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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. Sheโ€™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. Douglas McDonald
    May 12, 2014 @ 12:10 am

    The most astonishing thing about this entry is that you know what Tony Abbott looks like.

    I don't know whether to feel touched or horrified that people outside Australia know who Tony Abbott is.


  2. Alex Antonijevic
    May 12, 2014 @ 12:23 am

    Our not-so-secret shame.


  3. arcbeatle
    May 12, 2014 @ 1:48 am

    I bought the DVD to write poems for my upcoming Doctor Who poetry book, and I have to admit I rather liked it. A lot of the show falls into the tropes of American children's television, which is ironic, and one of the most interesting things about it is comparing the structure of each episode to that of the Sarah Jane Adventures.

    Philip hit if on the head with the tropes it falls into, and there are lots more, as well as the general filming and lighting style, which can be seen all over American Kids TV. I'd say the biggest difference between K-9 and SJA is that K-9 from its inception was viewed as a kids show, and SJA was viewed as being a sci-fi drama that had to keep some of its edgier content under control.

    But lets be honest here: I think I have a sweet spot for any show with an episode where a character who gets arrested for trying to stop police brutality. So, if you're going to watch a random episode I'd recommend "Sirens of Ceres", which was my favorite. I think I found the stuff dealing with the evil government organization far more interesting than the space monsters bits, probably because at those points it felt like the show actually had something to say, and said it.


  4. arcbeatle
    May 12, 2014 @ 2:16 am

    Also, regarding "A Wild Endeavour"….

    …What a strange idea. I can't say I particularly like the idea of a Doctor Who prequel, but even though the Kickstarter failed they seem to be barreling on with the idea. Huh.


  5. Multiple Ducks
    May 12, 2014 @ 3:15 am

    And now I've just found the actor's (Jared Robinsen, for the curious) demo reel on IMDB and spent the whole time twitchily giggling at the prospect of a bizarre Murdochian Tony Abbott biopic starring him. Because, at this point, what else can you do?


  6. Lewis Christian
    May 12, 2014 @ 3:47 am

    Just in case anyone's interested, I interviewed Bob Baker in February 2014 in which he told me, regarding another K9 series: "Paul and I are in process of getting another series going. Hope it doesn’t take another eleven years!"

    Full interview.


  7. David Anderson
    May 12, 2014 @ 4:01 am

    Thoughts on the ethics of creator-ownership in multi-author collaborative worlds?


  8. David Anderson
    May 12, 2014 @ 4:04 am

    (Because on the one hand, Siegel and Schuster. On the other hand, nobody wants Ditko insisting that Spiderman serve only as a mouthpiece for Rand propaganda.)


  9. prandeamus
    May 12, 2014 @ 4:17 am

    I followed the link to "wild endeavo[u]r. I won't do that again.

    I mean, it's a free world, and kudos for having the guts to try, but this is a project that virtually no one wants to see. I mean, the academy days of you-know-who and the-guy-with-the beard? No, a thousand times no. Divided Loyalties raised to the n-th power.

    They have also made the classic mistake of stating the size of the Doctor Who fan base (how do yo measure that anyway?) and extrapolating the potential funding from that. That's so full of unwarranted assumptions it will collapse under the mass of its own uncertainty.


  10. Seeing_I
    May 12, 2014 @ 4:33 am

    Yeah, please, just no. What the Doctor was up to before he left Gallifrey, and the exact nature of the Doctor / Master friendship / rivalry is really really really better left to our imaginations. Why bother pouring so much into fanfic anyway? Go create something new, jeez!


  11. prandeamus
    May 12, 2014 @ 4:37 am

    And remember all the copyright restrictions back in the early 90s with BBV and its ilk? The BBC lawyers would lean on them about Domine/Alice looking too much like Doctor/Ace, and that was when the BBC didn't really care about the property, and the US wasn't really in the picture either. It's unthinkable now. They could burn up their entire budget ten times over fighting legal claims.


  12. T. Hartwell
    May 12, 2014 @ 6:03 am

    I find it funny how laughably terrible the award tiers are…Like at $35, you're basically paying for the privilege of sending them a prop to use. Or the highest tier ($7500), you pay to have a minor speaking role (saving them the problem of having to pay that actor), but you have to still provide for your own travel and accommodations.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, nothing above $500 ever got any backers.


  13. Alan
    May 12, 2014 @ 6:06 am

    All I want to know is this — was the theme song as awesome as the one Ian Levine wrote for "K-9 and Company"?


  14. Jesse
    May 12, 2014 @ 6:48 am

    This was funny. Thank you.


