Seven/Religion (part one)

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott discuss Sylvester McCoy’s time as the Doctor in this, the first part of our seventh live Splendid Chaps episode, recorded at The Public Bar in Melbourne on July 14, 2013. Yes, this was one of our biggest and most in-depth shows yet, and so we’ve decided to split it in half. In part one, our guests are author and game designer Paul Callaghan and television writer and comedian Dave Bloustien. Watch out for part two next week!


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Don’t forget you can go into the draw to win the (Region 4) DVD box set Ace Adventures, featuring the stories Dragonfire and The Happiness Patrol, from our good friends at BBC on DVD. Enter by commenting on this episode below (or on part two, of course) and let us know what you think of Sylvester McCoy, Ace, the stories of the era or what you think about our discussion! Comment by August 10 to be in the running, and we’ll announce the winner at the recording of Eight/Science on August 11.


  1. Tony Flynn says:

    Oh no! Now I’m back to being a God fearing atheist again 🙂

    Please tell me that part two will cure me! Amen.

  2. camila says:

    Excellent episode! can’t wait for part 2. I haven’t seen anything of seven’s yet but this made me really made me curious of his era.

    Haha I got so excited when one of you mentioned that ret-con theory that when the doctor regenerates we’re witnessing the story of someone who’s “growing up”. I have been toying around with the same idea as well!

    I came to the same conclusion the other day when I was talking about the fourth doctor and his farewell with Sarah Jane ( analysis over here:, is a bit more on the shippy side though so you’re warned lol). The main that caught my attention was noticying how royally alergic to commitement the fourth doctor was…and then it clicked: “hey! isn’t he acting like a 20-something?”. That idea that he doctor is someone who’s trying to go through everything aimlessly, never getting to attached to things, is an idea that the fourth doctor popularized. And is also a very apt description of “young adults”.

    And as you said, when we started with the first doctor, he was quite childlish and a bit of a brat. Then when he regenerated into 2 he had grown a lot, but he was still quite adventurous and youngful. He regenerates into 3 and becomes a more teenage-y person obsessed with cars and bossing people around. And then when he eventually regenerates once more, into the 4th, he becomes something of a vagabound.

    (I haven’t seen anything of the 5th to 8th doctors yet so I can’t tell how they could fit into this theory yet haha)

    I think this view makes a lot of sense when we consider the canon fact that Time Lords may live for a long time… but it also takes them much longer to mature than humans. The Doctor considers his “childhood” to span over 60-70 years, for example. And The Doctor is very stubborn anyway, so it always takes him a few decades to really while learn his lessons.

  3. Ben Collins says:

    I loved The Happiness Patrol as well! It was just so completely weird and imaginative!

    Except maybe Kandiman, that was possibly a bit too far.

  4. Colin Russell says:

    Sylvester’s best story (for me) is undoubtedly The Curse of Fenric, it’s intelligently written, it’s atmospheric, the guests artists are brilliantly cast (except maybe Nicholas Parsons as the vicar), every element of the story meshes so perfectly – it’s The Daemons of the 80s.

  5. Andre says:

    Great work on the podcasts, guys! I would really like more pictures of you guys during recording. For exemple, what was Petra wearing to make her look like a red Kang?

    Keep up the good work and bring more pictures! 🙂

  6. Andre says:

    Oh, and I might add that Petra Elliott probably has the most amazing voice I have ever heard.

  7. Cristian Mendez says:

    Loving the shows! The seventh Doctor and Ace have been my faves ever since I first watched them together. I had just got into watching them at the Sydney Uni Who parties/ conventions and really enjoyed the cool and darker stories “We play the contest again, Time Lord”, is probably my all time favorite cliffhanger! The New Adventures created an environment where the 7th Doctor seemed to do so much. I also thought the era should have been recognized for its obvious influence on the new Who format presented by RTD. New Who even claimed they had the first stair climbing Dalek…. Anyway, cheers I was really hanging out for you guys to get to the 7th Doctor and then you guys do a 2 parter, awesome. Thanks.

  8. Scott Vandervalk says:

    7th Doctor and Ace pairing has always been my favourite. For a long time, they were the last TV Doctor Who I was left with, and then just as I was getting into more advanced novels and science fiction, along came The New Adventures… I may have even written a Doctor, Ace and Bernice Summerfield story for a VCE assignment.

  9. Angelica says:

    great show guys! Sylvester and Ace were the best dr and companion combo! some of the eps seem a bit silly now , but as a girl of a certain age watching these at the time they came out I just really loved and related to Ace.

  10. Tracy Amos says:

    The closest that I had ever come to watching an episode of Doctor Who was in the 1970’s when my best friends brother would kick us out of the lounge room so he could watch Tom Baker do his thing.

    Having listened to your podcast (and enjoying it very much) I watched one on ABC2 last night and it amused me that in line with your religion topic the episode was called Satan Pit.

    I had never considered faith or religion part of the world of Doctor Who, but I fear that I need to start my education in a show that can open up many horizons.
    I will be using your homework guide as a way to get started.

    Thanks for the podcast


  11. Ian Nicholls says:

    I bet if Petra Elliott had tried to earn her Kang name (“Urination Fireplace”), she’d have exclaimed “Gorden Bennett!” too.

    I have to miss Sunday’s recording; I very much look forward to hearing the results though. Even if half of Petra’s introduction gets cut again 😉

  12. Franco Costa says:

    I think the reason the classic Dr Who series was cancelled was because it had gone for too many years with Doctor characters which were hard to like (the sixth and seventh doctors shouted and sneered whereas the 3rd, 4th & 5th doctors had been noble authority figures. Likewise, there was little to like about the whining companions. Even Ace, who was a well developed character, wasn’t an aspirational character for me: how wants to be Cockney?
    It is hard to add new fans to the show with such unlikeable characters and eventually even old fans drift away. The Cartmel stories certainly were interesting and had good depth and variety, but I guess by then it was too late.
    Loving the podcast. Thanks

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