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  • Writer's pictureCraig Norris

Dr Who Controversies (Part 2)

Episode 62 - With host Craig Norris, and special guest Marcus Johnson
First Broadcast on Edge Radio, 12 January 2024.

Part 1 here.


We dive deeper into the world of Doctor Who with our special guest, Marcus Johnson. He is a true Whovian who knows everything there is to know about the show and its controversies. We also bring you the hottest news and updates from the media culture scene, How to watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the perfect order, as revealed by Disney+. The surprising video of Brian Cox, the star of Succession, telling the story of Tekken. The amazing feat of a YouTuber who built a working Nintendo PlayStation. We end the episode by going through more of Den of Geek’s list of Doctor Who’s top 50 controversies, with Marcus giving us his expert commentary and analysis on all things Whovian.

Part 1 here.


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Transcript

This is an AI-generated transcript of the audio and it may contain errors. We may update or correct this transcript in the future. Please contact us if you have any questions about the information in this transcript. The audio is the official record of this episode.


CRAIG NORRIS

Alright, you're listening to media mothership broadcasting out of Edge Radio studios. Here in Nepal, Luna, Tasmania and. Today's show on media mothership is going to be exploring a number of fascinating phenomena. As we have our special guest in again today, Marcus Johnson. Hello, Marcus.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Hello, Craig, how are you today?

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, I you know, I we better now that I've turned your mic on.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Excellent, excellent. Having a functioning MIC is it's always a pretty integral part of being on.

Speaker

The radio. But I like that idea that.

CRAIG NORRIS

Maybe you're in like a, well, far away from the studio and I can only hear this kind of echoey voice as you're commenting on. Things mark. Let's actually try and, you know, give some listening pleasure with proper audio and mic on. So on today's show, we're going to be looking a little bit news and then diving into where we picked up last week, which was, you know, chatting about now that we're in the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who. Which is spread across two years. 2023 to 2020. Four. Is it a kind?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Well, I mean the series started in November of 1963. So the first season ran throughout the very end of 1963 through the most of 1964 because there were 48 episode seasons when the show started. So it was essentially only off the year for four weeks per year.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yes. So they can get away with saying a 60th anniversary. 2023 to 2024. Which will then. Look at that list of 50 controversial moments. So the 60th anniversary plus has established the right order to watch. The Marvel Cinematic Universe in what's interesting, I guess about Disney and Marvel, is Netflix. Because Netflix had daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist that they produced. Kind of. Of licenced to Marvel, but the question was would they be incorporated into the Marvel Canon?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Also the punisher.

CRAIG NORRIS

I'm the punisher. Yeah. Can I forget? And the. Punisher and Disney now have said, as I guess, owner of Marvel, that yes, the. This Marvel Cinematic Universe incorporates Netflix shows such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones. We've already had Vincent. Denofrio denofrio. Thank you, Marcus, as Kingpin appearing in the Hawkeye. Was that the Hawkeye Christmas? Show that he did like two years ago. A year ago I'm trying to remember the Hawkeye actually.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I can't remember if it was Christmas, but there was definitely a Hawkeye series.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, and kingpin pin and that, of course, kingpin, as played by Vincent D'onofrio Donofrio. Was established in. Daredevil. So yeah, the idea that yeah, there's already a bit of of canonical pulling upon Netflix into dizzy, so that's great. We're at now is a timeline that Disney's established for the viewing order, the, the, the, the official. Viewing order of. The was pointing out if you would go to the Disney plus site. And have a look at. Their suggested viewing? Order. There's one someone. Particles just reacted to some strange choices. It just seems arbitrary from Gizmodo's point of view, because you have one example that you use is you'll have the order of watching. Starting with Jessica Jones. Then you go into Avengers, Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, and then Luke Cage. And you know, Jessica Jones is. Direct dialogue with Luke H So putting those back to back would probably have made more sense and I invest, I mean probably with the Netflix stuff. I think you just gotta binge them one after the other rather than try and put. Avengers, Age of Ultron or Ant-Man between? Between it just. Seems to to throw out the the thread a. Little bit and of course you. Know the the films were done. Completely independent of the TV shows as well. So there was number prerogative to link any of this together at the time they were produced. The other example they give, which is more of a tonal problem, is that the viewing order has you watching the I am Groot. Disney thing which I think I've not seen. I'm Groot. It looks like it's one of the more child oriented or kid oriented. Disney spin offs like maybe even animated CG, certainly CG animated anyway, going from my own group to Daredevil which is just a tonal. Look for me it it. You know, viewing what is always a really interesting Empire Strikes Back, and then you go to a flashback for attack. The clones and Revenge of the Sith because Empire sets up this idea of no, I'm your father Luke. So then you have the prequels as a flashback, and then you get to rinse the surf and you hard cut. Then to turn of the Jedi, doing away completely with Phantom Menace which plays no role in the actual needed narrative. Do you have any? Preferred viewing orders that you've come across.

MARCUS JOHNSON

For us, Star Wars or for Marvel?

CRAIG NORRIS

Any cinematic?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Universe for any cinematic universe, I would always say go with release order for any universe in general.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. So even when prequels of course were produced after the initial yeah.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Because often prequels are reliant upon you having some form of. Experience with that universe. So one example that always caused my mother a huge amount of misery as a child, when I was a. Child is that I could never get into Narnia, which was her very favourite book series of all time, because the original Narnia text was the lion, the witch and the wardrobe. That was the first one that was written and published with the IS it the the pencil mini siblings?

CRAIG NORRIS

I am not familiar with. Well, I know language, wardrobe. But yeah, I never did.

