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Impossible Podcasts

Impossible Podcasts
Lively discussion of the fiction of the fantastic on television, in books and in films, including Doctor Who fan commentaries

Homepage: http://www.impossiblepodcasts.com/

RSS Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ImpossiblePodcasts-DoctorWhoUniverse

Impossible Podcasts Statistics
Average Episode Duration:
Longest Episode Duration:
Total Duration of all Episodes:
0 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes and 57 seconds
Earliest Episode:
26 June 2011 (9:30pm GMT)
Latest Episode:
19 May 2013 (12:03am GMT)
Average Time Between Episodes:
3 days, 13 hours, 37 minutes and 17 seconds

Impossible Podcasts Episodes

  • Book Review - 'Kingston to Cable' - Gary Greenwood

    9 September 2011 (6:00pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    There's a new reviewer in town. Claire Fayers squares off against the latest offering from fantasy and horror writer Gary Greenwood. Who will be left standing?

    Western crossovers seem to be gaining in popularity. First we had Western-martial arts comedy (Shanghai Noon), then Korean Western (The Good the Bad and the Weird). Cowboys and ninjas fought in The Warrior's Way and, as I write this, Harrison Ford is doing battle in Cowboys & Aliens.

    Kingston to Cable by Gary Greenwood takes the Western, shakes it up a bit and dumps it in a fantasy setting. The world is one of isolated towns separated by vast expanses of inhospitable territory and the opening scene is the most classic of all Western classics: a stranger rides into town.

    Or, rather, a Stranger. In Kingston, Strangers are a recognised class - wanderers with names such as Slake and Hook and Justice. They stay in the town Station, drink in the town bar, stay for a few days or a few weeks, and move on. Some of them are pursuing their own agendas, some just appear to enjoy causing trouble. Many are reputed to have magical powers, which explains the townspeople's reluctance to get involved with them.


  • Doctor Who - 'Night Terrors' - Review

    5 September 2011 (7:00pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Scary for scary's sake? Reviewer James Willetts asks whether last Saturday's episode had more to it that meets the (glass) eye...

    There's a lot of talk a lot of the time about how scary new-Who can be. How it's somehow unsuitable for children, as though terrifying them about a fictional monster is in some way going to emotionally cripple them for life. It's an argument that most people, thankfully, have little time for, and I bring it up because 'Night Terrors', an episode which was seemingly designed simply to scare the crap out of small children everywhere, actually addresses it. It's a nicely meta moment that sums up everything else within this episode; a child's father mentions that, to stop him being scared, they banned scary television.

    It's probably a common response. If you read the message boards and speak to parents they often worry that Doctor Who may be unsuitable for their child. As though mild peril with a through-flowing message that everything will be alright in the end is a bad thing.


  • Television - My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Review

    30 August 2011 (8:00pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    We were a little surprised when Olivia Cottrell first asked to write a review of the new My Little Pony series. After all, she's not exactly the girly-girl type. But then, from the sound of it, neither is the series...

    When you hear 'My Little Pony', what springs to mind? Chances are you'll think of the pastel, plastic doe-eyed monstrosities that were advertised with an equally vapid cartoon- strictly the territory of little girls, and not particularly discerning ones at that. However, if you've spent a little time on the Internet recently, you might have noticed the growing popularity of a modern version of the cartoon. Entitled My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, this new series has enchanted a new demographic of 18-35 year old males (among others) and consequently taken the Internet by storm. Fan art, fan fiction and pony-dedicated websites abound in every corner of the web. So what has made this show so popular? Has the Internet finally gone mad? And what on earth is a Sonic Rainboom?

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 6. 'The Middle Men' - Review

    28 August 2011 (7:58pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Reviewer James Willetts weighs in on the latest episode of Torchwood. Has his patience finally paid off?

    With a single episode Torchwood has sparked a resurgence, albeit one that may well have come too late for the casual viewer. After five weeks of lethargically plotted, unyieldingly slow story, we're finally rewarded with three ongoing plot threads that are equally relevant and interesting. It's hard to believe that this is the same series.

    Whilst Rhys and Gwen try to break her father out of the Welsh concentration camp, Jack does some investigative work into PhiCorp and Rex and Esther set out to reveal the truth about the death of Dr Juarez.
    Rex and Esther are both given a chance to shine here and, after five weeks in which neither have shown much in the way of engaging characterisation (Esther in particular having suffered from a bad case of the 'Nobody Cares-ies') it's certainly refreshing to see them both engaging in some plot advancing escapades. Their story also benefits from a series of scenes which successfully build the tension as Rex digs himself deeper and deeper into trouble.


  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 5. 'The Categories of Life' - Review

    28 August 2011 (7:58pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    James Willetts is back to pick over the bones of the latest episode of Miracle Day. Warning: may contain traces of Buffy.

    So that was it. Torchwood's big twist was that there was no twist. The concentration camps are just concentration camps and Oswald Danes really isn't a nice man after all. Yes. It's not exactly The Sixth Sense. Hell, it's not even The Village, but Torchwood should really be applauded for its enthusiastic willingness to play it straight.

    The only problem is, no one seems to have told the show runners, who breathlessly announced that this was the point at which PhiCorp's true intentions would be revealed. Except, as it turned out, they were the same intentions that were revealed last week.


  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 3. 'Dead of Night' - Review

    28 August 2011 (7:58pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    James Willetts shares his thoughts on last week's episode of Torchwood. It seems he's a glutton for punishment. Don't forget to download our commentary for Episode 4: 'Escape to LA', available immediately after the UK broadcast tonight!

