Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEp02 In this episode, Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy bring you a rousing discussion about which story is the most representative of the Matt Smith era.  Though we focus on “The Eleventh Hour,” we make room for chit chat about a few other episodes as well.

What do you think is the most representative 11th Doctor story?  Let us know!  Kat will tell you you’re wrong, and (though she didn’t join us this week) Liz will likely judge you.


Also covered: Delia Derbyshire Day!

Download or listen now (runtime 1:00:30) 

Comments on: "Verity! Episode 2 – This One Goes to Eleven" (20)

  1. Ray Adamson said:

    Hello again.Pleased to say that the sound quality of your podcast ,was at the very least,adequate and did not interfere with your broadcast despite Erika-Teshs’ qualifications.Sorry your programme was slightly less international because of circumstances this time.Slightly surprised that the general consensus was to discuss the Eleventh Hour as representative of Matt Smiths Doctor considering he was still cooking for much of it but it is a particularly good choice for the purpose of considering Amy and the Doctors’ relationship and i happen to like it too, so i’m not really disputing it.I would probably have analysed Asylum Of The Daleks because it features the first Clara/Oswin appearance and Mr and Mrs Pond.It has the Doctor completing his mission and cheating the Daleks.Erasing his identity from Dalek memory and resolving his friends marriage difficulties.The main reason that i’d choose it as representative of Smith and Moffats’ tenure is because it’s one of these stories where the Doctor encounters a situation where he can’t help somebody he wants to and he kind of acknowledges it.I find this to be a recurring feature of Matts’ more important stories like a Good Man Goes to War and The Angels Take Manhattan.Also, it has visits to Skaro,The Asylum planet and Earth,lots of different kind of Daleks,explosions ,souffles and Moffat scariness.Incidentally, just saw ep.2 of Spies of Warsaw,there was David Tennant and the mighty Julian Glover working together.Can’t tell me that’s not worth watching.

    • Holy crap, Ray. I am now kicking myself for not choosing Asylum. I love that episode to bits, and would have had great fun talking about it. 🙂 I think I shied away from choosing it for the same reason Kat didn’t choose Eleventh Hour–she didn’t want that ’cause it was the first; I had trouble picking anything from series 7 ’cause it was so recent. I didn’t feel like I’d had proper time to get my head around it.

      Well reasoned! Thanks for listening and for the comment!


  2. Claire said:

    I agree about the Eleventh Hour, it was full of wonderful elements which made me love Doctor Who all over again, like I was watching it for the first time. Being introduced to a character who was mysterious and had a long history.

    I remember at the time people I knew in fandom wanting something happy and spectacular after what happened in Torchwood: Children in Earth (and the destruction of that fandom.) so they could have faith in a show again. The Eleventh Hour made me realise that I’m just a Doctor Who fan and that Torchwood was just a phase.

    As a female fan I’m delighted to hear women discussing Doctor Who so I’m glad that this podcast exists 😀

  3. A great podcast. I am not a Matt Smith mega fan, but you have all given me food for thought about the start of his tenure. I too would have probably gone for Asylum as a representative episode and for many of the same reasons Ray did. I really thought that Asylum was all things great that combined elements of post and pre 2005 Who. It just had a “Classic” vibe to it.

    Looking forward to the Delia Derbyshire episode.. heck I am looking forward to them all now.

    Thanks again. Brilliant job.

  4. I think an argument can be made that The Doctor’s Wife is a representative sample of the series as a whole, as well as Matt Smith’s era.

  5. Wow. This was a tough one, in large part because I did not like 11 for most of the first season. Loved “The Eleventh Hour,” but was annoyed/frustrated/angry at the most of the rest. Sometime during S7 I realized that my dislike stemmed from Amy Pond and that having Rory as a full time companion made Amy more palatable to my tastes. So, I was able to move forward, and review, the 11th Doctor with a more open mind.

    But I still did not love, or even enjoy, these episodes as much as I had enjoyed S1-5. And that has to do with Steven Moffett. His use of the crack and “silence has fallen” as overarching story lines for S6 and S7, shoehorning them into other wise excellent stories in a way that was disturbing, annoying, and blatantly obvious made me wish for the “Bad Wolf”‘s I did not notice until watching an episode for the second (or third) time. Plus, he took a character that I loved (River Song) and made her boring, uninteresting, and annoying to the point where I started dreading when she would show up. At least until S7 when she started to become the character I fell in love with the first time.

    So this brings me to your original question of, “What is my nomination for Favorite 11 Episode?” While I agree with what everyone said about “The Eleventh Hour”, it is not the one that I would say is the absolute best example, and that is because it spends the bulk of the time defining the character of 11 and Amy so that you would care, for the very best doctor/companion pairings are the ones when you are emotionally invested in.

