Surprising connections (and differences) between Star Wars and Doctor Who
I'm joined by returning guest MICHAEL A. NIXON and the inimitable RILEY J. SILVERMAN for a discussion about the connections between STAR WARS and DOCTOR WHO. We talk about their similarities, differences, and the current state of both venerable sci-fi/fantasy franchises.
Listen to THE GAME OF RASSILON, their Doctor Who RPG podcast: http://thegameofrassilon.com/
Riley's STAR WARS books:
Star Wars: Exploring Tatooine: An Illustrated Guide https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1647226236 Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: Treasures from Batuu https://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Galaxys-Treasures-Artifacts/dp/1647226406 Star Wars: The Life Day Pop-Up Book and Advent Calendar https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1647226236/
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[00:00:00] JOSH: Welcome to Trash Compactor, I'm Josh. As many listeners know, we're fans of multiple storytelling universes, not just Star Wars. And today we're going to be discussing the connections between Star Wars and another long running fictional adventure series with sci-fi fantasy flavor...Doctor Who. And joining me today to talk Doctor Who and Star Wars is returning guest, the engineer of the Game of Rassilon podcast. The best Doctor Who RPG podcast out there, Michael Nixon.
[00:00:30] MICHAEL: Hello, and welcome back to me.
[00:00:37] JOSH: Also joining us, first time guest, she's a comedian, writer, author of such books as Exploring Tatooine: An Illustrated Guide and one time incarnation of the Doctor herself and current GM of the Game of Rassilon podcast. Please welcome Riley Silverman. How you doing, Riley?
[00:00:56] RILEY: Hi, how are you?
[00:00:57] JOSH: I'm very excited to talk to both of you because, maybe it's more common than it used to be, but I don't know many crossover Star Wars Doctor who fans who are as into it as the two of you are. Maybe that's more and more common these days, I don't know. What's your sense of the crossover in Star Wars and Doctor Who fans?
[00:01:14] MICHAEL: Well, there's gonna be a lot more soon..
[00:01:17] RILEY: Yeah.
[00:01:17] MICHAEL: We'll get to that later, but.
[00:01:20] RILEY: Well, I was gonna say, I think your thing is problem is there's not that many Doctor Who fans in the, at least in the Amer, there are a lot of Doctor Who fans let me before, like, but like in the American sense, I feel like it had a brief jump in popularity and America at one point that kind of then tapered off again.
[00:01:38] And I think otherwise Your Doctor Who fans, I mean like before I get people mad at me, there are plenty of American Doctor Who fans, but it's always been kind of this niche smaller fandom compared to other big, It's kind of like, like War Hammer versus d and d, right? Like there are people in America who play War Hammer, but I wouldn't say the Warhammer audience is to the level that d d d and d A is and so on.
[00:02:01] Or like Babylon 5 versus Star Trek fans, like it's, the fans are there and they are mighty, but they are their very cloistered group. And there are crossovers of course, but that might be why it feels that way too. I would, I would say, I think that, I think that most Doctor Who fans that I encounter are Star Wars fans as well, or at least are appreciative of Star Wars. I don't find very many Doctor Who fans who abjectly dislike Star Wars. Whereas like, I think it's more that Star Wars fans. I mean, Star Wars is essentially one of the biggest brands of franchise titles in the world.
[00:02:33] So I think that like you're gonna have a lot more Star Wars fans who have never ever seen of, or, or barely heard of Doctor Who. Like, they think of Doctor Who as the GA fights trashcans and a police and a trash and a phone booth, you know? So,
[00:02:44] JOSH: right, right.
[00:02:44] RILEY: which is not
[00:02:45] JOSH: right. No, it's not . no, that's certainly true. Um, I just want to, discuss the literal connections between Star Wars and Doctor Who. I think, there are some very clear ones. mainly in terms of.
[00:02:59] RILEY: Yeah.
[00:03:00] JOSH: We're both set in space. sometimes, but
[00:03:02] RILEY: Well, it's always in space. I don't know if you know how space works, but literally everywhere is actually
[00:03:05] JOSH: Well,
[00:03:05] RILEY: Sorry, I'm being an asshole. I'm sorry. I'll
[00:03:07] JOSH: No, no, no, no. You're being No, no. You're being absolutely. I love it. I love it. I
[00:03:15] RILEY: Michael's like, Why did I,
[00:03:18] MICHAEL: I'm like, get 'em. Riley. Yes. Just getting the popcorn ready. It's over here in the corner.
[00:03:24] JOSH: The thing that I think of when I think of like the Venn diagram, the crossover section of Doctor Who and Star Wars, I think of Julian Glover and Michael Sheard the two actors who made careers out of being villainous to Star Wars fans and Indiana Jones fans. but there are a lot of actors, because, Star Wars, the original trilogy in particular, was shot in the UK and the coterie of actors in the UK is, I don't wanna say smaller than the US in a derogatory way.
[00:03:55] RILEY: It's incestual. It's a lot of the same people get used to the same productions over and over again. Yeah.
[00:03:59] JOSH: Right. So you see a lot of the same faces on British TV. And, um, for an American production shooting in England, they just say, Okay, like, who do you got that's like, you know, six foot and throw 'em in the Darth Vader suit.
[00:04:10] Hey, do you wanna be Darth Vader or Chewbaca? I guess I'll be the baddie cuz it sounds, it sounds like it's more interesting part. It's sort of
[00:04:16] RILEY: I'm not sure that's how the casting process went, but I do like that, that you imagine that's how it went.
[00:04:20] JOSH: No, no, that actually is how it went. That actually is how it went. yeah,
[00:04:24] RILEY: they just went, which, Hey, you're tall. Which tall suit do you wanna wear?
[00:04:27] Cause that's, that's amazing to me because that's the way people on the internet seem to think casting works nowadays for most shows.
[00:04:33] Like I remember when they were talking about finding a replacement for an unnamed Star Wars character whose unnamed actor was Unser let go of the series of the e Mandalorian. And people were talking about replacements and people were like, Why don't you just cast someone and then ask him who they ask them who they wanna play?
[00:04:49] I'm like, Cause that's not how casting works. Like there's a script and then you cast the people to play the characters in the script. You don't just go, Hey, you look like you could be in space. Who do you wanna be? Kid
[00:04:59] JOSH: Yeah. No, that's true. You know? Yeah. Just as a sidebar, one of the great frustrations of, participating in Star Wars fandom and Doctor Who fandom is the lack of understanding of how Yes. Well, yes. No. Well,
[00:05:12] MICHAEL: So,
[00:05:13] RILEY: with the fandom is the
[00:05:15] MICHAEL: exactly. . That is literally how I feel.
[00:05:19] JOSH: it's not the, biggest problem with, fans online, but like, um,
[00:05:22] RILEY: say racism probably is the biggest problem with racism and sexism combined
[00:05:27] JOSH: Yes, I would agree with that. So, um, but, one of the problems with, fans online
[00:05:32] RILEY: One of the problems that is not also a systemic problem with society.
[00:05:35] JOSH: yes, right? Yes, yes, yes. It's just a fundamental lack of understanding of how film and television is made. So you get into arguments about like, you know, why something is a certain way or not a certain way, and it's like, why didn't they just hire so and so to do this? Like, duh, it's so, it's like, it's not how it works.
[00:05:56] RILEY: the way people when, whenever Doctor Who has new casting coming out, the way people talk about who they should have cast to play whatever characters. I'm like, You have no idea how these shows work, or what budgets they have or where, like you're not gonna get these A-list actors to come and film a show that was funded on public money in the UK for like a 10 month shoot.
[00:06:17] I'm sorry, it's just not gonna happen.
[00:06:19] JOSH: No, totally. I mean, so I was gonna discuss this at the end, but, we might as well talk about it now. I think last week or the week before, a distribution deal was announced between BBC Worldwide and Disney Plus for the new seasons of Doctor Who for the specials next year. And series 14, the debut of the, I guess we're calling him the 15th doctor?
[00:06:40] RILEY: 15. Yeah. Ncuti Gatwa.
[00:06:43] JOSH: Yeah, which is weird. I didn't think that they were actually really gonna commit that hard to the bit that David Tennant is now the 10th Doctor and the 14th Doctor. I thought that they were gonna pull a War Doctor thing and, and be like yeah but that's not the numbering.
[00:06:57] RILEY: Well the couple thoughts on that are that first of all, like, the numbering we give the Doctor is really just an arbitrary, like this is the actor who played it for this amount of time. And I think that's where people get like thrown off and they're like, Well actually, you know, they're like the 17th doctor because you have to count the hand and you have to count the metacrisis and the time.
[00:07:14] I'm like, No you don't. Because it's not, it's not in story, it's just what we call it. So I think they're between like what I would say like I don't know if, I think the 14 doctor is so much a bit, as much as they think it's like Russell's trying to actively say this is not just the 10th doctor. Again, this is a new doctor who has this face and we'll see that ends up being the case once the episodes air, cuz it, I mean, it's kind of hard when you also are gonna be having Donna back.
[00:07:38] Like is it gonna be a like repeat of the same doctor or is he gonna have different, I was really hoping that he was gonna speak with his Scottish voice instead of his London accent as a way of making it, This is a different guy,
[00:07:51] JOSH: yeah, like that's exactly what I mean. Like, like I, because the new Doctor Who Magazine, came out I think a few days ago, with interviews with, Russell T Davies and David Tennant and everybody, they are referring to, David Tennant as the 14th Doctor. So when I say, committing to the bit, like I realized in that moment like, oh, like this is not just hey, I'm reverting to the 10th doctor again for a couple of specials. This is a distinct incarnation and they are really making sure that that that is clear.
[00:08:19] RILEY: Yeah, and they're even having adventures with him already in the Doctor Who magazine as the 14th doctor. It's can be wild in a few years when David Tennant starts doing big Finish audios as the 14th Doctor versus the 10th.
[00:08:30] MICHAEL: Oh no. It's inevitable.
[00:08:32] JOSH: This is really uncharted territory for the show, like ,how it's not the same Doctor returning, it's another incarnation played by the same actor. And that's never really happened before.
[00:08:46] And what exactly the mechanics of that are gonna be, really interesting to, to divine You know, Not only just from like an in universe standpoint, uh, but also you know, I have to believe thematically, the only thing that I, , keep returning to in my mind is like, I mean, sure, I mean, first of all, it's the 60th anniversary year. but it's also like we have to engage with the past and indulge the nostalgia hard, to say why we have to move forward, Right? Like, given who the writer is and like what his inclinations are. And I think his view of the show, you know, is that, I think RTD said, shortly after it was announced that he was returning his showrunner was that, like, for him, Doctor Who always has to be new, right? So, from the mouth of a man who just said that, to then, recast an old face, right? like it has to be for a reason that is in line with his stated view and, plan for the show. So, so that's the only thing that makes sense in my head.
[00:09:49] RILEY: yeah, and I think even like to the degree of. He's even doing something different for an anniversary than they normally would do for an anniversary. It does seem like Doctor Who's like go-to trick for anniversary specials. And I, I apologize to all your Star Wars listeners who don't know what we're talking about and haven't for about 10 minutes, but for all the anniversary specials, typically you've had, you've had your, you know, your three doctors, you've had your five doctors, you've had your, you know, your day of the doctor.
[00:10:15] And so that's like three different specials right there that have been multi-doctor stories. You know, not, not even including the two doctors during the, you know, a six doctors era. And then that's been like the move, it's like we're just gonna take a couple of doctors and throw 'em together and make them be the doctor together and have fun with it.
[00:10:30] And so this is like the first time I think where for like a milestone anniversary for the special, they're going, you know what, let's do something a little bit different this time. Let's do maybe this unusual. We'll see how it actually plays out. Who knows? We may, we may end up getting a secret multi-doctor story and we don't know it, but if until we know that information, like I think it's really like it is a unique thing to do as being like, what if we have a old face on a new doctor and give him an adventure and you know, obviously we're gonna have him check in with an old companion of his.
[00:10:58] But I also do think it's interesting cause I'm wondering, cuz I know that Disney Plus deal didn't come in until this summer and Russell was brought back a while ago. So I'm like, how much of this planning for these three specials was done with the idea that we were gonna be within having Disney Plus come in?
[00:11:15] So, or, or these three special. Kind of the swan song for the 2005 reboot era of doc relaunch era of Doctor Who. And then starting with Ncuti moving forward, is that kind of this new era of the show where now they have these Disney Plus budgets. Cause they were filming the 60th before the Disney Plus deal happened.
[00:11:37] So I don't know if we're gonna see like, triple budgets during those episodes versus what we're gonna be seeing once fifteen's era takes over. So I, I'm really fascinated by the future.
[00:11:47] JOSH: Right. Well, to speak to what you just said, there was a production diary for the specials in the new issue of Doctor Who Magazine. And, they showed the cuts of the three specials to the BBC and to Disney Plus for notes. So they were already written and well into production if not completed by the time this all transpired.
[00:12:06] So, I do believe, series 14 or series like 41 or Season one, or whatever they're calling it.
[00:12:11] RILEY: I think he's calling it season one or series one. Like, I think it's like that level of like –
[00:12:18] MICHAEL: Again. No.
[00:12:20] RILEY: I wrote last spring for Nerdist, an article about the eras of Doctor Who and how I really think that the Disney Plus thing changes it a little bit, or at least maybe changes what's what it's gonna be called.
[00:12:33] I'm guessing now it's gonna be called the Disney Plus Era, or the Disney Era or whatever. But when I wrote about it, I wrote about how there are, in my opinion, three very strong epochs of Doctor Who, and that is you have the classic series from, you know, 63 to 89, and then are those years right Michael, you, Yeah, I thought I was okay.
