Tread Perilously — The Man from U.N.C.L.E: The My Friend The Gorilla Affair

Tread Perilously returns to 60s spy shows with the worst episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. — “The My Friend The Gorilla Affair.”

Somewhere in Africa, Illya Kuryakin aids President Kufu in tracking down a rogue scientist. The unnamed professor has a super serum, but needs to exercise his Imperial privilege to test it. When Kuryakin goes missing, Napoleon Solo sets out to aid his friend. But even that goes awry when Solo encounters a flat tire, a wild jungle girl known only as “Girl” and Baby, her pet gorilla. Maybe the watsui can help him out. Meanwhile, back at the Elephant’s Graveyard, the Professor offers Kufu the chance to become King of Africa. Can Girl marshal friendly forces before it’s too late?

Erik reveals his ancient astronaut theory as both he and Justin enter another uncomfortable hour of vintage racist stereotypes. Erik quantifies types of White and forgets to mention the ivory trade. Justin characterizes Baby as an uptight roommate. The Flash once again invades the discussion. Robert Vaughn gets compared to Robert Mitchum and Larry Hagman. He also gets high marks for his appearance in Superman III. Justin declares The Man from U.N.C.L.E. as the opposite end of the TV spectrum from Parks and Recreation and Baby receives the voice of Charleston Heston.

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Tread Perilously — Alias: The Nemesis

Tread Perilously goes through the looking glass as Erik experiences his first episode of Alias: “The Nemesis.”

When Sydney is alerted to the survival of Allison, her father also puts her in charge of Sloan as he continues his new double-agent status. In addition to this, she’s ordered to track down a nuclear code skeleton key devised by a cartoonish looking Russian agent. Meanwhile, Allison and Sark are hired to kill the Russian Agent. It all leads to a hotel in Bulgaria where Sydney and Allison finally face off. What this has to do with Lauren’s plot with Kurt Fuller is anyone’s guess.

Erik and Justin use the episode to air criticisms of the current season of The Flash. Erik also points out shoulder hits are not deathblows on American television. Justin attempts to determine if the Spice would allow the Highlander to procreate. Erik criticizes the action scenes and tries to remember the Stoors of Middle-earth. Justin reveals his Invisible Child/Alias fan theory and explains the scope of the show via memory loss. Erik’s terrible Russian accent leads to an amazing journey. He also learns the awful truth about Red Matter.

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Tread Perilously — The Prisoner: Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling

Tread Perilously makes a visit to London — and Austria — for the worst episode of the beloved cult classic The Prisoner, “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling.”

When a section of British Intelligence becomes frustrated by a puzzle involving slides, The Prisoner is reactivated and released from the Village in the body of a pudgy man known as “The Colonel.” His mission: find Dr. Seltzman, a scientist who developed a method for transferring minds into other bodies. Of course, he immediately runs into his heretofore unseen fiancee Janet Portland. Will he be able to convince her that he is John Dra– er, The Prisoner? Will he find Seltzman and reverse the process or will he remain a portly Number 6?

Justin and Erik struggle with an episode that is so snooze-inducing that even star/creator Patrick McGoohan slept through most of it. Erik reveals that he has been to the Village, and even reveals why The Prisoner resigned. Justin compares the episode to previous perilous paths like “The Web Planet” and “Time-Flight.” The latter even has a surprising connection to “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling.” But under the influence of such a terrible example of one of his favorite shows, Erik offers up The Prisoner’s real identity and the truth about Number 1.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Blink

Tread Safely month concludes with one of the most beloved of Doctor Who tales: “Blink.”

When Sally Sparrow invades the strange manor known as Wester Drumlins, she discovers a message left there for her since 1969. Signed by the Doctor, it tells her to beware the Weeping Angels dotted around the estate. With this, Sally finds herself in the  wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey of the Doctor even as the Time Lord himself is absent. She loses her best friend, but maybe finds a Rory along the way. A cop falls madly in love with her, but he builds another life for himself in 1969. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Martha must contend with four things and a lizard.

Will Justin agree with the consensus opinion of the episode? Will he enjoy the Weeping Angels? Will he consider them a successful monster? Will he like it more than “Tomb of the Cybermen?” Will he fall in love with the ethereal Sally Sparrow as so many others have before him? Will he declare this the best episode of Doctor Who he’s ever seen? Will Erik ever stop hating the Tenth Doctor?

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: Partners in Crime

Tread Perilously continues its month of treading safely with the New Series Doctor Who episode, “Partners in Crime.”

When the Doctor investigates a too-good-to-be-true diet pill, he runs into his old friend Donna Noble and a strange alien breeding program. The plan involves slowly converting the overweight of London into children of the Adipose, but it breaks intergalactic law. Will London be overrun with cuddly babies made of human fat? Will Donna Noble travel with the Doctor? Will the hired goons survive?

Justin finally meets Donna Noble and Erik explains Penny Carter, the companion who almost was. Both get lost when Justin invokes the film Boiler Room. They also consider introducing a companion on the Hindenburg and how the Doctor would take to traveling with Hugh Glass. Justin is forced to confront Billie Piper and Erik declares, once again, that he doesn’t hate David Tennant or the Tenth Doctor. Not that the readers of Rotten Tomatoes will believe that. The Shadow Proclamation gets a name check and Justin recalls the Ghostbusters Role Playing Game.

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Tread Periously — Doctor Who: The Face of Evil

Tread Perilously celebrates its second anniversary by treading safely with the Tom Baker era Doctor Who story, “The Face of Evil.”

Despite trying to land in Hyde Park, the Doctor finds himself on a world ravaged by the bitter war between the Sevateem and the Tesch. He soon meets Leela, an exile from the Sevateem village who immediately refers to the Doctor as “the Evil One.” After being captured by the Sevateem several times, he deduces that the problems of this world have their root cause in his own previous intervention with their tribal god, Xoanon. Can he repair the damage? Will the Tesch ever stop bowing? Will Leela become queen of the Sevateem or join the Doctor in his journeys through time and space?

It’s probably the later.

Justin and Erik discover the probable secret origin of the phrase “Tread Perilously.” Erik explains Leela’s murderous streak while Justin expounds on the virtues of space cavemen. They advance the theory that script editor Robert Holmes rewrote much of the story and highlight several Holmesian lines of dialogue. Justin also reveals whether or not he thinks “The Tomb of the Cybermen” continues to be the best of the tread safely Doctor Who episodes.

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Tread Perilously — Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen

Tread Perilously continues to examine good episodes of Doctor Who with “The Tomb of the Cybermen.”

When the TARDIS lands on Telos, the Doctor, Jamie and their new friend Victoria discover an archeological expedition in danger of resurrecting the Cybermen. The Doctor helps them get inside the ancient Cyber city and helps them access the tombs. But as the Cybermen awake from a long slumber, he realizes he should probably stop the Cybermen from assimilating the archeologists. Meanwhile, a rogue member of the team hopes to create a race of atomic supermen and conquer the world.

Space archeology is always fraught with peril.

Erik and Justin discuss the uncomfortable racists undertones of the story with its non-white villains and their manservant Toberman. More terrible American accents appear and Victoria is compared to Zoe. Erik invokes the ancient astronaut theory while Justin notes Jamie wears the shortest skirt in the story. They also compare the archeologists to the ill-fated crew of Prometheus. Erik declares that the Cybermats are adorable and Justin offers very important advice about space exploration. He also decides whether or not the story is as good as Erik believes.

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