Wed, 14 January 2015
In this episode, Shana and Daniel discuss "The War Machines," one of the last First Doctor adventures, and one that would have huge effects on the series for years to come. Does this story encourage technophobia? How does Doctor Who's popularity young people influence the way Hartnell interacts with Ben and Polly, and the Sixties subculture? How much of a raw deal did Dodo get? This episode is most certainly required.
Main Topic: The War Machines. Daniel invokes Christ. Would the War Machines ever take over for the Daleks? The running motif of cardboard boxes. Creature design. Hartnell's last great performance. Talkin' about Dodo. The GPO Tower. Blue Peter. Shana thinks Polly is super cute. A commercial moment. Can this episode by more 1966? Promiscuous Polly. Hartnell in the Inferno club. Talkin' about Ben. Technophobia. Educational Who. The young listen to the Doctor. Posh Polly. The later careers of lesser-known Doctor Who companions. Science fiction's general failure to predict the computer revolution. Television a much more effective propaganda tool than the GPO. If you ever need a device to crush cardboard boxes.... Shana has a meta moment. Shooting in London. Shana is excited to possibly get to watch The Web Planet. "Doctor Who is Required." How does WOTAN know about the Doctor? A fan theory. The Doctor stands against the War Machine. The Doctor's response to his companions. Excited to move on to Patrick Troughton. Next Week: The Moonbase. Wrapping Up. Coda: Shana sees The Web Planet costumes in another take.
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Direct download: OiSp_Ep034_Fab_First_Doctor_in_the_Swingin_Sixties.mp3
Category:First Doctor -- posted at: 10:00am EST
Wed, 7 January 2015
An epic Doctor Who episode deserves an epic celebration of it. Yes, a celebration. Shana and Daniel have a long and lively conversation about the (arguably) longest single story in Doctor Who history: The Daleks' Master Plan, with Mission to the Unknown as prequel. Along the way, we see some excellent (and not-so-excellent) costume design, the gaining of (and loss of) some important companions, some very silly science, a pair of amazing performances from Kevin Stoney as Mavic Chen and of course William Hartnell as the Doctor, the welcome return of the Meddling Monk, and of course Daleks with fucking flamethrowers for arms. Our main topic of discussion: the culpability of the Doctor in the risks taken by his companions, a topic that the current era of the show tries (and fails) to address as well as it's done here.
Main Topic: Mission to the Unknown/The Daleks' Master Plan.
Segment One: To 34:35. General Thoughts. Getting Used to Reconstructions/Animations. Why Don't People Like Master Plan? The Monk Returns. A Batman/Joker dynamic. Recurring characters as plot devices. Describing "The Feast of Steven" and "Volcano." Doctor Who Christmas episodes. We Hope No Who Nerds Listen To This Podcast. The Daleks as Nazi/communist metaphors. Mission to the Unknown as Verity's last episode. A major period of transition. Proto-Brig! The Relationship between Bret Vyon and Sara Kingdom. Shana has completely forgotten Steven. "Steven sits on the floor in a daze." Looking at Mission to the Unknown: The Varga Plants. The hypothetical Terry Nation Dalek show. Fluffy Hartnell.
Intermission: Mavic Chen plays politics with some Daleks.
Segment Two: 34:35 to 53:10 Mavic Chen, the racism and the genius. Terry Nation doesn't know what a galaxy is. Officious Daleks. "Dalek Supreme and the Football Hooligans." The Doctor pits different enemies against one another. The Daleks as more than "tank aliens." What does Shana think of Katarina? Taking death seriously. Did Katarina sacrifice herself intentionally? Steven as moral center and audience avatar.
Intermission: Katrina's death, from the excellent audio version.
