CHAPTER 01 - A Rambling Review of Series 12 - Part 1

From Episode 1: Doctor Who Gives A Fuck

JB: Welcome to a group of former Doctor Who podcasters who are going to be talking about Doctor Who again. This will be on the WHO 37 feed, so some will say this is the unwanted return of WHO 37. I really just want to start a new podcast and call it Doctor Who Gives A Fuck.

CHRIS: I like that. That works.

SEAN: I gotta ask you this question, JB. When we last talked, and it was actually in person in Chicago on the day after Christmas, we had both resigned ourselves to…I think you said “Doctor Who gives a fuck”, and I was like, “Yeah, I agree.” I’m just not looking forward to the new series at all. I’m just curious to know what caused you to DM us and say, “Hey, let’s do a recording”?

JB: Honestly it was watching last week’s episode. So we’re going to talk about the first five episodes of Series 12. "Spyfall” was entertaining, “Orphan 55” was really bad, and “Nicholas Tesla’s Night of Terror” was just an episode of Doctor Who. That’s all I can say about that.

CHRIS: Not a bad thing, though.

JB: Yeah, but I don’t have the time to invest in just another episode of Doctor Who. I don’t think that Doctor Who can be an anthology with a story arc anymore. You can be one or the other, and if you try to be both, you need multi-part episodes and more than ten episodes per series. You only have 50 minutes per episodes to be introduced to these new characters who I don’t give a shit about. Nicholas Tesla, who was played by Dr. Luka from “ER” was good, and did you two recognize the dude who played Thomas Edison?



JB: Okay, prepare to get your minds blown. He was Salenteen in “The Caves of Androzani”.

SEAN: Oh, wow!

CHRIS: The overbearing squad leader?

JB: No, he was the android that Sheraz Jek set up for espionage.

SEAN: Kind of a good looking, very angular featured, skinny fella.

JB: Yes. He also played Peter Davison’s brother in “Sink or Swim”.

CHRIS: Wow! Now I gotta watch that episode again.

SEAN: I have a confession to make. I thought the first two episodes I watched were pretty good, but I wasn’t quite enthusiastic enough to watch “Orphan 55”. I’d catch snippets of it on Facebook from some well-meaning friends who don’t necessarily want to spoil things, and I got the impression that it was just not that good. And then when fuckers on Facebook - Radio Free Skaro - spoiled the twist on this fifth episode, I thought, “Well, shit, I better catch up.” And I got halfway through the Tesla episode, and it was just making me really anxious. I decided that I didn’t have to watch these in order. I’m going to watch this one with the “new” Doctor. And so I stopped watching the Tesla episode and never went back and finished it. I feel like I’m cheating being on this podcast because I didn’t watch 100 percent of Doctor Who because it made me so anxious.

JB: Don’t worry about it. I came into this last episode extremely cold. I made sure to stay off social media. Apparently there was this big hype leading up to this fifth episode, and I was not aware of it at all.

CHRIS: Same.

JB: I thought, “Hey, we going to get the Judoon. That’s kinda cool.”

CHRIS: I saw some shit about the Judoon leader was named “Paul Don Juan” after some fan who died?

JB: Paul Con Don.

CHRIS: Yeah, that was a nice thing.

JB: It’s like Geordi La Forge.

CHRIS: Yeah, and that was all the hype I had going into this episode. I was not expecting anything that big.

JB: We pawn off the three companions on Captain Jack. From the second I heard his voice, I was like, “Oh, my god, it’s John Barrowman!”

CHRIS: Yeah, I think he got three words out of his mouth, and I was like, “CAPTAIN JACK!”

SEAN: Yeah, he was fabulous. I was clenching my butt cheeks the whole time he was on. If you see one episode with him in it for the first time, he’s kind of annoying, and then he just grows on you. He’s really hamming it up in this, and he’s having a really good time.

CHRIS: You can feel it coming off him. He is enjoying the fuck out of doing this.

JB: My partner and I have been binging through the first four seasons of “Arrow” where he plays a villain. He’s a dick on that show, and it was really nice seeing him playing it up as Captain Jack again. Although the hair is obviously dyed Ronald Regan black.

SEAN: Really?

JB: Oh, god, yes!

CHRIS: My wife and I noticed it, too. Whoa, ease up on that dye, guy! You just have to get the gray out. You don’t have to suck all the light out of the room.

SEAN: I saw a picture of him and he was platinum blond. Almost white.

JB: We saw him last year on a panel at C2E2, and he wasn’t blond. It might have been for a role.

CHRIS: I’ve seen pictures of him recently on Facebook with the blond hair. I thought he was currently blond as well.

JB: Well, they shot this episode a year ago.

SEAN: He’s older than me, and I’m almost all gray now.

CHRIS: Can we get to the Doctor being a black mama with a big butt?

JB: That is no way to talk about Colin Baker!

SEAN: I think this is the first podcast where someone said that about her.

JB: Bring in Sir Mix-A-Lot.

CHRIS: I love it, though! The Doctor’s got some booty now!

JB: So Chris, what are your theories? Because I know you have some.

CHRIS: Can we just call her “The Ruth Doctor”?

