About the Show

Radio vs. the Martians! is a twice-monthly podcast devoted to a warts-and-all dissection of popular culture.

Mike Gillis and Casey Doran are joined by a rotating panel of their friends for an unflinching — and profanity-laden — look at the highs and lows of science fiction, video games, horror, comic books, movies, and everything in between. Think of us as the McLaughlin Group for nerds!

Our 90+ minute long panel discussions are released twice-annually. We’re joined by two guest panelists, and are focused on a particular pop culture franchise, character, filmmaker, actor, comic book series, video game, literary trope, or meta-fictional concept.

We also cover what call “single serving selections.” These are shorter, more bite-sized pop culture topics, where we are joined by a single guest for a discussion of a specific movie, comic book or television story arc, novel or more!

What sort of topics have we covered on our podcast episodes? So far, we’ve talked about:

We supplement these discussions with our “Fun Size” episodes — previously called “point 5” episodes — additional conversations with our panelists after the main discussion is finished. We touch on unfocused, non-topic specific discussions on whatever comes to mind, usually 45 minutes to an hour in length.

Every other month, instead of a panel episode, we’re joined by a single guest to dive into the cinematic library of actor and statesman, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s a movie-by-movie master’s course in catchphrases, explosions and wonderfully absurd macho bullshit, with episodes we call, “Podcasta la Vista, Baby!”

Whenever it strikes our fancy — and at least once a year — we sit down to dissect comic books starring our favorite western anti-hero, DC’s Jonah Hex. We dig through the character’s over 40 year publication history and indulge ourselves in the many viscerally satisfying ways that a horribly scarred cowboy dispatches murderers, bandits, and various unsavory folks and send them to Hell, in episodes that we call, “Hex & Violence.”

Our show’s logo and our panelist bio graphics were created by Rob Kelly. Our show’s original artwork was designed by Kyle Hepworth. Our theme music was written and performed by James Whetzel. Our original theme song was written and performed by Todd Maxfield-Matsumoto. And if you’d like to run an advertisement for our show on your podcast or radio show, you can find it here.

Please, join us!

2 thoughts on “About the Show

  1. You probably get a lot of emails from people saying “Do my favourite thing!” or “This would be a great subject for the podcast”.

    I really don’t want to be one of those people… I mean, I -so- don’t want to be one of those people that in the Extended Universe episode I just gritted my teeth when no mention was made of Caprica, not only the best example I know of prologuing an existing canon, but to my mind the best sci-fi series since Firefly.
    I’m even so disinclined to be ‘that guy’, in fact, that when the Fun Things 3 episode on game consoles didn’t even seem to recognise that an entire culture exists, particularly in the UK and Australia, where game consoles just weren’t a thing, where a whole generation of gamers grew up absorbing German cultural influences through their Commodore 64’s and Amigas in the same way that American gamers absorbed Japanese influences through their Nintendos and Segas, I stoically resisted the urge to fire off emails to correct that gross injustice and the packaged assumption that we all know who Miyamoto or Kojima are (yeah, I still had to google them).

    But Twin Peaks? … Sure, I can see it in three or four years time when it’s getting harder to find subjects. I loved the show, it came right around the time that I was reading Bret Easton Elllis’ book Less Than Zero, and I was actively looking for weird shit like that in my early teens, but you do that episode now? Radio vs The Martians hasn’t even touched on the non-zombie apocalypse yet, all the other concepts of how our world might end and what the next one could look like. It hasn’t explored all the competing visions for the human colonisation of space (the ones that aren’t Star Trek). It hasn’t really delved into the Cold War and how that influenced -all- our young lives in the west (*cough* unlike Japanese games *cough*). It hasn’t yet considered the revival of High Fantasy into the mainstream brought about by the Lord of the Rings films, and while zombies got a great episode the rise and fall of the Vampire in popular culture has gone unmentioned.

    But, y’know, I’m not that guy ok?

  2. There are plenty of reasons we decide to do this or that panel episode, and why we haven’t done others…yet.

    “Yet” is the key word, here. You list a lot of things that Casey and I have talked for hours about. We even have a massive 3 page, single-spaced document file full of topics we want to eventually do. Many of the stuff you mention is on there.

    We do the topics we do, because:

    1.) Our enthusiasm and individual areas of expertise/interest.

    Casey and I aren’t into everything under the sun, and we haven’t always seen or read certain parts of popular culture yet. We do panels when at least one — hopefully both — of us feel we could contribute to an hour + long conversation about it, and have fun doing it.

    And sometimes to prep for a panel, we have to do some homework. I spent nearly a year getting ready for the James Bond panel. I watched more than 20 movies for that one. Others, like Watchmen, are about subjects I know very well. Often times the prep work that goes into the show is tremendous.

    2.) The enthusiasm and individual areas of expertise/interest of our panelists.

    We sometimes don’t enough people who are interested or feel comfortable doing all these panels. Many times, a panel comes together, because we learn that one of our panelists is a diehard fan of something. And when we learn we have two people who have a lot to say about an interesting topic, we fast track it.

    And sometimes, there’s a topic that Casey or I have to convince people to be a part of. We have availability and their enthusiasm to account for. And believe me, our panelists pitch panel ideas to us, too.

    3.) We want to do a show that isn’t redundant.

    We strive to do topics that we don’t often see on podcasts, and do more traditional topics in more non-traditional ways. The Twin Peaks podcast happened because it was a weird and incredibly influential television show that has ultimately had just as much impact on shows that followed in its wake as Star Trek did. It was interesting and I had panelists who could talk about it passionately.

    Post script: We didn’t mention Caprica on the Expanded Universe episode because it didn’t fit our definition of “expanded universe.” It was a spin-off, in the same medium as the media that spawned it. We meant stuff that jumped out of one format — like say television — into another — like say, video games, novels or comics. Caprica was a television show spun off from another television show. And even still, there are always things we don’t get around to on every topic we cover. After all, we’re only a 90 minute show. We can’t be expected to cover EVERYTHING under that topic, especially when it’s a broad metafictional topic or concept.

    But seriously, thanks for listening. And we really do appreciate the feedback. We’re really only getting started, and we have a lot more stuff to cover in the future!

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