Episodes discussed: Buffy 3×4 Beauty and Beasts and Doctor Who 3×10 Blink
Beauty and Beasts
Written by Marti Noxon; Directed by James Whitmore Jr.
Oz is suspected when a vicious beast starts attacking the people of Sunnydale. Discussion points include:
- Why is beauty singular and beasts plural?
- Men and their beastly dopplegangers
- Oz controls his wild side
- Pete & Debbie as a cautionary tale for Buffy & Angel
- Angel’s rescue and feminism
- Faith the faithless
Written by Steven Moffat; Directed by Hettie MacDonald
Photographer Sally Sparrow explores an abandoned old house where she encounters terrifying monsters and messages from the Doctor. Discussion Points Include:
- The origins and legacy of “Blink”
- “Sad is happy for deep people”: Old things and nostalgia
- Sally Sparrow and the Nightingales
- Death, the brevity of life, and the horror of the Weeping Angels
- Audience participation and the rules of the Quantum Lock
- Easter eggs and “timey-wimey” mythology
Bonus: Read Steven Moffat’s original short story that inspired “Blink”: “What I Did On My Christmas Holidays” by Sally Sparrow.
Next time: Doctor Who 3×11 Utopia and Buffy 3×5 Homecoming.
Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 3×9 The Family of Blood and Buffy 3×3 Faith, Hope & Trick.
The Family of Blood
Written by Paul Cornell; Directed by Charles Palmer
Human schoolteacher John Smith finds himself faced with an impossible choice while the Family of Blood closes in. Discussion points include:
- The deliberately evil Family of Blood
- Kindness, cruelty and justice
- Invasion of the body snatchers
- “Facing death is part of being human”
- Cowardice, kids with guns and the Lost Generation
- “I must look so very small”: Joan’s stature
Faith, Hope & Trick
Written by David Greenwalt; Directed by James A. Contner
There’s a new Slayer in town and her wild and crazy life disrupts Buffy’s attempts to return to normalcy. Discussion Points Include:
- The Slayer trinity: Faith contrasted with Buffy and Kendra
- Faith’s traumatic backstory
- Ancient Kakistos and newfangled Mr. Trick
- What does Faith’s name signify?
- The super sweet Scott Hope
- Angel’s back!
Next time: Buffy 3×4 Beauty and the Beasts and Doctor Who 3×10 Blink.
Episodes discussed: Buffy 3×2 Dead Man’s Party and Doctor Who 3×8 Human Nature.
Dead Man’s Party
Written by Marti Noxon; Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.
Buffy and her friends confront each other when Buffy’s Welcome Home Party goes awry. Discussion points include:
- The fractured Scoobie Unit
- Kat and Curt play Point/Counterpoint with the Scoobies
- Buffy and Xander butt heads
- Giles’ unconditional support
- The necessity of communication
- Why would Joyce let this party happen?
Written by Paul Cornell; Directed by Charlie Palmer
To hide from a ruthless family of aliens, the Doctor disguises himself as human and hides with Martha in 1913. Discussion Points Include:
- Doctor Who adapts itself: Paul Cornell’s Human Nature novel
- 1913: Edwardian England, public schools, and World War I
- Institutionalized gender, race, and class discrimination
- Maidservant Martha
- Smith and Joan
- The Doctor vs. John Smith
Download a free e-book version of the Human Nature novel from Goodreads.com.
Next time: Doctor Who 3×9 The Family of Blood and Buffy 3×3 Faith, Hope & Trick.
Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 3×7 42 and Buffy 3×1 Anne.
Written by Chris Chibnall; Directed by Graham Harper
The clock is ticking and the Doctor and Martha have 42 minutes to fix the engine of a space cargo ship which is crashing into a star. Discussion points include:
- Douglas Adams’ “answer to life, the universe and everything”
- 24 and real-time TV
- Parallels to “The Impossible Planet”
- Martha earns her stripes
- The Doctor shows a vulnerable side
- Eavesdropping and communication
Written and directed by Joss Whedon
Having run away, Buffy lives a difficult life in a seedy part of LA while the Scoobies try to control the local vampires in her absence. Discussion Points Include:
- The increasing ambition of the production team
- A glimpse at post-high school life
- Anne, Lily, Chantarelle and Sister Sunshine: The power of names
- Multiverses and time distortion
- The Scoobies fight the good fight
- Joyce blames Giles
Next time: Buffy 3×2 Dead Man’s Party and Doctor Who 3×8 Human Nature.