Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode31-300Just when you thought we were done with Anniversary Mania…we jump right back in! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as we reminisce about the televised anniversary specials of days gone by. There have been a lot of official celebrations of our beloved show. Some were great (according to most of us), and some were…less than that (according to most of us). Who’s not so keen on “The Five Doctors”? Who is super-duper keen on “Dimensions in Time”? Listen and see!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Chicago TARDIS “Podcast Playground” panel on WHO 37 (feat. Erika and Lynne)
io9’s anniversary guide
Watsonian Versus Doylist
Simon Guerrier’s Five Doctors blog post
TMDWP recreates the Third Doctor’s abduction
Dimensions in Time (“annotated” version)
Tansy’s post on Doctor Who’s 20th anniversary year
Tansy’s post: The Women of the Five Doctors
Tansy watches Dimensions in Time

Download or listen now (runtime 1:21:09) 

Comments on: "Verity! Episode 31 – More Anniversaries (Than You Can Shake a Sonic At)" (24)

  1. Thanks for posting a link to the WHO 37 podcast episode featuring the podcast panel. Enjoyed swapping podcast stories with all of you, and I look forward to seeing you all again next year at Chicago TARDIS. Keep up the good work.

  2. AdamsI said:

    So… where can we find those pictures Kat mentioned of Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith in Colin Baker’s costume?

    • That is a very good question, and I’m afraid I don’t know the answer. 🙂 I’ll prod Kat again and see if I can get her to add those links.


      • AdamsI said:

        Thank you! I am curious to see them and sadly my google fu has failed me.

    • AdamsI said:

      Don’t know if this is it, but I think I’ve found the pictures mentioned, plus other Doctors dressed in 6’s colors.

      • Elvisomar said:

        Oh dear, I hadn’t seen the versions of Tennant and Pertwee before now. Some good photoshop work, and some inspired and amusing fan art.

  3. I watched the “annotated” version of ‘Dimensions in Time’, and I don’t think it helps much. The story is still a mess, and the annotations include some very annoying comments. The worst of these is at 8:59, “Liz Shaw, Liz Shaw, we all know that she’s a whore.” This seems to be in response to Liz obeying the Rani, but the dialogue makes it clear Liz is choosing to attack rather than obey:

    The Doctor: No Liz! No Liz, you mustn’t!

    Liz Shaw: Leave this to me, I’ll take my chances.

    There are other annotations that are arguably low comedy or jokes in poor taste, but this is quite a bit worse. Liz is labelled a ‘whore’ for either disobeying the Doctor or obeying the Rani’s command, a misogynous epithet. Not only is her action mischaracterized, but she probably would have been called a ‘traitor’ instead if her character was male.

    Perhaps I’m a humorless feminist (but if so, thank you for the compliment!). Perhaps it shows that I’ve been reading Joanna Russ. But this genuinely bothered me, and I really don’t think it needed to be in the annotated version.

    • That would have bothered me too! I don’t think I’ve seen the annotated version. But generally I find that the simplest explanation for a feminists being humourless = it’s just not funny.

    • Deborah Stanish said:

      You are not humorless and, if I’d been paying more attention instead of watching it with half an eye while doing three other things I would have caught that bit and certainly would not have mentioned it on the podcast or linked it. There was quite a bit of low humor throughout, and I don’t mind that in small doses, but that gag is beyond the pale and I apologize for having recc’d it.

      Unfortunately, since our editing policy at Verity! (outside of technical issues) is “if you say it, you’re stuck with it”, I’m stuck with this both in the ep and in show notes. It galls but it’s my error and my carelessness and I take responsibility for it. I do promise to vet rec’s much more carefully in the future.

      • I didn’t mean to criticize you Deb, or anyone else on the podcast. We all know fandom is often sexist, and it is unrealistic to expect you to ‘edit out’ the bad bits of our culture. I just blew a fuse yesterday, and now that I’ve had my say I feel much better. I still love Verity!, and can’t wait for the Extra! discussing the other anniversary events!

        P.S. I really hope you’re still planning an episode on Delia Derbyshire. That would be absolutely brill!

