It’s the year 200,000 and Adam is THE WORST. Talia loves Cathica and Lucia seriously questions the ethics of 10 minute intensive brain surgery as we dive head long into THE LONG GAME.
Talia Franks: Hello and welcome to the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast!
Lucia Kelly: I’m Lucia Kelly, expert at applied analysis and the last surviving member of The Freedom 15.
Talia Franks: And I’m Talia Franks, media critic, fanfic enthusiast, and the employee you should have promoted years ago.
Lucia Kelly: And we’re here today to talk about “The Long Game”, the seventh episode of Series One of Doctor Who.
Talia Franks: “The Long Game” aired on the 7th of May, 2005. It was written by Russell T Davies and directed by Brian Grant.
Lucia Kelly: Reminder that time isn’t a straight line. It can twist into any shape and as such, this is a fully spoiled podcast. We might bring things in from later in the show, the comics, the books, or even fan theories and articles.
Talia Franks: With that out of the way, we’ve been promoted! So let’s get into the TARDIS!
Lucia Kelly: Hey there. This is Lucia from the future popping in to warn you that we talk about vomiting about 20 minutes into this episode. It’s only for two minutes, but we know that emetophobia is something that a lot of people live with. Feel free to skip ahead and please take care of yourself. All right, back to the show.
Talia Franks: So Adam’s here.
Lucia Kelly: Adam is here. Goddamn.
Talia Franks: Adam is here. (Lucia sighs) He’s on the floor, cause he can’t handle it.
(Talia and Lucia laugh.) He’s your boyfriend, except he’s not your boyfriend.
Lucia Kelly: Except he’s not! Except he’s not!
Talia Franks: Except he’s not! Also, why did Rose change, but he didn’t?
Lucia Kelly: Well, Adam only has one set of clothes.
Talia Franks: No, but he had his little bag.
Lucia Kelly: Did he?
Talia Franks: Also, why did he only have one little bag with him on that entire base?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, the six-month trip? Mmm mmm mmm.
Talia Franks: The six-month trip.
Lucia Kelly: Which it was six months, but he wasn’t planning on leaving anytime soon. He only left because the Doctor turned up and all that happened. So he was meant to stay there longer than six months. But he has a overnight bag.
Talia Franks: Yeah, but he has one overnight bag that he didn’t take with him when they kicked him off the TARDIS. So he didn’t even have his- Did he even have a wallet? Like, did he have his keys?
Lucia Kelly: Wait, wait, wait, do the Rose and Doctor find his overnight bag, two months later and then just like zip back and put it on the doorstep? (Lucia laughs.)
Talia Franks: Are they that nice though? Or would they be petty and keep it with them for all of space and time?
Lucia Kelly: I think Rose would make the Doctor give it back. I think the Doctor would be like, “Fuck Adam.” And I think Rose would be like, “No, we should give it back,”
Talia Franks: I think there’s actually a book out there about Adam that we should read at some point. I think there is, I haven’t read it, but I heard about it-
Lucia Kelly: Do we need more Adam in our lives?
Talia Franks: I think-
Lucia Kelly: Do we want to do that to ourselves? (Talia and Lucia laugh.)
Talia Franks: I mean, I don’t want- I mean, I’ve read the whole story of Martha, just to traumatize myself, so.
Lucia Kelly: That’s fair.
Talia Franks: But also that’s Martha Jones content, so…
Lucia Kelly: Exactly, like-
Talia Franks: It’s different.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. You always want to know more about Martha.
(Lucia sighs.) That being said, when the Doctor and Rose first step out and the Doctor is like prepping her so she can do her own little presentation. That is so adorable.
Talia Franks: Oh yeah, I thought that was –
Lucia Kelly: It’s so cute. (Lucia laughs.)
Talia Franks: I put that in my notes. I was like, “Oh man, isn’t that so great?” Just like giving Rose a little pep talk.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So, in Dalek, – as we’ve said, there are a few red flags, but like nothing major, basically your average arrogant white boy, right? He thinks too much of himself, but that’s fine.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: And then this episode happens, and it’s like, “Oh no, he’s actually terrible.” Like, all the things that could’ve gone wrong, he did. (Lucia laughs.)
Talia Franks: Yup. And that little sinister smile when Rose gives him the TARDIS key.
Lucia Kelly: Oh my God.
Talia Franks: Also all the music, that’s just an undertone, every time he’s around. And I’m just like (Talia makes noises indicating their discomfort).
Also can we talk about the fact that when the woman was talking about how to insert the chip into his brain, the vaguely sexual undertones to that made me so uncomfortable.
Lucia Kelly: Ye – Yeah! Also, why is the receptionist also the assistant slash surgeon? (Lucia laughs) Those are two different jobs.
Talia Franks: I have no idea. Well, I got the impression, that she was the receptionist, but when she saw how much money she had, she decided to take a break. (Lucia laughs.)
Lucia Kelly: Oh yeah. Oh no, she was doing the hard sell. That was like-
Talia Franks: She’s doing the hard sell, and then she was like, I want this commission.
