Episode 282: The unbearable weight of massive talent

Martyn and Gerrod bring you the latest in entertainment news, as well as a review of the new Nicolas Cage film, The unbearable weight of massive talent.

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Artwork by Beeble Pete. Adapted by Penny Smallshire.

Running Down Corridors can be found here.

We sound familiar can be found here, More than just an impression can be found here.

Comedians talking about football can be found here, Cister Act here.

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Episode 281: The Batman

Martyn and Gerrord are joined by Antoni Pearce. The dynamic trio talk about The Batman. Spoilers are contained within, obviously. 

The podcast Smartlink.

Artwork by Beeble Pete. Adapted by Penny Smallshire.

We sound familiar can be found here, More than just an impression can be found here.

Comedians talking about football can be found here, Cister Act here.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

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Review-Torchwood Sonny

In just a few short years, Lizzie Hopley has cemented herself as one of the most consistent writers on the Big Finish roster. Returning to the Torchwood range for the first time since 2017, she gives us an interesting morality tale about care homes, loneliness, the treatment of elderly people and, the existential crisis of an AI.

Torchwood: Sonny follows fan-favourite Rhys (Kai Owen) as he enlists his mum, Brenda (Nerys Hughes) into helping Torchwood investigate a new fleet of robots, in a care home. At first, Brenda isn’t too pleased about this. But as time goes on, she becomes more and more dependent on her robot, named Sonny.

I had almost expected this to be a tale of robots taking over and attempting to enslave humanity. But Lizzie Hopley is so much smarter than that. She knows we’ve seen that trope a thousand times before. Instead of making us fear what robots could do to us, she makes us fear what robots could reveal about us.

Kai Owen, Nerys Hughes, and Steven Kynman are all terrific, and their relationships are convincing from the start. We all know Hughes is a particularly talented actress, but she absolutely shines in this audio. She portrays Brenda with such a raw vulnerability, that feels like an emotional gut-punch at times. There’s a wonderful complexity to Brenda, that I hope we get more of in the future. The supporting cast is also exceptionally strong, with Amerjit Deu, in particular, doing a fantastic job as Prudeep.

Sonny is not only a brilliantly comedic script, it’s also a deep exploration of what it means to feel isolated. Hopley manages to convey the monotony of being in a care home, without the story being boring. Lisa Bowerman’s direction is flawless and keeps the story going at exactly the right pace, this is all beautifully accompanied by Steve Wright’s soundtrack.

I’ve said it before, but I think it bears repeating. Torchwood on Big Finish is Torchwood at its absolute best.

Torchwood: Sonny is available to buy from the Big Finish website.

Episode 278: Doctor Who-Eve of the Daleks

Martyn, Chris and Sam discuss the latest New Year’s Day special of Doctor Who, Eve of the Daleks. 

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Spoiler-Free Review: Cobra Kai series 4

This weekend, fan-favourite Cobra Kai returns to Netflix for its fourth series.

In this series, we see Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) pair up with his long-term enemy, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). The duo has put aside their differences and merged their classes, in order of giving their students a chance at winning the tournament against the Cobra Kai dojo, now managed by John Kreese (Martin Kove).
This was never going to be an easy match, especially now that Kreese’s old war buddy, Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith) has returned. Everyone is on the edge and unsure of what to expect.

This series returns to a more character-driven narrative, that some fans may have felt was missing from series 3. Thomas Ian Griffith is clearly having the time of his life, playing a complete psychopath and he’s exactly what the show needed. Johnny’s estranged son, Robbie (Tanner Buchanan) has joined Cobra Kai and is teaching them everything he learned from Daniel and Miyagi-Do. Samatha (Mary Mouser) has fully embraced Johnny’s “strike-first” attitude.

There are some twists and turns that I won’t spoil here. We also get to see a lot more of Daniel’s son, Anthony LaRusso (Griffin Santopietro). This is nice, as he’s mostly just been in the background for a lot of the show. We’re also introduced to a new character, Kenny (Dallas Dupree Young).

It’s a fantastic set of episodes that move the story forward and set up the future of the franchise. I came away from this extremely excited for series 5. However, the first eight episodes do sometimes feel like they’re just treading water until the tournament in the last two.

Series 5 has already been greenlit, so I can’t wait to see where they take this franchise next.

Cobra Kai returns to Netflix on New Year’s Eve.