    Torchwood, Torchwood, Torchwood. What the heck is going on here then?

    Whilst the last few episodes have been all over the place in terms of realism, characterisation, plotting and holding an audience's attention I'm still happy to watch this. No matter how bad it is, the innate draw of sci-fi, or just a neat 'what if' are enough to keep me going. Something has to be really bad to lose me entirely. I'm not one of these people who think life's too short to waste on bad TV, or low budget B-Movies, or spending an evening of my life trying to find some Superhero themed music*.

    Some people might see it as a character flaw. Personally, I think it's more of a triumph. Anyone who's read anything I've ever written, knows that I frequently dislike the shows I watch. Just because I have a tolerance for nonsense, doesn't mean I can't recognise it when I see it.


  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 2. 'Rendition' - Review

    28 August 2011 (7:58pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    James Willetts wonders why the latest episode of Torchwood wasn't as much fun as Iron Man or dinosaurs.

    If you missed our commentary for 'Rendition', find it here!

    There are two huge problems with the second episode of Miracle Day which derail an engaging and enjoyable story.

    Unfortunately there are two parts of the episode which ring so false that all sense of logic, excitement and larger storyline are utterly lost. The first is the softening of the public's attitude towards Oswald Danes, and the second is the creation of an anti-toxin to cure arsenic poisoning from the everyday contents of an aeroplane.

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 4. 'Escape to L.A.' - Review

    28 August 2011 (7:57pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    James Willetts continues his weekly analysis of the Marvel Universe Miracle Day. Don't forget this week's podcast commentary, available immediately after the UK broadcast, tomorrow evening!

    When I was a student I discovered a series that I instantly fell in love with. It was a genre bending mash up of Raymond Chandler-esque gumshoe investigation and teen drama, in a fresh and vibrant school setting. The first two seasons involved an ongoing plot arc but the third, faced with cancellation and troubled budgeting, featured two shorter mini-arcs - an elegant mix between episode-of-the-week shenanigans and a more involved season arc which meant the producers had a chance to tell two final stories rather than one.

    The reason I bring this up is because we're now four episodes into Torchwood: Miracle Day and nothing has happened since the first ten minutes. Now, this may be the most meta of stories: a plot that shambles on long after it should have died may be a novel way to demonstrate the problems of a world in which death is no more, but somehow, I don't think so.


  • Doctor Who - 'Let's Kill Hitler' - Q&A with Steven Moffat

    28 August 2011 (7:57pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Direct Podcast Download

    Photo by Dave Parsons
    Doctor Who is back! Our full-length commentary will be online later this week but, to tide you over, here's something a little bit special. WARNING: contains some spoilers about a returning monster!

    Our very own Caleb Woodbridge had the chance to question Steven Moffat, Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan at the recent preview screening for 'Let's Kill Hitler', held at the British Film Institute in London. Find out how the showrunner keeps his stories straight, his approach to the mythology of the Doctor and, most importantly, why they really keep killing Rory.

    The secrets of the universe lie within this podcast.* Can you afford to live without it?

    Length: 33 minutes

    Download: Click here

    *As long as you consider Karen Gillan's favourite outfit of the series one of the secrets of the universe.

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - Ep 7 'Immortal Sins' - Discussion

    28 August 2011 (7:57pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Direct Podcast Download

    No time for a full commentary this week, sorry, but Gwen Williams and P.G. Bell go tete a tete over the details of 'Immortal Sins', the latest episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

    In addition to discussing whether this marks a turning point for the series, we find time to talk about Catholocism, homosexuality, armed police response units, the upward trend of John Barrowman's acting (no, really) and velociraptors. What more could you ask for? (Apologies for any slight discrepancies in the sound quality of this week's podcast - we experienced a few technical difficulties that we've done our best to remedy in the editing process).

    Length: 23 minutes

    Download: Click here

    Looking forward to the return of Doctor Who? Don't forget to join us for Moffat Bingo, which will be available here on the blog on Saturday. Plus, stay tuned for a word from the man himself, recorded at the recent Q&A session at the British Film Institute!

  • Doctor Who - 'Let's Kill Hitler' - Review

    28 August 2011 (7:55pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    James Willetts. Doctor Who. Review. Need I say more?

    There's something wonderful about Nazis. Not in a weird way - I'm not one of those people. But if you want someone who can exist as simply a villain, with no qualms, morality or care for their welfare, Nazis are brilliant. Always have been. Forget Islamic terrorists, the Soviets or whatever super villain society you can conjure up; if you want an unquestionably evil bad guy, you have to go with Nazis*.

    And Hitler, now Hitler is just a whole other level. If Nazis are bad, then the chief Nazi must be so much worse.

  • Doctor Who - Moffat Bingo - Play Along At Home

    26 August 2011 (6:02pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    What better way of celebrating the return of Doctor Who this weekend than by saluting our Ming-Mong-In-Chief? How, we hear you ask? Why, by downloading these exclusive Moffat Bingo cards of course!

    Moffat Bingo couldn't be easier to play. Simply print out the cards below (there are three different arrangements in total) then sit down with a pen, a friend (you do have one of those, right?) and the latest episode of Doctor Who. Then cross off each trope as and when it appears in the story. Easy! The first person to complete a line of five squares wins. See if you can get a full house (crossing off every square on the card) over the course of the series.

     Our thanks go to podcast listeners Kevin Greenan, Fiona James and Jon Rook who suggested suitable Moffatisms over at our Facebook page, and to Anna Bell for her help in designing the finished cards.

