Tread Perilously — Supertrain: Express To Terror

Tread Perilously corrects an error by finally taking a look at the Supertrain pilot, “Express to Terror.”

Noted industrialist Winfield Root’s wish to create an atomic powered transcontinental train service comes to fruition with the maiden voyage of Supertrain. It has a disco, a gym, a salon, a pool and a weird babyman for a concierge. Not that any of this matters to Mike Post (guest star Steve Lawrence), a junior agent trying to secure a role for his boss’s client (special guest star Vicki Lawrence). He also owes 40 large to Big Ed back in Los Angeles and someone may have put a hit on out him. Will he survive the Express … to terror? Also guest starring Don Meredith and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson.

Sarah Madden and Seth Linker join Erik and Justin to experience the majesty of Supertrain. All fall over themselves to talk about the raw sexual magnetism of weird babyman Dave Noonan (Patrick Collins). Justin learns about Jon Peters’ secret origin and the movie Shampoo. Seth defines the word “barbicide.” Passenger Jack Fisk (Don Stroud) easily wins Most Valuable Character thanks to his suspenders, comb-over and constant cigar. Erik cannot keep the name “George Hamilton” in his mind. Sarah keeps the gang on the tracks even as the Supertrain itself tries to fly off them.

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Tread Perilously: Special Review Unit — Wildlife

Tread Perilously once again opens the case files of the Special Review Unit with an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit known as “Wildlife.”

SVU detectives are called to the scene of a murder victim who was apparently mauled and licked by the perp — an exotic tiger. The trail leads to a night club called “Supple,” a z-list rapper named Gots Money and, oddly enough, an international animal smuggling ring. Detective Elliot Stabler allies with the US Fish & Wildlife Service to go undercover in that dangerous world and uncover who let loose the tiger upon the initial victim. But will his actions endanger an even more wide-ranging investigation?

Executive ADA Louis Allred joins the SRU squad to make Rudy Giuliani and the Charmin Bears added guest stars. He, Erik and Justin attempt to determine the first 33 rules of the internet. Erik warns against Scarface posters. The quality of Gots Money’s flow gets criticize. Justin asks one of the most important philosophical questions of the day: “Why would Kanye lie?” Erik explains why Creed is a film apart from the rest of the Rocky film series. Justin recommends the CHUD theaters of New York and presumes “tiger” is a codeword for a very specific sort of sexual partner. Also, Justin discovers he can do a good Jimmy Stewart impression.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Ultimate Foe

Tread Perilously wraps up its look at Doctor Who‘s 23rd season, “The Trial of a  Time Lord,” with part 13 (by Robert Holmes) and part 14 (by Pip & Jane Baker) — collectively known as “The Ultimate Foe.”

When the Valeyard enters a charge of genocide against The Doctor, Mel and Sabalom Glitz are pulled out of time to appear as witnesses. Their testimony is never taken into the record as The Master appears to break up the trial and accuse the Valeyard of malpractice … and of being The Doctor himself. It all leads to the Matrix, which the Valeyard was manipulating the whole time, as part of a plot by the Time Lord High Council to prevent The Doctor from revealing the truth about Ravalox. It is about as confusing as you might think.

Justin wants to join the Liverpool Doctor Who Appreciation Society. He and Erik try to figure out The Master’s actual motivation across the two episodes. Justin praises the return of Sabalom Glitz and actor Tony Selby. Erik somehow figures out how the Time Lords tying Thetans to volcanoes on Earth led to The Doctor’s trial. “A bob for a tuna?” becomes your new favorite bit of Cockney slang. Erik and Justin begin breaking a new BBC prestige series called The Adventures of Eustace Popplewick, and Justin suggests classic Doctor Who would work better as three-part stories.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Terror of the Vervoids

Tread Perilously’s examination of Doctor Who‘s 23rd season, “The Trial of a Time Lord,” continues with parts 9-12: “Terror of the Vervoids” by Pip & Jane Baker.

The Doctor finally mounts his defense by introducing into evidence an adventure from his not-too-distant future. He and Mel land on the starliner Hyperion III. On board are a number of interesting persons, such as thremmatologist Professor Sarah Lasky (guest star Honor Blackman), aliens who wears translator necklaces, Security Chief Rudge, and a very ill person in the Isolation Room. Soon, all hell breaks loose as the communications officer ends up electrocuted in the hydroponics section and releases ravenous, mobile plantlife known as the Vervoids. They have a vendetta, but does it have anything to do with the body the murder committed as the Hyperion III started its journey?

