Book Launch!


The wait has been longer than I had hoped for, but I am absolutely and delightedly thrilled to say that the first volume of TARDIS Eruditorum, covering the William Hartnell years, is now available for the Kindle. You can buy it on for $4.99, for £2.99, and both and for €3.99. Or at least, those are the prices I set - the European prices have some taxes added to what I set. Sorry about that.

EDIT: There's now a paper version available on my apologies - I can't easily make that available on international Amazon stores, although the US store will ship internationally. It's at $16.99, which is chosen because it gives me the same royalty as I get on digital copies.

So, let's talk content. Here's what your hard earned portrait of Abraham Lincoln gets you. First, the book has every entry from An Unearthly Child through The Tenth Planet, fully revised and expanded. These are the definitive versions of my arguments regarding the Hartnell era at least until I next change my mind.  On top of that, you get four extra entries - all of them Time Can Be Rewritten entries. These cover Kim Newman's Time and Relative, a Telos novella set before An Unearthly Child, Steve Lyons's The Witch Hunters from BBC Books, featuring Ian, Barbara, and Susan between Reign of Terror and Planet of Giants, Andy Lane's Virgin Missing Adventure Empire of Glass, featuring Steven and Vicki between The Time Meddler and Galaxy Four, and Simon Guerrier's entry to Big Finish's Companion Chronicles range Guardian of the Solar System, featuring Sarah Kingdom after The Daleks' Master Plan.

And then, beyond that, you get a wrap-up essay entitled "Now My Doctor: William Hartnell," reflecting on Hartnell's performance and conception of the Doctor and what the essential nature of the "First Doctor" is. Plus a series of shorter essays in which I attempt to provide as definitive an answer as is possible to pressing questions like "Was William Hartnell a Bigot" and "What Happened Before Totter's Lane?" So even if you've read the blog, there's plenty of new stuff here.

So, I'm about to make a big sales pitch and beg you to buy my book. But before I do that, I want to say thank you. Because if you're reading this, you're one of my blog readers who show up every day. And there are few things I find more gratifying or wonderful about the world than the fact that apparently there are a couple thousand people who genuinely enjoy reading sprawling pop-academic criticism of 60s and 70s British sci-fi shows. If you are reading this, you've already made my day. So thank you.

All of which said, a personal note. I graduated with a PhD into an economy with no jobs for PhDs. I'm overqualified or misqualified for most entry level positions in sane career paths, and there aren't any entry level positions in the career path I trained for. It's a nightmare, and I'm currently scraping by via combining the generosity of my parents, who allow me to help out with my disabled father (he had a massive stroke a little over two years ago) in exchange for useful things like room and board, and a roughly $9000 a year part-time teaching gig.

This leaves me with copious free time, which I've opted to use a lot of over the past ten months and change writing this blog. I have no regrets about that, and you owe me nothing. That said, I need to find a way to make an actual living, and I'd like to find one that lets me continue doing projects like this. And selling the book version of this is pretty much the shot I have at that. Basically, if this book goes well, I'll refocus my time and energy very heavily on getting the Troughton and Pertwee volumes out (and they will be faster - if this book works, I will hire a proper professional copy-editor for them and do other things that will speed this up), and on writing similar books on other popular culture topics (I have ideas for one on Wonder Woman, and one on the comics of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison read as occult warfare).

What I'm basically saying is that, if you possibly can and want to support this blog and projects like it, buy the book. Tell your friends to buy the book. Tell all of the people that you do not know to buy the book. Go onto Facebook, Twitter, and all your other social networks and tell people that a cool new book about Doctor Who is out, and you recommend it. Buy copies for your friends. Please. I have no budget for promoting this. I need you guys to spread the word.

A print edition will follow in the next week or two, but there's some harder formatting issues there that I'll need to attend to. I don't know the price on that, except that it will be whatever price Amazon lets me set for a print on demand book that nets me the same $3 royalty I get on the ebook edition. I'll announce it when it's ready.

Finally, if you have a website or dead tree publication where you'd like to run a review of the book, ping me at sandifercp at gmail dot com with a link to your site and I'll give you a review copy.

But mostly, and again, thank you. Whether I make $30 or $3000 off of this book, I've loved every minute of writing this blog, and intend to keep loving it. There is nothing that is going to stop me from getting to the end of the project, and it will always be available right here, for free, on as fast a posting schedule as I can possibly maintain. You owe me nothing, and the fact that you give me a bit of your day to natter on at you means the world to me.

But I'll still gladly take your money.


