Eruditorum Press

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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.

19 Comments

  1. Annie
    January 10, 2020 @ 6:27 pm

    Dalek eruditorum it’s already shaping up to be a great look at Doctor Who, I’m so excited to come on this journey with you especially since I discovered the blog quite late on and so wasn’t able to participate in the fascinating discussions of episodes in real time.
    I’ve always felt ambivalent towards this episode and its treatment of the Daleks, in any other place the mutated creatures would be considered victims, but they’re so evil that they have to be fought.
    As far as I know it’s not explicitly spelled-out in this episode what the kaleds and thals were fighting about but this story retroactively makes the thals the good guys, like how Britain can claim to be a moral country even after the horrors of the British Empire because at least they fought the Nazis.

    Reply

  2. Alex
    January 10, 2020 @ 7:41 pm

    So excited for this project. Can’t wait to read more!

    Reply

  3. Kazin
    January 10, 2020 @ 9:34 pm

    I’m really glad you’re doing this. There are a few passages throughout TARDIS Eruditorum that read… differently now. This will help balance the scales a bit, so to speak. It’s also more likely to upset me (in a good way). Looking forward to devouring this project.

    Reply

  4. Christopher Brown
    January 11, 2020 @ 1:17 am

    YES.

    Damn, this is going to be a brutal read, isn’t it? Albeit a cathartically necessary one.

    Your notes on how radiation works reminds me of its logic in the Godzilla series, another semi-sentient decades-long franchise providing a secret magical mirror of the society that created it. I should really get around to writing some pieces on that someday…

    Reply

    • Stephen Brewer
      January 13, 2020 @ 2:50 am

      Oooh! Please do write that.

      Reply

      • Christopher Brown
        January 13, 2020 @ 7:47 am

        Haha when I’m a great deal better researched on Japan and in possession of a Patreon someday, I’ll get to it 😉

        Reply

  5. AntonB
    January 11, 2020 @ 4:41 pm

    There’s a hefty chunk of lifting from British Imperialisms Sci-Fi poster boy H.G. Wells’ the Time Machine. Easy to read the Thals as the Eloi and the Daleks as the Morlocks. Plus Nation was clearly nicking concepts from Anthony Coburn’s unmanageable mooted second story – ‘The Masters of Luxor’.

    Reply

  6. Aylwin
    January 11, 2020 @ 6:31 pm

    This is the most Dalek of Dalek stories because of its rejection of change, of moral advancement, of any end, ever, to war. What the first Dalek story of the new series treats as the peculiar horror and tragedy of the Daleks – “I am changing” / “But that’s good!” / “Not for a Dalek” – this endrses as a law of life. There can be corruption and degeneration, moral and physical, but never radical growth, no better way, no break with the recurrence of annihilatory violence.

    The catastrophe of the First World War led to the terrible error of shying away from a second, which only made matters worse and could easily have meant worse still. The mistake must not be repeated in the face of a third. And if the third does come, and proves to be, as expected, orders of magnitude more terrible, turning the world into a poisoned wasteland and leaving a handful of survivors clinging to existence in the ruins, even this example must not must not be allowed to teach any change of heart, any reluctance to fight whoever else is left to total destruction once more, whenever an occasion arises. To seek to live another way might be laudable in the abstract, but is in cold fact a pathetic softness which the world will punish with extinction.

    The story makes its message unambiguous at its conclusion with the Doctor’s off-handedly vicious dismissal of Alydon’s attempt to salvage some hope from the ashes of genocide, that at least this might at last be an end to it all. “No doubt you will have other wars to fight.”

    It’s quite a thing.

    Reply

  7. TommyR01D
    January 12, 2020 @ 5:55 pm

    Is it mere coincidence that you started a Dalek Eruditorum so soon after Mr TARDIS Reviews did his Dalek-cember, or are you hoping fans will use his lightweight analysis (including the occasional political jab) as a gateway drug to your more potent stuff?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hERbIdXCyq0&list=PLMVI6GTWoz_csiCbQHkmq4EustHIK3HyL

    Reply

  8. Stephen Brewer
    January 13, 2020 @ 2:54 am

    Good stuff, Liz. An excellent start, that feels fresh despite having been reading you since (close to) the start. Looking forward to the rest.

    Reply

  9. Przemek
    January 20, 2020 @ 3:51 pm

    Excellent essay. Bravo. I’m so excited for this project. Also slightly scared that it might prove too depressing for me to read. But so far, so good.

    I especially enjoyed your exploration of the “liminal space between two apocalypses”. Radiation as a ghost – ooooh, that’s though-provoking. It reminded me of “Chernobyl” with its eerie atmosphere and its constant, unnerving feeling that we’re not dealing with a scientific phenomenon, but with an ancient evil set loose by human folly. Come to think of it, “Chernobyl” would’ve made a great Pop Between Reality entry for the Dalek Eruditorum. If they existed, of course.

    “the show is no more harmful than any other it of escapist adventure fiction, which is to say no more harmful than any other bit of imperialist propaganda”

    Interesting. I know all adventure fiction stems from imperialism, but what about adventure fiction created by nations that were the victims of imperialism instead of the perpetrators? Should we treat them differently? Or is the whole well poisoned?

    Reply

    • Przemek
      January 23, 2020 @ 10:15 am

      It just occured to me that “Chernobyl” is a Britih-American production about Soviet Russia. Two empires, a former and a current one, use the third to tell a story about military-industrial complex, abuse of power and ecological disaster. It’s their fever dream.

      Reply

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