  15. Adam Riggio
    May 12, 2014 @ 7:42 am

    Re. A Wild Endeavour. The female character's name is Sydney Lambert. Good God.


  16. Bennett
    May 12, 2014 @ 8:07 am

    No, but then nothing is as awesome as the theme song for K-9 and Company.

    Here is the opening title sequence. It's the audio equivalent of a Silence – once you stop listening you cannot remember what you heard.

    Watching it, you automatically want to dub the K-9 and Company theme over the titles to see how it works. Fortunately, this is the Internet and you can rely on someone else having already done that.


  17. encyclops
    May 12, 2014 @ 9:38 am

    This is a thing now. There was Caprica. Now there's gonna be Gotham. It's never a good idea.


  18. BerserkRL
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:12 am

    The DVD carries the tagline "WHO's a good dog?" — the capitalisation sneaking in a presumably legally/contractually forbidden reference to the parent show.


  19. BerserkRL
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:27 am

    I'm not a fan of IP. Its defenders say it's the only way to ensure that writers and artists get paid, but in practice it means they get paid a pittance while big companies rake in monopoly rents. And there are other models for getting paid, like the kickstarter approach — especially practical in the internet age, but viable before that: Herbert Spencer's ten-volume Synthetic Philosophy in the late 19th century was essentially funded by the kickstarter method (with some help from J. S, Mill).

    So in a world without IP, Siegel & Schuster couldn't forbid anyone else to publish Superman stories, but no one else could forbid Siegel & Schuster either. And there are always fans who want to see, and will be willing to fund, whatever the original creators are doing.

    So let Quesada publish his Spider-man stories where Peter makes a deal with Mephisto and gives up M.J., and let Straczynski publish his stories where that specifically doesn't happen, and let Ditko publish stories where Spider-man gives speeches on Objectivist epistemology, and let Frank Miller publish stories where Spider-man is hulking and taciturn and beats people up a lot, and let Alan Moore publish stories where Spider-man is a left-wing anarchist who draws his powers from magick, and let fans take their pick.


  20. BerserkRL
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:35 am

    I did notice that the opening theme has a couple of soaring-and-dropping movements that are clearly intended to echo Doctor Who.


  21. quislibet
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:45 am

    Caprica was actually kind of interesting in its own right, although it was admittedly less successful as a prequel. To the extent that it DID work as a prequel, it was because they framed it as BG: the Previous Generation, rather than Your Favorite Characters Back Before the Thing that Made Us Interested in Them Happened.

    (That said, I have been vaguely interested in checking out Blood and Chrome.)

    EDIT: Vaguely on topic, to post this I have to prove I'm not a robot. WHAT IF I DON'T KNOW?


  22. quislibet
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    (Also on topic in a larger sense, to prove I'm not a robot, I had to type the word "affirmative.")


  23. Lo-Fi Explosion
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    The BBC actually wanted to do this, a "Young Doctor Who" series, but Davies stopped them and gave them The Sarah Jane Adventures instead.


  24. Lo-Fi Explosion
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:51 am

    This is the best entry ever.


  25. Author
    May 12, 2014 @ 11:50 am

    Oh, Doctor Who poetry. I had a thought about that awhile ago, and I'm half-inclined to act on that. I mean, poets have been writing poems about mythology and cultural concepts for centuries, why not do some poetry inspired by Doctor Who or another pop culture icon? At least if it's original and abstract enough, inspired by the work itself yet not totally reliant upon it, then it might have some merit.


  26. encyclops
    May 12, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

    I owned (probably still do, minus perhaps the cover) a copy of a 20th anniversary (? some sort of celebration from that general time) magazine, which included such indispensables as an episode guide leading up to "The Twin Dilemma" (or at least the announcement of Colin Baker as the next Doctor…the memory cheats) and explanations of how the title sequences were made.

    At the back of it was a…rrrrgh…"poem," an ode to the show. I can't remember who wrote it, but stretches of it are permanently engraved on my memory thanks to my brain's annoying habit of setting doggerel to music.

    Shockingly, if someone has transcribed this poem for immortality on the web, Google either doesn't know about it or can't find it based on the (on-topic) line "WOTAN computer and K-9 pet."

    The bar's pretty low, is what I'm saying.


  27. encyclops
    May 12, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

    …oh, hey, it looks like you can read it yourself if you own the Enlightenment Special Edition DVD, or just have 20 bucks burning a hole in your pocket. It's this thing: http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Doctor_Who_20th_Anniversary_Special


  28. Eric Gimlin
    May 12, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

    So help me, I just ordered the DVD for this. If for nothing else, to mess with some of the people borrowing my Doctor Who DVD's.


