Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode28-300This week we battled the evil monster known as SkypeLag to bring you a podcast full of squee and surprise. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as we get happy about Who-things, gush about McGann, and find representative aspects where we least expected them. We cover our reactions to “The Night of the Doctor” and our impressions of “Planet of Giants” as a representative story for the first Doctor. Perhaps not a common choice, but one that made for a rollicking discussion!


Also covered:
Erika watched (and LOVED) “The War Games”! Guested on The Incomparable! And wants to go see All the Whos in Whoville!
Kat enjoys the glut of new 8th Doctor gifs!
Tansy demonstrated excellent parenting by raising a child who loves “The Ice Warriors“! And plans to knit a Yeti!
Deb gives LI Who high marks! And did a squeeful interview for HeadOverFeels!

Bonus links:
“The Night of the Doctor”!
Tansy, Erika, & Lynne on Australian radio!
Tansy’s 8th Doctor recommendations for Big Finish newbies
Paul McGann on sale at Big Finish
BBC America’s wall-of-Doctor Who schedule

Download or listen now (runtime 1:31:52) 

Comments on: "Verity! Episode 28 – One-derful, Hmm?" (16)

  1. Tansy, with all your knitting plans I am almost disappointed that you guys didn’t quote the Eighth Doctor episode: “4 minutes? But that’s ages! What if I get bored? I need a television, a couple of books, anyone for chess? Bring me knitting!” 😀

    I also squeed with delight over the mini-episode! And it was released on Paul McGann’s birthday! Can you believe this man is 54 years old?!? (Paul McGann: Actual Time Lord. Likes to bath in the fountain of youth! lol) I’ve seen some people being rather critical of the episode’s content but all things considered I think it meshes rather well with the rest of the series. After all Moffat made his decision to include a secret War Doctor incarnation so there’s no going back – now all I want is that it doesn’t retcon S1 (which I still love to bits and pieces). And yes, I also think that Moffat is the one who wants to tackle the regeneration limit. If he counts Ten’s sort-of-regeneration from S4 the Doctor would already be at his 13th incarnation and that could be the story for the Christmas ep. After all he said in interviews he wants to start a whole new era of DW – what better way than to patch up all the missing links between Classic and New Who AND tackle the regeneration limit!

    And congratulations for wrapping these podcasts up in time for the special! I myself had watched all* of Classic Who for the first time this year (*that is all complete stories, so I’m still missing some parts of One and Two) and finished at the beginning of November! But I went in opposite direction than you did with the podcasts – I watched the First Doctor at the beginning of the year so it’s been a while. The stories that stuck in my mind were The Aztecs and The Romans for some reason. For The Aztecs I really liked the way that they had the “you can’t mess with history” rule down very early on and it almost feels like Fires of Pompeii is sort of an homage to that episode (+ the obligatory monster of the week because yeah, can’t live without that anymore apparently). The Romans was just really fun for me cause One is in great form here. The whole bits with the lyre and setting Rome on fire (when he laughs at the whole thing in the end! it’s my favourite lol reaction gif! ahahaha) never fails to crack me up! Not sure if they are particularly representative but I really liked them!

  2. baticeer said:

    I was delighted by Night of the Doctor, especially since I got to have the experience of watching it without knowing what was coming — I just saw “new minisode” on my twitter feed and clicked the link not expecting much. Then I have to admit I shrieked out loud in fannish delight when I recognized his voice (and probably annoyed my roommate, who was still asleep since it was 6 in the morning, LOL). It didn’t even matter to me what actually happened in it, although I did think it was a good story… I was just SO happy at the reaction to it. People who’d never seen the TV movie before were watching it! People heard the mention of the Big Finish companions and said “I want to get into Big Finish, where do I start?” People who always ignored him before were discovering my second-favorite Doctor and I was like YAYYY because I LOVE PAUL MCGANN.

    My favorite Tumblr observations about the minisode were a couple of fans pointing out parallels between it and a few of his Big Finish stories. Someone said that his death was a mirror of his first Big Finish episode — trying to save a girl from a crashing ship and make her his companion, just like he did with Charley in “Storm Warning”, except that this time it failed. Then there was a post that paralleled his death scene with dialogue from “Scherzo”, here: Both of those things made me appreciate the story even more. …..Oh, and I also liked one post that said “I’ve never seen a fandom so happy about seeing their favorite character die before.” Which is hilariously true.