JB: Yeah, because I’m sure as fuck not going to call her Doctor Ruth!

CHRIS: I’m not sure that Chibnall would go so far as to try to do his own “War Doctor” with her by trying to wedge her into the continuity. Do you guys think he’d do that?

JB: I think Chris Chibnall is, with abandon, just like, “Fuck continuity! I’m just going to do what I want!” Apparently this is something he’s had in mind to do since he was fifteen.

CHRIS: I don’t think he’s bending over and fucking the continuity like Moffat did. Like the new Master. We’ve never seen a Master that is…is he Indian?

JB: I think so, yeah. He’s the same guy who played Warris Husain in “Adventure in Space and Time”.

CHRIS: He had the Tissue Compression Eliminator, and he was shrinking people, but he was still a little too hyperbolic and exaggerated. Like how John Simm and Mary Poppins were. But not quite as bad as they were. He had more of a classic Master vibe to him. I think Chibnall has been more respectful of the continuity.

JB: It’s funny, because I’m not pissed off. I’m actually enjoying it. When we saw the destruction of Gallifrey again, I thought, “Good, let’s destroy Gallifrey. Let’s just do it. Fuck it.” And I think it’s because it’s done so well, and it’s actually propelling the story, and it’s not bullshit Stephen Moffat “oh look how clever I am I’m going to insert myself into the continuity”. It’s done in a much more entertaining manner.

CHRIS: It makes logical sense. At least to this point, Chibnall hasn’t been paying off his arcs with just throwaway lines. He actually develops them. I also like that they’re not announcing the big surprise three weeks before the fucking episode airs. Maybe they did project a little bit, but they didn’t say anything specific. They didn’t announce Jo Martin as a new Doctor. I love the fact that it got all the way to that scene where she reveals herself and says, “Let me start from the beginning. I’m the Doctor.” And I was like, “OH FUCK!”

SEAN: In all fairness, maybe we should’ve waited till the next episode to record this, because is this going to be a two-parter?

CHRIS: No. I got the impression this isn’t going to be resolved right away.

SEAN: But probably her identity and the destruction of Gallifrey is all going to tie together eventually. But I do want to say “Fuck you, Internet!” Somebody made a vague comment about how Jo Martin was spectacular, and I thought, “Hmmm, who’s Jo Martin?” And I go to Wikipedia, and within HOURS of this episode airing…

JB: It was probably more like five seconds after that episode aired!

SEAN: I was like, “FUCK!” And then there were other people like RADIO FREE SKARO who were posting spoilers. But it was still great going into it, but my only complaint is that it would make a good episode to show to someone who hasn’t seen the show, like my other half, but it will be hard to explain things like the breaking of the glass and how her identity comes back because they haven’t seen “Human Nature” or the one where Derick Jacobi is the Master.

JB: They’re kind of playing “Doctor Who’s Greatest Hits” throughout this whole season. In “Spyfall” we had the Doctor and her companions as fugitives with their faces plastered on television as Britain’s most wanted fugitives. “Orphan 55” was an amalgamation of at least ten Doctor Who episodes. I will say that I came in completely cold throughout the season, and I literally had chills when this new Doctor revealed herself. I felt like my world was completely getting fucked with. I don’t know what’s going on anymore. As for my theories, the Master destroyed Gallifrey because he was pissed off because “everything he learned was a lie”. And he’s not going to tell the Doctor because “I want you to find out for yourself!” So I’m sure that this hitherto unknown Doctor is going to be tied to why the Master destroyed Gallifrey. I may have to eat my words because on a previous episode of WHO 37, I made a bet with my friend Lauren that the whole bit about the Doctor being female before he was William Hartnell was complete bullshit. I think I might be proven wrong and I think I now owe her ten bucks.

CHRIS: So you’re saying Ruth is pre-Hartnell Doctor?

JB: Chibnall has went out of his way to say that Jo Martin IS the Doctor. This is not a parallel universe Doctor. Because that was my other theory.

CHRIS: I’m glad if that is the case, because I felt like it would be cheating to introduce her as the first female black Doctor and then flip it and say, “well, it’s an alternate dimension Doctor.” That would be like “fridging” in a way. I hope that’s not the case. I hope they’re actually wedging her somewhere in the continuity and that she not something from another dimension or something that didn’t happen “here”.

SEAN: I also think it has something to do with Gallifrey and the Master. The only problem is that maybe her memory was wiped, which happens often. Jodie Whittaker doesn’t recognize her, so that doesn’t make any sense. Will Jo Martin regenerate into David Bradley? When you look back at it, it could’ve been done so badly. The writing and directing, which has breakneck pacing, is all over the place. I don’t think they had a static shot that lasted more than three or four seconds. I think this was why I was excited to see it, because the surprise was spoiled for me.

JB: At this point, I’m just along for the ride. I’m not going to get emotionally invested in it. I’m not sure this will be resolved at the end of the season. This might be taken through to the next season. Chibnall might be playing the long game.

SEAN: Oh, I hope not.

CHRIS: Didn’t he threaten to have multi-season story arcs when he took over?

