“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…
“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.
“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.
“It’s not exactly dull travelling with the Doctor.”
Not normally, Tegan. Not normally…
But this is the season 19 closer, Time-Flight, in which the Doctor seems to be under heavy sedation, OmNyssia knows all the answers, Tegan remains an air hostess (not that she ever hints at this) and Adric is still dead (mercifully).
The Master is at large too, coercing a plane-full of extras into caressing an inner sanctum, wherein lies a battery crammed full of blokes and an orang-utan’s family jewels. He also finds time to co-ordinate a platoon of turd men, all while nursing a projectile cold.
But which passenger is Victor Foxtrot? Why is Concorde’s progress monitored from a broom cupboard? And why on (prehistoric) Earth is the Master cosplaying as the last Widow Twankey in the job centre, even when he’s on his Jack Jones?
Listen in to hear Jim, Martin and special guest Ian Atkins pick through the wreckage.
“You can’t mend people!”
Well tell that to a doctor – Who or otherwise.
And the Kinda can mend doolally folk too, turning them from sociopaths to simpletons by simply opening a box. A bit like Deal or No Deal in reverse.
But is Kinda a box of delights or one of Pandora’s old cast-offs?
Well, Nyssa’s barely in it so that’s a promising start but Adric’s face freaks Martin out, the presence of both Nerys Hughes and multiple Tegans sends Jim into a priapic frenzy and a moccasin-faced local keeps spouting spiritual riddles.
The Doctor is an idiot, Tegan has narcolepsy and Adric keeps trying to twok the TSS. Couple that with a jester who badly needs his puppet (and more) stamped on, an effete bloke from That’s Life roaring like a frightened vole and the Universe’s least enticing bouncy castle and you have something of a mixed bag.
But, when it comes to Kinda fans, are Jim and Martin among the We or the Not-We?
Listen and find out.
“Something is coming to our village… something very wonderful and strange.”
So is the Peter Davison two-parter The Awakening “wonderful and strange”?
Well the sets are certainly wonderful and there are some rather strange goings on in Little Hodcombe.
There’s a bad-wigged nutter with a tinclavic stress ball, a one-eyed beggar with a penchant for ladies’ handbags and Ben Wolsey’s infamous Reproduction Room for starters.
Where does old Big Face keep his body? Would an incredulous guppy make a good companion? And just who is the old fella with the wizened chesticles?
Listen as Jim and Martin awaken their feeble brain cells and try to answer these questions, while distinguishing set from location, real person from projection and, rather more easily, stroppy air hostess from straw May Queen.
Get it here!
“Do you think bullets could stop me now? You stinking offal, Morgus! Look at me!!”
So says a man in a gimp suit deep in the blowholes of Androzani Minor. Yes, Jim and Martin take a look at Peter Davison’s last hurrah and finest hour as he goes through hell to save Peri in the 1984 classic The Caves of Androzani.
There’s soldiers, gunrunners, androids, a rubbish monster, a revenge-seeking hairy-handed, Peri-infatuated madman and an evil and ruthless bag of slime. Can the Doctor weave his way through them all and save Peri? Only just…
Is it as good as its reputation suggests? Listen here to find out.