William Whyte 8 years, 5 months ago

I will definitely buy it, though I'll probably wait for the dead tree version. Have you done a Pop Between Realities on It Happened Here? If not, do a new edition with that in and I'll buy it again.

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elvwood 8 years, 5 months ago

Regarding making your day: you're welcome! This blog often makes mine.

I don't have a Kindle, so presumably I have to wait for the dead tree version? I presume you can't read Kindle books on a PC?

Anyway, thanks agai, and I will happily support you to the extent of buying this book when I can get it in a form I can read!

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Gavin Schofield 8 years, 5 months ago

I downloaded the Kindle app for my phone and bought it immediately . A bit weird having an app for just one book, but ah well!

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Andrew Hickey 8 years, 5 months ago

Ooh, I'd *love* to read the Moore/Morrison warfare one.

Any chance you could put your book up on, for those of us with non-Kindle readers, BTW? (It's probably worth your while doing that anyway, as it gets your book onto iBookstore, Barnes & Noble etc).

elvwood - you can read Kindle books on a PC running Microsoft Windows, as there's a program you can download from Amazon to do this. Unfortunately it won't run on the GNU/Linux operating system, which is what I use...

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matthewhyde 8 years, 5 months ago

I'll be buying it later today, and any future editions. This blog has some of the best writing on Doctor Who I've come across and so I'm happy to support it!

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Adam Riggio 8 years, 5 months ago

Will there be a listing on for your Canadian fans? I first discovered the Eruditorum this summer, when the AV Club linked to your entry on The Mind Robber. I spent two days staying up until nearly sunrise reading your entire archives as fast as I could and processing all the ideas. I think you were up to the end of season seven when I started. You've changed the way I think about Doctor Who, and only given me more reason to rebel against the old-fashioned fandom orthodoxy. I think your blog is the best thing to happen to the Doctor Who fan community (at least in its obsessive underground) in years.

So I'll gladly support your work as soon as there's a Canadian listing for me to buy it.

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elvwood 8 years, 5 months ago

With the technical assistance of Andrew Hickey (ta), I have now bought the book (for £3.44 rather than £2.99 thanks to the wonders of VAT) and read the introduction. Enjoy your noodles, Philip!

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zapruder313 8 years, 5 months ago

Delighted to hear that the first book is now ready. I'll be getting the Dead Tree version, and recommending both versions to anyone I can think of who might be vaguely interested.

I really enjoy the Blog, and I now look forward to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the same way I look forward to Saturday teatimes 13 times a year. Thanks so much for a lot of great writing, a lot of food for thought, and frequent illuminating perspective shifts on a subject I thought I'd pretty much known all about for years.

More power to your elbow!

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Elizabeth Sandifer 8 years, 4 months ago

In response to questions:

I'll look at Smashwords this week and get back to you, but at a glance it looks like a compelling platform.

I don't think so on, simply because it's not one of the options that came up when I was listing it on the Kindle store - I only got .com,, .de, and .fr. I'll Google about on it and if I can find a way to put it up there as well.

And the dead tree version should be ready next week sometime - I'm out of town for the weekend and need to spend a few hours with Photoshop converting that cover design into a full book jacket. (A few hours because I have no idea how to do that, so I expect to flail around impotently for an hour or two first.)

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Andrew Hickey 8 years, 4 months ago

I'm afraid there is no way at present to get a self-published Kindle book on any Amazon store but those four. I believe Canadians can buy from , but any non-US purchases will only get you the 35% royalty, rather than the 70%.
(I've self-published five non-fiction books plus a few short stories this way, so I've already done all this investigation).

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Aaron 8 years, 4 months ago

So exciting! I'll definitely be buying the print version when it's ready. I've been looking forward to that essay on Empire of Glass for awhile now.

A tangential thought just hit me, and this is as good a place for it as anything. When we get to 2010, I hope there's going to be a pop between realities entry on "The TARDIS Eruditorum." That would be awfully fourth wall breaking.

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David 8 years, 4 months ago

I've finally caught up reading this blog, so this seems to be the right moment to say thankyou for a fascinating and entertaining series of essays. I'm happy to support your work so I have bought a copy.

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William Whyte 8 years, 4 months ago

Fuck it, I bought the Kindle version too. Why be mean? I've had much more than 6 dollars of pleasure per Doctor from this blog.

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WGPJosh 8 years, 4 months ago

Congratulations on finally getting your book launched! I'll be picking up a copy (or several) as soon as possible. Phil, you are without doubt one of the finest thinkers to ever cast a lens onto Doctor Who: I have enjoyed every single entry on this blog and have been honoured to contribute in some way.