  29. encyclops
    May 12, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

    I enjoyed the episodes of Caprica I watched. I just thought it was a flawed concept.

    Some genre fans seem to have this idea that if they like a story, it stands to reason that what comes before it and after is is certain to be interesting as well. In fact, much of the time it's the case that if the original story had been that interesting before it started or after it ended, it would have started earlier or ended later. Or: what quislibet said.


  30. arcbeatle
    May 12, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

    and she is a barrista at Hartnell organic coffee…


  31. arcbeatle
    May 12, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    This is my book's finished Kickstarter if you were curious. The art for the book is taking a long time, so it hasn't come out yet, but the text is all done….

    I hope I raise the bar SLIGHTLY higher! ๐Ÿ˜›


  32. Elizabeth Sandifer
    May 12, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

    I looked for a nice high-res image with that slogan, because it is so wonderfully awful, but I couldn't find one in the amount of time I allocated to this effort.


  33. Elizabeth Sandifer
    May 12, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

    To be fair, so does Sarah Jane Adventures. The theme song is blissfully forgettable, although I love that various things are labeled using the font Chicago, which was a font developed for the original 1984 Macintosh because it couldn't do grayscale and so to gray out menu options had to simply delete half the pixels, requiring a Susan Kare to develop a font that was still readable with half the pixels missing.

    To use this font in 2010 as a signifier for "technologically advanced" is, to me at least, hilarious.


  34. Daibhid C
    May 12, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

    I watched some of this, and don't remember it being completely dreadful, although it's not like I ever thought "Gosh, K9's on today, I must make sure I don't miss it!"

    I'm not going to try and find them right now, because it's past midnight and I've got college in the morning, but ISTR some entries on Jon Blum's LJ that suggest he puts this in the "surpisingly good for what it is" category at the very least.

    In particular, I remember him liking the Department goons, who are distinguishable from your bogstandard faceless dystopian robot guards because, with the sort of beautiful incongruity Doctor Who is so good at, they all talk like Dixon of Dock Green. Which is, y'know a bit "Hey kids! 'friendly bobby on the beat' = 'fascist robo-thug'!"

    (I'm not saying Baker, Krause and Armstrong had ambitions to write a Doctor Who spin-off that would bring down the government, but they at least not vaguely in that direction.)


  35. BerserkRL
    May 12, 2014 @ 3:04 pm


  36. Shane Cubis
    May 12, 2014 @ 3:26 pm

    Haha – I had the same reaction! Who would've thought he'd pop up in a discussion of K-9?


  37. Iain Coleman
    May 12, 2014 @ 5:37 pm

    Oh for fuck's sake.


  38. Daru
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

    Poetry book looks great acrbeatle – keep us updated here on its release.


  39. Daru
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:35 pm

    Exactly what you say encyclops. If the story had been that good it would already have begun from that point! Mystery exists in stories for a reason. Explain it all and imagination is stifled.


  40. Daru
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

    Bloody hell.


  41. Daru
    May 12, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

    A Wild Endeavour, worst idea ever – apart from K-9 and that meerkat! Tried watching K-9 and it just gave me no motivation to watch it. A whole bunch of ideas just bolted on together, all drawn together apparently from a desire to cash in on a product that really belonged in the shows it spawned from and were more closely connected to. Brilliantly funny article!


  42. iWill
    May 12, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

    I'm not the only one who does Doctor Who poems, then. I'm currently at the stage of haikus, but one day I may finally get around to my true ambition: an epic poem based on 'The Twin Dilemma'.


  43. elvwood
    May 12, 2014 @ 11:36 pm

    Yes – it got me chuckling out loud.


  44. dirkmalcolm.com
    May 12, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

    "All of your support, both through the Kickstarter and through online posts and comments have demonstrated to the money men, the "suits" that this is worth pursuing"

    They barely made 1% of their KS target.


  45. elvwood
    May 12, 2014 @ 11:56 pm

    I actually enjoy some fanwank. I like a bit of nostalgia, and I also have no problem with Big Finish doing a sequel to The Invisible Enemy (despite the fact that it was the serial that tipped me into being a non-Who-watcher when I was a teenager) because sometimes people can find the gold in a concept, add something original, and discard the dross. After all, the idea behind Spare Parts is pure fanwank – "let's do Genesis of the Cybermen!" – and look how that turned out.

