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Season 4

Life on Mars – “The Waters of Mars” & “The Ambassadors of Death”

Yes, John and Porter are gallivanting off to Mars and crossing their fingers not to run unto Elon Musk – just because he seems like he’d be a bit awkward and there’s already enough trouble there without having to deal with uncomfortable social situations.  But, our internationally diverse (don’t worry – all still attractive) crew of Bowie Base would probably wish the worst they had to endure was a few uncomfortable silences instead of one-by-one being picked off by malevolent alien water.  Fortunately, the 10th Doctor is on hand to save them – only he can’t because he saw that episode where Barbara learned she can’t do that – only maybe he can because he’s the Time Lord Victorious – only no, never mind, because companion-of-the-month Adelaide is so hell-bent on winning an argument that she’ll kill herself to do it.  It’s a lot to talk about, so if you are feeling parched then slake your thirst on The Waters of Mars!

Turns out that Mars – like Australia – is full of things that are trying to kill you, as the Third Doctor, Liz, and the Brigadier discover in the sprawling epic that completes NNTMP’s run of the Seventh Season of classic Who.  In the classic British fashion of downplaying their own abilities, Doctor Who posits the existence of a British space program that appears to be a complete disaster in terms of driving astronauts insane and/or losing them in space.  This leads to a fiendishly clever plot (revealed almost entirely in Episode 7) in which Liz Shaw keeps failing to escape from a cellar while the galaxy’s worst emissaries keep accidentally killing anyone they touch.  Fortunately, there is a lot of fighting, shooting, and hijacking to keep us amused.  Porter and John set the best china, bone up on their protocol, and put out the little flags as they prepare to receive… The Ambassadors of Death!

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Season 4

Stand Clear of the Closing Doctor – “Planet of the Dead” & “Time-Flight”

It’s Easter and we’re on a London bus with a rich lady cat burglar and Lee Evans.  Tell me if you’ve heard this one before?  Well, you have if you’ve watched the next in our series of 10th Doctor specials forming David Tennant’s lap of honor.  The bus has, as is typical of mass transit, been delayed due to a wormhole that leaves it in a desert that looks a lot like Dubai but is in fact an alien planet!  Now it’s a race against time for the Doctor, Lady Christina, an Oscar winner, a wise and slightly psychic black woman, and some fly people as they work with UNIT and the great Malcolm to get back to Earth before a bunch giant flying manta rays can escape… the Planet of the Dead!

It’s then back to the 5th Doctor era, which then takes us back even further to prehistoric Earth in a classic Who episode that takes on the tough issues of the day and drives home the important message: “Hey!  We got a Concorde!”  After taking the requisite 30 seconds to mourn the death of Adric, the Doctor, Tegan, and Nyssa head to Heathrow where they get involved in the hunt for a missing Concorde. Will Porter and John resolve the mystery of the inexplicably (and slightly racist-ly) disguised Master?  Will they become embroiled in the intriguing mystery of the Xerpahin – namely, who the Hell are they and what is this story actually supposed to be about?  To find out, grab your carry-on and park yourself in the Group 2 line (if you are a frequent Prober), and don’t be late to catch your Time-Flight!

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Season 4

Another Day, Another Doctor – “The Next Doctor” & “Robot”

But it’s more than just robots as this pairing gives NNTMP the opportunity to break its silence on the VERY common phenomenon of powerful women wanting to rampage around cities via ginormous mechanical penis proxies.  We’re in favor.  So, we’re fully on board for some Victorian age shenanigans involving a (maybe) prostitute and some Cybermen and their Temple of Doom homage versus a companion-less David Tennant accompanied by a companionful David Morrisey.  There’s also Rositas and hot air balloons in the meta-titled head fake that is The Next Doctor.

We’re then back to the enormously popular Season 12 for the debut of the one, the only, the legend whose legacy shapes Doctor Who to this day:  Professor Kettlewell!  Also, Tom Baker shows up for his first paycheck.  Which is a bit ironic as he is basically in a Third Doctor story, joining the Brigadier, Benton, Sarah Jane Smith, and Bessie (along with newcomer Harry Sullivan) tussling with the sinister Think Tank and their power mad leader, Hilda Winters.  The UK has all the world’s nuclear codes for… reasons… and a disintegrator gun-wielding robot wants them hence the direct opposite of a meta-title, the straight-forward and to the point title, Robot.  Also, John and Porter then mansplain feminism.  You’re welcome, ladies.