  3. baticeer said:

    I would never have chosen Planet of Giants as a representative episode of the First Doctor for a couple of different reasons, and I was surprised at how many representative elements you guys managed to squeeze out of it! For my part, I don’t think of it that way because as you said it’s one of the “sideways in time” (as opposed to forwards or backwards) serials and there just aren’t enough of those to make me think of them as representative. Personally my choice would be either The Romans (which y’all mentioned) or The Space Museum (which you did not, but I think it’s way better than people give it credit for). I feel like I have to go rewatch Planet of Giants now with a whole new perspective!

    I never think of the first TARDIS team as the definitive one for Hartnell, honestly. I think it’s probably just personal preference — I like Susan a lot when the writers do right by her, but there are some really glaring issues in how she’s written a lot of the time that make it impossible for me to really love her as a companion. Whereas I think Vicki is a lot of the good qualities that Susan has with none of the bad and some unique characteristics of her own; I just like the second TARDIS team the best and when I think of the First Doctor that’s who I immediately imagine.

    I love that you discussed the First Doctor’s character development because one of my favorite things about the character, and what I think makes him such a great Doctor, is his journey over the course of season 1 (and a bit of season 2) from someone who’s… not actually a good person at ALL, like, at the beginning he’s mean and supercilious and willing to risk the death of innocent people just for his own convenience (!!) …into the man who can be a bit cantankerous and mean at times but is very dedicated to defending justice and fighting the terrible things in the universe, as one expects “the Doctor” to do. People think of the classic series as having less focus on character than New Who does and this *is* true in large part, but honestly I think the First Doctor has one of the most cohesive and interesting character arcs in the entire history of the show.

    I remember seeing that moment you mention in the First Doctor Revisited special and thinking that I would disagree with Moffat’s assertion that Dalek Invasion of Earth marks a turning point in the Doctor’s character from “let’s just get out of here” to “we have to change things for the better because it’s the right thing to do”. I think that if you really want to mark a specific incidence as that turning point, rather than regarding it as a gradual character shift, it actually has to be The Sensorites?? Which people always forget about, because fandom generally regards it as not very good (personally I disagree but I almost always disagree with general fandom), but it IS genuinely the first story where nothing is preventing the Doctor from leaving but he stays anyways because he wants to help! There’s even a really funny little moment during the first episode where he’s all “Oh no Chesterton don’t be ridiculous I *never* interfere with others’ affairs and I believe in not affecting any events” and then literally in the same breath turns to the pilot they’ve met and is all “Now my boy tell me about the problem and maybe I can help hmmm?”

    There’s actually this habit I’ve noticed in people’s fan meta and discussions about the First Doctor where they want to try and mark a dividing point along the two halves of his character and say, THIS right here is the definitive moment where he becomes the heroic character, where he’s willing to intervene on the side of justice, instead of just trying to run back to the TARDIS and leave. Steven Moffat clearly thinks this moment is in Dalek Invasion of Earth; I’ve heard people say it’s anywhere from there to The War Machines of all the things (which is ridiculously late and I’m sorry, just plain wrong!). So I guess I’m throwing in my cards for “Strangers in Space” being that definitive moment in Doctor Who history, as weird as that seems! (But Dalek Invasion of Earth is still great and you should definitely go watch it if you haven’t already.)

    Anyways I just realized this comment is getting ridiculously long so I’ll stop blithering on about character development — I just have a lot of feelings about the First Doctor apparently 😛

  4. Just a few comments on the Night of the Doctor (haven’t listened to the other half of the podcast yet…):

    I found the minisode only 2 days ago (I’m not on twitter and my kids have been sick, so not much internet in the last week), and had just been rewatching the eighth Doctor movie (hooray ABC iView in Australia; I would never pay money for that movie, but was happy to watch it for free…). So I was completely unspoiled and totally squeed when Paul McGann appeared. He really was terrific; I loved the whole story (short as it was) and I’m really pleased to have seen it before the anniversary episode. And I really loved the line about knitting, since I know there is a lot of fan knitting out there…

