The 1st Annual TWIDW Podcast Awards
February 21, 2010
This Week In Doctor Who is taking a brief step into whimsy today. With technical issues keeping me from covering the podcasts properly lately, I figured - why not have an awards show?
The Grandfather Paradox Award for Paving the Way:
Joint winners - Doctor Who: Podshock and The DWO Whocast. The two longest lasting Doctor Who podcasts are still testing the boundaries and making their names as all-around shows. Podshock does studio, live, long, short, Newsdriver, internet alternate reality (what else do you call 2nd life). Whocast is the first show to change out hosts, to have eras of production. Whocast actually got podcasters together to make a stand promoting simultaneous Doctor Who broadcasts - hooray. I can't give one show or the other a sole victory because I have appeared on both shows. I have been a guest on Whocast (the only show to actually bring me on as a guest - so far - watch this space). I have called in on Podshock in various formats.
Longest Lasting Canadian Podcast Award:
Radio Free Skaro is the clear winner here. Radio Free Skaro has been around for 4 years. As far as I know, we are now up to two (Katrina's involvement in Bridging The Rift is enough to meet the CanCon requirements on that side of the border). But Bridging The Rift began in 2009 (and is indeed a Radio Free Skaro spinoff). Radio Free Skaro is the best at affectionate snark. News and commentary with some laughs and a lack of seriousness, by gar.
Best Comedy Podcast Award:
The Staggering Stories Podcast wins. Ostensibly a news and review show, it should serve as a model to The Daily Show if they ever want to be a "funny" comedy news show. Ringmaster/straightman Adam, Voiceman Andy, the Two Keiths, and Heartbreaker Jean (not all cast members in every episode) put out episodes every 2 weeks, so their numbers are smaller for the number of years it has been running, but like kids with Pokemon in the late 1990s, you gotta catch them all.
Most Missed Podcast Award:
The Whovian Quest. The first podcast to try to review all the Doctor Who stories from the beginning in order. Disappeared at the end of 2008 after The Web Planet. No one knows why. But during its run, the episodes were a joy to listen to. Still on my iPod, in case the show returns in the future.
The Rip Van Winkle Award:
Tachyon TV. Perhaps the only podcasters to actually use Doctor Who's gap year as a model for their own show. Note - their show is witty and well-produced, but decidedly adults only. Only podcast crew to nearly be killed by a crazy taxi last year, so they may have been laying low. Very strong language.
Having The Most Fun Making Their Show Award:
There is a great deal of joy on the Tennantcast. Kelsey, Kari, Flossie, et al look at the week in David Tennant's life. They have fun, they wander off on interesting subjects that have nothing to do with their show. This may be the closest category, because I can't think of any podcasts where the hosts are fighting each other or dragging their heels about turning up. But for the moment, they hold the crown.
The Breaking The Mold Award:
The Minute Doctor Who Podcast. Luke does his show his way. Straight reviews, offbeat interviews, out of left field, instructional videos, audio episodes when you least expect them. Only podcaster so far to show how intergenerational fandom can be by interviewing his own parents. I first discovered Doctor Who because my parents were watching, so I get it. And after watching his cricket episode four times, the sport of Cricket *almost* makes sense.
The Spinoff Award:
Bridging The Rift wins this one. Back in July, a plot twist in Torchwood: Children Of Earth (the episode is finally airing in New Zealand in March - don't want to give it away) led to some controversy and fan anger. The Radio Free Skaro team called in Katrina (part time guest host), Nat from Nottingham, and Erik from Alexandria (one of the few podcasters I have met in person) to do a special covering the issues raised. This oddly serious and straightforward Radio Free Skaro Afterschool Special proved extremely popular. Katrina and Nat (and eventually Erik again) came together and started doing their own podcast looking at the fandoms for all of the Doctor Who universe shows. The seriousness did not make it to the spinoff - the gang is having fun and exploring rarely seen sides of the Doctor Who/Torchwood/Sarah Jane/K-9 fan universe.
