Tread Perilously — Elementary: Moving Targets

tp1400-1Tread Perilously’s Total Request Live 3 continues with its first ever episode of Elementary, “Moving Targets.”

As Joan continues to aid Shinwell with his investigation, Sherlock aids in discovering why a New Jersey county sheriff was found dead at the docks. The crime leads to a reality show where contestants hunt one another for sport and a winding road of suspects which includes a former Ugandan child soldier with a chilling nickname, an actor trying to use Instagram as a fame-starter, and an apparently mob-connected strip club owner. Will any of them prove to be the killer? Also, will Sherlock be able to articulate why he doesn’t want Joan to help Shinwell?

Erik appreciates Lucy Liu, her “fuck-you money” philosophy, and her place within the episode. Justin realizes that he has no memory of watching it during his initial watch of Elementary. Erik tries to work past his reaction to the show’s cynical pitch to find the good within it. The comparison to Sherlock is inevitable, though. Both praise the well-chosen names for never-seen characters. Digressions into Star Wars, Doctor Who and Copland occur. Both marvel at the continued existence of Michael Rapaport. Erik praises the working partnership of Gale Anne Hurd and James Cameron and the pair cast a 1983 production of Martin Scorsese’s The Fantastic Four.

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Tread Perilously — Buck Rogers In The 25th Century: Cruise Ship To The Stars

It’s Total Request Live 3! Once again, Tread Perilously hands the choice of what Erik and Justin watch to the Patreon subscribers! This week: an episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century called “Cruise Ship to the Stars.”

Buck is sent to a slow-moving starship to protect the “genetically perfect” beauty queen Miss Cosmos. As it happens, an infamous two-person smash-and-grab crew are looking to kidnap her and sell her for parts. So while Buck secures Miss Cosmos and her stateroom — that’s not a metaphor — Col. Wilma Deering also arrives on the cruise ship posing as an heiress and wearing a queen’s ransom in moon crystals. Will they apprehend the thieves before the worst happens to Miss Cosmos?

Also: Twiki gets some.

Justin reiterates that Buck Rogers is meant to be for children. He also tells the sad story of episode guest star Dorothy Stratten. Erik gets concerned about the whole “genetically perfect” idea. Both call out the terrible perm wig the episode forces Erin Gray to wear. The matter-of-fact way Buck and the others regard a woman with mutant powers becomes a source of comedy. Buck’s cheerful understanding of consent and true sexual liberation continues to be the program’s most redeeming feature and Justin coins the term “sleazy do-gooder energy.”

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The War Machines

Tread Perilously’s Doctor Who month concludes with “The War Machines.”

When the Doctor and Dodo land in 1966 London, he immediately senses a great evil in the newly completed GPO Tower. There, he discovers scientists working on WOTAN, a central processing unit for a system of networked computers across the globe. Soon, it becomes clear that WOTAN is sentient and has plans of its own by constructing primitive, Dalek-like War Machines to take control of the British capital. Will the Doctor, Dodo, and their new friends, Ben and Polly, be able to stop the mad computer, or will it assimilate “Dr. Who” into its plans?

Erik somehow avoids ever explaining why WOTAN calls the Doctor “Dr. Who.” Justin seemingly enjoys a story starring William Hartnell even if Hartnell’s Doctor isn’t his favorite. Erik tries to explain Dodo’s function and why a new producer would immediately replace her with the stylish Polly. Justin comes up with an interesting read of Ben. The pace is lauded, as is the location filming. Both recall the formation “Dalek Wings.” They also try to figure out if Polly and Ben ever actually flirt. Erik gets lost in the British currency of the mid-60s and the pair memorialize “Gaz the Tramp.”

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Pilot

Tread Perilously’s Doctor Who month continues with “The Pilot.”