Lucia Kelly: The Doctor says that this is the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire and like, “Oh, we’ve gone to such great heights, at the peak of our existence.” And then it’s very quickly rush hour at a train station, basically. (Lucia laughs.)
Talia Franks: Also, question: if this is a news station, why is it rush hour at a train station?
Lucia Kelly: Hmm. Well! Did you clock that they called break “maintenance”? That was, Oh! Real late-stage capitalism there. (Lucia)
Talia Franks: Yeah…
Lucia Kelly: So they only get 20 minutes.
Talia Franks: So were all those people, people who work there?
Lucia Kelly: I think so. I think it was like, “You get your 20-minute lunch break now. Go (snaps for emphasis) get your food or you don’t get any.”
Talia Franks: Okay. Oh, that’s just gross. And everyone eats, sleeps, and works on the same floor?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Oh goodness.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Hate it! (Lucia sighs)
Lucia Kelly: Yep, but this is where we meet Cathica and Suki. Or as we –
Talia Franks: I love Cathica.
Lucia Kelly: Do you?
Talia Franks: I love her! You don’t love Cathica?
Lucia Kelly: I like where she ends up. I have problems with the way that she’s written, and in particular how it feels like the writing doesn’t trust the actor to do their job. There are lots of times when Cathica like speaks out loud to herself that is not necessary, and it bugs me. In particular, the moment I really clocked it, was when Suki gets the promotion and the whole – Like I could not imagine working with Cathica, she’d be so annoying. She’d be so frustrating, being like, “Mm, I’m better than you, and I deserve the promotion,” and like doing that whole-
Talia Franks: No – Not really, no. I mean, I read that completely differently. Suki just got here.
Lucia Kelly: Interesting.
Talia Franks: Suki is a new employee. Cathica deserves that promotion. Cathica has been working there, working hard, for three years and Suki just started. She does not deserve to be promoted, like –
Lucia Kelly: No, she doesn’t deserve to be promoted, like, within the context –
Talia Franks: I read this as, this is another example of a hardworking Black woman who has been in a position for over three years, working her ass off, to get to where she is, and here is this upstart white girl who just started, who isn’t good at her job at all, and just jumped leagues ahead of her. It is not fair. And she has every right to be upset and to speak out about it.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, no, I’m not talking about- I’m talking specifically before you find out about her promot- like within the con- Okay, so, cause there’s two things happening here. There’s what Cathica and Suki think are happening, or what Cathica thinks is happening and what’s actually happening.
So what’s actually happening is that Suki as a spy and she’s being deleted.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: So… yeah. What I have problems- It’s specifically with the writing. I think the actresses, both for Cathica and for Suki, Christine Adams plays Cathica and Anna Maxwell Martin plays Suki, I think both of those actresses are insanely talented and they did a really magnificent job.
I have a problem with how Cathica is written.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: And in particular, there is- Cause, later on this issue of slavery comes up and how the… I’m not gonna say his real name, the Big Blob, the Big Blob has enslaved the whole human race and is using them as profit. And then, there’s this moment between the Doctor and Cathica, so the Doctor’s explaining everything out loud so that Cathica hears it and Cathica gets the information that she needs.
He says something about like “stupid little slaves” and (Lucia sighs) like, the Doctor does, while looking at Cathica, and it just… (Lucia sighs)
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, it’s gross. The Doctor is deliberately goading Cathica to act.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. ” No one’s going to stop you, because you’ve bred a human race that doesn’t bother to ask questions. Stupid little slaves believing every lie. They’ll trot right into the slaughterhouse if they’re told it’s made of gold,” and – it feels like another instance of a script that was written for white by default and then was not changed after the fact.
Talia Franks: Oh yeah, no, it’s definitely a script that was written for white by default and not changed after the fact. I know Nicole, who we know for Black TARDIS, they wrote an article for Den of Geek about this also.
We’ve been saying this for a while, Doctor Who has a problem with its color blind casting and how it writes for white by default and then does not account for having actors of color play these roles that were written for white people. It’s just a fact. I think though that Cathica is still a good character and I still like her. I think she definitely steps up to the plate when required. I think she does the thing that needs doing. I think she’s curious she’s ambitious, she sticks around, even when it scares her to do so, even when it’s a threat to her job, even when she feels like it goes against what she previously thought, she works to find a solution, and she isn’t just another person who doesn’t think about things. She’s genuinely curious and inquisitive, and wants to advance, and has that ambition. And so I think she’s a great character.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I- Like, I want to be clear, I love where she ends up and I love the character they made of her. And also I love the fact that balance of probability is, she is going to get promoted after the Doctor leaves and actually get like what she has earned.
(Lucia sighs) I don’t want to talk about Adam he’s so annoying. Like, the whole thing, the whole thing. This is why the category is called the Adam. He’s the worst.
Talia Franks: Yeah, he’s the worst. He’s just the worst.
