Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode36-300Steven Moffat is often praised for his ability to take perfectly normal everyday things and make them terrifying, but Doctor Who has a long history of such antics. Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we chat about lots of mundane items we now give the side-eye, thanks to our beloved show. From angels to dolls to plastic policemen to telephones, the world is a scary place. Thanks Doctor Who!

And in a strange bit of synchronicity, Deb tries to remember the title of a book she read as a youngster. After recording, she looked it up and discovered it was Mutant 59: The Plastic Eaters, by Kit Pedlar and Gerry Davis– the creators of her beloved Cybermen!

Last, but certainly not least, we do our first Verity! giveaway, courtesy of Paul Cornell! Leave us a comment to enter to win a signed copy of The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who! (We’ll contact you via the email address used to leave the comment, so make sure it’s a legit addy.)


Thanks to everyone who entered our give-away! A winner has been drawn – listen to our March 12 episode where we will announce the lucky recipient.

Also covered:

Download or listen now (runtime 1:09:16) 

Comments on: "Verity! Episode 36 – Run-of-the-Mill to Run-for-Your-Life" (95)

  1. 🙂

  2. Chuck C said:

    Great podcast as always. Looking forward to the next!

  3. Christopher Heer said:

    Just wanted to say that I really, really enjoy your podcast. It’s one of the most thoughtful podcasts I’ve ever heard, and each week it’s definitely my little nugget of glee that fills me with Doctor Who delight! 🙂

  4. An excellent comic, that one by Paul Cornell. 😉

    I note that Edward mentioned a Sarah Jane Adventures ep involving food – I’d like to add that the pilot episode of SJA involved people drinking alien tainted soda and therefore being controlled. 😉

  5. Kinetical Risk said:

    Love Paul Cornell! Can’t wait to check out the podcast for the first time. I’m an occasional listener of The Writers’ Room but 2MTL is the perfect length.

  6. Clare said:

    Am I too late? would love to have a chance to win the Paul Cornell book 🙂

  7. The black cubes in “The Power of Three” might also be seen as an example of an ordinary object that becomes a threat. In the case of the cubes, they follow the cycle of a fad product that is initially sought out and eventually stowed in one’s attic.

  8. I love comics!

  9. I think an honoury mention is due to the original “run-of-the-mill” item from as far back as 1964…

    …the scissors Susan wields at Ian and Barbara in Edge of Destruction. It’s a dramatic and unsettling moment that is often overlooked in such a maligned story but the BBC had a fit that Susan uses an everyday and dangerous item in such a manner.

  10. Big thanks to Verity! for keeping me sane on too many flights. Husband and I are in South America, following our stop off at Gallifrey One. I’m terrified of flying but, as he keeps reminding me, “Courage isn’t a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway”. So thanks for a little dose of courage before all the crashing and screaming begins!

  11. I am a huge Paul Cornell fan and a Doctor Who fan. Can’t wait to read it!

  12. This looks an excellent book & I’d love to read it

  13. Antiqueight said:

    Oh oh – more Paul – yay!!

  14. Thanks for the lovely podcast interview with Paul Cornell! My biggest regret about having to sell our Gally tickets this year is missing a chance to meet him. I’d love to toss my name into the hat up for the comic book drawing. 🙂

    • Sorry you didn’t make it to Gally this year! Hope you can some year soon. If you want a taste of the fun, do check out our last Verity! Extra! I’m a bit confused about your comment. We didn’t do an interview with Paul. Perhaps you’re thinking of The Memory Cheats? He did appear on that podcast while at Gally.

      We’ll put your name in the hat for the drawing, as you did leave a comment. I do hope you’ll give our podcast a listen though!


  15. *Disregard that weird “up” in my comment above. Oopse. I can’t even blame autocorrect for that one!

  16. Wendy C said:

    I’ve been a Paul Cornell fan since his first Doctor Who novel for Virgin, and while I have no idea what this new book is, I am sure I would like to read it!

  17. Kinda funny how off topic it got from everyday scary things to what villians were rubbish. And even though some of the items weren’t sentient, I look it at from the kids point of view. Running around the playground, all you need is a straw and you’re a Plasmavore. And I was expecting you to talk about the fries (or chips) in the School Reunion one.

  18. Crinia said:

    I tried to watch Dr Who as a child but found it a bit too scary. So when Dr who returned in 2005 I thought ” I an adult now, I can handle this”. Unfortunately, the first show I saw was “The Empty Child”. It was so scary it gave me nightmares. The result was that until 2 years ago I didn’t see any other shows. Now I have caught up and love it.
    A question for the Verity ladies. I took the approach of working from the current and moving back through the episodes, it seemed to work OK. Would you recommend this approach for the comics and audio? Or should I be starting at the beginning and working toward the present? Maybe just throw organisation to the wind and select randomly?

    • Hooray, someone else who got nightmares from The Empty Child! I’m not sure if I would have continued if that was the first episode I ever saw! – I’m glad that you gave Doctor Who another go and have enjoyed it. My sister also found Doctor Who too scary as a child, and refused to watch it as an adult until this year – she has been working her way through New Who from the beginning, I’m not sure if she’s up-to-date yet…

      I don’t know about the comics at all, but as someone who has only just started dipping into the audios, I think that randomly (or at least semi-randomly) is the way to go – there are simply TOO MANY to try to do it in any kind of order. Also, my understanding is that there are particular sets of audio adventures that you really need to listen to in chronological order, so working backwards wouldn’t work for them.

