The bodies on the gears of the culture industry

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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. Carey
    May 24, 2011 @ 3:01 am

    I've been following your blog for a while now, Philip, and am thoroughly enjoying it. Placing the stories in some form of cultural context while also investigating the symbolism within makes for fascinating reading.

    Having said that, I'm surprised you've missed a cultural connection in your review of The Abominable Snowmen: that of one of its writers, Henry Lincoln, was partly responsible for authoring "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail." For all that books Christianity, its surprising how many of its themes are reflected in the Abominable Snowmen: holy priories, warrior monks, holy symbols lost for generations, the seeming immortality of religious figures…

    Even though he lost the court case for plagiarism, without the Abominable Snowmen we'd have never had The DaVinci code! Now there's real horror… or is it just absurdism?

    Anyway, keep up the good work, and I look forward to reading more.


  2. Elizabeth Sandifer
    May 24, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    Lincoln wrote three episodes of Doctor Who. I've got to save something for the other two. 🙂


  3. 7a1abfde-af0e-11e0-b72c-000bcdcb5194
    July 16, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

    Possibly worth mentioning: the likely influence of this episode on the revelation in Six Million Dollar Man that Bigfoot is an alien robot?


  4. Flying Tiger Comics
    August 29, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    Both 6 million man and this Doctor Who serial owe something to the earlier (mid-1960s) "revelations" from some UFO researchers that bigfoot type monsters were seen acting robotically by some witnesses- who had also seen the creatures dropped off by silver disk type UFOs.

    This is all very much in the demonology end of UFOlogy and it is remarkable that it is that end of the scale for which exists almost all of the evidence, documented sightings, physical traces and credible witnesses. Doctor Who in this serial is following that pattern too.

    The Great Intelligence is for me one of the very best Doctor Who monsters, for being amongst the most realistic. It's pure Indrid Cold / Mothman stuff.


  5. encyclops
    October 9, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    Not that anyone's reading comments on this entry anymore, but I finally got around to listening to this and found it lovely and weird and wonderful. The Yeti business is indeed a little out there planwise, but the vocal acting really holds it all together and the Great Intelligence really does come off sounding like something out of Lovecraft — or maybe out of Christopher Bailey, a monster that comes into our world through the "dreaming of an unshared mind." It makes the Richard E. Grant Great Intelligence seem just a bit disappointing, to be honest.

    I'm sure it doesn't look as good as it sounds, particularly since the Yeti are among the goofiest-looking creatures in Doctor Who, but I really hope this is one of the stories that seem to have been recovered.


  6. Ross
    October 9, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    In light of The Name of The Doctor, I've decided that the "original" intelligence is nothing of the sort, but rather is, like the Many Claras, a reprise of the Simeon-Intelligence after he tossed himself into the Doctor's time scar, this being the real reason that actual-snowmen became abominable snowmen, frex: the same recipe baked anew.


  7. encyclops
    October 9, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    That makes perfect sense, and yet it makes me a bit sad, because I find the Nameless Thing From Beyond the Stars origin spookier and more stimulating to the imagination than the Manifestation of a Little Boy's Loneliness and Alienation origin. I shouldn't, I guess — the latter is probably the more grownup and literary of the two ideas — but I do. I'm trying on the idea that the Simeon-Intelligence is also a Thing From Beyond but that Simeon gated it into the world just like Padmasambhava or Tegan. I guess I'm only an anorak, looking for that real tomato.


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