season 4

Season 4, Episode 02—Doctor Who 101 – An Introduction


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Doctor Who may be the greatest sci-fi adventure of all time. The show focusses on a timelord from the planet Gallifree. The main character is Doctor Who, and is often referred to as, “The Doctor.” The doctor goes through regenerations, where he or she can come back as someone else. He or she travels in a machine, called the Tardis, that can travel through space and time.

Doctor Who was first launched in 1963, and is looking forward to a 60th anniversary special in 2023. It began as something of a show for children, but became much more than that. Consider for a moment all the science fiction and fantasy and horror shows that have come and gone in the last 60 years. The only shows that can compete are Star Trek and Star Wars. One may also consider the James Bond films, that began in 1962 with Dr. No, and continues today, as another series that has longevity. And the change in actors during the various Bond films, and the British sense, makes one think of Dr. Who. And Bond, like Dr. Who, was an expert on many things.

One can also think of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as characters that have stood the test of time. The connection here, beyond the British one, is that Watson is the character that humanizes Holmes, and is a lens, the connection we have to Holmes is through Watson, and the same can be said for the various companions that have assisted the various Doctors through the years.

Doctor Who has made it into lore, where there are iconic images associated with it, that many recognize, even if you are not a Whovian. Many know that the machine the Doctor travels in is a blue police box, that is larger on the inside. The TARDIS (short for, Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) is iconic. You do not have to watch Doctor Who to be aware of it.

One of the Doctor’s adversaries, The Dalek, are also iconic. There is a wonderful moment in Mr. Bean’s Christmas, where Mr. Bean has a small toy Dalek, and puts it in a manger scene.

Doctor Who had a great run, which ended with Silvester McCoy, and there was a gap, perhaps about 8 years or so, before Doctor Who came back as a TV movie starring Paul McGann. Then there was another long break, of about 8 or 9 years, and then the series was rebooted in 2005, starring Christopher Eccleston, and has basically been going non-stop ever since, with small breaks between seasons, and sometimes breaks between new Doctors. The first episode of the reboot, with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, was the most watched Dr. Who episode of all time.

At one point Dr. Who had an annual Christmas episode, which was something many looked forward to.

Troy and David will do their Dream Cast and Schrödinger’s Cast. The Dream Cast is where they take the best actors/actresses of all time, either living or dead, to play the roles. The Schrödinger’s Cast takes the same six roles, but has very unusual casting to fill the roles. Here are the six roles they look at, and the actors that first portrayed them.

CharacterOriginal Star
Dr. WhoWilliam Hartnell
Companiongranddaughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford);
Susan’s schoolteachers
Ian Chesterton (William Russell) and Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill)
The Brigadier
[Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart]
Nicholas Courtney
The MasterRoger Delgado
DavrosMichael Wisher
CybermanRoy Skelton, Peter Hawkins – Cybermen Voices
Harry Brooks, Reg Whitehead, Gregg Palmer – Cybermen



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Season 4, Episode 01—A Christmas Carol


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A Christmas Carol is the Dickens classic novella that has been adapted to the big screen, small screen, stage, and has been referenced / parodied countless times. The Muppets even did a special based on the novel. And, don’t forget Scrooge McDuck!

Many consider the 1951 film version starring Alistair Sim as the best representation of the tale.

Here are some basics:
The published title was: “A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas”

Ghost stories told around Christmastime were fairly common at the time, and very popular. The story was a novella (not a novel). It was first published in 1843.

There were a number of printings, all selling out. Dickens himself read the story to audiences over a hundred times.

The basic story centers around a man named Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley. Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits, in succession. The three spirits represent stages in Scrooge’s life.

The Spirit of Christmas Past takes Scrooge to earlier, seminal moments in his life, a time when he was happy, but also to a time where he lost that faith and the light he had.

The Spirit of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to things that are going on currently that he is not aware of – how other people live, and how they feel about him.

The Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come takes Scrooge to a time where he has passed on, and again, how others feel about him, how he is treated (in death), and also what may happen to Tiny Tim, if Scrooge does not change his ways.

The novella begins with a great first line: “Marley was dead.” It is considered one of the great opening lines in literature. It brings one immediately into the story.

There have been many versions of the story, and one that both David and Troy recommend, beyond the 1951 film, is the 2009 animated version, starring Jim Carrey.

Scrooged, starring Bill Murray, has a fantastic opening, and is well worth watching, just for that. Look for cameos from Lee Majors; John Houseman; James Farr; and Mary Lou Retton.

Troy and David rate some of the films, and do their Dream Cast and Schrödinger’s Cast. The Dream Cast is where they take the best actors/actresses of all time, either living or dead, to play the roles. The Schrödinger’s Cast takes the same six roles, but has very unusual casting to fill the roles. Here are the roles they look at, and the actors that portrayed them in the 1951 film.

CharacterOriginal Star
Ebenezer ScroogeAlistair Sim
Bob CratchitMervyn Johns
Tiny TimGlyn Dearman
Spirit of Christmas PastMichael Dolan
Spirit of Christmas PresentFrancis De Wolff
(as Francis de Wolff)
Spirit of Christmas Yet to ComeCzeslaw Konarski
(as C. Konarski)



Listen to the 2of podcast online, or download the episode to your computer using the Download icon!

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