Spoilers and Surprises at Continuum 9: Contraindicators

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!).

Well…we say eleven. We’re recording a special edition of the Splendid Chaps podcast as part of Continuum 9: Contraindicators, the ninth annual Melbourne speculative fiction and pop culture fan convention, all about spoilers and surprises in Doctor Who!

From leaked torrents to give-away titles, from shock deaths to surprise guests, Who has done it all. So do spoilers ruin everything? Are cliffhangers an integral part of the show? And just how important is plot, anyway? Joining John, Ben and Petra for this episode are author George Ivanoff (the Gamers seriesLife, Death and Detention) and author and podcaster Kirstyn McDermott (Madigan Mine, PerfectionsCaution: Contains Small PartsThe Writer and the Critic). Plus we’ll have prizes, loveliness and a special performance!

As this episode won’t include a break, we won’t have time to get audience questions at the recording – so we’d like to hear from you now! What are your favourite cliffhangers in Who? Do you avoid spoilers? Are the teasers for upcoming episodes too much? Should titles ending in of the Daleks be banned? Is surprise really important to plot? Let us know below, on Facebook or on Twitter! If you are attending the con, you’ll also have a chance to write down questions before we begin.

Space: Earth/Fire rooms, ether, lower level 265 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Time: Sunday, June 8, 4:30 to 6 PM
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: This event is part of the Continuum 9: Contraindicators fan convention. You will require a convention membership to attend.
Bookings: day and weekend memberships are available at continuum.org.au; you can also become a member at the door, though note this is more expensive.
Podcast: not yet available; release date TBC.


  1. Fraser says:

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!! We are out of town that weekend, there goes our perfect Melbourne record 🙁

    Spoilers. I am usually deadset against them which does get more and more difficult with the Internet, however call me old school but I don’t mind …of the Daleks episode titles. That said I was happy to be surprised but the appearance of Davros in Journey’s End

    Q: Is your wife’s Online Daily Mail habit a spoiler issue? A: yes

    In some ways spoilers and filming location spoilers can be useful. We were in the UK in 2009 and my “very clever” wife could find out where they were shooting what turned out to be Time of the Angels and Flesh and Stone in the caves so went around the caves which where still open to the public during the day and see various props including Angels and chat to some of the set dressers who were working in the caves.

    I do love the way that have embraced the concept of spoilers with River Song’s catchphrase “Spoilers Sweetie”

    Sorry to miss George being on the panel too.

  2. Sarah Brown says:

    I don’t actively avoid spoilers, but I don’t seek out all the upcoming news, either. Actually, after years of being That Girl who talks to much about Doctor Who, I tend to avoid talking about it much at all. After all, when I did, it attracted the Wrong Sort of Fan. 😉

  3. Fraser says:

    So on the evening of episode Five before the last episode of the season went to air Splendid Chaps mentioned [redacted] twice!

    Within days of this episode being announced we find out that [redacted] is [redacted][redacted][redacted][redacted]!

    Just how much power do the Splendid Chaps have?

  4. Henrik Hansen says:

    Best cliffhanger ever – Tenth Doctor finally meets up with Rose, is actually shot by a Dalek (top marks to that little soldier. Pity he didn’t live long enough to appreciate all the free drinks that go along with that feat) and the Doctor starts to regenerate. Superb. (The Stolen Earth).

    Worst spoiler, putting the Dalek/human hybrid on the cover of the Radio Times. Pretty hard to miss that one. (Daleks in Manhattan).

  5. Haggis says:

    Best cliffhanger: I really like the cliffhanger used several times on the show of the Doctor – having regenerated – is now someone completely different, leaving us to wonder what type of person he is. Generally for several months.

    Spoliers: Do the Target novels count? I read several of the 3rd and 5th Doctor episode novelisations well before I saw the episodes.

  6. Adam Edmonds says:

    I do miss the cliffhangers that I grew up with, which are now a rarity in the new Who. That said, I have been wracking my brains to identify a favourite, but haven’t been able to pick a specific one – I would like it to be the end of episode one of the Dead Planet, that first glimpse of a Dalek. I like the idea that in 1963 no one knew what it was, no one knew how important it would be to the show itself. Although I know exactly what the creature is as I didn’t see it until 30 years after it was first broadcast, and had read the book, and seen the Cushing movie version and every other Dalek story available, it represents the moment that Doctor Who truly begins to take off.

    As for spoilers, traditionally it was rare that I was surprised by the show, I think. We knew when all the Doctors were going to change, and when the companions were leaving. Although it is a long time since I first saw Earthshock, but I’m certain the death of Adric was no surprise to me at the time. Even before the internet, there was no shortage of news about the show, especially by the time the show finally arrived by clipper ship. It is only recently that I have begun to care about spoilers. A certain plot development in Game of Thrones highlighted for me when I read it, the power fiction can have when we don’t see a plot development coming, when it involves characters we have become invested in. Imagine the impact on us, the viewing audience, if we witnessed the next regeneration without any warning. A missed opportunity perhaps regarding the departure of Matt Smith…

    Mindy you, the end of the latest series, watched spoiler free, featuring the appearance of John Hurt as a previously unseen version of the Doctor, was one hell of a cliffhanger (somewhat cheapened by them feeling the need to tell us it was John Hurt, as the Doctor) – and also frustrating, as it will be six months of speculations and potential spoilers before we get a resolution…

    • Henrik Hansen says:

      Big Finish gave us the most audacious cliffhanger at the end of 8th Doctor audio Neverland. And we knew then we’d have to wait Eighteen Months before resolution!

      Totally worth the wait, too.

  7. Henrik Hansen says:

    Gentlemen, the biggest cliffhanger I’ve had this week is, when does this podcast come out? I feel like I’m hanging from this particular cliff by my question mark shaped umbrella. (One of the strangest cliffhangers, surely. Meta? I don’t even know’er!)

    • John Richards says:

      Hello Henrik! We don’t actually have a date on this one yet. It’ll probably be released in between Six/Clothing and Seven/Religion.

      • Henrik Hansen says:

        OK. Thanks for the info. I’ve been rather obsessive in my DW celebrations this year. Like you, I’m concentrating on a Doctor a month through DVDs, Big Finish audios, the IDW Comics and your good selves. I’ve made interesting discoveries. 1. Tegan is better than I remembered. 2. The sixth Doctor (on TV) is worse and 3. Adric is wetter than a seaweed sandwich.(So, no change on that opinion.) I was especially horrified to see how badly Peri was treated. Always the victim, rarely proactive. We saw The Two Doctors at the British Film Institute last Saturday and my daughter asked Eric Saward about this. He apologized at once and said it was the Eighties and that they certainly couldn’t get away with that now. (He also referred to Peri having her “apendages” out. I thought that was a tactful way of putting it.)

        Anyway, this response has rambled a bit longer than I expected. I’m loving the podcasts. Keep it up!

        • John Richards says:

          I thought The Two Doctors was an odd choice for the BFI event, all the others have seemed like great selections. Did they say anything about why they were showing that story?

          • Henrik Hansen says:

            No they didn’t. However it was an excellent opportunity to have Frazier Hines on he panel, so that could have been it. They have been very Holmes heavy as far as scripts are concerned, which is no bad thing.

  8. Henrik Hansen says:

    Of course, the best way to keep all the juicy secrets of this podcast episode secret is…. Not to release it! I’ve guessed your sneaky spoileriffic surprise! Mwah ha ha ha ha!

Comments are closed.