MARCUS JOHNSON

So they they did several books following these siblings and then CS Lewis went and wrote the Magician's nephew, which was a prequel to those showing how Narnia first came about, which has and the main character. In that is the protagonist's grandfather from the line in which in the wardrobe when he was a kid, he was the same age as they were, and so my mum got me on to Narnia in chronological order and I really enjoyed the magician magicians, nephew. So then we skip ahead to degree being an old man and a whole new cast of characters who are falling going.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Who are these brats?

MARCUS JOHNSON

This isn't this. Isn't Diggery and Polly. I'm not interested in this.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really. So you're. Watching order, which was by you know, the canonical timeline, you know which ones occurred first in in the history of the language, the wardrobe, Narnia franchise. Throughout the original text, because, yeah, the original text starts with no assumptions of previous knowledge, so suddenly all this knowledge you have has no pay off in this. Sequel text, which is the the first text. Yeah. Look and I. Yeah, I agree. I think the the first Star Wars movie is also technologically, you know, set up in a way which isn't in conversation with the CG which which is in the prequels the the lightsaber fighting style is different. I mean and there. There are in universe explanations for these differences. But it's they're they're very different.

MARCUS JOHNSON

See the Star Wars? I would. I would also always say to watch and release order Mum largely because if you watch them in in chronological order you if if you have no knowledge of Star Wars you are cheating yourself out of one of the greatest twists in cinema history, but also the entire purpose. Of the original Star Wars and New Hope is that it was meant to start in the middle. You were supposed to feel extremely sorry. Printed and when when you see Darth Vader and the stalker was boarding attentive for you're not supposed to know what any of this actually is. All the key details. And then you have your very clear, I guess, conception of the characters. So Darth Vader is. We're doing a. Suit. He's creepy, but he's real also. Incompetent amongst all the Imperial soldiers. But Leah talk smack to him and then you. But he's just pure evil. He kills Obi Wan with no remorse. He killed Luke's father, Rady Rady, rah. And then in Empire Strikes Back you actually find out there are more layers to him and then you get to return to the Jedi and there. And he's you find out that he's much more tragic come corrupted. And then suddenly Darth Vader in a New Hope has lost a lot of his bite. Because you already know all about him.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah. Yeah. Look and yeah, I think the character of Darth Vader is actually an interesting one to unpack. I guess the, I mean polarising. Directions to Darth Vader. Characters going in that that you know that mystery and the the kind of lower lower rung. Position he seems to have. In the hierarchy you know. He's kind of decentred as the. You know, cultural impact of Darth Vader grows where you know, Darth Vader then becomes more and more significant than he seems to be in that first film. I mean, he's still. Significant. Yeah, but he's he seems like I remember. There was one article I was reading which was trying to explain. It would be like, you know, during the Gulf War, you know, you've got Dick Cheney, which is a Darth Vader surrogate. You've got George Bush junior. The Peter isn't the the the ruler, he's someone that's kicking ***** and taking names.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, he's not. He's not in the in the original Star Wars. Darth Vader is not necessarily an officer, he's a soldier. He's an extremely elite soldier, and that's reflected in the fact that he looks like a a samurai. He is someone who goes. And kills rebels for the.

CRAIG NORRIS

Emperor and he's like the idea of the force in that you hope one being. You know, kind of disregarded, is that great scene in the. You know the board board meeting scene on the Death Star where the one you know are the general characters talking about how you know the Rebel plans haven't been able to be secured up by. The you know. Force and very much disregarded this idea of the force being this. Super powered opioid uh power is kind of diminished in the way it's regarded as kind of superstitious. And yeah, not. The next bit of news that's quite interesting is from Tekken succession star Brian Cox recap the story of Tekken, and the Internet is delighted. I'll play a little bit of this, and I'm so glad you're here Marcus, cause I've not played Tekken so you can break down what we're about here now for those that haven't or might forget. Brian Cox is he was a key actor in the succession TV show. He was in adaptation as the. Kind of writing grew real life character, real life writing guru guy that that gets very angry.

MARCUS JOHNSON

He was Colonel William Stryker in X-Men 2, the main villain in that film, and he's also the first ever actor to play Hannibal Lecter on screen.

Speaker

That's fine.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right, right. So a an actor that has, you know, fantastic weight to him and you know, I imagine a theatrical background. So people kind of the incident. Amazed that he's doing this delivery of the history. Of taken so. We'll listen to to what he's setting up.

Speaker 4

Every single fight, no matter how big or small, has a story behind it. That's why when it comes to Tekken and the King of Iron Fist tournament. There's one hell of a story to tell. In Tekken 8, Jin Kazama will face off against his father, Kazuya Mishima. For the last time, Kazuya is threatening global domination, and since Jin is the only other person who possesses the devil gene as well. He may be the only chance the world has left. But how did we even get to this point?

CRAIG NORRIS

So what Brian Cox is discussing here is the storyline of the new Tekken Fighting game. Which is I. Guess for people that haven't played Tekken, how would you describe Tekken?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Tekken is basically. One family where the men can't just sit down and solve their differences, and so they throw each other off cliffs a lot.

CRAIG NORRIS

And the first Tekken game came out in like the 90s.

MARCUS JOHNSON

The first one, the. First three were on the PlayStation one. The first one came out in 95. I I believe they were done every two years, 9597. 99 I believe. Then four and five were on the PS2. I remember very vividly getting a friend of. And taking five for his birthday to sleep over back in high school for the PS2 was overjoyed. Tekken Six was on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, and then Tekken 7, the most recent one came out Ohh would in 2017. It got a console release, so there hasn't been a new Tekken game in in terms of release because it was already released in the UK. It's taken 7 when it came to. It's been 8 years since the last Tekken game at least.

