One fat geek's SUCCESSFUL attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

Shut Up and Eat Your Popcorn

Mar 05 2018
Shut Up and Eat Your Popcorn

Today was definitely a "plusses and minuses" kind of day. On the plus side, I did 22 pushups this morning. A week ago I could barely do three. On the minus side, I was still pretty wiped out from my workout the evening before, so my pace on the treadmill was pretty slow today. But that's ok. Hopefully tomorrow morning I will be more rested.

As for Doctor Who, I watched the first half of the last story of the Seventh Doctor's second season. So let's talk about that.

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy - Parts 1 & 2

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

The story opens in a direct ripoff of the movie The Greatest Showman. I will grant you that the movie was not released until thirty years after this story aired, but we all know how wibbly-wobbly this show can be. In the first shot a circus ringmaster steps into the ring and performs an opening number. Unfortunately, instead of it being Hugh Jackman performing an enchanting song, it's Ricco Ross performing a rap. This being 1988, it is very much an old school Grandmaster Flash style rap, and it has not aged well.

So anyway, after that weird opening the TARDIS materialize on a planet that totally does not look like an English rock quarry. The Doctor and Ace have responded to an advertisement to visit the Psychic Circus, the titular Greatest Show in the Galaxy. It turns out there has been a call for performers to audition, and there is of course something evil going on. After a bit of a trek through the wastelands and encountering several other off-kilter characters, they finally arrive at the circus itself. The only people in the audience is a mother and father with their young daughter who keeps asking questions, and keeps being told to just shut up and eat her popcorn.

By the midpoint of the story the Doctor and Ace have been separated as per usual. Ace is running around trying to find the Doctor, while the Doctor is captured by evil clowns, escapes, finds a mysterious pit containing a giant glowing eye, and then is recaptured.

Much like Delta and the Bannermen there is just too much weirdness to properly be conveyed here, and I love every minute of it. It is not realistic or grounded in any way, it should be a complete train wreck, but it works perfectly for this Doctor.

To interesting things of note about this story: First, he opening rap number is the first original song to have been commissioned for the show since the execrable "Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon" from The Gunfighters. Second, at six words this story has the honor of having the longest story title in the history of Classic Who. It was only finally surpassed in the 2011 Christmas story The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe.

And on that note, I am going to bed.


Doctor(s): Seventh
Companion(s): Ace
Episode(s): The Greatest Show in the Galaxy - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,259 today, 2,466,388 total
Distance Walked: 3.75 miles today, 1,278.56 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 22 today, 123 total
Weight: 250.36 lbs (five day moving average), net change -56.94 lbs

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Total: 1 Comment(s)
Michael Montoure said:
Since I saw this story the year it aired, I can assure you that the opening rap number *immediately* aged poorly.
· reply ·


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