Ben and Mark are joined by Steven from New to Who to discuss the BBC’s perceived political bias through the prism of ‘Kerblam!’ and ‘The Sunmakers’.
Isn’t the system actually the problem? Is it enough in 2018 to just make a Doctor Who story about Space Amazon or do you actually have to have something to say? Is it a by-product of a more centrist approach to entertainment? And how do three men manage to cover all the potential readings of this slightly muddled tale in around 45 minutes?
The Sunmakers brings up discussions of high anxiety, Louise Jameson firing a big gun in the back of a car, flushing officials down the toilet and throwing them off the roof. And much more besides!
Religious tensions, post-colonialism, court intrigue, unimaginable slaughter. It should be a right bloody laugh as Ben and Mark discuss 2018’s ‘Demons of the Punjab’ and 1966’s ‘The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve’.
Ben and Mark have nothing but praise for Vinay Patel’s powerful portrayal of a historical moment that is woefully untaught in the history curriculum. It’s Doctor Who at its most Reithian and leads to a discussion that takes in legacy, religious extremism and the Doctor’s policy of ‘no interference’.
Meanwhile, the Lash Lads find it harder to speak highly of John Lucarotti and Donald Tosh’s flawed historical ‘The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve’. Might this be better if we could see it? How on Earth were they portraying such a grisly and grotesque historical event on teatime telly? And what happened to the little boy on Wimbledon Common?
After some hot off the presses RTD reactions, Ben and Mark are joined by Pting expert Millie McKenzie to discuss ‘The Tsuranga Conundrum’ and ‘Nightmare of Eden’.
Is ‘The Tsuranga Conundrum’ really as bad as everyone says it is? The discussion touches on Chekhov’s abdominal pain, Chris Chibnall’s limitations as a writer, the tonal inconsistencies and Ben’s ginger Dad fetish.
And then we snort a few lines and chat all about Bob Baker’s insane anti-drug allegory ‘Nightmare of Eden’. Is it a hard-hitting tale of the real-life cost of the drugs trade or is it just a load of daft mucking about?
In a creepy crawlie special, Ben and Mark discuss two giant insect stories by way of ‘Arachnids in the UK’ and ‘The Web Planet’.
Is ‘Arachnids in the UK’ even a pun? And is ‘The Web Planet’ actually just Doctor Who at it’s most cynical?
Under discussion: ‘The Green Death’ for the Trump administration, the environmental impact of luxury golf courses, wobbly morals, insect movement by Roselyn De Winter, how Peter Capaldi’s talking a lot of shite and Viva Las Vortis!
*Apologies for the tinniness of Mark’s audio, there was a microphone issue. It’s slightly less annoying than a Zarbi though.
Ben and Mark tackle quite the tonal tightrope as they discuss 2018’s ‘Rosa’ and 1965’s ‘The Romans’.
Dodging both white liberal hand wringing and patronising audiences of colour, Ben and Mark attempt to discuss the importance and freshness of ‘Doctor Who’ confronting racism head on.
As they discuss the relevant Reithian values of both stories, they touch upon the increasing relevance of ‘Rosa’, amdram productions of ‘Grease’, the boldness of Season 11’s historicals, how Ian and Barbara were definitely at it, and ‘The Romans’ subtle importance in establishing the character of the Doctor and the show’s mission statement going forward.
Ben and Mark continue the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall era with a look at two races against time without much urgency – ‘The Ghost Monument’ and ‘Enlightenment’.
Struggling to study for their NVQs, Ben and Mark tackle dodgy portrayals of coordination disorders, one of the best cliffhanger resolutions in Doctor Who and the ghost of Sydney Newman.
Whilst back in the 1980s, the first story to be written and directed by women, ‘Enlightenment’ suffers from dodgy bird hats, mad eyes and the weight of hype for new viewer Mark but wins him round with its high concepts and treatments of class and religion.
Ben and Mark return to cast their bloodshot, drunken eyes over the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall era as they pair ‘The Woman Who Fell to Earth’ and ‘Time and the Rani’ – two series openers that will eventually lead to the Doctor being revealed to be “more than just a Timelord’.
Hoping to avoid being dragged into the never-ending culture war, Ben and Mark discuss the many positives of Jodie Whittaker’s opening episode, from a more naturalistic, real world setting to a more stripped back form of storytelling. But is it a pilot for a series we never get?
And for possibly the last time in the current format, Ben and Mark talk about the McCoy era, not that you get much of a sense of it here – great looking monsters that move terribly, the most 1980s Doctor Who weapon ever and Josef Mengele in tinsel and shoulder pads.
Also: Who is the UK’s answer to Mr. T? ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ fan fiction, a new game from the Degsestial Funmaker and much more!
Ben chats to Mark and Richie all about their plans for a documentary about fandom in Doctor Who‘s wilderness years during the 1990s in a special live video-only episode. Armed with clips and audience questions, they discuss what they’re looking for, the plan for the filmmaking process and let you know how you can get involved!
You can find out more about the film, and let Mark and Richie know your story here.
Ben and Mark are joined by artist, model maker and friend of the show Millie McKenzie to bid a fond, melancholic farewell to Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat and Tom Baker.
Is ‘Twice Upon a Time’s meta look at the show’s history from 1963 to 2017 perfect Christmas viewing or one last self-indlugent flourish from a departing writer? And is ‘do the exact opposite of Douglas Adams’ a wise choice for anyone when the result is ‘Logopolis’? We discuss all of this along with mathematics, mortality and getting rid of Tom Baker without pomp or occasion.
Also: Can you have too much David Tennant? A very special May Day edition of Degsey’s Impression Challenge Segment and don’t you think Ben and Mark look tired?
Two fine examples of body horror, Ben and Mark discuss Cyber origins by way of ‘World Enough and Time’/’The Doctor Falls’ and the Big Finish audio ‘Spare Parts’. As well as discussing the inevitability of the Cybermen, they also discuss the relatable aspects of the Master’s self-destructive downfall.
With ‘Spare Parts’, they ponder how much Big Finish has changed since the show returned in 2005 and how you avoid the pitfalls of “just doing Genesis of the Daleks again”.
Also: Has Steven Moffat actually written the last ever episode of Doctor Who? What does the Doctor’s failure say about the political climate of 2017? And what’s it like to cook a lasagne in the company of four different versions of Nick Briggs?
Every two weeks join film journalist Mark Donaldson and comedian Ben Verth as they pub crawl through Doctor Who old and new.
Each episode Ben and Mark sit in the pub and discuss a 21st century Who story, then chat about a Classic era serial it suggests.