Category: Live Shows

Six/Clothes (live show)

While visiting Androzani Minor, youthful explorer the Doctor and his friend Peri are accidentally poisoned and caught up in a civil war. Risking life and limb for his friend, the Doctor finds an antidote just in time to save Peri – but there’s only enough for one. He regenerates, but the poison makes the process difficult, and he emerges unstable and belligerent, suffering violent outbursts and unpredictable mood swings before finally settling into his new, brash persona. Arrogant, bombastic and larger than life, this new Doctor sees himself as superior to those around him, always willing to give his opinion and correct mistakes as well as right wrongs. Yet he still retains the curiosity and good intentions of his predecessor – something that shows more often as he re-establishes his friendship with Peri… 

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 sixth outing discusses the sometimes controversial Sixth Doctor, played by actor Colin Baker. Better known for playing villains and bullies – including Time Lord Commander Maxil in the Peter Davison story Arc of Infinity – Baker dug into the character’s past, bringing back some of William Hartnell’s arrogance and pomposity in order to offer a different take to his good-natured predecessor. It was a turbulent time to become the Doctor, though, as the show was suspended for 18 months, put on trial by the powers that be, and finally forced to make drastic changes – including firing the lead actor.

Most people, of course, remember Six for that outfit, and so this episode we discuss Clothes. Few programs have as broad-ranging a costume design remit, with new worlds, eras and civilisations needing to be created every week. Not to mention that an eccentric Time Lord and his companions need to find clothes that are practical in any situation, from soulless steel corridors to rocky alien landscapes, polar caps and the inside of volcanoes. Oh, and they need to be fashionable in any era… It’s a big ask, and as The Discontinuity Guide reminded us, there were fashion victims as well as triumphs.

Hosts Ben McKenzieJohn Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by writer and podcaster Tansy Rayner Roberts (Galactic Suburbia, Verity), and theatre professional, fangirl and cosplayer, Zen Fletcher. We’ll also have a special musical performance, prizes, surprises – and a fashion show!

Yes, we want to see your best cosplay and Doctor Who related sartorial creations – and there will be prizes on offer. So come along dressed as your favourite Doctor, companion, villain, or anything you like related to Doctor Who – we’ll let you show off your work and you might just win a prize for your trouble!

Space: Agent 284, 284 Smith Street, Collingwood
Time: Saturday, June 15; recording starts 4 PM
Accessibility: We regret that this venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via trybooking.com or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of June, 2013.

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 trybooking.com or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of May, 2013.

Who and Books (live show)

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. At Northcote Library, as part of their Geek Week celebrations, the Splendid Chaps are doing a special bonus episode all about Doctor Who books!

Books have always been an important part of Doctor Who, from the Target novelisations of the pre-video recorder age to the New Adventures and Eighth Doctor novels that continued the story after the original series went off air. Ben, John and Petra will be joined by editor and JOY 94.9 host Katie Purvis, and filmmaker, writer and podcaster Dave Hoskin for a discussion and reading of some of these works, plus a look at the stranger end of the publishing spectrum (the Doctor Who Cookbook, anyone?). And there’ll be a special reading from comedian Lawrence Leung!

Space: Northcote Library, 32-38 Separation Street, Northcote
Time: Saturday, May 4, 4:30 PM
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: All tickets $10 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via trybooking.com, or buy tickets at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: TBA.

Four/Comedy (live show)

Dashing action hero the Doctor realises he has brought disaster to Earth and faces his fears to defeat the Great One, an immense and powerfully psychic spider. He returns to Earth only to collapse from radiation poisoning in front of his friends, but with the help of a fellow Time Lord manages to stave off death and regenerate. Somewhat traumatised by his regeneration, this new Doctor is by turns manic, brooding and boisterous. His only constant is eccentricity, in dress, speech and habit. Uninterested in the creature comforts and life on Earth of his predecessor, he leaves almost immediately to travel the cosmos, seeking adventure and righting injustice when he finds it.

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 fourth instalment is part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and fittingly for the Fourth Doctor, is a two-part story! In part one we discuss the Fourth Doctor (“Four”), played by eccentric actor Tom Baker. The Doctor best known to audiences (serving for the longest time, and seeing the classic era through much of it’s most successful period), he’s known for his ridiculously long scarf, bohemian manner, generosity with jelly babies, cavalier attitude to danger and (in the words of Bullamakanka) his “trusty mate K-9”.

The Fourth Doctor is also known for his wit, and so in part two we turn our discussion to “Comedy” in Doctor Who. How many jokes are too many for what is ostensibly a family science fiction adventure show? Does the Doctor always know he’s being funny? When does the humour work best – and when does it fail to work altogether? And what is the funniest moment in Doctor Who?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined for part one by JJJ’s nerd correspondent and host of ABC3’s Steam Punks, Paul Verhoeven, and late night JJJ host and comedian Dave Callan. In part two, our late show, they’re joined by comedian, radio host and co-creator and star of Outland, Adam Richard, plus comedian/actor/lovely UK person Josie Long – she’s been in Skins AND the actual TARDIS! All this plus music, prizes and surprises!

Space: Trades Hall – The New Ballroom, corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets, Melbourne
Time: Part One: Four – April 6, 5:45 PM; Part Two: Comedy – April 13, 10:45 PM
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $22 full price, $18 concession (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: via comedyfestival.com.au, TicketMaster outlets, the Comedy Festival box office, or at the venue (subject to availability)
Please note if you book in person at a TicketMaster outlet, you may need to ask for “Ben McKenzie & John Richards”, as “Splendid Chaps” does not appear in the search terms of their system.
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of April, 2013.