Lucia Kelly: The worst. Like, the complete disreg- he’s so self-centered and so focused on what would only benefit him, in a way that – I feel like this is a problem that comes up a lot throughout Series One, but the Doctor is far too trusting of Rose’s judgment, (Talia mhmms in agreement) when we see over and over again, that Rose is too trusting, and too compassionate, and does not have-
Talia Franks: She just gives him the TARDIS key. She just gives it away!
Lucia Kelly: I know! I know! Ahh! Ahhh!
Talia Franks: That is such a bad idea. Also sidebar, why is the TARDIS key floating? Like what, like what, what makes it-
Lucia Kelly: Bad science. Bad science.
Talia Franks: Bad science. I feel like the science wins pretty much everywhere else, except I want to dock at a point just for that.
Lucia Kelly: Just for that. And also there was another thing. When Suki gets revealed to be Eva, freedom fighter, they say that the second biography was hidden behind the genetic graft. Is Eva wearing a second skin? Is there like a fake skin over the top of her real skin? And also why would the information be in the skin? Surely it would be in the chip.
Talia Franks: Yeah. What is a graft? What’s the definition of graft?
Lucia Kelly: It’s to heal stuff. It’s mainly used for burn victims, or injuries, or like, illness. You transplant it over a damaged area.
Talia Franks: It’s a piece of living tissue that was transplanted surgically.
Lucia Kelly: So also, “genetic graft.” So DNA graft, which means… No. You can’t- (Lucia sighs.) Russell, you can’t just put words together. They don’t make sense. (Lucia laughs.)
Talia Franks: Did they like, layer different kinds of DNA on top of each other? How does that work?
Lucia Kelly: How does that work, but also, it’s DNA. How did that not affect Suki slash Eva? In terms of, at the very least, her appearance, if not like how her body functions on a molecular level.
Talia Franks: Did they maybe swap out her blood for someone else? What did they…? I don’t know…
Lucia Kelly: That wouldn’t be a graft though, that would be a blood transfusion. It doesn’t… I’m so glad that you are starting to finally feel my distress about the lack of science in this show. (Lucia laughs.)
Talia Franks: Why you gotta make me think about this? Why do you have to do this to me? (Lucia laughs.)
Lucia Kelly: So yeah, those two things. Other than that, I did like the science. I felt that I liked the idea of using brains as actual computer processers. I also really liked the temperature bit. Putting that all in there, and that all made sense as well, I really liked that. I liked the idea of using corpses as puppets while still using the chip. Let me rephrase that. I found that idea cool. I thought that that was a good idea. Like, a good creative idea that worked. I do not promote the use of corpses as puppets. (Talia laughs.) It’s good science.
Talia Franks: I’m glad you appreciate (Lucia laughs) how weird that sounds. ” I liked the idea of using corpses as puppets.” (Talia and Lucia laugh) We should get that on a T-shirt. Quote, Lucia Kelly. (Lucia laughs.)
Lucia Kelly: Little zombie with a marionette frame above it, yeah.
But no. Everything’s ruined because Adam wants to steal technology from the future. Which –
Talia Franks: Also what’s an SMT chip?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I’d like one, please.
Talia Franks: What happened in 2019?
Lucia Kelly: Micro-processers got- Didn’t you hear? Micro-processers are defunct, they stopped using them in 2019. (Lucia laughs)
Talia Franks: Okay. How, how are- What, what’s Zoom running on then, huh? (Lucia laughs.) In 2021. What are we using Zoom for?
I was just saying, it’s so cute when Doctor Who likes to be all, “Aw, this is the future.”
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: It’s like, “Aww, so cute, guy from 2012, doesn’t even have an iPhone though.” (Lucia laughs.)
Lucia Kelly: Oh, and the fact that Adam steals Rose’s phone?
Talia Franks: The fuck?
Lucia Kelly: The fuck?!
Talia Franks: He just like flips it, pockets it.
Lucia Kelly: No. No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Talia Franks: No, no, no.
Lucia Kelly: The worst.
Talia Franks: The worst.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. So the Doctor gets more and more convinced that things are wrong. The timeline is wrong, people are being held back. Which begs the question… I know he’s a Time Lord, whatever… The way that the Doctor, at least up to this point, has talked about time, is that there is One True Timeline and like, anything else that diverts off that is wrong. And the Time Lords somehow have intimate and immediate knowledge to be able to tell whenever it’s off.
Talia Franks: Yeah, but that’s the thing that really bothers me, and that’s why I got really upset when we were talking about “The Unquiet Dead.” Because if there’s only One True Timeline, then wouldn’t the Gelth taking over bodies in 18-whatever change the One True Timeline? I feel like that is a big enough thing that that would change the One True Timeline.
Although actually now that I say that, forget that I said that, because the Doctor’s whole plan was actually to take the Gelth to a different planet. But… the thing is though is, I feel like a lot of times in like other episodes, the Doctor will talk about things being in flux, or time being in flux, and all the stuff about the One True Timeline, changing or whatever. And I just wonder, I just wonder… what is the one true timeline?
