Five/Fear (live show)

Maudlin after many centuries of wandering, bohemian Time Lord the Doctor finds himself surrounded by young, unfamiliar human companions – and an ethereal “Watcher” – as he battles his old foe the Master to save the Universe from decay. The Doctor succeeds, but falls to his doom – only to realise that the Watcher was a premonition of his regeneration. His new, younger self begins life frail and disoriented, but soon reveals his personality: inquisitive, honest, selfless and open, young at heart though mature of mind. He abhors the violence with which he is so often confronted, always trying to avoid it: a talker, not a fighter, but loyal and with a fierce determination to protect his young friends. 

Splendid Chaps is a year-long celebration of Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary: eleven live performances recorded as podcasts in which your brains will be fed, your funny bones tickled, and your hearts opened (yes, both of them!). Our fifth instalment discusses the Fifth Doctor, played by young actor Peter Davison. Already known to audiences as another doctor (well, all right…vet), All Creatures Great and Small’s Tristan Farnon, he soon made the role his own with a blend of innocence, optimism and wry humour – not to mention a distinctive outfit of striped cricketing whites and a decorative vegetable.

For our theme this episode we discuss Fear. Famously watched from behind the couch, its theme music alone instilling terror into many children, Doctor Who has long held a reputation for frightening audiences and characters alike. Is it still scary? Should that really be the focus of the show? How does it frighten us – and what does it have to say about the nature of fear itself?

Hosts Ben McKenzieJohn Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by comedian and actor Tegan Higginbotham (Watson) and horror writer Narelle M Harris. We’ll also have a special musical performance from the delightful Georgia Fields, prizes, surprises and the final episode of the current Doctor Who season! Yes, The Name of the Doctor airs on ABC1 that night, so we’ll be putting it up on the big screen for everyone to watch together after the show. If you can’t make the recording, feel free to come join us for that.

Space: The Public Bar, 238 Victoria Street, Melbourne (opposite Victoria Markets)
Time: May 19; recording starts 5 PM
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of May, 2013.


  1. Daniel Elkington says:

    Yikes–the live show ends a short time before the finalé of the current Doctor Who series airs on the ABC! I don’t think I’d be able to make it back home in time so unfortunately…looks like I won’t be able to come 🙁

    • John Richards says:

      In all honesty, I think we probably forgot people still watch free-to-air telly. I’m an iView man, myself.

      • John Richards says:

        And it now turns out we can play the episode on the big screen after the show! So stick around and watch Who with us!

        • Ian Nicholls says:

          That’s decided it. I’m sticking around! I don’t think I’ve seen a Who episode in company with fans for a long time.

        • Daniel Elkington says:

          Can I just say that there would have been no better way to have watched this episode the first time than with a bunch of other Doctor Who fans. So I’m glad that Splendid Chaps allowed this episode to be my first experience of watching a first-airing Doctor Who episode communally.

          The atmosphere in the room was amazing. The reaction to the pre-titles sequence, the ending, and all the amazing moments in the middle was perfect. It didn’t matter that there was the occasional small flaw with the picture, in fact, I think it made it even better for me because it made me all nostalgic about what it would have been like to watch an episode back in the 1960s. Of course, back then most people would have had very poor television quality, and Splendid Chaps’ quality was a million times better. I didn’t miss a word of dialogue, so the drop-outs weren’t really that bad. Still, it was nice to experience the feeling they would have had back in 1966; hoping that their television picture wouldn’t break up as the game-changing events of The Tenth Planet episode 4 were airing.

          In conclusion, thanks Splendid Chaps for giving me one of the best Doctor Who viewing experiences I’ve ever had.

  2. Nathan says:

    Hi guys, was recommended your podcast by a friend, just loving it 🙂 A slightly long Question for the Panel about Earthshock: I remember as a kid watching this when it originally aired on the ABC and being utterly shocked and horrified. I had never witnessed a companion death (though since discovered there had been others) and couldn’t believe it. The final moment of Adrics smashed badge in the credits was one of the defining moments for me about Davisons era, though I guess I kind of identified with Adric in a way (he was young, he was a bit of a nerd etc).

    I’m wondering how the death of Adric affected the Panel when they first saw it, either originally or later?

    • Ben says:

      Hi Haggis! No, we’re just putting the ABC broadcast up on the screen, and you’re welcome to join us at around 7:30.

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