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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Tread Perilously — Buck Rogers In The 25th Century: Vegas in Space

Tread Perilously continues its latest Sci-Fi Month with its first look at the late 70s camp classic Buck Rogers in the 25th Century with the episode aptly titled “Vegas in Space.”

When a crimelord’s most valued data analyst is kidnapped, he offers Dr. Huer the secrets to the Draconians’ anti-detection systems in exchange for rescuing her. Soon, Buck and Major Marla Landers (guest star Juanin Clay) are dispatched to the space station Sinaloa; a well known den of gambling and, apparently, human trafficking. Will Buck be able to save the analyst before Dr. Morphus the interrogator fries her brain? Will he decide to save sex slave Tangie from Sinaloa? Will he engineer a foursome before the episode is over?

Justin and Erik recast Gil Gerard’s Buck Rogers as a pansexual adventurer; a reading the show sort of supports. Justin mistakes Buck Rogers for Ted Cruz during the credit sequence. Erik tries to explain the Gay Computer Council of the 25th Century. The Good Place gets a free plug. Tread Perilously all-star Richard Lynch returns dressed as Dracula in Space. Justin tries to determine if Buck slept with one of Lynch’s goons. He also suggests every movie should end with Journey’s “Anyway You Want It.”

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Tread Perilously — Battlestar Galactica (1978): The Lost Warrior

Tread Perilously continues sci-fi month with the first hour-long episode of the original Battlestar Galactica, “The Lost Warrior.”

When Apollo leads a Cylon raiding party away from the fleet, he ends up out of fuel and on the western themed planet Equellis, where “ovine” ranchers are held in the grip of local land baron Lacerta and his mysterious enforcer Red Eye. When Apollo befriends a young boy named Puppis and his mother on the outskirts of town, he determines Red Eye is a Cylon, but refuses to use his colonial pistol until he knows whether or not Red Eye is alone. Will he ever take his gun to town and mete out justice? Will Puppis call after him as he leaves the planet? And will Boxey learn to smoke while in Starbuck’s care?

Erik and Justin doubt Cylons like Tommy’s burgers. They also lament the comic convention status of Herbert Jefferson Jr. Justin outlines the dangers of making sci-fi terms for common words like “minute” and “years.” Uncle Booties makes his first appearance. Memories of Kickboxing Academy appear from the ether. Erik confuses how to say “Cassiopeia.” The oddly foppish Lacerta becomes a favorite. Erik also outlines why Equellan males are less desirable and defines the meaning of “felgercarb.”

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Tread Perilously — The Orville: Krill

Tread Perilously continues Sci-Fi month by breaking the three-year rule again and looking at an episode of the 2017 series The Orville with the episode entitled “Krill.”

When the Orville manages to destroy a Krill ship, the gang end up with a pristine Krill shuttle. Sensing the intelligence gathering opportunity, Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) is ordered to infiltrate a Krill warship using the shuttle and holographic projectors. Soon, he and Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes) learn about Krill religion, customs and their war machine. He also discovers they train children aboard their starships. Will he be able to stop the Krill’s extermination plans for a human colony while saving the Krill younglings?

Erik reveals his dislike of MacFarlane and his seemingly contradictory appreciation for Ted. He also admits that MacFarlane is a charming in person. Justin outlines why he believes “Krill” is both the strongest and weakest episode of The Orville to date. Erik is convinced he can see Scott Grimes’s soul dying a little more in each scene. The attention to detail in Krill culture and makeup is praised while MacFarlane’s brand of comedy continues to be derided. Nuance comes into play as Justin calls out Erik’s preference for repetitious comedy and Erik realizes that Law & Order: Special Victims Unit‘s Michaela McManus should’ve spent her career playing Narns.

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Tread Perilously — Star Trek Discovery: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Tread Perilously heads into a month of science fiction television with a look at the worst episode of Star Trek: Discovery thus far, “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.”

Confounded by the cloaking technology dispersed to Klingon ships by Kol, Son of Kor, the U.S.S. Discovery is dispatched to the planet Pahvo; where a unique frequency resonance may aid Starfleet in detecting cloaked ships. The Away Team comprised of Saru, Michael Burnham and Lt. Tyler make contact with an energy lifeform Saru dubs “The Pahvans” despite the fact the planet is causing havoc on his highly evolved danger senses. Meanwhile, disgraced Klingon L’Rell offers to interrogate Admiral Cornwell, but she may be interested in defecting to the Federation. Can she and Cornwell escape the Klingon Ship of the Dead?

Erik and Justin make a deep dive into Star Trek: Discovery‘s first season, the changes to Klingons and the show’s structure with stops at Avatar, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the forests of Canada. Erik supports the notion that the Pahvans are related to DS9‘s profits and pah-wraiths. Justin doubts it entirely. Erik sympathizes with Saru’s mad anxiety. Justin imagines Klingon IKEA and recalls that all spacefaring races have a version of Swedish Meatballs. The Federation’s First Contact protocols get criticized and the pair judge Discovery overall.

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