Radio Free Skaro #235 – The More, The Guerriers


Radio Free Skaro #235 – Click here to listen

A very busy week in the world of Doctor Who — including big DVD news and disappointing results at a certain fictitious awards show — is capped off in this latest installment of Radio Free Skaro by not only our look at director Keith Boak in the miniscope but also a visit with Simon & Thomas Guerrier. The Guerriers are responsible for some recent and upcoming bonus material on Classic Doctor Who DVD releases and we talk with the brothers about some of them, especially their award-nominated Race Against Time coming out very soon on the DVD of The Mutants. Join us, won’t you?
Show Notes:

Radio Free Skaro in 3-D…at Gallifrey One!
Skaro Shop…North America!
Skaro Shop…UK!
Tachyon TV…Returns!
Jeremy Webb…Directs Series 6!
Nick Hurran…Directs Series 6!
Adam Smith…Returns For Series 6!
Series 6…Comes To Australia!
Ambassadors of Death DVD…Delayed!
The Sun Makers…Flies Solo!
Terror of the Autons…On Region 1 DVD!
Planet of the Spiders…On Region 1 DVD!
Carnival Of Monsters…Revisitations DVD Details!
Carnival Of Monsters…Even More DVD Details!
Resurrection of the Daleks…Revisitations DVD Details!
Resurrection of the Daleks…Even More DVD Details!
Fourth Doctor…Costume T-Shirt!
Fifth Doctor…Costume T-Shirt!
Doctor Who…Character Building!
Doctor Who…Plush Toys!
A Christmas Carol Soundtrack…Delayed!
Fictitious National Television Awards…Results!
National Television Awards…Cutaway!
Lis Sladen…Autobiography!
Terry Nation…Biography!
iOS…iPlayer App!
Doctor Who News Page…Moves!

Interview Links:
Simon Guerrier
Thomas Guerrier

Miniscope Links (Keith Boak):

Aliens…Of London!
World War…Three!


8 Comments on “Radio Free Skaro #235 – The More, The Guerriers

  1. The TV Movie a better introduction to WHO for new viewers than Rose? Seriously?

    Steven and Warren’s speechless reaction said it all, really. I love the podcast – you guys, along with Chip, are the only WHO podcasters who I can listen to without wanting to throw things at my computer – but this installment may have marked the point where Chris’ constant need to reiterate his distaste for Davies’ writing went from “legitimate personal opinion” to “flat-out delusional”. Let it go already.

    It’s not even that I don’t agree with some of the criticisms Chris has made – although I think he wildly overstates some of them, and is rather too quick to forgive things in other writers’ work which he makes a rather-too-frequent show of despising in Davies’ – but the constant return to the same sort of kneejerk negativity is becoming a drag to listen to.

    Shit, and now I’ve turned into That Guy On The Internet. You know, that whining dickhead who shows up out of nowhere to piss all over something for no good reason. Boy, do I ever hate That Guy. Sorry, fellas – seriously, 90% of the time I really love everything you do, and really appreciate the time and effort you put into the podcast. But this has been bugging me for a while, and it finally hit the point where I couldn’t stop myself from saying something. Damnit.

  2. Oh, and that line about all the other WHO podcasters? Real classy of me, that was. Way to be a hypocritical douche. Sorry, again.

  3. Hi Mark,

    You may be right; I may be harder on RTD than other writers when it comes to the new series, but there’s one massive difference between discussing RTD and any other writer – no matter what any other writer does or doesn’t do, there’s always RTD there to oversee everything. He has the power to control what they do (with rare exception if old rumours are to be believed) whereas RTD essentially had free reign when he does the writing. There’s nobody there to curtail him, something he so desperately needed more times than can be counted. Budgetary constraints aside, the man could do what he wanted, IMO sometimes to the detriment of the show. (And as far as the budget goes, as an executive producer he’s got the power to request if not demand the budget be adjusted to take funds away from other ideas to put towards his own.) So while I talk of forgiving Keith Boak for his directorial shortcomings, it’s because I can comfortably blame RTD for some of the problems with Boak.

    Apples and oranges for the most part comparing writers and directors but there’s definitely some overlap.

