So we’d all meet up, every week, and we’d talk about the Doctor for a bit. But after a while, Bridget started cooking. Next thing you know, Mister Skinner started his readings, because he was writing his own novel. As time went on, we got to know each other better and better. Then it turned out that Bridget could play the piano, and I confessed my love of ELO. Next thing you know —
In this week’s Doctor Who–lite episode of Flight Through Entirety, Nathan, Brendan and Max Jelbart reminisce about our own experiences as members of LINDA, before tackling one of Doctor Who’s stranger, darker and madder episodes: Love & Monsters.
Capaldi also sends some fan art to Doctor Who comic artist Rachael Stott, who takes to Twitter to squee to the heavens, as well she might.
Nathan mentions his favourite Doctor Who commentary, in which RTD, Steven Moffat and David Tennant geek out about Silence in the Library. I’m sure you’ll be able to find it lying around somewhere.
David Tennant takes a week off gurning to create one of the best episodes ever of Doctor Who Confidential — Do you remember the first time? — in which he interviews members of the cast and crew about their earliest experiences of Doctor Who. You can probably find a cut-down version of this on the Series 3 box set: it originally aired alongside fan favourite Blink.
Our James Bond commentary podcast is called Bondfinger, and you can find that at bondfinger.com, at @bondfingercast on Twitter, on Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. We’re now out of James Bond films to comment on, we’re planning to keep going with other stuff: in fact, there’s every chance of a new episode some time next week.
In this week’s earnest Radio National podcast episode, Nathan, Peter and Todd discuss religion, the concept of Satan, the nature of human evil, and a proposed Marxist reading of the plight of the Ood. Plus, an episode of a children’s science fiction series called The Satan Pit.
And I found the video of that Very Special Episode of The Weakest Link which screened just before the début of Series 3 and starred David Tennant, John Barrowman, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke and a bunch of guest stars from Series 2. You must watch this.
This week, we’re orbiting around a black hole talking about flat-pack furniture and making lewd comments about security guards, while all around us the kitchen staff are gearing up for a massive attack on God himself. I suppose that’s why they call it The Impossible Planet.
Notes and links
You can find James Moran, the writer of The Fires of Pompeii on Twitter at @JamesMoran. He seems nice.
Tat Wood’s About Time 7 discusses all of the stories of Series 1 and 2 of Doctor Who, and has many negative things to say about this story. On the other hand, if you read it, you can safely skip about 30 episodes of Flight Through Entirety, including this one. So there’s that.
It’s Coronation Day, and so Nathan, James and Richard have invited TV’s Adam Richard over to join us on the sofa, so that we can watch the festivities in comfort while Maureen Lipman slowly pulls our faces off. God save the Queen, everyone — it’s The Idiot’s Lantern.
Notes and links
Maureen Lipman is perhaps most famous for her play Re-Joyce!, in which she plays Joyce Grenfell, a famous writer and performer in British film and television in the middle of the twentieth century. You can see Lipman playing Greenfell here.
Muffin the Mule was broadcast live by the BBC from Alexandra Palace from 1946 to 1952. It looks miserable.
Nathan and Adam both have fond memories of Maureen Lipman’s ITV sitcom Agony, which ran for three seasons 1979 to 1981. Nathan has since found the box set on Amazon (US) (UK). The BBC brought the show back in 1995 as Agony Again.
James likes to imagine a sentient version of Billie Piper’s Day and Night chasing people to their doom in an earlier version of this episode’s script. And why not?
Jackie O and Kyle Sandilands are fairly regrettable morning DJs at Sydney radio station KIIS 1065. Probably best not to follow the link, really.
In a deleted scene from this episode, which will be included in a future Blu-ray box set, Adam mentions Outland, a sitcom about gay Doctor Who fans, which Adam co-created and starred in. We all loved it to death — we felt very represented. Plus it was really funny.
Nathan recommends Netflix original series Sex Education, starring Gillian Anderson: a high-school comedy-drama about sex and relationships. Really funny and warm and clever, and surprisingly sex-positive.
This week, Nathan and Richard argue fruitlessly about which one of them Brendan likes the most, before heading off to one of those parties where the champagne is warm, the canapés are disappointing, and the guests are being casually slaughtered by art deco cyborgs. It’s time for the Rise of the Cybermen.
Notes and links
Richard mentions Sir Carol Reed, who was a English film director in the mid-twentieth century, most famous for his adaptations of Graham Greene novels, who co-directed the film that won the 1946 Best Documentary Oscar, The True Glory (1945).
We talk about this story’s debt to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy (1995–2003), which is partly set in a parallel universe where rich people fly around in zeppelins. It’s brilliant. Pullman himself writes the foreward to RTD’s book The Writer’s Tale: he’s an excellent sport, and talks about how much he enjoyed being ripped off by Davies throughout this season. The first part of Pullman’s sequel trilogy, La Belle Sauvage was released in 2017.