[00:12:55] 63, 89. Then I think you have The Wilderness Years, which is that era in between 89 to 2005, where you've got your Paul McGann movie, you've got the, the new Target, you know, Target new adventure novels. Uh, you got like the beginnings of big finish and stuff like that. So you have people scrambling to make Dr.
[00:13:10] Who in a world, there is no doctor who essentially, And then you finally have 2005 and you have this relaunch, which people have called the Modern Who, but Modern Who. Has now been around for 17 years, like it's gonna be 18 when the 60 special, It's getting close to the amount of time that the classic series ran for before it ended.
[00:13:29] And so, and it was kind of getting along in Matoo as a like revival series as well. So I think it needed a new shakeup. And so when it was announced that Bad Wolf was taking over production from the bbc, it very much felt like, okay, we now have a, a situation where the, the show is probably going to be very different moving forward.
[00:13:48] And this might actually be a new era for the show. And then I think that the Disney deal really for me, like nailed that to the wall. Like this is, this is a different time period now.
[00:13:59] JOSH: No, I think you're totally right. which is, sort of in line with, you know, when RTD says, uh, so by the way, the name for the upcoming era that I am partial to myself is RTD2.
[00:14:09] MICHAEL: It's
[00:14:10] RILEY: your podcast for
[00:14:11] JOSH: Yeah, right. Uh,
[00:14:12] RILEY: Well, reason why, reason, reason why I'm not calling it that. I've, I've seen people do that and I, I like that as a name. The reason why I'm not calling it that is because he's not gonna stay forever. He's probably gonna stay for like a few years and they hand it off and I wanna have a name that encompasses his era moving forward.
[00:14:25] JOSH: No, 100%. Like also, you know, one of the problems that the new show, the modern show has had is there's no obvious successor to the showrunner, position. Like for like, Russell t Davies got really lucky that he, he happened to have someone like Steven Moffat who was very clearly that like mixture of really good TV writer, which is like a skill in and of itself.
[00:14:48] And also really knows Doctor Who, and also has I don't wanna say irreverence because it's not...like the thing about what you have to do to have a vision for what Doctor Who should be is that you can't be precious about it. It's like, you need to understand it and respect it, but you also need to have the willingness to make it do new things that it has never done before.
[00:15:12] Because otherwise it just stays the same and it gets long in the tooth.
[00:15:16] RILEY: That's a good segue into Star Wars a little bit. But I would say on my last thought on that is that like, I agree with you on that, with Steven Moffatt and I, I will do my best not to badmouth Chris Chibnall too much, but one thing I've really learned from this most recent era, and even towards the end of Moffat's era, even though Moffat's era had a lot of high highs and a lot of low lows, and it's his low lows are worth criticizing and people have a lot of things that are valid to say about them. I ultimately like them a lot. I think they're my favorite years of the modern re relaunch era. But at the same time, I think the flaw with, I think what you're saying is right, but I also think that we need to stop doing that group anymore because a lot of the people who have, people who have had the mantle of the show since thousand five are the people who were running the stuff during the wilderness years and basically like, Well, if I ever got my shot at the show, this is what I would do with it.
[00:16:08] And now they've done it. And like there are, I'm sure there are other talented writers from that like stable of people who would've done a great job as show runner of Doctor Who. But at the same time, I feel like we're starting to see a lot of retreading of the same ideas just from different writers because they're all kind of coming outta that space.
[00:16:25] And I think the show, having been back since 2005, And having had a lot of writers who have come through, I, I, I hear what you're saying about their not being in apparent heir to the, the role. But I don't know if I agree that it's true because I think that there are writers who have been great over the course of the run that I think would be good and have like grown up with Dr.
[00:16:46] Who and in ways that similarly we're seeing with like Star Wars now we're seeing a lot. Like I think we, there, there are Rian Johnson's out there for Doctor Who there are people who were like, Yes, I grew up with this. I loved it, but I also grew up in a different sensibility of writing and probably do something very different with it and unique.
[00:17:03] And I think that we're seeing now with, with Last Jedi, which is, you know, at this point, 5 years ago, but also we're seeing with Andor, like we're seeing people who are creating stories set and then like also all the writers who have done higher public stuff and hopefully, you know, with Leslie Headland coming up with, um, with the Acolyte.
[00:17:23] Cuz even Dave, I think Dave Filoni is the Star Wars version of a Stephen Moffat. I think he's like, I think he's the guy that like has such reverence for, uh, oh, I, I just made Michael hit the couch with that comment. But he's, he's the
[00:17:38] MICHAEL: no, I have, Oh, sorry. I, If you, if you put a quarter in me about Filoni, I won't stop. I, I'm not a, I'm personally not a fan and I have
[00:17:46] JOSH: I wanna hear that as well.
[00:17:47] MICHAEL: Sorry, Riley, please.
[00:17:48] RILEY: No, no. Long story short, I'm saying he's the guy who I think is, that is that exact mix between reverence for George Lucas, but also like very, very strong ideas about what he would do with it and what he wants to do with it, and like manages to speak those well. But at the same time I, I'm really fascinated by the stronger war shows that are being done by other people.
[00:18:07] Cause I do think these other voices coming into it are, are bringing a lot to it. I think Star Wars has an advantage over Doctor Who in that there are so many clearly defined eras of storytelling in Star Wars that you can actually do different types of stories just by changing where you're setting your, your piece at like, Andor fits perfectly where it is in the age of empire.
[00:18:34] If you try to do the exact kind of, Andor storytelling during like a Republic era, it might feel very different. It wouldn't be necessarily worse or better, but it would be a very different feeling of a show. And similar with like first order stuff. And yeah,
[00:18:47] JOSH: no, for sure, for sure. the other thing, too, that, you reminded me of, like, I think one of the things Russell is absolutely going to be doing, I'm sure, is developing new talent, you know, finding the, heir apparent to hand it over. Like, I don't think he wants, to be the showrunner for Doctor Who for another five or six or seven years. Like, I think he wants to, I think he wants to set it off, like he has this new vision, this like relaunch, re retooling of the show for, for a new, media landscape. Like the same way that, that he did in 2005. And I think he wants to set everything up and then hand the keys over to somebody, you know, younger, frankly,
[00:19:24] RILEY: I think it's even darker than that. I think he thought the show was not going to survive past the era that just ended. And I think he felt like he had to help save it. Like I think, I think, I think, I think that The Bad Wolf deal hadn't happened and Russell hadn't come back to show Run and David 10 wasn't coming back to be the new Doctor for a brief amount of time.
[00:19:41] We would've seen the show end with Jodie Whitaker. I think that, I think that she would've been the last doctor, and I'm glad, I'm glad that for lots of reasons I'm glad that didn't
[00:19:48] happen because I'm sure they would've blamed her for it. But yeah, I think, I think, I think, I think you're right. I think Russell is in a position of I am here to save this show.
[00:19:58] I'm here to, to
[00:20:00] JOSH: And
[00:20:00] RILEY: of re Yeah, re-rudder it and then find new generation to tell stories with it. Because I think there was the, I haven't read the Doctor Who Magazine stuff completely, but I've seen excerpts from it and I heard the mention of people working on the show who were teenagers when the show came back in 2005.
[00:20:13] And there are, there are people who I think, who have written for the show in the last generation of writers or so that I think would be really interesting voices to see take over the show.
[00:20:23] JOSH: Several from, uh, the Chibnall era, as a matter of fact. And also, the last, couple of years of Steven Moffat.
[00:20:30] RILEY: Sarah Dollard, somebody for example. Yeah. Vinet Patel is someone I wouldn't meet. I'd be
[00:20:33] interested to if Vinet Patel could do with
[00:20:34] MICHAEL: Jamie Matheson as well as Dollar. I think series nine was a real, um, Series nine was felt to me like an audition series for new showrunners. Uh, and then like Peter Harness pitched that monk story and it was like, put him in the fucking trash can. Um, anyway, uh,
[00:20:49] RILEY: we move on to themes, I do wanna come back to Michael real quick. I, I'm not
[00:20:52] MICHAEL: I have, I have notes on like all the stuff I wanna circle back on, but
[00:20:55] RILEY: Well, what I wanna say is before we move on to completely from connections between Star Wars and Doctor Who, I wanna let you name your, your favorite connection of actor from Star Wars and Doctor Who.
[00:21:05] MICHAEL: Oh, it's Simon Pegg, Um, but also Peter Cushing. Uh, obviously it's Peter Cushing, but I,
[00:21:10] I I think we'd be remiss if we
[00:21:12] JOSH: did that,
[00:21:13] MICHAEL: Well, your, your head's in the classic, uh, trilogy. I understand
[00:21:17] But, but Simon Pegg being a modern example of that is I think really, I wanted to make sure we noticed that, uh, noted that, because I feel like people listening are going to be shouting at the podcast a few minutes ago and I just wanted to make sure we're like, We hear you.
[00:21:29] RILEY: Yeah. Or even Shona from Last Christmas, who is Vel on Andor currently, and I love her on both things.
[00:21:36] MICHAEL: Oh my God. She's in, um, I think she's in the New Lady Chatterley's Lover. And she's fantastic
[00:21:40] RILEY: was the waif on Game of Thrones.
[00:21:42] JOSH: I never put that together. No. Yeah,
[00:21:44] RILEY: Oh, I, I'm weirdly fixated on Shona. I love Last Christmas. It's one of my favorite Christmas specials. And so, yeah. And I have a running gag about it because in the end when she wakes up and she has like her list of things to do, one of them is forgive Dave. And I've always joked like, we never got to conclusion of the Forgive Dave story.
[00:22:02] What did Dave do to, And also I think, from what I understand,
[00:22:07] JOSH: finish. It's a big finish, uh,
[00:22:09] spinoff series. It'll
[00:22:10] MICHAEL: Dave, the guy who annoyed Shona.
[00:22:12] RILEY: Last year at Gally, when I was on the Cornell Collective. We were told to pitch what we would pitch as a big finish spinoff series. And I pitched Dave and I was like, What happened? Dave? Should she forgive him? What's he doing? What was Dave doing during the Time War? When's our War Dave series?
[00:22:29] MICHAEL: Dave. Oh my God. What was he up to? Ah, and then you gotta have River Song
[00:22:34] RILEY: a very good actress. Uh, we now know, you know, who she's related to and I don't know how spoiler we be canned or can't be. So I should be careful. But has Andy Serkis done a star? I thought Doctor Who?
[00:22:43] MICHAEL: I was thinking about that. Andy Serkis would be amazing in any Doctor Who part, but I think he's he's too big for it.
[00:22:49] RILEY: Yeah. I was wondering if he had done it like, as like a voice or something at some point.
[00:22:53] MICHAEL: But at some point, if Andrew Garfield does a Star War, that's one where we
[00:22:56] JOSH: yes. Then. Right. So, so, so Hugh Quarshie is one he played, , Captain Panaka in The Phantom Menace. And then he was in,
[00:23:03] The Evolution of the Daleks
[00:23:05] MICHAEL: Cool. So we got one from all the Wars eras. That's awesome.
[00:23:08] RILEY: We almost had matt Smith and ended up not happening, but
[00:23:11] JOSH: I think he was supposed to be like a clone of Palpatine or
[00:23:14] RILEY: Yeah. Before they had started, just have Ian McDiarmid play, uh, Palpatine. They were gonna have him be like a younger version of him.
[00:23:22] MICHAEL: He had a weird run of like playing Big Bads or maybe playing because he was like Skynet in that one Teminator anyway.
[00:23:29] RILEY: He's currently playing kind of a big bat on Game of Thrones House of
[00:23:32] MICHAEL: Also true. Yeah. He was the villain. And Mors as everybody remembers. Um, no, just me. No.
[00:23:39] RILEY: I I'm pretty sure the Morbius was the villain in Morbius.
[00:23:42] MICHAEL: that whole movie was the villain of that
[00:23:44] RILEY: Yeah. No, I Morbius the film was the villain of Morbius
[00:23:48] MICHAEL: Yeah.
[00:23:48] JOSH: My favorite actor crossovers is, um, John Hollis, who was Lobot in The Empire Strikes Back, and he was a character in The Mutants, the John Pertwee serial, because, during the Pandemic, I started a full classic series rewatch, and I wanted to do it the way that, so Elizabeth Sandifer, the writer of TARDIS Eruditorum. She made, the case a number of years ago that really made a lot of sense to me that, the classic series is not meant to be watched as these like feature length omnibus editions of like single stories. so so I had never really watched the show the way that it was actually designed, be watched like, uh, you know, 1 segment a week, or like 1 segment with some time in between.
[00:24:33] It's not all, meant, to be watched. So, So I decided, uh, to do that, you know, most Doctor Who stories I experienced, as like a single feature length story. either on VHS or on DVD. And like, it really was a revelation for me like all of a sudden a lot of, pacing things just sort of made sense. I was like, Oh, well that's why this is like, this is because I, I actually do not remember where we left off last week. So I'm glad that, there's sort this like two or three minute, uh, reprise of the end of last week, so I'm like, Oh, right, right, right.
[00:25:04] RILEY: And you wouldn't have had it on, you wouldn't have had it available on demand to go back and watch last week. So if you have missed last week's, you need to know what's happening. You wouldn't have it on tape, you wouldn't have it on rerun. So if you saw it, you saw it. If you didn't see it, I hope this, this show makes a good job of making me understand what happened.
[00:25:20] JOSH: Right. Exactly. Exactly. Like that's another thing, um, the only thing that I'm not, really doing is, I've been able to watch a lot of them on bluray on like, you know, uh, a 60 inch, tv and like, these shows were never meant, to be rendered in that like high fidelity.
[00:25:36] Right. So it's like, so, like the effectiveness of like, what you can get away with in terms of, you know, the old joke about shaky sets and cardboard walls and, and, and, and bubble wrap and everything. It's like, Yes, except also, you know, keep in mind, they were experienced, by most, people in like grainy, staticky, black and white, 13 inches.
