Capaldi’s Costume, Hurt Rewrites & Doctor Who Missing Episodes!

Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

Wow, so much to get through in this week’s podKast, fromDoctor Who missing episodes to Peter Capaldi’s first photoshoot – stopping off at the fascinating topic of “was John Hurt cast to replace Christopher Eccleston or not?” on the way.

The podKast team of Christian Cawley, Brian Terranova and James McLean have an interesting hour of discussion for you, and just because we love you, dear listener, we’ve left in a segment in which Christian and James BOTH dry up, with hilarious consequences!

We also have a nice collection of recommendations for you, from Wiffle Lever to Full by Bob Fischer to The Beginning from Big Finish.


  • Peter Capaldi dressed as Matt Smith
  • Christopher Eccleston interested in Doctor Who return
  • John Hurt casting
  • Wiffle Lever to Full (Kindle)
  • Doctor Who: The Beginning

This week’s theme tune is “Docteur Qui”, a Bill Bailey-inspired arrangement by Dalekium, found at

If you’ve enjoyed the show, please head to Apple Podcasts to leave a rating and review. Any new reviews will be read out.

Not on Apple Podcasts? Leave us a review somewhere else, send the link over on Twitter or Facebook or, and you’ll get a mention.

18 thoughts on “Capaldi’s Costume, Hurt Rewrites & Doctor Who Missing Episodes!

  1. Exactly right from Brian about a lot of Moffat’s explanations for his motivations being made up on the spot. Always makes me smile how much fandom is prepared to swallow them whole.

  2. The reason that people give you grief is not what you say, but in your in general negativity. It seems like you don’t really enjoy the show very much.

    You are supposed to be fans, not professional credits. There are plenty of those about. If all you see are the cracks and the flaws, none of the things that enthuse your audience then you run the risk of alienating your audience.

    Here’s an example: Matt Smith ‘s era has been one of the most popular and successful in the modern or classic era. He and Steven Moffat have extended Doctor Who far beyond standard Who fandom. But you really seem to dislike Moffat’s writing and era. It almost seems like because so many people like the current era that it isn’t cool to like it anymore.

    I know you guys love the show. Sometimes it hard to see it based on your podcasts. You don’t have to gush, but you could dial the cynicism down a bit.

  3. I really can’t agree with that, MWR. You could say nice things about DW every day and some people will only remember 14th July when you once said that didn’t like Unicorn & the Wasp.

    The point you make about Matt Smith’s era is one that is used all the time to counter any criticism of the show. And its premise is logically faulty.

    Premise: Matt Smith‘s era has been one of the most popular and successful in the modern or classic era. He and Steven Moffat have extended Doctor Who far beyond standard Who fandom.

    Conclusion: Therefore, if the K podcasters don’t like it, there is something wrong with them.

    If one person doesn’t like Moffat’s writing, then the fact that a million others do like it doesn’t make that one person wrong or the million right. They just have different tastes.

    It’s also hypocritical because the people who try that argument when they’re in the majority (or think they are), invariably seem to trot out the “no fan’s opinion is less valid than another’s” when they’re in a minority (or think they are).

    Also it doesn’t make sense to say that Smith and Moffat have extended DW far beyond standard DW fandom as that presupposes that, prior to 2010, DW was restricted to standard DW fandom.

    The thing about DW in particular and sci-fi in general is that it cannot survive close textual analysis. That’s always going to find holes and weaknesses in it.

    Maybe KCC, James and Brian aren’t fans of the Moffat era. That doesn’t make them not fans of DW. What if they were huge fans of Smith and Moffat but weren’t keen on RTD and Tennant. Would that be OK or would you be using exactly the same lines to take them to task? “David Tennant’s era has been one of the most popular and successful in the modern or classic era. He and RTD have extended Doctor Who far beyond standard Who fandom.”

    And the same with Eccleston? Although of course it’s OK to dislike Eccleston now that he’s proved himself not a fan of DW.

    So you end up saying that no-one is allowed to dislike any era of the show. That’s cultural Panglossianism. And it would make podcasts, reviews, DWM, fanzines, etc unnecessary because, once you accept that no aspect of DW can be less or more good than any other aspect, you remove the need for talking about DW at all.

