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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. Ununnilium
    April 15, 2013 @ 6:56 am

    The first thing that comes to mind, since you've mentioned it before in passing: Pop Between Realities to Dan Dare?


  2. Kit Power
    April 15, 2013 @ 7:06 am

    My prediction: You're gonna need a bigger boat. Good work, Dr. S. Congrats. πŸ™‚


  3. Bennett
    April 15, 2013 @ 7:11 am

    I'd suggest Rob Shearman's superb Doctor Who Unbound audio play 'Deadline'. It's a compelling drama steeped in the show's early production history, with a lot to say about the series and the relationships people have with it.


  4. Abigail Brady
    April 15, 2013 @ 7:19 am

    Two obvious candidates would be Masters of Luxor and Deadline.

    Masters of Luxor you already know was an unproduced script originally intended for I think the second serial. Since you covered that era (and the release of the first Hartnell book), it's been done as a Lost Story by Big Finish, which makes it slightly less obscure. And unlike most Lost Stories It's not just some random thing that didn't get made, but really does represent a road not taken.

    Deadline is Rob Shearman's Unbound, and is perhaps best described as some freaky shit, being about a retired TV scriptwriter who created Doctor Who. I mention it in combination with Luxor as it uses elements from it (along with other made early stories). It is possibly the thing least like Doctor Who to be Doctor Who. And did I mention that it's by Rob Shearman?


  5. Ununnilium
    April 15, 2013 @ 7:30 am

    We've already hit the first stretch goal!


  6. William Whyte
    April 15, 2013 @ 7:56 am

    It Happened Here!


  7. William Whyte
    April 15, 2013 @ 8:01 am

    I think this is self-recommending. It's the documentary-style alternate-timeline made-on-a-shoestring black & white movie about Britain after the Nazis won. Very well made and very much within Lawrence Miles's take on Doctor Who's mission to show the audience something unexpected.


  8. Ununnilium
    April 15, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    Ooooh, yes – and The Dalek Invasion of Earth is heavily influenced by it, or so I hear.


  9. Theonlyspiral
    April 15, 2013 @ 8:30 am

    Damn It! Those were my two suggestions! Now I need to be creative and clever…

    Birth of a Renegade? One of the many attempts to try and square away the Doctor leaving Gallifrey? It's well and truly an interesting mess.

    The Meeting? In which John Lucarotti meets the Doctor?

    I'm just not 100% sure at this point. I had two exceedingly clever ideas that everyone else had.


  10. Andrew Hickey
    April 15, 2013 @ 8:46 am

    I second that. It's one of the best, and most interesting, things ever done in Doctor Who, and it's definitely worth looking at, and absolutely rooted in the Hartnell era.

    Also the radio drama Whatever Happened To Susan Foreman, while much less good, would be worth writing about.


  11. Andrew Hickey
    April 15, 2013 @ 8:49 am

    Also, of course, Deadline and Auld Mortality comment on each other quite a bit…


  12. Andrew Hickey
    April 15, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    Another suggestion — the Pathfinders series. Children's telefantasy, produced by Sydney Newman, written by Malcolm Hulke, starring (in the wiped first series) Michael Craze, heavily Quatermass-influenced… definitely worth looking at.


  13. Ununnilium
    April 15, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    And the second and third! Holy crap.


  14. David
    April 15, 2013 @ 9:17 am

    Ooo, how about the Time Lord Junior High segment of Divided Loyalties? An attempt to give us a young Hartnell Doctor, hanging out with the Master, the Rani, the Monk, etc. and then getting involved in an Adventure with the Celestial Toymaker. Every wretched word of it written to give the backstory to a new 5th Doctor adventure.

    I'm sure there's something in there about reaching back and assaulting what came Before Who with all the knowledge from Some Time Later in Who, and why that's a bloody stupid idea (or not).


  15. Neo Tuxedo
    April 15, 2013 @ 9:27 am

    I second that notion.


  16. Neo Tuxedo
    April 15, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    Is it too early to say what I want "my" sponsored essay in the McGann/Eccleston volume to be about?


  17. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 15, 2013 @ 9:31 am

    Not at all – especially if you want an Eccleston on the blog, so I can schedule it.


