Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityExtra2014-300Happy 2014 everyone! We hope your first week of the new year has treated you well. We also hope you’re ready for a whole new year, a new series if you will, of Verity! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as we let you in on what we have in store for you this year. You’ll certainly get reviews of new Doctor Who episodes (whenever they finally air), but in addition to that, we’ve got a whole new theme to cover! We hope you’re even half as excited about it as we are.

It strikes me that we’re filled with hope. I suppose that’s right and proper for the beginning of a new year and a new venture. So in that vein, we hope you’ll join us!


Download or listen now (runtime 30:28) 

Comments on: "Verity! Extra! – 2014: The Year in Preview" (30)

  1. Great podcasting this year from the Verity team. I’ve enjoyed getting different perspectives on a show I’ve loved for over 30 years.

    Good luck with “the monster season”

    Love from Dan,
    Aged 37,
    Frome, Somerset, England

  2. Congrats on a year of lovely podcasting, and thanks for giving me a very interesting and entertaining thing to listen to while walking home from work! 🙂

    I think monsters and villains should be a very fruitful vein to mine in 2014. I look forward to hearing you explore the villainous themes that have run through the show’s history.

    Here’s a suggestion for you – monstrous transformations! This could touch on some juicy themes and would encompass Inferno, The Ark in Space, Seeds of Doom, Planet of Evil, and many more, including the one with the Scottish werewolves! 🙂

  3. How very appropriate. Just today I have reached that sad moment where I have to transition from listening to as many episodes in a row as I want to to one a week. As of today I have heard all of your episodes and enjoyed every single one of them. I’ve found them informative, entertaining, witty and always, always interesting. For the past few months Verity! has been for me a nearly daily dose of delight and I’m very much looking forward to hearing more from you in 2014. Even if I now have to wait a week between episodes!

  4. Of all 2013’s nuggets of Doctor Who goodness that filled me with glee, one of them was definitely the arrival of Verity! in my podcast feed – thanks for a great year.

    Oh, and if Erika’s experiment with Patreon pans out, I’d be more than happy to throw something in the hat to help support this very fine podcast. I love crowdfunding great creatives…

  5. Brilliant idea about silent monsters, Tansy. It has actually been a pet theory of mine for years, that the absolute scariest villains are the ones you can’t communicate with, for one reason or another. Especially for the Doctor, whose ‘super power’ if anything is talking his way out of trouble. But this goes across other shows too…I could whip out any number of examples from Star Trek or Stargate, or of course Alien. And even natural disasters and forces of nature could apply (unless you anthropomorphize them), because you can’t wheedle your way out of having to deal with this unstoppable menace. This is another aspect of Inferno 🙂

    To mention a specific case, this was my biggest problem with Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone. I know lots of people think it was the greatest thing ever, but some things about it seriously disappointed me. In Blink, the angels were terrifying, in no small part because, besides not being able to outright defeat them, there was nothing you could do to negotiate with them either. But in the follow-up angel episodes, they appropriate Bob the cleric’s voice, and suddenly they aren’t the enigmatic completely alien Other anymore–they’re just another generic villain for the Doctor to deal with in the usual way, and he can put them off their game by telling cleverly distracting lies and misdirections. It makes the weaker. Yes, they’re still terrifying, but that unique quality that initially MADE them terrifying is normalized into something we know and are capable of understanding (because, you know that overdone saying, people fear what they don’t understand).

    This makes me think of a time when I was younger, and for a stab at some good creepy fun my dad put a huge sleeping bag over his head and just stood there in the middle of the kitchen without moving or speaking, no matter how much I tried to get him to react. I wasn’t actually scared by this (I already had this theory about silent villains by then, and was somewhat immunized) but even so it was incredibly disconcerting. When I finally whipped the sleeping bag off so I could see his face again, he told me he knew there was no way he could frighten me by actually hulking around and growling, so he figured that was his only shot at some real scares. And he was right–there’s just something so wrong about lack of response. And I don’t think it gets taken advantage of as much as it should in TV.

    I love witty banter as much as the next girl (really. I LOVE banter.), but you just know that everything will turn out okay as soon as the Doctor starts talking. Mostly. Like in Family of Blood, when it’s been John Smith all episode long and suddenly you hear the Doctor again, and you know that voice will make it all right in a jiffy. And whenever the Daleks come on and instead of shooting everything in sight, which would be the sensible thing to do, they take the Doctor prisoner and reveal their dastardly plans, which thereupon inevitably go awry.

    So one more thing to mention before I end this ridiculous post. Villains don’t actually need to be silent to have the qualities that make silence scary. It’s the lack of communication thing. Case in point: Are you my mummy? The ‘villain’ goes around talking, and says more than just this one line that he’s known for, but he’s still beyond reach as far as conversation is concerned. I guess you could say the real villain is the nanogenes, which naturally don’t speak. And finally, the unknown entity in Midnight. But I’ll leave that one to you.

    I’m so excited for this episode, whenever it airs!