JB: I first heard that Series 11 was going to be one long story. I kinda wish he would do that, because I am sick of these situations where we start out with “the event”, in the middle of the season we have “the event”, and at the end of the season we have “the event”, and in between we have all these little stories that have little to no consequence to the point where Sean stopped watching halfway through and skipped to the next episode. Because they don’t fucking matter!

SEAN: I was halfway though the Tesla episode, and nothing had happened. It was right where they met Thomas Edison.

JB: So you didn’t get to the shit aliens yet.


CHRIS: Which aliens are you referring to?

JB: The scorpions.

SEAN: Oh, this sounds like fun.

JB: They’re second-rate Racknos.

CHRIS: Did you know the gal that played the pseudo-Racknos was Rani from “The Sarah Jane Adventures”?

JB: I found out after the fact.

SEAN: Well I’m never going to watch the end of that episode.

CHRIS: That one was disappointing.

JB: It very much wanted to be “Vincent and the Doctor”, only it wasn’t as emotionally charged.

CHRIS: Not even close.

SEAN: Have they consistently brought back a celebrity or an actual person for each season? Of did they skip a couple seasons with Moffat? Last year they had Rosa Parks. We previously had Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Dickens and Agatha Christie, and I can’t remember if they did that consistently.

CHRIS: Now that you mention it, it kinda seems that way. We also had Will Shakespeare.

SEAN: It’s William, sir. You don’t know him that well.

JB: I can’t think of anyone during Capaldi’s run.

SEAN: I was about to yell out Hitler.

JB: Oh, FUCK YOU, MOFFAT! He didn’t have the stones to have Trump kill himself at the end of “Extremis”. That should have been Trump sitting there DEAD in the Oval Office!

SEAN: Oh, that’s right! Yes! I really enjoyed that and not giving a shit about it because I didn’t have to do a podcast. But he still got a dig into Donald Trump in another episode.

CHRIS: So did Chibnall.

SEAN: When?

CHRIS: The spider episode.

SEAN: Oh, yes!

JB: Oh, god! You mean Mr. Big from “Sex and the City”? That was just a caricature. That was a parody of a parody. It was too on-the-nose. And speaking of too on-the-nose, do we want to talk about the end of “Orphan 55”? We have Jodie Whittaker staring down the camera saying, “Okay, you guys better change your ways, or else we’re going to end up like these dregs!”

CHRIS: Yeah, that was a bit preachy.

JB: A bit?

CHRIS: I did like the episode!

JB: Oh, my god, that was a piece of shit!

CHRIS: You know why I liked it, though? That episode was screaming the Sixth Doctor. We had the guys with green hair, the actually horrific-looking aliens…


CHRIS: There was that, also!

SEAN: Chris, you’ve read some of the books, right?

CHRIS: Yeah. A lot of them.

SEAN: It reminded me of the Missing Adventure where the Doctor lands on the TV station, and everyone just dies?

CHRIS: Does it show him holding an axe on the cover?

SEAN: Yes, that’s the one!

CHRIS: I haven’t read that one, but I did listen to your podcast about it.

SEAN: I fucking love that story, and it reminded me of that, except about halfway through I thought that everything that everyone was doing was dumb. Why are they all deciding to go into that thing to get that one guy?


SEAN: Can we not do that again? After that it’s kinda like a slasher movie from the 80s where everybody’s dumb, except for the killer.

CHRIS: Quick, everybody! Run upstairs!

SEAN: There’s too many characters, but it doesn’t matter because they all get picked off one by one. And they’re all altruistic, except for the female version of John Candy from “Spaceballs”.

CHRIS: They almost did the cliche of a couple fucking in the woods and you know they’re going to get murdered, but they weren’t fucking in the woods. They were sucking their thumbs in the fucking coffee shop.

JB: And we had Doctor Cockblocker.

SEAN: I think I have that on VHS from back in the day.

JB: Can we talk about the companions?

CHRIS: Before we get to that, can we talk about Lee, the Ruth Doctor’s “companion”? That dude made all of this Doctor’s and many previous Doctors’ companions look like pieces of shit. I think what was washed out of that episode was how fucking awesome Lee was. He had the Doctor’s ass covered though that whole fucking thing - leading them on a wild goose chase and letting them think he was the Doctor. He threw them off the trail and sent her off to the lighthouse and triggered her bullshit with the texts. He was the man. I’m pouring one out for Lee.

JB: I would have to think that all was well prepared. He and his Doctor had this planned really meticulously. With “Human Nature” it was all very last minute because the Tenth Doctor and Martha were being pursued by the Family of Blood. “Don’t let me eat pears” was all she was left with.

CHRIS: Not to diminish what Martha did, cause she was brilliant, too.

JB: Oh, god, that was probably one of her best episodes. But as to “the fam”, why are they there?

SEAN: The what?

JB: The Fam. The three companions of Jodie’s Doctor.

CHRIS: I think they’ve officially adopted the moniker of “the fam”.

SEAN: They did? Really? I didn’t notice that?

JB: Yeah, you didn’t get the memo.

SEAN: It’s the same as last season. I like Graham and Ryan, and I don’t like Yaz. I’m sorry. She’s got nothing to do, except for the only story I can think of from last season, “Demons of the Punjab”.