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Season 4

A Davros by Any Other Name – “The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End” & “Genesis of the Daleks”

Yes.  Yesssss.  To broadcast our thoughts across the Internet to dozens of people.  To hold in our hand, a device that would contain such power.  To know that the tiny pressure of our fingers – enough to hit the “Post” button – would share… everything.  Yes.  We WOULD do it.  AND THROUGH THIS PODCAST WE HAVE THAT POWER!!!!

Look, if you don’t like ranting, then you probably should skip these episodes because they both feature the Ranty McRanterson of Doctor Who:  Davros.  Or probably Dr. Davros, right?  He must have a PhD.  Anyhoo, we kick off with 21st Century Who’s precursor to The Avengers as they gather everyone who has ever even thought about appearing in Who and shoehorn them into a rollicking romp featuring: SarahCaptain JackMarthaRoseTorchwoodHarriet JonesDalek CaanSylvia and Wilf.  Jackie and Mickey.  TWO David Tennants.  The afore-mentioned Davros.  Oh, and a fake-out regeneration.  Is it too much for our intrepid Podcasters to handle?  Find out as they contemplate The Stolen Earth before reaching Journeys End.

Having had a taste of Davros, we crave more (who wouldn’t – he’s so charming!) so we head back to the 4th Doctor era where we meet him for the very first time.  We find our mad scientist buddy beavering away in his lab creating the Daleks and only taking quick breaks to commit not one but two genocides.  He is only occasionally disturbed by the Doctor, Sarah, and Harry popping in to deliver some dialog and then ultimately even they just watch the riveting final episode on TV.  Now, John has seen this episode 30+ times so we might have a hint of his feelings toward it.  Will Porter share his fondness for the book of Genesis of the Daleks?

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Season 4

The Doctor is Out – “Turn Left” & “The Dalek Invasion of Earth 2150 AD”

Wondering how these two fit together?  Well shut up, that’s why.  YOU try pairing up a couple hundred pieces of television broadcast over 50 years with wildly varying themes and tones all from memory on a Sunday afternoon after three martinis!  Ahem.  And certainly our opening Doctor-lite, Donna-heavy episode stands out as a bit of an unusual take on Who, given how it kills off the Doctor in the opening ten minutes.  But then it’s a fun-filled romp as Russell T. Davies wipes out half the planet, systematically bumps off beloved Who supporting characters, and (just for fun!) heavily implies a UK-led Holocaust II.  It’s a real shift for our beloved show, and it leaves your intrepid Podcast team unsure which way to turn.  Oh, wait.  Left.  They should Turn Left.

So, having seen one world without the Doctor, we then take a look at a different alternative universe – this one where the Doctor is actually… Governor Tarkin!  Yes, we’re back in the swinging Sixties with some technicolor Daleks, a really jazzy incidental score, some more Bernard Cribbins (he transcends time, it appears), and an overall somehow less epic retread of a First Doctor classic.  But what else can you expect when you’ve journeyed to the year… 2150 ADPeter Cushing IS the Doctor in what is only the second (to date) Doctor Who (sort of) big screen adventure Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD.

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Season 4

Rainbow Troughton – “Midnight” & “The Curse of Peladon”

So, with apologies to everyone who came here thinking this was an episode speculating on Patrick Troughton’s sexuality, we instead watch David Troughton grow up – in reverse, of course, as we start with New Who’s sojourn into claustrophobia and mass hysteria (FUN!).  It’s one of RTD’s favorite stories, featuring minimal Donna and maximum space van, Merlin (before he was Merlin), some other randos, and an inexplicably self-sacrifice-happy stewardess journeying into the darkness found at the heart of men’s souls as the clock strikes… Midnight.

Our intrepid Podcasters then rocket back in ol’ DT’s personal timeline to enjoy really the intellectual equivalent of Midnight except that most of the main cast are wearing rubber suits – including one that is basically a giant-eyed wang in a cloak.  But stifle those snickers because this is Alpha Centauri, much beloved by fans, and he is accompanied by NNTMP’s first brush with another Who monster legend – the Martian Ice Warriors!  And, of course, when you’ve got a room full of exciting monsters with laser guns and whatnot, then you have all the ingredients for an exciting tale of action-packed… committee meetings.  Prepare yourselves for the Third Doctor and Jo’s first (yes – there’s a sequel!) encounter with the terrors of The Curse of Peladon.

