We then go back in time to the story that actually started it all… um… An Unearthly Child... or possibly The Tribe of Gum. Or maybe 100,000 BC. It’s possible that no one knows for sure. It’s definite that Porter has no idea.
Weddings! Could they be a more awkward social affair? The answer is, it turns out, yes – especially when one of the guests’ daughter travels back in time and causes a time paradox that leads to other guests being eaten by time monsters. Get your hankies at the ready as Porter and John get in touch with their emotions for Father’s Day.
Funerals! Isn’t it typical that you get entombed with all your possessions and then some history teacher from the 1960s wanders in and starts looting your corpse? But Porter and John forgive Barbara as she wreaks (moderate) havoc in The Aztecs and in doing so we learn an ironclad rule of time travel that the past can never be changed… unless it can be changed when that would make a better story.
We begin with a swing through modern-day Cardiff for the TARDIS crew. But what evil presence lurks in wait for our heroes… MICKEY! Also, a Slitheen. Will Porter’s love for Mickey continue to grow even as Rose’s wanes? Will John be able to shake his suspicion that the title might be a subtle fart joke? All will be answered in our visit to Boom Town.
We then activate the Fast Return switch and materialize once more in Season 1 where we find the Doctor, Barbara, Ian, and Susan acting angry, confused, zombie-like, and psychotic respectively. Does Doctor Who’s first ever “bottle” episode deliver for Porter and John or will they find themselves as confused as the cast apparently did as they teetered on The Edge of Destruction?
Sometimes in life – as in podcasting – you gotta just keep doing a whole series of things in sequence and you reach your goal. It’s these sorts of life hacks that bring fans back to NNTMP week after week, and – by the transitive property of podcasting – to Doctor Who! Yes, the relationship between Martha and the Doctor really heats up this week, although sadly not in the romantic-y way that Martha is hoping for but more in a ship-into-a-sun plunge-y way as they find themselves trapped on the seemingly doomed SS Pentallian. There’s space mining, power reroutin’, bar trivia, and Martha trapped in vehicles with auxiliary characters as Porter and John discuss Doctor Who’s own take on 24 only 18 better at 42.
We then rocket back to 1964 and Doctor Who’s first season for another quest that moves at a… slightly slower pace. We join the First Doctor, Barbara, Ian, and Susan as they are good-naturedly extorted to embark on a quest through the jungle-y/icy/brains-in-jar-y planet of Marinus. Porter and John join them on their series of light-hearted jolly japes (with only the occasional attempted rape and/or spousal abuse) as they attempt to recover the scattered Keys of Marinus, which do… something important (according to a guy who was in Citizen Kane, so we believe him).
We also go back in Porter and John’s personal timelines to discover that they live way more awesome lives than YOU do – John took five years of Latin in Catholic school and they BOTH have been to Pompeii (separately). So just imagine the two of them wandering around in the background of the set of Rome in flip-flops and “I’m with stupid” T-shirts as you watch the Doctor take Donna on her first trip into history. There they meet a future Doctor and companion cleverly disguised as completely random characters (almost as if there was no connection at all…), and then they battle some CGI rock creatures who have a super awesome plan (that John and Porter totally understand, by the way) that is thwarted by flooding the city of Pompeii with liquid hot magma. The first half of this podcast is so hot that you should be careful that you don’t burn your fingers in The Fires of Pompeii.
We then take a short hop back in Roman history but a giant leap back in Who history to the era of Nero and the First Doctor as he, Ian, and Barbara take New Susan (a.k.a., Vicki) on her first TARDIS trip into history too. There, the Doctor light-heartedly loots a corpse and vaguely toys with the idea of assassinating the Emperor (who has also hilariously enslaved Barbara and is trying to rape her). Ha! Ian, meanwhile, scrambles to live every plot of every Roman history-based movie/television show that has ever been made. Yes, it’s a laugh-a-minute in ancient Rome in the cunningly titled The Romans.
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!
But look… this Podcast is meant to be a light distraction from the troubles of life, so we’ll just gloss over the fact that they both start on the premise that, you know, Earth has exploded. Let’s accentuate the positive here and focus on the survivors… who unnecessarily enslave and torture a kindly space creature that was trying to help them. Whew. Ok, let’s, um, focus on Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, still acting their socks off as they explore a floating UK in space with some bizarre Zoltars who serve… a function, apparently. We also get the superb Sophie Okonedo as the bloody Queen (her words) resisting the urge to hit the Abdicate button (like all queens do). It’s a high-concept light-hearted romp in space… if you ignore the plight of The Beast Below.
Of course, maybe more people escaped from Earth than we thought because Doctor Who has been tracking arks fleeing Earth left, right, and center – there must be one heck of a traffic jam in space with all these arks. We go back to Doctor Who’s early days and William Hartnell‘s final season as the First Doctor as he and Steven and brand new companion Dodo arrive on a space Ark where they hand in a 2-stories-for-the-price-of-one Groupon. The result is half a story about trying to cure the common cold (which the Doctor does quite easily, which must be a bit embarrassing for Merck), and then a second half about one-eyed Beatles impersonators who take over and enslave humanity because that’s what you do when you have one eye…. Will John and Porter be compelled to flee the Earth in disappointment (or excitement)?! To find out, join them in climbing on board The Ark!