“Let’s make this baby fly!”
Said the uncool and un-Welsh Welsh rock ‘n’ roller Billy, who refrains (perhaps disappointingly) from drop-kicking the Chimeron child over the Shangri-La camp’s Olympic size swimming pool.
Yes, it’s time to take a look at the distinctly odd Delta and the Bannermen, a tale of a baffling bee-keeper, unnecessary Americans, a shot-down stand-up and life-size plastic soldiers with lockjaw.
When will Ray realise that she’s barking up the wrong tree? When will Billy realise he’s sniffing around the wrong species? Will the Bannermen have a whip round to get Gavrok a barbecue? And can the Flying Pickets achieve further chart success now their leader has been reduced to smoking footwear?
Don’t expect to find the answers here as Jim and Martin struggle to decide whether to mark the story hi-de-high or hi-de-low.
“A delightfully unexpected afternoon.”
Well it won’t take up much of your afternoon and there’s very little that’s unexpected here.
For this is Black Orchid – a ripping yarn of bronchial brothers, lippy bookworms, smutty absentees and a child bride who’s passed around like a gold ball at a Telosian rugby match.
The Doctor plays the clown, Tegan cuts a rug, Nyssa finds her double and Adric eats double his body weight in finger food.
But who is the tweed-trousered killer who’s friends with an Amazonian Indian?
Could he possibly have any connection with Charles “not one of the Worcester Woosters” Cranleigh whose brother disappeared on an Amazonian expedition?
And who is the piratical prat with the badge for mathematical excellence?
Listen to find out…
“No-one on the Colony believes in Macra! There is no such thing as Macra! Macra do not exist! There are no Macra!!”
Well maybe stop going on about them so much then?
He’s right though. This colony is lovely – except for the brainwashing, harrowing jingles, cheerless cheerleading, occupational hazards and the ministrations of hit security group, Ola and the Bootboys, that is.
Oh and the Macra, of course. Not that there are any Macra. Or are there…?
Well, yes there are, as the name of the story implies, and they’re a crabby (and shouty) bunch of crustaceans, with their grubby pincers on the reins of power within the colony. Meanwhile, Ben goes over to the dark side, Polly gets a haircut, Jamie has a fling and the Doctor has a problem with excess gas.
But did Jim and Martin give The Macra Terror 11 out of 10? Or did it just wash over their brains?
Find out here.
“You’re liable to wake up Old Nick going that deep!”
And imagine old Nick’s horror when he woke up after a BBC stag do and found that someone had given him a comedy eye-patch and a joke shop scar.
But it’s not just the Brig who’s had an unsympathetic makeover in Inferno‘s alt-right universe. Cuddly Sergeant Benton is now brutal bastard Benton and lovely Liz has adopted a nasty wig and an equally nasty attitude. Professor Stahlman, of course, is equally gittish wherever you find him, but Greg Sutton’s sexist tendencies have been crushed under the fascist jackboot – and he seems even less likely to achieve penetration with this particular Petra.
Throw in some technicians in wolf’s clothing (and Christmas cracker teeth), a soldier shooting himself off a gasometer and lashings of automatic door porn, and we have something of a great big melting pot.
But do Jim and Martin think Inferno burns brightly or does it feel like the end of the world?
Find out here.
“What are you concealing from me, boy?”
Not enough, some might say, for this is Castrovalva – where Master Waterhouse introduces the innocent and unsuspecting viewer to “Little Matthew”.
But that’s not the only harrowing element of the Fifth Doctor’s first outing. The Time Lord himself is made incompetent (and incontinent?) by his regeneration but still gets to go on a self-propelling wheelchair and pulls off decent impressions of his former selves – and Basil Fawlty (the War Hotelier).
Tegan gets hot and bothered, Nyssa gets moist and, of course, Adric has a semi on, before they all meet
Chardonnay Shardovan and his sheep-in-wolf’s-clothing chums.
There’s a fly in the ointment, of course, and this one has a risible, raisable platform, a double-decker perspex top hat and a penchant for looking at boys on the dark web.
But does the new Doctor bowl Jim and Martin over? Or is he out first ball?
Find out here.
“Whatever blows can be sucked.”
Not The Creature From The Pit this time but a story which could be said, in American vernacular, both to ‘blow’ and to ‘suck’.
It’s Underworld – a production so maligned that even most of the sets refused to participate. A CSO mother lode in which Minyans are led by Minions, the proletariat dine on the very rock they mine and gravity does precisely whatever the hell it likes.
Meanwhile, Gwyneth Paltrow gets a drastic makeover, Mr Dors takes it lying down and Leela takes a fancy to a bit-part with a Rohypnol ray. Chuck in some deaf-blind guards, hordes of bored extras and some rather louche lift music and it really does feel like we’re descending to rock bottom.
So ‘the quest is the quest’ but will Jim and Martin see Underworld as a golden moment in Who mythology or will they end up feeling fleeced?
Listen in to find out.
“I’ll turn the world we know into your enemy!”
Confusingly, this isn’t The Enemy of the World but in fact The Crusade – a swords and Saracens saga of identity theft, cross-dressing and honey traps.
The Doctor is courting intrigue, Ian is caught in a sticky situation and Vicki is caught out cosplaying. Meanwhile Barbara and Princess Joanna are treated like sacks of flour and El Akir should surely be sacked for abusing his Emir’s position – not to mention his long-suffering staff.
There’s also room for the sage Saladin, the smitten Saphadin and the Unscrupulous Hulk, not to mention some stereotyped light-fingered locals.
So do Jim and Martin see The Crusade as a glorious victory or as successful as one of King Richard’s hunting trips?
Find out here.