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.
This week, Nathan and James are joined by Steven B from New to Who, and spend a couple of hours running up staircases in Cardiff, desperately trying to avoid a shrieking pedal bin with memory banks stuffed with exabytes of hardcore pornography. It’s your favourite episode of the season — Dalek.
Notes and links
Steven Moffat’s mother-in-law Beryl Vertue was Terry Nation’s agent when he wrote The Daleks, which means that she was responsible for the deal that gave him the ownership of the the Daleks. She had moved on to bigger and better things by 1967.
Steven B mentions a couple of characters similar to Van Statten, including Frederick in John Fowles’s The Collector, and the Collector in Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman’s BBC Doctor Who novel Unnatural History.
Dalek writer Rob Shearman has written an number of Big Finish audios, famous for their grotesque black humour. These include Jubilee, which this story is partly based on, and which we discuss in our Colin Baker Big Finish episode. We also mention The Holy Terror, starring Colin Baker’s Doctor and featuring a shape-shifting alien penguin.
Rob Shearman and Toby Hadoke have also written a series of books called Running Through Corridors, in which they watch their way through Classic Doctor Who and say lots of lovely things about it. (If they can.)
In the episode of The Goodies called Sex and Violence, Mary Whitehouse analog Desirée Carthorse (perennial fan favourite Beryl Reid) commissions the goodies to make a sex education film called How to Make Babies by Doing Dirty Things. (Did you know that The Goodies has finally been released on shiny plastic disks? Amazing.)
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, James is cleaning the kitchen, Max is standing up and making a difference, and Nathan is hiding in the cupboard under a pile of official documents with only the port decanter for company. The Slitheen are still on the rampage, and only a plucky leftist parliamentarian can stop them. It’s World War Three.
Notes and links
The Slitheen’s relatives the Blathereen appear in The Gift, the final story of Season 3 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. They’ve been painted red, and are voiced by Miriam Margolyes and Simon Callow, delightfully.
Nathan claims that the CGI Slitheen never appear again, and that’s not quite right. One is used in Boom Town, to create the effect of Blon shedding her Margaret costume. But, in any case, they never get to go for a run again. (And I’m not rewatching Revenge of the Slitheen or The Lost Boy to find out if that’s true.)
Fans of the password buffalo will enjoy the Big Finish audio Vampire of the Mind, in which Colin Baker’s Doctor faces off against the Master, played by Alex Macqueen.
In 2017, Russell T Davies and James Goss published an anthology of poetry about Doctor Who called Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection of Time Lord Verse, illustrated by Davies himself. If you’re upset by what happens to Harriet Jones in The Stolen Earth, it’s definitedly worth a look.
James was right: here’s an article about Newsnight’s revelation in 2007 that British nuclear weapons were protected by bike locks.
A Very English Scandal is a three-part TV mini-series by Russell T Davies, released earlier this year on the BBC. In it, the leader of the Liberal Party, Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant) puts out a hit on his former lover Norman Josiffe (Ben Whishaw) to keep him quiet about their relationship. It’s brilliant. And it actually happened.
Doctor Who was broadcast on Twitch earlier this year, and as a result, the phrase London, 1965 became an instant meme on Twitter. It is also the opening caption of the first episode of A Very English Scandal.
Max also plugs Paddington 2, also with Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw, as well as Scottish actor Peter Capaldi.
This week, Nathan and James are joined by friend-of-the-podcast Max Jelbart to discuss perennial fan favourite and stone-cold classic Aliens of London. Spoiler alert: we all like it.
Notes and links
Doctor Who’s last soap-genre mashup was not an unqualified success — it was the thirtieth anniversary special that none of us had been dreaming of, as the Doctor and his friends collide with the cast of EastEnders in 1993’s Dimensions in Time.
Not for the last time, one of us mentions The Writer’s Tale, Russell T Davies’s account of his last few years as Doctor Who showrunner. It’s very candid and informative — an absolute must-read.