  4. Ray Adamson said:

    I’ve actually seen some publicity attached to ‘The Day Of The Doctor’ where Moffat said that ‘The Three Doctors’ was something of a model for beginning to structure his anniversary story in terms of balancing characters and story.I do really prefer’The Three Doctors’ to ‘The Five Doctors’ for a couple of reasons,i cannot stand Philip Lathams’ irritatingly languid portrayal of Borusa which i consider to be far more one dimensional than Stephen Thornes version of Omega.There is quite a lot of pathos and hatred with Omega while Borusa is just completely smug,power mad and delusional and i don’t feel the story is very consistent with his previous appearances in the programme.Maybe it’s attributable to how the characterisation in Five Doctors services the story rather than the story serving the characterisation with ‘The Day of The Doctor’ and ‘The Three Doctors’ which is why characters like Sarah Jane,Borusa and The Master seem to be portrayed in a fairly inconsistent manner.I’d be more willing to appreciate the writing of Borusa as character development if the story did a better job of depicting the Doctor’s relationship with Borusa,instead of ignoring the respect and affection between the characters when he’s previously appeared for the purpose of the story.The Three Doctors is generally far more faithful in the way it uses it’s characters and the premise of Omega exacting revenge after his abandonment seems more motivationally solid to me.

  5. Several listeners have privately pointed out that Bob Baker & Dave Martin wrote 2 stories before The Three Doctors. Thanks for the polite correction!

    I’ll say it again: our listeners RULE.


    • Ray Adamson said:

      Notice a tacit acknowledgement in the alternative dimension of twitter that these misfortunes could never have occurred if L.M Myles had been present and correct as normal in the latest podcast but obviously it was essential she was excluded because there were no Gel Guards in any other stories in the discussion!Shakes head sadly and tail droops despondently.

  6. I ADORE the WHOLOCK trailer as well. But then that vidder had already won my heart with the fake 50th trailer that was floating around months ago that people had also thought was real as well:

  7. I definitely second the recommendation for the Tennant-Raynor-Colinson commentary Easter egg on the ‘Five Doctors’ special edition. IT IS SOOO HILARIOUS.

    Oh, and if you need help finding said Easter egg commentary (I wrote down how to find it as I mentioned it on my own ‘Five Doctors’ podcast episode): On disc one, go to Audio Options in the Special Features menu, go down to Companions Commentary and click right on your remote. You should get a green doctor who logo, click it to hear the commentary of awesomeness. You can thank me later! 🙂

  8. Oh, and I have to say that I might be totally weird, but I ABSOLUTELY ADORE Omega in ‘The Three Doctors’ (in fact, he’s one of my favorite baddies ever!).

    Yeah, maybe the execution of his character wasn’t perfect (I think if him as sort of an OTT Shakespearean performance with a side of scenery-chewing — but then a lot of Doctor Who baddies are like that, so…), but I really just don’t think of him as very one-dimensional.

    In fact, his motivations makes perfect sense to me and even have some nuance and I totally get organically why he’s gone a bit around the bend. Not only does he have intense abandonment issues, but he’s also been living alone (mostly — do you count the gel guard as keeping him warm on lonely nights?) for a really, really long time and his anger and hatred of what’s been done to him has only been allowed to fester within him.

    I also just really love that he’s so powerful, and by extension, so powerfully UPSET that he’s holding both himself and his alternate dimension together by the sheer force of his will. That’s just awesome in my opinion! He is truly one of my favorite Time Lords, but I guess, YMMV.

    • I love Omega too. I feel I in no way managed to properly defend him in this episode, but I plan to do so at some point next year. As Batman has taught us, all the best & most interesting villains are the ones who reflect an aspect of the hero, and I like it best when the Doctor is up against fellow Time Lords, mad scientists and rebellious intergalactic dropouts. Omega is all three, really.

      And yes, his emotional range is pretty effective. Shouty but genuinely traumatised, and what a gorgeous throaty voice. I love him to bits. Have you listened to the excellent Big Finish play Omega? It’s a really interesting take on the character that combines some of the most interesting elements of him from here & Arc of Infinity, with a focus on how legends change and are retold over the years until a great tragedy becomes a cute story for tourists.

      Also, the Three Doctors quarry is the best quarry, kind of the ur-quarry of this era. Watching it with the kids, it was awesome how many of them reacted so intensely to the disappearance of Bessie by the gel guards, and how powerfully they responded when she was revealed to be OK.

