“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.
“She tipped the ambassador into a pit and threw astrologers at him.”
Public Notice: Beware of low-flying Russell Grants.
What else could this be but 1979’s The Creature From The Pit?
It’s a somewhat green-tinged tale about an enormous slug who, despite being chucked down a pit and starved, still seems very pleased to see us. He shares the dank depths with Catweazle’s charlatan cousin but they’re soon joined by a somewhat over-stretched stuntman, a sweaty Doctor, a haughty Romana and a tin dog in the middle of an identity crisis.
Bad enough you might think but they also have to contend with a matriarch with magpie tendencies, Poundshop Fagin and his cronies and a conniving old crone. The addition of the whip-cracking Captain Camp and his homicidal sprouts just makes things even worse.
But did Jim and Martin fall for the Pit and its attendant charms or were they left green about the gills? Listen here to find out.
“I shouldn’t be down here at all, really. Driver, I am. See?”
Yes, perhaps it would be better if you were absent, Evans. You certainly drive everyone up the wall.
But the Welsh wimp is not the only peril in the London Underground in 1968’s The Web of Fear. The slimmer-line Yeti now sling more web than Spidey, Professor Travers is now an old duffer cum Yeti whisperer, Harold Chorley is the obsequious and unacceptable face of the gutter press and somewhere a filthy traitor is at work…
Luckily, Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is at hand, with his ever-shrinking batallion, while Ann Travers proves adept at rebuffing both amorous advances and unwelcome interviews and, somehow, finds time to smile at a rampaging Yeti.
Meanwhile, the Doctor is delighted by one of his balls, Jamie hides in a bin and Victoria drops an unidentified lanyarded object.
So is the return of this once-lost story a cause for celebration or should it have been left in the cobwebs? Listen here to find out what Jim and Martin think.
“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…