A massive supernatural event is also covered by the world’s media in RTD’s brilliant miniseries The Second Coming (2003), starring Christopher Eccleston and Lesley Sharp (Midnight).
RTD returned to commenting on the lives of gay men in Cucumber (2015) — this time looking at the differences between gay men in their forties and younger queer people in their twenties. It’s brilliant, but utterly harrowing.
Before the Weeping Angels, before the Silence, before the Monks, Steven Moffat brought us the Tersurons, unseen aliens who communicated by “precisely modulated gastric emissions”, and who were the butt of a number of jokes in Moffat’s first ever Doctor Who story, The Curse of Fatal Death.
After the untimely death of Lis Sladen, RTD and Phil Ford created Wizards vs Aliens, to take the place of The Sarah Jane Adventures in the BBC children’s television schedules. Among the cast were Annette Badland, Gwendoline Christie and TV’s Brian Blessed. It’s usually good, and sometimes actually great.
This week, our flight takes us to nineteenth-century Cardiff, where Nathan is worried about the stiffs, Todd is shocked by all this talk about the butcher’s boy, and James is teaching Charles Dickens to enjoy life again mere months before he dies of a stroke. Turns out that we’re all just The Unquiet Dead.
Notes and links
Todd mentions Mark Gatiss’s Big Finish story Phantasmagoria (1999), starring Peter Davison and Mark Strickson, which he manages to get Charles Dickens to name-check in this episode.
Simon Callow’s willy can be seen in the film adaptation of E M Forster’s A Room with a View (1985), which also features an important cameo from Rupert Graves’s willy. Worth a look. (Not just for the willies. Honestly, grow up.)
This week’s episode of Flight Through Entirety contains over 200 special effects shots and was recorded in a delightful civic temple somewhere in Cardiff. It’s not quite the new normal, but we’re definitely on our way there. Welcome to The End of the World.
Notes and links
(Whatever happened to the Buy the story section? I used to love that.)
Russell T Davies’s historical miniseries Casanova starred David Tennant as a mouthy romantic lead, and meant that we were all fairly certain that he would be the new Doctor when Eccleston’s departure was announced.
Another hint came from Tennant’s appearance in The Quatermass Experiment (2015), which was a live-to-air remake of Nigel Neale’s 1953 TV series.
– I’m the Doctor, by the way. What’s your name?
– Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!
The wilderness years are finally over, and we’re back at last with an entirely new series of Flight Through Entirety, in a reassuringly familiar format.
This week, Nathan’s new job is giving him airs and graces, Brendan is carrying a whole bunch of Semtex for some reason, Richard finds a strange man in his room, and Todd’s skin has a strange and unconvincing glossy sheen. Welcome to a whole new era of Doctor Who — it’s Rose.
Buy the story!
This has always been our favourite part of the shownotes, but now that we’ve reached the Twenty-First Century, it’s no longer needed, so it’s appearing here for the last time.
From now on, Doctor Who is available on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming literally everywhere, and was released on all of these media very soon after broadcast. So you probably own it already. In several digital formats.
Notes and links
In 2003, the future of Doctor Who looked very much like Paul Cornell’s Scream of the Shalka, starring Richard E Grant as the Doctor, which was a web series available (alas no longer) on the BBC website. You can see the trailer here). It was released on DVD in 2013. (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (Amazon AU)
The scripts for all of Series 1, including an introduction and a copy of the pitch document, were released as a book back in 2005. It’s definitely worth your time.
Fans of undistinguished pop starlet Billie Piper will definitely enjoy her 2000 hit, from the fondly remembered album Walk of Life. You can find the music video on YouTube, or you could always ask Todd to lend you his CD.
Rose was novelised by Russell T Davies earlier this year, and was released in a range of Target novelisations from the New Series. They’re all pretty good.
Damaged Goods is Russell T Davies’s brilliant but deeply upsetting contribution to the Virgin New Adventures range, first published in 1996. Unavoidably, a Big Finish adaptation also exists.