    • This!! I find the quiet/lack of response much more menacing than the shouty bad guys. For me I think it’s the lack of response, more than the silence (not to be confused with Silence, of course), and the whatever-it-was in Midnight wigged me out more than nearly any other.

      My husband is very chatty and loud…I wonder if he’s even more creeped out by unspeaking bad guys than I am. Could be interesting to see if it’s a personality thing. 🙂

      • “Midnight” is my favorite Tenth Doctor story, for just the reason you mention. Well, that, and the brilliant acting from all the wonderfully written characters. Feels like the most “Twilight Zone” of Doctor Whos!

  6. Verity! The Missing Episode

    I didn’t know about this one, thanks for mentioning it! The bit with the Verities (Erika, Deb, Lynne, and Liz) starts at 52:15

  7. When you take a look at the TARDIS this year, I can highly recommend No Place Like Home. It’s an audio drama Big Finish did with the 5th Doctor and Erimem that was released in Doctor Who Magazine some years ago. It goes far towards explaining one way the Time Lords try to control the Doctor…

  8. Hello! I discovered and started listening to Verity! as a result of looking for podcast discussion of “Adventure in Space and Time,” and have been catching up since then. I’m still a relatively new “Who” fan, only coming aboard in 2010 with Matt Smith, so I haven’t listened to much of your coverage of the classic series yet (because, you know – spoilers!); but I’ve really enjoyed all the intelligent and funny discussion I’ve heard so far, and look forward to listening to (and learning) more in 2014.

    Here’s one thought that might prove fruitful re: monsters – if I knew more about the classic show, I could “do the homework” myself! How about monsters/villains that also exist outside “Doctor Who”? For example, the Minotaur (the Nimon in the classic series; the monster from “The God Complex” in New Who). And doesn’t Morgan le Fey show up in a Sylvester McCoy story? You could explore how “Who” appropriates and reinterprets these villains and monsters when compared to the original literary, mythological, etc. source material.

    Thanks for producing such a high-quality show!

    • James C said:

      In a related thought, how about comparing the treatment of monsters & villains in Doctor Who with those in other programs or films? There are some obvious ones like cybermen and borg, but perhaps of more interest would be to consider ones that were broadcast at roughly the same time. Was DW addressing similar concerns as other shows? Did it go about it in the same way? As fans I think we often find ourselves stuck in the bubble of the Whoniverse, without much consideration of what was happening outside.

  9. Congrats on your one year anniversary and I am looking forward to the upcoming season! I hope you get to do a definitive villain discussion like you did with the companions. Or how about a discussion on intangible/incorporeal villains like The Great Intelligence, House, or The Wire?

    I love all the ideas everyone has suggested on the podcast and in the comments here (especially the one about villains based on myths, history, or literature).

    Thank you for such a wonderful year and many well wishes for the new year! 😀

  10. Congrats on a year of Verity! ladies! I’ve had such a great time listening – and a Monster Season sounds wonderful! I had an idea for a category for your villain/monster discussion – I know you’ve already done Daleks, but how about monsters that were created in an attempt to reproduce Dalekmania? (in terms of merchandising, etc – finding The Next Big Thing in Doctor Who). Things like the War Machines, Quarks, and Chumblies come immediately to mind, but I think there are others. I know it’s more of a real-world application, but it could be interesting to compare how incorporating such creatures into a story affects the writing/production.

  11. Happy birthday Verity!

    I have really enjoyed your podcast since I discovered it in June of 2013. I’m probably more of a fan of Verity! than I am of Doctor Who 🙂 All the Verities are totally awesome, and the community that has grown around the podcast is fantastic too.

    Your 2014 season theme sounds great! I’d love to hear an episode on Traitors. I feel that the humans who work or side with the monsters or villains are frequently the most interesting characters on Doctor Who. And there are lots of examples in both Classic and New Who.

    Finally, your theme for 2014 fits in well with an idea I’ve had for some time for a little fan project of my own. Now you’ve given me the impetus to actually set it up, and I’ll send you the link once it’s live… Thanks to Verity! for giving me the inspiration.

  12. bekitty3 said:

    I would really like to see an episode about Time Lords who are villains. Not just the Master and the Rani, but also people like the Meddling Monk (mainly because I’m currently listening to the Big Finish Eighth Doctor Adventures) and Rassilon.

  13. Happy One Year anniversary Verity!

    I hooked into this thanks to following Lynne. Although I’ve been a fan of DW for decades, I really didn’t hook into the fan community all that much. This year, listening to podcasts like yours, doing a panel at CONvergence, etc, has helped insert me into this fandom.

  14. Happy one year to Verity!
    This is the one spot online I feel 100% comfortable posting fannish sentiment, and know that it will never somehow devolve into a total nerd-rage fest. It’s been a great year of Verity! and I look forward to more.