    Check back after tonight's broadcast for some insights from the man himself, as we bring you highlights from the recent 'Let's Kill Hitler' preview Q&A, with Steven Moffat, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill.

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 6. 'The Middle Men' - Commentary

    18 August 2011 (3:49pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Direct Podcast Download

    Caleb WoodbridgeP.G. Bell and Gwen Williams discuss Miracle Day episode 6, The Middle Men. (Check out our spoiler-free review!)

    We discuss Shanghai geography, Chinese swearing, whether 45 storeys is enough to guarantee unconciousness, Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson's turn as Stuart Owens, Jack Harkness as gay or omnisexual, Esther's uselessness, Gwen's awesomeness, and the amount of posing that goes into blowing stuff up! Plus much more...

    Length: 1 hour 3 minutes
    Download: Click here

  • Doctor Who - Moffat Bingo! - Your Chance to Take Part

    16 August 2011 (11:19pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    It's time to play Moffat Bingo! With Series 6b almost upon us, we're finally making good on an old promise and compiling a list of the Moff's most enduring tropes to see how many of them turn up in the new episodes. And we want YOU, faithful podcast fans, to help us!

    Simply visit our Facebook page, post your suggestions on the wall and we'll add the best (and funniest) to our patent-pending Moffat Bingo card, which will be posted here on the blog so you can play along at home. See how many tropes you can tick off per episode! (I feel a drinking game coming on...)

    Here are a couple to start you off...

    1. The Doctor adopts a new form of headgear
    2. A Classic monster receives a controversial (and largely unnecessary) redesign
    3. We meet a character who knows more about the Doctor's future than the Doctor does
    4. Alex Kingston regenerates into Julia Sawalha.

    Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea!

    Click here for our Facebook page.

  • Doctor Who - Let's Kill Hitler spoiler-free teasers

    15 August 2011 (8:40am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    You can also listen to Caleb's spoiler-free review of Let's Kill Hitler!

    10 Clues and Teaser about Let's Kill Hitler:

    1. Some time has passed since the end of A Good Man Goes to War.
    2. The opening shot is similar to one in series 5, but not for long!
    3. There may be someone new taking a trip in the TARDIS...
    4. The Doctor's fame has spread even further, but not everyone is as hostile as the Clerics.
    5. We find out why the Titanic sank.
    6. Alex Kingston steals some clothes. And most of the scenes she's in.
    7. Some familiar faces are glimpsed, and they don't make the Doctor happy.
    8. The Beano may have been the inspiration for one plot thread!
    9. The Doctor's death is a fixed point in time, apparently.
    10. Remember, the Doctor lies. And so does Steven Moffat.

  • Doctor Who - 'Let's Kill Hitler' Spoiler-free Review

    15 August 2011 (8:38am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Direct Podcast Download

    Direct from the BFI screening, Caleb Woodbridge brings us his spoiler-free review of Let's Kill Hitler, the first episode of the autumn run of Doctor Who!

    As the Doctor, Amy and Rory search for Melody Pond, they find the TARDIS hijacked! Arriving in Berlin, 1938, they discover they aren't the only time-travellers present and that Hitler isn't the worst war criminal on the loose...

    I was lucky enough to get a ticket to the BFI screening of Let's Kill Hitler in the two hours before they sold out. The screen was packed with fans and press, who laughed and cheered and whooped in all the right places. Scattered around the room were various Doctor Who cast and crew, from Michael Pickwoad the producting designer, to writer Phil Ford, Doctor Who Magazine editor Tom Spilsbury and many others of the great and the good. And, of course, Steven Moffat, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill - though sadly not Matt Smith, who is busy filming another series.

    We'll have more on the screening and Q&A soon, but now you can hear my first spoiler-free reactions to the episode! Hit play or click download to hear my review.

    Length: 6 minutes
    Download: Click here

    You can also read my 10 hints and teasers about Let's Kill Hitler, and we'll have our usual podcast commentary online after the show airs on BBC1!

  • Coming Soon: Doctor Who 'Let's Kill Hitler' BFI Screening Report

    14 August 2011 (6:08am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Tomorrow evening, the BFI is hosting a special preview screening of Let's Kill Hitler, the first episode of the autumn run of Doctor Who. Tickets sold out within hours, but our esteemed editor Caleb Woodbridge managed to nab a seat...

    That's right, I'll be reporting on the event tomorrow night! I rewatched A Good Man Goes to War today in preparation for the screening, and I can't wait to find out what happens next. How will Amy and Rory react to the news that River Song is their daughter? Will they rescue Amy's baby? Is the Doctor really going to kill Hitler?! And this time tomorrow, I'll know the answers...

    I'll be tweeting on @ImpossiblePod from the event, so follow us now! I'll bring you a spoiler-free review as soon as I can after the event - keep your eye on the blog. Steven Moffat and Karen Gillan will also be taking part in a Q and A after the episode, so I should have plenty to report...

    Doctor Who will almost certainly be returning to our television screens on Saturday 27th August. The trailer for series 6b is on the BBC website, but here's something from YouTube that might make you laugh...

  • Game of Thrones - Ep 9: 'Baelor' - Review

    14 August 2011 (2:00am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    War. Huh! What is it good for? Reviewer Kieran Mathers finds out, and wonders whether the show will deliver on all its promises. Be warned that there are mild spoilers ahead. And, for those of you not yet up to speed, check out our Game Of Thrones primer.