  18. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 15, 2013 @ 10:07 am

    If I do Divided Loyalties, it'll be in the Davison/Baker book, and it's a reasonably likely candidate there, though far from a sure bet.


  19. elvwood
    April 15, 2013 @ 10:15 am

    Thinking themes as well as specifics, it might be worth expanding the Auld Mortality one into an "Unbound" entry and include Deadline there. I've not heard them, so that might not work!

    Similarly, a "Lost Stories" entry covering Macedon, Fragile Yellow Arc and Luxor might work. Again, you might not want to listen to all of them…

    Another possibility would be a look at a story or stories squeezed into apparently nonexistent gaps – Transit of Venus, Venusian Lullaby or The Revenants all spring to mind as possible candidates. Or did The Plotters cover that angle sufficiently? I don't remember.

    How about one of the Oliver Harper stories as the first to introduce a new companion? Perhaps The First Wave if you want to tackle other issues raised there.

    Hm. Don't know enough about the period to suggest any pops between realities, but I certainly add my support to Dan Dare.


  20. Tiffany Korta
    April 15, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    I put an extra dollar just so you reach the next stretch goal :D.

    I'm not sure if it would fit your deadline's but what about the special there doing about the making of the original series there doing for the 50th?

    Now all I have to do it work out what I want my article to be about?
    (Run's off to check the date of Dead Romance…)


  21. Anton B
    April 15, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    Thirded Have a look at the Dan Dare strips in the early Eagle annuals too. Particularly number 4 published 1961. Dan Dare must transport a massive triceratops from Venus to the interplanetary zoo on the Isle of White. Dinosaurs on a spaceship anyone?

    Also it might be an idea to examine what adventure drama serials were broadcast in the Saturday teatime slot before Doctor Who was conceived. Quatermass was a late night show I believe.

    Lastly Gattis's 'An Adventure in Time and Space' would make for an interesting 'You were expecting someone else'.


  22. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 15, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    Oh, of course. I can swing the timing of the book to make that happen – it might require parachuting an essay in at the absolute last second, but I've done it before. There. My five are set.


  23. Ununnilium
    April 15, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    Oh man, perfect.


  24. elvwood
    April 15, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    Interesting podcast selection – I hope it gets to Paradise Towers, at least!


  25. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 15, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    Build high for happiness! (I worried I was being a bit cheeky with that selection, actually. I carefully nestled it between two more popular stretch goals in the hopes I could get away with it. I really hope it gets there as well.)


  26. William Whyte
    April 15, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    They have a lot in common (though the Dalek Invasion of Earth is obviously all about the resistance), but I don't know if It Happened Here was out in time to be a direct influence. Really worth catching if you can.


  27. William Whyte
    April 15, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

    I like this idea. Haven't seen the series.


  28. Pen Name Pending
    April 15, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    I'm hoping it reaches "The Big Bang", especially since it seems you love that story as much as I do πŸ™‚

    Even if not everything is funded yet, you're still hoping to eventually release the ones on that list, right?


  29. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 15, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

    Probably. I mean, a lot of it comes down to how well they turn out and how much I enjoy them. If I hate them and slog through three and nobody comments on them then no, I probably won't pursue the idea. If they generate discussion, get downloaded reasonably frequently, and are fun to do, yes, I expect I'll do every story eventually, including the remainder on that list.

    (Well, every existent story. Though maybe I'll do Production Notes-style subtitle tracks that you could slap over your preferred reconstruction for the others…)


  30. T. Hartwell
    April 15, 2013 @ 2:42 pm

    Oooooh, really hope the list makes its way to at least Three Doctors.

    Already pledged my amount, will definitely spread the word!


  31. Matthew Blanchette
    April 15, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    …dammit, I want that Soldeed video. πŸ˜€


  32. William Whyte
    April 15, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

    TBH I'm much more interested in Paradise Towers than in The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang.


