Tag: Ben McKenzie

Nine/Women (live show)

Young London woman Rose Tyler is at work when she is surprised by animated shop dummies, but she is saved by a mysterious man in a leather jacket who calls himself the Doctor. Though he tells her to forget him, she discovers he is a legend, the subject of Internet conspiracy theories: he has appeared throughout human history, and wherever he goes, death and destruction follow. Tough, resourceful, at times silly but with uncompromising morals, this Doctor has seen much and survived terrible losses. But he’s also alone – until he inspires Rose to realise her potential and save him, and the planet, in return…

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 ninth major episode brings us finally to new Who, that time when the seemingly impossible happened and the show returned! Russell T Davies reinvented the Doctor by casting renowned TV and film actor Christopher Eccleston, famous for serious roles in dramas like Cracker, Our Friends in the North and Elizabeth. His simultaneously light-hearted and tortured portrayal of a man who has lost everything won over old and new fans alike, though the revelation after the smash success of the first episode that he would only be staying for one year took fans and media by surprise. Despite his short stay in the role, Eccleston defined the new era of Doctor Who and laid the groundwork for the format that persisted ever since.

Just as important to new Who was new companion Rose Tyler, played by pop star turned actor Billie Piper. For some she was a revelation compared to the “scream queens” of the past; but is this a fair assessment? We take as our theme women in Doctor Who: was having a proactive and near equal status companion for the Doctor really such a radical idea? Has Doctor Who been as terribly sexist as has often been claimed? Are the women in the show as varied and multifaceted as the men? And is the modern series really better in its portrayal of women than the old?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by a panel including feminist organiser and writer Karen Pickering (Cherchez la Femme), author and podcaster Tansy Rayner Roberts (Galactic Suburbia, Verity!) and National Indigenous Organiser for the National Tertiary Education Union, Celeste Liddle (Rantings of an Aboriginal Feminist), plus a musical performance, giveaways and other excellence!

Space: The Gasometer Hotel, 484 Smith Street, Collingwood (corner of Alexandra Parade)
Time: Sunday, September 15; recording starts 5 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 September, 2013.

Seven/Religion (part two)

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott, along with guests Paul Callaghan and Dave Bloustien, return for the second half of our seventh live Splendid Chaps episode, recorded at The Public Bar in Melbourne on July 14, 2013. In part two we’re joined by the Reverend Doctor Avril Hannah-Jones, famously of the Church of the Latter Day Geek, to discuss religion and Doctor Who. Plus not one, but two musical numbers: one from guests Lee Zachariah and Adam Rudegeair – aka “Electric Menorah” – and one performed by the Splendid Chaps Seven audience!

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As mentioned on the past for part one, 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 one) with your questions, thoughts or feedback about the episode and religion in Doctor Who. Comment by August 10 to be in the running, and we’ll announce the winner at the recording of Eight/Science on August 11.

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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To make sure you don’t miss an episode, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or via this Feedburner feed.

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.

Eight/Science (live show)

The Doctor, mysterious saver of worlds, is summoned to collect the remains of his rival Time Lord, the Master. But it’s a trap: the Master forces the Doctor to land in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve, 1999, where he is shot, taken to hospital and accidentally killed on the operating table by heart surgeon Grace Holloway. After a delay, the Doctor finally regenerates – but with no memory of his identity. He seeks out Grace, who helps him settle into his new personality: suave, energetic, romantic and full of enthusiasm, this new Doctor encourages those around him to live life to the fullest – sometimes by revealing little bits of their future. He manages to stop the Master from taking over his body and destroying the Earth, after which he kisses Grace farewell and goes on travelling alone.

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 eighth major episode brings us to the Doctor of the show’s “middle period” between classic and new Who – Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor. A cult figure thanks to his starring role in Withnail and I (alongside alternate Ninth Doctor Richard E Grant), McGann was a popular choice and garnered much kudos for his performance – but almost nothing else about the American co-produced telemovie seemed to please audiences on either of the Atlantic, and no new series was produced. It’s a weird moment in the so-called “wilderness years” between old and new Who.

It’s also National Science Week, so we’re looking at science in Doctor Who. Ostensibly science fiction, and starting out life with an educational remit, Doctor Who originally alternated between trips to historical events and sci-fi tales that were meant to teach us about science. But amongst the mad scientists, wobbly grasp of concepts like “black hole”, “neutron” and “constellation”, and the rather more fantastical bent of the post-2005 show, does Doctor Who actually depict real science in any meaningful way? Does it champion the idea of being “sciencey”? What does it get wrong, what does it get right, and what can we learn from it about science in either case?

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by a panel of actual scientists including biologist and geneticist Jack Scanlan , astrophysicist Dr Alan Duffy, and science communicator Allie Ford. Plus a musical performance from folk musician Hannah Pelka-Caven, and all the usual prizes and surprises!

Space: upstairs, Bar Open, 317 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Time: Sunday, August 11; recording starts 5 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 August, 2013.

