Stranger Things [Season 1, Part 1]

July 21, 2017

This is our first of two episodes on Season 1 of Stranger Things. 

One of our most requested topics, which ironically makes for a daunting prospect, because we have to cover something that means so much for so many people? We eventually relented when this was commissioned by Stephen Maxwell Lowe, Toby Jungius, Nick Grugin and Joel Robinson. 

For this first part we cover the following episodes.

1. The Vanishing of Will Byers

2. The Weirdo on Maple Street

3. Holly Jolly

Our guests include Laura Kate Dale of Lets Play Video Games and Podquisition, Alasdair Stuart of Escape Artists and Debbie Morse of Sequentially Yours. 

We'll be back next week for the remaining five episodes. 

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Gargoyles

July 14, 2017

This week, on commission from Nicholas Kosky and Joel Robinson, we cover the first season of the celebrated mid-90s animated series. 

Released in 1994, just a little after we were getting into sit-coms like Friends and Frasier, this show somehow attained a cult following AND a 52-episode second season. Those two things don't happen together very often. 

With us is longtime Gargoys aficionado Greg Bishansky to keep us in the know on all the background detail of the production. 

Next week: Stranger Things

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The Second Coming

June 2, 2017

A commissioned show about a 2003 two-part TV miniseries wherein Christopher Eccleston plays a regular bloke from Manchester who suddenly realises that he is the son of God. The story is about how the world takes this news and how it affects his close friends. Also there are demons.

This is new Doctor Who creator Russel T. Davies' hot take on religion.

It made Sharon and I quite angry, and unexpectedly ended up as one of our more thought-provoking shows, most definitely nudging us out of our comfort zone and into the realm of discussing one of the subjects guaranteed to offend somebody.

Next week: Wonder Woman!

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He-Man & She-Ra

June 17, 2016

This week's episode is all about one of the first wildly popular toy and animated show tie-ins. Emerging in 1982 the Masters of the Universe toy line was hot on the heels of Star Wars and (thanks to the repeal of certain laws about ethics in programming) was able to advertise its products to the child during the commercial breaks as they were watching the show. And of course, seeing as most of the characters featured were already toys, every episode was a commercial in its own right.

He-Man is, by today's standards a dreadfully polite pacifist who seeks only to hold Eternia's morals in check, whist Skeletor is a charmingly gentle nitwit who seeks power via boneheaded schemes. Both of them have colourful henchmen and at the end of the day nobody is getting hurt. 

She-Ra is a scenario much the same, only she and her buddies in the Great Rebellion are always on the back foot and Hordak is an oppressive warmonger that they are trying to depose, giving that show more of a struggle and stakes, and a rather empowering female hero for many girls (and boys) to be inspired by. Stay to the end to see how Mattel sold this strong woman in doll form. 

We also cover the ill-fated New Adventures and the badass 200X show. Next week we're looking at the 1987 Dolph Lundgren movie. 

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Thundercats

April 29, 2016

This one has been a long time coming. Maybe the most significant animated series of my childhood, Thundercats (1985) was, for me, age 6, the promise of adventure. Seven cat-people escape the doomed planet of Thundera and find a new home in the lush, expansive new world of Third Earth. But then never bargained on their old enemies, the mutants pursuing them and forming an unholy alliance with this new planet's ancient demon priest, Mumm-Ra. 

When you go back and investigate aged 36 however, it's a creaky, ponderous, derivative, bloodless, tension-free grab-bag of embarrassing dialogue, ridiculous over the top performances and tropes that were worn into the ground a decade or two ago. 

I've got so much better TV to watch, animated series' have reached unforeseen heights of excellence... so why do I still love Thundercats?

And in 2011 when a new series was attempted and sank without trace after an unsatisfying ending that suggested a much larger story-line, why did I love that too? 

It's not just nostalgia, there's more to both of these shows. Allow me and Sharon and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst to elucidate for you. We framed this so that fans of the show, people who hated the show and those who have never had the dubious pleasure of watching it could all enjoy our podcast. 

In the second section we discuss Mumm-Ra's motivation, some unanswerable questions and our favourite episodes.

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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

February 27, 2016

[SOEE #63]

In the 80’s while all the boys were watching Transformers and obligingly buying the toys Hasbro were also targeting girls with a similarly multimedia manipulative marketing campaign to sell them pretty, plastic ponies.

Twenty five years and three terrible Michael Bay movies later and the boys, now grown up are feeling pretty dismal about the once awesome mythos they loved. However after many years of quiet My Little Pony resurfaced in 2010 and to the surprise of everyone turned out to be not bad at all. Really rather great in fact. Well written with lovable characters and amusing dialogue.

In an unusual turn of events it picked up a following of male viewers. Dubbed ‘Bronies’ these men, young and old have a tough battle trying to make their case for why they aren’t twisted child molesters. This podcast is about the show, the fans and why it’s become beloved. My remit is to examine it with varying levels of perspective and delve in rather than making fun of it as outsiders or being overly defensive fanboys.