    How to talk about this episode without ruining it? Not mention the end, I suppose. Fans of the book, you know what's coming and they don't change it one bit. Those of you who have not read ahead ... well, you've got such a treat coming. It's the one moment in this show that I wish I hadn't known about in advance. It's brilliant, and one of the bravest things I've ever seen from a major TV show. I don't know if the popularity of this show will continue, but if it fails after the properly commissioned second series; well, at least they have their integrity. Bravo, everyone involved, bravo.


  • Book Review - 'A Dance with Dragons' - George R.R. Martin

    12 August 2011 (9:00pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    The latest Game of Thrones sequel has been a long time coming. Can it maintain the momentum of George R.R. Martin's winning streak? Our reviewer Kieran Mathers, no stranger to the kingdom of Westeros, finds out...

    If you've not yet read Kieran's reviews of the Game of Thrones TV series, you can start here. And come back tomorrow, for the latest instalment!

    Numerically, this book is very impressive. It weighs 2.5kg and has over a thousand pages. It costs over PS25. It is written from the perspective of eighteen characters. It took over six years to write and picks up plot lines over eleven years old. It features voyages of thousands of miles, a cast of hundreds of thousands, deaths by the thousand. It is the defining case when referring to modern epic literature.

    And ... I don't think it's actually that good.

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 6. 'The Middle Men' - Spoiler-free review

    12 August 2011 (1:34am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Caleb Woodbridge previews 'The Middle Men', episode 6 of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Reeling from the the death of one of the team, can the rest of Torchwood escape to let the world know the truth about the overflow camps?

    The end of 'Categories of Life' left me desperate to see the next episode, and 'The Middle Men' doesn't disappoint. The first half of the series felt quite episodic, with each week introducing situations and characters that are largely forgotten by the next episode, this is much more of a continuation of last week. It's effectively the second half of a two-parter, dealing with the fallout from discovering that the modules are ovens for burning the "Category Ones".

    Not that it's just more of the same: 'The Middle Men' begins by introducing us to Stuart Owens, played by Ghostbusters' Ernie Hudson, giving us a face for the sinister PhiCorp, and to some mysterious goings-on in another part of the world. But as Jack investigates PhiCorp, many of his theories (and those of the audience) begin to unravel, subverting some of the cliches of the 'evil corporation' trope.

    For the rest of the team, their mission is to escape the overflow camps. Some of the most harrowing scenes are those which depict the complicity of ordinary people, of doctors, nurses and officials, in the terrible scheme to burn the Category Ones. It makes it completely believable, as is Gwen's disgust. She really gets to shine in this episode as she struggles to save her father.

    Oswald Danes and Jilly Kitzinger aren't in this week's episode, but it's strong enough that I didn't actually notice their absence. Although the episode leaves you with just as many questions as answers, it now has a compelling seriousness of purpose - with a dark sense of humour and some explosions thrown in for good measure, of course. And the end of the episode indicates that some even harder choices are to come...

    Don't forget to catch up on our audio commentaries on Torchwood: Miracle Day: episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 5. 'Categories of Life' - Spoiler-free review

    11 August 2011 (5:13pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Caleb Woodbridge previews 'Categories of Life', episode 5 of Torchwood: Miracle Day. As governments worldwide agree on the new "categories of life", the Torchwood team goes undercover to discover the secrets of the overflow camps and their mysterious "modules"...

    If you've been wavering over whether to stick with the series, this week may well be make or break. So far, Miracle Day has plodded rather than gripped, but events take a darker and more dramatic turn. This week brings some real shocks and revelations. Either you'll be on the edge of your seat waiting for the next episode, or throwing things at the screen in frustration, or maybe even both.

    'Categories of Life' is helped by keeping some of the cheesier conspiracy elements in the background: the focus is firmly on how society deals with the Miracle, without any off-the-peg Men in Black agents or mysterious spinning triangles. It's all the stronger for it, and it's possibly the first time that the scenes with Torchwood are as interesting as those with Oswald Danes and Jilly Kitzinger.

    But while episode 5 pleases by actually making some bold moves, it sometimes frustrates with the clumsiness with which certain scenes and characters are handled. Sledgehammer subtlety would be elegant by comparison.

    For all that, it regains a much needed sense of excitement and momentum, and is probably the best episode of Miracle Day since the series opener.

    Episode 5 airs 9pm, Thursday 11th August, BBC1/HD, and our audio commentary will be online immediately afterwards. is now available.

  • Torchwood Miracle Day 5. 'Categories of Life' - Commentary

    11 August 2011 (5:55am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

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    Caleb WoodbridgeP.G. Bell and our new American commentator Gwen Williams give our commentary on episode 5, Categories of Life. (check out our spoiler-free review!)

    As the Torchwood team go undercover to uncover the shocking secrets of the overflow camps, has Miracle Day at last hit its stride? Is the shock ending a bold move or big mistake? We discuss disintegrating healthcare systems, British queuing and much more...

    Length: 1 hour 7 minutes
    Download: Click here

  • Game of Thrones - Ep 8: 'The Pointy End' - Review

    6 August 2011 (2:00am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    If you want a job done properly, do it yourself. But, as Game of Thrones plunges ever closer to its bloody climax, Kieran Mathers wonders if authors are the best people to adapt their own works. Our usual mild spoiler warning applies.