    So ner *.

    (* with knobs on)

  4. My reply was (I guess I need to say this every freaking time), in my opinion, an attempt to address why listeners might react that way.

    Please point out where I said that their opinion wasn’t valid? I’m pretty sure I didn’t. I don’t even disagree with some of the points that they made. They brought up the negative comments on the previous podcast I attempted to address why that might be.

    Frankly, they are free to hate every frame ever shot of the show and it won’t effect my opinion of the show. But I will say that when I listen to critics if their taste are wildly askew from mine I’m very unlikely to give much weight to their opinions, just because their taste and mine is very different.

    The only way to really determine if Moffat’s era extended beyond fandom would be to look at worldwide viewer numbers. If you have access to those numbers, then share them. I could be wrong, but it seemed to me that there was far more worldwide reaction Matt Smith leaving than David Tennant. (10 was actually and still is my favorite of new Who)

    Really, the only people who talk about any of this are fans and it’s quite pointless. We do it because we enjoy the show and just watching the show (which is more than enough for 99% of the audience) isn’t enough.

    How do you prove that one person’s view is more valid than another? As Brian stated it’s a matter of opinion. Some people like it and some people don’t. If you really think that Doctor Who fandom or any other nerd fandom for that matter is headed for a Panglossian homogeneity then spend some time on any forum anywhere. Fans HATE everything. It’s all awful.

    1. I think misunderstood the point – it wasn’t we were shocked people disagreed, just surprised people thought it was unreasonable to reasonably view our issues on a said topic rather than focus and praise on what we thought worked.

      As I said last podkast comments, we do go on record for liking a lot of it. Christian enjoyed the end, I enjoyed the beginning/middle, but we discussed what we didn’t like and more importantly, why. If podkasts were simply about praising a product, I don’t think they’d be very interesting. As always, aspects that haunt you in any appraisal tend to be those that you can’t quite resonate, so I think it’s entirely reasonable for those to become part of the discussion.

      While I don’t think we’re unique, I think we’re honest in our opinions. Do we reflect fandom? No. Do we not reflect fandom, no again. I could write a critical essay as to why I feel River Song has been bad for Doctor Who, someone could write a critical essay as to why she’s been good, I’m sure. Won’t agree with it, but as long as none of us set up our perspective as being absolute all is good.

      As to the content, I don’t go into podkast – or any argument to change people’s opinion. I agree with you – opinions rarely sway, we listen to others looking for validations or for the sake of argument. That’s not a bad thing. For me, I look to refine my perspective. If something doesn’t work for me, talking about it, debating it, will help me define what the issue is – for me. In a sense, I hope people who do listen who don’t agree with my looonng monologues, will find it help hone their own reasons to the contrary.

      I don’t agree fandoms hate as an absolute. I don’t hate Moffat, I don’t hate Doctor Who. I do enjoy the fascinating deconstruction of art. Day of The Doctor was a fun ride, but the question as to the path it took, and what produced the final product is fascinating and I do believe there were hiccups along the way that might have wrought us an even more interesting 50th. Or maybe a worse one. Who knows, but the beauty is talking and learning about the subject and you’re own views.

      Whether or not Doctor Who is as popular as ever to me is largely a non-point. Just because something is popular doesn’t give it extra validation, nor does it suggest why its popular, or whether it would be more (or less) popular under a different helm. I can tell you where I think it works, where it doesn’t, beyond that, it’s up to you. I think you’ll find if the show changes helm we’ll be as critical and as honest as we are now. As personal preference, I preferred the RTD run as I feel his approach to character writing is very fresh and I love character drama. But I’ll rag on about the dullity of Lazarus Experiment, the snore factor of The Next Doctor, the comic book flatness of Planet of the Dead and the clumsy ending to The Unicorn and the Wasp. I’ll happily admit I loathed Donna at first, and loved her later. I was pleasantly surprised by Day of the Doctor, adored Night of the Doctor and will gush over The Girl Who Waited till the cows come home. I have not a bad word about Blink, Empty Child, Bells of St John or Girl in the Fireplace. Strax is one of the best side characters created in Doctor Who. It’s not about territory. I think that’s when fans become horrid, when it becomes about territorial disputes. Everything is open game for the PodKast. Even Robert Holmes. 🙂

      It’s not all hate, I’d say we’re just critical. It’s a show we love, a show that’s hard for anyone to get perfect and a show that just keeps on giving. And so do we. 🙂

      1. A thoughtful reply, thank you.

        Yes, I can see how that would be confusing. How can a listener opine that others are not entitled to an opinion when that in itself is an opinion?

