Episode 12: Spearhead from Space

The DAR team travels to the 1970s to see the first serial of the Third Doctor era.  With the Doctor now stuck on Earth, do we feel as trapped as the Doctor or as happy as non-body slammed Nixon?  Find out.

Daleks Aren’t Robots!? is a podcast in which two Whovian friends take two non-Whovians on a deep dive through the show from the very beginning.

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Theme: Garage – Monplaisir

Podcast Contents Include

Editor’s Note: The following are my original notes for the podcast, slightly edited for readability. They’re very far from the full contents of the pod, though.  – Kari

OUR TEAM

The Doctor:

  1. This Doctor is great. He flirts with Liz and seems very debonair. He is handsome for a 51-year-old guy and wears an apparently Edwardian-era opera cape and a cool hat (which needs more feathers). Also there’s another topless Doctor shot in this one and he has a hilarious white butt, though you don’t see it, just his tan line.
  2. This Doctor has a TATTOO and he wears a gold bracelet. Do we ever find out what the gold bracelet is from or says? Does it say anything? Do we ever find out what the tattoo is? Did they give it to the Doctor or does this actor just have a tatt? What is it and what does it mean?
  3. The Doctor knows how to drive. He is also very tricksy like First and tried to escape from Lethbridge-Stewart. He has a ton of charisma and he seems brave. Hasn’t tried to murder anyone who wasn’t already hostile… YET.
  4. At one point he runs away in a wheelchair and that’s hilarious and also very in character.
  5. At another point he bulls***s his way back to LBS and essentially he Karens his way into speaking with the ranking military guy onsite.
  6. He also cons Liz into stealing the Tardis key from LBS.
  7. He extorts LBS at the end to get a lab, facilities to fix the Tardis, a car like the one he LITERALLY STOLE, clothes, and Liz as an assistant. He lies and says his name is Doctor John Smith. SUUUUUURE.

Liz Shaw:

  1. She’s our only Companion at this point. She seems to be primarily a researcher but also has a medical degree, apparently? She’s super smart like Barbara but doesn’t take any crap from anybody, and needles Lethbridge-Stewart fairly often, which is fun. She is a skeptic and doesn’t believe in all this space crap until it happens.
  2. She seems pretty brave, and though she’s very creeped out by the mannequins she reacts a whole lot better than most of the other people in this story.
  3. She actually rolls her eyes when the old man general hits on her, but doesn’t seem to object when the Doctor hits on her… he IS pretty good looking for his age.

Lethbridge-Stewart, AKA LBS:

  1. He is a military dude in charge of UNIT, which… what is UNIT? Why did they call it that? Do they know what it’s slang for?
  2. He has a Mustache of Authority.
  3. To his credit, he points out to the general that Liz is not just a pretty face when the general makes a sexist comment to her. He seems to have a somewhat adversarial relationship with Liz and has worked with the Doctor before–presumably, the Second Doctor. What did they do together?
  4. He’s not technically a companion, but he kind of is?
  5. What are UNIT’s resources? Who ARE these people? Is this like a military Men in Black? HOW do they cover this s*** up?

The Tardis:

  1. We haven’t seen the inside of this Tardis yet, and apparently it’s broken.
  2. It sounds tired, when was the last time it had a Gavroche?

THE OTHERS

There are a lot of guests in this one.

  • Hibbert, AKA Good Factory Guy: The person who runs the plastic mannequin/doll factory, he’s being brainwashed into being an unwitting pawn of….
  • Channing, AKA Evil Factory Guy: He’s the local representative of the Nestene Consciousness and is actually a mannequin himself. He’s trying to collect the plastic globes so that the Nestenes can reform into the PERFECT BEING and take over the world. Also he’s got a plasticy complexion and is satisfyingly creepy and threatening but also capable of being VERY upset.
  • The Nestene Consciousness, which in this isn’t a pool of melted plastic but a bunch of plastic wrap around an eyeball with tendons that’s covered in applesauce. Then it becomes what looks like felted tentacles and I don’t understand why there aren’t plushies of the felted tentacles. WHERE IS YOUR MARKETING DEPARTMENT.
  • Evil Mannequins. These are actually creepier than the ones in the modern Doctor Who, I think. They look less human and their eyes are icky.
  • Ransome, AKA Inventor: He was involved with the factory and tries to blow the whistle on the weirdness going on there but gets brutally murdered. He has a fantastically rubbery face and mugs his terror for the camera beautifully. He dies horribly and gets vaporized.
  • General Scobie, AKA The General: He’s an annoying regular army guy that LBS reports to, and he makes a sexist comment to Liz. He gets replaced by a plastic mannequin but doesn’t die.
  • Sam the Poacher: He finds one of the plastic globes the Nestene consciousness is in and brings it home.
  • Meg, his wife: She’s awesome, when the mannequin comes to take the plastic globe her husband hid in her house, she GETS A SHOTGUN and shoots the mannequin. She gets clobbered but DOESN’T DIE and why can’t Meg be a Companion?
  • Assorted doctors and nurses and an evil vacuumer that calls the press, but we don’t really care about them.

THE SETTING

  1. It’s the 70s in Britain. Are we gonna stay here? It’s… very 1970s Britain.
  2. The hospital building is cool, it has some really nice wooden paneling. The woods are… woods. There’s a nice car.
  3. Everyone sounds like they’re in a cave now. 😦 And the offices are very impersonal, even the science room is very impersonal. Doesn’t anyone put up posters or pictures of families or even a “hang in there” cat?
  4. When you see glowing stuff from space why don’t you think “maybe it’s radioactive?”
  5. The factory is terrifying there are no safety shields ANYWHERE. HOW IS THIS ALLOWED???
  6. So the autons… the first time they shoot, are people dead or just stunned? The second time is disintegration. Why was this changed for NuWho?
  7. We did not get a fight between wax Gandhi and wax Nixon. 😦 😦 😦

THE PRODUCTION

  1. OOH COLOR
  2. THE SOUND IS “EVERYONE IS IN A CAVE NOW.”
  3. I wanna know about Pertwee. Why is Liz the way she is?
  4. WHY ARE THEY STUCK ON EARTH?
  5. WHY IS UNIT?
  6. Is this the first time we’ve seen blood in a Doctor Who?
  7. We did get some fire in this one, as there’s an explosion, also several gunfights. LOTS OF GUNS. No more angry complaints to the BBC?

Sources Include

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