    But I really would like to take a moment to say a huge THANK YOU to Tansy for her blog post with Big Finish recommendations, because that minisode really made me keen for more McGann, but I didn’t really know where to start. I have looked at the Big Finish site a few times this year (especially once they dropped the price on the Main Range), but just found it too overwhelming… But Tansy’s post really helped me to find some I thought I’d like, so yesterday I bought my first audios! Last night I listened to The Company of Friends – Mary’s Story – and I am STILL GRINNING! That story just made me so so happy. I am hugely looking forward to the other couple that I bought (Storm Warning and Chimes of Midnight). I can already see I’m going to have to set a budget for audios – thank goodness so many of them are on special 🙂

    For me this has been the week of Eight – as well as the TV movie, the minisode, and my brand new audios, I also re-listened to the Verity episodes about Eight. So thank you for all your insights and recommendations about my new favourite Doctor (I’m fickle; whatever Doctor I’m watching tends to be my favourite!).

    • baticeer said:

      Seeing posts and comments like yours always makes me smile. Yay! A new Big Finish fan! Welcome to the madness 😛

      If you want more Big Finish Eight at a bargain price (aka free), BBC Radio 4 Extra is going to air both parts of “Human Resources” on Friday and “Lucie Miller” & “To the Death” on Sunday. And after they play each audio it becomes available to listen to on their website for a week afterwards. So if you’re so inclined those will be free next week. I just found out about this and was pretty excited because I’ve been working my way through the Eighth Doctor and Lucie audios and just got up to “Human Resources” so now I don’t have to buy it! (They have some other non-Eight audios up at the moment too.)

      • Cool, thanks for the tip. I shall bookmark the BBC Radio 4 website now! (Although I’m travelling for work next week so I don’t know how much time I’ll have to listen…)

    • You picked some good ones! Storm Warning and Chimes of Midnight are brilliant. A note of warning, though, PLEASE don’t listen to Lucie Miller & To The Death even though they are on radio for free. They come right at the end of four seasons of Eight-and-Lucie and tie up a season long arc, and while many of the audio stories are standalone I really feel those ones would be TERRIBLE and lose most of their impact without having listened to at least a good number of stories that precede them.

      Human Resources though is brilliant and I don’t think you really need to have listened to the ones leading up to it to enjoy it.

      • Human Resources is amazing, my favorite Lucie Miller adventure.

      • Thanks for the tip, Tansy. I do prefer to keep things in order when I can… but my goodness, did you say FOUR seasons of Eight-and-Lucie?!? What have I got myself in for? 🙂
        Update: I’m now part-way through Storm Warning and really enjoying it. Charley is great.

      • baticeer said:

        Oops… thanks for pointing that out Tansy. I didn’t realize those were at the very end of the story arc, I guess I assumed that the radio wouldn’t do a celebratory repeat anything that wasn’t relatively standalone. That seems like a strange choice on their part.

  5. With regards to Night of the Doctor, I managed to remain unspoiled until watching it. When McGann appeared onscreen, I shouted with joy. When he namechecked the Big Finish companions, I cussed and punched the air.

    I was standing at a crowded train platform on my way to work… 🙂

  6. Omg. McGann! Officially canon companions! Regeneration! Sisterhood of Karn! Knitting! My muffled shrieks and bouncing-in-my-chair may have attracted the attention of some of my coworkers when I watched Night of the Doctor. I made my mom call me after she watched it so I could explain just how big a deal it all was (she’s not familiar with Big Finish.) The next day I listened to 8th Doctor audios all day at work in celebration. How fantastic.

    My fav 1st Doctor story (as I’ve quit trying to decide how I define “definitive”!) is probably The Aztecs. Partly for the “You can’t change history- not one line!” Partly for the hot chocolate engagement. And partly simply because it was the first 1st Doctor story I saw (shortly after that I went back to An Unearthly Child and restarted, because I like things In Order.) 🙂

  7. Len Aruliah said:

    Dear Deb, Erika, Lynne, Liz, Tansy, & Katrina,

    Happy Who Day! Have been listening to you from Day One, and thoroughly enjoying your wonderful podcast all year. I don’t usually leave comments or feedback, but I felt I had to wish you all the best on this special day.
    I myself, a British Canadian in London, am going to Jeremy Bentham’s party and screening next to the ExCel Centre ( I couldn’t get tickets for the actual convention.) Should be fun to watch in a room full of dedicated enthusiasts (not ‘Whovians’!).

    Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your great podcast, and wish you all the best today, and onwards. Hope to meet you if ever you find yourselves in London, or possibly at other Doctor Who events. Take care and best wishes for the future,


  8. Laurissy said:

    I was actually completely surprised by night of the doctor, I’d been following some threads on gallifrey base but it seemed a bit wishy washy and I didn’t think it was going to happen. Well I was wrong sorry gallifrey base. I loved it and as I remarked I think this puts up total tv running time from 60 minutes to 67 minutes pretty exciting. Also I’m surprised none of you talked about petitions that have come about to have an 8th doctor tv series. I personally don’t think it will happen but it would be interesting for the 8th doctor to finally get his series.

    I’ve got to admit I see the first doctor as my classic doctor. I’m a new series fan so my doctor is still david tennant even though eccleston was my first. But it was his era that made me fall in love with classic who. It helped that I was annoyed at the Mofat era at the time and I just fell in love with it all like I love how the first doctor just has this big chair in the Tardis. I love Ian and Barbara especially Barbara. I mean she runs over daleks with a truck and manages to trick them with history. I also love the invevtiveness of this era and how diffferent it was trying to be unlike other eras I don’t think there was a set type of story which is where some other eras of the show were let down by there own adherence to a formula. I have to admit planet of giants not one I would have picked but I like the points you bring up. I’ve got to admit though I really hated the episode reconstruction on the DVD not because of the story that was fine. A little bit of padding but I don’t think it was bad padding but it was clear they didn’t have a lot of money and by god the actress they got to play Barbara sounded nothing like Jacqueline Hill, the guy that does the Doctor does a decent impersonation but even Ian and Susan don’t fit and they’re played by the same actors. I’d personally go for the aztecs which is a bit of a cop out because it’s my favourite and the reason I started watching classic who but I have reasons, it’s an historical, It has barbara being awesome. Seriously she resolves a cliff hanger by putting a knife to a guy’s throat awesome. Ian beating people up. He even invents the Vulcan neck grip. Susan being a bit useless. (Unfortunately)The doctor being, grumpy, funny and twinkly for a lack of a better word. The Doctor being cut of from his Tardis then again I suppose that’s a little bit definitve of every era but I think it applies especially to the 1st doctor. Educational. It’s a bit of a cop out but I seriously believe you could pick any of his episodes and call it definitive with the exception of the war machines, the smugglers and the 10th planet. There’s just so much range to this era that it is a very rich experience and I hope more people come to realise that.

    Also adventure in space and time is awesome still a but annoyed they cut out David Whitaker, Terry Nation and Ray Cusick but considering the range of time they had. They could have made a lord of the ringsesque trilogy out of that material with a 20 hour extended cut which hey I’d watch. I think even though it was condensed it didn’t feel short changed and it gave you the chance to celebrate this amazing show. I’ve also got to admit I did tear up at the end. It’s so sad.

  9. felicityk said:

    I’ve only listened to the “Night of the Doctor” discussion so far, but I had to comment on one thing Deb brought up. She mentioned that the regeneration limit is something she gets asked about all the time. At my local “Day of the Doctor” screening last night, I was sitting next to a couple who were new series fans. After learning I was a longtime fan, that was one of the first things they asked me about! (They were also under the impression that John Hurt was actually a classic series Doctor, and I don’t think they recognized Tom Baker at the end, poor dears.)

  10. Emily said:

    I feel like a bad fan for saying it, but I’ve never really liked the first doctor, or been able to think of him as being just as doctory as all the other doctors. Except perhaps in An Unearthly Child and The Five Doctors (and yeah, I know this is totally wrong and should probably not count since it’s not even Hartnell…but it works for me). But having watched the fantastic celebration that was An Adventure in Space and Time, I might be ready to give him another go.

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