[00:25:56] Like, so it's like, it's a lot more forgiving anyway.
[00:25:59] RILEY: And even like modern shows or modernish shows are struggling with that too. Like a lot of shows that are getting remaster and re-released. Cause there's a whole thing on, on TikTok where people are finding Buffy episodes where you can like clearly see the stunt double. And I'm like, Yeah, because it's in 4k.
[00:26:14] Like it's, it's in high def. It wasn't as obvious when it was airing.
[00:26:19] MICHAEL: That remaster was brutal. They took the four, three mats off and they didn't like, so that they didn't compensate. Right. So there's just that, that remaster is particularly terrible. Uh, the Buffy one, um, whereas like, like The Wire, I have a friend who worked on The Wire remaster to, to move that back to, or to, to change that to 69. And they like went in and painted out, set stuff that was in the corners of the matte and things like that.
[00:26:45] RILEY: Oh, well that's what's so interesting about the Harmy's De-specialized Star Wars is that it actually restore. Like people always think of Harmy's as just being like, Oh, they took out all the special edition stuff, but like, no, he actually went in and like, like made true, like the special edition is based off of like get like the ones that are on Disney Plus right now.
[00:27:04] A lot of the colors are crushed. A lot of the stuff is not as like vivid as it could be. And Harmony actually went in and found like old prints that like were, that he like restored. So as much as it's called De Specialized, it's actually like a pretty great quality print of the original. And like it would be great if Star Wars would actually go back and, and do a real official release of the original that like fixed a lot of those things
[00:27:28] MICHAEL: It's money on the table. They're just leaving it. It's a big pile of money sitting on a table. I still don't get it.
[00:27:33] JOSH: I mean, I think , they're respecting the wishes of George Lucas. I mean, for right now.
[00:27:37] MICHAEL: Just gotta wait 'em out. That's brutal. All right. Whatever. Um,
[00:27:41] RILEY: Yeah, and that's a good example. He released, he released that original trilogy on DVD at one point and it's a terrible transfer. Like, it's just, it's like watching a VHS tape of somebody like recorded and saved onto a disc. It's, it's
[00:27:52] JOSH: Yeah, well, so, so we actually, next week I have an episode, where I interviewed a guy who wrote three volumes on the history of Star Wars on home video that he goes through all of the transfers which is, a very fascinating discussion.
[00:28:05] And, a bunch of episodes ago I did an interview with, one of the guys from Team Negative 1, which, , created those, 4K scans of, film prints, of the original Star Wars trilogy, like the 4K 77 sort of floating out there. And it's really interesting, because, you know, if you watch of the original trilogy movies like on, Disney Plus or one of the blu ray releases, it's really scrubbed very clean.
[00:28:28] Like it doesn't really look like it was shot on film. because, you know, for modern audiences that, is not acceptable, It makes it, uh, you know, look Like it was shot a long time ago, which it was.
[00:28:39] MICHAEL: Hmm.
[00:28:40] JOSH: Uh, but, one of the things that I really appreciate about watching those restorations is like, you, you have the film grain and like, some of the scratches like that were there on the negative.
[00:28:50] Like, that's how this film was made and how it always existed. Like, like, so anyway, it's a whole long way of saying that. I got up to Jon Pertwee in my rewatch and I was watching The Mutants and, there was this guy I was like, He looks really familiar. He has a really familiarly, shiny head.
[00:29:07] And I was like, Who is that guy? And then I went on IMDb and I'm like, He's Lobot! He's Lobot from The Empire Strikes Back. That's incredible. So yeah, so that's probably my, uh, uh, my favorite, uh, crossover. Either that, or Brian Blessed.
[00:29:18] MICHAEL: Oh, "dive." Flash Gordon, but
[00:29:22] RILEY: Yeah. Yeah. But I thought, I mean, that speaks to what you were saying earlier about the nature of like this pool of British actors of like if you're filming a sci-fi thing in the uk, you've got like 20 guys you have to call. And that's like how you do it. And like especially with Star Wars, because you're actively trying to create a group in your story that seem imperialistic in domineering.
[00:29:42] And the way to do that is to put 'em in fascist uniforms and give 'em British accents.
[00:29:45] JOSH: Uh, Tom Baker, I believe voiced the
[00:29:48] MICHAEL: The Bendu.
[00:29:49] JOSH: Yes, the Bendu in the Clone Wars. Right.
[00:29:52] RILEY: Yeah. Oh, and David Tennant. David Tennant voiced, uh, he's a droid in the Clone Wars. I always forget what droid number is, but he's the droid who serves during the, uh, the children looking, the padawans looking for their, their chi crystals. He's the droid who helps them build the lightsabers for the first time.
[00:30:07] JOSH: Uh, there was something that I heard. Um, there's very famously, an astronaut costume from, uh, Tenth Planet serial that somehow made its way on a Bounty hunter in The Empire Strikes Back. Um,
[00:30:19] MICHAEL: Dengar, I think Dengar got The Ambassadors of Death space suit. You know,
[00:30:23] JOSH: Oh, I think you're right.
[00:30:25] MICHAEL: I think that's what it is. Cause it, there were a bunch of those, like, I think Dalek 63, 88 or one of those other sites that tracks down props, like that they tracked down, like it was part of some batch of like space suits and they'd all like got rented out to various places.
[00:30:40] It's like that, um, the two, the two red tubes in Star Trek, the two red tubes that are in every Star Trek, uh, uh, because they're, it's a rented prop. They just had like a standing deal with a prop warehouse for that thing. The most recent one that I think popped on the internet was the, the gun and the Mandalorian's gun cabinet.
[00:31:00] That is like maybe literally the, the stock from one of the machine gun Daleks from that, uh, uh, Exxilon serial where if, if you look at the, Oh yeah. Oh, you, I was, I'm amazed you don't know this. Uh uh, but there's, in the first episode of The Mandalorian Season One, like the pilot, I guess he opens up that cabinet of guns and one of the center guns has this like kind of strange flange on the end.
[00:31:27] And it's, Either a recreation, uh, intentionally or no, or literally that gun. Um, but that stock is taken off of when the Daleks got their machine gun arms from that one Dalek serial where their guns didn't work. Um, so there's, there may literally be a classic
[00:31:46] JOSH: to the Daleks. I think
[00:31:48] MICHAEL: Yes. But it's either way, like somebody, both versions of the story are cool.
[00:31:54] Like either it's the original prop, like resurfaced or somebody unwittingly made a perfect recreation of a Dalek gun arm. Like, just, just to put it a cabinet, like both versions of the story are, are very fun.
[00:32:08] RILEY: Is there a possibility that it's a Easter egg? Like somebody did it on purpose, Like I want to have a Dalek in here.
[00:32:14] MICHAEL: I don't know. I, I, I, because it's, it's a gun that was used in another Star Wars scene and the understanding is like, oh, they just like stuck the barrel on a gun handle.
[00:32:28] Right. Like, um, so I, I don't know all the details, but there's lit, there's literally like a Dalek part. Well, not anymore cuz the, the ship has been atomized, but there was a Dalek part in the Mandalorian, uh, ship.
[00:32:42] JOSH: That's very cool. I had no idea about that, but now I'm gonna have to go back and look for that cuz that's very cool.
[00:32:47] Michael, I do wanna hear your thoughts on Dave Filoni because, the mention of his name seemed to elicit a strong reaction from you.
[00:32:55] MICHAEL: I don't get the like fan like laurels that are always thrown at that guy for like being super creative or whatever. Cause I feel like anytime they, similar to your point Riley earlier for like Moffat having a default state of writing, which is like, he always wants to write a sitcom. Like whatever he is doing, he just wants to be writing a sitcom, which is why I like all of his shows turn into sitcom banter.
[00:33:15] He just wants to be doing that. Right. But Dave Filoni, I think very similarly, they're like, Hey Dave, we have this like, new concept. Um, we'd like you to, uh, come up with the, you know, could you come up with like the series idea? And it's like, All right, great. And he goes into his office and he takes off his cowboy hat.
[00:33:31] Uh, yeah. He takes off his cowboy hat and he removes the co the dogeared copy of Lone Wolf and Cub Volume One, uh, from the top of his head. And he goes, Oh, there's gonna be an old warrior and they will get a cub. Um, and he has done this for every fucking one of his shows. And everybody's like Dave Filoni Genius Mastermind.
[00:33:50] Incredible. Um, The Mandalorian, Lone Wolf and Cub, The Bad Batch, Five Lone Wolves and a Cub, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Lone Wolf and
[00:33:58] RILEY: Go ahead and look at the for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Filoni did not do.
[00:34:02] MICHAEL: Okay. Not that one.
[00:34:03] RILEY: In fact Obi-Wan, hough it is Lone Wolf and Cubby, they part of why they delayed it was cuz it was more so originally and they, when they first got the script, they're like, this just feels like The Mandalorian. We need to make it a little bit
[00:34:15] MICHAEL: Dave was like, I bet Filoni was like, This is edging in into my territory. We gotta fix this up. Um, yeah, there was another one I had, but I can't remember it anymore. But like, every time Dave Filoni makes a show, he just makes Lone Wolf and Cub again. And I, it, it is frustrating to me where it's like, I would love for newer writers with broader ideas than its Lone Wolf and Cub again, uh, to, to write the Star Wars.
[00:34:39] RILEY: How much of, how much Mandalorian do do you think was Filoni doing that? And how much was John Favreau doing that? Cause I felt like that Mandalorian to me felt more like John Favreau's baby with Dave sticking his stuff into it.
[00:34:52] MICHAEL: My whole quote unquote Filoni--Filoni hypothesis is one a joke, I need to be really clear, but two, it's responding to the people who praise Filoni, like blindly. Like I just, I totally agree with you. A lot of what the Mandalorian is, it's all fau. I think especially now, it feels really fy. Um, and Bobba Fat was just like, Oh, I can, If you didn't tell me Robert Rodriguez made that show, I would have guessed.
[00:35:17] Um, like all that show needed was like a, a. Uh, mariachi. Like that was the only thing it was missing. Um, like that's it. Like,
[00:35:28] RILEY: I mean, it kind of had, it does have Danny Trejo in it, so I mean, like, it's cutting
[00:35:33] MICHAEL: Well that's Space Machete. Different guy, but yeah.
[00:35:35] RILEY: That's true. I'm, I'm at like a tie. It's literally a,
[00:35:38] MICHAEL: Right. But it's a different Rodriguez universe, like the, the Deperado verse versus the Spy Kids universe. Of which Machete is a part. We must remember. Um, that is one cohesive universe. Uh, we have to always keep that in mind.
[00:35:52] RILEY: Yeah. And I, I think like that's what's interesting about this current era of Star Wars is that we are getting these different, like, visual styles and different storytelling styles that really fit the, which I think is what Star Wars is needed for a long time, is having stories that are from a point of view.
[00:36:10] Whereas I think like the flaw of, I think, you know, I, I think Solo was unfairly maligned. I think Solo ended up being a much better movie than it had any right to be given how belabored and, and, and struggling that production was. But I do think like one of the big things that they let Lord and Miller go, they, I mean Kathleen Kennedy, who I don't think deserves as much demon as she gets, but she does deserve some criticism.
[00:36:33] But I think that like,
[00:36:35] MICHAEL: a business woman. Like she's making
[00:36:37] RILEY: Yeah, and I think that, Yeah, absolutely. And I think that, like what's, what's nice about the Disney Plus series is I do feel like there's a little bit more freedom to let filmmakers tell their story and use Star Wars as a brush versus those Star Wars story movies where it did feel like, Okay, we're gonna start with that and then we're gonna homogenize it down into our one single like tone, which is a lot of what Marvel does. Like Marvel does really well when they can find a filmmaker who can work within what Marvel does. But if you cannot work within Marvel, does you get the Eternals.
[00:37:06] So I think that, like, I think that that's what's really interesting about Andor is Andorf somehow feels extremely Tony Gilroy, but also very Star Wars anyway, that like, it doesn't feel like any other Star War stories we've seen so far, except for, you know, Rogue One to a degree. Rogue One felt much more studio noted than
[00:37:30] than this did and he wasn't, you know, But this, this does feel a lot more like we're letting this person tell a story.
[00:37:36] And that's why I'm kind of excited for all these like, upcoming shows that are outside of what we've already experienced. And I'm less excited about ones that just feel like, Hey, here are like aside seasons two Mandalorian. Like I want the ones that are like, here's a different ear, here's different type storytelling.
[00:37:53] MICHAEL: I don't need to see a lightsaber ever again in my life. Like, I just, I don't, I'm good. Thank you.
[00:37:59] RILEY: Well, you
[00:37:59] MICHAEL: mean, I
[00:38:00] RILEY: talking. It's been, No, it's, it's been good knowing you, being your friend. Um,
[00:38:03] MICHAEL: No, hey. I love, Andor! Um, no, the thing I, I, I was gonna say that. I do enjoy about the new Disney Plus era that I hope is also something that, that hopefully comes with like Doctor Who spinoffs. but the thing I, Andor is channeling like a go to real places and shoot Star Wars vibe, like they're channeling this like whole other vibe of Star Wars that hasn't really been done since like, digital tech really started, you know, there's the maligning of the prequel era for being all shot on a green screen.
[00:38:31] But George wanted to control, like Lucas wanted to control everything. Right now, I think there are creators, particularly in the sort of Andor zone who are like, we need to embrace the chaos of like, we just need to find a place. And there's a great tweet about this somewhere and I'm, I'm absolutely crib it, but it was like, we just need to find like a brutalist building and shove some sci-fi crates in it.