Three/Family (live show)

The traveller known as the Doctor, faced with a crisis too big to handle on his own, contacts his own people, the Time Lords, for help. They answer his call, but put him on trial for breaking their vow of non-interference. His plea that they must use their power to fight the evil in the Universe does not go unheard, but he is exiled – and given a new form into the bargain. This new Doctor is dashing, flamboyant and charming; as handy with his fists as his mind, enamoured with gadgets and obsessed with repairing his disabled TARDIS, he is nonetheless primarily a scientist. Stranded on Earth, he takes up a post with his old friend the Brigadier as scientific advisor to the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, an international military organisation watching out for alien threats – and its not long before such threats begin to appear…

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!). For our third outing we burst forth in glorious colour and take a big risk: travelling through time and space is out, and battling foes on slightly-in-the-future 1 Earth is in! The Third Doctor (“Three”), played by comedy actor Jon Pertwee, delights in extravagant clothes and fast cars, knows (and is willing to use) Venusian aikido, and matches wits not only with alien menaces, but with politicians, bureaucrats, and even one of his own people: The Master. Despite being stranded on Earth without his previous human friends, the Doctor soon becomes part of the UNIT crew – a surrogate family that leads him to remember his own youth on Gallifrey, and us to choose the theme of “Family” in Doctor Who. Why are there so few families in the early years of the show? What’s with all the distant aunts? How did it change the show when companions’ families started to appear after Rose? And is the TARDIS crew effectively a family of a sort for the Doctor, who seems not to know what happened to his own family?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by New York Times best-selling author Sean Williams (Evergence, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, The Fixers and many more) and actor/dancer/director Cathy Adamek (PolecatsThe Babadook, Cut) plus other guests poached from the Adelaide Fringe Festival!

Space: The Tuxedo Cat – The Yellow Room, 199-200 North Terrace, Adelaide
Time: Sunday, March 10; show starts 2 PM (note that as we will be recording, latecomers will not be admitted until interval)
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: All tickets $15 (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: trybooking.com; tickets also sold at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of February, 2013.

Notes:

  1. It is the policy of Splendid Chaps not to engage in debates about the UNIT dating controversy, but feel free to do so yourselves.

Two/Evil (live show)

A mysterious old man known only as the Doctor saves the world at the cost of his own life, complaining his old body is “worn out”. His young friends, Ben and Polly, help him back inside his Ship, and are astonished as he literally transforms into a new man. Younger, impish and eccentric, this new Doctor nevertheless has the curiosity and moral compass of his predecessor – not to mention his knack for finding trouble…

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!). For our second instalment it’s all change, as the producers decide to replace their lead actor – but keep the same character. Well…more or less. The Second Doctor (or “Two”), played by character actor Patrick Troughton, is childish and panicky, yet this might just be a cover for his great intellect and capacity for planning. He now seems to see a motive beyond curiosity for his wandering, explicitly stating on more than one occasion that the evil creatures of the Universe “must be fought” – and so we also take this opportunity to explore the theme of “Evil” in Doctor Who. Is it absolute? Are there cosmic forces of right and wrong? And is the Doctor always on the right side?

Hosts Ben McKenzieJohn Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by actor Toby Truslove (Laid, Outland, The Strange Calls) and cinema and television researcher Dr Djoymi Baker. Plus performance guest, cabaret comedian Dean Acuri – performing a song written especially for the show!

Space: 303, 303 High Street, Northcote
Time: Sunday, February 17; bar open from 4 PM, show starts 5 PM (note that as we are recording, latecomers will not be admitted until intermission)
Accessibility: We regret that this venue is not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: $15 full price, $12 concession (plus booking fee)
Bookings: via TryBooking; tickets also sold at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of February, 2013.

One/Authority (live show)

On the 23rd of November, 1963, something extraordinary began. A strange young woman arouses concern in her teachers, who follow her home to discover she lives in a police box with her Grandfather, an imperious old man known only as “the Doctor” – and in whose Ship, the TARDIS, they are whisked away on adventures throughout time and space.

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!). This very first instalment takes us all the way back to the First Doctor, William “Billy” Hartnell. One 1 is a cranky old dude who kidnapped and electrocuted his first companions to protect himself and his Granddaughter, places their lives and his own in danger to satisfy his curiosity, and who delights in putting the boot into conquerors and invaders. It’s this anti-authoritarian sentiment – and the air of authority he projects – that inspired us to take “Authority” as our first theme.

Hosts Ben McKenzie and John Richards and narrator and companion Petra Elliott are joined by our special guest panellists: writer and filmmaker Lee Zachariah (The Bazura Project (ABC2), Hell Is For Hyphenates podcast); broadcaster and host of 3RRR FM’s LiveWireNerida Haycock; and costume designer of the original 1966 Cybermen, Alexandra Tynan (aka Sandra Reid). Plus performance guest, comedian and cabaret performer Geraldine Quinn.

Space: The Annexe, Bella Union, Trades Hall, corner of Victoria and Lygon streets, Melbourne
Time: Sunday, January 13; bar and box office open at 4 PM, show starts at 5 PM (no latecomers admitted until intermission)
Tickets:
 $15 full price, $12 concession (plus booking fee where applicable)
Bookings: bellaunion.com.au or at the door (subject to availability)
Podcast: not yet available; released 23rd of January, 2013.

Notes:

  1. For brevity’s sake, many fans refer to each Doctor by number, instead of the old form “The First Doctor”.