CRAIG NORRIS

And you can play Tekken a couple of different ways. You can just play it as a fighting game like Street Fighter, where you are fighting against either an AI or human opponent, and you're executing various. You know, kind of attack combinations to get the other players health bar to 0 to to win. So one way is just to kind of straight fighting game or you can play the story mode I guess, which is what's being discussed here, the story mode.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Right. How does the story?

CRAIG NORRIS

Mode. It's basically cut scenes between. Fighting the AI could solo single player. For story mode.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yep, that's how. That's how it's done in Tekken. So essentially, you play various characters and fighting against other various characters, and there are cut scenes explaining why those characters are fighting. So you have the cut scenes that tell the actual story until it gets to a one on one fight and then it switches to the gameplay mode.

CRAIG NORRIS

What do you think about this trailer for Tekken 8?

MARCUS JOHNSON

I think it's absolutely incredible. I think. I think recapping a story that has already got 7 parts, not including the non canonical tech and tag tournament games. It's wise because it means that people jumping on will have an easy point of reference because Tekken Seven was really billed as the the climax. Of the machine's storyline because it was the final battle between Kazuya Mishima, who is the main character, and the main hero in the original before he became the main villain in the 2nd and he's one of the main villains here. Overall, against his evil dad hey, Hatchie Mashima, who's the overall main developments? The other overall main goal of the series. So seven was really billed as the final battle between Kasia and hierarchy. And so now it's obviously Kasia versus his son Jin, who was introduced in the third game, cuz there's about. I think there's a 20 year time skip. Between 2:00 and 3:00 and. As this is billed as the climax. Of Karzai's feud with Jim.

CRAIG NORRIS

And it's so interesting that they've taken this approach because it's. Like Street Fighter hasn't taken this approach of we're going to release a story driven promotional piece right that that rather than promoting Tekken like like obviously they've spent a lot of money getting Brian Cox on board rather than talking about the. And how it's about, you know, reaching this follow up from last games climax and the world domination that's around the corner. I mean with Call of Duty, you know it's it's you've got the suit as the voice actors. I'm not associated that with the fighting game is this you do you think taking story as the. Centre of the franchise.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Ohh, absolutely not absolutely. People love the stories in fighting games because you're essentially spending so much time playing AS11 character, but there are so many characters to pick from and every character is gonna have their own arcade ending where you've got individual story modes for each character, and people get really invested in in the actual stories. And so that's what they've done is really clever. Obviously, like you said, it's gonna have a huge esports following, Cause 10s, one of the most popular fighting game series in the world. But what they're doing is very cleverly bringing in newcomers by going. This is the story so far. So when you jump in, you already know everything you don't have. You don't have to play seven games to get all the law, many of which you can't actually get unless you download them illegally. Or buy a second hand copy and out of print.

CRAIG NORRIS

Console because that's that's kind of startling, isn't it? That the story is locked in games. Which can't be played. At the like Tekken one or? Two or which are the? Ones which you can't so. Unless you bought a copy way back. In the day.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Tekken 26 and seven are all available to purchase on the PlayStation Network, One I one and three three possibly. I know they're available to buy in the PlayStation Three network, but I don't know if four and five are available.

CRAIG NORRIS

But they'd be really clunky experiences as well. I mean, you're you're playing retro at that point.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I'm going to be honest, I've always found even the newest tech and I find to be a really clunky, clunky experience just because of the speed at which the combat moves, it's really.

CRAIG NORRIS

Low to put your comments on. 0488811707 or on the YouTube or Twitch chat. If you have other thoughts.

MARCUS JOHNSON

But UM.

Speaker

But I've I've I've.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Played most of the Tekken Games and I find they're all reasonably similar in terms of how they handle, so I think.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really. So even going back to #1.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, because the the speed of.

CRAIG NORRIS

Is to be satisfying.

MARCUS JOHNSON

The speed of the combats never really it's it's never increased it it, it moves at the same gameplay flow.

CRAIG NORRIS

So your ability to block punch, get that timing flow. Is reasonably unchanged, it's just the cosmetics.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, the cosmetics and the the musics obviously changed a lot as well. I probably describe Tekken as. It's if, if we're. Analogizing it to any film, it's like a Bruce Lee movie where you'll have one really quick combo and then you'll have the person who's just been knocked down lying on the ground making eye contact with the other person will generally wipe his mouth off, stand up, and then he will do his combo, and then it just. It's rent.

CRAIG NORRIS

And repeat right? It it, it doesn't.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Have the same flow that if we're going to compare with any other martial arts, doesn't have the same flow that that a Jackie Chan fight scene might have, or it's all very seamless. It's very stop starty.

CRAIG NORRIS

Returning to storyline, do you have a favourite fighting game storyline? Is there one of the franchises Street Fighter, Tekken, Virtua Fighter? See.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Oh, that's an interesting question. Soul calibre, I think, is my favourite storyline because I find the characters in that to be so lovable and they all have really clear. About goals and motivations and really interesting relationships with each other, Mortal Kombat the 1st 4I quite enjoy just because of how cheesy the story is. John John Tobias, who was their primary rider for the first four games, is really good at doing sort of schlocky comic book stories.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Right.

MARCUS JOHNSON

In terms of talking about Street Fighter, there are good elements of their stories, but generally they're really they're their stories generally tend to be really undercooked, and I do want to get more into sort of the the arc systems games like Blazblue and Guilty Gear and melty. Blood and uh, what's the other? Under night in birth. But they're all very they're. They're not easy games to pick up and play, so they're very impenetrable. So I don't have to sit down and. Get really patient.