Erik keeps mentioning a fan named Chris Chibnall, much to Justin’s bafflement. After many listener requests, Justin finally comes face-to-face with the Vervoids. He suggests Rudy Guliani may have been The Doctor’s legal advisor. Erik rants about a terrible rumor in a terrible British tabloid. In a surprise upset, the pair praise Bonnie Langford’s work in this particular story. Erik introduces the “Michael MacDonald Rule” and Justin suggests Boris Johnson was born of sewer blockages under London.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Mindwarp

Tread Perilously continues its examination of Doctor Who‘s 23rd season, “The Trial of a Time Lord” with parts 5-8: Philip Martin’s “Mindwarp.”

Continuing his case, The Valeyard introduces into evidence The Doctor’s visit to Thoros Beta; where he and Peri discover the leader of the Mentors needs a new body to continue an important trade deal with a nearby star system. The Doctor appears to sell out Peri to save his own skull when the Mentors’ scientist suggest they can transplant their leader’s brain into The Doctor’s head. Chaos reigns as a revolution led by King Ycarnos (guest star BRIAN BLESSED!!!!) upsets the Mentor order just as the Doctor is abducted by the Time Lords to begin his trial. Will Ycarnos be able to end the Mentor threat without him?

Justin comes around on Peri. He is also convinced that The Valeyard is a Peeping Tom. Guest actor BRIAN BLESSED!!!! receives nothing but praise for his performance. Erik tries to make sense of some of the episode’s most nonsensical moments. They pair also discuss the pronunciation of “Crozier” and the vaguely racist Native American costumes on some of the aliens. Justin also determines that BRIAN BLESSED!!!! is a huge fan of Shaquille O’Neal’s Kazam. Also, Doctor Who reminds them that the Matrix never lies.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Mysterious Planet

Tread Perilously settles in to watch one entire season of Doctor Who. Season 23, to be exact, the infamous “Trial of Time Lord.” This week: Parts 1-4 of the Trial, Robert Holmes’s “The Mysterious Planet.”

When the Doctor is pulled out of time to stand trial for interfering in the development of younger races, the Time Lord prosecutor, the Valeyard, enters into evidence the Doctor’s involvement in the affairs of a planet called Ravalox. Sometime before the trial, the Doctor and Peri land on the planet, which features certain eerie similarities to Earth despite being a couple of lights years away. The inhabitants include scruffy surface dwellers and anemic humans in the underground ruled by the mysterious “Immortal.” But does the situation on Ravalox relate to the Time Lords or the secretive mission of space-faring rogue and smuggler Sabalom Glitz? Is Ravalox really Earth?

Justin sees Gallifreyan headgear for the first time. He also considers the episode to be the platonic ideal of Doctor Who. Erik maintains that Robert Holmes created The Matrix. Justin attempts to recreate Peri’s accent; which continues to amuse him. Glitz and his partner Dibber also delight. Justin and Erik call out the episodes tendency to ask why viewers are watching irrelevant scenes. Erik warns against using the nickname “The Prince of Darkness” when writing about bad ass bad guys and Justin offers a lot more sci-fi writing tips.

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Tread Perilously — Black Mirror: The Waldo Moment

Tread Perilously concludes Sci-Fi month with the Black Mirror episode “The Waldo Moment.”

When a failed comedian makes good as a naughty parody of a children’s show character, his producer positions him against a Conservative standing for MP somewhere in England. The comedian’s character, Waldo, also ends up standing in the election. The stunt is working and constituents are turning to Waldo’s “politics sucks” non-platform. The comedian, however, is becoming more concerned with his producer’s real goal. Will technology destroy the comedian in the end? Will the cartoon bear bring about a worldwide fascist society?

Erik and Justin debate the merits of the Living Slot Machine episode of The Twilight Zone. Justin believes British people put brown sauce in their pints of bitter. He also believes the Queen loves Brokeback Mountain and Batman slashfic. Erik praises the work of professional film and television douchebag Tobias Menzies. He also enjoys the shade thrown at the Liberal Democrats throughout the episode. The pair also cannot deny certain parallels between cartoon bears in the episode and in real life. Various wavering British accents are employed while making fun of wavering American accents. Erik makes educated guesses about other Black Mirror episodes and apologizes for bullying Jeb Bush all those years ago.

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