JB: And she didn’t have that much to do there as well because Graham had the big scene with her explaining about what-the-fuck-ever! Graham gets all the best lines. Ryan is annoying me. And Yaz has no character. They went out of their way to remember that she’s a police officer, and they had her bullshitting with the Judoon.

CHRIS: “I speak cop.”

JB: They literally shoved the three companions aside to have a little adventure with Captain Jack while we got on with the real story. I was a champion of Jodie Whittaker’s casting, and I was going to give her a shot. But for the majority of this season, I’ve found her completely annoying.


JB: Oh, my god! She is acting with her arms and overexplaining everything.

CHRIS: She’s very phonetic.

JB: And she’s like, “Okay, gather around, children! I’m going to explain to you what this is!” The Doctor wouldn’t give a fuck whether or not the companions were following along. He’s just going to rattle all this shit out and revel in his brilliance. I don’t see her doing that. The one moment I really liked, and maybe this is something that they’re playing with, is when the three of them are sitting on the steps inside the TARDIS console room, and they ask, “Where do you go when you’re not having adventures with us?” And she just gives them a look that says, “Why the fuck do I have you guys traveling with me?”

CHRIS: Good question.

JB: Is she putting up a front? Is she acting like a substitute kindergarten teacher so we can all be inclusive? I’m sorry! They’re dead weight!

SEAN: Going to Jodie Whittaker’s performance, although I enjoy it, I do see in all of the “New Who” Doctors with the exception of Capaldi a chain or a thread in all of their behaviors. And that it’s actually pretty phonetic. Capaldi is phonetic, too, but he’s also extremely pessimistic, which I really enjoyed and why he’s one of my favorites. Somebody pointed out on another podcast that her Doctor did something completely stupid and irresponsible in the episode “Kerblam”. It was something I didn’t think of when we did the review on WHO 37. It was she was completely callous or stupid, and I can’t remember the details.

CHRIS: That’s not new.

SEAN: I’ll tell ya, as soon as Doctor Ruth wielded that big space gun, I thought, “Oh, yes! That’s awesome! The Doctor’s got a gun! That’s great!” And, of course, there was this comment like, “You shouldn’t be doing that!” And I thought, “I know, but maybe she does it anyway.” Maybe that’s her thing. Maybe’s she’s like Pertwee, but instead of Venusian Akido, she uses guns.

CHRIS: The Fifth Doctor seemed to pick up guns quite frequently.

SEAN: Really?

JB: In “Earthshock”, yeah. And “Resurrection of the Daleks”.

CHRIS: That goes into my whole thing of one of the Fifth Doctor’s key traits was his ineptitude. But Jodie is really “goody-goody”. All the talk of “the fam” and how she brings everyone in for their come-to-Jesus moment and is like, “Okay, everybody, I’m going to explain this to you.” It’s kind of annoying, but on the other hand, after five years of Moffat shoving the Doctor’s dark side down our throats, which actually started around “The Waters of Mars” and then into Moffat’s reign, by the time Capaldi gets here it’s like, “we fucking get it.” The Doctor’s got this deep broody bullshit going on below the surface. We fucking get it! And it seems like from the moment all of Moffat’s Doctors regenerate until they actually do die, they’re like brooding about their fucking imminent demise, even though it’s hundreds of years away! It’s almost refreshing to have Jodie be a little bit “Sound of Music”. A little too happy. A little too friendly. We all know the dark side is still there, and maybe we flash it once or twice a season.

JB: I actually asked my girlfriend about this. She’s also irritated by the Doctor, and it took her a little bit to really figure out why. She came up with … do any of you watch “The West Wing”?

SEAN: Yes.

JB: When Jimmy Smits as Matt Santos was running for President, there’s an episode where Mary Louise Parker’s character was coaching him, and she said, “You don’t have the Presidential voice. You’re giving all these flip answers to questions. You don’t have the Presidential voice.”

SEAN: Because Alan Alda’s voice is so Presidential.

JB: My girlfriend said, “Jodie Whittaker does not have the Presidential voice!” And what made it worse is that we had Jo Martin come in, and she so fucking has the Presidential voice! She shows up Jodie Whittaker!

CHRIS: She kinda did, really.

JB: I felt this since the very beginning of her tenure. Jodie’s playing the Doctor like a five- or six-year-old girl playing dress up!

SEAN: Ooooh! I dunno! I mean, I agree that when Doctor Ruth came in, it was clear who was the Alpha and who was the Beta. But I never thought of six-year-old girl playing dress up.

JB: I love how Ruth dug into her wardrobe. The pants that don’t really reach the bottom.

SEAN: I think her outfit is cool, and I’m glad she can stick to one fucking outfit, unlike Peter Capaldi. I can’t imagine him in anything now! It’s just black! Drives me crazy! I don’t know why, but when she switched to the Patrick Troughton bow tie in “Spyfall”, I thought, “Oh, is she going to wear that throughout the whole season? No? Oh, thank god!” Because that messes with my OCD. I got all the figurines all lined up and…

CHRIS: Why can’t Doctor Who cater to my neurosis?

