“Rondel – intergalactic region devoid of all stellar activity”
So how come it feels like we’ve gone on location to Rondel, rather than Amsterdam? There’s certainly a lack of activity in Arc of Infinity – and a less than stellar cast, if it comes to that.
But at least we have a trigger-happy Nyssa, a new look (but, alas, same personality) Tegan and a Doctor who seems to be staining his whites with more than grass. And they’re up against a naughty, helium-powered Time Lord, a swarfega-spewing ‘mystery’ renegade and something which appears to have crawled out of Colonel Sanders’ bin.
Couple that with a pair of berks who give backpackers (and indeed bipeds) a bad name and a strangely familiar guard captain, who is the bottom of everybody’s favourites list, and you have an uneven start to an anniversary season.
So do Jim and Martin see this story a delicious Edam or a Dutch oven? Listen here to find out.
“Oh, how very embarrassing!”
That’s what the unsuspecting viewer probably said in 1973 when the so-called “large and savage reptile” hoved into view at the top of the Ogron quarry. If only there’d been enough budget to show more than its dangly bits…
But close your eyes for those couple of seconds and Frontier in Space will reward you with many riches. For where else can you find the third Doctor in hoisty judo slacks, Jo in platform baseball boots and Delgado’s Master in a Dracula-collared PVC number with Dalek logo?
And where else could you observe, in one story, twitchy Earth folk, noble Draconians, monumentally thick Ogrons and a stir crazy TARDIS team, who are in and out of prison more often than Mr Mackay?
But does Frontier in Space go where no Drashig has gone before? Or does it outstay its welcome like a Draconian at a UKIP rally?
Listen here to find out what Jim and Martin made of it all.
“Well now, it seems I have been here before.”
You have: Planet of Evil. Well… only up to a point.
Sure the red-outlined empty creatures from the id are here again but this time they have Tom Baker’s distinctive fizzog. As does the local equivalent of Mount Rushmore (although the DVD cover features someone else entirely, for some reason…).
cheap terrifying invisible monsters are causing a rumble in the jungle again, but this time they’re accompanied by sultry space savage turned stowaway, a shape-throwing shaman whose hat fits like a glove, a chieftain who’s just been Tango’d, and the campest IT support team ever seen. Throw in a computer with more voices than Rob Culshaw and you have one of the most bonkers bouillabaisses of the Baker era.
Martin reveals he’s a Horda hoarder and Jim displays a positively Luddite awareness of current technological thinking, but do they like The Face of Evil? Or do they turn their own, even more reviled countenances away in disgust?
Listen to find out…
“I rather fancy that’s settled that little bit of solution.”
OK, that’s Billy going way off piste again but six-part saga The Sensorites is all about solutions.
A remarkably serene Susan is the solution to an impasse on a spaceship, the devious Doctor finds the solution to a municipal malaise and the unlucky Ian drinks a solution which may well have previously passed through half a dozen Sensorites.
These frisbee-footed, central-hearted denizens of the Sense-Sphere are a strange bunch. Even without eyelids, they seem blinkered to everything that’s going on. And, ill-equipped as they are for darkness, noise and identity parades, they’re hardly the stuff of nightmares, so the late arrival of some subterranean soap-dodgers brings some welcome menace to proceedings.
So is this story as soporific as fan wisdom would have you believe? Well pack some fruit and (clean) water, strap yourselves in and prepare for the long haul and as Jim and Martin slowly sense the solution to that question.
“Professor… what’s going on?!”
Good question, Ace.
The last ever classic Who story to be recorded, Ghost Light, is something of a period-piece puzzle – with a few pieces missing.
But it does include dinner-suited monsters, gun-toting maids, an insane explorer, a simian sermoniser and a Neanderthal butler (doesn’t every home have one?). This madhouse is presided over by a dusty but upwardly mobile photophobe, with high treason on his ever-evolving mind.
But he doesn’t bargain on the devious Doctor and the arsonous Ace, ably abetted by a racist rozzer and an uncontrolled control experiment.
Enter the angelic, anally retentive Light and the Earth is in imminent danger of being purged in a fit of OCD pique.
But can Jim and Martin shed any light on proceedings? Listen in and decide for yourself.
“Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”
Dunno. Have you watched The Golden Voyage of Sinbad?
Hurrah! It’s double helpings of Tom Baker in 1980’s Meglos, one bristlier and greener around the gills than the other.
It’s a saga of succulents, savants and power supplies wherein Romana is fondled by a bunch of flowers, K9 is assaulted by a bunch of light opera extras and the Doctor is plagued by a bunch of pricks.
Debate rages between the Wigs and the lunatic fringe and the poor man’s John Le Mesurier is caught dithering in the middle.
Will Meglos succeed? Is Brotadac’s anagram apposite? Will anyone remember any of this in the morning?
Listen in as Jim and Martin discuss … sorry… what were we talking about again…?
“There are soldiers all over my house and I’m in my pants.”
Not what happened during the recording of this podcast episode but a mildly diverting moment from The Power of Three – something of an oasis, some might say.
Yes, this is the story of the
boring slow invasion. The Doctor’s bored, Rory’s out of washing powder, Amy sniffs some milk and Brian spends hours sitting around watching the box. Never fear – maybe Kate Stewart’s drone (voice, not military hardware) and a half-baked, blink-and-you’ll-miss-him hologram will liven things up? And maybe they won’t.
But who (and why) are the grill-faced nurses? Does the little girl who lives full-time in Rory’s waiting room now have squatters’ rights? And does having carked it for half an hour count as a near death experience?
Listen in to hear Jim and Martin tackle all these questions – and a serious attack of ennui.