    This week's episode was written by the man himself, G.R.R Martin, author of the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series. Normally, I'd wonder why they called on the author to adapt his own material, as it calls for different skills - you don't see Joanne Rowling writing the scripts for the Harry Potter movies, for example. But in this case it works. Martin has a huge amount of experience in writing screenplays for shows such as The Twilight Zone and I think it's clear that, like Douglas Adams, he also understands the difference in format.


  • Book Review - 'Dead Souls' - Editor: Mark S. Deniz

    5 August 2011 (12:00am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Our book review thread is back! Reviews editor P.G. Bell dives into Dead Souls, a collection of short tales that charts the murky depths of mankind.

    Reviewing short story anthologies can be a tricky business. Each tale has to be judged on its own merits while the anthology as a whole - with its various authors, tones and voices - has to be considered as a cohesive unit. Many anthologies make life easier by opting for a particular theme, motif or character around which to group their stories but Dead Souls is a little more abstract.

    As editor Mark S. Deniz makes clear in his foreword, the anthology uses its title (taken from a song by Joy Division) as its starting point, launching an examination of "human nature through short stories about people, people who do terrible things."

    That sounds clear enough, and you could be forgiven for assuming the book sits firmly in the horror genre, especially given Reece Notley's gorgeous, if disturbing cover. But it soon proves to be a rather more nebulous beast.


  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 4. 'Escape to L.A.' - Commentary

    4 August 2011 (5:55am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Direct Podcast Download

    Caleb Woodbridge and P.G. Bell give our commentary on episode 4, Escape to L.A. (check out our spoiler-free review), including Tea Party politics, the ethics of euthanasia, and the possible return of the Slitheen. We also consider Torchwood's uncertain future, and wonder whether the show can go on without Russell T Davies at the helm.

    Length: 1 hour
    Download: Click here

    What did you think of the latest episode of Miracle Day? What did you think of Ellis Hartley Monroe's  "Dead is Dead" campaign? Who do you think the mysterious Families are? Let us know your thoughts!

  • Video games - 'Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team' - Review

    3 August 2011 (12:00am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    This week, resident games geek Olivia Cottrell indulges her inner (and outer) nerd in the franchise that swallowed so many of our adolescent hours. And there's no need to fork out for a new Codex...

    Impossible Podcasts, I have a confession to make. My name is Olivia Cottrell, and I am a former Warhammer 40,000 tabletop gamer. Yes, some of my most formative years were spent hunched over tiny plastic figurines huffing more paint fumes than was probably good for me. I can tell you why painting an Ork vehicle red makes it go faster. I have read no less than five Dan Abnett books. I even, Emperor help me, know what a Krootox is. The Warhammer 40k universe, with its bold strokes of evil aliens versus grim (but noble) bald men lends itself exceptionally well to a certain style of tongue-in-cheek video gaming, and I was excited to revisit that world without accidentally gluing my hand to the table.

  • Game of Thrones - Ep 7: You Win or You Die - Review

    29 July 2011 (8:00pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Things are hotting up in Westeros but Kieran Mathers wonders just how far a show should go to keep its audience interested. Perhaps the Starks just need a brisk walk...

    An awful lot of Game of Thrones is exposition. It's not a police procedural, after all, and the world has to be defined through dialogue as there is little else to relate it to an unfamiliar audience. Disguising this exposition is one of the hardest tricks for a writer to pull off. One solution is to have a distraction or a gimmick to make such scenes more visually interesting. TV is a visual medium and has been taking advantage of this for a long time.

    A great example of this is The West Wing. To keep expository scenes interesting, writer Aaron Sorkin made the characters walk. It didn't matter where they were walking, just that the dialogue had some action to it. He later admitted the only reason he had done this is to stop characters talking to each other statically, and in the process created a new verb: 'To sorkin' - the act of walking fiercely in one direction while holding a rapid-fire conversation. Intelligence and a good sense of direction is required.

    However, Game of Thrones has discovered something different in the form of visual gimmicks: noble butchery and ... sigh ... lesbian tryouts. I wish I were kidding.


  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 4. 'Escape to LA' - Spoiler-free review

    28 July 2011 (9:00pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Caleb Woodbridge previews 'Escape to LA', the fourth episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day. The Torchwood team arrive in Los Angeles, but there's no time for sun and surf...

    Torchwood: Miracle Day continues to build steadily in 'Escape to LA', as the world tries come to terms with what to do with the undying sick and injured. Gwen's not the only member of the Torchwood team attempting to protect their family, and in each case, it brings unhappy consequences.

    Arriving in Los Angeles, the Torchwood team take the fight to PhiCorp, but a trap is closing around them. Meanwhile, Tea Party politician Ellis Hartley Monroe is stirring up the masses with the slogan "Dead is Dead", and stealing Oswald Dane's limelight while she's at it...

    Oswald Dane's self-preserving self-promotion reaches new heights, or depths. Although he's one of the most interesting characters, I find the role he takes on at the end of episode 3 as unofficial spokesman for PhiCorp to be rather unbelievable. Even if he was able to win some measure of sympathy on Twitter, a convicted child rapist and murderer who's escaped justice would still be a massively hated and controversial figure. His trajectory in this episode is no more credible, though his interplay with Jilly Kitzinger in this episode is entertaining.

    Dr Vera faces the medical emergency and ethical questions. "The Western world has always hidden its unwanted", one character observes with the clunkety-clunk of unsubtle social commentary in one scene. It's good to see some of the larger patterns and theme of the series beginning to emerge more clearly.

    There's also a building sense of foreboding as the extent of PhiCorp's plans begins to be revealed. A generous dash of action and humour go a long way once more to keeping the whole show watchable amid its many improbabilities. Watch out for Gwen's attempt at an American accent!

