“I am the Doctor… whether you like it or not.”
Yes, this is Colin Baker’s debut debacle as the Doctor, The Twin Dilemma.
A tale of a Hurndall understudy in a dress, two bratty bowl-cut brain-boxes, pestilent parrot people and a hairy slug with an inter-species libido.
And, at its centre, we have our ‘hero’ who tries to bluster, cower, whine and strangle his way into our hearts, and his poor sidekick, who has probably never felt quite so sidelined – or quite so kicked.
Blood bubbles, slugs slime, sartorial atrocities are committed with impunity and a thieving magpie is fed to the starving masses (tastes like chicken, apparently).
Loathe it or hate it, it’s perennially at the bottom of the sort of polls its lead actor despises.
But do Jim and Martin think it lives down to its reputation?
Listen in 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.
“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.
“If anything happens, let me know.”
What do you get if you have two episodes to fill with no guest actors and no new sets?
Well in the weird world of Lime Grove 1964, you get The Edge of Destruction – a veritable cryptic crossword with clues from another, different cryptic crossword.
This is, of course, the one where Susan turns sinister scissor sister, Ian seems to have been at the TARDIS brown ale, the Doctor – even with a head wound – still wins Gallifrey’s Fastest Butler, and poor old Babs has to hold it all together, despite her pathological fear of Salvador Dali.
Even the Fornicator can’t help them as they try to discover what the heck is going on (and what the writer has been smoking) until, finally, the solution springs to mind.
So can Jim and Martin make sense of the sentient ship’s clues or will the story leave them on the edge of nervous destruction?
Find out here.
“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.
“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…
“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.