[00:38:51] Like that's good. Star Wars in too. Um, uh, uh, and, and, and that goes all the way back to something we started, the episode here talking about, which is like, I don't think fans understand that there are whole departments whose job it is to like, save money , like their whole, their people whose entire job is to be like, No, we're not spending extra on that.
[00:39:15] RILEY: Yeah. and and there's an article with Tony Gilroy recently about Andor where he said the only notes he's ever gotten that are like real notes from Disney have been budget. Like everything he's had to make a change for for Andor has because, because they can't afford what they wanted to do and they've had to find a way to write around it to make it less expensive.
[00:39:34] And that's like a really interesting thing about that show is that like you can do lots of creative things as long as you can keep it in budget. Like that's the thing that I think a lot of it's, it's unfortunate that the modern trend towards filmmaking is, let's make the most expensive things we can possibly make when instead it should be like, let's find a way to tell really interesting stories and use a budget to make us like limit ourselves.
[00:39:53] Like a great example he talked about in this article for, I think it was for the Hollywood Reporter, it wasn't the Rolling Stone article, cause I haven't read that one. He was talking about the Alani Heist episode and how when the Alani people show up to celebrate the Eye, it was originally supposed to be like 3000 or like 10,000 people.
[00:40:13] And then because of c they were like, We cannot possibly film this. Like, we can't get that many people, we can't put 'em all in buses. And I guess they, they, they didn't, they didn't wanna do the CGI Lord of the Rings thing and like CGI in a crowd of people. So it ends up becoming like a few dozen at the most.
[00:40:30] And he said like, weirdly, that budget limitation and that logistics limitation made the scene more powerful because now it felt like the remnants of a civilization that the empire had snuffed out completely as opposed to just like them renting this space on this land from a pretty prosperous planet.
[00:40:48] And I think that like, that kind of thing is really interesting to me. And yeah, with, with, Andor the location shooting is really fascinating because so much of what's happening in Star Wars TV making nowadays is, is volumes, right? Like so much of it is filming things on LED volumes. And like, I think volumes are a great thing to have when you want to be filming on alien worlds that do not look like anything you can see on Earth.
[00:41:12] Like if you're looking for weird plants and you're looking for like, Like the ocean as far as the eye can see, and you don't have the money to do an ocean, a water tank or whatever. That's something interesting, but I think when you're talking about the visceral feeling of being in an oppressive, brutal prison or you're being in a, you know, imper, an ISB office building like that, if you can't do that, you got, Yeah.
[00:41:33] It's, it's, you're, like I said, like using a brutal building set sector, decorating it and stuff like that. And I'm, That'll be interesting to see what with Doctor Who, with Doctor Who getting bigger budgets, like will it just be even fancier, the same hallway dressed up three times? Or will it be, are they gonna film Doctor Who in volumes are they gonna film Doctor Who? Like, are they gonna use a volume to recreate a quarry? Like that's, that's the running Doctor Who thing of, we filmed this entire episode in the quarry.
[00:41:59] MICHAEL: We could bring the
[00:42:00] RILEY: really
[00:42:01] MICHAEL: I, I, I am so skeptical of volumes cause I feel like they're great for every person in the production except for the actor, which is like the one person you really need to be immersed in a scene like it, it feels like it's, they're still having to act to a tennis ball except it's like a piece of paper
[00:42:17] RILEY: Well, that's a good point too because I think that was the problem with green screen acting for a long time. I think the volume is a little bit of a step above green screen acting cause you can actually see the environment around you. But yeah, I do think like when you watch those earliest movies that were being shot all in green screen, like Sky Captain and even like some of the prequel scenes, the actors don't know what to do.
[00:42:37] And I think like you almost have to like relearn how to act in this new environment. And I think for volumes we're getting into that as now as well. I think unfortunately, we're also the, the shows and movies most likely to be filmed in a volume are the shows and movies that like they don't really care that much how good the acting is.
[00:42:52] So they're gonna keep moving on anyway even if the take isn't the best take. But.
[00:42:56] JOSH: Well, I mean, it is. Super interesting to me because I think the volume, as with any, technique or technology is, when it's utilized really well, then it's great. But, you use it as like, a crutch or, or as a catchall, then you start to see the limitations of it. Like, I really enjoyed, had a great time with Obi-Wan Kenobi and I don't, have any like, there's like nothing in it that I would consider, huge problem or like a flaw, but was a sense, for me watching it, there were a lot of sort of interior spaces that seemed to like, have the same, dimensions weirdly, as the volume stage.
[00:43:36] Right. And there were also some things like, one thing that I heard, one of the cinematographers on The Mandalorian say is that, the thing that's, tricky with the volume is, luminance. So for example, like when they wanna shoot something like outside on the deserts of Tatooine in the middle of the day, they shoot that the back lot in front of a green screen, because they can't get the brightness bright enough from, the volume. So with that, in my head, I started seeing like, like all of these little things that just like knowing that it's an LED stage, I start to see it.
[00:44:11] RILEY: Yeah.
[00:44:11] A thing that I notice with the volumes is, is the opposite when it's nighttime like you almost can see the wall around. It almost feels like you're sitting on a set where you can see where the walls are in the seams because like there's a scene in Obi-Wan, especially I think it's in the last episode, where he's like in the desert with Reva and I think it was shot in a volume at night and it feels like he's on a set.
[00:44:31] Like it feels so artificial.
[00:44:33] JOSH: That scene is exactly what popped into my head as soon as you said that. It's like that whole thing at night on Tatooine in the desert. Like, it just felt fake. It just felt like they were on a sound stage. It
[00:44:44] RILEY: Yeah. Which is so wild because it's a, it's a, it's a, it's a setting that you can film so easily not far from where they filmed that entire show. Like it feels like you could have easily driven out to Death Valley and film or go gone down to like, you know, the Imperial Dunes where they filmed Return of the Geni and like, it wouldn't have been that hard of a day to shoot, but
[00:45:03] they must just been like, maybe cuz they were shooting it delayed so much they had so little budget left.
[00:45:07] Like, we gotta shoot this here. It's what we got. We're doing it.
[00:45:10] JOSH: Yeah, I mean, look like this speaks to what we were saying earlier about, how there's this broad lack of understanding of how films are made. You know, you made a decision because you thought something was gonna work one way, and then you see how it works. And maybe if it's not exactly how you thought it would go, like that's what you got and you can't reshoot it. Like, it's not a, like, it's not a movie. It's not unlimited money.
[00:45:32] It's timelines and budgets that you have to stick to. So like, you know, maybe you realized the week before this isn't gonna look that great, we should shoot this in the desert. But like, all
[00:45:42] RILEY: Too late. Yeah,
[00:45:43] JOSH: Like you can't do it.
[00:45:44] RILEY: production. That massive. You can't just that, that, that's, it's, it's a ship stuck in the middle of the Suez Canal. Like you can't just flip it around like it has it, It's there. It's there. I think that's a thing that's like really interesting these days with, I feel like these big film and movie companies I know we're like way off your topic at this point.
[00:46:03] I apologize for that, but.
[00:46:04] JOSH: No, no, no.
[00:46:04] RILEY: I feel like they've kind of created a little bit of a hell for themselves, where they have tried to create TV shows that have a cinematic feel to them, but they know they can't give them cinematic budgets because they don't make the kind of money that movies do in theaters.
[00:46:21] And you can't recoup your expenses with a streaming show the way you can. Cause even if you have, like every streaming service has a ceiling of this is the viewers we're gonna get, we have a monthly, we're getting, it's like a weird trade off of like you're getting money every month from them, but you're not gonna get more people.
[00:46:39] Whereas with movies, it's like, Oh, we might make new money every single time when these goes out. And so we'll make a big chunk at once. And then also like future rights and stuff like that. And which also every company having their own streaming service also diminishes the money they're gonna make on the back end of a film because they're no longer getting licensing rights and stuff like that because they're self.
[00:46:59] So that's a whole thing. But I think a really good example of it is the way people talk about, talk about like House of the Dragons or even even Power of the Rings of, I always wanna call it Power of the Rings, Even Rings of Power, which is the most expensive television show ever created, ever made. But if you break down the per, so people have, Oh, that show has a billion dollar budget.
[00:47:21] Yes, it does. For five seasons, it's a million. It's a billion dollars for five seasons. And when you break down the per episode budget for that show, it's high. It is the highest, it is 60. It's about, it's about 60 million in episode, which is a lot of money. It's also about a third of what each Peter Jackson film had for it's budget as part of a three trilogy that was shot together and was able to make some expenses because they were filming 'em all back to back.
[00:47:48] But like, and that was in 2000 and like 2001, probably like 19 99, 19 90, when they were 2000, when they were filming those like people. So I remember when that, when that show came out, there was all this talk about, well, look how much cheaper the costumes look on this show versus how they looked in these films.
[00:48:06] And I'm like, Yeah, yeah, they're a lot cheaper. They television does not ever have the budget that a film does and it's not going to. And it's like they are being super cheap and they are cheaping out on stuff and it kind of sucks. But at the same time, it's like, that's what, that's, that's how you make Lord of the Rings for television and you're doing it more expensive than anybody else ever
[00:48:27] MICHAEL: It's not a fair comparison either cuz you could take, you could take Aragorn's costume from Return to the King and shoot it on the set of Lord of the Rings. The Rings of Rings of Rings of Rings. Um, and it would look terrible cuz of the finishing process on those, on those shows. Like it shot in like eight K, maybe 16 k it shot with all this digital intermediate stuff.
[00:48:49] Like you could literally take the film costume and put it in the show and it would not look as good. Like, the circumstances are just totally different. Like it's not a reasonable comparison.
[00:49:00] JOSH: Well, so this is something interesting actually that, makes this relevant because I think as fans of Doctor Who in particular, the special effects were never the point. The, the production value was, it was never about the spectacle.
[00:49:15] It was about the idea and the idea of what it was supposed to be. It was always like gesturing at something.
[00:49:20] MICHAEL: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:21] JOSH: And like even audiences at the time, like, this wasn't, convincing anybody that this was literally real. It was more representational and that was good enough for what it had to, do and, had to be. And I think, one of the, differences, between. Star Wars and Doctor Who, specifically when they began was, I think Star Wars was very much about the spectacle and how real it looked and how good the special effects are. that was one of the main selling points of Star Wars was that like you'd never seen sci-fi fantasy, , realized in this like real way. Whereas Doctor Who I don't know that that was ever the intention, like that's not what they were ever trying to do necessarily.
[00:50:07] RILEY: the point that I think like original Doctor Who was meant to be like a stage play, like that's how TV was made in that era especially. And I think even American TV had that to a degree as well. Like I think American sitcoms especially, were very stagey and like even Star Trek does feel a little bit on stage, like it doesn't feel like a movie.
[00:50:22] JOSH: And it's, uh, probably also a money thing, because in the states, certainly, by the 1960s drama shows would, , be shot on film, you know, single camera, 16 millimeter, which would lend itself to a much more cinematic style, uh, because you're shooting for the edit, and for some reason, I guess kind of arbitrarily, although, I don't know, sitcom sort of, remained that like theatrical, proscenium, where it's sort of performed as a stage play.
[00:50:47] and the action is, being captured as live
[00:50:49] RILEY: Well it was cheap. It was cheaper to film. Yeah, they would use cheaper. Like there's a whole, famously the reason why Lucille Ball made so much money off of I Love Lucy, and was able to then she and Desi were able to, you know, turn RKO and Desilu and make Star Trek all kind of stuff is because when she was doing the first season, if I Love Lucy, they, they wanted her and Desi to come to New York to do it because they were essentially filming sitcoms, like, like live things.
[00:51:16] Like, and like, like even if it went out like later that day, it was like a, a quality of like video print essentially. Like, not videotape as we know it now, but like that's basically what it was. And. If you try to do it like in LA and then ship it to New York or, or, or air it later, it would degrade so much that it would look bad.
[00:51:34] And she and Desi wanted to live in Los Angeles. They didn't wanna live in New York. And so it became a whole thing of how to produce it to where she finally was like, Okay, if you spend the money to shoot this on film so that it isn't degrade, we will give up X amount of dollars for our, our fee for doing the show.
[00:51:54] But we take over the backend instead. And then by doing so, she created a type of film that was a TV show that was then able to be resold as reruns, which chose, wouldn't really be able to, Cause they looked terrible if you did that. And then she made a bunch of money by then eventually selling those right back to, I think it was nbc.
[00:52:13] Like she basically like made, made them give her the back end and then resold it to them for the back end and got all the money. It was kind of amazing.
[00:52:22] JOSH: So and that, decision, actually, the fact that they shot I Love Lucy on film, is the reason why , they've scanned I Love Lucy film to be able to present the show in HD and it looks amazing.
[00:52:32] It like, yeah, but that is to say like, that's not how, tv,
[00:52:36] RILEY: Was
[00:52:36] JOSH: certainly at the BBC worked. Yeah. Once Star Wars hits, I think a couple things happen. I think, um, suspension of disbelief or that forgiveness of an audience, you know, in terms of the level of realism and production quality that there're willing to go along with, sort of change.
[00:52:55] I think that Doctor Who started looking more and more shoddy in comparison to, what's, you know, sci-fi was a quote unquote supposed. To look like, like something that always blows my mind is you know, when you remember that classic who was on contemporaneously with the first couple seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
[00:53:13] And it's like, if you can imagine like you're a sci-fi fan, who's living in London and you're watching, Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy on Doctor Who, and then you flip the channel and you're seeing Star Trek, the next generation, like the disparity in, production quality is like, is quite immense.
[00:53:28] RILEY: And part of that, part of that has to do with the fact that Doctor Who was being funded on a public television budget, on a, on a channel that did not want to have Doctor Who anymore. So they were basically giving him
[00:53:38] table scraps to make the show. Like, like they, the BBC hated Doctor Who at that, but they hated sci-fi in general.