    As for the TVM being a better introduction to Who than Rose, I’m glad to say I’m not alone in that notion as I’ve been told by several people on twitter. Neither is a perfect vehicle and sure the TVM is oversteeped with continuity one has to wade through but it’s got a ton of positive notes. If it wasn’t known at the time Rose was produced that they had a full series commitment you can bet your bottom dollar the show would have gone one of two ways – overly heavy continuity as in the TVM, or throwing away the past almost completely so as to wholly start fresh. We could have had something far worse than half human on his mother’s side…

  4. First of all, thanks for the extremely civil response – I appreciate it. You make some extremely valid points, many of which I’m happy to agree with. I think Davies is an exceptionally strong writer with a few very striking weaknesses which became more prominent the more exposure we had to his work (not just true of his WHO, either – the overly convenient endings have been a recurring trait going back at least as far as QUEER AS FOLK, for example), and that by the end of his tenure, he was definitely in desperate need of someone to work against his more glaring excesses (of course, I think exactly the same is true of Moffat…it seems to be the nature of the job, and there’s an interesting discussion to be had about the pros and cons of the single, all-powerful showrunner, although I’m buggered if I can think of an alternative approach which wouldn’t be just as problematic for a show like WHO).

    Ultimately, I think we could both agree that Davies was responsible for quite a few of the best episodes of DOCTOR WHO ever, as well as a couple of the worst (we’d differ on the ratio, and some of the specific examples, but that’s the fun part), and at least a year or so before the end of his tenure, I was more than ready for someone else to step in and place their own, different stamp on the show. Thus far I’m less than 100% convinced by Moffat’s vision, but I’m prepared to write a lot of what didn’t work about the 2010 season off as teething difficulties – I’m hugely excited for this year, and the decision to break away from the by now too-familiar Davies-established structure is a large part of the reason for that. If nothing else, Matt Smith is probably my favourite Doctor ever, and for that, I’m willing to forgive a lot.

    On the whole I think RTD did a fine job as producer and creative controller of the show, but that doesn’t mean I’m blind to his faults. It’s just that…well, I’m not sure you’d have approached the question of where the ultimate responsibility for a creative failure lies in anything like the same way if you’d been talking about the director of The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, that’s all, and I think that’s doing the show a disservice. We’ve all got our biases, and most of the time I really do enjoy the balance you guys have in your discussions, but I’ve felt a few times over the past year or so that of the three of you, you’ve been wearing yours a little too obviously on your sleeve, and it’s occasionally impacted on my enjoyment of the podcast. But not too much, honest – just enough that I wanted to let off some steam, rather than sitting and shouting at the computer like a crazy person.

    Thanks again for the politer-than-I-had-any-right-to-expect response. Ending on a positive note, I’m looking forward to the RFS coverage of Gally enormously, and I hope you guys have a whale of a time there, and that the live show goes well – you deserve it.

    Even if you’re still bafflingly mental about the TV movie 😉 I’d have gone into that properly, because it’s worth discussing, but this is already far too long and rambling a comment. I may get back to you on the subject later, but only if you could be arsed to discuss it with a complete stranger who just reared his head up out of nowhere to hurl disagreement at you.

  5. There’s too much to address but I’ll tackle a couple points… 🙂

    RTD was very much responsible for some of the best stories of NuWho, of that there’s no question. Utopia is hands down my favourite of his era and there’s little dispute that some of his other stories such as Midnight and Turn Left are borderline classics; my favourite of Series 4 is Fire of Pompeii which, though credited to James Moran, was 90% rewritten by RTD if the stories are to be believed, so kudos to him for that work. I’ve always said he’s a heck of a producer and he’s shown that time and again in his hiring choices, themes and so on.

    He’s unfortunately a mediocre writer for the most part, though. Few can beat him when it comes to emotion and characterization, but while those are important aspects of storytelling his failings when it comes to plot development and writing a decent, believable climax/conclusion are all to evident and he simply falls apart. I don’t doubt part of why I adore Utopia so much is he doesn’t write a conclusion to the story; that comes two episodes later and oh boy is it dire.

    Those who love RTD and his work do so for their own reasons; I dislike him for my own reasons. Nonetheless, see episode 177 for our RTD love-in where I more than happily discuss his positive aspects.

    As for the TVM comments, I just wish I remembered enough of what I saw at the time I last watched it that gave me the impression I have. After watching it a couple months ago I was talking with Chip from 2MTL about it versus Rose as an entry point and there was talk of me doing a guest spot on his show to discuss my impressions but I wussed out and it never happened. If it didn’t mean having to revisit the TVM again I’d seriously consider following through with that or at least in general making proper notes about why I said what I said.

  6. Pingback: Excerpt from Radio Free Skaro’s interview with the Guerrier brothers « Jacqueline Hill

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