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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. robshearman
    March 25, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    Absolutely fascinating, and hugely persuasive. I wished I'd read this before tackling the story in Running Through Corridors!

    Shall follow this blog with huge interest.

    Rob Shearman


  2. Elizabeth Sandifer
    March 25, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

    I'm honored to have you as a reader, sir. And to be fair, I'm very glad you didn't read this before tackling it in Running Through Corridors – it's one of the books I open most regularly in preparing these. 🙂


  3. JJ
    March 26, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    That was an amazing review. I've enjoyed all your reviews thus far, and found them incredibly thoughtful and interesting. In particular, it helped me understand The Web Planet, which I found baffling. But this in particular is a dazzling piece of criticism.

    And oh, no, I just remembered what's coming next… Man, I thought Saward's era was dark and cynical. Not that I have a problem with cynical in Doctor Who – one of the great things about the show is that it can be absolutely anything, and can stop being a lighthearted fantasy and be something much darker for a time before going light again.

    Anyway, I'm loving your reviews. I wish mine were half as good…


  4. William
    March 28, 2011 @ 3:56 am

    I don't care if you've made it all up, it's a brilliant essay.


  5. Aaron
    April 1, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    This is my favourite Hartnell episode, and this is such a good review. It helped me realise things about this episode I had never noticed before. Thanks!


  6. frankymole
    April 9, 2011 @ 2:07 am

    Interesting article, though its conclusions are flawed. Far from failing abjectly, the Doctor saves the entire universe. A few people die but that's a far smaller sacrifice than most world-saving wars manage, and apart from a certain male SSS agent, the characters who die choose to make their own sacrifices to help save their friends – it is not the Doctor's choice.


  7. elvwood
    April 9, 2011 @ 3:31 am

    I'm with franymole on the Doctor not failing, but I do think that in a very real sense he loses. It's the people he cares about (and that the audience cares about) who suffer, while the nameless masses are saved. Yes, the Doctor's friends chose to make their sacrifices, and in any light these were noble decisions, but it's still a personal tragedy.

    Oh, and as others have said, thank you Philip for a really thought-provoking review!


  8. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 9, 2011 @ 6:32 am

    I think that part of what makes the Doctor the Doctor is that he considers saving the universe at the cost of two of his friends' lives to be a defeat.


  9. Jesse
    June 10, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

    You know, there's some striking parallels with the Eccleston season here. A long arc with several stories nested within it, best experienced as an ongoing serial; a Doctor who suffers defeats and agonizes over the consequences of his actions; the Daleks as the Doctor's (almost) evenly matched foe…


  10. orfeo
    December 13, 2012 @ 3:28 am

    As much as I agree with so many of your insights (and am thrilled to have this blog accompany my own discovery of 1960s Who), I have to take issue with one thing here: the idea that Vicki was supposed to die instead of Katarina.

    I don't think there's evidence that anyone was supposed to die before Katarina. From what I've read, the earlier versions of the script simply didn't have that scene. And the option on Maureen O'Brien's contract, the option that wasn't taken up in the end, was for 20 more episodes. Not for 4 more episodes. If she was staying the intention was for her to stay around for considerably longer, not be sucked out of an airlock.


  11. Mouse
    August 10, 2020 @ 5:44 pm

    Now that Students at the University of Central Lancashire have refilmed Mission To The Unknown in glorious black and white, recreating the set and props just as if it was filmed back in 1965, we could bug the BBC to help them refilm the missing episodes from The Dalek’s Master Plan with David Bradley reprising his portrayal of The First Doctor as seen in Twice Upon A Time. We can only hope that the BBC sees this as a good idea and pursues the refilming of some lost episodes, just as it has been doing with recreating lost episodes through animation!


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