Film review-The King’s Man

The King’s Man is a prequel, to the two previous films in the franchise. It attempts to provide a backstory to please Kingsman fans, but it primarily feels like it’s addressing questions nobody asked.

On the verge of World War One King George of England, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas of Russia are three cousins who find themselves as rulers of three European and Eastern mega-powers (all played by Tom Hollander).
Meanwhile, dark forces commanded by Erik Jan Hanussen (Daniel Brühl) lurk in the shadows, attempting to infiltrate the three leaders’ trust and launch a world war, beginning with Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria’s assassination.
With his intimate relationship with Wilhem, Hanussen shatters the trust between cousins, while manipulative monk Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) rips into the Tsar, all while a secret mole runs rampant in King George’s circle of influence.

The action is directed incredibly well, there’s an absolutely breathtaking skydiving sequence and, Rhys Ifans steals every scene he’s in. However, the screenplay by director, Matthew Vaughn and Karl Gajdusek (The Last Days of American Crime) — adapted from Mark Millar’s comic —leads The King’s Man into being a very disjointed film. It’s a part-historical drama and part-action adventure. It starts with a serious anti-war message but quickly turns into a parody.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where The King’s Man has gone wrong, but, despite a clever early twist, it all feels ploddingly predictable in a join-the-dots-of-history and Kingsman origin-tale kind of way, even the “shock” post-credits set-up for another instalment is rather head-slappingly obvious.

The King’s Man is out in the UK on Boxing Day.

Review-The year of Martha Jones

The Master has won. He has stolen humanity’s future and imprisoned his nemesis, ruling the Earth with an army of deadly Toclafane.
But Martha Jones escaped, and now walks the Earth, telling stories of the Doctor. Above all else, humanity needs hope. And Martha will carry that hope across the world.

Something we never saw on Doctor Who is a big component of Martha Jones’ companion narrative.
During a time of death, destruction, and turmoil, she spent a full year on her own.
In the shows third series (Nu-Who), the Master and his army of Toclafane took over Earth and rendered our favourite Gallifreyan hero unconscious and looking like a cross between Yoda and Dobby.

Martha was entrusted with a monumental responsibility by the Doctor.
We know she succeeded because she is the best companion the modern series has had, but we didn’t see how she did it.

The Year of Martha Jones is a unique blend of great storytelling, humour and action. Much like The Doctor, Martha has become a mythological and contentious figure. People across the world murmur her name.
Some see her as a ray of hope. Others think she’s overrated, and her stories are nothing more than fairytales in the middle of constant conflict. They are perplexed by Martha’s genuine objectives and wonder if she has a plan to assassinate the Master.

At her core, Martha is just a human being trying her best to maintain emotional and mental stability in the face of an overwhelming challenge. She’s witnessed horrific tragedies and struggles with loneliness and paranoia all the time, unsure of whom she can trust in the world.

Her hope is still in the Doctor, and she always emphasises his great characteristics in her stories, but reality weighs heavily on her heart.
She is the only one in this unexpected and tough scenario.

The audio quickly finds its footing, thanks to a combination of great writing and performances from all involved.
Freema Agyeman and Adjoa Andoh, who plays Francine Jones, have great and natural chemistry together, it’s revealed in the extras that even Freema’s real-life mum, thinks of Adjoa as her second-mother. Freema calls her “Mamma Adj”.

We also meet a number of new interesting characters, such as Ewart James Walters as Tucker and Serin Ibrahim as Holly, an old college friend, who has a shaky relationship with Martha.

The Year of Martha Jones is a fascinating insight into human resilience, there are no bombastic over the top moments like you’d expect from the David Tennant era. Instead, this is a quiet and reflective story, that focuses on the little victories Martha is able to win on her journey. Scott Handcock’s direction is flawless and is beautifully accompanied by Howard Carter’s music and sound design.

It’s also easily Freema Ageyman’s best performance as the character. Over the years she has grown and evolved as an actress. I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Miss Jones.

The Year of Martha Jones is available to buy from Big finish.




Review-Torchwood: The Red List

The pandemic may have stalled plans for the official seventh series of Torchwood, but producers James Goss and Scott Handcock haven’t just rested on their laurels this year, like the rest of us. In the past 12 months, they’ve given us Torchwood tales about mould, coffee shops and Sontarans. We’ve also seen the return of Yvonne Hartman, Zachary Cross, Billis Manger and, Adam Smith. I’ve barely managed to take the bins out and these guys have continued giving us the best version of Torchwood on any medium.

