Less concerned with who’s first up against the wall than with how to decorate it

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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. Adam Riggio
    October 22, 2012 @ 3:06 am

    The thematic wrap-up of Ace's character is another reiteration of a key moment in her history: a proper philosophical response to the reason she left the Doctor in the first place at the end of Love and War. Making clear through the example of your own behaviour that no one deserves to be sacrificed for the cause is a signpost of what the Doctor did to Jan in that novel — manipulating him into sacrificing himself for the greater good of stopping the Hoothi.

    That, more than all the epic and overwrought betrayals and manipulations Ace and the Doctor did to each other over the Alternate History arc, functions as her rebuke to him. And it's a rebuke to a recurring idea in Doctor Who since its beginning. In many stories, there's often a moment where one of the supporting characters is sacrificed or sacrifices himself for the greater good of the mission. It was present from the Thal who couldn't make the jump across the cavern and cut his own rope in the very first Dalek story.

    And the Doctor never really seemed to mind. It was regrettable, but something that was par for the course in adventuring: some people weren't going to make it. It gives extra weight to one of the ethical ideas of the Davies era: that there can be Doctor Who stories where everybody lives.


  2. Ununnilium
    October 22, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    Mmmmmm, yes. <3 Not "there should have been another way", but "there can be another way". (Or, in terms of another fandom, Usagi logic vs. Haruka and Michiru logic.)


  3. Seeing_I
    October 22, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    I didn't read this one for the longest time, because I couldn't stand to be seen on the subway or wherever with THAT cover art.


  4. elvwood
    October 22, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    I know what you mean. I grew up reading SF in the 70s, and virtually every cover was a Chris Foss/Fossalike spaceship or a semi-naked woman – even in stories with no spaceships or women in them! (And with some of that generation of writers, the sensible ones who couldn't write women did just miss them out; while others I wished they would.)


  5. BerserkRL
    October 22, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    Pity the fan of the Flandry novels who wants to read them in their latest editions, that have unaccountably been given soft-porn covers.


  6. inkdestroyedmybrush
    October 22, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    wow, that is AWFUL cover art…


  7. elvwood
    October 23, 2012 @ 1:58 am

    Blimey! I see the spirit of the 70s is alive and well. What next? Nicholas van Rijn as a well-oiled muscleman?


  8. Archeology of the Future
    October 24, 2012 @ 8:28 am

    I think 'Set Piece' is a fantastic bit of Who and one that to me feels very close to what Moffat Who would be like if Moffat liked doing characters more.

    There is something fantastic about the sequence with the Doctor as a prisoner repeatedly trying and failing and suffering, and the fact that the plot is a result of a plan gone wrong.

    I'd be very surprised if Moffat wasn't influenced by 'Set Piece'.


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