Lucia Kelly: What is it? He probably isn’t telling us cause our tiny little human brains couldn’t comprehend it or some stupid speciesist shit. He’s, “Mmm, I’m not gonna tell you.”
Talia Franks: It is beyond our comprehension.
Lucia Kelly: So Suki gets promoted. She gets zoomed up to Floor 500.
Talia Franks: And she only has those two little small overnight bags? Again, with the two little bags? And then she abandoned them? She takes out the torch and then, that’s all she takes with her?
Lucia Kelly: Well, by that point I think it’s pretty clear that Suki is Eva. Suki is like “Gonna to take my big-ass torch out (Lucia laughs) and like, investigate. I’ll pick my bag up later.”
Talia Franks: Okay.
Lucia Kelly: She’s the last surviving member of the Freedom Fifteen. Turns out that she knew what was going on, kind of, she wants to figure it out. And then she gets eaten, it’s very sad.
Talia Franks: She doesn’t get eaten, she gets turned into a zombie.
Lucia Kelly: Oh. She get- Yeah. Which… How do they die?
Talia Franks: Yeah, how do they die? How do they get turned into zombies? Also, she doesn’t really die because she attacks him at the end?
Lucia Kelly: I was wondering about that. Do you think that that is Suki slash Eva? Or do you think that that is the Blob working through Suki slash Eva?
Talia Franks: See, I thought that it was Suki slash Eva, like some remnant of her that had stayed. That had lingered, and was stopping him. But your idea also is interesting to me, that the Blob was stopping the Editor from escaping because he didn’t want him to not suffer alongside him.
Lucia Kelly: (Lucia sighs) So this vomit thing.
Talia Franks: I hate it.
Lucia Kelly: Can you imagine? Can you imagine? Vomiting is bad enough, can you imagine it being cold?
Talia Franks: I don’t want to.
Lucia Kelly: Like, Adam got off easy. He had this little Kiwi melon cube, whatever, like actual vomit. No, no, that’s the worst thing you could ever do to vomit. I hate that. Also they did that surgery without his consent. He didn’t know about it.
Talia Franks: He did not know about it.
Lucia Kelly: What else did they do to him?
Talia Franks: Yeah. What else did they do to him? They were like, “It’s complimentary,” but he, he, he didn’t want it!
Lucia Kelly: He didn’t want it!
Talia Franks: Also I would not want it. Like, for me, I don’t enjoy throwing up. I don’t think anyone enjoys throwing up, but when I’m sick, I feel like I would prefer to throw up the actual way.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: I feel, you know, I don’t know, like, “cathartic” is the right word, but when you’re sick and you need to throw up, you need to do it, and you feel better after doing it.
Lucia Kelly: It’s like, when you’ve had a big cry and like, it was awful, but you feel better.
Talia Franks: It was awful, but you feel better after doing it, because the sick thing, cause the bad thing, is no longer inside of you.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: But I feel like making it cold would be worse.
Lucia Kelly: The worst.
Talia Franks: The worst
Lucia Kelly: The worst.
Talia Franks: The worst. Eugh! (Lucia laughs)
Yeah, no. I’d never compared vomiting to crying before, but you’re right, they’re very similar.
Lucia Kelly: So Cathica, she calls the Doctor out, being like, “You’re not from management,” and he’s like, “Well done. Good job. No, I’m not.”
And, and again, this sort of like… When they talk about how alien immigration isn’t happening any- – which by the way, I just found funny because it reminded me of Episode Two and how there was so many aliens in Episode Two, and they went “Mmm, you really did spend all your budget didn’t you? There’s no money. Like you want to make this comment about xenophobia and immigration laws, but let’s be very honest here. You spent all your money and you couldn’t afford to make more aliens.”
Talia Franks: But yeah, no. And this is another thing that really bothers me. And it’s something that Doctor Who does here, and it’s something that Doctor Who is going to do it again, and it really frustrates me, is that Doctor Who here is making a comment about xenophobia and about racism. And they’re doing it through the lens of speciesism.
They’re doing it through the lens of not talking about racism among humans as the social construct that it is, they’re making it about species, they’re making it about actual distinctions. They’re making race a real thing, but worse than that, they’re making race a real thing and making the culprit, the racist, a Black person.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: Which is the worst. Don’t do that. Not only do not make all of your references to racism references to racism where it’s aliens versus humans, but also don’t make the culprit a Black person, cause they did this also with Bill as the companion. There’s a point where Bill ends up being called racist towards a blue person, like an alien who’s blue, at one point, this is specifically called out that I remember, and it really bothers me.
And it’s like, this is something that Doctor Who does again, it’s not exclusive to RTD, and it bothers me that Doctor Who continues to do this and Sci-Fi also in general, like I said, has a problem with treating race as real, but I think that this is a specific problem, is treating race as real and treating Black people as the racist, is one of the particular issues.