  33. Ewa Woowa
    April 15, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

    I don't wish to be unpopular, but I think I'm about to be:
    As someone who was an "early-funder" and bought your first edition of this book the week it came out, I'm slightly miffed that now I ended up getting the version that is missing about a dozen extras entries…


  34. Andrew Hickey
    April 16, 2013 @ 12:08 am

    I felt the same way at first (I've bought the ebooks of the three books so far so early that I bought them before they were announced). But I consider the $5 for the revised version worth it for the dozen extras — that's only 40 cents per essay — and by buying the Hartnell book already we've had eighteen months or so of access to the book which is worth the original price.


  35. Anton B
    April 16, 2013 @ 12:53 am

    Yaaay! In that case you have a sale my friend.


  36. Anton B
    April 16, 2013 @ 1:38 am

    And I've added my kickstarter sponsorship. Really looking forward to getting the new editions now. Oh and just to pedantically mention, Phil, I watched your Kickstarter pitch video and noticed you pronounced 'Gillian' with a hard G as in 'Gallifrey' whereas the usual pronunciation here in England is with a soft G as in 'Giant'. It makes no difference but I wondered if Gillian isn't a common name in the U.S. ?


  37. Abigail Brady
    April 16, 2013 @ 2:57 am

    Are you complaining about the mere existence of second editions, or what? Because I think that boat sailed several hundred years ago.


  38. Rob Shearman
    April 16, 2013 @ 5:19 am

    I must admit, I'd be very intrigued to see what Phil makes of my Deadline play. It really irritated people at the time – which it honestly wasn't supposed to do! But it's the one Doctor Who story I've written that I still feel really sneakily proud of. (It's got Derek Jacobi in it, for God's sake! Derek Jacobi! I got to meet Derek Jacobi. He asked me to call him Del. What a legend!)

    Thanks, Abigail, Andrew and Bennett for saying nice things about it. πŸ™‚


  39. T. Hartwell
    April 16, 2013 @ 5:57 am

    Well, as of this morning it's been unlocked! πŸ˜€


  40. Andrew Hickey
    April 16, 2013 @ 5:58 am

    You're welcome. And you should be proud of it — it's the best thing of yours I've ever heard/read, and one of the four or five things that really justifies Big Finish's existence.


  41. Theonlyspiral
    April 16, 2013 @ 6:11 am

    That was a little harsh Andrew…

    But you're right. Deadline is easily one of my favorite things to come out of Big Finish. Each time I listen to it I rediscover how much I enjoy it.


  42. Abigail Brady
    April 16, 2013 @ 6:23 am

    I would imagine it irritates exactly the type of people who deserve to be irritated – Juliet Bravo fans. πŸ™‚

    I remember looking at it thinking "well, I'm not sure how that's going to work", but it's been a favourite since the moment I finished listening to it – I had "a little more literary criticism and then I shall take over the universe!" (probably a misquote) as my strapline on a popular social networking site for ages.


  43. elvwood
    April 16, 2013 @ 7:08 am

    Hooray! And it's only $120 off TPO/TBB, so I don't think Pen Name Pending has too much to worry about. Though The Three Doctors is more of a stretch. No pun (originally) intended.


  44. elvwood
    April 16, 2013 @ 7:23 am

    I can understand Ewa's feelings, regardless of history – it's not nice being stuck with an inferior product because you bought it when there was no way of knowing there would be an upgrade. But I can also see why Philip wanted to revise it; given that, the extras are a way of getting us to double-dip and keep him in ramen* for a while longer. Like Andrew, the extras make it worth another $5 for me. And who knows? If we hadn't bought early we might not still be getting books at all!

    * I don't know what ramen is, but from context I'm guessing if fulfills somewhat the same mythical role that lentils do over here in Blighty.


  45. Andrew Hickey
    April 16, 2013 @ 7:31 am

    Ramen — cheap noodles, eaten by those who can't afford much better. Lentils would work as a substitute cultural reference, but I'd say beans on toast probably works slightly better.


  46. Rob Shearman
    April 16, 2013 @ 7:35 am

    Oh, what a lovely thing – thanks, all of you! (I've never knowingly been a strapline before, either! That's rather fun. Which site was it? It can't be Facebook, that'd have confused everybody!)

