Monthly Archives: June 2014

Episode 56 – I’ve Got Friends On the Line

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 4×13 Journey’s End and Buffy 3×21 Graduation Day: Part 1

Journey’s End

Written by Russell T. Davies; Directed by Graeme Harper

Just to recap: The Doctor is regenerating and the Daleks are about the destroy the whole of reality.  Discussion points include:

  • The case for and against the episode
  • A long series of goodbyes
  • Rose and Donna’s bittersweet endings
  • The DoctorDonna and the Metacrisis Doctor
  • “The destroyer of worlds”
  • All alone again
Graduation Day: Part 1

Written and directed by Joss Whedon

The Mayor prepares for the ascension while Buffy and Faith have their final confrontation. Discussion points include:

  • Growing up and graduating
  • Buffy fires Wesley (and the Council)
  • Buffy (sort of) becomes Faith
  • Faith hits rock bottom
  • Kat’s still not convinced about the Mayor
  • Anya & Xander flirt while Willow & Oz panic

Next time: Buffy 3×22 Graduation Day: Part 2 and the Doctor Who Series 4 Recap.

Episode 55 – The Loss That Is Yet to Come

Episodes discussed: Buffy 3×20 The Prom and Doctor Who 4×12 The Stolen Earth

The Prom

Written by Marti Noxon; Directed by David Solomon

Angel makes a big decision regarding his relationship with Buffy right before Buffy’s senior prom. Discussion points include:

  • Angel prepares to leave
  • Joyce gives Angel a nudge
  • Poor Buffy just wants one normal high school experience!
  • Of hell-hounds and maladjusts
  • The Class Protector Award
  • The quadrangle: Xander, Cordy, Anya & Wesley
The Stolen Earth

Written by Russell T. Davies; Directed by Graeme Harper

When the Earth is stolen out of time and space, the Doctor’s companions come together to find the Doctor and save the world. Discussion points include:

  • The Shadow Proclamation (finally!)
  • Lost planets, missing bees, and the Medusa Cascade
  • Rose’s BFG, Wilf’s paint gun, and the exclusion of Rose
  • MacGuffins, Torchwood, and the Subwave Network
  • Dalek Caan, Davros, and Time War Mythology
  • Reunion and regeneration

Next time: Doctor Who 4×13 Journey’s End and Buffy 3×21 Graduation Day: Part 1.

Episode 54 – Back Where We Started

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 4×11 Turn Left and Buffy 3×19 Choices

Turn Left

Written by Russell T. Davies; Directed by Graeme Harper

Who knew such a simple decision could have such widespread implications? Donna gets to see what would have happened if she never met the Doctor. Discussion points include:

  • One little choice
  • The return of Rose and Bad Wolf
  • Smug and insufferable Sylvia
  • Donna’s regression and naivete
  • Why is Donna “the most important woman”?
  • “You’re gonna die”: Donna’s sacrifice
Choices

Written by David Fury; Directed by James A. Contner

As the Ascension approaches, Buffy decides to take the fight to the Mayor with some unintended effects. Discussion points include:

  • “Proactive with pep”
  • Buffy and Angel: Neither friends nor lovers
  • The Mayor’s feelings and Faith’s envy
  • Willow’s “night for suave”
  • What’s going on with Cordy?
  • Wesley speaks the truth

Next time: Buffy 3×20 The Prom and Doctor Who 4×12 The Stolen Earth.

Episode 53 – All She’s Got Is Our Voices

Episodes discussed: Buffy 3×18 Earshot and Doctor Who 4×10 Midnight.

Earshot

Written by Jane Espenson; Directed by Regis Kimble

Buffy enjoys the sudden ability to hear her schoolmates’ thoughts they take a shocking and disturbing turn. Discussion points include:

  • Unfortunate real-world circumstances
  • Just what is Ascension?
  • Repressed Jonathan
  • “Everyone is dealing with their own [pain]”
  • The people on the fringes
  • The deafening cacophony of thoughts
Midnight

Written by Russell T. Davies; Directed by Alice Troughton

The Doctor “takes a big space truck with a bunch of strangers across a diamond planet called Midnight. What could possibly go wrong?” Discussion points include:

  • Theatricality and simplicity
  • Companion-lite and comforting Donna
  • Midnight: Transition, the witching hour, and the alchemical Nigredo
  • The terrifyingly unknowable Midnight Entity monster
  • The worst aspects of humanity
  • Stripping the Doctor down

Next time: Doctor Who 4×11 Turn Left and Buffy 3×19 Choices.

Adding Angel to the mix

As we announced on our recent anniversary episode, after wrapping up Buffy Season 3, we are going to alternate episodes of Buffy and Angel, which began its first season as Buffy started its fourth.

We considered several other options — finishing the entire Buffy series before watching Angel; alternating seasons instead of episodes; ignoring Angel altogether — but none of these seem as palatable to us as interleaving the episodes. Our (or rather, Curt’s) reasoning is two-fold.

Given that our podcast is a rewatch, our concept from the beginning has been to watch the stories as they unfold. When possible, we want to stick to the original order in which the stories aired (with some exceptions, such as “Earshot”). The shows themselves were originally broadcast with interleaved episodes, and rewatching them that way makes sense to us given our podcast conceit.

More importantly, although Buffy and Angel are different shows with distinct tones and arcs, they share a number of story crossovers and plot entanglements that are important to both shows, especially in the early seasons of Angel, when many of the series’ writers were brought over from Buffy. In our (or at least Curt’s) view, not watching Angel alongside Buffy means we would be getting only part of the story.

Perhaps none of this needs justification. But we wanted to say something more than, “It’s our podcast, we’ll do what we want!” We hope all this makes sense. If not — well, we’re okay with being nonsensical.

As always, we’ll be sure to put the names and numbers of upcoming episodes at the bottom of each podcast blog post so that there’s no confusion.

Anniversary Bonus Episode: A Little Unclear About Some of the Themes

In this special bonus anniversary episode, we take some time to discuss some of the larger themes that we don’t have time to talk about during our normal weekly episodes.

Discussion Points Include:

  • Serial vs. anthology storytelling
  • Visual vs. narrative criticism
  • TV as a writer’s medium
  • The validation of stories and imagination
  • Expanded universes and the question of canonicity

Links:

Next time: Buffy 3×18 Earshot and Doctor Who 4×10 Midnight.