Lucia Kelly: Hmm. Especially since – so I think, we can make the assumption in this episode, in “The Long Game”, it was a case of white being written as default and things not being changed after the fact that a Black woman was cast. With the Bill thing – you know she’s Black.
Talia Franks: Oh yeah, no, you know she’s Black,
Lucia Kelly: And that’s a whole connected but other issue of – The first one it’s like, okay, that’s negligence, possibly ignorance, 2005. Probably all white, all male writers room.
Talia Franks: Actually I think, if I’m correct, the script editor for “The Long Game” is a woman, but I might be wrong.
Lucia Kelly: Okay. But in terms of majority speaking, it’s very different when one of your main characters is Black and they will continue to be a main Black character.
Yeah. And also that was 2017.
Talia Franks: Wait, let me see. Yup. The script editor for ” The Long Game” is Elwen Rowlands. She and Helen Rayner, who’s the script editor for “Father’s Day”, which we’re going to talk about next episode, were the first female script editors in the history of Doctor Who.
She was actually the first script editor for the 2005 revival, because she was assigned to its initial production block, but she and Helen Rayner were hired simultaneously.
Lucia Kelly: So wait, when you say first female script editor, is that within the entirety of Doctor Who or is that within the revival?
Talia Franks: In the history of all of Doctor Who.
Lucia Kelly: Noooooo. (Lucia sighs)
Talia Franks: According to, according to the TARDIS fandom Wiki.
Yeah. And it’s interesting too to look at script editors, because like, we talk a lot about who writes the episodes, but not as much about who edits them.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. (Lucia sighs) So I have a question.
Talia Franks: What is your question?
Lucia Kelly: Does everyone who walks into that room – so everyone who goes to Floor 500 and gets into that main room – The Mighty Jagrafess is right there. He’s not hidden in any kind of way, but people only notice him when the Editor points him out, do they just not see him?
Talia Franks: People never look up.
Lucia Kelly: But he’s noisy? He’s a big blob. He’s slimy. There’s gotta be –
Talia Franks: People don’t look up. Walk into a room. Notice how often do you look up. You don’t. No one ever looks up.
Lucia Kelly: I would like to think. I would like to think, that if I walked into a room and there was a giant, moving, slobbering, teethy blob on the ceiling, I would notice it.
Talia Franks: He was being quiet. He was being sneaky.
Lucia Kelly: Okay.
Talia Franks: For dramatic effect! (starts singing) You never know when the Jagrafess is gonna strike. (Lucia laughs) When the Jagrafess just might snarl! You never know when the Editor’s going to point up, and then you’ll see! You never know when the Jagrafess just might snarl at you and me! (Lucia and Talia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: But sadly the Mighty Jagrafess is not long for this world because Cathica is a boss and she’s taking over everything, she neutralizes Adam, converts heat all the way up to the top, and Doctor Who likes an exploding alien, don’t they?
Talia Franks: They really do.
Lucia Kelly: This is like, the fourth alien that’s exploded. There was Cassandra. There was the Slitheen. There’s the Jagrafess. I feel like this one more…
Talia Franks: Hm.
Lucia Kelly: But like –
Talia Franks: The Dalek exploded.
Lucia Kelly: The Dalek exploded! They all explode!
Talia Franks: The Dalek imploded rather than exploded. And the Gelth kind of exploded. Yeah, they did. They got –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, they got blown up. They sure did!
Talia Franks: And, no! And the, and the Nestenes exploded too. Every villain has exploded. There’s not a single villain that hasn’t exploded, because even the Slitheen, cause one Slitheen got exploded with the pickled eggs, and then the rest of the Slitheens got blown up with the missile.
Lucia Kelly: Yep.
Talia Franks: So the Doctor’s solution to aliens is just blowing them up.
Lucia Kelly: Blow them up. Including, including his own planet! He blew up Gallifrey!
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: He blew up Gallifrey!
Talia Franks: That’s always the Doctor’s solution to destroying aliens is to just blow them up. We should see who’s the first alien that the Doctor doesn’t blow up.
Lucia Kelly: Like, aggressive alien?
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: I’m pretty sure it’s next episode.
Talia Franks: Oh yeah.
Lucia Kelly: The Doctor’s not part of that solution though, so…
Talia Franks: Cause the Doctor gets eaten.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah.
Talia Franks: But we’ll get there.
Lucia Kelly: He sure does. We’ll get there! So, I will say, I’m so glad and I hate that this is such a low bar, but I’m so glad that Cathica didn’t die. (Talia and Lucia laugh) I hate that that’s a bar that actually exists.
Talia Franks: It’s so bad that it’s a bar that actually exists.
Lucia Kelly: Cause I couldn’t remember, cause it’s been a while since I’ve watched Season One, I couldn’t remember if Cathica died or not. And I was like, “Please, no, please, please, no. Don’t do this, please don’t. We’ve killed so many – (Lucia starts laughing) we’ve killed so many Black women. Don’t do it again.”
Talia Franks: She doesn’t die! I was so happy. I was like, “Oh my goodness, she gets to live!”
Lucia Kelly: She gets to live!