        I have been around fandom, of one sort or another, my entire life. I’m 52 years old and I have seen fans do incredible things. I was there when fans convinced NBC to authorize a third season of Star Trek in 1968. I’ve seen fans gush and gripe at conventions (I don’t go any more, feel too out of place and time). I watched the first three seasons of Tom Baker when it was broadcast here on NBC after school. I ran my own comic book and genre store (talked to fans every stripe), I worked for an international distributor who shipped comics and just about everything you can imagine from the US to the UK to Singapore to Iceland. I’ve met writers and designers in comics, the gaming industry and just plain old writers of books.

        I have also seen fans be entirely petty and spiteful to other fans and the object of their adoration. It was all pretty manageable until the internet really connected fandom and provided the faceless anonymity that is “so vital” to modern fandom. There are very few fan boards I visit any more simply because of the spilled vitriol that is spooned out in dollops on everything and every aspect of whatever they are fans of. I can tell you that modern fans are far less forgiving, far more sarcastic and have a much greater sense of entitlement. After 40 years of hearing fans bad mouth creators, shows and everything else maybe I’m too cynical to see the upside of modern fandom.

        When I look at a show like New Doctor Who I’m frankly astounded by how good it is compared to what I had to endure in 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Maybe in Britain it was different, but in the US it was Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, Manimal, The Phoenix, Misfits of Science, Knightrider and others. I watched every one of them in hopes that viewership would cause the networks to realize that there was an audience for SF and Fantasy. It’s finally happened.

        I do think you should care about the show’s popularity though. Better ratings and larger audiences mean bigger budgets and more investment into the property. It wouldn’t have been able to be cancelled in 1987 if it had been pulling numbers like it does now. Popularity is indeed no guarantee of quality, but it does guarantee that you will have a chance to improve quality in future episodes.

        I don’t know whether Steven Moffat is a genius, a tyrant, a bastard or a saint. I do know that I have enjoyed his runs on Doctor Who and Sherlock. I didn’t even know who he was when I started watching Matt Smith and I didn’t know he was show runner for Sherlock until the second season finished. All I knew was that I was entertained and that I liked it.

        They have flaws (although I usually only learn about them in a podcast or when some other fan points them out) but overall, I like them. Doctor Who still gives me a sense of wonder when I see it. I’m probably not critical enough, but I don’t want to be. My work is filled with enough horrible stuff (I work for a progressive non-profit in Texas) that I need that sense of wonder more than I need flawless continuity, written perfection and errorless execution.

        I do like your podcast, although I have only been listening since October or so. I learn a lot of interesting details about the show and I do enjoy hearing what you have to say, even if I don’t agree or place the same priority on consistency as you do. I’m glad you love Doctor Who. We all need more joy in our life.

        1. Some interesting commentary here.
          I’m sorry if I sounded somewhat blaise about the relevance of popularity, I do agree it’s a sound platform to judge a show, but I think fans – not yourself – can sometimes can wound up on popularity being defining to a show’s quality – or even credibility. I’ve heard from a couple of separate sources that Doctor Who’s longevity wasn’t as caste iron earlier this year as some would think internally speaking at the BBC. That doesn’t suggest that the show is crap or unpopular, but there are a great deal of attributes that go into defining a show’s attributes, or tenure. I think that’s why I balk at the topic of popularity – it’s a hard thing to define, as hard as quality, and equally questionable depending on what stat you read. Suffice I’m happy that however one interprets stats, there’s no doubt that Doctor Who’s profile has risen considerably thanks to the 50th and the resources put into it by Cardiff AND the BBC, especially on a worldwide platform.

