PodKast With A Mortal Enemy [UPDATED]

Doctor Who: the Master as a child

In what can only be described as a warm, fireside chat about Doctor Who, Brian Terranova and James McLean take their lead from a couple of news and feature articles recently on Kasterborous and take them for a walk.

Like a free-form Jazz duet, James and Brian lurch from classic to nuWho, the death of traditional fan meetups vs their modern Internet-driven successors and chat about Philadelphia Wizard World (where Brian was cosplaying the Tenth Doctor), Torchwood and the Master!

You may well ask what else they discussed, but we couldn’t possibly tell you. Just hit play to find out 🙂

This week, there’s no Christian Cawley, thanks to a nice holiday that he’s having.

9 thoughts on “PodKast With A Mortal Enemy [UPDATED]

  1. Wasn’t it a bit weird that the Cybermen didn’t think to use their super speed ability during the shootout at the end of Nightmare in Silver? Could it be argued that this new ability was in an unstable experimental phase and was only to have been used sparingly?

    1. It was one of the great problems with enemy overpowering; you have to unrealistically de-power them at some point to allow your heroes to survive. Yes, millions of lightning fast Cybermen would be damn hard to defeat. In fact, watching Time of the Doctor again, it’s amazing such hi-tech powers didn’t make them the last villain standing rather than the Daleks.

      The fact they felt they needed to re-write the Cybermen’s facets, suggests they were feeling they were not powerful enough, which is pretty ridiculous. A man with a knife is dangerous enough, shouldn’t be hard to make metal cyborgs with a fetish for human modification dangerous without having them only occasionally moving faster than a speeding bullet.

  2. Lovely episode of the podcast, gentlemen. Still appointment listening. I got quite a lump in my throat when Brian talked about online friendship and could only shift it by walking out into the street and singing a rendition of “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”.

    James’ (James’s?) point about the scariness of the Daleks not needing to be an individual invincibility was almost as great as Brian’s idea for the anti-Dalek bullet. Was Brian a junior member of the Anti Dalek Force in his youth? A sort of Joel Shaw in a skinny suit? I think we should be told.

    1. You can ask Brian himself with his TerraLeks take over your country and force you all to do his bidding (which will probably be to build replica screwdriver props). Always nice to occasionally pimp some of the wonders of technology that merely sit back and fear it.

  3. Not that this podcast isn’t normally stimulating! But I have to say that you guys really opened my mind and got my creative juices flowing this week! I really liked your breakdown of enemies and your ‘back-seat driving’ for writing the show! I might just go off and make something creative now. Thank You!

    1. Thank you! I think the Cybermen are a great example of a show floundering as to how to use them (Closing Time, Time of the Doctor, Nightmare of Steel as examples, where they all seem to really stray from their strengths and either become generic monsters or something quite odd – yes, looking at you Wooden Cybermen and the cast of Nightmare), when the very nature of Cybermen – conversion, cold technological advancement and unstoppable strength, could ally itself to so many topical technological story threads and thus avoid them being simply used as another ambling monster.

      Funnily enough, topical to last week’s Podkast, Torchwood’s Cyberwoman was close – it looked at the emotional trauma of having a loved one converted into something singular, unstoppable and terrifying. Pity it just looked so daft.

  4. I wish the writers of Dr Who listened to your podkast and took note. They have ruined the Sontarans and are killing the Cybermen. Your insights are spot on as always.

  5. As I’ve said before, I have a soft spot for Nightmare in Silver. This may have something to do with my general lack of interest in Cybermen stories. Tomb was good. Invasion…was good without the men of steel. Earthshock was very moving….

    That’s not to say that traditional Cybermen stories can’t be done – Sword of Orion is strong and Human Resources has everything a Cyberman story should have and actually works (probably their best story in my opinion) – they manage to be both powerful/threatening and be fighting for survival to the last man – that’s basically their story from the start. What’s more, Human Resources manages to use Cybermen to explore the de-humanising aspects of the modern world – rather than suggest we will turn into Cybermen, it offers us a narrative that makes us as we are now like them. Now if that’s not the stuff of nightmares, what is?

    But I digress. Nightmare in Silver is a fairy tail. It’s Gaiman and his obsession with archetypes as fairy tales but into a Who medium. Much like Adams with the Pirate Planet, it is a writer with a very distinct sense of his own style and interests taking over Who and writing a script that doesn’t feel entirely within the same universe, but that probably works fairly well if removed. In this instance, had they not actually been Cybermen, would the story have been better received? Probably – there is always a lot of pressure when bringing back any character – the obligation to remain true but iron out the mistakes. And if that is too much on the mind of the writer, it limits a writer’s ability to have fun. And writing Doctor Who should always be fun…

    So, maybe Gaiman’s mistake was to do the Cybermen (although, that, obviously, was what he was commissioned to do). But, taking his Cybermen as they are, I do think they play on the very fears that stem from technology you were praising Rise of the Cybermen for. As you said in the podcast, one of the scariest things about technology is how fast it is changing and advancing. The users and even the makers of the technology don’t know what the limits of modern technology are, they don’t know whether the advancements are good or bad, but we use them, because they are there, and not to use them would leave us behind. But we’re not going to be able to keep up with advancements indefinitely – not without changing. The Cybermen of old had built in obsolescence – the reason humans always won because of our organic ability to adapt, to learn. By preserving themselves, the Cybermen became static, removed themselves from evolution. One race learns of their weakness to gold, and soon the universe knows how to kill them. The deadly Trojan that threatened to take down the world’s computers becomes a thing of the past -beatable by a few lines of code. But technology isn’t like that. This Trojan has been designed to work like a virus and adapt to everything it comes up before. What’s more, it has computer processing power that works considerably faster than our human brains. You stop us once, but the same method won’t work twice…. It’s why governments are so terrified of cyberwarfare. My argument is that Gaiman is very much exploring our current fears of technology. It’s speed is very much what we are afraid of.

    … Um.., I do apologies about the rant/lecture/self-indulgent piece of nonsense above – I’m bored at work and have no one to talk to, so I’ve accidentally taken it out on you. I’ll shut up now… Keep up the great podcasts!

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