The Lazarus Experiment
Episode / April 28, 2016

Aired 5 May 2007 Holding onto youth and vitality is one of the key cornerstones of modern society, and that notion forms the backbone for ‘The Lazarus Experiment,’ an enjoyable if straightforward monster tale that gets the series back on stronger footing after the relative misfire of the Dalek two-parter. The straightforward nature may be slightly offputting to some, but ‘The Lazarus Experiment’ certainly manages to channel and evoke the Pertwee era with a modern twist. Here, once more, a scientist on Earth disregards the Doctor’s warnings about messing with forces of nature, a good deal of running around and racing against the clock when the experiment goes wrong then following. Mark Gatiss plays Professor Richard Lazarus, a genius of advanced age who still holds enough influence to throw a large party to show off his reverse aging machine while boasting about himself. Martha’s sister, Tish, is his public relations assistant, and she’s also the subject of some unwanted attention from Lazarus, which becomes a bit more forward once he uses his machine on himself and seems to forget about his long-time wife. Of course, in life and especially in Doctor Who, prizes as alluring as immortality come with a…

The Mutant Phase
Audio / February 25, 2016

Released December 2000 ‘The Mutant Phase’ is the third story to pit the Daleks against the Doctor. Whereas ‘The Genocide Machine’ had the novelty of being the first and ‘The Apocalypse Element’ had the novelty of being set on Gallifrey, ‘The Mutant Phase’ has no such device to bolster excitement and so the story has to stand solely on its own merit as the Daleks this time face the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa. Unfortunately, despite many very positive attributes to the tale that make it quite enjoyable to listen to, there are quite a few noticeable flaws as well, some more debatable than others. The biggest issue with ‘The Mutant Phase’ is that it all comes down to a paradox, albeit not one necessarily consciously created. This is a common science fiction trope, and sometimes it can be effective in retrospect, but it becomes quite obvious early on that the plot is headed in this direction, giving a sense of nonchalant detachedness to the proceedings since they will ultimately be inconsequential. This is most egregious in the second episode when the Doctor and Nyssa arrive on Earth in the forty-third century and find the last stragglers of human civilization being…