Author: Ben

Actor, comedian, feminist, improviser, voiceover artist, presenter, game mechanic, scientician, rogue nerd, ginger.

Spin-offs: The Sarah Jane Adventures

For part two of our Doctor Who spin-offs mini-series, we move in to Bannerman Road and see if we know where to look to find a whole universe of adventure, right here at home… Yes, hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott talk all about The Sarah Jane Adventures with special guests Djoymi Baker, George Ivanoff and – for this podcast edition only – Tansy Rayner Roberts!

The Splendid Chaps Adventures

Want to ask us questions about The Sarah Jane Adventures? Great – let us have them! As mentioned last episode, each of our spin-off episodes includes extra content, since we just couldn’t fit enough into the single live podcast to do all three shows justice – and for our final spin-off episode, we’ll be answering questions from you, our listeners, posed right here on the web site! Add your questions in the comments below.

And we’re having a good old fashioned Splendid Chaps giveaway, too. Our favourite questions will win a prize! Comment on any of our first three spin-off episodes to be in the running; we’ll give a final cut-off date when episode three (the next one) is released.

Spin-offs: Torchwood

Yes, the chaps are back in part one of their Doctor Who spin-offs mini-series! This time we go outside the government and beyond the police – whatever that means – to talk about everyone’s favourite not-so-secret organisation which fights alien menaces in between all the sex and gore which makes it an “adult show”. That’s right – it’s time to talk Torchwood! Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by special guests Djoymi Baker, George Ivanoff and – for this podcast edition only – Richard Watts!


Got questions you want to ask us about Torchwood? We want to hear them! Each of our spin-off episodes will include special extra content, since we just couldn’t fit enough into the live show to do all three spin-offs justice – and our final spin-off episode will add in questions from you, our listeners, posed right here on the web site! So please add yours in the comments below.

Of course it wouldn’t be Splendid Chaps without a giveaway, so our favourite questions will win a prize! Comment on any of our first three spin-off episodes to be in the running; we’ll give a final cut-off date when episode three is released.

Spinning Off into Another Dimension (live show)

The universe of Doctor Who is vast. So vast that it can’t be contained in a single television program – even one that’s still going after 53 years. So vast, in fact, that even a year’s worth of podcasts couldn’t cover everything…so perhaps we’ll do just one more. Just this once.

Join John Richards, Ben McKenzie and Petra Elliott, ably assisted by invisible chap David Ashton, as they temporarily return from the time vortex for the first time in nearly two years to bring you a special one-off episode of Splendid Chaps! The chaps will discuss those bits of Who that have spun off into another dimension: Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Class and more! We’ll be joined by a couple of returning special guests: our favourite sci-fi academic, Dr Djoymi Baker, and children’s author George Ivanoff! Plus there’ll be the usual mix of comedy, deep discussion, audience questions, music and prizes!

This very special live episode will be released as a mini-series of short episodes in February and March 2017.

Space: The Bella Union, upstairs, Melbourne Trades Hall, corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets, Melbourne
Time: 4 PM Sunday, February 12, 2017; doors open from 3:30 PM
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible; please contact the venue for lift access.
Tickets: $18/$16 groups of 4+/$12 concession (includes booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via online or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; planned release 23rd of February to 23rd of March, 2017

Splendid Comedy, Festival Chaps

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival is about to start for 2016, and many of the guests who appeared on Splendid Chaps are featured in this year’s program – as well as two of our hosts!

Petra Elliott is one of the stars of the improvised puppet show, The Mighty Little Puppet Show! You won’t want to miss her performing as one of the “Ritas”, colourful puppets on which the audience will build their own characters. The show also features “What I Learned from Doctor Who” guest Rob Lloyd. The Mighty Little Puppet Show runs at 7:30 PM, upstairs @ Little Sista (next to the Town Hall). It’s a rotating ensemble cast, so if you want to see Petra make sure you book for March 25, 27, 29 or 31, or April 1.

Ben McKenzie has had a hand in Claire Hooper’s show this year, through his games company Pop Up Playground; together they present Being Claire Hooper, a whimsical, Claire Hooper-themed treasure hunt through the city. You might even see a familiar face or two… Being Claire Hooper begins at 6 PM each Saturday and Sunday at the statue of Burke and Wills at City Square (opposite the Town Hall). Tickets are very limited so be sure to book!

Here’s a round up of all our guests appearing in the festival! Check the listings linked via the title of each show for details (for example, most shows are an hour earlier on Sundays). We’ve also linked to the episodes they appeared in in case you’d like to revisit.

Justin Hamilton and Adam Richard also host The Shelf, 7:30 PM on Mondays at The Toff in Town.

Night Terrace season two announcement

Night Terrace Season Two is coming to a pair of ears near you on February 29!

