podcast (via Twitter): “Tennant is fun in The Decoy Bride. Not sure if Eccleston in Cracker qualifies. Definitely aforementioned Revengers Tragedy.”

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Pop Culture Honors the Doctor

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When you love something dearly, you want to surround yourself by it. You immerse yourself in it. You find ways to involve it in aspects of your life where it may otherwise not have a place. If you happen to be a writer, producer, director or actor on a film or television set, or perhaps a game developer or author, you might even go so far as to find subtle (or not so subtle) ways to reference that deep-seated interest in your work. Call them “Easter Eggs”, call them “homages”, call them “shout outs” — a Rose (Tyler) by any other name would smile as sweetly.

This week, we look at just a short sample of the dozens in instances where Doctor Who has been name-dropped, referenced, or explicitly honored by the media. From appearances by Tom Baker on The Simpsons and Futurama, to non-player characters shouting “Allons-y!” in the video game Borderlands 2, to the loving parody known as “Inspector Spacetime” on Community, our Timelord has fans within the industry, and they’re just as devoted as we are.

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Our Favorites: City of Death

image00Ask any classic Whovian what stories they simply must watch, and “City of Death” will likely be one of the first answers given — often without a moment’s hesitation. This iconic Tom Baker story penned by the great Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame is a crowning achievement of not only the classic era, but of the program’s entire legacy in general. Combining whipcrack dialogue, a clever amalgam of science fiction, heist capers and comedy, and even a cameo by someone ‘completely different’, there’s plenty to enjoy in this four-episode story from 1979.

This week, in the first installment of our own “favorites arc”, we look with fondness at the lasting tale of time travel, art theft, conspiracy, the primordial cradle of all Terran life, and the effective techniques for smashing through ‘stone’ walls head-first that is Season 17’s  “City of Death”. Keir gladly takes the wheel for this part of our tour, and guides us through his essential Doctor Who story.

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A Scarf, a Grin, a Touch of Madness

What’s the point of being grown up, if you can’t be childish once in a while? We ask that very question this week, as we continue our look back at some stand out stories from each Doctor’s era. In this episode, it is finally time for us to revel in the vast body of work from the man whose name would become synonymous with Doctor Who for decades to follow: the incomparable Tom Baker. Care for a jelly baby?

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