[00:53:44] Like the people running the BBC were embarrassed to have sci-fi on their channel. And so like, they were looking for all the reasons to, to gut everything they could with it. So it was a really interesting time period for it.
[00:53:54] JOSH: uh, no. Yeah, and there's that famous clip of Michael Grade, I believe either the head of drama or the BBC controller at that, at that time, the one who really had it out for Doctor Who, he was on a talk show in the early nineties, and they asked him like, why he canceled the show.
[00:54:08] And he was like, Well, because I'd seen Star Wars and I'd seen, you know, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And then, I look at what we are doing? And it's just like, what is this garbage? Or, uh, rubbish. I guess he, uh, he
[00:54:20] RILEY: Yeah. And it's like if you had given them the money to make the show, they would've made as good as that was. It's such a, And they, I mean, look, they tried their best that they're, they're trying really hard to make it look good.
[00:54:31] JOSH: No. No. And that's actually one of the things that I really enjoy about, particularly, classic Doctor Who, but I think it still sort of applies that, we could talk about that in a second. But like the fact that it's, clear They're working with and how hard they're trying.
[00:54:44] And sometimes you can see maybe that they're not trying very hard. but like, you know, having, the context of like how many, weeks and weeks and like, how many cereals, they're making and where they are in the year and how much they must have.
[00:54:55] it's like, I don't know, maybe I'm particularly idiosyncratic in this way, but there's something that I appreciate more about seeing the seams, , versus something that looks pristine and perfect on like, a technical level, I think because you get the sense of like the human fingerprints there, like, if that makes any sense.
[00:55:15] It's sort of like, like that makes me feel like this is a bespoke thing that somebody worked on and really cared about and they're like, really trying to make, like there's a humanness that's there, like a humanity,
[00:55:28] RILEY: I agree with that. There's a life, there's a tangible life to it.
[00:55:30] JOSH: Yeah, yeah. Uh, versus, you know, something that, may look slick and, pristine and liked, perfect.
[00:55:36] but that's not, like I kind of don't really know what to do with that. Like, I don't really care about that. It's like, great that you can make that, look like that, but that also exactly the same as everything else. And like, I don't really care about that.
[00:55:48] Like, what are you here for?
[00:55:50] RILEY: Yeah, I think that's like a lot of what you see in superhero movies especially is like, you get a lot of this like homogenized visuals, but then you're like, But was there a good story to it? Like did I care about the characters or what they were doing or what their involvement was? Or was it just like all tan like, like transitive setup for a big punch fight with, with robots basically.
[00:56:10] And it's like, I do I care or do I not care? Whereas like when I feel like, like that's why I think I still have such a passion for stop motion animation and like puppetry and stuff like that. So I'm like, wow, somebody had to go through and like manually design each of those armatures and each of those things and put it together and versus like, Oh, I just made this, like, I just built a, you know, CGI thing and told it and gave it AI to do what it wanted to do, which is like, it's self impressive.
[00:56:36] But there is something about the effort that like beli in the storytelling and kind of like, I think going back to what I was saying about what it's great by ORs, like physically going to a space and, and like set dressing that space and putting people in, it really like leads to thoughtful and interesting points of view in the story.
[00:56:55] JOSH: , I mean, there is something about like, you know, whenever somebody complains about like the CG in Star Wars or something, like in particular in, the prequels, like my thing was always well, not to say you're wrong, to, not be satisfied by whatever's on offer, but like, it's not that, like the AT-ATs in the Battle of Hoth like, looked real, right?
[00:57:14] MICHAEL: That's, Yeah. That's not the
[00:57:15] JOSH: like, like, I do think there is something to be said for, you know, with stop motion. It's like clear that human hands made this happen.
[00:57:24] And I think subconsciously you, you, you feel that it's like you see it or feel something like there is, that is imbued with something that you can't really, you can't really articulate or even, put your finger on exactly what it is.
[00:57:38] but it's something that just feels you're, you're more accepting of. It feels like less, um, alienating, I guess.
[00:57:47] MICHAEL: Yeah. I'm, you know, I'm not watching the at a t for the, the compositing. I'm watching it for all the little greebles and all the little styrene bits and bobs that make up that thing. Like there's going back to and, or like, As cool as the Fondor looks, Uh, um, Skarsgård's ship, as cool as it looks on the outside.
[00:58:07] The coolest part of that ship is the little three, , camera lens droid mod thing. That's like, Hello, I am a practical little spinny guy. And you're like that? Yes. As cool as all the CG bullshit looks like the coolest thing of that set is still like there's a weird little camera guy who's like in a ball and he is talking and it's cool.
[00:58:27] JOSH: No. Yeah, that's like, pulled off like a, super eight, film camera from, the sixties
[00:58:32] MICHAEL: Oh,
[00:58:32] JOSH: the turret
[00:58:33] MICHAEL: Yeah, there's a pair of binoculars in the Aldhani heist stuff in Andor where I was just like, I've, I've held that camera. I know exactly what they hollowed
[00:58:42] out for these
[00:58:43] JOSH: It has like, the grill on the front. It's got like the
[00:58:45] MICHAEL: Yes. They just added a little like eyeball thing to the side of this camera. And I'm like, You clever little devils.
[00:58:52] JOSH: yeah.
[00:58:53] MICHAEL: so well done.
[00:58:54] JOSH: Because, uh.
[00:58:55] that's a lot of what Star Wars, the original, production design for the original Star Wars is so, is so genius. And you know, what they're often attempting to recreate, when they do live action in that, time period is like they are trying to create these, British, designers, raid junkyards and prop houses in 1976 and just gluing shit together.
[00:59:19] MICHAEL: Well, that's, I mean, going back to that, the original Sonic Screwdriver was a prop from a Thunderbirds movie.
[00:59:25] Like they're, the John Pert, we, well, not the original Sonic Screwdriver, like the original Sonic Screwdriver was like a pen light, but the John Pert, we won with the spiral, on the, middle bit there, there's terms for all these things, um, that is literally a prop from one of the Thunderbirds feature films, used in one of the, like closeups with a human
[00:59:42] RILEY: and like famously Michael Myers' mask in Halloween, they took a William Shatner mask and made it into less of a monster.
[00:59:48] MICHAEL: Yes. There's a very, there's a really funny
[00:59:51] RILEY: That was a long walk to get to a dumb joke, but I'm glad y'all came with me on it.
[00:59:54] MICHAEL: Oh, it was worth it. There is a, there's a Colombo episode where William Shatner wears a blue jumpsuit and it's like, Oh, it's a strange prequel for the Halloween films. Um,
[01:00:05] JOSH: so let me ask, both of you, do you think the modern series of Doctor Who, um, because it obviously exists in like a post Star Wars, modern blockbuster, sort of sci-fi environment, do you think that Doctor Who's approach to special effects and spectacle has changed or like, has the show changed in the way that it has to utilize special effects just, given ,the way contemporary, film and TV works?
[01:00:34] RILEY: I, I,
[01:00:34] I would say so. I think the same way that Star Trek had to, I think Star Trek, like, like Next Generation couldn't look like 60 Star Trek. It had like a new TV era. And similarly, like I think, I do think that if Doctor Who had tried to keep doing it the way they had done it back in the, you know, sixties, seventies and eighties, I think that it wouldn't have lasted very long.
[01:00:55] And I think mean, I think they basically, it's not that I don't think that this, that, that era was also not trying to do that either. I think they just had the budgets they had and they had to work with them. And I think same thing with the 2005 series. I think a lot of the stuff in the thousand five series, I mean, especially the very first season, the Eccleston Run, there's some janky stuff in that, looking back on it now.
[01:01:15] But because like, BBC
[01:01:17] MICHAEL: rays and.
[01:01:18] RILEY: Yeah. And BBC wasn't giving them a ton of money and like, this might work, this might not. And we're not gonna like sink too much into it right away. Like, it's wild when you think of pair, what's been happening, like, I think there's a lot of things that I still dislike about, you know, the most recent era, but the level of production value to it is, is, is comparably.
[01:01:35] night and day. And so, yeah, I do think there's some level of that.
[01:01:39] JOSH: Well , I would agree with that last thing you said. If you compare, the most recent of, uh, the Chiney seasons to say the very beginning or even, the end of, the Russell era, but like, I think the Moffat era, by and large, I prefer the way it looks to the last three series of so, it is really interesting. It's not, it's not just money technology. It's also like how you utilize it,
[01:02:05] MICHAEL: I I will say though, particularly in the, the eras you're pointing out, technology is a huge factor in how those shows look. Um, like the, the original Davies era, most of that was still shot on like beta, like HD beta tape, which is why there's only like a certain level of quality is only ever gonna be achievable from, from those tapes.
[01:02:25] Like you can't remaster to a certain point, they didn't even switch over to HD until the Tennant specials. Right. And then the reason the Moffat era, you know, the first year of Smith in particular looks, the way it does is cuz they, they put in the investment in like Alexa cameras and like really trying to, to focus on the optics of the show.
[01:02:44] And then I think similarly, the Chibnall era has fallen victim to like the overprocessing of a lot of streaming, uh, television where you, you can just fix it in the computer, right? Or you just add a very, uh, ubiquitous particle filter to anything and suddenly you've got cool energy, right? whereas before you've had like actually do animations on those things, right?
[01:03:06] Like it, it is the ubiquity of those technologies that does affect the way they look.
[01:03:11] RILEY: Yeah, and I was gonna say even the switchover from beta to digital was almost a forced hand situation, which is essentially, this is something I know mostly cuz of my day job working in like captioning and stuff like that, is we saw a major shift away from dig from beta to digital almost overnight in a way that the industry doesn't normally move to.
[01:03:32] So quickly. Up until this point, most of the, like whenever we were sending videos out to like broadcasting companies and like network affiliates and stuff like that, we were having to do manual encoded like beta to beta transfers and stuff like that. And everyone was still running off of beta. But what happened was the tsunami in Japan destroyed the factories that made beta tapes like on a massive scale.
[01:03:58] And so it became a thing where suddenly it became way more expensive to make beta hip cuz there was so much less facilities to do it at. And so the price of beta went way up and like this is now, this is my experience as someone like boots on the ground now someone who's like researched it as like a trend, but almost within a year or two of when this started to happen, almost every like local station.
[01:04:26] Basically made a light years level of jump in technology, and these were all people who were like, you know, they don't have a huge budget. They were always pretty, like, they were glacier like pacing and moving into newer material. And then suddenly all we had these like decks in our office that were, you know, worth like five figures and they were like, pretty expensive.
[01:04:45] And then they went, they, they became obsolete overnight, almost like within a year or two. They went from being a thing we used every day to a thing we wouldn't use once every six months. And now we don't even have them anymore. And it's wild, I think. And I think that even on the production level, they were like, we can't make stuff on beta anymore because we don't have the ability to keep getting new beta tapes and to manufacture them and to put them out the studio to, and now affiliates aren't even using beta anymore, so we're putting it all on digital anyway.
[01:05:11] MICHAEL: And even practically within the production, one of the big reasons they switched to HD and the Tennant specials is literally there's a shot in the waters of Mars where he like slow motion walks towards camera and you can't do that on HD beta. Like one of the big reasons they switch is cause slow motion looks terrible on tape.
[01:05:30] They, they, they literally made the part of that production switch. Some of that investment was like, Oh, we can do cool slowmo, which is like just the practicalities of the technology.
[01:05:40] Again, it's like we're way off topic,
[01:05:42] RILEY: but yeah. But, but, but it makes sense of Star Wars as well, like it's the cost of technology eventually goes down and so you can do what you used to not be able to do. At the budget of what you used to be able to do. So that's like, I mean like all these shows have obviously had a little bit of increase in their budget, but I would say out of all of them, up until possibly the future now in Doctor who they have never had a major increase in their budget because all their budgets coming from, from public funding and like a little bit of licensing and that's about it. And so Doctor Who's hands have really been tied by what they can do moneywise. And I think, and so like the reason why Chibnall era looks the way it does is cuz they could finally afford to do the things they could that Chibnall era does with it for better or for worse.
[01:06:26] And I, and I think that it's almost the I thing of like, I think Moffat's era looks better to me because they were, they didn't have access to some stuff and they, they had to kind of make, do what they had. And as a result, I think it looks a little back to what you were saying Josh, about having your hands on and having to like make really conscious choices about things.
[01:06:44] Now there are definitely things in the Moffat era that look ridiculous, but I do think that's one thing I, I think the Moffat era is definitely the best looking of the three modern eras. And I think that, you know, Russell, Russell has some things that are almost laughably bad during his era as far as how they look and how much of that is his fault and how much of that, like production stuff is pretty clear.
[01:07:06] JOSH: Well. so, uh, the other interesting thing too is that both of you just reminded me, you know, once again, like, in 2005, that was still shot for standard definition, right?
[01:07:16] MICHAEL: mm.
[01:07:17] JOSH: and, one of the reasons why they waited so long, to make, the transition to digital hd, was, because, the cost of all of the CGI would, quadruple.
[01:07:25] Like, just because you have to, render it at a higher resolution, which, not only, means the render time is longer, but it also means it needs to be more detailed. You can't get away with things you used to be able to get away with. and so when you watch, those early seasons of the modern show like some of them do not hold up very well at all. but, what is interesting is that I still think that while, the technology and the budget was, obviously higher for the modern incarnation even all the way back to 2005, , as compared to the classic series, I think it was still like relationally. Still of similar to where it, was, like on the pecking order of, production value.
[01:08:04] Like, I
[01:08:05] still think it was like, on the low end, like we are bursting at the seams, utilizing all our resources to pull off impossible things. What I do think is really, gonna be interesting to see now for series 14 or whatever it is, the first of the Ncuti seasons or the 15th Doctor, um, I read the other day that, along with, the Disney Plus, distribution deal, the money they're getting from that means the budget per episode, I think for modern Doctor Who right now, like as of the Chibnall era was like one to 3 million pounds, uh, per episode, which is low for a show, to be made now.
