Category Archives: Doctor Who

Episode 232 – I Think I’ve Got Some Spare Eyes Somewhere

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 10×5 Oxygen and Buffy 7×18 Dirty Girls

Time Stamp: Buffy starts at 1:15:40

Oxygen

Written by Jamie Mathieson; Directed by Charles Palmer

The Doctor and crew test the limits of physical endurance and economics on a space station without oxygen. Discussion points include:

  • Meet the suits
  • Capitalism in space
  • Preaching to the choir
  • LeGuin & Heinlein as counter-examples of political sci-fi
  • Serious consequences
  • Nardole’s moral authority
Dirty Girls

Written by Drew Goddard; Directed by Michael Gershman

Faith joins up with Buffy’s group of Potentials while a dangerous ally of the First also arrives in Sunnydale. Discussion points includes:

  • Slut-shaming and battle cries
  • Another unemployed Firefly actor as a Big Bad
  • Caleb’s fervent misogyny
  • The group begins to question Buffy
  • “And if your eye causes you to stumble…”
  • Faith’s return

Next time: Angel 4×19 The Magic Bullet and DW 10×6 Extremis.

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Episode 231 – Hope Is Its Own Form of Cruelty

Episodes discussed: Angel 4×18 Shiny Happy People and Doctor Who 10×4 Knock Knock

Shiny Happy People

Written by Elizabeth Craft & Sarah Fain; Directed by Marita Grabiak

The divinely beautiful lovechild of Cordy and Connor casts a spell over the group. Discussion points include:

  • The divine miss Jasmine
  • An antichrist?
  • Jasmine’s origin myth
  • How central is Angel, really?
  • Lady McFred
  • Fred gets back to her roots
Knock Knock

Written by Mike Bartlett; Directed by Bill Anderson

Bill goes through the hell of trying to rent a house with a group of friends. Discussion points includes:

  • Doctor Who in stereo!
  • Bill’s non-friends
  • The dodgy Landlord
  • Weird familial relationships
  • An unearned eucatastrophe
  • She doesn’t knock

Next time: DW 10×5 Oxygen and Buffy 7×18 Dirty Girls.

Episode 230 – Exactly Like Every Other Day of Your Life

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 10×3 Thin Ice and Angel 4×17 Inside Out

Time Stamps: DW 00:00-1:19:35; Angel 1:19:35 to the end

Thin Ice

Written by Sarah Dollard; Directed by Bill Anderson

The Doctor and Bill visit the last great Frost Fair on the frozen Thames. Discussion points include:

  • The last of the great Frost Fairs
  • Tricking Nardole
  • Our blue planet
  • Industrialism and exploitation
  • Race and gender through the lens of Bill
  • Bill’s inquisition
Inside Out

Written and Directed by Stephen S. DeKnight

Cordelia sets her plans in motion while Angel tries to figure out exactly who or what she really is. Discussion points includes:

  • “Cordy’s” ineptitude
  • Preplanning or retcon?
  • Skip’s metanarrative
  • Saint Cordy
  • What exactly is Connor’s motivation?
  • Darla’s point of view

Next time: DW 10×4 Knock Knock and Angel 4×17 Inside Out.

Episode 228 – Knowledge Comes from Crafted Bindings and Pages

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 10×1 The Pilot and Buffy 7×17 Lies My Parents Told Me

Time Stamps: DW 00:00-1:20:30; Buffy 1:20:30to the end

The Pilot

Written by Steven Moffat; Directed by Lawrence Gough

While lecturing at a university, the Doctor begins tutoring a member of the cafeteria staff. Discussion points include:

  • Starting Capaldi’s final season and introducing Mackie
  • New beginnings
  • The tutor-student relationship
  • Bill the sci-fi fan
  • “A star in her eye”
  • Memories again

Link: Friend from the Future – Pearl Mackie’s introduction video

Lies My Parents Told Me

Written by David Fury & Drew Goddard; Directed by David Fury

Spike and Robin’s complicated relationships with their mothers are explored. Discussion points includes:

  • Spike vs. Nikki
  • Spike’s… close relationship with his mother
  • Curing Spike of the trigger
  • Mothers’ love
  • Another Slayer with family and friends
  • Buffy’s disillusionment

Next time: Angel 4×16 Players and DW 10×2 Smile.

Episode 227 – Who’s the Big Hero Now?

Episodes discussed: Angel 4×15 Orpheus and the 2016 Doctor Who Christmas Special The Return of Doctor Mysterio

Time Stamps: Angel 00:00-1:17:00; DW 1:17:00 to the end

Orpheus

Written by Mere Smith; Directed by Terrence O’Hara

Faith journeys through Angel’s subconscious in order to save him from Angelus. Discussion points include:

  • Willow!
  • Fred calls in the big guns
  • Willow and Wes compare darknesses
  • Cordy’s desperation
  • Angel’s psyche
  • Shouldn’t it be Morpheus?
The Return of Doctor Mysterio

Written by Steven Moffat; Directed by Ed Bazalgette

The Doctor befriends a little boy who accidentally becomes a superhero. Discussion points includes:

  • Two years later (or is it twenty-four?)…
  • What’s so great about superheroes?
  • Comics and cartoonishness
  • Family values
  • What’s up with Nardole?
  • The escape from loneliness

Next time:DW 10×1 The Pilot and Buffy 7×17 Lies My Parents Told Me.

