2MTL #6: Last of the Doctor Who Shows?

OK, so this isn't about "shipping" after all. You've been spared for one episode. Instead, here's something prompted by Cory Doctorow's appearance on This Week in Tech 183. Doctorow has some strong opinions on digital freedom and its impact on Big Media — and let's face it, Doctor Who isn't exactly an actor, a guy with a camcorder, and a YouTube account. Internet-sapped attention spans, legal-and-otherwise free acquisition of TV shows and other media, and this little global economic meltdown have taken their toll on an evolving BBC, and not even Top Gear is immune.

What's it mean for Doctor Who? My two minutes' thoughts are in the podcast; what're yours?

2MTL #5: Fandom and Trust

So I was reading Rich Johnston's comics gossip column a while back and I saw that he'd created this website.


And I said to myself, "Self, there's something that just feels weird about that." So here are 120 seconds of thoughts about trust, expectations, fandom and word choice as we look to the coming Steven Moffat Era of Doctor Who.

Next time, shipping: a topic that has nothing to do with big brown trucks.

Thanks to the Antipypr

Rock-and-roll bagpiper Neil Anderson very graciously allowed me the use of his old song, "Fletcher Mountain Blues," for background music in my new podcast promo. Many thanks to Neil, a musician whom I've only had the chance to hear live a few times but whose pipes,whistles and voice are on a lot of my CDs. He's had a long history of rocking the house with Rathkeltair, Seven Nations, and other projects (when he wasn't busy serving his country overseas).

Cheers, Neil!

2MTL #4: A Teachable Regeneration

If I were Russell T. Davies — I'd be taller. But I'd also have my own ideas about how to pull off one of the most anticipated regenerations in Doctor Who's history. Here's my take with a twist: using the regeneration as a teachable and painless moment to help kids and not a few adults prepare for experiencing grief.

During Marty's interview in DWO WhoCast 106, Sylvester McCoy said something very apt about Doctor Who's ability to teach its viewers. Many thanks to Trevor and Marty for sharing that excerpt with me.

My inspiration for this subject was Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor who turned his battle with pancreatic cancer into a series of teachable moments. His book about his famous "Last Lecture" is a field manual to not only leaving a legacy, but also living life to the fullest.

2MTL #3: Review of Doctor Who: The Forgotten

Tony Lee wrote it. Pia Guerra drew a good chunk of it. (If only she could have done more!) IDW published it. And Chip read this six-issue comic book miniseries, and pronounced it good in roughly-120-seconds-not-counting-the-theme.

(Radio Free Skaro interviewed Pia Guerra, only they didn't use a radio. Strange.)

2MTL #2: The Power of Spite (Last of the Time Lords)

After a host of technical difficulties, we're making another go at the Two-minute Time Lord podcast with a look at the conclusion of Series 3 of Doctor Who, "Last of the Time Lords." There's a reason the Master made his final choice, and it's reflected in a behavioral economist's study of how powerful a motivator spite can be in the real world.

(A transcript and mp3 of Kai Ryssdal's October 1, 2008, interview with Dan Ariely is at Marketplace.)

2MTL #1: Doctor Who Indeed

David Tennant's departure is more than a year away, but in true Doctor Who fashion we'll be talking about his successor, Matt Smith, every step of the way. In 120 seconds (not counting the theme), we look at what the Doctor Who Confidential announcement told us while shedding a tear for Paterson Joseph.

Welcome to the Two-minute Time Lord Podcast

The upcoming announcement of a new actor in the role of The Doctor means that the first Two-minute Time Lord podcast will be up and running well before I was ready to start! So don't mind the unpainted look of the site; we'll be looking a bit more professional before too long.

Two-minute Time Lord is a commentary podcast about the BBC's popular family science fiction program, Doctor Who. Here in America, Doctor Who remains a cult product even with its presence on the Sci-Fi Channel. American viewers tend to forget that in 2009 Doctor Who in the UK is decidedly mainstream, as big a part of life as Star Trek: The Next Generation was in its heyday. And it's family television, with a production staff constantly navigating the tensions between older fans and younger viewers, making a show that welcomes a general audience. (And does so quite well, given the ratings and Appreciation Index figures.)

So the Two-minute Time Lord podcast will try to keep that context in mind as we review episodes, comment on the news of the moment, and otherwise pontificate: Doctor Who is not for me. It's for that nine-year-old behind the sofa. But his or her mum and dad have been invited along for the ride, as are those of us who were kids when Peter Davison first picked up a cricket bat.

And we'll keep it to two minutes, because the Podshock and Whocast guys have got the long format all sewn up. Besides, the world isn't moving any slower these days….