JB: Where the fuck am I going to fit in this new Doctor now in my Sci-Fi cabinet? I barely have enough room for all the Doctors as it is! Where do I place her? Where is she going to go?

SEAN: When I was really into Big Finish, that was a nightmare! I wanted to make a spreadsheet of every story chronologically, but no, you can not! It’s impossible.

CHRIS: Don’t do that!

SEAN: And I did it with the books, as well. There’s no fucking way!

CHRIS: The only way I’ve ever come with where you can put all the Big Finish shit and all the novels into any kind of continuity is you just have to go full throttle. Some of this shit is just abandoned fucking timelines. Somewhere this shit branched off and divergent things fucking happened. That’s all you can do. You cannot piece this shit together into any kind of cohesive fucking thing. Not anymore.

SEAN; That way lies madness. You’re better off just sticking with the TV show from the First Doctor on, and even then it gets complex! Thanks, Moffat!

JB: I do like the fact that this last episode came out a few weeks before Gallifrey One. I can imagine there’s a bunch of frantic cosplayers who are scrambling to get all the material for their new Doctor outfits.

CHRIS: Speaking of that, what do you think of the Ruth Doctor’s outfit?

JB: I think it’s fly! There are a lot of traditional elements. I do think it’s very pompous, but I do like the tinted glasses.

CHRIS: The Whoopi Goldberg glasses?

JB: And I do appreciate the fact that now black women can now dress up as someone else besides Martha Jones or Bill.

SEAN: I do want to say one thing, and this leads to last time I recorded with you, JB. You had asked the question, “Is Doctor Who a little bit too politically correct now?” And I think that at the end of that episode we all agreed that it was. But the Doctor being a black woman didn’t bother me at all. I don’t want to be like, “I DON’T SEE COLOR!” It wasn’t like that at all, but I didn’t care one way or the other. I almost shed a tear a little bit later when a Facebook friend made a post saying that it was so cool and so important for her to see the Doctor being a black woman. And the way that she just said that made me very happy for her. I do think that some people get too excited about inclusion. HASHTAG OSCARS! (clears throat)

CHRIS: Ricky Gervais’ speech was fucking hilarious, though.

SEAN: It was, but on the morning the Oscars were announced, I saw the nominees and I looked up the people on Twitter that I know will complain about it. And they did not fail to irritate me.

JB: I have no issues about that. My only issue is where does she fit in? There are theories out there that she’s in between Troughton and Pertwee, which I’m going to call bullshit.

SEAN: OOOHHH! That’s interesting!

JB: (in a nasally voice of an entitled fanboy) “Because we never really saw them regenerate from Troughton to Pertwee!”

CHRIS: Well, then, there’s this whole Series 6B thing.

SEAN: This sounds familiar. Please elaborate.

CHRIS: At the end of “The War Games” the CIA approached the Second Doctor and said, “Hey, come work for us! We’ll let you grab one of your companions.” He chose Jamie and they had a series of adventures which included “The Two Doctors”. And he had all this shit the Sixth Doctor didn’t recognize because this was during the time that he didn’t remember. And after having all these adventures, the Second Doctor comes back to Gallifrey as he’s lived up to his obligation to the CIA or whatever, and they wipe his memory, send him into his trial, and he becomes the Third Doctor. I’m guessing that John Nathan-Turner intended to explore that further. He had plans to have Patrick Troughton come back for another episode that expanded on this Series 6B shit, but Patrick Troughton died.

SEAN: I think that she’s between the Sixth and Seventh Doctors, and she liked to cosplay as her former self, with a wig and everything, and she fell down and hit her head, and then she turned into Sylvester McCoy. That’s my theory. But that still doesn’t explain why Jodie Whittaker doesn’t remember her.

CHRIS: I’m going to start ending terrible stories with “and then I turned into Sylvester McCoy.”

SEAN: That’s not even the END of the terrible story. That’s the beginning of another terrible story!

JB: I think she’s pre-Hartnell and we’ve had a whole series of incarnations before, and then something happened on Gallifrey, and they’re like, “Well, fuck, we’re just going to start all over again!”

CHRIS: So you’re saying she’s a “Hinchcliffe” Doctor?

JB: Yes. Either that or…

CHRIS: Here’s something that might back up that theory. They left a little clue in there when she was mocking Jodie for having the fucking sonic screwdriver. “Why don’t you use your little gizmo?” She didn’t know what the fuck the sonic screwdriver was. So she would almost have to be…

JB: Before Troughton.

CHRIS: …pre-Troughton to not know what the fucking sonic is. Either that or she’s just really flippant about it, which would put her in that Fifth-Sixth Doctor era where they weren’t carrying the sonic.

SEAN: Also, the interior design of the TARDIS is very early Doctor Who. Am I the only one who peed in his pants when Jodie was digging up the grave and it was a TARDIS?

JB: That’s when I started getting chills. The second Ruth broke the glass and the energy went right into her eyes I was like, “Oh, fuck!”

CHRIS: The penny dropped for me when Jodie took that shovel full and you can see part of the POLICE sign on the box. That’s when it hit for me.

SEAN: I’ve been thinking about this while we’re talking. “Warris Husain” might be pre-Delgado.