[01:08:39] RILEY: absolutely. it's
[01:08:40] amazing that
[01:08:40] show looks as good as it does for how low the budget is, to be honest with
[01:08:43] MICHAEL: That again, is a testament, the ubiquity of techno, like the the UP upgrades of technology over the years.
[01:08:48] JOSH: So, but, uh, next, series, I believe, it will be more like nine to 10
[01:08:53] RILEY: Yeah. It said about a triple, triple budget, so it's gonna be really interesting to see where that money goes, what they do with
[01:08:58] it. I hope it goes through the writing budget a
[01:09:00] little more,
[01:09:00] MICHAEL: I think the TARDIS interior is gonna be an AR wall.
[01:09:03] JOSH: so it's interesting, because like there's something charming to what Doctor Who tries to do with the resources that it has, um, that I really respond to.
[01:09:14] I'm not trying to be, patronizing, when I say that, it's
[01:09:17] just like
[01:09:18] RILEY: I don't think you would sound patronizing at all.
[01:09:20] JOSH: Well, yeah, so my fear, with the Disney Plus, factor, and the increased money, but also like what they will want the show to, uh, to be, um, and again, we don't know how much creative influence they will have.
[01:09:36] the production diary and new issue of Doctor Who Magazine, , says that they sent, the early cuts of the three specials to, BBC and, to Disney for notes. so it's not that they have like zero input, um, but my concern is that, we're gonna lose , that, uh, charm, that, that energy that, comes out, because of the disparity from like how high the reach versus the, the reach of its grasp.
[01:10:02] It's like that, that like, tension there, between the ambition of what they're trying to do versus the resources that they have, to pull it off. And, you know, the only thing that I can think of that, that, kind of gives me some hope about that is like, you know, if you read, Russe t Davies, the Writer's Tale, which charts the production history from like the end of series three through I think the end of the Tennant specials.
[01:10:25] the things that they would have, to lose for budgetary reasons. Like, The Shadow Proclamation in Journey's End, or The Stolen Earth or whatever, at the end of series four, was supposed to be like a gigantic, who's who of the universe and like, a massive thing.
[01:10:37] And then it ended up like three aliens in like an office,
[01:10:40] MICHAEL: Yeah, I was
[01:10:40] JOSH: It's,
[01:10:41] MICHAEL: use like Bill's office. They were like, it's gonna,
[01:10:44] I don't know who Bill is.
[01:10:44] I just made them up.
[01:10:46] JOSH: like, like,
[01:10:46] stuff like that. when it's, you know, here's what we actually really wanted and we had to scale it down for whatever reason.
[01:10:54] uh, like that's, fine. I mean, it just means that, okay, like, you know, now they won't have to, make those sorts of compromises. But like, my, I don't even wanna say fear, but like my sort of question mark, know, in my head it's like, what will this mean for the kind of show that it is, right?
[01:11:11] RILEY: yeah. Well, I, I think my, my response to that is, we just had a long conversation about the way that Disney plus Star Wars shows look compared to the films and how, you know, and, or looks compared to, you know, the volume shot episodes of, of. Obi-Wan and stuff like that. So I, I think that even though we're getting a, a bigger budget, we're not getting a film budget.
[01:11:37] We're getting 10 million episode, which is higher than Doctor Who has ever had. But it's by me by far not comparatively higher than like what the industry standard is for this kind of, of TV making and stuff like that. So I don't think that we're moving into an era where Doctor Who will now have the money to do whatever they wanna do every time they wanna do it and never have to work around it.
[01:11:59] Like I think, I don't think that that charm is going to be completely off of it. And I think honestly, like, you know, as we just discussed with the Chibnall era, I think some of that charm has already kind of been sanded off a little bit because of the way the technology met what they were doing. I think that like, it feels like they're already trying to do a show that's visually on par with what's happening in the industry already.
[01:12:23] But the, like, I think that the Chibnall era, especially the low quality of the visuals stopped being as charming as they were in Moffat, in Russell in, you know, late 80s Doctor Who, I think that it's like the market nowadays will not allow it to be what it used to be. What I would, for me, I think the gold standard.
[01:12:48] Of what Doctor Who should try to accomplish is what Star Trek just did with strange New Worlds. Where I think strange new worlds feels very, very much in the visual language of classic Star Trek, while also marrying it to the Discovery Era technology. You know, when, when the, uh, Abrams movies technology was then made cheap enough to make TV shows with, Cause I think, I think strange New worlds feel so nostalgic for old sixties Star Trek, while also feeling very modern and new.
[01:13:21] And I think if Doctor Who, and I think that's what, Andors doing really well too, is, Andor is really feeling like a hard boiled seventies spy thriller that also feels like a, a show made 2022 and 2020 and stuff like that. But that's what I think Doctor Who's high watermark is like if that, if that's what Dr.
[01:13:40] Who is striving for of like how do we make a show that can use what's available to us and how all the paint in our paintbrush, but still embrace the aesthetic of what this show has always been. And you know, we haven't talked as much about thematic stuff as I think we wanted to cause we got so excited about production stuff.
[01:14:01] But at the end of the day, Doctor Who has to come down to the hearts of the series, right? It has to come down to that empathy and that love and stuff like that. And like, as long as that is still there, I think you can kind of be willing to let them have more of a bigger playground with the production because the soul of the show remains.
[01:14:21] And I think that's what's so great about Strange New Worlds is strange New Worlds really gets the soul of what Star Trek is, but is able to use a modern paintbrush for it. And again, Andor, and, or tells a new, it's, it's a much colder, more brutal Star Wars than we've ever seen depicted. It's like, it's all the brutalism and coldness that was always there, but it's, it's making it the front and center and not as much the, like lingering the, the glory of hope that you have in a lot of other Star Star Wars stuff, or you don't have a lot of the, the, you have none of the Jedi mysticism that's always present in other Star Wars properties, which Michael and I can debate back and forth as good or bad.
[01:14:56] But I, I, and this is now my, my tangent completely off the aside, but I had a friend recently. Who I follow on Twitter, I met, I've been on podcasts with who was talking about why he doesn't like Andor. And the reason why is cuz he comes to Star Wars for Jediism, which I do as well. Like that's, that is my primary Star Wars love is, is Jedi and Sy and weird force like metaphysics and stuff like that.
[01:15:18] Having said that, then he said in the twi that the twi, the tweet, the tweet's thread, uh, he said to himself like, Maybe someday Tony Gilroy will do a Jedi style story with this. And I'm like, You don't want that. You do not want Tony Gilroy to do what Tony Gilroy does with Jedi. What makes Andor so great is that Tony Gilroy is telling a story that could easily be a, a Cold War drama set in East Berlin with the exact same character as the exact same story beats and just exchanging empire for, for the Soviet Union and things like that.
[01:15:52] And like this, the way people have to compromise and, and change themselves to survive. And that's why it works great if you start giving them laser swords and, and mystical for abilities, you're gonna undercut the story that's being told. Like what you want is not Tony Gilroy to make. Andor like series about Jedi.
[01:16:11] You want somebody who's really good at telling those kinds of stories to do what Tony Gilroy is doing with, Andor you want, like that's why like I would love if Ryan Johnson was given his trilogy to keep talking about, or if Ryan Johnson was given a Star Wars TV series to be able to like Ryan Johnson all over the place.
[01:16:29] And I'm trying to think of another filmmaker right now who I would love to see be given the tool, the, the paintbrush of Jedi and Sy and those things and how they could work within their own visual storytelling language, but using Star Wars as a backdrop. But yeah, I think to circle back to your original point, like I think that those are examples of what can be done with the budgets they're being given, with the space they're being put in and with the history of what the production does.
[01:16:58] And I think if Doctor Who makes that, if that's the tennis ball they hang up to look at in this new CGI world they have, I think they'll be okay.
[01:17:07] JOSH: No, I think that's, I think that's really well said. I think you're, I think you're right on the money with that.
[01:17:10] MICHAEL: I think sort of another way of, of summing up some of what we've been talking about, whatever this thought is, here it comes, um, original Doctor Who in Star Wars, like going back to El Sandifer's thesis about like, Doctor Who is a, a show that crashes into other shows and Star Wars is very much a, a movie series inspired by other movies.
[01:17:30] You know, Kurosawa uh, uh, that's the one that pops to mind, but a thousand other things too. Uh, even, you know, Ha
[01:17:37] Keer from a one show. Yes, Yes. Space westerns, uh, very much Joseph Campbell, uh, et cetera, et cetera. Like those stories were, were, I think those both franchises are really strong when they understand that it's about like, crashing their show into other shows or like their franchise into other franchises, like, Andor Works because it's Star Wars meets Three Days of the Condor, Right.
[01:18:02] Three Days of the Andor, um, uh, uh, thank you. Um, I was, I was holding onto that one for a little bit and I'm glad it worked. Uh,
[01:18:10] JOSH: I might steal that for an episode title in the future, but
[01:18:13] MICHAEL: go for it. I, I mean your, your, I'm excited for your recap of the next couple, um, Uh, uh, but where you run into trouble is like, I think some of the issue, just personal opinion stuff.
[01:18:24] Here we go. Um, I think some of the issues that the, the first few Star Wars series, like the, the Disney stuff ran into is that, you know, it was trying, it was Star Wars trying to make Star Wars stories. And the same way that I feel like when Doctor Who's at its weakest, it's Doctor Who trying to crash into a Doctor Who story. like, like the lore is not the strongest part. I think there's like mis Oh, sorry. There's like misunderstanding there of that, or, or not even, I dunno if it's misunderstanding or maybe it's just my personal interest in the things, but it's like, I think Andor is as strong as it is because it's not trying to be like, like you've both said, it's not trying to be like a Star Wars story about Star Wars.
[01:19:04] It's like a, a story about, and, and answering the thematic question we've been, you know, dancing around the whole time is it's like, it's, it's both franchises have this delicate tightrope walk of, anti-fascism on one end and colonialism on the other end.
[01:19:23] And they're always very delicately balancing those two things because, you know, you can both franchises pick heroes who go to worlds, find things that are messed up, fix them, right?
[01:19:34] But. There's something innately colonial about that, right? There's imagery in both franchises that borrows from like really bad stuff. Like, like you were talking about, like the British Imperial thing. But the thing that always strikes me is like the big final award scene in A New Hope, you know, episode four or aka original Star Wars, like, it's straight up trying for the Will Lenny Reefs install shit.
[01:19:58] Like, I always like to say like, the reason Chewy doesn't get an award is he's like, I don't, I don't wanna be a part of this Nazi movie. Bullshit. Thank you very much. Uh, like he, he knows, he knows the references and he is like, No, you know, like,
[01:20:09] RILEY: Yeah. Well, I mean, he also knows what happened when the Republic came to his world offering to save it, Right? Like he
[01:20:15] MICHAEL: yes. He Back to the Colonial Yes, exactly. Is like, he know, and that is, you know, some retroactive stuff there, but that's also really accurate for that. It's like he's had this innate, , experience with it, the colonial aside versus the
[01:20:30] RILEY: Yeah. I think that's probably what I was gonna, when I, before we even sat down to talk today, my thought about the differences between Star Wars and Doctor Who is that on both sides, there are exceptions to this rule. I mean, obviously Star Wars famously, like Luke wins by throwing away his sword. So that is part of it.
[01:20:47] But they still blow up the death star, right? So like, I think that, and like, yes, Doctor Who still blows up a fleet of cyber men when he has to, and he does occasionally be like, Yes, please kill s before they get out of the space. That is a, that is part Doctor Who, but at the end of the day, Doctor who is a story about how everybody can fix problems by sitting down and talking them out.
[01:21:06] Whereas Star Wars a story about you must destroy fascists at every possible turn. Like I think that, I think that at the end of the day, Star Wars a much more inherently violent story and much less empathetic story that does weave in this element of like, you still have to make peace for yourself and you have to make peace of the universe around you, but you also have to oppose like totalitarianism in every corner.
[01:21:31] Whereas Doctor Who always eventually tries to come back to even the most totalitarian dictators are ultimately usually misunderstood or have some flaw like, like, like it's weird because Doctor Who's primary antagonist are Nazi allegory. Like, Right. That's what the dialect. And I think that maybe that's also difference between Dr.
[01:21:52] Who and Star Wars is that Doctor Who very much deals in allegory, whereas Doc, where Star Wars does kind of have literal totalitarianism. But like I do think that like, like at the end of the day, even in classic Doctor Who, which I think is not as high on the empathy aspect, that modern who is like as a foreground thing, I would say still comes down to origin of the Doex or Genesis dos where Doc, where Tom Baker is like, I do not have the right to stop the dos from existing at the beginning of.
[01:22:24] You know, creation like I don't have the right to connect these two strands and, and eradicate and create a gen, create a genocide. Whereas Star Wars in the very first movie is like, Yes, we should blow up this world killing space station so it can't kill more world. And everybody who's on that station, their life is sacrificed because they've worked for this organization and we're not even gonna think twice.
[01:22:46] Like, we're gonna celebrate it and be happy about it. And I, I don't think either point of view is necessarily wrong, but they are very extreme approaches to often the same type of enemy and foe.
[01:22:58] MICHAEL: It's, it's something else El Sandifer talks about. It's the gun versus frock debate. it
[01:23:03] it never ends. It's always gonna be guns versus frocks.
