“It was terrible… and then I got rescued by this bowl.”
No, not a symptom of BBC budget cuts – although its economically-priced, invisible owner may have been.
It’s the Planet of the Daleks – or, more accurately, the planet of the plants which either spy or spray, the molten ice which somehow isn’t just water and the locals who are definitely more than meets the eye.
Chuck into this great big ice-melting pot a poorly Time Lord, a lady with an embarrassing fungal infection, some flaxen-haired squabbling space-squaddies and the most evil wheelie bins in the ninth system, and you have all the makings of an epic six-parter.
But does it deliver like Santa or disappoint like… erm… Satan…?
Listen in 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 thank you, Brigadier! But do you think that for once in your life you could manage to arrive before the nick of time?”
I’d leave it another half hour next time if I was you, Brig.
Yes, the third Doctor is being as pleasant as a fart in a spacesuit again, this time in The Mind of Evil – a six-part saga of surprised screws, conniving cons, a bucket of evil and 1971’s Cigar Smoker of the Year.
The Doctor crosses his eyes, the Master mesmerises with his eyes and Jo chucks hot tea into an inmate’s eyes – all part of a day’s work for UNIT, a small organisation tasked with running peace conferences, escorting missiles, protecting the Earth and, no doubt, taking in washing.
But is Chin Lee really the only ‘dolly’ Chinese girl in Europe? Why is the Master menaced by a coke float? And is any swarfega tagliatelle ever really complete without a sun-dried glass eye?
Listen in to hear the answers to none of these questions.
And they aren’t the only ones suffering as Jim and Martin trudge through the lively four-part story The Time Monster, cunningly packaged as a six-part ordeal.
The Doctor dreams of the Master, the Master dreams of universal conquest and Jo dreams of a time when her alien colleague doesn’t keep treating her like a particularly backward schoolgirl. Queen Galleia is icy, the Brig is frozen and Benton is a tad chilly in his birthday suit (well that’s his excuse anyway).
Windows are left un-cleaned, Yates is doodle-bugged and Future Blackadder is swatted like a fly, while his countrymen flee from the Man-Sized Budgie of Ancient Lore.
All this and more padding than an Abzorbaloff cosplayer.
But does the story keep its head above the rising tide of plot inertia?
Listen in to find out.
“I always find that violent exercise makes me hungry. Don’t you agree?”
Yes, Gallifrey’s very own silver-haired and rather wrinkly James Bond is at it again in 1972’s salty six-part saga, The Sea Devils.
Jim and Martin marvel as the Doctor frolics above, on and below the sea, Jo fights, frets and flies a hovercraft and the Master shows off most of his wardrobe (string vests strangely absent).
Mr Creosote rolls in from Whitehall and eats everything in his path, Trenchard bores the hind legs off a donkey and Cap’n Hart offs an alarming amount of amphibians.
All that with copious sandwiches thrown in. Who could ask for more from Who?
Listen to the podcast here!