The Doctor’s plan to live a quieter life as a lecturer at a British university (and guard a mysterious vault on the campus) is upended when his new pupil, Bill, discovers a puddle which may have absorbed her would-be girlfriend. Unable to resist the call to action, the Doctor once again shows off his brilliance and reveals to Bill the truth about the TARDIS: it can go anywhere in time and space. Will it lead to new travels with a new companion, or will his other mission keep him grounded on Earth?

Justin forgets Bill’s introduction, but Erik is on the case to incept the proper details. Jokes are made at Steven Moffat’s expense. A wild Matt Lucas appears, inspiring a discussion of British comedians and the creation of the “Ricky Gervais Scale.” Justin learns a few more details about Susan and discovers she’s a different character from Dodo Chaplet. A discussion of mediocre Marvel villains breaks out. Justin uses the term “public school” correctly. Erik takes a very long road to get to a certain Ice and Fire joke and the pair try to determine if Moffat’s misogyny is on display in the episode.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Ark In Space

Tread Perilously’s month of Doctor Who adventures continues with the 1974 story, “The Ark in Space.”

When Harry hits the wrong switch on the TARDIS console, he, Sarah, and the Doctor end up on Nerva Beacon, a space station returning to Earth orbit after thousands of years. Its purpose: to repopulate the planet after it was scorched by solar flares. But the mission has been co-opted by the parasitic Wirrn, who have their own designs on the Earth. Can the Doctor convince the Nerva crew he is not a primitive? Will Harry learn his chauvinism has no place in the 20th or 50th Centuries? And will bubble wrap ever get such prominent use on Doctor Who again?

Erik and Justin get lost in the bubble wrap of it all. Precarious special effects, RP accents, and solid acting make this one of the most Doctor Who episodes Justin has ever watched. He immediately takes a dislike to Harry, who is ill-served in this Robert Holmes script. Jamie McCrimmon is fondly remembered for his more liberated views on women’s roles in time travel. For some reason, Erik thinks he can attempt a Tom Baker accident. The pair try to remember the term “transmat” and, for once, the corridors get high praise.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Silence In The Library/Forest Of The Dead

Tread Perilously’s Doctor Who month continues with the two-part New Series story “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.”

When the Doctor receives a telepathic summons to help out at The Library — the galaxy’s largest repository of books — he and Donna meet Professor River Song. The archeologist is leading an expedition to The Library as it was sealed 100 years earlier under mysterious circumstances. Of course, that does not explain why Professor Song is so damned familiar with the Doctor. He’s at a loss to explain it or why the library insists all the visitors who vanished a century ago were saved. But will he be able to save the Professor’s team from perfect predators who lurk in the shadows?

Erik and Justin get into the timey-wimey-ness of it all. They also heap praise on guest stars Alex Kingston and Colin Salmon. Discussion inevitably leads to the strengths and weaknesses of both Steven Moffat and Russell T. Davies. The pair also try to figure out if the number “42” is meaningful to either Doctor Who head writer. Justin tries to imagine what the Fourth or Seventh Doctor would do in this situation. He also gets distracted when he recognizes members of River’s team from other TV shows. Erik ends up trying to explain some long-running Doctor Who continuity gaffs and a certain key phrase gets repeated. Also, the Marty Scale makes its Tread Perilously debut.

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Tread Perilously Extra: A Chat With Trekkies Director Roger Nygard

Erik chats with Back to Back and Trekkies director Roger Nygard about his career, comedy, and shooting movies like Suckers and documentaries like The Nature of Existence.

Topics include the power of pre-sold movies in the 1990s, how he put the comedic element in Back to Back, and the way film distribution has changed in the last few decades. He also explains why comedians like Jake Johannsen and Bobcat Goldthwait end up in his films. He also discusses Michael Rooker, Daniel Benzali, Denise Crosby, and what it will take for Trekkies 3 to get made. Erik asks about the restoration of the first Trekkies and getting films ready for the 4K video future. Also, Nygard talks about booking Richard Dawkins for an interview.

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