Talia Franks: I’m so mad at the Doctor for the end of the episode, when she’s like, “No, you got to stay to help us figure things out.” And he’s like, “No, I don’t do that,”
Lucia Kelly: He’s like, “Nah!”
Talia Franks: He’s like, “Peace! I’m out.”
Lucia Kelly: “Bye! Have fun. Bye!”
Talia Franks: “You can fix it. People are gonna – Things are going to fix themselves.” and then I’m like, “No, they aren’t because, cause they’re here. They’re gonna –
Lucia Kelly: They’re here!
Talia Franks: This entire episode is just set up. This whole episode is just set up for (Talia pushes their Dalek plushy, which exclaims “Exterminate! Exterminate!”)
This whole episode is just set up for these little guys.
Lucia Kelly: Yep. (Lucia sighs) So, Adam gets told off. I love the physicality. The Doctor literally grabs him by the back of the neck and then pushes him – it’s such a smooth transition – he pulls him into the TARDIS and then he pushes him out of the TARDIS by the scruff of the neck.
Talia Franks: It’s so fantastic.
Lucia Kelly: And then he destroys the phone because – Oh wait, did Rose get – Rose must have got her phone back, cause it’s used the next episode, but we don’t see that happen.
Talia Franks: We don’t see it happen, but I’m sure it happened.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, cause she uses it next episode. That’s a whole other thing.
Talia Franks: I’m just really curious about how does immigration feel about the fact that he’s suddenly back in the UK without his passport? (Lucia mhmms in agreement)
Lucia Kelly: I mean…
Talia Franks: Do we care?
Lucia Kelly: Not at all. These are the consequences for your actions.
So they leave. Adam’s mum comes back, (Lucia sighs) and this is another point against science. It’s so stupid. First of all, that the default is clicking your fingers. But second of all, that it’s not just, if the person themselves clicks their fingers, it’s if anyone within range clicks their fingers, because that’s the default setting, and this is something that everyone has.
So whenever you click your fingers, everyone’s brain opens up, which also, by the way, great job opening up your skull and letting bacteria, and air, and everything bad, literally touching your brain. You could get a fly in there, under your skull, next to your brain! No! Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. I know I said previously that like, I think this is a cool idea. I think it’s a cool idea of using the brain, as part of a larger machine, as a computer processor. That actually makes sense to me as a way that technology might advance, and it’s a good use of the power of the brain, the way they do it is messed up.
Talia Franks: I mean, maybe it’s just because 2005 technology, but the impression that I got was that the brain wasn’t fully exposed. There was a layer of something. I figured there was a filter, like something –
Lucia Kelly: I sure hope there was.
Talia Franks: – that was like a layer of something between the actual brain and the open area. So I figured the brain is actually protected. I don’t think the brain is being exposed to open air. I think that is physically not possible. That doesn’t make sense to me. I figured there’s some sort of field or something protecting the brain. Um –
Lucia Kelly: I sure hope there is because that is never, not once, been the way that I’ve interpreted the way that scene went.
Talia Franks: I always interpreted it as there’s being a field protecting the brain, because (Lucia groans) I also feel like the information stream would be filtered through something, so I always figured that there would be some sort of filter between the brain and the outside world, that would help the brain process. Even to facilitate the use of the brain as a processor, it makes sense for there to be a filter between the brain and the outside world. Additionally, with regard to clicking fingers as the default, one, I think the advanced surgery is only available to certain people.
So only people who can afford it, get the more advanced surgery, and people who are at a certain level, can get the more advanced surgery. Also, she notes that that’s the default, but not everyone uses the default. Different people have their different triggers, and a lot of people change it, and he just hasn’t changed it yet.
Cathica uses the default, I don’t know why she uses the default, probably just as a way to demonstrate what the default is, but I would assume that a lot of people change it. I’d also assume since that’s the default, there is probably some sort of etiquette that people don’t snap their fingers in public.
Every culture has norms. One of the norms of our culture is that you don’t put your middle finger up in public, maybe in the year 200 billion, people don’t snap their fingers in public.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Okay. Okay. I’m not quite willing to let it go, but I’ll not fight it. (Lucia laughs) I’ll just keep it internal. I still think it’s stupid.
Talia Franks: I mean, it can be ridiculous, but it can also be explained away.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah, so, technically I can’t take points away for science for it.
Talia Franks: I’m just saying.
Lucia Kelly: Which brings –
Talia Franks: Are we ready for grading?
Lucia Kelly: I think we are ready for grading.
Talia Franks: Okay. Let’s do the grading.
Or, no – (Lucia sighs) We have to do our favorite moments and our least favorite moments –
Lucia Kelly: – Our least favourite moments, and also the Hero and the Adam.
Talia Franks: I think the Adam is clearly Adam. (Talia and Lucia laugh)
Lucia Kelly: Yep. The Adam – The Adam is Adam.
Talia Franks: Who do you think the Hero is?
Lucia Kelly: I mean, it’s Cathica.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: It’s Cathica.