My two specialists are Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits and Connor Milford, Zephyr Lite in the Gonzo community. It’s very much a podcast aimed at people who know nothing about Friendship is Magic so if you’re curious, this is the Pony investigation for you.

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Daredevil [Netflix]

December 3, 2015

[SOEE #67]

This is our spoiler-filled podcast review of the first season of the Netflix show.

I’ll say up front this is not our favourite Marvel production. Not only do we bring up what we feel are its weaker aspects but just FYI it gets very vitriolic about the feature-creep of torture and mutilation into adult TV. This rant has been a long time coming folks. But there are of course aspects that we like and indeed love, and we definitely want to see more.

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw

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Ghostwatch

October 31, 2015
This appeared on the patreon today but enough people were asking about it and recommending the show to newcomers that it just seemed like it needed bringing back. So now you know how to get that done. 


Ghostwatch is the 1992 hoax TV broadcast screened on BBC1 which caused a widespread national panic as thousands of kids (and more adults that would like to admit it) reacted with terror to the creepy happenings onscreen. 
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Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

March 8, 2013
[SOEE #54]

We bring our Terminator shows to a close with a discussion about the brief but brightly burning TV series. This managed two seasons, which is more than most Fox shows and the ending is abrupt but satisfying, hinting at greater depths in further episodes. 

However, in it's lifespan it managed some of the most cerebral, emotional and fascinating moments in Terminator mythology leaving the three most recent movies in the dust.

The central trio of performances grow exceptional over time and are backed up by a network of strong support characters, expanding beyond the typical small group of the movies and  outlining a saga across time that is epic in scale. Yet at its core this is a deeply personal story about a mother and her son, John's maturing into the man he has heard so much about from others and the enormous burden Sarah feels, but cannot set down.

It's worth your time and money. 

The episode is divided into two with a spoiler section clearly flagged, in which we discuss the endgame.

Listen to Tiger’s Eye! Search for New Century on iTunes today and get into some superb audio drama. 

If you love these shows support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alexandershaw
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Transformers Prime

March 6, 2013

[SOEE #66]

This is both parts combined into one mega-podcast.

The Transformers road trip finally emerges from the ugly, industrial wasteland and like Outrun we find ourselves suddenly experiencing a completely different and altogether more fascinating vista.

Yes, this animated TV show, passed up by the majority of adults as being for the kids just happens to be the greatest depiction of the Autobots and Decepticons ever committed to any medium. Freed of the obligation to deliver spectacle whilst somehow keeping the robots to a minimum this production team somehow manage to capture everything we loved about Generation 1 with the best bits from the movies, shows, comics and games in between. 

Focus is on companionship between the Autobots and the human teenagers they are protecting, with the kids giving perspective to the bots and vice versa. The Decepticons are no longer snarling hyper-aggressive insectoids but a charismatic, entertaining team in their own right. Starscream reaches his full potential to become a scheming metal Iago, Soundwave somehow manages to be even more creepy NOT speaking and  Megatron goes from being the one-dimensional byword for tedious head villain to a genuinely frightening and compelling warmonger.

As for the Autobots, Bulkhead and Bumblebee take their cues from the Iron Giant and R2-D2, Ratchet is played by the Re-Animator himself, Jeffrey Combs like a transfroming Doctor McCoy, guarded warrior Arcee is described on this very show as being like Trinity but less robotic and Peter Cullen turns in his best grave, powerful performance as Optimus, finally being given the kind of things to say and do that make you remember why he's the leader you'd follow into robot hell and back.

It's so good we did two shows on it, covering first Autobots and then Decepticons over Season 1. We've saved the big spoilers for the end of the second show so you really should listen at least that far and then get hold of these. 

Joining us are Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked web-comic who provided us with stunning Transformers artwork for the website (Visit his Patreon here), Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Andrew Pidhajeckyk of the Digital Drift Community. 

The Transformers road trip comes to a triumphant end as we close out our Prime conversation in unusual circumstances, discussing a group of characters who have struggled since 1984 to be expressed as anything other than thugs or buffoons, The Decepticons, Turns out all it took to portray them as a group of warriors with their own motivations, weaknesses, misgivings and strengths was decent writing, building upon both well-established characters finally given dimensions of personality and newcomers who swiftly became fan favourites. It's been a wild ride through the Transformers series, but I'm very happy we could end on such a high note.

Joining us once again are Mike Hearn of Walter the Wicked web-comic (I'm a patron of his webcomic http://www.patreon.com/Wicked?ty=a), Neil Taylor and Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst and Andrew Pidhajeckyk of the Digital Drift Community. 

Next week, we celebrate Halloween in style with a pair of notorious creature features; Troll & Troll 2, the latter of which is considered by many to be the best worst movie ever made. 

Be sure to find us, follow us, like us and email us.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/digitaldriftuk
Twitter: @DigitalDriftUK
Email: digitaldriftuk@gmail.com
Website: www.digitaldrift.co.uk

New Century Patreon: www.patreon.com/newcentury

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