Here’s El Sandifer’s take on Doctor Who’s previous attempt at a parallel universe: “It’s possibly the most cynical piece of padding we’ve seen yet in Doctor Who — an excuse to interrupt one story by telling the exact same story in the middle.”
This story is indebted to Marc Platt’s Big Finish audio Spare Parts, which must be one of the best Cyberman stories ever and one of the best things Big Finish has ever done.
Fans of parallel universes with find a lovely one towards the end of Star Trek: Discovery Series 1. Well worth watching.
This week, we’re mostly hiding behind the curtain and under the bed, watching French aristocrats getting attacked by clockwork robots. Which is fun, but not quite in the way you might expect. Also, we’re joined by friend-of-the-podcast Simon Moore, the culmination of a nearly five-year masterplan to trick him into saying the word trope. It’s The Girl in the Fireplace.
Notes and links
You can find our anxious fanboy discussion about the Doctor and Rose’s kiss in The Parting of the Ways in Flight Through Entirety Episode 144, Fostering Tagging.
James has the very good taste to mention Matthew Waterhouse’s autobiography, Blue Box Boy, which is intelligent, moving and quite revealing. Worth a read.
The slightly upsetting scene where the Doctor meets a very young Clara was the prequel episode to The Bells of Saint John. You can watch it here.
This episode’s podcast commentary with Steven Moffat and Noel Clarke can be found on the BBC website, but it’s only available if you’re in the UK, you have Flash installed and you’re signed in at the BBC website. I don’t know, maybe if I rummage around for a bit, I might find a copy lying around somewhere.
This week, Nathan, James and New to Who’s Steven B spend most of the time trying to make Todd cry; the rest of the time, we’re trying to avoid bats in the Deffry Vale High School computer room and listening carefully while Sarah Jane Smith explains the moral of the story. It’s School Reunion.
Steven B is one of the hosts of the New to Who podcast, which discusses Classic Doctor Who stories and introduces the Classic series to new fans. More about that later. Meanwhile, you can follow New to Who on Twitter at @NewToWhoPodcast.
This week, Nathan and James head off to Scotland with special guest star Lizbeth Myles. We basically spend the entire episode larking about while all around us the bodies pile up and Her Majesty gets increasingly exasperated. It’s (nature red in) Tooth and Claw.
You can find out all you would ever want to know about Tooth and Claw in the seventh volume of Tat Wood’s increasingly complete and impressive unauthorised guide to Doctor Who, About Time.
Liz’s Twelfth Doctor audio story has now been released by Big Finish. It’s the first Twelfth Doctor adventure in the Short Trips series, and it’s called The Astrea Conspiracy. You know what to do. (Buy it, obviously.)
And finally, here’s a Wikipedia article about James’s great-great-great-great-aunt or something, Emily Sellwood, who married Alfred, Lord Tennyson. She looks just like him.
This week, for the first time in ages, Todd, Nathan, James and Richard arrive on an exotic yet strangely familiar alien planet, where they meet some old friends and a terrifying new enemy. Oh, okay, it’s cats. Welcome to 2006, and welcome to New Earth.
It’s a Christmas miracle! Flight Through Entirety starts an exciting Christmas tradition by nogging up, sitting down and talking all the way through a Doctor Who Christmas special — David Tennant’s début episode, The Christmas Invasion.
Jodie Whittaker isn’t part of the Christmas festivities this year, but she’ll be back just as we’re nursing our hangovers on New Year’s Day 2019.
And so Jodie into Terror will be back as well, with our incandescently hot take on her first New Year’s Day special, Resolution, which we’ll be releasing soon after the episode airs. You can keep up with all the Jodie into Terror news at our website, on Apple Podcasts, and on Twitter at @JodieIntoTerror.
This week, we take a break from our break between series of New Who to deliver our long-awaited commentary on a popular story from the Davison Era. Friend of the podcast Colin Neal joins all of us as we leave our howling void and race around the planet Venus in the hope of achieving Enlightenment.
Buy the story!
Enlightenment was released on DVD in 1992/1993. In the US, it was released on its own, I think, but it’s completely unavailable on Amazon. Still, you can just buy it as part of the Black Guardian Trilogy box set (Amazon US), which is how it was released in the UK and Australia (Amazon UK).
While we’ve been on our break, Doctor Who has finished its latest season, which means that there are now ten episodes of our flashcast Jodie into Terror, where we think deeply about each new episode for a couple of hours before inflicting our ill-considered opinions on a largely indifferent world. You can find Jodie into Terror at jodieintoterror.com, @JodieIntoTerror on Twitter, and on Apple Podcasts.
