Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode107The first year of new-Who continues with its first two-parter. Join Deb, Erika, Lynne, and Tansy as we delve deep (I mean DEEP) into the relationships and characterizations and implications in “Aliens of London” and “World War Three”. Yes, we touch on the farting aliens, but there’s so much more in this story. It’s a bit of an anchor point for the arcs of several of our characters, and we tug hard on that anchor.

In addition, we talk about the importance of libraries (Happy National Library Week!), the Doctor as a soldier, and someone utters the phrase “barfing emotions”. It’s quite a ride.

What do you think of this two-parter? Did the farting aliens or the domesticity turn you off? Or did you enjoy the drama? And is your reaction any different now than the first time you saw this (assuming you have seen it before)? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus link:
Doctor Who Confidential

Download or listen now (runtime 1:37:53) 

Comments on: "107 – A Tale of Two Families" (9)

  1. Reblogged this on Confessions of a Curator, Editor, Geek and commented:

    New Verity!

  2. Great podcast about two fabulous episodes! Too bad Liz wasn’t there. Her added perspective would have made the episode perfect.

    Back then I felt the Slitheen family were the new Zygons. Naked and rude. Remember the Zygon reveal to Sarah Jane? Very rude. But the Slitheen are also funny, which, in spite of the silly and childish jokes, did work. And I didn’t want fart jokes on Doctor Who. But everything works. Except the cliffhanger. They took a lot of time to get the hang of the cliffhangers (useless pun, I know).

    Rose was confused. She gave mixed signals. Her immature mother worshiped a fantasy version of Rose’s dad. Could it be she was subconsciously looking for a father figure? The Doctor was somehow right for the part; a tortured guy from outer space. I buy it. What I don’t buy is how she goes off with David Tennant 0.2. Ugh! I’m still hoping for an episode in which she comes back, very damaged, on the run, from the alternate reality he totally destroyed.

  3. Raina Williams said:

    I hate these episodes. I know that “hate” is a strong word but these EPs are so hard to watch. People say Fear Her is the worst ep of Doctor Who but atleast that was one throw away story. I know that there is family drama and all that but the aliens overshadowed that for me.
    I remembered when I first watched this and wondering what’s the point of this two parter? I felt like the alien storyline was under minding the audienceby the constant farting. It wasn’t funny , it stupid! I know this was the first season but I just can’t take these episodes. Boom Town did a better job at the Slitheen but they are horrible villians and glad they never came back.

  4. Raina Williams said:

    This is my least favorite episodes of new who. I know that the domestic stuff is good by the Slitheen just makes this so hard to watch. These EPs are all over the place. I can never watch these all the way through. Thank god these aliens never came back.

  5. Oh my heavens. I was emailing for work until 10 tonight then decided to celebrate my 13 hour workday being finally over with a small cocktail and Verity… only to hear my name on the podcast! Hence a rather terrible shirt dribble 🙂

    My 16 yr-old daughter and I accompany my husband to Disneyland most years at this time, as he brings his high school show choir to perform. This was also our first year at Galley (another great first!) Imagine us trundling around DL as per usual, when we pass a man in a long brown coat. Bit warm I think to myself, and he really looks so familiar… We pass him again soon after, but now there’s a duplicate with him. Definitely ride operators I think vaguely (though they do not hang about, or wear sand shoes) when my daughter says urgently, “it’s the Doctor!” I say, well whattya know, it does look like two 10th Doctors there, how odd and interesting. Pretty soon a Missie passes us in her purple dress, and I momentarily think Mary Poppins (bc DL) as my daughter is saying “didn’t you SEE that?!” (She thinks I’m incredibly slow, and she’s not always wrong 😉 ) Then a Dalek dress comes by, and a Cyber woman in a silver dress, and before you know it we’re fairly surrounded by Whovians in cosplay. What a thoroughly fun surprise. I hope we get to go the same day next year, we’ll dress up for sure.