    Listening this morning on the way to work was a much needed pick me up. Coming off the high of the anniversary, a new Doctor, and all the general related fun in 2013, I confess I was feeling a little bummed out. Hearing Verity!s talk of plans for this year, seeing photos from Series 8 shooting…now I’m excited. Here we go again, as always. 😀

  15. I thought of a potential topic that I didn’t notice in the comments above: Villains and monsters from Doctor Who that are based on popular or classical source material (Brain of Morbius from Mary Shelley; The Satan Pit from, well, Dante I suppose; The Vampires of Venice from Bram Stoker, Anne Rice,; that sort of thing). Some of these are very obvious, and others are merely a vague homage. I always think it’s interesting to observe and talk about when Doctor Who borrows or references other genres and other cultural material.

    • “Talent borrows, genius steals, and Doctor Who writers get it off the back of a lorry, no questions asked”, as one of the show’s writers once remarked. 🙂

  16. Hi Verity podcasters, i have only recently stumbled upon your podcast and I think it is superb. Keep up the good work! Your idea for a season of villains sounds intriguing. One thought I had was to do a show on all the wonderful megalomaniacs the Dr has faced over the course of the past 50 years. The Hinchcliffe era is rife with them! Other ones you could investigate include misguided villains (general Carrington from ‘ambassadors of death’ springs to mind, also the captain from ‘pirate planet’ hidden deep beneath the ridiculous bluster there is some strange stuff going on) and finally how about villains who use mind control to possess and use others as their tools for their dastardly deeds. I don’t really mean the Master, but he can be touched upon, but the Mara (which is such a wonderful concept it probably needs its own episode to fully delve into its background), gods of ragnarok, the Eternals etc.

    OK that’s my two and a half dents worth!


  17. How about just human villains (and/or human collaborators with alien villains)?

    • That’s a great idea, Emily! What prompts someone to turn on their own species and planet? My family and I recently rewatched “The Sontaran Stratagem” / “The Poison Sky” and I’d forgotten how interesting Luke Rattigan was (even if his arc feels a bit rushed). Also, Adam from the “Weakest Link” Eccleston episode.

  18. Mandy said:

    Many congratulations on a wonderful first year. I look forward to listening in for many more years to come.

    One of my great hopes for Doctor Who in the future is a more positive representation of disability (ideally, a disabled companion). On past form though, the subject is better suited to a discussion of Who Villains. So what about an episode considering the use of physical impairment as a marker of villainous intent? Davros and Lumic, Daleks and Cybermen, Dortmun and Judson, Greel and Jek… Doctor Who isn’t short of examples, alas.

    The Ouch! Blog discussed this back when the show returned ( ) and I was casting a disabled companion while everyone else was casting a female Doctor ( ). There’s some interesting posts over at the old Disabled Feminists site ( and amongst others) and many more to be found online.

    So, Deb, do I get a Gold Star? 🙂

    • Deb hasn’t piped up, so I will just award you a gold star in her stead. Well done! 😀

      • Mandy said:

        You’re very kind! A gold star and only 33 years after I left first school; Mrs Brooks was right, patience is a virtue 🙂

        As an addendum to my original comment, I’ve been thinking about Doctor Who’s representation of mental health issues. While there have been a few more positive characters (Tommy, Vincent), you’d be hard pressed to find a Who Villain that isn’t some way down the path marked “Insane”. A topic for an Extra, perhaps?

  19. Ray Adamson said:

    Gee,quite impressed by the creativity of most of the suggestions for episode topics around here,most of the choices i would favour have already been listed really so i’m slightly desperate.Maybe Underwater Menaces could work,you could have the Myrka,The Skarasen,The Seaweed monster,fish people,Drashigs,Sea Devils,flying sharks[As far as i’m concerned Moffat rides sharks,he doesn’t jump them,I’m appreciating Sherlock as much as ever.]Shape changers like Zygons,Gangers,Rutans and Time Lords is my only other available suggestion.Happy New Year.Congrats to LM Myles on her Big Finish story commission.

  20. Congrats on the first year!

    I had trouble posting this from my phone yesterday, but I think redemption is a topic that has a lot of potential. Which villains were redeemed by the end of their tale? Which villains failed to be redeemed? Is the Doctor fair in who he tries to redeem and who he condemns to defeat? Does the Doctor do enough to redeem those who could do good in the world(s)?

  21. Joel Aarons from Melbourne Australia said:

    Well done on a fantastic year! Verity has been such a breath of fresh air to the usual Doctor Who (male-centric) podcasts, and it has been an absolute joy to listen to week after week.

    If it hasn’t made your spreadsheet yet for the year, may I throw an idea into the mix looking at World Leaders/Politicians. Just some of the ones I’m thinking of could be Trau Morgas, Helen A, The Marshall (from Colony In Space), Harriett Jones (?), The Master (I guess), Salamander, The Pirate Captain, various public servants from the Pertwee years, the guy from Invasion Of The Dinosaurs that everyone seemed to trust, The Borad and all his Maylins, and finally Hitler himself in Lets Kill Hitler.

    I’d love to hear a podcast on how power corrupts (or that all power corrupts absolutely).

    Thanks for a great year!

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