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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. Iain Coleman
    January 13, 2012 @ 12:31 am

    Aleister Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart


    You seem to consistently get this wrong. Watch out for it when you're proofing the Troughton book.


  2. Wm Keith
    January 13, 2012 @ 1:27 am

    It's fairly common for pantomime seasons to open only shortly before Christmas and run well into January. Indeed, there's one amateur dramatic club local to me whose pantomime never opens before the New Year.

    Ah, the Miracle on Ice. And I thought only the British remembered Robin Cousins.


  3. Elizabeth Sandifer
    January 13, 2012 @ 3:59 am

    Iain – I'll do a global search and replace on that one at the end, then change the mentions of Crowley back. πŸ™‚

    Wm – Well that makes the phrase "Christmas panto" a bit odd. Next you'll tell me the Christmas markets stay open into February or something. Still, I imagine televised pantos tend to be pre-Christmas, no?


  4. Andrew Hickey
    January 13, 2012 @ 4:23 am

    To the extent that pantomimes are televised at all (not all that much) it'd be likely they'd be between the 24th of December and the 1st of January.


  5. Wm Keith
    January 13, 2012 @ 4:54 am

    Eventually, I'm sure the Large Hadron Collider will provide us with information as to exactly when in the cosmic timescale Pantomimes come into being. However, Andrew Hickey is, I think, correct. I was exposed to the CBeebies pantomime three times in the week to which he refers. Oh yes, I was. And it's not behind me yet.


  6. Iain Coleman
    January 13, 2012 @ 5:09 am

    Driving past one of the main theatres in Edinburgh just a couple of days ago, I had to stop to avoid ploughing through a mass of kiddies and parents spilling out of this season's production of Cinderella. I gather the show is running till 22 January, so if you're keen to see Allan Stewart's panto dame, there's still time.

    Tragically, John Barrowman's run in Glasgow with the Krankies finished last week, so if you didn't catch it, you're out of luck.


  7. Wm Keith
    January 13, 2012 @ 5:43 am

    John Barrowman and the Krankies…what were they in – "No Exit"?


  8. Iain Coleman
    January 13, 2012 @ 5:48 am

    "Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates", if you must know. This will tell you a bit more about it, and this will tell you more than you ever wanted to know.


  9. Exploding Eye
    January 13, 2012 @ 6:11 am

    I think Keff McCulloch is the worst thing to have happened to Doctor Who full stop.


  10. Wm Keith
    January 13, 2012 @ 7:15 am

    This –

    – is the worst thing to have happened to television, full stop.


  11. Dougie
    January 13, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    I love the idea that Americans might now be reading the stories of the Krankies' Swinging lifestyle (stories that have been bandied about in "the business" in Glasgow for years- I heard them a decade ago.) Obviously I love it in the sense that I'm horribly embarassed by it…but then I decide it's fair play after "Diff'rent Strokes" (to name but one.)


  12. Exploding Eye
    January 13, 2012 @ 7:34 am

    Nah, Delta And The Bannermen is still worse.


  13. Matthew Blanchette
    January 13, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    Well… at least there's no controversy over this. πŸ˜›

    By the way, if anyone wants to read both the original Shada script and a transcription of Baker's insane ramblings on the video release, look no further than here:


  14. Matthew Blanchette
    January 13, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    Whoops; sorry, thought the link would be clickable. :-S

    Just copy and paste into your browser, if you want.


  15. WGPJosh
    January 13, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

    While I can definitely see Williams' and Adam's influences in the New Series I think Moffat especially is looking much more at the Peter Davison era for inspiration, with a bit of McGann and John Wiles (especially of late) thrown in for good measure (which explains a great deal about my objections to him). RTD seemed more drawn to the Pertwee era, though David Tennant is of course also a huge fan of Davison and Christopher Eccleston seemed at times to be channeling a bit of McCoy.