    (PS, I finally posted my firsts, esp my lovely slippers thanks to Deb’s tweet about a sale long ago. Also it’s my first year on Twitter, which is clearly so well worth it. Verities all, you are responsible for a whole lot of fun.)

  6. I remember the build-up to the relaunch in 2005, and I had several possible notions of what the new show might be like in my head, and it was just a few minutes into ‘Rose’ that I kind of clicked into, “So it’s going to be THIS kind of show!”

    I think I had hoped for something a bit more gritty and horror-based, but once I made the mental adjustment, I was fine with the new show and I rolled with it.

    In terms of the domestic stuff, I realised that a sci-fi adventure serial in 2005 could not possibly be the same as a sci-fi adventure serial from 1975. There needed to be a dramatic element that was largely missing from classic Who, and I was perfectly OK with that. Companions needed more depth than what had been on the page in the good old days of running down corridors, captures, rescues etc, and if that meant more fleshed-out back-stories and secondary characters, so be it.

    And really, that was part of what was fascinating and enjoyable about the new show – throwing this character that I’d grown up with into modern settings and situations and seeing how he would react and adapt to them.

    So yes, that was how I reconciled new and classic Who, and it has served me well ever since! 🙂

  7. Kayleigh said:

    Fabulous episode as always, ladies! I really enjoyed hearing your perspectives on a story that often gets a lot of slack that is (in my opinion at least) not entirely deserved.

    One thing that I think about when I watch this episode, and to be fair could be colored by a significant amount of fanfic and shipping Rose and the Doctor pretty hard, is that my reading of the Rose/Mickey relationship was never all that romantic. Especially after seeing their arc in it’s entirety, with Father’s Day and the Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel story in season 2, these two always struck me as being more friends who grew up together with a relatively tough life and as they were in their teenage years it seemed like the safe and easy choice to build a different kind of relationship together. It seemed clear in Father’s Day that even from the time Rose was a baby Mickey was a part of the Tyler family’s life. At the end of Age of Steel when Mickey decides to stay in the parallel world and he and Rose are saying goodbye, it seemed to have an undertone of “us against the world” as opposed to a romantic relationship. Because of that, I tended to read the back and forth in their relationship as more of a potential indication of the one stable person in the other’s life making a choice to drastically change their ability to support each other through the challenges of life on the estate. Even from my first watching of Rose, when it gets to the scene back at Rose’s apartment after she could have just died, Mickey seems to be checking up on a buddy as opposed to someone he is in love with, and Rose doesn’t seem to be that concerned about that fact when she basically brushes him off entirely. Looking at Mickey’s reaction in these stories to finding out Rose is back, his focus tends to stay more on the fact that everyone thought he was a murderer rather than on the fact that he missed his girlfriend.

    Looking forward to the next episode!

  8. james McC said:

    Regarding former companions of the doctor meeting post-Tardis which Deb mentioned….

    In the non-doctor story Downtime, the Brigadier and Sarah Jane came up against Victoria who was (again!) under the influence of the great intelligence.

    In the 4th series of the Sarah Jane Adventures story, “The Death of the Doctor” where Matt Smith makes a special appearance as The Doctor, as David Tenant had done the previous year in “The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith” Jo Grant appears with her grandson, (Finn Jones).

    At the end of the story Clyde (one of her three companions) asks Sarah Jane if there could be other companions of The Doctor out there, and she answers:

    “There’s a Tegan in Australia fighting for aboriginal rights, a Polly and Ben who run an orphanage in India, a couple of Professors Ian and Barbara Chesterton in Cambridge, who reputedly have never grown old since the 60’s and a Dorothy something or who runs a charity called that raises millions.

    She also mentions Harry as a doctor who invented vaccines that saved the lives of thousands.

    Interestingly at one point when breaking into the Pharos Project, she remarks that her unit training was helpful, and in an earlier story, she had to get the Brigadier’s help to get into the black archives. And the Slitheen turn up in several stories, and…

    Russell Davis stated in Volume 4 of the Sarah Jane Adventures Companion, that he intended writing a series 6 story where Ace (Dorothy) came to see Sarah Jane.

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