Robot! We have robots! Find out what the Grand Whovians thought about the latest episode of Doctor Who Season 11!
The Doctor and her companions travel to Kerblam!, a galaxy-wide online shopping service consisting of automated warehouses, and a mostly robotic workforce known as “TeamMates”. Under the guise of being new employees, the group attempt to find out who had sent them a delivery with a call for help. They quickly learn from their new colleagues – Dan Cooper, the company’s poster boy; Kira Arlo, a member of the dispatch team; and Charlie Duffy, a maintenance worker who loves Kira – that staff have been vanishing in recent months, and that the company employs a heavy work culture of productivity. When Dan disappears while finding an order, the Doctor suspects something is wrong with the company’s artificial intelligence and automated workforce.
Both human resource managers Judy Maddox and Jarva Slade quickly deny involvement in the disappearance when confronted about them. When Kira is abducted, the Doctor tracks her to the completely automated packaging and delivery floor, leading the group to gain access below. After finding the remains of the missing workforce and an army of TeamMates holding packages, the Doctor uses an early model of TeamMate to speak directly with Kerblam’s AI. She quickly learns it called for her help, after suspecting something was wrong with its workforce. When Yasmin, Ryan and Charlie reveal they had witnessed Kira die when playing with bubble wrap, the Doctor discovers someone had weaponised the material, intending for it to be used upon Kerblam’s customers.
Charlie quickly admits to being the culprit, explaining that Kira’s death was not part of his plans. He reveals his motive was to prevent rampant automation making human workforces redundant. Gaining access to the company, Charlie used the missing staff as test subjects for his modified bubble wrap, intending to use it upon the company’s customers, knowing blame for the sudden deaths would be placed upon automation and a lack of human diligence. Learning that the AI sought to prevent this, the Doctor re-programmes the TeamMates to deliver to themselves and pop the wrap. While the others leave, Charlie remains and perishes in the floor’s destruction. In the wake of the incident, Maddox and Slade promise to the Doctor to rebuild Kerblam with a mostly human workforce.
Meet the Grand Whovians:
Host: Andy Nordvall
Andy Nordvall graduated with high honors from Wesleyan University, where his short fiction won a prestigious Olin Fellowship. He was also the lead singer and lyricist for the Viking band Nördvall, which featured exploding car parts and songs such as “Valkyrie Love Slave,” “No Sleep ‘Till Reykjavik” and “Dead Viking Mama.” After college, Mr. Nordvall worked as a music journalist and movie critic for FLAGPOLE MAGAZINE. Then worked as a actor, voice actor and travel writer in Chengdu and Taiwan. Upon returning to America, Mr. Nordvall completed UCLA’s MFA Screenwriting program, where he won a Professional Program Screenwriting Award, UCLA Showcase, a Screenwriting Expo Award for Best Fantasy Script, 3 Carl Sautter awards (for feature, TV drama, and sitcom), and was a finalist in the Humanitas, Industry Insider, and Slamdance Pilot Competition. Mr. Nordvall writes the weekly webcomic MY ROOMMATE, THE INTERNET, which Reddit has called “sorta funny, I guess,” and published the fantasy novella SIREN’S SONG about a pirate cabin boy who befriends a siren.
For more information on Siren’s Song, check out our IndiMini!
Accountant by day for the district attorney, mom to 2 girls, 6 and 1, California born and raised. Love all things sci fi, marvel fan (x-men), love to cosplay and create costumes for my kids too. Owner and creator at VonGeekery.
Check out her Etsy store, VonGeekery, for really awesome geek fashion made with the best material, love.
Ben Paddon is a British-born writer, actor and geek humorist currently living in Los Angeles. He was born the same day Chernobyl exploded, although he maintains he has an airtight alibi. He’s the creator, Director, co-Writer and Host of PortsCenter, a webseries which looks at unique and interesting ports of video games, and cohosts the movie review podcast The Life Toyetic with Ben and Molly.
In 2008-09 Ben co-wrote the popular and award-winning web mini-series Boomer’s Day Off, which to date has been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube.
Ben enjoys sitcoms, video games, eating Pop Tarts, and writing biographies of himself in the third person. His favourite shape is the oblong.
Super sci-fi/comic book geek and Doctor Who fan girl since PBS in the ’80s . I watch way too much TV, own far too much yarn, am a frequent panelist and Fan Club mixer organizer at the annual Gallifrey One convention, and am the proud mama of SoCal’s largest and most active Doctor Who fan group, The Real Time Lords of Orange County (www.meetup.com/OCTimeLords).