Here's to you success and to many more to come!

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elvwood 8 years, 4 months ago

Just a thought - where do we comment on the extra essays? I've just finished the opening Time and Relative one, and was pleased to discover you were thinking along roughly the same lines as me - though with your usual twists and added insight.

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rocalisa 8 years, 4 months ago

Reading your entries and all the comments that follow tend to leave me feeling rather dumb and lame-brained, but I've been fascinated all the same and I've bought a copy. I'm afraid I'm one of those international sales, so you may get less royalty going on what Andrew said above, but I'm delighted to at least make a contribution to your finances.

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BD Shannon 8 years, 4 months ago

Just delurking to say thanks! I've always been a Doctor Who fan of "the love the concept, less thrilled with the execution" kind, but your blog has helped me appreciate Doctor Who in a whole new light. Look forward to the hard copy release!

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Bill Reed 8 years, 4 months ago

I was just wondering when you'd release a book. I've fallen behind on the blog, mostly because I can't take it to work or in the bathroom. But now, I can!

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Sean Daugherty 8 years, 4 months ago

Bought. I'll probably also buy the dead tree version when it's released. If it gets released by Christmas, I'm considering it buying it as a gift for my aunt (who got me in to Doctor Who way back in 1988). Honestly, Phil, the work you've been doing here has been easily the best analysis of the franchise I've ever read, and I'll support it in any way that I can. Though, like rocalisa above, I often feel a bit intellectually humbled by the experience. :-)

And to some of the comments above: there are official Kindle reader apps available for most smartphones and, if all else fails, there's also a web reader. So you don't need an actual Kindle device to read it.

BTW, I've started reading, and I'm thrilled you mention Michael Frayn's "Copenhagen" in the "Time and Relative" entry. And I think you also nail my general uneasiness surrounding pre-"Unearthly Child" stories in that entry, too. They're very tricky to do without diminishing the first televised episodes. I think Newman succeeds, because Kim Newman is one of the most skilled and careful practitioners of pastiche in literature, but, at the same time, it's one of those special cases. Even though "Time and Relative" works, and works very well, I think it's a formula than only works as a one-off....

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David 8 years, 4 months ago

Hullo! I'm a different David (Other Dave, if you will) and I'll certainly nab a copy. Either the Kindle one (being an avid Kindle reader) or possibly the paperback - I like being able to flick through a book like this. Or, does the Kindle version have a contents page that links to every entry?

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Tom Watts 8 years, 4 months ago

It really struck me reading it on Kindle what an immense labour you've put yourself to. Congratulations and thank you. Despite that totally unwarranted take-down of The Dominators and your strange tolerance for Planet of the Daleks, I've found your blog entertaining and instructive every time, and in book form it's even better.

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The Lord of Ábrocen Landmearca 8 years, 4 months ago

Lacking a Kindle, I'll wait for the dead tree version, and hopefully a way to buy it through Amazon Canada. Any thought about what the prices may be, so I can start the transfer to paypal in advance? I'd like to say I'll buy it no matter the cost, but the fact remians that I am a college graduate with no work in the field I trained in who's gone to university in an attempt to rack up more debt and die in poverty. So, past a certain price point, I can't justify the sale.

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Aaron 8 years, 4 months ago

By the way, I love the cover! Send glowing praise to whoever illustrated it, because it's very cool. I love how the Doctor's shadow is a dalek in disguise.

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Jesse 8 years, 4 months ago

"Dalek in Disguise"...isn't that an Elvis song?

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NotLuke 8 years, 4 months ago


I discovered your site earlier this year, and I won't mince words - I found it THE best Who-related blog around. I wish I could contribute to the comment section on a regular basis. Sadly, by the time I caught up with the backlog of posts, you were already reviewing Pertwee's second season which is exactly the point I am currently stuck at in my chronological marathon through the classic series. One of most the delightful aspects of your writing is how you build your case on references to the past (meaning both your own past posts and past episodes of the show proper). So at that point I decided to stop following regularly and bookmarked to read each next post only after I complete each corresponding story.

And it may take a while, because sharing your general feeling of tediousness with the UNIT era, I do make frequent timey-wimey excursions to future TV stories and spin-offs. (Especially as recently I believe I might have fallen in love with the Big Finish material; I am hoping you'll find a lot of interesting things to say about it in TCBR entries for Doctor #8 in particular!)