Six/Clothes

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott discuss Colin Baker and clothes in Doctor Who in the sixth (well, okay…ninth) live Splendid Chaps episode, recorded at Agent 284 in Melbourne on June 15, 2013. Our guests for this episode are writer and podcaster Tansy Rayner Roberts (Galactic Suburbia, Verity!) and fangirl and theatre professional Zen Fletcher. We’ve spared you a narration of the cosplay competition (surprisingly visual for a podcast, is Splendid Chaps) but we do have too many prizes (we’ve gone maaaaaaad!) and musician Tim Cav bravely attempts to redeem that most infamous of Doctor Who tracks, “Doctor in Distress”. Massive thanks this episode to our sound engineer, David Ashton, and to John, who does all the editing, for delivering an excellent recording despite serious technical difficulties on the day.

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To make sure you don’t miss an episode, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or via this Feedburner feed.

Don’t forget you can go into the draw to win a (Region 4) DVD box set of Trial of a Time Lord by commenting on this episode below! Are you a big Colin fan? Think Peri is the best companion ever? Tell us how we got it wrong! And we’d love to hear your thoughts on costumes and outfits from the show, and see photos of your best Doctor Who cosplay. Comment by July 13 to be in the running, and we’ll announce the winner at the recording of Seven/Religion on July 14.

Seven/Religion (live show)

Blustering Time Lord meddler the Doctor and his friend Mel are ambushed by fellow Time Lord The Rani, and as his TARDIS crashes he is mortally wounded and forced to regenerate. His new persona starts out highly eccentric, scatter-brained and confused – but as his personality settles, it become unclear how much of this is real, and how much obfuscation of his real agenda. Teaming up with Ace, a teenager from the 1980s who had already become lost in time and has a penchant for high explosives, he soon begins to tie up plans and schemes he’d started lifetimes ago… 

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 seventh episode in our main series discusses the Seventh and final Doctor of what we now call the classic era, played by variety performer and actor Sylvester McCoy. Famous for escapology, spoon playing and putting ferrets down his trousers, McCoy’s casting raised a few eyebrows, but his performance changed many doubters’ minds – especially when combined with Sophie Aldred as Ace, and under the new direction provided by the incoming production team under Andrew Cartmell. Of course, no-one knew that the program’s days were numbered…

We’re also looking at the theme of “religion” in Doctor Who. The Doctor has been all across space and time and encountered zealots, fanatics, kindly priests, and beings who believed themselves to be gods or demons or the devil himself. But what does the program say about religion, faith and belief? Is the Doctor Who universe truly a rational one in which the supernatural is really just advanced science, or is The Beast really the Devil? Is faith worthwhile, and if so, what does the Doctor believe?

Hosts Ben McKenzieJohn Richards and Petra Elliott are joined by guests including writer and game designer Paul Callaghan, comedian and television writer Dave Bloustien, and for our discussion of religion, the Reverend Dr Avril Hannah-Jones, Uniting Church minister and founder of the Church of the Latter Day Geek (as seen on Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight)! Plus a very special musical performance from the one and only Lee Zachariah accompanied by the two and only Adam Rudegeair, and all the usual prizes and surprises!

Space: The Public Bar, 238 Victoria Street, North Melbourne (opposite Victoria Markets)
Time: Sunday, July 14; 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: released on the 23rd (part one) and 30th (part two) of July, 2013.

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.

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

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott discuss Peter Davison and fear in Doctor Who in the fifth (well, okay…seventh) live Splendid Chaps episode, recorded at the Public Bar in Melbourne on May 19, 2013, and rushed to your ears in a fraction of the usual time! (You may find it a bit rougher around the edges than normal…) Our guests this month are comedian and actor Tegan Higginbotham (Watson) and horror writer Narelle M Harris, plus musician Georgia Fields performs a cover of Bullamakanka’s “Dr Who is Gonna Fix It”!

Narrelle M Harris, Tegan Higginbotham, Petra Elliott, John Richards and Ben McKenzie. Photo by Robert Young.
Narrelle M Harris, Tegan Higginbotham, Petra Elliott, John Richards and Ben McKenzie recording episode Five/Fear of Splendid Chaps at The Public Bar. Photo by Robert Young.
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To make sure you don’t miss an episode, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or via this Feedburner feed.

Don’t forget you can go into the draw to win a (Region 4) DVD copy of The Visitation (Special Edition) by commenting on this episode below! Tell us whether Davison’s Doctor was bland, what you really think of Adric and Nyssa, share the scariest moments you can remember or just tell us what you thought of this month’s show. Comment by June 14 to be in the running, and we’ll announce the winner at the recording of Six/Clothes on June 15.

Who and Books

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott met as part of Darebin Libraries’ Geek Week to discuss all things Doctor Who books in this special extra live Splendid Chaps episode, recorded at Northcote Library in Melbourne on Star Wars Day, May the 4th, 2013. With special guests editor and broadcaster Katie Purvis (Katie’s Cut Lunch on Joy 94.9) and author Dave Hoskin (Shooting the Poo podcast), plus a special reading from comedian Lawrence Leung (Unbelievable, Choose Your Own Adventure).

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To make sure you don’t miss an episode, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or via this Feedburner feed.

Also, thanks to Penguin Books Australia, we’re giving away a copy of Where’s the Doctor and one of The Doctor Who Character Encyclopedia to two lucky winners! All you need to do to be in the draw is to comment on this episode below: tell us about your favourite Doctor Who authors, the treasured books in your collection, or just what you thought of this episode. Comment before the recording of our June 15 episode to be in the running, and we’ll announce the winner then.

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