In this impressive tweet, Doctor Who showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat scowl menacingly at Michael Grade, who cancelled Doctor Who after a rough night in 1985. (Not pictured, Chris Chibnall.)
Fans of knowing all kinds of crucial nonsense about the production of Doctor Who (and that’s all of you, admit it) will enjoy Doctor Who: The Complete History, a blisteringly comprehensive history of everything it’s possible to know about the entire programme.
We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?
Brendan, Richard, Nathan and Todd fly backwards in time through the entirety of the Classic Series. Who are our heroes and villains? What stories should you watch, avoid, or remake on a film budget? And what, finally, have we learned about Doctor Who, and about each other?
Thank you very much for listening. And no, you have something in your eye.
All you do is talk and talk and talk
In fact, this isn’t quite our last flirtation with the Classic Series. We still have three commentary podcasts to record: Enlightenment, with Peter Davison, Revelation of the Daleks, with Colin Baker, and a Sylvester McCoy story that our listeners are still voting on. It’s not too late to cast your vote, just head over to our shownotes for Episode 129 and make your views known.
Notes and links
The Nth Doctor, by Jean-Marc Lofficier, discusses in depth the unmade film scripts that preceded The TV Movie.
This week, we’re celebrating the end of another tiresome millennium: Brendan’s dressed as Madam Butterfly, Nathan’s mooching about in the morgue as usual, Todd’s going on about his boots for some reason, and Richard has made a terrible mess in the Console Room. It’s the 1996 TV Movie!
Well, that’s democracy for you
There’s still plenty of time for you to vote for a story for us to cover in our upcoming Sylvester McCoy commentary podcast episode. No rush though. You can probably afford to worry about it later.
Buy the story!
This one’s quite complicated. The TV Movie was one of the first stories to get a DVD release, way back in 2001, in the UK only. It finally got a Special Edition release in 2010/2011 (Amazon US) (Amazon UK). This release was also part of the Revisitations 1 Box Set, along with The Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Caves of Androzani, only available in Australia and the UK (Amazon UK). An upscaled Blu-ray version was released in 2016 in the UK only (Amazon UK).
Notes and links
We don’t plan to cover fan favourite Dimensions in Time, which was a one-off Doctor Who/EastEnders crossover broadcast on BBC1 in November 1993, as part of Children in Need. However, Brendan says you’ll enjoy this version, which includes production notes by Andrew Orton.
Friend-of-the-podcast Gary Russell wrote the novelisation of this story, published in 1996, written before Gary got to see the actual episode and available in bookshops before the audience had either. It is now, sadly, out of print. You can read some of Gary’s thoughts about the novelisation here.
We’re also on Facebook, and you can check out our website at flightthroughentirety.com. Please consider rating or reviewing us on iTunes, or we’ll relaunch the podcast as an ill-fated series of remakes of previous episodes featuring American actors in major roles and including a number of inept Star-Trek-inspired continuity errors.
– My lady, who is that little man?
– Oh, glorious evil. It is he?
We’ve reached the end of another era. Three years at the tail end of the Classic Series, reviled by some, forgotten by others, and not watched at all by a sizeable proportion of the audience. But all four of us love literally every single aspect of it without exception. (Quiet, Todd!)
There’s always a choice
And now it’s time for you to vote for a Sylvester McCoy story for an upcoming commentary podcast episode. Vote wisely!
Nathan mentions The Stranger, a video series created in the 1990s by BBV, starring Colin and Nicola as more quiet and sombre versions of their Doctor Who characters. You can watch the first episode, Summoned by Shadows, on YouTube.
Over on Bondfinger, we’ve already recorded our final commentary for the Pierce Brosnan era, so we’ll be releasing it in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, our three previousBrosnancommentaries are still available, and so are ourcommentaries on the Timothy Dalton films.
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do!
This week, all four of us assemble on Horsenden Hill to light a fire, muck about, and discuss the last story of the 26-year run of the Classic Series. It’s Survival.