“I am usually referred to as the Master.”
Or some very slight variation thereof.
Terror of the Autons is a story where a bloomin’ cockernee is masquerading as an Italian, a Time Lord as an astral Mr Benn, Autons as an army of Frank Sidebottoms, and the man himself as BT’s most sackable employee. Yet the Master can’t muster the energy to think up an even vaguely misdirecting pseudonym.
Plenty of imagination elsewhere though with unfriendly neighbourhood Bobbies, dolls that are a bit too clingy, armchairs that give you a hug, a phone you can really get tied up on and gift daffs you really shouldn’t look in the mouth.
Can the grumpy Doctor, scatty Jo, and a Maxi full of UNIT defeat the Master and the Nestene Unconvincingness?
And did Jim and Martin find all this plastic fantastic or as flat as Old Ma Farrel’s CSO kitchen?
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.
“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.
“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.
“It’s the end… but the moment has been prepared for.”
The final words of the boggle-eyed mentalist octogenarian Tom Baker, just prior to being trampled by a crusty ballet dancer and so triggering his metamorphosis into the world’s wettest vet.
Jim and Martin start this episode by skewering The Time of the Doctor but then evaluate another regeneration story, 1981’s Logopolis.
The fourth Doctor is old and grumpy and the Master is new and campy, while Adric “wunts” to help, Tegan wants to fly and Nyssa just wants to have fun, despite losing her stepmother, father and planet in short order.
Can Noel Edmonds keep the fabric of the Universe together? Can the Doctor’s plan to literally flush out the Master be any more ludicrous? And can Anthony Ainley make any more of a meal of pressing a button?
Listen here 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!