It’s a date only a time traveller (or three) could love, so it seemed a fitting launch date for the second season of our award-winning sci-fi comedy audio series, starring Jackie Woodburne (Neighbours) and our own Petra Elliott and Ben McKenzie, plus a stellar guest cast including Andrew Hansen (The Chaser), Louise Jameson (Doctor Who, Eastenders), Lawrence Leung (Sucker), Jane Badler (V), Gary Russell (The Famous Five), Celia Pacquola (Utopia), Ian Smith (Neighbours) and many more!

We successfully crowdfunded the second season back in April last year, and our Kickstarter backers were able to get their ears on it just in time for Christmas. Now it’s everyone else’s turn! On release, season two will be available from both the Night Terrace web site at, or via our page on the popular digital audio platform Bandcamp.

You can listen to the first trailer for Season Two below.

It’s Christmas time!

Time for a bit of a clean up around here! We’re no longer just about the podcast, and so we’re no longer just Splendid Chaps – we’re Splendid Chaps Productions. You can still listen to  our fiftieth anniversary Doctor Who podcast, but now you can also find out about our original sci-fi comedy series Night Terrace, and watch out for news of new projects coming from the Chaps, including a brand-new podcast, Pratchat, revisiting the works of Sir Terry Pratchett in 2016. And we’ve opened a Bandcamp store, where you can find all the stuff we’ve released for sale so far!

But Christmas is also a time to celebrate, so we thought we’d release something from the archives – one of the most popular cover songs from our year of Doctor Who back in 2013. So, from our Christmas special, please enjoy Petra Elliott and the Time Lads with their rendition of the unlikely Christmas single, “I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas with a Dalek”!

Ten Years a Who!

Surprise! It’s a new episode of Splendid Chaps!

This year – on the 26th of March – the modern era of Doctor Who had its tenth anniversary. We were hoping to put together a live show to celebrate this milestone, but alas that wasn’t to be. Instead, chaps Ben, John, Petra and Lee gathered on Sunday, April 12 – ten years and a bit since the original broadcast of The Unquiet Dead – to have a tea party with a few of our listeners and look back on the last ten years, driven by questions and comments from you! Plus there’s a musical surprise at the end…

So join us for a cup of tea, a few special biscuits (thanks Claudia’s Mum!) and a chat about the Who of the last decade. We promise to stay mostly on topic…even though Night Terrace, our sci-fi audio comedy, had just won an award the night before – and the Kickstarter campaign for the second season is currently in its last days! So we might mention that once or twice.

Also we’re giving away a prize – thanks to our friends at BBC on DVD, we’re giving away a DVD of Matt Smith’s swansong Time of the Doctor, which also includes his previous Christmas specials A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe and The Snowmen! Just put a comment in by the 23rd of May! We’ll pick a winner and announce it…somehow.

Doctor Who biscuits

Night Terrace: the new project from the Chaps!

Splendid Chaps may have ended…but the moment had been prepared for!

Night Terrace is an eight-part sci-fi comedy audio series, produced, written by and featuring the Splendid Chaps team! Jackie Woodburne (Neighbours) stars as Anastasia Black, a scientist who used to save the world – and whose quiet retirement is cut short when her house starts travelling through time and space. We’re crowdfunding Night Terrace on Kickstarter, and you can find out more by checking out the campaign, or by visiting the Night Terrace web site.

Night Terrace/Home

Surprise! Just when you thought you’d got rid of us, we thought we’d pop up and tell you all about our new project, Night Terrace! Our Kickstarter campaign is now underway and you can find it here! But rather than just spam your ears, Ben and John thought they should at least record a mini-episode since so many of you have sent lovely messages hoping we’d be back. Since Night Terrace revolves around a mysterious house, we decided to discuss the notion of “home” in Doctor Who in the traditional Splendid Chaps cafe, Penny Farthing in Northcote.

Our new audio comedy series will follow the adventures of ex-world saving science adventurer Anastasia Black, played by Jackie Woodburne (Neighbours’ Susan Kennedy), as she tries to figure out why her house has started to travel through space and time – and how to get back home. It will also feature chaps Ben McKenzie as her sidekick Eddie, and Petra Elliott as the enigmatic “Sue”. The first series is written by John Richards, Lee Zachariah, Ben McKenzie and David Ashton, and you can find out more at


What I Learned From Doctor Who

Well, here it is: the last released episode of Splendid Chaps. And what a suitable topic to go out on! John, Ben and Petra discuss what they’ve learned from Doctor Who over the years with guests comedian, actor and teacher Rob Lloyd (Who, Me.) and writer and editor Liz Barr (Chicks Unravel Time) in an episode recorded for the Stonnington Library Service’s [untitled] festival at Toorak/South Yarra Library on Saturday, November 16 2013. There were prizes, surprises, all the usual Splendid Stuff – and a wonderful spoken word performance from the one and only Emile Zoey Baker! (You can find her piece, “Dr Who’s Tom Baker is My Real Dad”, on her web site.)

We’re not gonna see you again. Not like this. Not with this daft old podcast. And before we go, we just want to say you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

And you know what?

So were we!