    Writers are never the best judges of their work, and I remember finishing the writing of Deadline, and being rather smugly proud of it – really, the only time I sent in a Big Finish script and didn't feel an anxious shame about what the reaction might be. And then at the recordings, directing it alongside Nick, I thought too – do you know, I think that's pretty good!

    And inevitably, I suppose, when it was released it seemed to piss a lot of people off somewhat. There was one review that described it as hateful and self-loathing – another that (rather gloriously!) called it 'curdled fanwank'. So I've supposed since it was an unloved flop – but secretly, stubbornly, it's always been the BF I thought I got right. Ha! So it's a genuinely heartwarming thing to find out that it has out there those who give it the thumbs up. πŸ™‚ Cheers!


  47. Andrew Hickey
    April 16, 2013 @ 7:45 am

    Well, if you're wanting more reassurance about it, here's a thing I wrote a few years back about it — . There are things in there I wouldn't say now (anything I wrote more than two years ago is an embarassment) , but it will show you that some of us have been enjoying that particular play for quite some time.


  48. Theonlyspiral
    April 16, 2013 @ 7:49 am

    Isn't there already an entry on Dead Romance?


  49. Theonlyspiral
    April 16, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    I actually have thought for the longest time, that I was the only person who enjoyed TPO/TBB. Fan reaction to it is so negative…


  50. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 16, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    I'm sympathetic to Ewa. Though if I recall correctly she's also complained about the overly low price of my ebooks, so perhaps I break even here? But either way… I don't entirely see what the better solution was. The first book was the best I could do in late 2011 having never put a book together. It's not the best I can do now. That gap rankles.

    I mean, at some point you put it down. The weird centered paragraphs in the Troughton edition and at least two typos I'm aware of in Pertwee both irritate me, but I can't justify a second edition over them. I can't even justify a second edition for Underwater Menace 2, because everything I've seen tells me I was, in fact, right about that story the first time and that the added episode doesn't really change things much. Those books will live with their flaws.

    But for Hartnell, the missing chapter, severity of the typos, poor type-setting, the fact that I would have done the John and Gillian comics if I could, and the fact that "Air Lock" really does transform our understanding of Galaxy 4 a bit make me feel like a second edition is warranted.

    I think of it as similar to a band redoing songs on their demo tape for later albums, or perhaps even rerecording their entire first album, as several artists have done. Which is to say that while I am sympathetic to the frustration, equally, I just can't apologize that heartily for being a better writer and bookmaker than I was eighteen months ago.

    All of which said, thank you for being an early funder. I really do appreciate it. I'm sorry I wasn't that good when you started to be a fan. And I really appreciate you sticking with me anyway.


  51. Ununnilium
    April 16, 2013 @ 8:00 am

    Yeah, same on the $5 being worth it for extras. (And I quite like the older version of the cover, so I'm glad on having that too!)


  52. Rob Shearman
    April 16, 2013 @ 8:03 am

    Fascinating, Andrew, and very generous. Thank you.


  53. elvwood
    April 16, 2013 @ 8:59 am

    On first watch, I enjoyed The Pandorica Opens – and the beginning of The Big Bang. But then, some way through the latter, I suddenly realised I was just going "wow, this is clever" and not getting emotionally involved with the action/characters. And when I realised that, the jigsaw puzzle element stopped being so gripping too.

    I've only watched it once since then, and was more able to appreciate it for what it is, but an echo of that disappointment remained. I suspect that this is one that will grow on me more with further repeat viewings.


  54. Theonlyspiral
    April 16, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    I think you're too hard on yourself there Andrew (a trend?). You got it spot on…the only people who can appreciate Deadline are Doctor Who Fans which are the exact sort of group who have difficulty with a story like that by and large. The readers of this blog being an exception of course. That's a very keen observation on the nature of our fan-community.


  55. T. Hartwell
    April 16, 2013 @ 10:04 am

    I loved it along with the rest of Series 5, but haven't seen it since initial viewing. Very interested to hear what Phil has to say about it.


  56. Tiffany Korta
    April 16, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    Um yeah, I meant Faction Paradox : A Romance in Twelve Parts. I was hoping no-one noticed…

    In case anyone's interested it was published in 2011, so it's out for my article choice (I somehow got the Tennant book).

