Tag: Eighth Doctor

Eight/Science

Hosts Ben McKenzie, John Richards and Petra Elliott discuss the Paul McGann telemovie, and then bring in guest scientists Jack ScanlanAlan Duffy and Allie Ford to talk science in Doctor Who as part of National Science Week! It’s the eighth live Splendid Chaps episode, recorded at Bar Open in Melbourne on August 11, 2013. Plus prizes, Ben’s scrapbook, the secrets of lab coats, audience questions and Hannah Pelka-Caven performs a haunting version of the song shared by the Seventh and Eighth Doctors in the telemovie, “In A Dream”.

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Eight/Science guests
Eight/Science scientist guests Allie Ford, Alan Duffy and Jack Scanlan. Photo by Sarah Clarke.

Don’t forget you can go into the draw to win a CD copy of the Big Finish Eighth Doctor audio adventure The Chimes of Midnight by commenting on this episode below! Do you love the telemovie? Are you part of the Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade? What are your favourite – or least favourite – bits of science in Doctor Who? Comment by September 14 to be in the running, and we’ll announce the winner at the recording of Nine/Women on September 15.

The Eight/Science viewing/listening list

As revealed at the recording of our last live episode, Seven/Religion, here is your homework viewing for Eight/Science, which will be recorded on August 11th at Bar Open in Melbourne (full show details here).

Your homework viewing for the Eighth Doctor is:

  • Doctor Who: The Movie

…okay, no surprises there. While we’ll mostly be sticking with discussion of Grace: 1999, you might enjoy listening to some Eighth Doctor Big Finish audio adventures. We suggest:

  • The Chimes of Midnight
  • The Silver Turk
  • Shada
  • the BBC7 series beginning with Blood of the Daleks

We’re talking about science in Doctor Who; here are some good (or bad) examples of science and scientists in the show:

  • The Daleks (William Hartnell, 1963; seven episodes)
  • Terror of the Autons (Jon Pertwee, 1971; four episodes)
  • The Masque of Mandragora (Tom Baker, 1976; four episodes)
  • Four to Doomsday (Peter Davison, 1982; four episodes)
  • The Lazarus Experiment (David Tennant, 2007; one episode)

There’s so much “science” in Doctor Who, though, that we could easily list dozens of other relevant stories; if you’re feeling enthusiastic, you might also want to watch The DaemonsCreature from the Pit, Logopolis, Aliens of London/World War Three, New Earth or The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky. Please share your own suggestions in the comments below!

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.