    So far Miracle Day has never been less than entertaining, but has yet to fully deliver on the promise of its premise. Four episodes in, the show really needs to be hitting its stride, but it still feels stuck in third gear. It continues to dangle the promise of greater things to come in front of the viewer. I'm intrigued by the Miracle Day concept, and the irreverence of the show keeps me watching, but it has yet to wow me.

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 3. 'Dead of Night' - Discussion

    28 July 2011 (5:57am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

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    Caleb Woodbridge and P.G. Bell discuss episode 3, Dead of Night (spoiler-free review here), including Captain Jack's "mortal urges", the implausible rise of Oswald Danes and whether Miracle Day is suffering from Lost syndrome.

    With Swithun in America, Peter moving house, and Caleb going to a wedding and a job interview, real life has caught up with us, meaning a discussion rather than a commentary this week - but never fear, normal service will be resumed next week! Or at least, our usual episode commentary - we make no pretensions towards normality.

    Length: 22 minutes
    Download: Click here

    Did you enjoy episode 3 of Torchwood? Are you gripped by each episode, or is your attention beginning to wander? What's the purpose of the Miracle - is PhiCorp behind it, and why? Let us know your opinions, theories and speculation!

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 3. 'Dead of Night' - Spoiler-free review

    28 July 2011 (2:33am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Caleb Woodbridge previews 'Dead of Night', the third episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day. With Torchwood on the run, can they uncover the secrets of the Miracle?

    After some slow development in Rendition, the plot picks up again in Dead of Night, as Torchwood begin investigating the Miracle in earnest. This week's episode comes from the pen of Jane Espenson, scribe for Buffy and Battlestar Galactica and builds the story well as the new Torchwood team begins to come together, while the cult of the Soulless takes to the streets.

    The main weakness of episode 2 of Miracle Day was that the Torchwood team - which was technically just Gwen at this point - was too busy brewing a magic potion to save Jack to actually do anything to investigate the Miracle. Here, Torchwood are being hunted down while actually investigating what's going on, which makes for a much better balance.

  • Video Games - Sonic The Hedgehog - Review

    27 July 2011 (12:00am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Ready for a blast from the past? As SEGA's champion celebrates his 20th birthday, video games industry insider Christopher Bell looks back to the game that started it all and wonders if Sonic can ever regain his winning streak. Don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

    June 23rd, 1991. After an in-house contest to design a new mascot, SEGA finally had something that could give Mario a run (pun intended) for his money. Poor old Alex Kidd was given his marching orders and replaced by an impatient, sapphire speed demon by the name of Sonic. Although SEGA eventually lost the console war against Nintendo's SNES, the once chasm-sized difference in market share narrowed to a spine's breadth. At one point, he was as popular as Mickey Mouse, with a huge range of merchandise (books, ring binders, plush dolls and even ketchup!), a Macy's Day balloon and a gene (one that controls the development of your digits and organisation of your brain) to his name.

    Now, 20 years later and on the verge of a Star Trek-esque anniversary reboot; Sonic the Hedgehog, this is your life...

  • Video: Meet the Impossible Podcasts team!

    25 July 2011 (6:21pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Who are the impossible people behind the Impossible Podcasts? Meet the team as we discuss our favourite eras of Doctor Who, our geek interests and specialties, and our claims to geek fame!

    What about you - what are your geek interests, and what else would you like to see us cover? Do you have any cool "claim to fame" stories? And what do you think of our first foray into video? Let us know below!

  • Game of Thrones - Ep 6: A Golden Crown - Review

    22 July 2011 (8:00pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    HBO's headline fantasy series is gathering pace and our reviewer, Kieran Mathers, is enjoying the ride... As always, some mild spoilers lie ahead. If you're new to the world of Westeros, be sure to check out our primer.

    Gosh. When you don't think it can get any better, this show manages to up the bar once more. There is so much good to talk about in this episode that I'm going to get the bad out of the way first so we can enjoy what was yet another spectacular episode.

    I probably should have mentioned this last week, but I hate what they've done with the Eyrie. It is the first major visual misstep (barring plaster) that the show has made. In the books, the Eyrie sits atop a mountain spur, higher almost than the clouds, an impregnable fortress with an incredibly treacherous path leading up to it. It could have looked absolutely amazing, with stunning views from the top - a smaller Minas Tirith of the mountains.

    What we get instead is something that looks more like the Dome of the Rock - a temple rather than a castle. For some reason it also appeared to have taken over a small hilltop instead of a high mountain crag.
    I think I can understand why the show's designers decided to do it that way, thinking perhaps that each area has to be visually distinct. But to fall into the trap of thinking that the Eyrie should not have stone walls and battlements because the other castles we have seen also possess those is akin to saying a dog is a cat as both have fur.

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 2. 'Rendition' - Commentary

    21 July 2011 (3:58pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

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    Caleb Woodbridge, P.G. Bell and Swithun Dobson give our commentary on episode 2, Rendition (spoiler-free review here, detailed review to follow), as we discuss CIA security, DIY chemistry, zombie Ianto and much more!

    The newly reunited Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper (John Barrowman and Eve Myles) find themselves separated from Rhys (Kai Owen) and baby Anwen (aaaw!) as Rex Matherson (Mekhi Phifer) extradites them to the good old U. S. of A. But with sinister CIA agent Lyn Peterfield (Dichen Lachman off of Nieghbours and Dollhouse) taking orders from above, will they even make it across the Atlantic? (Yes, since it's only episode 2!)