          A point I’d like to pick up, again not a criticism on your comments but one people do miss, particularly possibly if I think if you’re international as your good self – but the low ratings for Doctor Who in 87 are again, open to reflection. In fact, it could be argued the ratings were actually pretty solid given it was up against the highest rated show in the UK at the time, and that show was scoring an excess of 15-16 million viewers. Doctor Who was still getting 4-5 million. Given that sizable audience it was fighting, in some regards, one could argue that Doctor Who wasn’t shifted into a terminal slot, but was deemed a reasonable show to offset the rival channel’s major franchise. Again, what retired Doctor Who I don’t think was ratings nor quality, but a decision based on legacy and a change in the BBC’s approach to drama output. If Doctor Who was to be put on hold again, equally I suspect it would be to do with a change in the corporation’s mandate or drama direction, than a question on the show’s popularity or quality.

          And I agree, I enjoy the experience of watching and assessing Doctor Who (as I am a critical person at heart). I do the same for Moffat’s era as I’d do for Hinchcliffe’s – and I don’t think any era is without its failings or successes – judged in context or without. But I enjoy Doctor Who, I am proud of Doctor Who, and when Moffat pulls off something smart I am proud of his achievements, equally, if I feel he’s missed a mark or made a call I think is bad, I feel that mistake – and I’m sure he does too. It should never be about territory, it should always be, as you say, about personal enjoyment and appreciating that not everyone will agree, and when we don’t always agree, that’s not a bad thing, as long as we respect that in the end, there’s no right answer, only a personal one!

          1. Just a quick point. When I say numbers regarding 1987, I don’t mean just ratings and I’m certainly not talking about quality (I loved Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor). Ratings in the UK are important, I’m sure, but in places like the US they are critical since they directly effect revenues by setting the rate that ads can be sold at.

            The difference between 1987 and now is that the BBC has found a good way to monetize the success of the show. While in the UK they may not be able to profit directly from a ratings success, they can from increased merchandising and foreign ad revenue, which I suspect, is vast compared to 1987. While I give good credit to the 50th for a large part of this largess, the groundwork had to be laid well before this by creating an audience worldwide that would buy these items.

            Also, in 1987, the worldwide network for viewing Doctor Who was, in the US, limited to Public Broadcast which like the BBC does not generate Ad revenue. It was all locally programmed and thus no national and consistent outlet was available. Direct communication with fans worldwide was very limited in pre-internet days. We often never knew when or if it was being shown. To this day there are episodes of 5, 6, and 7 that I haven’t seen just because it was so easy to miss one and just about impossible find afterword. (I have them all on DVD now and I am making my way through in broadcast order)

            Cancelling the today now would be a bold choice and a risky venture. I think the BBC would require a lot of convincing. Just look at revenue from classic episode DVD sales. It has to be significant, especially since the production cost is limited to restoration and extra production. Licensing fees for merchandising must be significant revenue center.

            I know American and British TV are different beasts, but the bottom line is still about revenue and I would bet that New Who beats Classic in earning potential.

  5. I don’t necessarily believe that the expansion of DW worldwide is due to Matt and Steven as it is to DW, which began with DW on BBCA and BBC Worldwide which started in 2008 – 2009. The first Comic-con that a Doctor went to was in 2009 with David. If David had been allowed to attend more of the conventions as Matt had would the expansion have started sooner or be larger?

  6. Really interesting podcast – loved the discussion on missing eps and the thoughts presented. Very upbeat. Also agree with the comments about how good the Davison era is.

  7. By way, kudos are owed to you guys. I recently listened to your Podcast from 08/01/2013, Podcasting the Eighth Doctor. I couldn’t believe how close you got to what actually happened. It makes me think you might have a TARDIS of your own.

    You predicted:
    That you didn’t think #8 would be in the actual show.
    That if they did anything it would be a prequel.
    That it would be a regeneration into the War Doctor since they couldn’t handle the regeneration into Christopher Eccleston.

    Very impressive!

    PS. Posting it here because I think you are more likely to see it than in a 5 month old podcast comment section.

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