Episode 10: Doctor Who: The 1996 Back Door Pilot

podcast 6 July 2011 10 Comments


Long promised and a week late, here it is: Liz and Rudy watch the 1996 film Doctor Who, which was funded by Fox, co-produced by the BBC and beloved by a very select few. Paul McGann’s sole screen appearance as the 8th Doctor is generally considered a poor entry in the Doctor Who canon, but there are a couple of decent things about it. Like, four. What ARE those four things? Listen and find out!

And of course, we respond to your Tweets and questions — with, this week, a special twist! Before recording this podcast, we live-tweeted the experience of it being in our faces, the best results of which we compiled using Storify. So if you want to recapture the magic, check it out.

As always, we rely on your comments, Tweets and questions to add awesome to this podcast — so please let us know what you think, and we’ll see you next week for Torchwood: Miracle Day! (That’s right, another UK series being funded by American money. But this one will probably be a lot better.)

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10 Responses on “Episode 10: Doctor Who: The 1996 Back Door Pilot”

  1. Nicholas says:

    Hey now, I didn’t like Eric Roberts as the Master! I thought he was awful, but he was slightly better than Simm’s over the top performance. What’s the term? The lesser of two evils. Or something. Both hurt a little. I’m sorry for your misery. I didn’t mean to drag you into hell. :( Now I just feel bad and like an overly enthusiastic fanboy. Eep.

    Loved the podcast, although I have to admit I like the movie, just because I liked McGann and the TARDIS console room. The plot’s awful, yeah. I guess I’d compare it to Superman Returns: awesome lead, good at capturing what makes the character, but everything else around it was bad.

    But almost all of the RTD era episodes were big on Earth, present dayish. He kept finding ways to stick to the present and avoid all of time and space. It’s like what Rudy was saying in the “A Good Man Goes to War” episode, Moffat really is the first guy to really play up time travel and alien planets, especially in the modern era.

    That said, I am a big fan of the Eighth Doctor, and I really recommend you check out the Big Finish/BBC audio productions. McGann is just as good, if not better, and the stories are better. “Terror Firma” is probably the best Dalek story I’ve ever seen/heard, and “Zagreus” is an awesome DW story. They’re kind of what got me into DW, so that’s probably why I’m partial to #8.

    Eh, next time I get bummed out about TV and DW, I’ll just pop this in and play Rudy’s drinking game.

    • Rudy Jahchan says:

      No reason to feel bad, Nick. Like Liz said on the Twitters, we knew what we were going into and were in truth floating the idea privately before you encouraged it. Though still completely disagree about Simm being a worse master than Roberts.

      Good catch on RTD’s tendency to “bring it on home” more frequently than Moffat. In fact, I believe it is every other episode you find the cast back “home” in the present. Wonder if that has anything to do with the budget increases.

  2. Dangershoes says:

    About this drinking game, was thinking when they were counting down to midnight… that would be a lot of shots just there.
    Didn’t like the master as a snake like being(eyes and goo-snake), and that line “I dress to impress..” uggh! I actually liked the Simms one more, as far as that one 2 parter went. Bringing him back as a “clone” was too much.
    Was thinking about the style of the show for being in the 90′s compared to the style of TV now. I do think it could have been way better if done with todays standards/ writers, but back then I think it’s more like a “cookie cutter” style they had. Kinda like they picked what worked for other shows Action/dramas and comedy and spliced them together.
    I loved the view of the area the camera shots from normally. The library area with the chair. Would love have seen the swimming pool. Maybe next season :)

    Awesome podcast as always! :)

  3. groonk says:

    Strange Luck was/is not bad scifi!

    And you are not alone in really liking Strange Days. Me and my friend Duncan also agree on its win.

    Ok. Back to hearing the rest of the podcast.

    I just had to defend Strange Luck real quick.

    • Liz Shannon Miller says:

      Oh man! I did not mean to imply it was bad! I actually loved it. I meant more just to refer to that general era of Fox-based sci-fi, and was a little careless with my words because I was super-sleepy.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Steven Keevil UK Correspondent says:

    Hi Guys, thanks for another fun Podcast, nothing much to add that wasn’t said in the show, i appreciated the dramatic decrease in banging noises :-D

    Well almost nothing more to add…
    Need to address this crazy talk that Eric Roberts was a better Master than John Simm.

    Eric Roberts plays Eric Roberts, and he doesn’t even do that particularly well.

    John Simm, is written into some difficult corners by RTD, who seems intent to have it run up to 11 the whole time, but the devil is in the detail.
    And there are moments where Simm gets to show us what an Actor he is,
    like when he refuses to Regenerate at the end of season 3 (spoiler)
    or when he asks Dr Ten about the drumming, desperate for some reassurance that others can hear it to.
    Or the decision to Decimate.

  5. Steven Keevil UK Correspondent says:


    RE: McGann, or I as we call him in the UK.

    It’s always been interesting that despite him ‘Not counting’ whenever they have done anything about Previous Drs on Doctor Who Confidential, he has always recieved far more screen time than Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, considering his onscreen time in the role.


  1. [...] minutes of television. I rewatched it last week with my friend Rudy so that we could make fun of it on our time travel-themed podcast, and it was as terrible as I remembered! (Which was comforting, to be honest.) So let’s get [...]

  2. [...] minutes of television. I rewatched it last week with my friend Rudy so that we could make fun of it on our time travel-themed podcast, and it was as terrible as I remembered! (Which was comforting, to be honest.) So let’s get [...]

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