JB: Yeah. A lot of people online were getting bent out of shape because we had all this character development with Missy, and they threw it all away to give us another crazy Master.

CHRIS: He fucking killed her!

JB: Yeah, but she had a noble death, no pun intended. Because it was “without witness” or whatever the fucking line was. She finally did something right.

CHRIS: Which was killing herself, but not really herself. Her other self. He was killing herself to become herself.

JB & SEAN: That’s very deep. (Laughs)

JB: Who’s to say if this Master is also pre-Delgado. Maybe this Master and this Doctor are from a time before Hartnell. We just don’t know. Or this might be an elaborate trick of the Master.

SEAN: Perhaps sometime between the events of “An Unearthly Child” and “The Deadly Assassin”, Gallifrey was destroyed, and that’s the era that this Master is from, and … never mind, no. I’m thinking about it too much.

JB: You think he’s between Delgado and Crispy Master?

SEAN: You know what? They wouldn’t do that. Because there’s a whole bunch of people who watch this that don’t know anything about Hartnell through McGann. It would just alienate a bunch of people, and they not going to go anywhere near Classic Who. Just us old men are thinking like that.

JB: I’m sure there’s a bunch of women, too.

CHRIS: Wherever they end up squeezing it in, I think you’re on to something. I think the new Master and the Ruth Doctor definitely intertwine somewhere. These two stories are connected. We’ll get a finale episode or something later in the season where the new Master is going to pop up, and the Ruth Doctor’s going to be there, and they’re already familiar with each other. It appears that Captain Gatt, the other Time Lord in the episode, might be from whatever war or conflict the Master visited upon Gallifrey that destroyed it, again. It seems like it happened during that timeframe.

SEAN: There’s another variable, and that’s Captain Jack. I honestly don’t think they would just stick him in there for just this episode.

CHRIS: They made a point of him saying, “I will be back.”

SEAN: We could sit here and talk all day long about it, but really, let’s go back to “Orphan 55”. Let’s talk about old people sex.

CHRIS: Back to this shitshow.

SEAN: So if you have emphysema, and you have an oxygen tank, you can survive on a planet with no oxygen. I’m not a scientist, but my bullshit meter…

CHRIS: It seems unlikely.

SEAN: Yeah!

CHRIS: To be fair, they did discover that the Dregs exude oxygen.

JB: Oh, yeah. Because they breath in carbon dioxide and and exude oxygen.

CHRIS: And the Doctor recharged her thing, which I don’t know how you suck up that much oxygen in one fucking whiff without collapsing the room. It was a bit hand-wavy, but yeah maybe? I dunno.

SEAN: Why was there a Dreg just sleeping there all in the middle of it? We’re running up and down corridors and, oh, he’s asleep.

CHRIS: I’d do that.

JB: Every time they cut to a close-up of a Drag, I cracked up because they were just like “ROWL! ROWL!” With drool coming down and everything. It was all CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT! That was fucking ridiculous. They reminded me of Torchwood monsters.

SEAN: I was going to say the Demi-gorgon from “Stranger Things”. I’ve been playing “Dead by Daylight” and it looks more like the Demi-gorgon from the videogame than it does from the show.

JB: And then we had the stupid mother-daughter conflict which was completely unnecessary.

SEAN: Yeah, because I was like, “Oh, she white. Oh, she’s black. Oh, Sean, it doesn’t work that way! Don’t think about that!”

JB: And then the green-haired guy kept ignoring his kid.

SEAN: That was so stupid.

CHRIS: They went way too much into trying to make the side characters interesting. You know what? It’s okay to have a few people in the background that are ultimately just cannon fodder. It’s a fucking Sci-Fi story. It’s okay.

JB: Here’s an observation. “Orphan 55” was written by Ed Heim. He also wrote “It Takes You Away”.

SEAN: Was that the one about the frog on the chair? What a disappointment!

CHRIS: I like that episode.

JB: So, what is it with this writer and parental relationships? Because this is the third really fucked-up parent that he’s introduced.

CHRIS: He’s got daddy issues, doesn’t he?

JB: “It Takes You Away” had the father that left his blind daughter in order to go to a parallel earth so he can make time with his dead wife! He scared her daughter into thinking there were monsters outside, and don’t leave the cabin! And in “Orphan 55” we have Kane and the other girl who are mother and daughter, and they have a fucked-up relationship, and then we had the green-haired guy who never listened to his son.

CHRIS: And his son was brilliant.

JB: This writer has a lot to work out. I think he’s trying to work out some issues.

SEAN: He’s like Hitchcock and the mother figure.

CHRIS: Roger Waters.

SEAN: We should call Ed Heim. Is he on Skype right now?

JB: Is he on Twitter?

SEAN: Fuck Twitter! I fucking hate Twitter! Pardon the pun, but I look for the dregs of humanity on Twitter. “Look how smart I am! I’m making a point! I’m never going to see the Joker movie because I suffer from mental illness!” NO! That’s not what the movie is about! You fucker! I don’t want to trigger myself...

CHRIS: Go on. This is fucking awesome!