CRAIG NORRIS

With them? Well, again, you know these these games aren't cheap for being able to dig into both their meaty story and then also develop your skills to fight against friends. Very satisfying.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Because I I collect fighting games, I wait until they come on sale on PSN, then I grab them when they're like 80% off. So I've got I've got an absolute. I've got a tonne of fighting games, so at one point I will play through the story mode of all of them, just sort of mentally. Psyching myself up to. Do that. Anything else?

CRAIG NORRIS

About Tekna, I noticed there's some. Discussion about the panda.

MARCUS JOHNSON

The so so pen is actually gonna have a.

CRAIG NORRIS

Story mode. I don't know, official Panda revealed and gameplay trailers.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Ohh yeah no. So pandas are recurring character. Ohh OK so you you couldn't have. You couldn't have taken without without Panda.

CRAIG NORRIS

Panda what? Who is panda in this story? Do you remember what he does?

MARCUS JOHNSON

I don't, I don't. I don't know what Panda does. In the story, all I know is that Panda is a panda.

Speaker

Yeah, yeah.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yeah, they just, they just have animals like, hey, hatchie's, pet bear. Kuma is a playable character in. The games I remember when Street Fighter cross Tekken came out the really big selling point of that because the the the Russian wrestler and street fighters aren't Jeff, get strong by wrestling bears. So people people were really excited that you'd be able to actually have Zambia fighting a bear in an actual proper game for a change.

CRAIG NORRIS

Did that happen?

MARCUS JOHNSON

I can't actually recall. I'm pretty sure it did. Just let me check Mr Internet and I'll. I'll. I'll, I'll verify.

CRAIG NORRIS

The other article which I thought was fun was. From GameSpot talking about a YouTuber who released a YouTube on building his own Nintendo PlayStation saving $300,000, I mean it's a bit of a red herring because he doesn't actually build what was the only available Nintendo PlayStation. He basically hacks.

Speaker

The game in the cartridge slot.

CRAIG NORRIS

As we hear him doing here.

Speaker

Fix some broken solder joints I found. Yeah, capacitor I had with.

CRAIG NORRIS

He he basically sold us together and mashes up an existing PlayStation one into an old Nintendo. Why don't we have the Sony Nintendo, the Nintendo PlayStation or whatever? It could have been called?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Because Nintendo, in one of their most short sighted manoeuvres ever pulled the plug on their deal with Sony very quickly and allied themselves with Phillips instead, after they've already gone through this prototype manufacturing with place with Sony. And so he said, you went well. We already have this product. We may as well just slap our own name on it and release it ourselves and then to know that are partnering with the Philips to release the the Philips CDI. Does anybody know what that is exactly? Wow. That's. That was a a very a massive own goal keeping Nintendo. They ended up setting up their own. Major rival their own downfall in the in the second half of the 1990s.

CRAIG NORRIS

So there was. One Nintendo PlayStation that was, I think. At at A at. A at a game Expo industry game Expo, and that's why this thing. Is $300,000. Because it was just a demo device that then never got to production because, yes, Nintendo went with Phillips and certainly went ahead in, you know, a a fantastic move to develop their own game system, which has since gone on to some success.

MARCUS JOHNSON

So just just a little.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, there's some success some.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Bit of success. Been limited. They could have done better. That's some success.

CRAIG NORRIS

What I love about that is then that got you riffing on all these other examples of people who have done hardware mods for game systems, particularly Nintendo. System and you put me onto the NIN toaster.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, the 9th toaster.

CRAIG NORRIS

Which is so this is 13 years ago this video. So if you search for it, it's called the 9th Hoster Instructional video, which as it says is an instructional video how to take and what what? What it's it Nintendo.

MARCUS JOHNSON

The original Nintendo Entertainment System and you put it inside a toast.

CRAIG NORRIS

And how does it work? Like how how you were describing to me where the on buttons end up being in this device.

MARCUS JOHNSON

So what he did was he took the the internals of an NES and he put it inside a toaster. So the cartridge slot aligns with where you put the bread in. The on button was the lever that you pushed down. To put the bread in and he also inserted red LED's and put their their dimmer on the Browning knob. So you can make it more or less red around the the LED's more or less red around the cartridge by adjusting. The Browning knob.

CRAIG NORRIS

The dimmer is just a cosmetic effect.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Ohh absolutely it is. Yeah, it's the the the the heating element was taken out before this even started.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah, wise choice you. And this was. Then given to the angry video game Nerd YouTube channel.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, he gave it. He gave one of them. He's got his own. And he also made a Superman toaster and he gave. The original 9 toaster to James Rolfe, the angry video game nerd of Cinemassacre as a present, and so the.

CRAIG NORRIS

Nerd culture meeting together to create. Yeah. Amazing abomination. Of popular culture. It. Yeah. I'm glad it no longer heats and makes toast.

MARCUS JOHNSON

One of the one of the best stream ideas I've ever seen was a a dude who did a stream called can I beat Halo one before my oven melts my TV and he'd fall on, put his monitor in the oven and cranked it up to high and he tried to beat Halo before the oven melted the the TV.

CRAIG NORRIS

Did did it happen? What happened?

MARCUS JOHNSON

After about 45 minutes it was working for 45. It's and then because.

CRAIG NORRIS

He was playing it, he was playing it on the. Monitor. That was. In the oven. Ohh my God.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, yes. And his TV, just it just melted like a a candle.

CRAIG NORRIS

Ohh really so it did suddenly kind.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Of like just but it was. It was just almost instantaneous. Just sort of collapsed on itself after 45 minutes.