    Blah, blah, blah, long post continuing on. My nomination is “The Doctor’s Wife.” It is the episode that I go back to, and think on, and remember. The relationship between the Doctor/Amy/Rory is nearing its peak, with all of them settling into their characters while the Doctor gives you some of the silly/madcap/clumsy that we love, but also showing off the darker undertones that you know live in him. The villain and his sidekicks are entertaining while being just menacing enough to freak you out a bit. Throw in Idris, which gives a refresher (or provides background for new viewers) on the history of the Doctor and his TARDIS and their relationship (“I always took you where you NEEDED to go.”), along with an ending that brought a tear to this villains eye, and well….it has everything that I associate with a good Matt Smith Doctor episode.

    Sorry this is so long. Til next time,

    Tower of Mel

  6. Chris (@Silver_Nemesis) said:

    Another fantastic podcast but I’ll add my name to the list of those surprised by the choice of The 11th Hour – not just because the Doctor and his relationships are half cooked but also because there are so many tropes of the Moffat era that are missing from this one.
    It has things like the serious undertones covered in humour, a timey-wimeyness and the seeding of future plot points (although other episodes do it better or have it more intrinsic to the plot) but there’s none of the love/memory conquers all theme and no-one comes back from the dead, not even Rory.

    If I was going to pick one which ticked the most boxes of a list of Moffat themes then it would be either Lets Kill Hitler or The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang. As I write this I also realise that the idea of time being re-written was missing from the 11th Hour as well but is a strong Moffat theme.

    Anyway, everyone has their own viewpoint and it’s not as if any are invalid. I have no doubt some people will be reading this and screaming at their screens about how wrong I am 😉

    Looking forward to hearing the picks for the other ten.

  7. Hi there, I have to say I really love your podcast. As a fan of some 30ish years now, I really enjoyed your fresh take on Who and Who fandom. It certainly gives the boys at Radio Free Skaro a run for their money. Whilst I do consider myself a dyed in the wool fan of the series as a whole, I am not the sort of fan that nitpicks about continuity and kissing. I just like to sit back and enjoy. Also as the husband of a woman who is not a fan, I have to manage my fandom to ensure a happy atmosphere at home is maintained. So whilst I do collect the DVDs and other media, I don’t have a lot of toys and other noodly memorabilia that clutter the house, just a few signed photos and toy Daleks and TARDIS. If you guys can help me get through the pain of managing my fandom and my marriage then I thank you in advance. Perhaps you could do a piece on fandom and relationships when we don’t have much new Who, or even old Who to discuss.

    On the show that I think represents the 11th…for me it has either been The Eleventh Hour or perhaps The Power of Three. In the latter we see him truly challenged not by the rather curtailed invasion, but by the relationships he has with the humans in his life and the legacy he leaves behind…the Ponds, Brian…and even Kate Lethbrigdge Stewart. He is somewhat out of sorts in this show, and I think that is when he is at his most interesting and difficult to deal with.

    For my sins, as I was born in 76, I remember the last few episodes of the 4th Doctor, Christmas repeats of Genesis. I am really and truly a child of the 5th Doctor. I can’t wait to hear how you tackle some of his shows.

    If you want to see my opinion on the Caves of Androzani, I am briefly on the UK Gold Who @40 show..which can be seen on YouTube. That was really fun to do, and I got to meet Kim Newman and the wonderful Nicola Bryant that day.

    Take care, and thanks from a snowy Somerset

  8. Vicki Fischer said:

    Amy spent her early years trying to convince other of the Doctor. I would think she felt some sort of validation when the Tardis appeared in the middle of her wedding reception.

  9. I think the only thing that would make “The Beast Below” better was if they’d made it in 1988 with Sylvester McCoy and Ace in three 25 minute episodes. That episode was so retro it must have hurt itself.

  10. […] just been re-listening to Verity! Episode 2, and something just occurred to me.  (If you haven’t heard it yet, you probably should.  Go […]

  11. Willow'sCat said:

    I am listening to the podcast as I type. 🙂 I love Matt Smtih as The Doctor. He is pitch perfect. Gets better with every episode.

    I think the episode for me, would strangely enough, be his first (the first one they shot) The Time of Angels. Not only do I personally rate it as the best episode of the re-launch. Full stop. It is the only episode in the re-launch, at that time, were I began to think this was “Doctor Who”.

    Right off the bat….This Doctor IS The Doctor. It was like The Doctor had been hiding away with Chris and David’s take on the character. It’s how I felt when Colin Baker’s Doctor was brought back and he was nicer to Perri. It was like that other Doctor was some kind of imposter and now we have the real Doctor. It’s just a feeling I have about how The Doctor is, as a character. It’s not about him being nice as such, he is often horrible in classic episodes, even murderous! It’s just a feeling.

    Dare I say; like coming home. You know when things seem “off”. No one has to tell you that someone has died. You feel it the moment you walk through the door.

    It could have more to do with Steven Moffat as show-runner. I’m not sure if it is fair to say that, as RTDs era was always going to be difficult. Russell was re-launching a whole show not just the character; but at times it was just too silly. Classic Who is silly now because it is seen out of the context of 1960s-70s children’s scifi tv… Back then I watched it as a fairly serious show, all be it about an alien in a flying wooden box. 🙂 Even when I view episodes like Beast below – about a flying whale – I still think The Doctor is being himself so it works for me, when it didn’t work with Chris and David. Well, it worked but not convincingly enough.