[01:23:06] JOSH: No, that's actually very well put. it's, it's almost in, the titles, right? It's like Star Wars
[01:23:11] and, you know,
[01:23:13] Dr. who? Right. yeah, I mean, I think they're broadly vaguely, you know, kind of anti-authoritarian, even though the soil that they, grew in, like, definitely has, those imperialist, and, colonialist, you know, histories. one thing I do think is interesting, like, and this is something that I'm sure that I cribbed from El Sandifer. when she talks about that moment in Genesis of the Daleks where, Tom Baker, he has to decide whether or not , he is, gonna completely wipe out the Daleks once and for all.
[01:23:43] And he has the very famous, do I that right speech? he doesn't make a decision that he does not have the right, He's asking the question and then he gets interrupted because he waited too long. Right? And you could argue that he, he then later on has decided that he made a mistake, back then because he does destroy Skaro in Remembrance of the Daleks.
[01:24:03] And later, later on, he destroys the Daleks and the Time Lords, in the time war.
[01:24:08] RILEY: well,
[01:24:09] actually, he, he saved the time lords and the Daleks destroyed each other. So, you know, you could, you could say that that's,
[01:24:15] And also, and also I'm gonna say that he didn't do a very good job destroying the Daleks. Like, but yeah.
[01:24:22] MICHAEL: Yeah.
[01:24:23] RILEY: that's also the problem with, I mean, I think it's weird because I think. It's not that Star Wars necessarily has a single language, maybe it does during the Lucas era, but
[01:24:34] I would say post Lucas era it doesn't, and you're getting, whereas like I think Doctor Who more so has always handed off its voice to a new — Doctor Who has much more of a comic book thing of like, this writer has the show for this period of time and this is their time with the show.
[01:24:51] And then anything you, there are, there are some themes that are consistent throughout perhaps, but it is always a new voice telling a similar story.
[01:24:59] JOSH: Yes.
[01:25:00] RILEY: Until today
[01:25:01] JOSH: Yes. You, you, I think have hit the nail on the head like that, That is a very important distinction that hadn't occurred to me. But you're absolutely right. Like authorial voice of Doctor Who is never consistent.
[01:25:11] RILEY: Even in classic era, Terrence Dicks and Robert Holmes had very, very different points of view about Doctor Who. And some of the best eras are when they're almost having an argument about what Doctor Who should be in because they, they change roles. They go back and forth, they write, you know, sometimes one of them's a script editor and the other one's writing episodes and vice versa.
[01:25:30] And I think that makes, like, I, I appreciate both of what they're bringing to the, I think, I think when I first watched Classic who I was a Robert Holmes fan, I think having gone through and like really seen how they both do things, I kind of like the Terrence Dicks Robert Holmes's dichotomy of Star of, of Doctor Who.
[01:25:46] JOSH: No. You're exactly right. Like, like that's a very good example. Like, the tension between them. , And just, the different eras in conversation with other eras. It's like, Doctor Who is very much this kind of accidentally great thing that is always sort of running with whatever it has at the moment, It's like, okay, well, we need, to produce another, six stories of television for the next six months. we just gotta make it happen. and some very interesting things, come out of that.
[01:26:12] They rewrite, the essential like, lore or the origin of where the Doctor comes from. Uh, Robert Holmes actually does, he rewrites himself, couple of times. Versus Star Wars, which I mean, like you pointed out up until, the recent era was very much, this, one, singular vision from one person.
[01:26:30] RILEY: Yeah, I, I mean I would say the Classic Trilogy is more collaborative than, but I, yeah. Spring from his mind and then is working with a lot of collaborators to make it, whereas then the prequels are very much his vision. And then, and then I think, and then even Clone Wars, you kind of start seeing, like, it started out George Lucas's vision still and then kind of got handed off to people as he kind of pulled away from it a little bit.
[01:26:51] Yeah, I don't think we really get that level of, um, contentious Star Wars storytelling until Last Jedi. And I think that, I think that Last Jedi, and I think that, and that might be part of why it was so, you know, aside from the toxic reasons why it was rejected, I think part of the reasons why people who were like good people who didn't like it are people who had come up with like, Star Wars has always been very much one thing.
[01:27:19] And this thing is trying to kind of like deconstruct that a little bit. And I don't like that. Um, I do, I'm, I'm speaking for some, I love Lash j i, but speaking for the voices. But I also think like the only projects aside from Lash Jedi that I think are still really doing that are, I think that, Andor absolutely, I think to a lesser degree Obi-Wan was starting to a little bit, and then I think that, I think there's a lot of that in the High Republic.
[01:27:42] I think the High Republic's doing a great job of recontextualizing the height of the Republic as also being like, it's, it's really going, Okay, well, if this organization is this, like corrupt and infallible, by the time George Lucas got to the prequels, it didn't just start that way. Like, let's go to a period of time where Republic is kind of like, like, it's, it's fascinating in reading those books because I, I went into them thinking like, Oh, cool, I get to see stories of Jedi at their, you know, most, you know, heroic and at the height of their like largest and the, the shockingly those books do a great job at yes, depicting that, but also pointing out how much of it is a lie and how much of it's a false facade.
[01:28:19] Cause I think one of the most fascinating things about Star Wars is the fact that. The Jedi are always wrong. Like the Jedi, the Jedi's belief system about attachments is proven wrong in every era of like Star Wars that we know of, and yet they stick to it. And even seeing it with Mandalorian, where even Ahsoka who has been burned by the Jedi is even she's saying he's too attached to you, whatever.
[01:28:45] And yet every single time a Jedi character is victorious, it's because they lean into their attachments. It's why Luke is able to defeat Luke and Vader are able to defeat Palpatine. It's why Rey is able to defeat Palpatine because she cares about the people in her life that matter to her. It's why Ahsoka's able to defeat, you know, temporarily not fully, but Anakin in, you know, the, the temple because it's like in in Rebels everybody talks about Ahsoka's line of I Am No Jedi. And they, the problem is they always take it completely out of context and they just use it as like, yeah, she's rejecting being a Jedi. No, she's not what she's doing in that scene. And like, I was so glad because, because Michael's greatest enemy, Dave Filoni said this in an interview to some degree.
[01:29:26] MICHAEL: I hope we're not
[01:29:27] RILEY: I'm kidding. Um, he, he said it in an interview around when she first appeared to Mandalorian and I was like pumping my fist in triumph. And people still quote that line incorrectly, but Ahsoka says, I am no Jedi. But the context she's saying it in is Anakin. She says to Anakin, like she says, the Vader Anakin says Vader says Anakin is dead.
[01:29:49] She says, Then I will aven him. And he's like, Venge is not a Jedi trait. And she says, I am no Jedi. That is Ahsoka psyching herself up to believe that she has what it takes to kill this person. She's fighting and like she does, I don't think she means it. I think she's trying to say like, I won't hesitate.
[01:30:09] But then what happens in that same fight is the second the mask breaks both physically and metaphorically, and you have that brief moment of Anakin reaching out to her the same way he does to Obi-Wan and the Obi-Wan series and says like Ahsoka the second that happens her entire position on the move motion, like she, she has mercy for him.
[01:30:33] Again, that is her Jedi coming back to her. And it's like, it's, it is such a thing of like, I, I have, I, I could go on for a long time and I have done it already about how Ahsoka is the best Jedi at being a Jedi because she's let go of the attachment to being a Jedi that the Jedi have. So like she, she epitomizes the idea of what a good Jedi is because she's not a Jedi, quote unquote, in a way that like, like I think OB Wan's maybe like the closest you can get to it, if someone who's actually a Jedi.
[01:31:03] But now I'm rambling. I'm sorry. But like,
[01:31:06] yeah, I think, I think that like, it's, it's kind of fascinating that Star Wars has gone on for as long as it has by having a protagonist group that is inherently wrong at the center of it and never felt like they have to. I remember I was thinking like, how I really wish that Luke's Jedi school would've like leaned into that a little bit more, but it's like, oh yeah, if it had, then it would still be around and, and, and like Ben wouldn't have
[01:31:31] broken and he wouldn't have come out like, like, and if you do a future Jedi stuff after like the sequel era, and you do lean into that as being with the Jedi, like now you have to change what the conflict is in the story because if they figure it out, like there's not really much conflict left.
[01:31:47] So it's, it's,
[01:31:48] JOSH: Well, so, so what's really interesting about what you just said and ties into like the authorial voice thing is, I don't know that George Luke has realized how flawed the Jedi philosophy was. I think he, he knew that they, had kind of started to lose their way, but I think he really, believed that, Jedi at the end of the day were, inherently good and, correct in what they were doing.
[01:32:12] It's, it's, it's just that, uh, they weren't right for the moment. , and were destroyed. Like, I think he maybe had a blind spot. In certain respects where I think his own vision for what they were and why they fell and what their flaws, potentially were, I think was a little muddled.
[01:32:29] Because I think the story dictated that they had to, mess up and, create Anakin, and allow for the rise of the empire. But I think he was so in love with his own creation that, that he, wasn't able to present them as wrong.
[01:32:46] If that makes any
[01:32:47] RILEY: Yeah, I'm curious cuz I, I don't know what side of that position I fall down on because I, I think there's times where I feel like you do, and there's times where I feel like there's def and it's hard because I'm so clouded now by having watched the Clone War series that I, I don't know, like, like a lot of my feelings on the prequels are now informed by the, the like scaffolding at Clone Wars built under the prequels to hold it up a little bit better.
[01:33:09] Like, like I, but I do think like there are things in Revenge of the Sith, especially where I do feel like he's at least implying they that their own arrogance or their own, um, like hubris led to their own downfall to some degree. Like, I do think like, but there are elements of it where it's like, is he saying that or is he saying that Palpatine did a great job of making Anakin think that like there's a really good, it's hard to tell.
[01:33:34] Um, cause I think it's, I I wanna give George a little more credit towards it than just like blanketly being like, Oh, he accidentally stumbled on this weird, like, flawed go. Because I, the only thing I'll say is he does seem to know a lot about his feelings on imperialism and things like that when he makes the original trilogy.
[01:33:51] So I like, I do think that he's bringing that into the prequels as well, but maybe not as nuanced as we think it might have intended to be. Intended to be and how it's become sensitive and as people have reacted to it.
[01:34:02] JOSH: I would agree with that. Yeah, oh, completely.
[01:34:03] RILEY: I think, I think that comes into Doctor Who very well too, because I think that like, I think the British point of view on their own imperialism really evolved and grew over the course of the latter
[01:34:15] half. Yeah,
[01:34:17] JOSH: Right?
[01:34:17] RILEY: yeah.
[01:34:18] MICHAEL: Classic and modern.
[01:34:20] JOSH: no, no,
[01:34:21] RILEY: Like I think in the sixties, people writing Doctor Who very much were the mindset of like, we were great and the Nazis sucked. And that's like, like cuz they're all, they're all people who live during World War II, you know, to some degree. Even if they were, especially if they were children. Cause if you're a child in World War ii, you very much have the mindset of like, we were this, we were the good guys and the Nazis were the bad guys.
[01:34:40] And then you get into that no empire area, ex empire area of the uk and you get through the like sixties and seventies and into the eighties of the market, that era, like you're, you're viewing the UK in your own country, same way like in America. Like I think, like can you imagine someone like Independence Day?
[01:34:58] Like if that movie was made now, how very different it would feel to have a speech at the end of a movie that's like that jingoistic. I don't think you could do it nowaday. And maybe, I mean I think now you get, you get Marvel movies. Even though they're being funded by the US military and they're very much tools of US military like, like you know, propaganda.
[01:35:19] You still also have to have stuff like, like hidden hetra agents within the US government and you have to have characters like Captain America, who definitely does not just Jing follow the American ideal. It's very fascinating how much more even, even the like good guys and bad guys type stories have to then still have shades of gray with government because the audience doesn't trust the government the way they used to.
[01:35:40] It's really interesting.
[01:35:42] MICHAEL: Even if I feel like you couldn't, you're right. Like if Steve Rogers was like Independence Day as a global holiday, people would still be like, Now it would be like, Wait, what? Excuse
[01:35:53] RILEY: Rogers who was Like he was like
[01:35:55] the, Yeah.
[01:35:57] MICHAEL: Yeah. It's like it, You're absolutely right. Yeah.
[01:36:01] JOSH: no, it's incredibly fascinating. I think, there's a whole other episode in there, um, certainly for Star Wars. But, um, my final question, just to close things out, , you have to take one season of Doctor Who and one Star Wars film or, TV series with you to a desert island. what are you taking?
[01:36:18] MICHAEL: I have my answers, but after you please.
[01:36:21] RILEY: I have, I have
[01:36:22] MICHAEL: quickly I, I know, but like, uh, for me it'd be, uh, uh, Star Wars, The Last Jedi, cuz I just, I like it a lot. Um. and, uh, Doctor Who series nine, because it is like the best of, I think, the modern era in my opinion. series
[01:36:39] JOSH: that.
[01:36:39] MICHAEL: like, has it all, uh,
[01:36:41] mostly it has Heaven Sent, which I could just watch every day.
[01:36:44] JOSH: Oh, chef's kiss.
[01:36:46] MICHAEL: Oh, maybe I would take Rogue One. I don't know. That's hard.
[01:36:50] RILEY: The problem with Rogue One is you're already on desert island. Do you really wanna watch that Scariff scene over and over again on a desert island?
[01:36:56] MICHAEL: Uh, that's a really good point. Ooh,
[01:37:00] RILEY: I mean, I mean, granted like
[01:37:02] that, that scene alone, like that movie really shows you what Gilroy can do once. I mean, he, I know he just wrote it. He didn't direct it. But still, like, when you get to Andor, because I, I remember after Rogue One thinking like, this is the best depiction of a Star War that I've ever seen in Star Wars.
[01:37:16] Like this
[01:37:16] is like,
[01:37:17] MICHAEL: yes.