CRAIG NORRIS

And he'd nearly finished.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Ohh goodness no, he you can't. You can't finish Halo in 45 minutes if you're if you know you doing you finishing in a couple of hours, but 45 minutes is madness unless you're unless you're professional speedrunner.

CRAIG NORRIS

Well, OK, so I've got to. Check that Channel out switch for. That's an 80. All right, so now let's move on to the meat of today's discussion, which is working our way through the 50 controversial moments. And this was all set up because. What last week we were doing the 16th anniversary, we'll get some controversy. BBC's reaction to those AH, 115 complaints that the new series has been to work, that the transgender characters. A kind of politicising Doctor Who and that the new Doctor is not good and the whole series is is going to get cancelled and and you were pointing out that this.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Is not no the the new Doctor has always been awful, and the the series is about to die, and it's it's been that way since. The original regeneration back in 1966. Ever, ever. I just remember, I think one of the reviews was something of Patrick Troughton's first episode was something along the lines of. It's really sad that this beloved TV character has been reduced to Coco the clown and as largest stamp on what the doctor should be as an overall.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Character taking out sort of individual, individual quirks. Of that incarnation.

CRAIG NORRIS

So while I've got your as my brains trust here today, I thought what better way to do this than to look at den of Geeks 50, Doctor Who's top 50 controversial controversies? This was written back in 2013, so it doesn't include the recent ones and is more of a a kind of historical look so #50. Which we didn't do last week, is bug eyed monsters and it goes on to describe this as Sydney Newman, a genius of telly, occasionally had his off days one of the very Lambert at the prospect of the Daleks, having envisioned the show as more educational Lamberts script editor David Whitaker. Had to fight to include the monsters, the rest, as they say, is Terry Nation's bank balance. What's trying to unpack that? I mean, that's really deep. I mean, really dense. What's so? I know Doctor Who. When it was first pitched was educational, yes.

MARCUS JOHNSON

The idea was that you'd have your historicals, which teach about history and your science fiction stories that teach about science. And Sydney Newman was very much of the impression that if you had monsters in cheaply made alien outfits, then that would not be educational, it would be silly. And I want to. Be able to engage with it because.

CRAIG NORRIS

In that first season, we did have a lot. Of basically there were. History lessons? Absolutely. Doctor goes to the Crusades. The first one is in the first one, doctor. Who goes to Cavemen?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, 1,000,000 years back. Yeah, and ohh the one. The one story that got junk that everyone wishes we still had was Marco Polo, which was a seven part where they spent most of the seasons budget making these big, lavish sets. Yep, one of the best. Apparently one of the very best. And they just taped over it.

CRAIG NORRIS

Oh really? Wow. Wow. And in education because kids would be studying history at school and they'd watch Doctor Who, which is all about time travel, and the doctor is going back in time to these great historical moments of living. At school. Entry points to find out about. Marco Polo, the Crusades and so forth. What? So when did the bug eyed monsters start appearing?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Literally with the. Daleks The the Daleks have store, yes, yes.

CRAIG NORRIS

Just so right? So again, David Whittaker and Verity Lambert are they recognised as significant parts. Of what Doctor Who is.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Today, absolutely. And the original director of the series, I believe his name was Waris Hussein, was. A gay Indian man. Wow. And so yeah, it's always, it's always been. Very diverse.

CRAIG NORRIS

Terry Nations Bank balance is that a jibe? A kind of fan jibe?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, Terry Nation, who wrote the original dialect story was actually not that good of a writer, but he was a very shrewd America to make his own Dalek series. And why they appeared less and less throughout the 1970s and 1980s because the baby didn't want to pay him royalties.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right, so a classic case of. Franchises biggest successful. Object the dialects, I guess excluding the doctor himself, but the Daleks, but then the history behind the creation and the person that benefits most from that is is considered so dislike, disreputable, toxic from whatever points of view would be there to to argue. That they they've tried to. Still off. Gee, so it's just a 0 sum game like someone wins and someone loses. There's no kind. Of middle ground with. The Daleks there.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Is definitely a middle ground now, because they know that every time they bring out the Daleks or get good reading figures, they just have to sell a little bit of money out to Terry nations.

CRAIG NORRIS

Estate. Yeah, so we did. William Hartnell #48. Is regeneration. I think we did regeneration, yeah. And we did Patrick Horton's affairs. Yeah.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I I didn't know about.

CRAIG NORRIS

That all right, so a recent biography. Of Troughton, Trouton Trouton, Troughton revealed that his personal life was chaotic, lifted with affairs, cover ups and indiscretions, the 2nd Doctor was a very tactile man and his attitude caused difficulties for his wife and children. Also, he liked to pee on golf courses, but that's no. Not so much controversial. Just too weird. So this is a biography of Trouton.

MARCUS JOHNSON

It looks like, yeah, I I didn't actually know about this.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. Yeah. Well, we'll have to dig up that, that.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I'm not, not necessarily surprised because everyone is having affairs back in the.

Speaker

So don't really.

CRAIG NORRIS

60S is the 60s, isn't it? Yeah, we're talking Austin Powers. Toberman, the character of Toberman, was written as deaf and wearing a hearing aid. Roy Stewart was cast, but the hearing aid and the deafness was lost on route to the screen. Thus we have a black man who barely speaks a word and is treated as a primitive and a slave when showing tomb of the Cybermen to people for the first time. The explanation of he was meant to be deaf really doesn't help Tober man. Is this is this? A recognisable character in Doctor Who, Toby.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Man, he's somewhat of an infamous one. Yes, because Roy. Corey Stewart, I'm not sure if he's still alive. If if he is, he's very old. Hulking man. Really large, very. Muscular. He was on Doctor Who a couple of times, and each time it was always as a very sort of problematic depiction of a person of African descent who is either subservient to white people or he is a hulking brute who never actually talks and. He gets it throughout two of the side men. He gets converted by. By the cyber he gets partially cyber converted by the Cyber man and there's one bit where I think the doctor says something along the lines. If you allowed yourself to be enslaved. Ohh, come on. Doctor Who's always doctor.