SEAN: You want me to talk about the Joker movie? Okay, so I went to go see it, and I really enjoyed it because I wanted to see a movie about an insane guy. Oh, my god, this movie is actually really good. It has a social message about mental illness. I don’t know if he’s a mutual friend, but there’s someone who’s “woke” who used to live in the U.S. and no longer does, and he said on Twitter, “Well, I prefer to not see a movie where someone goes ‘cuckoo crazy’ and goes off on a killing spree! I will never watch Joker. Period. Ever. Period.”

CHRIS: He might want to avoid the news then.

SEAN: And I said to him that it’s not what the movie is about. You need to see the movie before you make a judgment. I’m not going to judge “Nicholas Tesla’s Night of Terror” because I haven’t seen the second half.

JB: I’ve seen a few scenes of “Joker” on YouTube.

SEAN: It’s really good. He’s basically a victim of society.

JB: As a Batman fan, I am intrigued. I didn’t want to see this in the theater because I thought it would be just too intense. It’s out on home video now, so I’m sure I’m eventually going to sit down and watch it. I have seen most of the end of the film with him dancing on the stairs, being on the talk show, getting rescued from the police car, and killing the psychatrist. I read the summary in Wikipedia, so I know what happens. I’m sure there are a lot of messages that you can take. The thing about art is that it’s all subjective. You take what you will. You might take something out of it that is completely different from what I take out of it, but they’re all valid points of view.

SEAN: Is “Orphan 55” art? Sure. Is “The Human Centipede” art? Well, I think it is because it’s the best damn human centipede that anyone is ever going to make! It is gross. I get that, but don’t be so…

JB: It’s just not for me, but I’m not going to go out of my way to condemn it. I’m just not going to give it five seconds of my attention. If you’re into “Human Centipede” that’s fine. If you’re into Moffat Who, that’s fine, too.

SEAN: Yeah, I got that a lot when I didn’t like “The Pandorica Opens” and “The Big Bang”. Now I feel like I was a renaissance man. That was awful! Why do you all like this?!

CHRIS: You were the grandad Moffat hater!

JB: Here’s another thing, and this might be going into political correctness territory as well. In “Spyfall Part 2” we have these two women the Doctor meets. One is Babbage’s assistant or protege, and the other is a spy in WW2 Germany. And at the end, the Doctor was like, “Okay, I can’t have either of you remember any of this, so I’m going to erase your memory without your consent.” And she does that.

CHRIS: That’s not the first time the Doctor’s literally done that.

JB: Yes, but she didn’t erase the memories of either Tesla or Edison, did she?

SEAN: That’s right.

JB: What is THAT all about? HASHTAG ME TOO!

SEAN: That’s a really good point. Did she do that with Babbage as well?

JB: No!

SEAN: And was anyone like, “Oh, my god, that computer store from the 80s and 90s! Babbage’s! That’s what it’s named for!”

JB: That’s how I knew!

CHRIS: I think you can give a pass to Babbage because I don’t think he ever fully fucking grasp what was going on anyway. So, there’s no real need to wipe his memory because he’s never going to be capable of telling any truth because he doesn’t know anything. But Tesla and Edison? Yeah, I had not considered that. I certainly don’t think it’s any kind of intentional slighting on Chibnall’s part. It’s probably just shitty writing.

SEAN: It’s not shitty writing. It’s just that they didn’t notice that.

JB: You could say it’s inherently sexist because she’s wiping the minds of all the women. She did that with Donna. She tried to do that with Bill. So is Jodie playing the Doctor like she’s a man in a woman’s body?

CHRIS: Like she’s subconsciously sexist? You could make that argument.

JB: It is a legitimate way of playing the character. I could accept that if that’s how they’re doing it. But if it’s just sloppy writing…

CHRIS: If you spent twelve lifetimes as a man, you’re first lifetime as a woman is probably going to be somewhat off-putting. You’re going to fuck a few things up.

SEAN: That was addressed, because I think at one point there’s the scene when the Master is miniaturizing people, and she says something like “the man in the room, oops, sorry, the woman in the room!”

JB: Here’s something else I want to bring up. The bit where the Master forces the Doctor to kneel before him?

CHRIS: Yeah, that was awkward as fuck!

JB: My girlfriend was really uncomfortable watching that.

CHRIS: I was uncomfortable watching that. Let’s not and say we did. Or better yet, let’s not and say we didn’t. Let’s not do this at all.

SEAN: I’m going to have to agree, but I think it was intentional.

JB: Oh, I’m sure it was.

SEAN: There’s a similar scene in the movie “Bombshell” that reminded me of that.

JB: It’s also similar to the scene in “Revenge of the Sith” where Anakin was bowing down to Palpatine, who was like, “ohhh! The force is strong with you!”

CHRIS: “Work the shaft!”

SEAN: I still have the Star Wars prequels on blue-ray, and they’re still in the plastic wrap.

JB: I sold my copies a long time ago.

CHRIS: I do want to say that I have liked this season so far. “Orphan 55” was preachy and it was kind of a turd. But at the same time it felt like a shitty Sixth Doctor episode, and I kinda like shitty Sixth Doctor episodes. The Tesla one was a flop for me. As for “Spyfall”, if nothing else they really fucking blindsided you with the whole Master reveal, and I fucking loved that. And the story itself felt very Pertwee. It had a classic Doctor vibe to it. They were unabashedly going after the James Bond vibe. They weren’t passing it off like they were doing something different.