    I still don't think the Graham Williams model for Doctor Who has been fully explored yet and I still hope someday it will be. I think there are a lot of stories to be told with this model and these characters and wish someone would take another look at it. I know I'm in the minority here, but this is still very much a favourite era of the show for me, warts and all. But, I've stressed that many a time before so I shan't do it again now.

    I'll instead hold tight and wait for the blog to change again. I'll be looking forward to seeing if Phil covers the Gareth Roberts books on Monday as I'm kind of expecting him to!


  16. 9504184b
    January 14, 2012 @ 3:20 am

    A Doctor is simply someone who has completed a degree. A professor holds a specific job at a specific university. … Chronotis has visibly retired from being a Doctor into being a mere Professor.

    I'm afraid I disagree – a Professor has quite a different role in UK academia – it's very much an earned, promoted position, nothing to do with teaching or merely holding a job.

    It's the next step up the University career ladder from being merely a Doctor – it's a serious promotion, and recognition of major contributions to their particular field of research… Universities give out honorary Doctorates, but rarely honorary Professorships !


  17. BerserkRL
    January 14, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    Likewise in the US, a doctorate is ordinarily a prerequisite for a professorship (let alone a Professorship, the highest grade of professorship) and not vice versa.

    But then, one usually becomes a Master before becoming a Doctor ….


  18. Matthew Blanchette
    January 14, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    WPGJosh: Why so bitter about Wiles? His era started great; just because he fumbled the end goal doesn't mean what came before it wasn't spectacular.

    Besides, he wasn't really driving it; it'd all been set up before by the writers of the Lambert era — except for, perhaps, The Massacre, which Donald Tosh extensively rewrote the ending of to have Anne Chaplet die (thinking they'd get stuck in the Problem of Katarina again, but winding up with a whole new problem when Dodo boards).

    Yes, The Ark, Toymaker, and Gunfighters may have been stinkers (they were all commissioned under Wiles, after all), but that doesn't diminish the great arc that'd been going on before the horrifically rocky patch of those three stories.

    Moffat's learning from Wiles's mistakes; the Doctor himself doesn't cause horror, but his actions inadvertently do — it's a very daring critique of the RTD era, and I think it works brilliantly.


  19. WGPJosh
    January 14, 2012 @ 7:52 am

    @Matthew Blanchette

    Sorry, I can't agree. Even if parts of the arc had been set up beforehand, the fact is WIle's positionality is obvious and it's a repugnant one. It's clear to me this was something he was writing from all throughout Season 3 and his beliefs are too intertwined with the story for me to accept it regardless. I can't enjoy any of those serials knowing his distasteful political agenda.

    And yes, Moffat is learning from Wiles' mistakes and I did grant that Series 6 ended on a much happier and much more appropriate note then the Wiles era (the fact that "Wedding of River Song" was a pacing disaster is another story). However, I maintain those themes and motifs are difficult to separate from Wiles' politics and any time a story arc like that is done the era's ugly spectre is going to be invoked. It's also just not a story I'm particularly fond of, to be honest. I'd rather The Doctor not be a spectacular failure all the time.

    And I quite liked "The Gunfighters" myself. It was silly, but at least it wasn't racist and series-derailing.


  20. Jesse
    January 14, 2012 @ 8:43 am

    The Gunfighters is by far the best serial I've seen from the Hartnell era.


  21. Matthew Blanchette
    January 14, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    From what I've seen so far, it's The Daleks' Master Plan, and I really wish Sara Kingdom had stayed on the program past that serial, because she was an absolutely terrific companion — completely refutes the "misogyny" argument against the Wiles era.


  22. Iain Coleman
    January 14, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    I've just watched it. I made it to about the three minute mark. Jesus wept.


  23. Stephen
    January 15, 2012 @ 4:58 am

    WGP Josh,

    Phil's confirmed that he's doing four Baker era novels, and that the fourth (he's already done three) is from the Missing Adventures. Since the final three, chronologically speaking, are Gareth Roberts' post-Shada ones, he has to be doing one.