  9. Ray Adamson said:

    Since,we’re discussing anniversaries perhaps i should invite you to discuss your intentions concerning the next episode of your programme as it just co incides with the arrival of The Time of The Doctor this year so i expect you probably mean to make it available slightly later in the week for the purposes of review and discussion?First anniversary of Verity! podcast as your first programme was a discussion of The Snowmen.Many happy returns and Merry Christmas from Ray.

    • Hi Ray!

      As you’ve spotted, we won’t be talking about The Time of the Doctor this week as our episode drops earlier on Christmas Day (and it would be kinda mean to make Erika break her flawless record for timeliness AND make her edit over Christmas). We have a ‘looking back’ sort of topic in mind for our Christmas Day ep, but not about our anniversary. You make a good point, though!

      The Time of the Doctor response ep will go up on the following Wed, New Year’s Day.

      It’s been lovely having so many commenters like yourself follow the podcast and chat every week. It’s added so much to the overall Verity experience.

      • Ray Adamson said:

        That’s very kind.Thank you.It’s a pleasure to participate in a refuge of sensible and reasonable discussion of Doctor Who.I really appreciate it.Knew the circumstancies of the festivities were going to demand a little patience.Hoping you might have prepared a general retrospective of the eleventh Doctor and tribute to Matt Smith because it needs to be done.

  10. I watched both 3 Doctors and 5 Doctors for the first time recently and I think I preferred the former, mostly because I actually really liked Omega as a villain. Sure he’s a bit over the top but in a way that’s really fun to watch and I don’t find him one-dimensional to be honest – I love that he’s so intense and desperate that he’s clinging to life purely with the power of his mind, when he literally no longer exists! You gotta admit that’s a pretty interesting idea.

    It was interesting to hear Kat’s perspective on having Five Doctors as one’s first Classic Who story because I actually watched that with a couple of people who had seen Classic Who before, but very little (we watched it at my school’s sci-fi club to celebrate the anniversary, and we had previously shown Tomb of the Cybermen and Caves of Androzani) and I was really worried that they would be put off by all the continuity. However they all seemed to enjoy it and be intrigued by the characters that they didn’t know about, which surprised me!

    On the other hand, my first Classic Who story that I watched in its entirety was The Keys of Marinus, so what does anyone know about the “right” or “wrong” place to start with the show 🙂

  11. Laurissy said:

    I like both classic reunion stories. If I had to pick one as my favourite it would be the five doctors. It’s just so much fun seeing everyone even if they don’t get a lot to do. Also I love the commentaries the main one with all the actors playing the companions and the special one with david tennant. Is it perfect no but it’s fun and it makes me happy. The three doctors I think the fact that it does have a plot is what I don’t like about it. All the things in the three doctors which don’t have to do with the plot work quite well and seeing two and three work together and seeing one chide them I think is awesome. But I don’t like how the brigadier seems to have eaten a ton of stupid pills for this story and the momsters and set look really cheap. Omega’s a bit flat as a villiain. I like both but I think the 5 doctors works better as a love letter to doctor who and I can respect it more as that. Dimensions in time I’ve got to admit I think it sucks but it’s enjoyable and oddly enough it does give me some respect for the 6th doctor. I like how determined he is and I find his meeting with the brigadier worked quite well. I don’t know considering I know a lot of people call him the bad doctor. I like how he was portrayed in this story/sketch/drugged out hallucination made manifest. Bearing in mind I’ve only watched one 6th doctor story and haven’t really got a taste of his era so maybe my opinion of him will change but I can’t help noting he comes across quite well at least according to me

  12. Mat Hounsell said:

    I loved Silver Nemesis. I came back to Doctor Who by the books – specifically Revenge of the Cybermen. Seeing the cybermen on screen was just so wonderful; no matter the calibre of the rest of the story.

    Not to mention ACE being so awesome as to take out Cybermen with a slingshot.

    Of course it may have helped that I missed the middle episode….

    I even enjoyed rewatching it this year.

    I especially love the Doctor and Ace just stopping the running to lie on the grass and listen to Jazz.

  13. […] links: Our ep that covers “The Five Doctors” Our ep about Martha’s last (proper) […]

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