JB: And that episode actually did give Yaz something to do.

CHRIS: She’s Nyssa without the interesting backstory.

JB: Exactly! I’m sure Mandip Gill is a fine actress and a fine human being, but they’re just not giving her anything to do.

CHRIS: Her character is pretty fucking flat.

SEAN: Agreed.

CHRIS: And this last episode, maybe the show has become a little PC and preachy, but I loved that episode! I’m just sitting there thinking, “Man, so many heads are just fucking exploding right now, and I fucking love it!”

JB: We’re going gaga over all these episodes that really dive into the Doctor’s history, like “The Name of the Doctor” and “The Day of the Doctor”. We met the Doctor as a kid in “Listen”. All these little hints and things that get us excited. But the other stories that are just run-of-the-mill Doctor Who stories you can just take or leave. Either have these story arcs and play them through an entire series, or just be an anthology show with two-parters that actually tell a standalone story where at the end the Doctor fucks off and leaves and has nothing to do with these characters ever again. I don’t think you can do both.

SEAN: I think you can do it both ways, and that’s hopefully what Chibnall is trying to do. I think a perfect example is “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, which had a recurring villain for each season, and they would also have individual stories. Moffat tried to do that, but it didn’t quite gel together. There was never a beginning, middle and end. There was no fucking explanation for “SILENCE MUST FALL!” Creepy as fuck? Yes. But no substance. The walking Statue of Liberty? That’s stupid! As an idea, does it look great? It does look great! The creepy baby statues in the basement? Creepy as fuck! Why does this dude have them in his basement? It doesn’t make any sense.

CHRIS: That’s always been one of my beefs with the Moffat era. When you go back and watch all his story arcs again, particularly the season when they went full-hog with the astronaut and the River Song backstory, knowing all the resolutions to all the mysteries, those episodes suck ass. All the emotional and shock value is just drained out because you know where they’re going. Meanwhile you’re tripping over plot holes the whole fucking way. You see that it’s just going in for shock value and emotional triggers. But at least with the Chibnall stuff so far, even when he’s done the backstories, when I go back and watch the episodes again, there is still enough standalone value to the story. You can watch “Spyfall” again and still enjoy it even though you know in the middle you’re going to find out that “O” is the Master.

JB: You’re looking at things that you didn’t see beforehand. This totally should’ve clued me in!

CHRIS: When you watch the seen when “O” sees the TARDIS for the first time, I forgot what he says, but when you see that a second time knowing he’s the Master, it’s actually fucking hilarious. Because he looks at it, pops his head out and is like, “yeah, that’s shit!” The first time you think, “well, he’s just an asshole!” Also when the head of MI5 or whatever gets assassinated right in front of the Doctor? He gets shot in the back of the head, and he looks at her and goes, “Oh.” I didn’t notice that the first time, but the second time? He just told her who killed him. Chibnall gives you a reason to go back and watch it again, as opposed to “don’t watch this again because you’ll fucking hate it!”

JB: We just hope that he sticks the landing at the end of this series.

CHRIS: He’s not going for cheap feels.

JB: He’s not, however I do think that since everyone was bored with Series 11 because (in a nasally, whiney voice) “it had no story arcs! Oh, my god! Tim Shaw? What the fuck was that?” I happened to like “The Battle of Ranskor Av-Kolov” or whatever the fuck it was called. It was fine. It wasn’t “oh, my god, it’s such an amazing finale!” It was a solid Sci-Fi adventure. It was a bit high concept, and I think some people were bored with that. Maybe Chibnall has had this planned all along, but it seems to me that he was listening to everyone criticize the last season and thought, “You want a story arc? I’ll give you a fucking story arc!”

CHRIS: Here you go, fuckers!

JB: Going back to watching story arcs that turn into shit in the end, that’s why I’ve never gone back to watch “Heaven Sent”. As brilliant as that episode is, it’s completely ruined by the following episode.

SEAN: I think it’s completely ruined by a second viewing. It’s really well directed and well acted, but after thinking about it for a while I was like, “Okay, I’m going to go punch a wall a billion times?”

JB: He had the shovel right there. He could’ve used the shovel.

CHRIS: It would’ve cut shit down to only a thousand years instead of over a million. Who gives a fuck?

JB: I still think he went through that first iteration completely naked.

CHRIS: We discussed this in a prior podcast. If not the first, at some point at least one version of the Doctor had to streak through there buck naked to leave that first outfit on the chair.

JB: If he was truly going through a loop, who left those clothes the first time?

CHRIS: One version of the Doctor did that whole thing buck naked.

JB: That’s the only way it works.

CHRIS: And I can see Capaldi doing that. I don’t WANT to see Capaldi doing that.

SEAN: Would you want to see Hartnell or Tom Baker doing that? Tennant? Pick one you’d want to see.

JB: I think he’d want to see Jo Martin doing that.

CHRIS: I would, yes! I’d see that booty!


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