    Plus we discuss your feedback - thanks to Adam Purcell of Staggering Stories, A Figleaf of your Imagination (aka Aled Morgan) of Blogga the Hut and to Shuggie for their comments.

    Length: 1 hour 5 minutes
    Download: Click here

    Did you enjoy episode 2? Did the high-flying shenanigans grip you or bore you? What were your favourite scenes? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for our spoiler-free preview of episode 3!

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 1. 'The New World' - Commentary

    20 July 2011 (9:59pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

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    Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) protects her baby daughter Anwen from the forces of darkness in Torchwood: Miracle Day
    As Torchwood goes trans-Atlantic in Miracle Day, co-produced by Starz and BBC, we dissect the show that just won't die! But has it maintained the quality of Children of Earth or returned to the depths of Cyberwoman?

    Join Caleb Woodbridge, P.G. Bell and Swithun Dobson in our commentary on episode 1, The New World, as we discuss John Barrowman's "acting", the dangers of immortality, dodgy Welsh geography, the talents of Michael Bay and much more!

    Length: 1 hour 5 minutes
    Download: Click here

    What did you think of episode 1? Is Russell T Davies' latest effort another classic, or has it yet to hit the mark? Is the American/Welsh combo a match made in heaven or a dog's dinner? Let us know in the comments, and don't forgot to read our spoiler-free review of The New World

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - Spoiler-Free preview/review

    20 July 2011 (9:58pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

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    Caleb Woodbridge and Swithun Dobson look ahead to Torchwood: Miracle Day - we'll have our commentary on episode 1, The New World, online immediately after UK broadcast. Don't forget to check out our Children of Earth commentaries (Day 1, Day 5) and interview with Gareth David-Lloyd!

    Length: 10 minutes
    Download: Click here

    Caleb's spoiler-free review:
    Miracle Day opens with Oswald Danes, a murderer and a paedophile, about to be executed by lethal injection. It's a clear statement of intent: Toto, I don't think we're in Doctor Who any more. Like its immediate predecessor, Children of Earth, this series looks set to take a twisted sci-fi look at the dark side of our humanity...

  • Science Fiction & Fantasy in Videogames Discussion

    20 July 2011 (9:57pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

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    Mass Effect 2, one of Olivia's favourite video games
    Caleb Woodbridge interviews Olivia Cottrell, resident gamer geek for Impossible Podcasts.

    When is a Reaper not a time-wound sterilizing flying dinosaur thing? When it's a synthetic/organic space ship, of course!

    We discuss the many connections between science fiction, fantasy and video games, especially Olivia's favourites from Bioshock such as Mass Effect. What's the place of storytelling in video games today? Are they "art", and does it matter? What does the future hold?

    Length: 30 minutes
    Download: Click here

    What are your favourite games? Are sci-fi and fantasy especially suited to games? Are games now mainstream? Let us know your thoughts!

  • Interview: Tolkien and Wales - Dr Carl Phelpstead

    20 July 2011 (9:55pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

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    Caleb Woodbridge interviews Dr Carl Phelpstead, author of 'Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity', recently published by the University of Wales Press.

    Tolkien once wrote: 'I love Wales - and especially the Welsh language'. In this episode, we discuss with Dr Phelpstead how Welsh influenced Tolkien's ideas about language and his fiction, especially The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. We also discuss Tolkien's place in the university today, and what the future might hold for the academic study of Tolkien.

    Dr Phelpstead is a Reader in English Literature at Cardiff University. His areas of research include Old Norse and Medieval English literature. Dr Phelpstead has published widely on Norse sagas and other medieval literature and has contributed to The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopaedia and Tolkien Studies.

    Length: 20 minutes
    Download: Click here

    Are you interested in the myths, legends and cultures that influenced Tolkien's writing? What light do you think academic scholarship can shine on books like 'The Lord of the Rings'? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!

  • Video Games - Dungeon Siege 3 - Review

    20 July 2011 (2:06am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Our video games coverage continues as Olivia Cottrell assesses the newly rebooted RPG series. If you missed it, be sure to check out her podcast discussion with Caleb on sci-fi and fantasy in video games!

    Coming to legacy games late is always something of a tricky proposition. You don't get the in-jokes, the lore can be boring without a vested interest, and without a strong dose of nostalgia to temper the game's flaws, the experience can often leave you wondering what exactly got the game's fans so excited in the first place. So it is with Dungeon Siege 3, the latest offering from Obsidian Entertainment.

    Promoted as a reboot of the Dungeon Siege franchise, Dungeon Siege 3 is set many years after the ending of the second game (released in 2006). The land of Ehb is in peril again and the player, taking on the role of one of four descendants of the Tenth Legion (a kind of medieval Torchwood), has to stop it. Along the way they have to deal with the usual waves of bandits, ghosts and witches alongside some less conventional foes. My particular favourites were the four-armed giant blue naked women who peeped over the edge of the scenery before they clambered up to fight you. This kind of interesting enemy design and variation allowed for some fun tactical gameplay and encouraged me to experiment with the different skills of my character, complementing the solid combat system.


  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 2. 'Rendition' - Spoiler-free review

    19 July 2011 (2:42am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Jack and Gwen head to America
    Caleb Woodbridge looks ahead to 'Rendition', episode 2 of Torchwood: Miracle Day. But is it in-flight entertainment or mid-Atlantic pitstop?

