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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. The Lord of Ábrocen Landmearca
    July 1, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

    Well, inspired by this I watched it with a friend. And we laughed ourselves silly. I wouldn't go so far as to call it bad, but I found nothing here serious. Partly because we were joking, but also partly because of my Central Audio Processing Disorder, I simply couldn't understand a word anyone was saying. The audio was wretched, malicious bad. You mention above that Vicki names a Zarbi, but I honest wouldn't know, there were whole sequences of dialogue that were complete incomprehensible- I don't even know why that Zarbi was there. I wish I could see (or hear, I guess) what you did in this, but it isn't there for me. This isn't my least favorite episode, but it's at the bottom of my list, above those episodes I actively loathe and hate, like Curse of the Black Spot or the one with the flying bus.


  2. SK
    August 22, 2011 @ 1:14 am

    Complaining about the Zarbi being unrealistic is exactly the same as going to a production of War Horse, standing up in the interval and shouting, 'This is rubbish, those horses don't look realistic at all.'


  3. Keith Hatton
    November 12, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    In the following statement you are seriously missing a point. As an 8 year old viewer at the time that this was first aired, it never once occurred to me or any of my friends that the Zarbi were anything other than giant ant-lke aliens. It never occurred to us that they were men in costumes, and your revelation shocks me. Not since we first encountered the Daleks had we met such a powerfully menacing enemy, and our playgrounf games of Doctor Who and the Daleks quickly became Goctor Who and the Zarbi.
    Great books – keep them coming. On the whole your interpretation of the 'real' feel of these early episodes is fairly accurate although you are re-creating it from the distorted perception of adulthood.

    "Here's a picture of the Zarbi. Now, what seems more likely? That viewers in 1965 could not tell that two of those legs were not like the others, or that viewers in 1965 were well aware that those were men running around in ant costumes? It seems to me that any argument that is dependent on the idea that anyone, ever, in the history of the planet has looked at a Zarbi and seen anything other than a man in an ant suit is extremely, extremely strained"



  4. Jordan
    September 30, 2014 @ 9:52 am

    I'm glad I found this article. I stared watching Doctor Who this year, and opted to begin with An Unearthly Child in order to get the full effect of the show. The Web Planet was one of my favorite early serials, and I was dismayed to learn that it has been almost universally panned by contemporary fans. Your remarks seem to encapsulate most of what I enjoyed about this story, and I'm impressed by how well-written and insightful your articles are.


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