It's that time again, naughty children: educational budget cut season! Under the Boris Johnson government, there's just not enough money in Britain for silly things like "schools" and "teachers" and "preparing the next generation to avert, or at least survive, the upcoming post-capitalist apocalypse." We're trying to turn a profit here, after all! Surely you wouldn't want to impinge upon our freedom! (Incidentally, there are several similar analogies to the current political climate sprinkled throughout this episode -- see if you can catch them all!)
...although it has to be said, there is one good thing to come out of this horrible public education budget. Two particular schools are up for inspection by the superintendent, and due to cost constraints, whichever school is deemed the lesser will see its headmistress sacked for incompetence. Why is this a good thing, you ask? Well, one of the headmistresses is Agatha Trunchbull, the massive Olympian and notorious child-thrower who was recently chased out of Crunchem Hall (and indeed, her home town) by the telekinetic five-year-old Matilda Wormwood. And the other is Dolores Umbridge, lately of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, from which she was removed after her gross abuses of power caused several prominent students, led by Harry Potter, to revolt against her. Both of them are absolutely horrible people with no business teaching children of any age or level of magical ability, but alas, the one that can best keep their students under control during the inspection will (somehow) keep her job at her new school. Still, one out of two ain't bad, as they say in the fictional 1980s England that exists only in my mind.
Two former Smash Fiction champions, Natasha Winters and Marissa Bond, return to help us decide which evil teacher is better at tormenting children into temporary subservience, because we're all terrible and everybody here deserves to lose. The jokes are still funny, though! Promise!
You know, here on Smash Fiction, we're pretty open and honest with our fans. But that doesn't mean there aren't still some secrets we've been keeping close to the vest. Like the fact that three of our hosts are aspiring Pokémon trainers, for example. Not something we usually advertise. But it's true! Dan, Kit, and Claire have each caught and trained six fictional monsters (I mean, characters -- though at least three or four of them are also monsters) of varying types from across the multiverse, and are about to begin their greatest adventure yet!
But between the nefarious Squirtle Squad, a mysterious Pokémon in a mech suit, and the ever-present machinations of Team Rocket, it's a dangerous world out there for our trainers and their fictional companions. Which of them will become the very best, like no one ever waaaaaaaaaaaas? You gotta catch every minute of this episode to learn the answer! Podcast listener, we choose you!
When Doc Brown and Marty McFly pick up evidence of a time traveler in 1995 Los Angeles, they take the DeLorean there hoping to find a new friend in their temporal travels. What they find is the killer liquid metal cyborg known as the T-1000... and it turns out that Marty and Doc are both on his hitlist! They manage to escape their first encounter, but the DeLorean's time circuits are damaged in the process. Can they stay one step ahead of the murderous robot until they can escape back to 1985, or are they OUTATIME?
Come for special guest advocate Rafael Medina, stay for Space Judge Liz waxing nostalgic about 90s fashion... and for a very unique shindig in the Lightning Round.
The League are actively seeking information about Doom's secret weapon, but reliable sources are few and far between. They learn that a bounty hunter in a swanky Cloud City casino may hold the secrets they're after... but there are three potential hunters and not a lot of time. Can our heroes get in close to these killers-for-hire, or will they blow their cover?
Elphaba slips into something less comfortable; Archer is Randy; Lara places a long bet; Blasto finds a new fan; and Miss Piggy cuts a rug.
Thanks again to Mr. Jumbo for the intro music used in this episode! Check out more of his work at youtube.com/jumboguitarist. Additional background ambiance taken from Sleep Sounds Express at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7lKPm75KvH73aVhJYp5WXQ?fbclid=IwAR0eX6NpG4MhixrWBMOlb76cgb258CPFUivJn7ndd9x_adHy7o1ij4PQbzQ.
Hey look, the anniversary episode is on time this year! Maybe we ARE improving!
Join Claire, Dan, Kit, Liz, and Miles, with a special appearance from the vacationing MeganBob, as they celebrate four years of complete madness, inexplicably aided and abetted by all of you. Once again, the episode opens with a patented SmashFic Supercut (longer and more self-indulgent than ever!) followed by the hosts, as usual, attempting to answer more listener questions than they could possibly get to. And finally, the special ends with an important announcement about the future of Smash Fiction.
Thank you all so much for listening to this dumb show for four whole years. It bears repeating, as it always does, that we could not have done it without you.
And once again, eternal thanks go out to Kevin MacLeod of www.incompetech.com for our music, which in this episode includes his songs Amazing Plan, Balloon Game, and Rains Will Fall.