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Season 4

Virtual Insanity – “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” & “The Deadly Assassin”

And so enters Dr. Elizabeth Corday… erm (or should I say, ERm?)… Dr. River Song.  A character destined to return again and again to New Who (except of course that she dies here… or not really dies, sort of).  And if Porter and John weren’t confused enough by this single character, you’ve got Steven Moffat just really being annoyingly brilliant as he hurls enough clever ideas at you in the first ten minutes to sustain the entire career of lesser writers (looking at you Illiam-Way Akespeare-Shay).  You’ve got shadow piranhas, sentient computers, soul-echoing communicators, possible future Doctors, an entire virtual life for Donna, and… most bizarre of all… a place where information is stored on bound collections of paper stored on shelves.  Now, shut your pie hole, because our Podcasting duo needs Silence in the Library as we explore the Forest of the Dead.

We then rocket back to days of 4th Doctor yore to find our hero (sadly sans talking cabbage) visiting his legendary home planet of Gallifrey for an epic encounter with a burned out husk with ping pong ball eyes (which is how John used to describe himself on hookup Apps).  But there’s no time for hookups here as the Doctor’s non-pepperpot shaped arch-enemy has returned – the Master is his name and assassinatin’ is his game as he takes potshots at the Time Lord President in a confusing attempt to steal his fashion accessories.  Fortunately for our podcasters, this involves a 3rd episode left-turn into the surreal world of the Matrix thereby justifying this episode pairing.  Join Porter and John and an eerie laughing clown reflection as they contemplate the redundancy of the title The Deadly Assassin.

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Season 4

Who Done Done It? – “The Unicorn and the Wasp” & “Black Orchid”

Yes… solve the greatest mystery ever… how is it possible Porter and John are actually married to other sentient beings?!  Well we ARE.  And we’re so confident in our marriages that we’ll allow them in front of a microphone where they could easily cry out for help.  But they DON’T.  In the final edit.

Anyhooo… it’s time for a Who-dunit and where else to start but with the all-time Queen of Mystery Writers, Dame Agatha Christie.  The Doctor and Donna crash a party and come face-to-face with some classic mystery tropes (except for the part where the murderer is a giant alien bug).  They’re name-checkin’ Christie novels left, right, and center as Porter, John, Mike, and Mrs. Probe try to unravel the puzzle that is The Unicorn and the Wasp.

We then slow the pace down – WAAAY down – as we stay in the 20s time period (in fictional terms) and time travel back (in production terms) to the 5th Doctor era (did everyone follow that?).  Yes, the Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa, Adric, Paul, John, and Ringo suffer the horrible consequences of mistaken identity: attending a costume party!  But not before there is some cricketA LOT of cricket.  So much cricket that it’s not really until Part 2 that we are presented with the Victorian Gothic thrills and chills of a secret-passage riddled house concealing dark family secrets.  But it’s a good thing they got to it in Part 2 because there is no Part 3 or 4 and we wrap things up tidily(ish) without falling afoul of the curse of the Black Orchid.

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Season 4

Family Ties – “The Doctor’s Daughter” & “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”

What would we do, baby, without us?  What would we doooo, baby, without soldier spawn built off of genetic material taken from us without consent?  Yes, the Doctor, Donna, and a reluctant Martha are in the family way as they become embroiled in a generations (wink wink) long war between some jerk humans and some seemingly nice fish people.  And the Doctor has a “daughter” in the sense that someone cloned some chick from his hand, and she is a kick ass soldier in the sense that we all pretend to forget how DNA works.  Oh, and John possibly has a LOT of wine before recording and spends a LOT of time talking about how the Doctor’s daughter is played by the Doctor’s daughter who is now the mother of the Doctor’s daughter(s).  In case you had not picked this up, we are talking about The Doctor’s Daughter.

Ensconced in the warm fuzzy glow of family and the ties that truly bind, we then go back to that time when the First Doctor completely ditched his teenaged granddaughter in a Dalek-ravaged London with some guy she’s known for 10 minutes.  Because the Daleks are back for the first time in Doctor Who, and they have decided that they, like, super need to drive the Earth around like a giant, planet-sized Honda Accord.  It’s Doctor Who’s first true epic as we contemplate plague,  underground resistance, lobotomized Robomen, whirlwind romance, and The Dalek Invasion of Earth!

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Season 4

The Prodigal Sontaran – “The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky” & “The Time Warrior”