    Right now, I'm expecting it to be The Well-Mannered War, because of the metafictional ending, and the opportunity to explore fannish notions about preferring to pretend that certain eras didn't exist which inspired it. However, I have been wrong before.


  24. Matthew Blanchette
    January 15, 2012 @ 8:05 am

    I wonder… will he ever do Time's Champion when we get to the space between '86 and '87, or is that just far too difficult to track down? :-/

    Never mind the entire missing season between '85 and '86…


  25. Elizabeth Sandifer
    January 15, 2012 @ 8:06 am

    If I could find a copy of Time's Champion, I probably would, but I have been unable to find one.


  26. Matthew Blanchette
    January 15, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    I understand; it was purely a charity release, limited run, etc., and once the run ran out, that was it.

    I wonder… maybe if you contact Chris McKeown somehow? I think he's probably floating around the Internet somewhere.


  27. BerserkRL
    January 15, 2012 @ 12:17 pm


  28. Matthew Blanchette
    January 15, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    Perhaps some of our UK-residential users could try some of the other locations listed in that link?


  29. Gnaeus
    January 15, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

    Still can't be as awful as Time Rift. (Which isn't much of a co-een-see-dense, unfortunately).


  30. Alan
    January 15, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    I've seen the JNT version of Shada and I say it would never have worked simply because of that hat. You know the one. The white hat that Skagra wore around Cambridge in the company of a brain-sucking killer beach ball. The one he apparently stole from Greta Garbo solely because it matched the rest of his all white ensemble. I always assumed that he later showed up wearing jeans and a Members Only jacket because there was a missing scene in which Cambridge students point and laugh at how preposterous he looks. On the bright side, if the serial had aired as planned, I do think the Krags might have done a good job of making the Mandrells look more impressive.


  31. Henry R. Kujawa
    May 2, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

    "a Professor has quite a different role in UK academia – it's very much an earned, promoted position, nothing to do with teaching or merely holding a job. It's the next step up the University career ladder from being merely a Doctor – it's a serious promotion, and recognition of major contributions to their particular field of research… Universities give out honorary Doctorates, but rarely honorary Professorships !"

    "Likewise in the US, a doctorate is ordinarily a prerequisite for a professorship (let alone a Professorship, the highest grade of professorship) and not vice versa.

    But then, one usually becomes a Master before becoming a Doctor …."

    Fascinating. I never made that connection between the "names" ot the 2 characters before.

    I guess "Ace" didn't realize it, but she was giving The Doctor more respect than it seemed.

    By the way, for some fun Christopher Neame work, see "DRACULA A.D. 1972"– my favorite of the 9 Hammer "Dracula" films.


  32. Kat42
    July 3, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    Can't say I agree with you about DRACULA A.D. 1972, that was my least favorite Hammer film so far. I think the problem for me was maybe that they are much better at putting together nice looking sets and costumes from the past, but when they tried to do modern stuff, everyone looked badly fake. I've hear the one with Joanna Lumley is better but I haven't seen it yet.


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    June 10, 2015 @ 7:29 pm

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  34. orfeo
    August 3, 2016 @ 1:27 pm

    I’ve just watched the John Nathan-Turner-produced video version. And the quality of the script does shine through (especially, perhaps, having watched the weak Nimon beforehand) in the parts that were filmed.

    The first couple of episodes are engagingly witty, and although that side of things does dry up a bit later on (or is it just there is less filmed material?), there’s still a sense that the plot held together. No-one is doing absurdly foolish things or behaving against character. It also feels like a 6-part story that wasn’t going to merely mark time for a couple of episodes in the middle.

    So all in all it does feel like a real shame that it was never completed. A missing story that is missing in a different way to those of the Hartnell and Troughton era, but I feel the same reaction as I did to some of the strong stories from back then, like The Myth Makers or The Power of the Daleks. As I sporadically move through the classic series, it’s been a long time since I’ve had that mixed sensation of pleasure and loss.


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