We’ve reached the end of the first year of twenty-first century Who, and it’s time to say goodbye to Christopher Eccleston, the only Doctor whose nose has magic powers, and one of an increasing number of Doctors with northern accents. Turns out, we liked him.
Notes and links
Richard compares the Reapers to vortisaurs — creatures from the time vortex introduced in the first ever Eighth Doctor Big Finish audio adventure Storm Warning, in which he meets India Fisher’s Charley Pollard, who is totally canon. My mum said so.
In a recent New Yorker article, composer and pianist Ethan Iverson talks about the history of the music of Doctor Who. It’s a great, well-informed take, even if Iverson is less of a fan of Murray Gold than we are.
There’s three episodes left of this season of Jodie into Terror, in which we foolishly broadcast our ill-considered opinions about each new episode of Series 11 of Doctor Who. Last week, we chatted about Kerblam!; we’ll be back this Tuesday with our thoughts on Episode 8. You can find Jodie into Terror at jodieintoterror.com, @JodieIntoTerror on Twitter, and on Apple Podcasts.
This week, our flight reaches the end of first series of twenty-first century Who, which means that we spend most of the time talking about Daleks and kissing, while everyone else dies. It’s The Parting of the Ways.
Notes and links
Now that the Daleks are here, we should direct you again to the TV Century 21 Dalek comic strips, which were published from 1965 to 1967, and featured more Daleks than the TV series could ever afford. You can find a lot of them here.
Nathan mentions a commentary on Forest of the Dead starring Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and David Tennant. It’s absolutely worth a listen — it was released soon after the announcement that Moffat would be taking over from Russell, and before David Tennant’s departure was announced.
Picks of the week
James suggests that we work up to the outbreak of the Last Great Time War, by listening to Series 6 of Big Finish’s Gallifrey series.
Todd reminisces fondly of a time before the Daleks appeared in groups bigger than four, and recommends watching Death to the Daleks.
Last week, Richard talked about Marina Warner‘s writing about mythology and fairy tales. This week, he suggests that you pick up a copy of Signs and Wonders, a book of her essays on a wide range of cultural topics.
Todd remembers that he promised to pick Billie Piper’s 2000 album Day and Night. So he does that.
Nathan fails to come up with an impressively interesting pick, and just decides to plug Jodie into Terror instead.
This week, James is evicted for smashing a camera, Todd is racking his brains to remember what a goffle is, Richard is trying to shed that Oklahoma farmboy look, and Nathan is wondering where the hell everyone else has got to. We’re live on channel 44,000, which means it’s time to take on the Bad Wolf.
Notes and Links
Nathan dimly remembers Bernard King judging amateur musical performances on Pot of Gold, a lovely competitive reality show from Australia in the 1970s. You can catch some of his work here.
Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces introduced the monomyth to millions of genre fans and spawned hundreds of Star Wars critiques on YouTube. Here Richard mentions Marina Warner, a writer and academic who writes about myth, monsters and fairy tales.
Nisha Nayer was the first female actor to appear in both classic and new Doctor Who: she was a Kang in Paradise Towers, and the Female Programmer in Bad Wolf. The first actor to appear in both series was William Thomas, the fainting undertaker in Resurrection of the Daleks and the scientist killed by Margaret in Boom Town. He will go on to play the father of Gwen Cooper in Torchwood.
According to the Anne Droid, the 15-10 barric fields were not discovered by physicist San Hazeldine. This may be a reference to 1980s three-hit wonder Hazell Dean, but I’m hoping it’s a reference to attractive English actor and composer, Sam Hazeldine.
This week, Nathan, Todd and Peter relax in a café just by Cardiff Bay and reminisce about that one time we had to run away naked from a scary guy with massive tusks. And we also find time to chat about Boom Town.
Notes and Links
We get so absorbed in our discussion of the story, that we basically forget to discuss tropes and Terileptils and German Expressionism. So no links this week.
Over on Bondfinger, we have commentary podcasts on every single James Bond film. If you don’t know where to start, we can recommend our most deeply absurd commentary on a famously absurd Bond film — Moonraker.
This week, Nathan, Brendan and Richard take some time off from running around bomb craters in Central London to talk about sex, death and the terrifying prospect of Life After Eccleston. Still, we get through it all unharmed and alive: it is, after all, The Doctor Dances.
Notes and Links
Brendan mentions an article in Kotaku by Heather Alexander, in which she complains that queer characters in video games too often fall victim to the Bury Your Gays trope.
Picks of the Week
Brendan’s first pick is the first in a series of fan-made audios called The Ninth Doctor Adventures — Cold Open, which is set before the start of Series 1.
Richard recommends Mrs. Miniver (1942), directed by William Wyler and starring Greer Garson, in which a middle class family living in an English village live through the outbreak and first few months of World War II.