    Last week's opener 'The New World' seemed dedicated to putting the pieces on the board. With Rex Matheson extraditing Torchwood to America, you might expect episode 2 to be all systems go as the Torchwood team start investigating the "miracle". But whereas Rex's hop across the Atlantic took place between scenes, Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper find themselves in mid-flight peril.

    It's entertaining conspiracy hokum if that's what you're after. But the spy-thriller elements seem somewhat divorced from the much more interesting issue of the Miracle itself. The best scenes are those not involving the Torchwood team, but those that continue to explore its impact. Bill Pullman as Oswald Danes continues to steal the show, with Arlene Tur as Dr Vera Juarez also putting in a very strong showing.

    There's an important but credulity-stretching scene that echoes a comedy moment in series 4 of Doctor Who. But whereas Doctor Who could get away with it, it doesn't convince as easily here, though your mileage will probably vary - it's already divided opinion among American viewers. Believability takes a definite back-seat to dramatic effect on several other occasions too. I don't mind suspending my disbelief, but this week I had to hang, draw and quarter it.

    There are some great lines, my favourite being "I'm American, too. Can't I contribute to our global cultural hegemony with a nice frosty cola?" We also meet Jilly Kitzinger, played to perfection by Lauren Ambrose as the annoying, smarter-than-she-lets-on PR lady. So it does have its redeeming moments, but so far is a long way from matching the quality of Children of Earth.

    Check back 10pm Thursday night after UK broadcast for our podcast commentary on 'Rendition'!

  • Torchwood Miracle Day - 1. 'The New World' - Review

    19 July 2011 (12:03am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    James Willetts aims his bazooka of truth at the low flying helicopter that is Torchwood: Miracle Day.

    Ever since RTD launched Torchwood as a spin off for Captain Jack in an attempt to make a more adult science fiction show, the programme has struggled to find a format that works. 'Miracle Day' is the latest attempt to keep Torchwood relevant, coming after two largely ignored seasons of varying quality, and a miniseries that was a critical success.

    Following the idea of 'Children of Earth', a single storyline over a shorter amount of time, T:MD is a chance to prove that the achievements of the previous itineration have not been lost. More crucially, it's a chance to prove that serious science fiction (or at least adult science fiction) can work. Since the last Torchwood there have been few attempts to launch big budget science fiction series other than the execrable Outcasts, and there seems to be no sign that the success of the last miniseries has sparked a surge in the desire for further science fiction output. Even as Doctor Who continues to hold strong (or lose ground, or plummet towards inevitable disaster, depending on who you listen to) other franchises have found it difficult to gain a foothold.

  • Game of Thrones - Ep 5: The Wolf and the Lion - Review

    16 July 2011 (2:00am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Swords are finally clashing in Game of Thrones and our reviewer Kieran Mathers is on hand to pick over the aftermath. As always, this review comes with a mild spoiler warning. If you're new to Game of Thrones, don't forget to check out our primer!

    At last we get some meaty and considerable violence! Headless horses, charging knights, sweeping swords, battering shields and brother-on-brother duelling - this is combat at its most graphic, and all the stronger for it. The violence of G.R.R. Martin's prose is not lessened, and is all the more horrifying to see. In fact, this episode is all about violence and its consequences. You also get noisy blowjobs, but hey, it's HBO.


  • Game of Thrones - Ep 4: Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things - Review

    8 July 2011 (2:30am GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Reviewer Kieran Mathers, who recently undertook an epic quest of his own when he relocated from Cardiff to Geneva (he now lives within sight of the CERN Large Hadron Collider and will be first into the black hole when things go wrong), returns to give us his assessment of the ongoing saga of Westeros. New to Game of Thrones? Check out our primer!

    The opening credits in a Game of Thrones have confused me for a while. Putting geographical exposition within your credit sequence is a great idea, because it removes the need for Kurusawa-esque moments of map-based talking, complete with moving hands.

    But what exactly is it about? It looks like a wargaming board, which makes sense when you consider the show's title, but why is it coming to life using clockwork mechanisms? I know it looks good but it doesn't make sense considering the level of technology we've seen in the show. Something simpler, like a stone chess board, might have been more in keeping with what we've already seen of Westeros.

    Also, at the end of the sequence, the world curves the wrong way. When we arrive at Vaes Dothrak, city of the Horse Lords, we look back towards Westeros which is now higher in the horizon, curved above us. Does that mean this world is, in fact a Dyson Sphere?


  • The Return of the King? Finding Arthur in 'The Lord of the Rings'

    26 June 2011 (9:30pm GMT)
    Episode Duration: 0 minutes and 0 seconds

    Caleb Woodbridge brings us the first in a series of posts exploring the connections between 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Once and Future King'.

    Between them, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (published 1954-5), T. H. White's The Once and Future King (1958), and C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia (1949-54), helped define the fantasy genre for the second half of the twentieth-century. Tolkien and White were particularly influential on high fantasy, while White and Lewis strongly influenced children's literature in particular. Their influence can be felt from Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon through to the Harry Potter series and beyond.

    All of them drew heavily on medieval literature to create their fantasy worlds. The most famous of all medieval legends is that of King Arthur and the Round Table. White retold the story of Arthur, beginning in The Sword in the Stone, first published in 1938, with his childhood and the magical lessons he experienced through his tutor Merlyn. In the subsequent volumes, the story follows Thomas Malory's Morte Darthur much more closely, and grows into a more adult and complex tale that includes the adulterous love of Guinevere and Lancelot, the Quest for the Holy Grail, and the inevitable fall of Camelot and death of Arthur.

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