This is all a very long-winded way of saying that the book form was just the thing I needed and assuring you that you have my purchase (though I'll wait for the shelvable version). And also using this opportunity to thank you for your great, great work, which I should have a long time ago. (Hm, why does it remind me of Idris's goodbye scene in "The Doctor's Wife"? :))

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Anna 8 years, 4 months ago

@Andrew Hickey: Actually, the Windows kindle app works tolerably well under wine (tested on either fedora 13 or 14, with whatever the latest wine was at the time, built from source).

Amazon also has a kindle web app now: It requires firefox 6+, though, and I haven't updated recently, so I haven't been able to test in in Linux yet :)

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Andrew Hickey 8 years, 4 months ago

@Anna - it didn't work very well at all for me (Debian Wheezy using XFCE as a desktop).

As for the web reader, unfortunately to buy Kindle books you still need to have a Kindle registered to your account (either a physical device or the programme) so if you don't have one it's not much help. You can, however, try it out in Chromium (where it seems to work better than in Firefox anyway).

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Shane Cubis 8 years, 4 months ago


Do us a favour and let us know how it's selling, eh?


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Wm Keith 8 years, 4 months ago

There's so much going on in Volume 1, my Kindle literally cracked open. Or perhaps I packed too much in my suitcase.

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Gonzo 8 years, 4 months ago

Dead tree version will be on my christmas list for sure. Keep on keeping on! :)

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matthewhyde 8 years, 4 months ago

Just posted a shout-up / plug for the book at my blog... (

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johnhiggs 8 years, 4 months ago

I've also just bought the Kindle version - how could I not, the constant stream of insight from this blog is extraordinary, and must be encouraged!

However I was surprised that it had no Table of Contents, or no way to quickly locate individual essays (without resorting to text searches). Could this be a flaw of my copy in some way?


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Elizabeth Sandifer 8 years, 4 months ago

Amazon's tools for creating Kindle books are poor on the Mac, and I was unable to figure out how to make a table of contents. I hope to figure it out for future editions, and I believe that I can upload a new version of the Hartnell book when I do with a table of contents, which will then automatically be pushed to anyone who bought it. But I didn't want to further hold up the release trying to find software to do that with.

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Andrew Hickey 8 years, 4 months ago

If you're creating a Kindle book using Microsoft Word or a Wordalike, as most people do (I don't, but most...) the way you create an active table of contents is:

Create a bookmark at the beginning, called TOC or similar.

Go to each chapter heading. Add a bookmark to each heading, saying "Chapter 1" or whatever. Then turn the chapter heading into a link to the TOC bookmark.

Go back to the beginning, and list your chapters, making every item in the list a link to the relevant bookmark.

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inkdestroyedmybrush 8 years, 4 months ago

i will certainly purchase the book when available in print, since i'm not doing the Kindle thing. I'm assuming you'll let us know when avaiable!

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HarlequiNQB 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry for the late response, I've been ever so slightly extremely busy, but congratulations on the launch! Like inkdestroyedmybrush I shall have to wait on a print run as I don't have any of those newfangled digital readers, but I look forward to reading it; and hey, I finally get to see the cover - nice :). time, finally, to go post my own :)

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Elizabeth Sandifer 8 years, 3 months ago

Ah, the paper copy is now available. I should probably update this post to say that.

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drAnalog 8 years ago

First time commenter here... It is March 28th and after starting at the very beginning back in December I find myself at this point and still furiously reading each and every post to catch up (although I'm a bit concerned at how it will impact my life when i can only read 3 posts a week!).

Anyway Just wanted to add my voice to the many and say I am finding this blog to be absolutely riveting. It is tremendously enjoyable to read, insightful and thought provoking. And I say this as a New Who fan with very little to no experience of the classic series. To have got me so captivated with essays on shows I have not even seen... now that is some skill and you deserve all of the accolades you receive from this community.

Suffice to say I am now embarking on the mammoth task of watching as much classic Who as possible, will be buying your book imminently and will promote it across all of my networks as much as I possibly can.

Keep up the wonderful work, and I look forward to joining the debate sometime in the near future (probably around McCoy at this rate!).

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Kat42 7 years, 10 months ago

I thought I'd let you know that I just got your book in the mail today and I'm really excited about it! The only thing I feel bad about is if it is true that you don't get as much royalty from me because I am ordering it from Canada like someone had said earlier. Honestly I would just give you money for this blog (well within reason, cause unfortunately I'm not rich lol), it's one of my favorite reads on the internet. I can't say I always agree with it, but I always have a great time reading it and thinking about it. It seems to me that it takes a lot to come up with so many though provoking insights into a show that's been picked over so much. I really hope you are still wanting to put the other ones out I would love to have a complete set eventually.

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