Anniversary Bonus Episode – Everybody’s Got a Story

This week we take a break from our regular episode analysis to celebrate the fourth anniversary and 200th episode of this podcast with a free-flowing discussion on diversity in sci-fi and fantasy.

Discussion points include:

  • How to critique shows from a different time
  • Is it always appropriate?
  • Game of Thrones and Confederate
  • Hiring the best person for the part
  • Race-relations in BSG and representation in Buffy
  • Reactions to the first female Doctor
  • The influence of Le Guin and Heinlein
  • The danger of expecting perfection
  • Whedon, Xander, and feminism
  • Extra-bonus discussion of the recent news related to Joss Whedon and Cai Kole (aka “Jossgate”)

Links:

Next time: Angel 4×2 Ground State and the BSG Season 3 Season Recap.

Episode 142 – I Never Wanted to Feel Like This

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who Series 9 Recap and Angel 2×19 “Belonging”

Doctor Who Series 9 Recap

We wrap up our journey through Doctor Who (for the time being, anyway) by discussing the themes and character development of Series 9. Discussion points include:

  • Mini-arcs and serialized storytelling
  • Choosing to forget
  • Ashildr’s development
  • Boldness and disappointments with Clara’s story
  • Bringing back the hanged man
  • Wrapping up Who
Belonging

Written by Shawn Ryan; Directed by Turi Meyer

The team struggles with their individual places in the world. Discussion points includes:

  • Lorne
  • Artistic ambiguities
  • Landok’s Pylean values
  • Cordy’s objectification
  • Recognizing Wesley’s authority
  • Gunn’s choice

Next time: Buffy 5×20 Spiral and the Introduction to BSG.

Episode 141 – Not One Living Thing Is Worth You

Episodes discussed: Buffy 5×19 Tough Love and Doctor Who 9×13 The Husbands of River Song

Tough Love

Written by Rebecca Rand Kirshner; Directed by David Grossman

Buffy tries to be a strict parent to Dawn while a fight between Tara and Willow makes them vulnerable to Glory. Discussion points include:

  • Buffy leaves school and tries to keep Dawn in school
  • Buffy’s tunnel vision
  • Spike and Dawn’s kindred spirits
  • Willow and Tara’s First Big Fight ™
  • Changes and insecurities
  • Willow’s scary dark magic
The Husbands of River Song

Written by Steven Moffat; Directed by Douglas Mackinnon

The Doctor gets a glimpse at the other side of River’s life. Discussion points includes:

  • Marriages of convenience
  • Security and doubt
  • Unfettered psychopathy
  • Mature love
  • A full marriage

Next time: Doctor Who Series 9 Recap and Angel 2×19 Belonging.

Episode 140 – And Besides, I’m Leaving

Episodes discussed: Doctor Who 9×12 Hell Bent and Angel 2×18 Dead End

Hell Bent

Written by Steven Moffat; Directed by Rachel Talalay

Back on Gallifrey, the Doctor confronts the Time Lords over Clara’s death. Discussion points include:

  • Opening vs. ending frames
  • Whose POV?
  • The Doctor as dougboy
  • Hybrids and red herrings
  • A necessary break-up
  • Clara and Me
Dead End

Written by David Greenwalt; Directed by James A. Contner

When given a new prosthetic hand with magical qualities, Lindsey starts to question his place at Wolfram and Hart. Discussion points includes:

  • Cordy’s visions keep getting worse
  • Wesley the leader
  • Lindsey’s artistry and contrarianism
  • Idle hands
  • Lilah’s protection
  • Lindsey follows his path

Next time: Buffy 5×19 Tough Love and Doctor Who 9×13 The Husbands of River Song.

Episode 139 – Some Minutes are Better Than Others

Episodes discussed: Buffy 5×18 Intervention and Doctor Who 9×11 Heaven Sent

Intervention

Written by Jane Espenson; Directed by Michael Gershman

While Buffy goes on a spiritual quest, Spike finds another way to satisfy his longings for Buffy. Discussion points include:

  • Buffy’s hardness
  • “Death is your gift”
  • The slavishly mechanical Buffybot
  • Dawn’s theft and Willow’s advancement
  • Spike lives his fantasy
  • Glory gets closer to the Key
Heaven Sent

Written by Steven Moffat; Directed by Rachel Talalay

The Doctor works through his grief for Clara while trapped in an empty castle. Discussion points includes:

  • The ultimate puzzle box
  • The Veil and the confession dial
  • Repetition, hope, and despair
  • Purgatory and “burning through the grief”
  • The coming of the Hybrid
  • “How many seconds in eternity”

Next time: Doctor Who 9×12 Hell Bent and Angel 2×18 Dead End.