Talia Franks: It’s Cathica.
Lucia Kelly: Simply, because I love Anna Maxwell Martin, and everything she’s in, I want Suki to be the Hero, but she wasn’t.
Talia Franks: She wasn’t.
Lucia Kelly: She really failed very badly. Cathica’s the one who actually saved the day.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And I would say, for most favorite moment and least favorite moment, I want to do at least for a moment first, because I want to end on a high note, I would say least favorite moment is probably everything that Adam does in the entire episode. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: Adam. Full stop.
Talia Franks: – But especially when he opens his head up and gives away Rose and the Doctor. M ost favorite moment is when Cathica’s being a badass, and specifically when she says “You should’ve promoted me years ago.” (Talia and Lucia laugh) Because as Brittany said, Season One, Episode Seven is a cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t promote your employees.
Lucia Kelly: I think my least favorite moment is the scene where Adam manipulates Rose. I hate that. I hate that scene.
Talia Franks: Which one?
Lucia Kelly: Where he’s like, “I’m just feeling a bit overwhelmed” cause he is playing on her.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: There are lots of parallels between this episode and “The End of the World”, right? In terms of like, Baby’s First Day Out, basically, and how Rose and Adam deal with that differently. And he plays on what he believes Rose will believe from him. In order to like, like that little smile, that little smile after he’s got the key, and the phone and –
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: – is off to wreak havoc is – Ugh!
Talia Franks: Yeah. And especially because he says, “Oh, I just want to go sit on the observation deck.” And that’s what Rose did when –
Lucia Kelly: Exactly!
Talia Franks: – when she needed space, is she went and she sat alone on the observation deck.
Lucia Kelly: Hmm. So I wonder, how much Rose, traveling from Utah to Channel Five, I wonder how much time has passed and I also wonder how much Rose has told Adam about her experiences.
Talia Franks: Yeah, cause she did have time to change clothes and do her hair differently. (Lucia mhmms in agreement) He had a whole overnight bag. He could have changed outfits. (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: At the very least, we can put one mark up for Rose has changed, like Rose washed, Rose took care of herself.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Rose practiced self-care.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Practiced basic hygiene. Unfortunately that is also a high bar in this show.
Favorite moment. I mean, that’s not a lot of favorite moments in this episode. It’s not a great one. I do like the back and forth between the Editor and the Doctor. Particularly there’s a moment when the Editor, I can’t remember exactly what happened, but the Editor compliments the Doctor and there’s like, a tiny little smile, from the Doctor to the Editor, being like, “Hmm, yeah, you recognized I’m smart,” and then the Editor says “Is a slave a slave if it doesn’t know it’s a slave.” And then everything drops, he’s like, “Yes,” He’s like “Aw, we’re not even going to have a philosophical debate about it?” He’s like “No.” (Talia and Lucia laugh) Like, that was possibly my favorite moment, being like –
Talia Franks: Yeah, that’s pretty –
Lucia Kelly: – shutting that down.
Talia Franks: Shut it down. He said it right. It’s like “Slavery is bad. Slavery has always been bad. Slavery will always be bad. Don’t do that.”
Lucia Kelly: Yep.
Talia Franks: But yeah, so, ranking. I want to give production a five because I think they did a really good job here.
Lucia Kelly: They did do a very good job. Everything’s pretty. Everything’s nice.
Talia Franks: Everything’s pretty. Everything’s nice. Everything went well. I think the writing was really good. I really liked it.
Lucia Kelly: I wouldn’t give it – I wouldn’t give it a five. I’d give it a three or four?
Talia Franks: What? A three? (Lucia laughs) It was at least a four, if not –
Lucia Kelly: Okay, four, because again, I really don’t like Cathica’s early dialogue.
It really bugs me, because it speaks to a lack of trust in an actor to be able to do their job. If you have to verbalize thoughts multiple times, when that same thought can be conveyed with a look, you don’t trust your actor. And it’s really annoying. Like that’s just a me thing coming from someone who acts and it really frustrated me.
It happens sometimes that there’s miscommunication or whatever.
Talia Franks: Fine.
Lucia Kelly: But you’ll often – pardon?
Talia Franks: We can give it a four.
Lucia Kelly: Okay.
Talia Franks: Okay, but the acting definitely deserves a five.
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. Yeah.
Talia Franks: The acting always deserves a five. I don’t know if there’s a single episode –
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. There’s no episode where it’s like “Hm, choices were made.”
And the science. I think we’ve established the science was bad.
Talia Franks: No! I thought the science was good. You just don’t like the brain things. I think the science deserves a three, at least.
Lucia Kelly: No! I – I brought up other points. I believe. I can’t remember what they were.
Talia Franks: It deserves a three. I’m giving it a three.
Rewatchability. I really liked this episode. It’s one of –
Lucia Kelly: Did you?
Talia Franks: – of the one’s I watch the most. Yeah.
Lucia Kelly: Really? I will say, which was very interesting, I’m pretty sure this is the first episode of Doctor Who I ever watched.