Speaker

Right.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Who's always been woke in terms of of gender, to an extent, it's never been. Good with rice until very recently.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. All right. Yeah. Yeah. One of those very badly dated, yes, yes.

Speaker

So this is.

CRAIG NORRIS

OK, questions and test tubes. Scientists and miniskirts, Barry Letts and Terence ***** inherited the character of Liz Shaw from the previous production team as a scientist, albeit one whose interest in mini skirts coincided with being drafted into a top secret military organisation, it was felt that her character made it harder to provide. Exposition. As a result, she was replaced by someone who could pass the doctor his test tubes and tell him how brilliant he was. This continues to be a source for debate, as it implies Doctor Who's lead female role cannot be anything but intellectually limited. Proposing characteristics such as feistiness, bravery. Feistiness, curiosity and feistiness. OK, so feistiness basically as the as the convenient as positive alternatives. OK, so what's your take on this? So this is when when are we talking about this? When did Barry Letts?

MARCUS JOHNSON

And Terence, period. And the doctor was exiled to Earth with a new companion and working for unit with the brigade. And Liz shores, I think she's one of the better companions, but it it does present an issue for your storytelling when you have a character who is as smart as your protagonist.

CRAIG NORRIS

Because this sure is a scientist.

MARCUS JOHNSON

She's a scientist who works for the unit, and she's one of the best scientists in the world. And the drawback there is that. Although she is brilliant, she she doesn't need things explained for her, and that's it's similar because ultimately the doctor, the doctor in that era in the early to mid 1970s was very deliberately based on Sherlock Holmes. And Sherlock Holmes, of course, lives with Watson, who is in his own right. He's an accomplished military veteran and a brilliant doctor. He's he's very good at surgery, so he is a very intelligent and capable person, but doesn't have the same level of inside that Holmes has. So he's someone who homes can talk to as an equal, but also. Who's too smart? Then there's nothing the doctor can explain without it being clunky. It's one of the reasons.

CRAIG NORRIS

Why? I'm sorry. No, no, please. Going. Yeah, it's.

MARCUS JOHNSON

One of the reasons why one of the reasons why Jamie Mccrimmon from the the Trout now, is one of the most popular companions is because he was a Scottish Highlander from the 18th century. So similar to Watson, and he's a soldier and he's very good in combat. But he needs things to be explained to him and so but he's right. So he picks up on them quickly, so that doesn't need to be repeated for the audience. It's still someone to whom things can be explained for the audience's.

CRAIG NORRIS

Benefit, because I guess later on we get. Oh, what's her name? The the romantic interest that's introduced in David Tennant's run Rose River Song River Song. Yes, right. Who is on par with the doctor? Right in terms of. But she's never a companion, right?

MARCUS JOHNSON

Wreck this, Martha.

Speaker

She's like.

MARCUS JOHNSON

No, she's a.

CRAIG NORRIS

It's like the master. She's just a a. Disruptive entity that comes in. And there's no exposition that the. Doctor gives to her because she's still got companions. I mean, there's, has there been any? Other like Super Smart companion, that's that's equivalent. To the doctor.

MARCUS JOHNSON

There, there, there have been super smart companions who are equivalent to the doctor, but it's very rare for them to be there without another companion or one of the most infamous ones is Andrew, who was a teen genius who was brought out in the early 1980s, had an absolute lack of common sense, which basically just led to little exposition, and the doctor just bawling him out for being an idiot constantly. And then he died, cause everyone hated him.

CRAIG NORRIS

So much Minnie Scotts, though, so she OK so.

MARCUS JOHNSON

At least show.

CRAIG NORRIS

Up very capable smart character, but also you know, I guess again dated in terms of Minis got some in Star Trek again herald as being very progressive, but it's it's fashion sense was very. You know, kind of objectifying, you could look back on and and argue similarly, I guess list your objectified. From today's standards, would be considered to be quite objective for kind.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, she. Yeah. It's what? What? John Nathan Turner, who was the producer throughout 1980s he he he referred to the companions as quote unquote something for the dads.

CRAIG NORRIS

Really. Right. So the miniskirt was there for a, a, a little bit of soft. TNA type.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I'm. I'm I'm I'm here's one of those things. Where you. I don't know if I don't know if that genuinely was just the the fashion or if it was done deliberately. It's it's one of those things where I I wish I had more of a working knowledge on fashion in the 1960s and 70s so I could pass pass greater. Judgement upon it I mean.

CRAIG NORRIS

I really, I mean, I always let the story of common writer how you have. The two audiences for it, you have the young. Boys who love the action of camera so camarada Japanese action Special effects series from Japan and the the great thing about it is that it's unproblematically aimed at 2:00. Audiences and everyone knows it that. You have the young kids that love it and they're buying all the toys. And they're doing all the karate actions and you got the mums that love it because they cast beautiful looking young men as the lead roles, who are. You know, act, but they're also wonderful eye candy. Right. And and. Then there's merchandise for the. Moms as well, right. There's CD's you can. Get of the music or yeah.

MARCUS JOHNSON

So it's sometimes they, sometimes the older come writers come back for reunion specials, and then you've got the the hot older guy. Like candy for the women as well, so. There's a whole there's a range. Of of male eye candy for the.

