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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Gnaeus
    August 10, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    "Which means that organizations like the Federation which promote compatible ideologies will, over time, win out over backwards, superstitious, or un-scientific attitudes such as Hepesh's, as well as the destructive greed of Arcturus. And that in this case, the Time Lords for whatever reason decided to send the Doctor to make sure this process worked correctly.)"

    Do you mean to say that the Time Lords are Whiggish historians with the power to reshape history to their narrative?

    This all reminds me rather more of the neurotic, desperate Great Houses of the Faction Paradox series than the Time Lords of the 70s-80s (but particularly the 80s).

    And from that perspective, maybe their policy toward the Master is: keep him occupied with the Doctor in the hope that he doesn't turn his attention to Gallifrey more properly.


  2. Stephen
    August 10, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    Congratulations on writing this post a month after you posted it. Any chance you could share the secret of time travel?


  3. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 10, 2011 @ 8:17 am

    Stephen – I'm American. We go Month/Day/Year in date writing.


  4. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 10, 2011 @ 8:19 am

    Gnaeus – I agree, it stops being as workable a hypothesis post-Deadly Assassin or so, and is nigh-impossible to square away with Trial of a Time Lord. But I think it's by far the most consistent explanation for the Pertwee era.


  5. talestoenrage
    August 10, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

    I'm completely ignorant of Doctor Who Continuity of the late 70s and 80s, but is it possible that one of the reasons that Time Lord behavior has changed between the Pertwee Era and the era after Deadly Assassin is that the Time Lords themselves have changed? For being an exceptionally long lived and long existing people, they aren't immune to change themselves, even if they'd like to be. This is grafting current continuity onto older continuity (a foolhardy enterprise in most respects), but the story of "The End of Time" are a good illustration of that. True, the Time Lords had changed due to the huge event of the Time War, but it's still an example that these are not people in a form of stasis.


  6. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 10, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    To some extent, although Deadly Assassin is presented much more as revealing the culture of the Time Lords than it is as a change within their culture. More accurate, I think, is saying that there just isn't continuity. The nature changed, and in an era with no VCR or access to reruns of old episodes, nobody in 1976 was actually very worried about how well the episode meshed with the general form of the Time Lords as presented three or four years earlier. It just wasn't something the show thought about in the first place.


  7. Gnaeus
    August 11, 2011 @ 2:32 am

    The other explanation of course is that what we see here and in Colony in Space is the Celestial Intervention Agency, and what we see in Deadly Assassin et al., is the Time Lords proper, but frankly I feel embarrassed just suggesting it.

    @Philip (I may call you Philip, mayn't I?) – I think actually these 70s episodes work quite well with "Trial" – the Time Lords interfere in the rest of the universe with a rather paranoid, kneejerk abandon, in order to ensure the advancement of their goals.

    What it doesn't mesh with, though, is Deadly Assassin, Invasion of Time, or The Five Doctors/Arc of Infinity and Marc Platt's (IMO wonderful) version of Gallifrey.

    talestoenrage: Possibly, but to be honest, TEoT felt like a terribly-done ripoff of Lawrence Miles' novels to me.


  8. Josiah Rowe
    February 11, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    I'm coming in a year and a half too late, as usual, but surely if the Time Lords at this point in the show's history are to be seen as agents of a dialectical force, it's a Hegelian dialectic, not a Marxist one. Although Malcolm Hulke is pulling the show in a Marxist direction, the view of "future history" seen here seems less driven by economic and material factors than by moral ones. This comes to a head in two stories' time, when the show takes the thesis-antithesis-synthesis paradigm and makes it literally part of a species' life cycle.


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