The Dynamic Duo Award:
The Flashing Blade Podcast popped on the stage demanding a nice cup of tea. It soon got all the tea it wanted, as the initial team of Jo! and ex Staggering Stories/Whocast host Tony Gallichan won over the skeptical hearts of fans whose ipods were probably overloaded by new podcasts at that point. Jo examines everything with relatively fresh fan eyes while Tony has been in the fun and the controversy for decades. Tony's cats come along and interrupt at inconvenient moments. There is a bit of whimsy, and occasional moments of reflectiveness remembering the challenges both hosts have survived. Jo has gone to appearing in fewer episodes to have more time with her life, so a new co-host named Robert is in some episodes. I'm a bit behind on the show due to computer issues, but I heard the first Robert episode before my computer went pear-shaped and it looks like the show is in good hands.
The Democracy Project Award:
CIA: Cultdom In Audio/The Cultdom Collective are joint winners, and some would say they used to be the same show. West, Dave AC, Ian Bisset, Samantha, Diane, Darth Skeptical, Robert Wentz, Tim Drury, and a cavalcade of regular and semi-regulars (including me) called in to CIA each week to discuss Doctor Who news, followed by Who or another sci-fi topic. At one point, Dave AC and Ian opted to create The Cultdom Collective and return full control of CIA to West. Cultdom picked up where the CIA had left off. West now has time and CIA has resumed, airing live on talkshoe sporadically in various time slots. Both shows are fun to take part in, and you have a real sense of listener involvement. Warning - getting on the microphone like that (live and no editing) can sometimes be hazardous - I am not the only one to fall asleep while recording and send my zzz's out to the world. Also your cats, spouses, telephones, etc can interrupt good conversation. But these shows are most interesting and informative open mics in fandom, and always friendly fun.
Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit Award:
The Two Minute Time Lord. When you realize he said more in two to four minutes than you did in a long ramble, it says it all.
The David Hooie Award for a DVD Review Show with guests:
Doctor Who Review Today, hosted by Robert from CIA and Cultdom Collective. His solo show kicks off to a new level when he can get his guests to make it at that late hour.
The Doctor Who Review Today Award for Solo DVD Reviews:
Hoo On Who, produced by David Hooie. David brings in fascinating guests and chats up the DVDs. But usually the best part of the DVD reviews is his own take on the stories. His guests do better at bringing themselves to the microphone, like the sci-fi radio host he had in one episode. Agree or not, David's take on the DVDs is addictive.
Best Podcast To Not Get An Award Yet Award:
Bigger On The Inside. I did indicate that this was less serious than normal for TWIDW, and I admit to trying to find places for as many of the podcasts as possible (I did not succeed - the peril of too many good shows). But Bigger deserves a mention. Our two American hosts (one a fan since the 80s, one a fan largely through the Eccleston/Tennant episodes) review one or two Doctor Who stories every two weeks. They have been going for a bit over a year. They managed to do all of Hartnell and all of Troughton, in order. They are now in the Pertwee era. They looked up reconstructions, VHS, DVD - whatever they needed to in order to actually see everything in order. And they made a compelling show (note - strong language in the episodes - not for kids). Their goal is to keep going till they are current with the new TV episodes, and based on the number of episodes made per year and some secret timetable the hosts worked out - they will manage it in 2013. I think this pair might actually pull it off. Meanwhile, they are involved with a network of other podcasts they are involved in - Bigger is only one of their shows.
I'm out of time, so I'll have to come up with fictitious awards for other shows at a later date. So, MMM Commentaries/Fantragic Podcast, The Wailing Fangirl, Tim's Take On, The Cloister Room, and some new shows I need to check out when I have full capacity again - I have not forgotten you and you are worthy shows to listen to as well.
To keep the winners from bashing each other over the heads with their awards in a sense of "there can be only ONE Doctor Who podcast" - their award will be a tiny gold star sticker, which they can get when they track me down in person. Probably Gallifrey 2011 or later. No, we cannot call these stars "Adrics". There are already Adric awards ...
Coming Saturday, a regular This Week In Doctor Who column. We reserve the right to break in if anything exciting or shocking happens before then.
This Week In Doctor Who