CRAIG NORRIS

Moms number 44 terror of the Autons police, and. Goals. Not content with revealing policemen to be blank faced gun handed autons Robert Holmes further destroys your sanity by making you afraid of flowers, chairs and your teddy bears. Mazingo Y there were complaints about this episode. Barry Barry Letts took these on board rather than issue a statement demanding that the nation's. Children man the hell up right so.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Series because it's also the one that introduces the original master and they get very creative with the kinds of things that the because then they're seeing consciousness is this big, Lovecraftian, mushy brain that can make plastic come to life. And yeah, literally the master tries to take over the world of plastic daffodils that will spray a clear film over people's nose and mouth and. Isn't to suffocate. There's a scene where this plastic soft toy comes to life and strangles a dude and the absolute best moment in the whole cereal is where the master feeds a man to a chair. The the cheerful on smothers this dude.

CRAIG NORRIS

This isn't terribly autumn, yeah.

MARCUS JOHNSON

It's and the the autons are. They're plastic mannequins whose hands slip open and can become guns. And they dress. They impersonate police officers in this cereal, which you know, to be fair, that's that's a fair point. You don't want children thinking that police officers could be, you know, murderous space aliens.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yeah. Look, it's. Yeah, because it is interesting because I know in the 50s there was legislation in the US at least where there was concerns about the impact of violence on the. Television that you couldn't have positions of authority as villains, policemen and so forth. So it is interesting to see an example here where the policemen are villains in this way and and this is also I guess tying into the fact that Doctor Who was getting a reputation as being scary. That that it would be one way young kids would the classic story hide behind the sofa when certain scary scenes came up?

MARCUS JOHNSON

This always reminds me of that scene from coupling, where the main character is Steve is shopping for a a couch with his almost fiancee, Susan, and she and her female friends trying to get him to pick up a a certain kind of cushion or a fabric he liked. And he goes. You don't need cushions, it's a it's a couch. It's designed for three things. Sitting, napping, and of course, then he jumps behind it and pops. Out and goes Daleks.

CRAIG NORRIS

Yes. So clearly, Doctor Who was part of a moral panics around violence and was getting complaints. Now, Barry, let's. Do you know this name? Barry, let's.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Yes, Barry Letts was the producer of Jon Pertwee's era, the early to mid 1970s.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right. So did Doctor Who moderate its violence.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Ohh goodness no, it didn't start moderating its violence actually. Got worse because.

Speaker

It got to.

CRAIG NORRIS

Everything once it got.

MARCUS JOHNSON

It got worse in the first three of in the first three because we just just discussed this the other week. The 1st 3 Tom Baker series series. The his first three seasons. Rather the first three years that came after John Pertwee were darker and grittier than anything that had come previously, to the point where they got so many. Complaints. And then they had to turn it down. But they didn't start turning things down in the uh they, they turned things down a little bit in the Pertwee era and nothing, nothing's quite as grim that that first season is really grim cause they were trying to make it more of an adult show, but then they dialled it back for John Pertwee second season when they went OK, this is still a children's programme. So we'll make it scary, but we'll make it digestible. The kids as well.

CRAIG NORRIS

#43, we've got the wrong Sarah Jane for years. It was known that another actress had initially won the role of Sarah Jane Smith and that Liz Leyden had come in after it hadn't worked out research for the invasion of the Dinosaurs DVD discovered it was in fact April Walker. And it was because John Pertwee felt she was physically imposing and had poor chemistry with him.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I but we was 6 foot four and built like a tank so.

CRAIG NORRIS

And again, it is interesting talking about how central the doctor is in terms of like we've seen Liz Shaw move on because you, you have to have the doctor as someone that can do exposition. And that does mean you end up having. Companions that are not at his level. So that exposition can. Occur here we have. Yeah, the Pertwee himself saying, yeah, physically imposing so. Be interesting to.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Have a look at that. The physically imposing thing just reminds me of get smart where the actor who played Agent 99, she can't watch the series because. She was taller than Don Adams and.

CRAIG NORRIS

He was real. Austria seems like such a trivial point, but I'm glad she got paid for the. Whole of season 11? Yes, it is.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Good that they didn't just fire her with nothing. That's.

CRAIG NORRIS

So 42 per twee money and leaving the team was breaking up. Roger Delgado had died. Terrence *****, Barry Latte and Katie Manning were leaving. John Pertwee decided to leave as well, partly to avoid being typecast. The man himself also stated that his request for a raise had been turned down. Leading to speculation that his departure was motivated by money. More likely, he was planning on leaving anyway, but thought what the hell? What's the controversy around Jon Pertwee leaving?

MARCUS JOHNSON

It's not a huge controversy, basically. So Roger Delgado was the actor who played the original master, who was brought in to be the Moriarty to the Moriarty, to the doctor's Holmes, by the production team. And he was he, he and. John per, we were very good friends in real life. And so Delgado's in, he's in the second, third and 4th of John Pertwee's fourth season, five seasons he there was supposed to be a final story where he would get written out. But then Delgado actually died in a car crash and that. Really brought down everyone's mood, Katie Manning, who played the companion Joe Grant. She had to leave because she was so distraught over what had happened. I think Terrence Dixon, the the head writer, and Barry let's the producer and they just wanted to go and do other things. Terence ***** had his own TV series. He was trying to get off the ground at that point. And because everyone was leaving in Perth, we was also very badly affected by Delgado's death. He was he was very keen to move on and and do something else, and so he he did just say, look, I'll do this if you pay me, pay me extra money just because he thought, look, it wasn't motivated by money. He wanted to move on. But he thought if I if if if I ask for extra cash and I'll and I get it, then I may as well stay.