Segment Three: 53:10 to end. The Death of Bret Vyon, and Steven's great moment. The police state of Daleks' Master Plan. "Doctor Who is a kid's show." Daleks with fucking flamethrowers. Diluting the serious. Very attractive young Jon Pertwee. The legacy of Sara Kingdom. Before Terry Nation became a hack. Shana voluntarily watches a reconstruction. Hartnell's voice. Just, Hartnell's voice. A plug for the audiobook. What do we think of the Monk? A litany of man-thigh. The ancient Egyptians as pawns in this story. "My Doctor is a hero, not a clown." Ending the epic. Recounting episodes eleven and twelve. The mechanics of the Time Destructor. The Death of Sara Kingdom. "So much scarier than the Angels." What does war get us? Death. Jessica's gonna laugh. Hartnell allows each companion to be the best version of themselves. The moral culpability of the Doctor. The ethics of war. The agency of a follower. Doctor Who inspires amazing conversations. Big Ideas. A return to this kind of Dalek. Wrapping up.
Ending: The final words of the episode, as Steven and the Doctor reflect on the loss of their friends.
Amazon link to the audio play version of Mission to the Unknown/The Daleks' Master Plan. Highly recommended!
Further Reading (I.E. stuff Daniel found useful in understanding this story and talking about it):
Wood and Miles's About Time, Volume One. An excellent resource for the first three seasons of Classic Who.
Phil Sandifer writes a love letter to Verity Lambert and discusses some of the history behind Mission to the Unknown. And writes the best general-consumption "way to watch "The Daleks' Master Plan" Daniel has yet seen.
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Direct download: OiSp_Ep033_Missing_Episodes_and_Moral_Culpability_Mission_to_the_Unknown-The_Daleks_Master_Plan.mp3
Category:First Doctor -- posted at: 10:00am EST
Thu, 18 December 2014
In this episode, Shana and Daniel continue their examination of the companions of Classic Who as they discuss The Romans. How adorable is Vicki? How badass is Barbara? How blockheaded is Ian? And what does the tone of this story, in which broad farce is set alongside slavery and sexual assault, say about the way entertainment was viewed in the 1960s? All that and Sassy Hartnell too.
Main Topic: The Romans. A slow start. Introductions. Who is Vicki? Reading a Facebook comment. Production values in Classic Who. The Beatles on Who. Shana's David Tennant ringtone. WHO37 on Sarah Jane. Out of print in Region 1. All Ian and Barbara are doing is fucking. Vicki is all the things Shana likes about Clara. And then the plot happens. Nero as Hedonism-bot. Slavery and rapeyness. Farce and rape. Pepe le Pew. Mel Brooks. Praise for Dennis Spooner. Slavery as a plot device. Where *not* to start with the recons. Badass Barbara and Blockhead Ian. We're never gonna win a Hugo. Barbara's empathy. Fisticuffs. "Sassy One." The Emperor's New Groove. "High Cartoon." Psychopathic Nero. Tone switching in 1960s TV. A Great Matt Smith Episode. Complex and layered. Previews of the Next Few Episodes. An Extended Wrap-Up.
The Beatles clip saved by Doctor Who.
JB Anderton's WHO37 podcast episode responding to us.
Direct download: OiSp_Ep030_Cartoony_Slavery_and_Sexual_Assault_The_Romans.mp3
Category:First Doctor -- posted at: 1:02pm EST
Sat, 6 December 2014
In this episode, Shana and Daniel discuss the great First Doctor serial The Time Meddler. And struggle to keep the puppy quiet. Along the way, discussions of misconceptions about the First Doctor, the creation of the pseudo-historical in Doctor Who, and the characterizations of Steven and Vicki abound. Also: a change in leadership as Verity Lambert leaves, looking ahead to some missing episodes, and casting a modern version of the Meddling Monk.
Main Topic: The Time Meddler. Funny Hartnell. Deep Hartnell. Stereotypes about Hartnell. Three quotes from The Time Meddler. Shana doesn't listen to podcasts. The panda, the poetry. Not naming a certain showrunner. Jokes at the expense of other characters. The Time Meddler as a reintroduction to the series. Clever and cute Vicki. A space helmet for a cow. Puppy problems. A Very Modern Episode. The Introduction of the Pseudo-Historical. IDBI. An unintentional preview for a future podcast episode. Feminist Vicki. Skeptical Steven. Quippy Hartnell. The great Douglas Camfield. Introducing the Monk. An actress from The Tribe of Gum. Wanting to see the Monk in New Who. 90s High School Girl Wig. Puppy Problems II. Time Travel as a Device in Doctor Who. Plot contrivances. The Doctor Vs. The Meddler. Puppy Problems III. The Meddler as Loki. Wrapping up.