    I’m making no sense, I know. I do that a lot. I just know that I will be extremely sad when Matt leaves the role. I just really love 11.

  12. Just finished listening to the podcast (yes, I’m late — I’m catching up on them all). And I thought about what my choice for episode would be and, as I mentioned on Twitter, I have to say for me it would be ‘Amy’s Choice’ (which is, also, my favorite new!Who episode, actually).

    A lot of people find it a pretty meta episode focusing on Amy, but for me I find it more of an excellent character study of the Doctor. Further, while obviously there are some character points that the Dream Lord touches on that are true of many/all Doctors (such as not keeping in touch with his friends and whatnot, for example), here we have something new: a Doctor that is truly openly acknowledging his guilt to the audience over such things.

    In a way, it’s almost like cleaning up such things as the Tenth Doctor being so harsh to people (especially Martha, who is my favorite, FWIW). It’s like the Eleventh Doctor has grown up finally, that he is putting his emo manpain aside and respecting those around him in his life for the first time…well, since the Time War probably.

    He’s also openly acknowledging his faults and how he’s hurt people. He’s also trying to figure out who he is and how he fits into the universe. Amy is the mouthpiece for this, such as when she implores him to save Rory and when he can’t she demands ‘Then what is the point of you?’ or how she is an example of him luring away people from their more ‘mundane’ domestic lives and how its hard to compete with that. There are just so many great character moments, especially with the Dream Lord, that just make me fist pump with joy and just weep with the way the laid the Eleventh Doctor bare for all to see.

  13. Sarah B said:

    I’ve got to say, I don’t think that the Doctor ruined Amy’s life by being one of many significant adults to let her down. After all, both parents, her aunt, and quite possibly teachers, other responsible adults, *also* disappeared, and those sort of people have a greater impact on a kid than someone who appeared for a few weird and wonderful moments. Which is not to say he *didn’t* let her down, or that that “betrayal” wasn’t the last straw for normality, just that it could really have been anyone, and he doesn’t necessarily *owe* her anything.

    Not that he’d see it that way, of course.

    Yes, I’m a billion years behind your actual posting schedule. I only just found you!

    • Good point about the other adults in Amy’s life deserting her. Those people would definitely have more of an emotional impact. That said, the difference here is that because of the crack, she doesn’t rightly remember any of those people leaving–they just stopped existing. The Doctor’s disappearance was one that was at the forefront of her mind. So perhaps he was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back? She had a buncha subconscious angst caused by the other adults in her life, and then along comes one she can remember clearly, and SNAP!

      Glad you found us–better late than never! I do hope you’ll stick with us and catch up. I like to think we’ve improved. (Starting with the first podcast is always a dicey prospect–you might find you don’t like it and give up without knowing the cast gets super-awesome by the present time.)

  14. The twitter account for Delia Derbyshire Day (@DDDay2013) no longer exists, but has been replaced with @deliadarlings. Could you update the link in the summary? Also, Delia Derbyshire Day 2014 will be on Saturday April 12th at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester. More details are at

    I hope Deb is still planning an episode discussing Delia, she really deserves more attention. Here are some more sites with information about her:

    “I did all sorts of things I was told I couldn’t do. And yes, I think I’ve always been a very independent thinker.” — Delia Derbyshire

    • Matthew Sweet’s documentary on Delia Derbyshire is streamable from BBC iPlayer again, and will remain available for a whole year!

      I still hope Delia has made it onto Deb’s spreadsheet of topics, but if not I’ll (re)nominate her as a fan suggestion 🙂

      • The interview with Roger Limb on Radio Free Skaro #430 prompted me to do a bit more digging into why Delia left the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. In the interview (beginning at 36:50), Roger says Delia was having trouble meeting deadlines, and that her ‘lifestyle’ was interfering with her career. He’s undoubtedly being very polite, as I’ve now found several references that claim Delia struggled with alcoholism:

        The short film featured in the audio exhibit at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff also said she had trouble with alcohol.

        This is a terrible shame, as it seems to have contributed to her early death (although she may have had cancer as well). Apparently her death certificate only says she died of renal failure. However, I am relieved that she was not pushed out by management instituting an arbitrary ‘staff rotation’ scheme.

  15. I’ve just discovered this podcast, and I LOVE it. I’ve decided to listen from the very beginning (sweet, sweet archives!), so I’m not sure if you will, but I do rather hope that post 11’s era you did actually go back and address this issue of a “definitive” 11 episode, as I agree with your premonition that there’s probably an even better one down his line that you simply hadn’t seen yet in 2013.

    Thanks so much for this beautiful, diverse, lady-centric perspective on one of my favorite shows. It’s so delightful how different you all are in your preferences, your dislikes, your perceptions. I really enjoy how you manage to talk about those conflicts in a respectful, friendly, and informative manner, too.

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