If you want an image of the future as we desire it, imagine a boot stamping on Jonathan Jones’ face… forever

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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. Seeing_I
    August 14, 2013 @ 2:01 am

    Gorgeous, melancholy episode – when they said Torchwood would be dark and adult, this is rather more what I had in mind than the CyberBikini japes. The image of Jack sitting in the car, breathing the same fumes, has stayed with me. Plus, "Look at all these bananas!"


  2. Jenda
    August 14, 2013 @ 2:21 am

    They were born and then they lived and then they died! It seems so unfair!


  3. Spacewarp
    August 14, 2013 @ 4:00 am

    "He gets to see everything he ever built or worked for at its end – a senile old man in a long-term care facility, dying in a world built of the eroding rubble of memories."

    This is the bit that cuts me the deepest watching this, not the well-written but relatively familiar Diane/Owen cross-time romance. SciFi often deals with this concept of thrusting the protagonist into either the near future to meet their bemused now-older relatives (see "Flight of the Navigator" or "The Forever War"), or the far distant future to find their whole civilisation has been forgotten.

    But speaking as someone who has three children and three grandchildren and therefore a comfortable feeling of "genetic security", to witness the complete shriveling of my familial line just a few decades down the road would be far worse on a personal level than any "Planet of the Apes" scenario.


  4. Jenda
    August 14, 2013 @ 5:01 am

    I had written this jokey bit of "I get the reference!" joshing before I had read the entry proper and now it seems entirely out of kilter with the mood of the piece – which was very well written, honest, and brave.

    It's enough to get me to try Torchwood season one again rather than just wait for you to get to the second season like I had been planning, which is endorsement enough in itself.


  5. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 14, 2013 @ 6:20 am

    I want to cry.


  6. Eric Gimlin
    August 14, 2013 @ 3:37 pm

    I'm afraid I don't have anything to really add to the discussion here, given the clearly personal nature of it. But I didn't want a lack of response to come across as a lack of appreciation. So, thank you for this.


  7. Iain Coleman
    August 14, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

    I still don't know why the Doctor Who team weren't crawling over broken glass to get Catherine Treganna to write them an episode or two.


  8. Theonlyspiral
    August 14, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

    This is the Torchwood post I have enjoyed the most. Torchwood lacks the alchemy of Doctor Who proper. There is no real sense of connection to the idea of material social progress. Of course it is painful for you, but by relating it to something personal it has elevated Torchwood over it's fairly base self.

    Which is to say: excellent job.


  9. Daru
    August 14, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

    Actually, so do I – thank you Phil.


  10. Daru
    August 14, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    I am very touched by your weaving of your own story with the essay, it really blew me away, especially when the revelation came that it was actually you. Bless ya for that and for opening your heart (as you do frequently here). I feel you really touched the beautiful and melancholy heart of this episode.

    Thank you again.


  11. elvwood
    August 15, 2013 @ 4:43 am

    And the same here. Thank you.


  12. storiteller
    August 15, 2013 @ 5:40 am

    A beautiful, moving post. I'll definitely have to watch this episode so I can get the full impact of the essay.

    I've always liked your more personal posts. Your essay on The Nintendo Project on Deja Vu, where you talk about your mother and adventure games, is also another lovely one.


  13. Bill Reed
    August 28, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    This is my favorite episode of Torchwood, and my favorite Torchwood write-up from you so far. I see there aren't many comments, but, thanks for writing!


  14. William Silvia
    October 2, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

    This brings back memories that are all too strong – and, notably, Doctor Who is the thing that probably kept me together as some semblance of a person during the forming of those memories. While my opinion of the episode is something more along the line of "this is what Torchwood is FOR, of COURSE it's like that", this post helps me remember that there's so much more ahead and that none of it will be predictable. Perhaps it was intentional that in ending a relationship, you essentially must choose either the path of John or Emma, because you really must.


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