CRAIG NORRIS

Right.

MARCUS JOHNSON

And they were like, no.

CRAIG NORRIS

But I guess then that leaked and it did cast a bit of a shadow on John Pertwee's, you know? Yeah.

MARCUS JOHNSON

I think it's also the the. Sort of the case where you don't. You don't want to say I'm leaving because I'm really sad that my. Good friend has died. It's he's just he's. Putting a different spin on it, I think.

CRAIG NORRIS

#41 he's a Chinese.

Speaker

Ohh boy.

CRAIG NORRIS

OK, at the time of the talons of Weng Cheng Chiang Chiang, it was not unknown for Caucasian actors to play characters or other ethnic backgrounds using makeup. It had been common practise previously. Now, though, it looks both racist. And desperately unconvincing the fact that a group of Chinese criminals features one Asian. Actor and then some stuntmen and makeup makes the distinction all the more apparent. Lee, he Sheng Cheng's comments. I understand that. We all look alike. And that's even more untrue when John Woo is standing next to Pat Gorman.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Not not John Woo, the Hong Kong action director. Yeah, the towers of when Chang's. Pretty indefensible. For many years, everyone was like. Oh, this is 1. Of the best ever stories off Fumanchu and Charlie Chan and Hammer horror. The yellow face and hammer horror films of the. 1950s and 60s was extremely. Common. Don't ever look up Christopher Lee in in in Yellow Face if you. Don't your childhood. To be destroyed also. Oh man, it's just, yeah, This Is Us speaking.

CRAIG NORRIS

Towns of winged way. I'm sorry, Jiang.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Wing. Cheyenne it's because.

CRAIG NORRIS

It was considered like it's it's kind of Gothic horror. It has a lot of things that people saw as good, but it's just. Racists, right?

MARCUS JOHNSON

It is. It is racist. There's a bunch of white people with pancake and latex on their eyes.

CRAIG NORRIS

We're gonna take forever getting through this list. Hinchcliffe, Hinchcliffe and Holmes versus Mary Whitehouse in making the show for the intelligent 14 year old but without actually telling anyone in. Once the early Tom Baker stories teetered on the edge of what was acceptable for a family show, the knock on effect of white houses. Won't someone please think of the children's protestations was that Hinchcliffe decided to overspend on some episodes of the fight of his final season. Series, meaning that Mary Whitehouse not only effectively curtailed the Hinchcliffe era, but weakened the Williams one before it even began. What, So what? What's the transition there that they're talking?

MARCUS JOHNSON

About so the the transition essentially was Phillip Hinchcliffe, the producer for the first three Tom bakers seasons the the the really Dark Ones, which a lot of people agree is the the absolute pinnacle of the classic series. He was leaving when he was hitting his creative stride and he was not happy about it because of these moral guardians. The the one shot that really got everyone spooked was there's a scene in the deadly assassin where the cliffhanger ends. On the the Tom Baker having his head held underwater and he's drowning when the show goes off the air. And it was a lovely story about Tom Baker who had has hydrophobia. In real life, that was extremely nerve wracking for him because he hates being in water and he had to have his head held under it face up when. The show went. Off the air, he. Actually on the on the night of the broadcast of that episode, he went up to a Random House, knocked on the door a. Child over there he goes do.

Speaker

You watch Doctor Who in.

MARCUS JOHNSON

This House and they. Go. Yes. Can I come in and watch it? With you. And so he full on unannounced, walked into this random family's house to watch that episode with them, just to see how dramatic it was.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. To a family. Yeah, as they. Saw it? Yeah. What a story.

MARCUS JOHNSON

And and basically cause hinchcliff got given his pin, his pink slip, he always Hinch slip. He spent as much money as he possibly could from the budget to make sure that his last few stories would be really good. And so there'd be less money for his replacement, Graham Williams, for the following season.

CRAIG NORRIS

Wow. And where those? Episodes good. The ones that he spent.

MARCUS JOHNSON

All the money on I think so. I haven't seen them in many years, but. I I think. They're. I think they're really good. I do know that the tales of when change is in there. I I would imagine a certain amount of that budget went. On the the makeup makeup.

CRAIG NORRIS

Well, Marcus, it's sad that we're 458. We're, you know, we're only reaching our stride. I feel we've got some great controversies coming up. Maybe we'll go through them. We'll have them there in the background to. Do in the future. Well, this has been media mothership for another week. Keep listening to Edge radio some great. Music and cool tunes coming up next. Marcus, thanks very much. If people want to know more about your fantastic knowledge, where can they go and see you? Is there anything you're doing at?

MARCUS JOHNSON

The moment I'm doing a stream on Sunday night at 8:00 PM GMT or I'm going to put some Lego together, my Twitch channel is panicked. Underscore hitchhiker panicked.

CRAIG NORRIS

Underscore hitchhiker on.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Twitch. Yes, on twitch. And it's El Dorado Fortress, a remake that came out in 2023 of the naval base from 1989.

CRAIG NORRIS

How long does? That take to build. Do you think an hour?

MARCUS JOHNSON

I've already spent three hours and I have put together about half. It's got 3.

Speaker

So it's huge.

MARCUS JOHNSON

Or four, it's got 3. Or 4 modular pieces plus a box. I've made the boat and. Half of the one of. The modular pieces, so I reckon it's gonna be at least.

CRAIG NORRIS

9 hours all up. Ohh fantastic. Well check. That out on Sunday.

MARCUS JOHNSON

88.

CRAIG NORRIS

8:00 PM GMT on Twitch. That was.

MARCUS JOHNSON

X underscore hitchhiker.

 

 

 

 


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