This month’s release teams up Mr Colchester with a modern-day version of Ace AKA Dorothy McShane, for an adventure set in South America. The duo is both independently there to investigate a revolution but are stuck in a hotel under quarantine.

Mr Colchester, who is played as brilliantly as ever by Paul Clayton, begins the storey with a monologue.
This works as a great way to convey information to the audience, without feeling unrealistic or forced. I think we’ve all probably spoken to ourselves this year. Clayton is clearly having a great time, reprising his role as fan-favourite Colchester and it’s great to hear Sophie Aldred play an older version of Ace, it just goes to show how much work she puts into her performance as a younger version of the character on the main range. As the two versions are so clearly different.

The two leads have great chemistry and play on the mundanity that comes with a lockdown.
They’re supported in this adventure, by Xavier, a hotel technician played by Manuel Pacific. Xavier is there to receive the brunt of Colchester’s complaints and Pacific does a tremendous job, with such a small role.

Scott Handcock, as always, is a fantastic director who is able to get real genuine and believable performances from the three cast members. Steve Foxon’s sound design is flawless and perfectly encapsulates the Latin ambience and compliments Blair Mowat’s music incredibly well.

It’s difficult to review this audio fully, as it’s impossible to do so without spoiling. So I will say, it’s a lot of fun and features the best-written characters from both Torchwood and Doctor Who. It ends on a cliffhanger and I for one, hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Colchester and Ace.

Torchwood: The Red List is available to purchase from the Big Finish site and goes on general release on the 31st January 2022.


Episode 273: Last night in Soho/ Ghostbusters: Afterlife

It’s an original recipe special this week, as Martyn and Gerrod sit down to give spoiler-free reviews on Last night in Soho and, Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

We also have a Smartlink.

Artwork by Penny Smallshire.

We sound familiar can be found here.

More than just an impression can be found here.

Comedians talking about football can be found here.

Sam’s YouTube channel can be found here.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you. We also have a Ko-Fi.

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Episode 266: Returning T Davies

As nobody else on the internet is talking about it, Martyn, Sam and their friend Antoni felt duty-bound to tell that world that legendary screenwriter Russell T. Davies, who was was responsible for reviving Doctor Who in 2005. Has announced that he will be returning to helm the show once again.

Davies was the showrunner for the first five years and oversaw the ninth and tenth iterations of the Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant. During his tenure, he also launched two spin-offs ‘Torchwood’ and ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures.’

He will be coming back to the series for the 60th anniversary and beyond. He’ll be taking over from current showrunner, Chris Chibnall, who is leaving the series. Chibnall has been showrunner since 2016 when he took over from Steven Moffat and has been a very divisive showrunner amongst Doctor Who fans. He and Jodie Whittaker announced that they will be leaving the show together.

Russell T Davies said in a statement, “I’m beyond excited to be back on my favourite show. But we’re time-travelling too fast, there’s a whole series of Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant Doctor for me to enjoy, with my friend and hero Chris Chibnall at the helm – I’m still a viewer for now.”

Chris Chibnall added, “It’s monumentally exciting and fitting that ‘Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary will see one of Britain’s screenwriting diamonds return home. Russell built the baton that is about to be handed back to him — ‘Doctor Who,’ the BBC, the screen industry in Wales, and let’s be honest everyone in the whole world, have so many reasons to be Very Excited Indeed about what lies ahead.”

BBC director of drama Piers Wenger said, “As the 13th Doctor prepares to embark on new and extraordinary adventures, the winds of change are blowing… bringing with them news to delight ‘Doctor Who’ fans across the globe. We are thrilled that Russell is returning to Doctor Who to build on the huge achievements of Chris and Jodie. Thank you to the two of them and the team in Cardiff for all they continue to do for the show and hello Russell, it’s wonderful to have you back.”

Joining Russell on this new adventure will be Bad Wolf. A production company established by former Doctor Who producer, Julie Gardner.

Personally, I think this is tremendous news. Russell T Davies has written some phenomenal drama post-who, so I’m excited to see what he brings to this new era.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music,PodchaserPlayer FM,Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

We also have a Smartlink.

Chris’ books can be purchased here.

Artwork by Penny Smallshire.

We sound familiar can be found here.

Comedians talking about football can be found here.

Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you. We also have a Ko-Fi.

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