He also mentions Fires Were Started (1943) in which civilian firefighters in London try to protect an explosive factory, The Next of Kin (1942), which depicts the terrible consequences when a gossipy housewife is overheard by a Nazi spy, and finally Their Finest (2016), in which Strawberry Fields from Quantum of Solace gets a job as a secretary working for a film production company making propaganda films during the Blitz.
And then Brendan is back with an original production by Big Finish — ATA Girl, which tells the story of the women who flew aircraft in the Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II. It was created and directed by our very own Louise Jameson, and both Richard and Brendan really recommend it.
Less interestingly, Nathan recommends the four new Target novelisations which were released this year: Rose, The Christmas Invasion, The Day of the Doctor and Twice Upon a Time.
This week, Brendan, Richard and Nathan are cowering in the Anderson shelter in the backyard, listening to the sirens and wondering what on earth happened to that nice little tow-headed lad from number seventeen. Turn off your mobile phones and keep your hands and feet inside the light field — it’s The Empty Child.
Notes and links
Reference is of course made to several of Steven Moffat’s shows: the surpassingly brilliant Press Gang — when are we doing the Press Gang podcast? — and Coupling, which is not Moffat’s first attempt at sex comedy (see also Joking Apart, or don’t), but is definitely his most successful.
Fans of things with Daleks in them will enjoy Dark Eyes, another Big Finish box set extravaganza starring Paul McGann and some people, and some mutants in bonded polycarbide armour. It’s good, apparently.
Richard refers to John Boorman’s 1987 film Hope and Glory about a nine-year-old boy’s experience of growing up in London during the Blitz.
This week, Nathan, James and Special Guest Star Dan from New to Who sit around in a circle to discuss our feelings of loss, our anxieties about our parents’ love, and all our deep-seated fears for the future. It’s our way of celebrating Father’s Day.
(Sorry about the sound quality on this one. Nathan sat the mixer board right next to the gravitic anomaliser and shorted out the time differential.)
Notes and links
Timewyrm: Revelation was Paul Cornell’s first Doctor Who novel and the third novel in the Virgin New Adventures series. It doesn’t have anything much in common with the plot of Father’s Day, but it certainly shares its concern with love and sacrifice and forgiveness.
Sapphire & Steel was a science fiction (?) series on ITV, starring Joanna Lumley and David MacCallum as strange supernatural forces who investigate and correct weird time anomalies like the ones in this story. It’s slow, but it’s often very weird and upsetting.
Good news, everyone. The entirety of the 1995 miniseries Steven King’s The Langoliers is available for you to watch on YouTube. It’s like Father’s Day, but without any of the distractly competent writing or direction. More about it here.
Daniel is one of the hosts of the New to Who podcast, which discusses Classic Doctor Who stories and introduces the Classic series to new fans. You can follow New to Who on Twitter at @NewToWhoPodcast.
We also have a new Doctor Who podcast project called Jodie into Terror. Every Tuesday night, after watching the new episode of Doctor Who Series 11, we’ll have a brief chat about our first impressions, and then release the audio afterwards. That’s at jodieintoterror.com and on Twitter at @JodieIntoTerror. If you’re from the near future, it will also be available on Apple Podcasts.
This week, Todd is fiddling with the central heating, Nathan is stuck among the rafters roaring incoherently, and friend-of-the-podcast Peter Griffiths is using the wrong verbs and kissing complete strangers. Welcome to the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire — it’s The Long Game.
Notes and links
According to Dr Elizabeth Sandifer, Davies did submit a version of The Long Game to the Doctor Who production office, only to have it rejected by Script Editor Andrew Cartmel. So there you go.
Genre fans who have not watched Simon Pegg and Doctor Who guest stars Jessica Hynes and Nick Frost in Spaced (1999–2001) really should give it a go. It’s a sitcom that’s hyper-aware of what we like to call genre tropes, and it’s really very funny and sweet.
Bleak House (2005) was Andrew Davies adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, which ran for 15 30-minute episodes in late 2005, and starred Anna Maxwell Martin, as well as Doctor Who alumna Carey Mulligan, as well as Torchwood’s Burn Gorman, Gillian Anderson and Charles Dance. Not everyone was very happy about it.
Who gave Dodo syphilis? It was Daniel O’Mahony, author of the Virgin Missing Adventure novel The Man in the Velvet Mask, in which the Doctor and Dodo meet the Marquis de Sade in an alternative version of post-Revolutionary Paris. Avoid. Or better still, read El Sandifer’s take.
Nathan is on Twitter as @nathanbottomley, Todd is @toddbeilby, and Peter can only be followed in real life. But he will call the police. The Flight Through Entirety theme was arranged by Cameron Lam, and the strings performance was by Jane Aubourg. You can follow the podcast on Twitter at @FTEpodcast. And you can find increasingly rare facts about Doctor Who at @FTEwhofacts.