Direct download: OiSp_Ep029_Of_Pandas_and_Poetry_The_Time_Meddler.mp3
Category:First Doctor -- posted at: 2:52pm EST
Mon, 24 November 2014
In this episode (recorded on the day of the 51st anniversary) Daniel and Shana discuss the very first episode of Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child. Are the caveman sequences worth it? Is Barbara really as awesome as fandom thinks? (Yes.) Should the Doctor always be a hero? All this and much more.
Main Topic: An Unearthly Child. Meeting three new companions. The Susan Scream. Parks and Recreation reference. Explaining "received fan wisdom." Going to Chicago TARDIS. Talkin' about Susan Foreman. Doctor Who Hair Trivia. "I Don't Like This Century." Shana Impersonates Susan. Doing Barbara. Coal Hill Schoolteachers in Season One and Series Eight. Eyefuckery. The first episode of An Unearthly Child as the beginning of a horror movie. Practical Barbara. Empathy. Blockhead Ian. "Courtney Trouble." The First Doctor is an officious prick. Moral ambiguity. Shana gives her quote. Skeptical Ian. Never show this to an anthropologist. Expectations of the BBC. Production values. Lots of Man-Thigh. Hur's agency. "Savages." Kyriarchy. Class structure. Doctor Who as Degrassi. The M-word. Worldbuilding. Shipping Ian and Barbara. Homoerotic fight sequences. Verity Lambert: one of the coolest women in history. Love for "An Adventure in Space and Time." A long aside about the Beatles. Would you recommend An Unearthly Child to a new fan? Leaving Barbara to die. Fear Makes Companions of All of Us. Bashing a caveman with a rock. An unheroic Doctor. Next Week: The Romans.
Mon, 28 April 2014
In which Daniel and Shana discuss William Hartnell's last episode, The Tenth Planet. Also covered: two listener emails, dealing with the Autons as Body Snatchers and the unlikeability of the Moffat-era protagonists. Along the way, we imagine the First Doctor giving fashion advice, reflect on the bellicosity of Americans in world media, and fall in love with Polly. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Main Topic: The Tenth Planet. The history of regeneration. Lee's email about Spearhead from Space and the Pertwee Era. Scary Autons. Awesome Liz Shaw. Jo Grant was a joke, but not. We'd love to read some hate mail. Falling asleep while watching the Tenth Planet. Watching while fully engaged finding it much better. First appearance of Ben and Polly. Shana loves Polly. Pin-ups on a bunk. Badly summarizing The Tenth Planet. The far-off year of 1986. "Disguised" cybermen. William Hartnell as a Tim Gunn of the Cybermen? The Tenth Planet Cybermen have personalities. Shana imitates the voices of the Tenth Planet cybermen. Subplots and themes in The Tenth Planet. Kit Peddler and mechanical organ replacement. Science fiction and classic ethical dilemmas. Americans as bellicose villains in non-American productions. The cybermen have exactly one really good story. The cybermen as emotionless. Trying different ways of writing Hartnell out of Doctor Who. Shana has a Hartnell moment. "Fear makes companions of us all." Shana mistakes two of the "Blank of the Doctor" episodes. The Tenth Planet as a chess game. Doctor Who as anthology series. Reading an email from wtelf. The lack of personal connection with Moffat characters. Best Moffat-Hate friends. A plea for a Moffat fan to explain to us what they get out of it. Unsure about wtelf's age. A quote from the Tenth Planet. Loving it when the villains are actually RIGHT. Shana always picks the Tenth Doctor. Next Episode: Fear Her. Doctor Who: Saturday Morning Cartoon Style.