Talia Franks: Really?
Lucia Kelly: Yeah. I’m pretty sure – cause I had a friend in primary school who like, introduced me to it, and this was at the time when Ten was the Doctor, like Season Two or Season Three was coming out.
And I had no knowledge of Doctor Who. I didn’t know what it was about, but I knew that the Doctor was David Tennant. I knew his face. And then my friend had showed me this episode, and I was so confused. I was so confused.
Talia Franks: Yeah, well, I mean, for me, I started Doctor Who as a teenager, knowing the entire premise of the show, and being instructed from my friends exactly how to watch it.
So they were like, “Watch from the beginning. Start with Rose. Don’t skip Nine.
Lucia Kelly: Don’t skip Nine! (Clapping for emphasis)
Talia Franks: At that point. Matt Smith was the Doctor, and everything was on Netflix. So, my first episode was “Rose” and I sped right on through all the way through the end of season four. And then I watched all the specials. And literally two days later, season five was on Netflix. And I was like, ” Praised be,” (Lucia laughs)
Lucia Kelly: So that being said, Rewatchability.
Talia Franks: I was hovering between four and five. So we’re going to give it a four.
Lucia Kelly: Okay.
Talia Franks: I love this episode.
Lucia Kelly: It’s like – Really?!
Talia Franks: Yeah. It’s one of the most rewatchable ones in Season One for me.
Lucia Kelly: That’s so interesting, because it’s not for me, like I find it, so – not exactly forgettable, but sort of –
Talia Franks: No, cause I love Cathica so fucking much. She’s so great. She’s one of my favorite character. I wish that she showed up more. No, I love Cathica so much. The Editor is campy and evil in a way that I enjoy, aside from his condoning slavery, which I don’t like. But, I enjoy trashing on Adam every time I watch it. Rose’s looks are chef’s kiss. I feel like she is so cute in this episode. The Doctor is his perfect mix of clever, and saucy, and smooth, and fun. This episode is just so fun for me. I really enjoy it. It’s literally one of the most delightful episodes of the season.
Lucia Kelly: I’m happy for you. I’m glad you feel these things. I share none of those feelings. For me this episode feels very much like a means to an end, like we’re setting up the finale, so we’ve got to set up Satellite Five, and (Lucia sighs) like, the concept is interesting enough. I just find Adam straight up annoying. I don’t get any joy out of being like, “Oh, you’re the worst.” I just feel annoyance. And then with Ca thica, I just get annoyed about how overwritten she is, and I’m like “But you’ve got such a brilliant actress. You’ve got an actress who can do the work. Let her do the work.
So I get annoyed.
But yeah, no. It’s all good. We have different opinions, because we’re different people, and that’s how it works. We don’t want to be sheeple. (Puts on a vague Eastern European/Russian accent) We don’t want to be sheeple being controlled by the media. That would be bad. (Drops accent)
So, let me do the quick math. I really should have a little calculator beside me. (Lucia makes a noise of surprise then laughs)
Talia Franks: What? What?
Lucia Kelly: “The Long Game” got a “B”, which is very solid.
Talia Franks: Well, okay, I want to state, for the record, that I wanted to give “The Long Game” a five in writing, and a five in rewatchability and a four in science, which would have given it a 96, which would have given it an “A”. And so, I feel silenced. (Talia and Lucia laugh)
I feel silenced, and I want to note for the record, that “The Long Game” lost a letter grade because Lucia disagrees with me.
I’m just pointing out that I wanted – this isn’t me just saying that I think episode deserves better. This is me genuinely adhering to the rubric –
Lucia Kelly: Which I appreciate.
Talia Franks: This is me adhering to the rubric and saying that I disagree and (Lucia laughs) if we were using the rubric the way I wanted to the episode would have gotten 24 out of 25, which would have been in 96, which would have been an “A”.
Lucia Kelly: If it makes you feel any better, I’m pretty sure “Father’s Day” is going to get an “A”.
Talia Franks: Is it? Cause it made me cry so much.
Lucia Kelly: It makes you cry, but that’s because it’s very good.
Talia Franks: Yeah, but that puts it low on rewatchability. Cause I don’t like putting myself through that.
It’s going to lose points on rewatchability because I don’t like watching it, because I don’t like crying that much.
Lucia Kelly: Anyway. This is the next episode.
Talia Franks: This has been the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Podcast.
Lucia Kelly: We hope you enjoyed this adventure with us through space and time.
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Lucia Kelly: You can find out more information about us and our content on wibblywobblytimeywimey.net, and full transcripts for episodes at wibblywobblytimeywimey.net/transcripts.
Talia Franks: If you’d like to get in touch, you can send us an email at email@example.com.
Lucia Kelly: Please rate and review us on Apple podcasts and other platforms as it helps other people find us and our content.
Talia Franks: Special thanks to our editor Owen Elphick, who has been a vital member of the Wibbly Wobbly team.
Lucia Kelly: That’s all for now. Catch you in the time vortex!