The struggle in terms of the strange

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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. Tom Marshall
    November 21, 2016 @ 10:16 am

    Pretty clearly the best-written (and certainly best-directed; they need to keep Wayne Che Yip around) episode the show’s done, and I have high hopes for the Quill-centric one too, though I wonder if it might fall into the “excellent, but problematically excellent because it’s only excellent because it isn’t doing what the show normally does every week” category you sometimes used to describe those SJA episodes where the Doctor turns up and slightly cheapens everything around him.

    I posted this under the Ep 4 review, but that’s a way back now so bringing it up just for anyone who was interested in the discussion about April’s mother Jackie and her “recovery”: Basically Patrick Ness has been talking about it on Twitter.

    Someone tweeted him to say:

    “Sorry but I’m actually pissed because April’s mum is walking again I liked having a character in a wheelchair. We don’t get too see many disabled characters on tv, they’re always magically cured or were evil and able-bodied all along Btw, it’s not like I’m such a bad person who wishes people bad stuff. I’m just a wheelchair user, so this is important to me.”

    [which is more or less my position, apart from my not being a wheelchair user]

    Then he replied:

    “We cast a wonderful actress who uses a wheelchair. She was so good, I thought, let’s do the opposite of decades of able-bodied actresses playing disabled characters. Why not use FX to give a fine actress cool stuff to play? Genuinely, it was about smashing open doors for an actress, showing the stuff she could do. And letting an actress who happens to use a wheelchair the chance to take back decades of roles that went to able-bodied actresses. She was great. & there’s more to come. So that was my thinking. We cast a wheelchair user, loved her, wanted to smash forever the idea that any roles were closed to her.”

    FWIW, the person who made the first tweet seemed pretty happy with this explanation. And Shannon Murray [the actress] wrote in response, “just got home to read this exchange & it’s made me cry.” She seems pretty happy with the role and what it entails.

    What you think of Ness’ stance may vary.


    • Daibhid C
      November 21, 2016 @ 2:53 pm

      I’m … not sure. I can see ways in which it’s problematic, but if the original tweeter and Murray are both fine with it, well, they know what they’re talking about and I don’t.


  2. Wack'd
    November 21, 2016 @ 10:25 am

    I think the odds of a season two are fairly good, if only because the odds that Chibnall will need a gap year like Moffat got are fairly high and the BBC will no doubt want something to leverage Who‘s IP with in the meantime. Of course, that assumes it’s been doing a good job in that department this season, and I’m finding it surprisingly hard to find any solid numbers.


    • Tom Marshall
      November 21, 2016 @ 10:39 am

      Chibnall won’t need a gap year. The writing team started work on the scripts for Season 11 and 12 in earnest about a month ago, apparently. Plus he’s a very, very fast worker. Part of the point of hiring Chibnall I suspect is so that they can put out a whole series every year with no more gap years – Series 10 in spring 2017, then Series 11 in spring 2018 and Series 12 in spring 2019, regular as clockwork (in fact, regular as the RTD years).

      Whether Class does or does not get a second season won’t have much to do with this, though if so it’ll be something to keep us ticking over between Series 10 and the 2017 Xmas special.


  3. Daibhid C
    November 21, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

    the most interesting things revealed are things like his relative lack of anger.

    Interesting, because I’m not sure I picked up on that as a character thing at all, so much as an alien thing; IOW, I didn’t think it was so much that he naturally tended to be less angry than the rest of the cast, just that he wasn’t affected by the stone in the same way they were.


  4. dm
    November 22, 2016 @ 12:01 am

    You know what this show needs? Scenes where all the characters go to a cafe and hang out and have fun.* Heartfelt chats about what it is to be strong when you’re young are great, but you can shortcut a whole bunch of character and relationship development by just having your gang of friends eating pizza together. Boomtown is my case in point here- we’ve only been introduced to Captain Jack in the previous story, in which he was a conman who almost killed the entire human race through greed and carelessness, but just having him hang out with the Doctor, Rose and Mickey in Cardiff cemented a totally unearned relationship between them. By the time we get to Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways, it’s the culmination of a redemption journey that must have happened off screen, but still rang true.

    *I’ve only actually seen the first three episodes but from synopses I can’t see this happening in the following 3


    • Tom Marshall
      November 22, 2016 @ 7:42 am

      That’s … actually q a good suggestion.


  5. Riggio
    November 22, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

    Definitely with you on this being the best episode so far. Right from the beginning, the entire Doctor Who aesthetic (including all the spinoffs) has been so well-suited to bottle episodes that set all the major characters against each other. This is their Edge of Destruction, and I found that it lives up to the legacy.

    Fascinating material in here, as well as a cracking tight story. Piggybacking on you as usual, Phil.


  6. Thomas M Oglesby
    November 26, 2019 @ 1:22 pm

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