      A large number (I think it’s the first 50?) of the Big Finish Main Range audios are now really cheap (in Aus$ they are $2.99). I followed some of Tansy’s suggestions (see her 8th doctor recommendations here: and loved the ones I’ve tried (Storm Warning, Chimes of Midnight, Mary’s Story); just haven’t had time since then to listen to more, but will definitely listen to more 8th doctor (Paul McGann’s voice is just DELIGHTFUL to listen to). A word of warning, though, about The Chimes of Midnight – it is excellent, but CREEPY – I found I couldn’t listen to it at night!

      There are also more stand-alone (rather than serial-style) stories that might be good starting places – I believe Liz’s upcoming story will be one of those? [Not a paid advertisement, yada yada :-)]

      I’m sure if you search through earlier Verity posts you will find some more recommendations on good audio stories for other doctors too.

  19. I’ve already read it digitally, and it’s fantastic… a signed copy would be wonderful!

  20. I really loved the episode and would love to get a copy of the comic.

    Also just a comment on the point of companions not keeping their fears, in ‘God Complex’ Amy does show fear of the Weeping Angels but that is the only instance I could think of in the televised show.

  21. James said:

    Can’t the genesis of the everyday object becoming a source of terror be traced back to the Daleks when they made a sink plunger one of the most feared objects in the universe?

  22. Oh, shoot, hope I’m not too late for the contest! But on a more serious note, what’s with all the 3rd Doctor bashing? I love him and just because he’s tetchy doesn’t mean he doesn’t rail against authority as much as the next Doctor. He’s constantly trying to convince the authorities not to destroy aliens (except perhaps the Daleks). Think of the Silurians he tried to save. He was also a friend of environmentalists–this was, after all, a recurring theme of the 70s. Give the poor man his due!

    • Some of us Verities LOVE Jon Pertwee, but it upsets Liz when we talk about how much we like him, right, Deb?

      (plays Tom Jones’ cover of Sex Bomb…)

      • Did anyone ever make that Pertwee sex bomb video for you guys?

      • You should let Liz’s disdain for Jon Pertwee’s Doctor put you off. You must have courage, because as 3 said…courage isn’t just about being brave, it’s about being scared and having to do what you have to do anyway. Like I won’t be told that the Hinchcliffe era is crap, or that the Williams era was all that (whose eventual uber silliness lead to the somewhat po faced and descent into celebrity casting of the 80s) (caves of Androzani not withstanding). I still love Doctor Who with all my heart though 😉 well a lot of it…the bit that doesn’t love my wife, family and cat or my work.

    • Shouldn’t even

  23. Joel Aarons from Melbourne Australia said:

    Love the podcast as always ladies. A fresh perspective that always leaves me entertained. Oh – and I would absolutely love that comic as well!!! Thanks for everything that you do.

  24. Oh, I hope it’s not too late to enter in a comment for the comic? I bought it in a digital form and loved it, it would be so cool to have a real copy…

    Weirdly, I can’t say I’ve ever felt “this is creepy” from any episode of Doctor Who, even Blink or others that are commonly said to be scary. Maybe if I’d been a fan when I was a little kid, I would have back then, but eh. Honestly, horror doesn’t really “do” it for me. I’ve seen a few horror movies, but I guess I just don’t get them as a person. Either I’m totally unfazed by the horror and just end up feeling bored, or it actually gets to me to such an extent that it’s no longer enjoyable to watch. The latter has never happened to me with Doctor Who, so it’s not the “scary for the children” factor that attracts me to the show.

    The plastic daffodils in Terror of the Autons are probably my favorite iteration of this Who trope, though.

  25. AbsolomDaak said:

    The one thing Doctor who has always been good at is make innocent inanimate object into something sinister, I can’t look at plastic Daffodils that are given out around Easter,

  26. Like Lynn, I also associated the alphabetical range of books with LC classifications, not title. Who sorts by title???

  27. Another enjoyable and interesting podcast!

    I can suggest one other everyday ‘thing’ that Who has always used as a source of malevolence and villainy – human beings! Much as the Doctor seems to love humans, they’re also a source of constant strife for him.

    The best New Who example I can think of is in ‘Midnight’ where the weird synchronised talky alien entity brought out the absolute worst in the Doctor’s fellow passengers and they became the scariest thing in that episode, for me. As a horror fan in his 40s I’m no longer scared of the same things that scared me as a kid, but episodes like that are more disturbing and powerful to me.

    Maybe the mundane ‘villainy’ of ordinary humans is a subject you could tackle in the podcast, if you don’t plan to already? 🙂

  28. SoniaZ said:

    Your podcast gave me nightmares! I just listened to this podcast last night on a late plane flight. i then ended up dreaming I was in shadowy house fighting off giant dolls and plastic daffodils with Crocodile Dundee knife (why I was using a croc dundee knife on Doctor Who monsters – I don’t know). I don’t know who was more scared, me or my husband when I grabbed him in the middle of the night. Thanks ladies, another great podcast. . 😎

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