[01:37:18] I think to this day, Rogue One is the best dog fights in the franchise. Like the best fighter to fighter combat
[01:37:24] RILEY: And juxtapose with the commando stuff happening on the ground, like the Special forces, essentially, not intentionally special forces, but you know,
[01:37:31] I I do love that the comics retcon it so that, like Rogue Squadron is literally named after Rogue One and like literally, like they're, they're, they're doing what they're doing in the name of Jyn.
[01:37:40] So I, Perfect. I, there's the comic series. Where that happens is, is maybe my favorite of the mainline Star Wars comics where I forget the name of the planet now that like, betrays them and it's towards the end of the post New Hope going into empire run of the Star Wars comics.
[01:37:59] There's this really, really great arc where they basically like, there's this planet that has a very, like, I forget the name of it now off the top of my head. Cuz I, I'm really, despite having written multiple Star Wars books, I'm really bad at pulling names and, and trivia for anything.
[01:38:13] But like, they're like this planet that like builds ships essentially. And they, like, they make an alliance with them, but they've actually been working for Vader this whole time. Like the, like the queen of this world is like ba basically Vader's puppet and she basically portrays the rebellion. And so then they're like about to have this huge battle in all their ships locked down and they can't control them anymore because it's been like this, like weird.
[01:38:35] And it becomes this like this desperate fight to like get out of this battle now. And like Luke jumps in, like Luke is flying and he's like recently learned. What happened at Rogue One, like it's supposed to have just happened in the story. And so then he like names. He's like, Okay, well, in honor of Geno and what happened at scf, we're gonna call ourselves.
[01:38:54] Like, I guess, I guess, yeah, it'll be after Rogue One because it's after the new Hope.
[01:38:57] Like. Yeah.
[01:38:59] But it's, it's, it's, it's my favorite of, of that era, of of, of, uh, I think it's like close to the end of Kieron Gillon's run writing the comics, and it's just, it's just a truly cinematic comic arc.
[01:39:13] JOSH: uh. No, I love that. I actually need to, finish, uh, the issues of that, uh, run that I never got to because I'm very bad keeping up
[01:39:20] RILEY: so good. It's just so good. It's so tense.
[01:39:24] JOSH: No but thank you. for the recommendation. for me season of Doctor Who, if I'm taking to a desert island, would be either season 13 of Tom Baker with, you know, Pyramids of Mars , and Brain of Morbius. Or season 17 if we're including Shada. If we're not including Shada, then season 13 of Tom Baker. I don't know, like, that's just my Doctor Who, , comfort food. I think, you know, City of Death is probably, it's just so watchable and just so much fun. I don't know.
[01:39:56] MICHAEL: that, that, Oh
[01:39:57] sometimes I just pop that on for fun. It's
[01:40:00] a great,
[01:40:00] It works as a movie.
[01:40:02] JOSH: yes. No, it's, it's, it's so good. I love City Star Wars. Uh, I've, I probably, I guess if I'm on a desert island, I'm gonna want comfort food. And I think I probably go with Return of the Jedi, even though it's far from my, my, my favorite Star Wars film.
[01:40:17] MICHAEL: And they escape from a desert right at the start, so it's very aspirational. That's a good pick.
[01:40:23] JOSH: It's very, um, it's very comfortable for me. I love, I have a soft spot in my heart for, uh, for Return of the Jedi. Riley, do you have an answer to this impossible question
[01:40:33] RILEY: Yeah, so before I give my answer, I will say that the, the planet I was talking about is called Shu-Torun and the arc of the Star Wars comics is Volume 9: Hope Dies. It's very, it is Hope Dies in the Escape and the scouring of Showin, which is like a three part arc and it's really good and it, and it's set up during volume seven, the Ashes of Jetta.
[01:40:54] But like it's a really good, it's just The Hope Dies especially is the one that I think is just Chef's Kiss. So I recommend it Yeah. Um, I probably would've said series nine as well, but if I'm gonna like imagine that there's only one copy of them and Michael took them with him to his island and I had to say a different series, um, I would probably say series five, which is Moffat's season at where, and it's funny cuz I, Matt Smith was never my favorite doctor for a while.
[01:41:24] I think he was my least favorite, the modern doctors, but he is come around on me. But I think that as far as a season of Doctor Who, that is almost consistently good every episode and has a lot of unique stuff happening in it and has a pretty solid arc over the course of the season. And you've also got some of, some of the best episodes of his era all in one season.
[01:41:43] I think that would, and also my favorite Christmas special, so I can bring that with me, which is, which is a Christmas Carol. If I can bring those together. Um, the only episode that I think I would miss is that I think Doctor's Wife is in season six, not season five. But otherwise I would be really excited to have had all of that.
[01:41:59] But I think that, yeah, cuz you've got, I think The Eleventh Hour is possibly the best new Doctor episode of the modern era. Um, it's a great episode to start people with if they're like, if you don't know when people, if you're bringing a new viewer in, I always, it's gotten a little bit wonky now because of the Chibnall era, but I used to always say You should.
[01:42:21] I had almost my own version of the Machete cut to make it Star Wars appropriate. I would say start with season five. Watch all the way through the end of season seven and then before you watch Day of the Doctor, then you go back and watch Eccleston through Tennant, and then you come Day of a doctor once he gets the end of.
[01:42:38] MICHAEL: Nice.
[01:42:39] JOSH: that's
[01:42:40] RILEY: And I, I think part of it, cause a lot of people like talking about the effects and the quality of the filmmaking earlier, a lot of people were turned off from 2005 when they first start watching cuz it's so janky compared to modern TV. But I think if you watch it after you've already fall in love with Doctor who it has that charm you're talking about and you get into it. So that was my whole thing. So I think that would be my, it's, it's funny cuz I, my favorite Capaldi is my doctor. Like there's no, there's no if answer or butts about it, Capaldi is my doctor. But I would say as far as just if you're talking about if you're, if you're taking Season nine off table for me to choose from, then the next one I would go season five.
[01:43:15] Cause I think that that's, those are Moffat's best two seasons by far as a writer for the show, as the show runner. Um,
[01:43:22] JOSH: certainly as like a whole unit for sure.
[01:43:23] RILEY: Star Wars wise, if I had to pick a TV series, if I, if I could pick a TV series, I would probably say Clone Wars because there's so much variety and stuff from, but that feels like a cheat based on what the assignment was.
[01:43:37] So if I had to take a movie, I think Last Jedi I feel like is the one that there's like enough interesting things happening that it will always be something new and fun to do. But honestly, I think I gotta go with the first Star Wars. I think there's just something about, um, I along, not unlike You said with with Return of Jedi, where it's just really fun.
[01:43:58] I think, I think there's just something about that, that first story. First of all, the fact. So extremely self-contained. You don't, I think the problem with bringing in Last Jedi or Empire Strikes Back or really almost any other Star Wars movie is there is that feeling of like, Oh, but now I can't watch what came before or what came after.
[01:44:17] Like I can't watch the setup or the finale. I I, with A New Hope, I can watch it from beginning to the end. And that's it. That's the whole story. And you don't need anything else ever again. It's great. It's great as a Star Wars fan that we got it, but it's there and so I think that would probably be mine.
[01:44:34] JOSH: No, those are two great answers. Um, yeah, I want us all to be on the same desert island so we can all, uh, have our, have our picks. Um, well, I really, want to thank both of you for participating in this discussion. It was, , it was a fever dream of mine to have both of you on for this topic, and I'm so, I'm so glad that, uh, we were able to make it happen.
[01:44:53] And I feel like there's so much more that we could talk about, but,
[01:44:57] uh, this, um,
[01:44:58] RILEY: about everything that came to her mind. So we lost a lot of what we
[01:45:01] to talk
[01:45:01] JOSH: I,
[01:45:01] MICHAEL: no.
[01:45:02] that's why you're here. What
[01:45:03] are you
[01:45:03] JOSH: that's why you're here. I love it. The whole, the whole reason to be here is, is to talk. I mean, that's, that's the name of the game. Um, but, I want to, tee up the Game of Rassilon so we can plug it.
[01:45:14] So Michael, I mean, or Riley, uh, what is The Game of Rassilon and where can people find it?
[01:45:18] MICHAEL: Uh, the Game of Rassilon on is a Doctor Who Roleplaying Game podcast. Uh, we have four seasons now. We've just released our fourth, uh, season finale. , we have a Doctor Who special Doctor Who Day special coming up in a little bit, and also a Christmas special. Uh, so keep an ear out for those. Uh, but yeah, we have, uh, four whole seasons of fun.
[01:45:39] A Spontaneous Doctor Who Adventures, uh, the first three years it was myself and, uh, Ben Paddon coming up with the scenarios. And Riley was our Doctor, and we challenged her to a variety of universe risking thingies, whatever, Doctor Who stuff. And then, uh, uh, the show has regenerated much like, uh, the series does, and Riley has, uh, wonderfully stepped into the shoes as Game Missy.
[01:46:03] Uh, and we've been coming up with a whole new era of scenarios together that have been really, really fun. Uh, and we've, uh, we're already planning for series five, which is is gonna be five seasons. Yeah, I don't know. It'll be big. We'll find out.
[01:46:18] RILEY: fun. Yeah, it's been an honor to do it. It was really fun switching up. It was, it was an honor to play the Doctor. I love doing it. Shockingly, my Doctor talked a lot. Um, but, um, it's been really cool. I, I would, Ben,
[01:46:32] Ben asked me. I, cuz I had said it about the beginning of our third season, I had said like, I think I'm about ready to hang up the coat and let somebody else be the Doctor.
[01:46:39] So our, our player, Dan Peck, who was my companion during my era, is now our Doctor. And at one point about a month or two later, Ben and Michael kind of like took me aside and said, you know, we hate you. We hate everyth thing you stand for, but we respect you. Um,
[01:46:54] MICHAEL: Oh my
[01:46:55] RILEY: and Ben had said like, you know, cause I had, I had run a one off for our Patreon subscribers that was based on Class very loosely.
[01:47:02] It's more based on Scooby Doo than class, but, but used Class as an excuse to make it. But Ben had said like, Hey, you kinda had fun GM'ing and it was the interesting take would you be wanting to take over as, as GM? And so, uh, I, I said yes and so, but it's, it's just a blast working on the show with Michael. I think Michael and I have had some really fun times clicking up, uh, different scenarios to throw at them and, and playing together.
[01:47:24] And I, I love the way Michael's brain works and so I love collaborating with him.
[01:47:27] JOSH: Yeah, I love what you guys, put out. I said at the top, it's, uh, the best, doctor who, our PG show that's out there. And,
[01:47:33] MICHAEL: Did may be the only one. No, it's not
[01:47:35] JOSH: no, no, it's not, it's, but I mean, it is the only Doctor Who podcast that I, listen to, I mean, for whatever that's worth.
[01:47:42] Um, and, where can we find both of you online or do you have anything else that you guys wanna plug?
[01:47:48] RILEY: I'll, I'll plug the books. I mean, I have written three Star Wars books that came out this year. Um, so check those out.
[01:47:54] JOSH: somewhat, relevant to the, of the topic of the
[01:47:57] RILEY: Yeah. So I have Exploring Tatooine which is an illustrated guide to the planet of Tatooine. I have, uh, Galaxy's Edge Treasures From Batuu, which is like a fun little tchotchke book full of little trinkets and stuff that are Galaxy's Edge oriented.
[01:48:08] And then I have, if this is coming out in the near future, you have time still, uh, that came out this year is there's a popup Advent calendar book that's, it's typically don't have it in time for Life Day, but you can still get it for the actual Advent season. And it's, it's basically, it's a, it's a Tree of Life that pops out and then there's a bunch of little like ornaments that are inside of it that you can hang from it every day.
[01:48:30] And, you know, so it's a wor tree and then it has the ornaments that go around it. And there's a little like booklet in there that I, that I wrote. It's a lot of summarizing, a lot of other Life Day content. But the thing that I had the most fun doing was describing all the ornaments that go on the tree, which I got to do on my own.
[01:48:44] So that was fun.
[01:48:45] JOSH: Oh, that's very cool. I think I'm actually gonna get that from my sister. I think she would love that.
[01:48:48] RILEY: Yeah, probably.
[01:48:49] MICHAEL: Is there a Bea Arthur ornament?
[01:48:52] RILEY: Um, I don't think there is, but I, if you wanna, There there is, there is the ability, I think, to draw your own ornament so you could put her into it if you wanted to.
[01:49:00] Um, yeah, they, so they basically like, I think around 20 20, 20 21, which like 2020 ish, I think Disney realized like, Hey, we have a built in Christmas thing in our IP, let's use it.
[01:49:13] And so then in 2021, a bunch of life day content came out. There were comic books, there's a life day treasury book and stuff like that. And then also if you go to Galaxy's Edge now, there's like dolls of Chewbacca holding the Life Day orb. And so they've done as much to bring back Life Day as a thing without actually bringing back the Life Day special.
The special is very much non-canonical, but the characters from it a canonical. And so like, you know, I almost said Itchy and Scratchy, but yeah, like, like the, the Itchy and, and
[01:49:44] they're all Itchy, Lumpy. are part of the story. And so they're there, but they're not, they're not, yeah. So it's fun. It's really cute. You can find me on the socials mostly @RileySilverman on Instagram. If Twitter still exists by the time you hear this, I'm on Twitter as RileyJSilverman and I'm on TikTok as RileyJSilverman.
[01:50:04] JOSH: Well Michael Nixon, Riley Silverman. Thank you so much. This has been a delightful conversation. I could talk to the both of you for hours and hours and hours. So, please, there's an open invitation. both of you are are welcome. Anytime, you have an itch, talk about anything, Star Wars.
[01:50:19] , if you like what you heard, , please visit trash com pod.com, where you can read transcripts of this episode and all of our other episodes. We are trash com pod across all social media, and we will see you on the next one.