    But this… this looks like absolutely everything that's justifiably mocked about fanwank, with an extra helping of winceworthiness. It's the kind of thing Mark Gatiss would do if he lacked brains, taste and talent and just let his inner fanboy loose with no restraint. Oh, and was working in the US television setup.

    (Also, am I the only one who saw the title and thought this was going to be a crossover with Morse?)


  46. elvwood
    May 13, 2014 @ 12:11 am

    I watched some of this on Channel 5 with my children, though I drifted away after a while and only remember a couple of storylines. May and Isaac were at the top end of the age range – 8 and 10 – and on first viewing they liked it about as much as SJA. They didn't get through it a second time, and we then realised that on first viewing they'd liked it about as much as they liked SJA having watched each episode of the latter about five times.

    One thing that struck me was, why didn't they set it in Australia? Rather than having London (which had been overexposed in the parent program anyway) populated by bizarrely-accented locals and Australian immigrants, they could have had a nice touch of the exotic for the overseas market and had the actors use their native accents. That would have helped, though it still would have needed more to make it a real success.


  47. Daru
    May 13, 2014 @ 12:21 am

    I have a poet friend who has written an epic poem based on The Web Planet and the idea of Spectacle. It is truly an awe inspiring poem just riffing on the influences from the story, not working with it directly. So fab to hear about more folk doing this.


  48. arcbeatle
    May 13, 2014 @ 1:47 am

    ๐Ÿ™‚ glad to see some fellow poets, as well as some enthusiasm. I'll make sure to let you guys know when it finally is released.


  49. arcbeatle
    May 13, 2014 @ 1:48 am

    yeah….. If that is all it takes to show some "suits" that they should throw money at someone, I need to talk to more "suits".


  50. Lewis Christian
    May 13, 2014 @ 3:42 am

    I still chuckle that many TV shows and productions still use "old TV static" as an effect, even in the modern world where that doesn't happen. Mind you, something like a "buffering" symbol wouldn't be as effective.


  51. Lewis Christian
    May 13, 2014 @ 3:45 am

    The only part of K9 I watched, out of curiosity, was the 'regeneration' sequence. Even that was plain odd.


  52. Alan
    May 13, 2014 @ 6:20 am

    Holy crap! The Levine theme was BETTER than what that dull "Hearts of Space" music they actually used!


  53. Alan
    May 13, 2014 @ 6:27 am

    To be fair, the basic premise of "The Invisible Enemy" — a telepathic, mind-controlling virus transmitted through eye contact — is genuinely both thought-provoking and terrifying. It was the refusal of Baker and Martin to explore that premise in favor of comedy German doctors, an extended and pointless homage to "Fantastic Voyage," and finally exploding pornographic shrimp that ruined the story.


  54. encyclops
    May 13, 2014 @ 9:10 am

    Actually, Alan, you're making Baker and Martin's choices sound way more interesting than the premise. It's been at least 20 years since I've watched "The Invisible Enemy," so I don't remember it too clearly, but I imagine the actual problems were dialogue, story structure, and visual effects.


  55. BerserkRL
    May 13, 2014 @ 9:53 am

    I wonder what youngsters these days make of the opening of the original Outer Limits series if they happen to see it.


  56. Daibhid C
    May 13, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

    So, if anyone's interested, I found those Blum posts I was talking about. Well, a couple of them.

    There's this "both good in different ways" comparison with SJA, a post called The Soul of a Tin Dog and the one I badly paraphrase above, which seems to actually be a minor side-note in his review of The Beast Below, in which he doesn't exactly say what I thought he said.

    Of course, these posts also refer to the fact Blum was writing a spec script for the show at the time, so if you want to be cynical about it…


  57. Alan
    May 14, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    An homage to "Fantastic Voyage" might work, but not with a microscopic Doctor and Leela casually walking along the full-sized Doctor's neural ganglia and talking as though there was air inside the Doctor's brain definitely did not.


  58. Aylwin
    May 14, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

    When there is no more room in the internet, ideas like this will walk the Earth.


  59. ferret
    May 18, 2014 @ 2:04 am

    I don't understand this Kickstarter – if they get funding and produce even one episode, won't the BBC shut them down and sue them for everything they're worth?

    How do they hope to get away with it?


  60. arcbeatle
    March 10, 2015 @ 2:11 am

    In an update no one cares about, I did finish all of the show, and if you're going to watch an episode, watch the episode "Robot Gladiators" because despite the title, and the synopsis ("There are robot gladiators.") its the most fun the series gets, and maybe the only time the show realizes exactly what kind of show it is, rather than is trying to be.


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