    And whilst I've got idea's I'm open to anyones suggestions…


  57. Theonlyspiral
    April 16, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    Well what are you looking for? A Pop Between Realities? A Time Can be Rewritten? I'm struggling with that I want for my McGann entry at the moment.


  58. Ewa Woowa
    April 16, 2013 @ 11:29 am

    She? She???????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    F*&%$ !!!!!!


    I post more when I'm sober…


  59. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 16, 2013 @ 11:32 am

    My apologies, Ewa – I actually looked up the given name Ewa, but was apparently misled.


  60. Gavin Schofield
    April 16, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    I third that.


  61. Tiffany Korta
    April 16, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    Well nice Mr Sandifer let me swap over to the Matt Smith book so Faction Paradox is a go…

    I promise I'm not obsessed!

    It's actually really tough to think of good sujects for these kinds of things I'm not sure how Phil manages it…


  62. Andrew Hickey
    April 16, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    I assumed Ewa Woowa was a play on Edward Woodward…


  63. Andrew Hickey
    April 16, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

    YOU might not be obsessed with FP, but I am, so thank you πŸ˜‰
    (That said, I suspect there's more to write about in Burning With Optimism's Flames than in A Romance In Twelve Parts, although Phil Purser-Hallard's drabbleplex in the latter does seem the kind of thing Phil would appreciate).


  64. Pen Name Pending
    April 16, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    It's actually an episode I'm really emotionally involved with…back when I had more time on my hands, it was what I'd watch when I was upset.


  65. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 16, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

    For my money, the wedding sequence at the end of it is the single best scene of Doctor Who ever.


  66. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 16, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

    A Romance in Twelve Parts also has the Iris Wildthyme/Faction Paradox crossover, which is… compelling.


  67. Ununnilium
    April 16, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

    Soft G is usually how it's pronounced here, in my experience.


  68. Pen Name Pending
    April 16, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    My favorite is right before that, with little Amelia. But the whole last half is wonderful.

    I actually wrote a paper about time travel in which I proved that "The Big Bang", aside from the alternate universe thing, is entirely consistent with the block universe theory of time (in which time travel is, in theory, possible).


  69. Scott
    April 16, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

    A QI reference, unless I miss my guess.


  70. elvwood
    April 16, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

    Ah yes, the ending. The scene with Amelia was where I started to reengage, and the wedding was indeed punch-the-air wonderful (though I wouldn't go quite so far as Philip). I'd forgotten about that part – probably a side effect of my meds or of the pain I was in at the time.

    Hm, definitely time for a rewatch!


  71. Ewa Woowa
    April 16, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  72. Ed Jolley
    April 17, 2013 @ 6:46 am

    Maybe Terry Gilliam's influence is to blame.


  73. Nightsky
    April 17, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    (Long-time reader, first-time poster. Hi.)

    What about The Tomorrow People? Is it a low-rent Doctor Who imitator? A worthy competitor? It is (or was until recently) being produced by Big Finish alongside DW, so it's certainly had a long half-life in Who's shadow.

    Bonus points if you can work in Peter Davison's appearance in that ridiculous wig and loincloth.


  74. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 17, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    The Tomorrow People is a bit late for Hartnell – I covered it in between Planet of the Spiders and Robot, so it'll be the first essay in the first Tom Baker book.


  75. Nightsky
    April 17, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    I'd forgotten you already did it, sorry.


  76. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 17, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

    Oh, no problem – really nobody but me should have quite as extensive a knowledge of what this blog has done as I do. πŸ™‚


  77. Daru
    April 17, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

    !!! @ Philip –

    Hi – Just been setting up pledging to you via Kickstarter with a rush of enthusiasm. But unfortunately my card type is not recognised on the system as it is set up once I enter the 'Continue to Amazon' section where I need to enter card type. I live in the UK and have an existing Amazon account where my card is recognised. It is a Maestro Debit card. Is there anything you can sort out so I can pledge, as I really am passionate about your work and don't want to be blocked from supporting you.

    Much thanks.


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    January 31, 2014 @ 2:21 am

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