Improvised Radio Theatre - With Dice

"A bit like Ken and Robin meets History Today"

The Time Lords are There to be Mysterious and Annoying


This month, Mike and Roger improvise, rant, and consider the three faces of Doctor Who role-playing.

We mentioned Iron GM, Torrey Canyon, Mary Whitehouse, Bill Boaks (who died, in the end, after a road accident), Less Passion from Less Protein, Hamlet's Hit Points, Neverwinter Nights, Narcissist, Roger's Doctor Who re-watch, Doctor Who RPG, Buffy RPG, Time Lord (Roger failed to mention that there was no actual character generation in the original version, and that it's freely available now), Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, Quantum Leap, Andrew Rilstone's writing on Doctor Who and Roger's review of it.

Music by Kevin MacLeod at

1st July 2015

Comments On This Entry

Phil Masters
Submitted at 11:10:52 on 01 July 2015

I think you have the date stamp wrong on this one...

Owen Smith
Submitted at 16:54:46 on 01 July 2015

Blog date for this podcast says 1 June 2015, I think you mean July.

Submitted at 18:29:07 on 01 July 2015


You cannot see the error here.

Michael Cule
Submitted at 21:32:50 on 01 July 2015

I could before. Fixed now.

Owen Smith
Submitted at 23:05:12 on 01 July 2015

Just to be sure you know, iTunes is confused as well and shows two copies of this episode and marking them as played doesn't work.

Owen Smith
Submitted at 16:44:21 on 04 July 2015

Step away from the timeline change, and leave Adric to his certain death. It's for everybody's good you know it is.

Personally I have doubts about a Dr. Who role playing game. The number of companions would be higher than it was for most of the TV series, and the dynamic of one player playing the Doctor could be tricky.

Submitted at 17:48:12 on 04 July 2015

The timeline thing is a narrative problem: as a general rule, why don't they go back and stop people from getting killed in the first place? The show has given various solutions over the years, some more convincing than others, but the real answer is "because then it wouldn't look like a story that we recognise at all". (See previous comments on Continuum/Narcissist).

Gaming groups are smaller than they used to be: one time lord and two or three companions is workable in TV plot terms. But in order to feel like the show, as opposed to a standard sort of RPG that happens to include time travel, I think you need to get away from the "look down my list of abilities/equipment and see what I can do with it" mindset and into a "come up with something completely barking which is nothing to do with my skills as previously established but fits my character" one. Which is something I find quite hard to do.

Phil Masters
Submitted at 22:18:43 on 11 July 2015

That's how the Doctor usually functions, but one could argue that the better-written companions have tended to demonstrate useful skill sets that they carry over from story to story. Though they tend to reduce to "Biff/blow up/stab/raygun those simpler problems which the Doctor is too enlightened to deal with sensibly".

One might also bitch that the only skill demonstrated by modern-series companions is "Gaze at the Doctor with nebulous longing and occasionally remind him that he is loved". But then, I'm not sure that Jo or Sarah Jane did much else either. They were just slightly subtler about it.

Submitted at 16:16:06 on 12 July 2015

I think that as someone with fond memories of the old series I tend to remember the good bits and elide the not-so-good. This is one reason my re-watch of the whole thing has slowed down, as I've got closer to the long desert of the Not Very Good Years.

So occasionally Sarah Jane would do something really impressive, once in a while she'd put up a good argument against the Doctor, but mostly she would just say "eek" and get hypnotised again. (And nobody could work out what to do with Leela at all, beyond the basic violence.)

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