Category Archives: tv reviews

Review: The Doctors Are In by Graeme Burke and Robert Smith?

The Doctors Are In: The Essential and Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who's Greatest Time Lord

Reading The Doctors Are In reminded me a lot of those heady days when I first got on-line and discovered there were fellow Doctor Who fans out there who loved to debate the show as much as I did. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to me since I’ve had debates with at least one half of this writing duo about various aspects of my favorite television show long before I picked up this book.

But reading this in-depth look at each era of the good Doctor (wisely divided up into two eras for the fourth Doctor because, let’s face it, there are two eras to Tom Baker’s run on the show), I couldn’t help but feel like certain only flames were being fanned and I kept looking around for the reply button so I could begin to debate Robert Smith? and Graeme Burke on various points they have about each era of the show. (This is especially true when they pick their five stories that represent each era of the show. Because really — “Planet of the Spiders”?!? You must be messing with me!)

Reading Smith? and Burke’s debates about various eras of the show and the actors who played the Doctor is entertaining and informative. And while this book isn’t exactly breaking new ground, it has a leg up in that you can feel the passion and fandom these two have for the series.

This may be a selling point for some and it may be a detraction for others. If you’re looking for a by the numbers look at the Doctors, you may want to look elsewhere. If you’re looking for spirited debate among two long time fans who don’t agree on everything, this is worth picking up and spending time with. It may even make you want to debate the two and it may even make you want to visit the stories they refer to in their top five of the era. And while I can find some points of contention I have with some of their arguments (I’ve finally found that one fan who doesn’t love “Genesis of the Daleks.” He’s wrong, of course.), these come more from my feelings on the show than on Smith? and Burke laying out their points.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Leave a comment

Filed under ARC, book review, Doctor who, netgalley, review

Review: The Salvation of Doctor Who by Matt Rawle

The Salvation of Doctor Who: A Small Group Study Connecting Christ and Culture (The Pop in Culture Series)The Salvation of Doctor Who: A Small Group Study Connecting Christ and Culture by Matt Rawle

Can my favorite secular television series offer us any insights on the divine? The answer is yes.

Matt Rawle’s book The Salvation of Doctor Who looks at spiritual lessons we can take away from the over fifty year run of the series. The book is broken down into four sections, each one focusing on an aspect of the series from the Doctor himself to the nature of time to the various foes the Doctor has faced over the years. Rawle offers short chapters that are intended to be read daily and to help the reader find deeper meaning from the series.

As a starting point for a conversation, I’ve got to admit I enjoyed this book a great deal. And while I may not necessarily agree with all of Rawle’s points in the book, I still found his arguments were well made and I could see where he was coming from.

This book has a heavy influence on the modern Doctor Who. And while I can see why the book might lean more on the modern stories and their situations, the classic Whovian deep inside me kept wishing we got more than a passing nod to the original stories. I realize that there a lot of new Who fans who haven’t or won’t watch the classic stories and this book is designed to appeal to all fans. But I still can’t help but feel like Rawle only did a passing glance at the fifty year history of the show and possibly overlooked a few lessons that are sitting there in the classic era run.

Also, I can’t help but feel that my reading this book straight through in a couple of sittings wasn’t how it’s intended to be read or experienced. I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley, so instead of reading one lesson a day and allowing it to sink it, I read the book straight through in a couple of sittings. This lead me to notice that Rawle begins to repeat certain points in later sections of the book. I might not have noticed (as much) had I used this as a devotional or a conversation starter from a small group as it’s intended.

Leave a comment

Filed under ARC, book review, digital arc, Doctor who, netgalley, review

All Good Things Star Trek Podcast, Episode 48: Star Trek Kids


It’s been a while since I posted the latest installment of the All Good Things Star Trek Podcast.   Part of it is a hiatus we took due to real-world stuff interfering with recording.

This week, Barry and I look at kids on Star Trek.  This shouldn’t be confused with one of our earliest podcasts when we examined having kids on the Next Generation Enterprise.  This time out we look at some of kids and teens who graced our screens over the nearly fifty year run of Star Trek.   Of course, we’ll get into Wesley Crusher (with shout-outs to Wil Wheaton, in case he wants to either comment on the show or maybe be a celebrity interview on a future installment), Alexander, Jake Sisko, Nog, Naomi Wildman and the Borg kids.

So if you want to get back in touch with your inner child, give this week’s installment a listen.  You can listen and/or download it HERE or try listening directly below.

Leave a comment

Filed under All Good Things, All Good Things podcast, podcast, Star Trek

Big Finish Review: Doctor Who: Spare Parts by Marc Platt

Doctor Who: Spare Parts (Big Finish Audio Drama, #34)

As Big Finish celebrates its 200th main Doctor Who range release, I decided to take a look back on some of the old favorites and see if they still held up.

Intended as the Cybermen version of “Genesis of the Daleks,” “Spare Parts” is one of the more revered stories from Big Finish. And yet as I listened, I couldn’t recall when or if I’d heard this one before. I feel like I should have heard it when it first came out, but I couldn’t recall many details beyond superficial ones.

Arriving on Mondas in the last days before the population became fully Cyber-ized, the fifth Doctor and Nyssa find themselves embroiled in the politics that helped created the earliest Cybermen. Listening to “Spare Parts,” I couldn’t help but feel that Marc Platt has crafted a superb prelude to “The Tenth Planet” and that I should dust off that DVD and visit the classic serial again.

What could have been a simple imitation of “Genesis of the Daleks” becomes something a bit deeper and different. There’s no one unifying voice for the Cybermen as there was with the Daleks. Instead we see various members of the population and how they react to the developments taking place within their society and on their world. Platt allows us a bit of time to get invested and interested in these characters before he begins changing them into what will eventually become the Cybermen. (If you’ve seen the new series, there are certain sequences from the story that were used in the return of the Cybermen there, though I’d argue they are more effective here). Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under audio, Big Finish, Doctor who, review

All Good Things Star Trek Podcast, Episode 46: The Wrath of Cons


On the latest installment of of All Good Things, Barry sits back and lets Michael rant about the recently completed comic book mini-series Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive.

We also have some news and commentary about the upcoming Trek holiday ornaments.

Then we jump into a conversation about conventions.  We share memories of going to cons, celebrities we’ve met and the dealer rooms we’ve browsed.

So why not pull up a comfortable chair and enjoy our latest episode?  You can download the episode HERE or listen via the player below.


Leave a comment

Filed under All Good Things, All Good Things podcast, Star Trek

And the Doctor Returns, September 19th!!

The first trailer for series nine of Doctor Who is available.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch it about a billion more times.


Filed under Doctor who

All Good Things: A Star Trek Podcast, Episode 44: Medical Ethics


This week, Barry and I celebrate our podcast’s first birthday wishing we could have a nice slice of cellular pep-tide cake.  After we discuss this week’s news, we delve into our main topic — medical ethics in Star Trek.

Star Trek has predicated a lot of technological advances and while I still wish they’d come up with a hypospray for getting shots, there are some interesting questions raised by all five series about medicine.

You can listen to the installment below or download it HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under All Good Things, All Good Things podcast, Star Trek