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. mengu
    July 23, 2014 @ 12:20 am

    If losing Jack is why we got Jenny and Vastra, that's the single greatest good thing Miracle Day did for the world.


  2. Anton B
    July 23, 2014 @ 12:58 am

    "If losing Jack is why we got Jenny and Vastra, that's the single greatest good thing Miracle Day did for the world."

    Agreed. The character of Jack that Moffat created and wrote, introduced in The Empty Child, (the irreverent, flirty, ambisexual, casually time-travelling anti-hero from the future, with potential as a recurring character), is a million miles away from what he became under RTD in, first, Utopia and then Torchwood (the literally indestructable but, in practice, inflexible due to his self appointed role as some kind of Spy-Fi cop, protagonist/hero with 'secrets' and 'angst' and an inability to deal with the consequences of his priapic conquests who is regularly sidelined to the edges of his own narrative). Basically he went from Captain Sparrow to Captain Scarlet.


  3. Lewis Christian
    July 23, 2014 @ 1:16 am

    Funnily enough, Moffat was going to have the Headless Monks behead Jack in "A Good Man" to show how he eventually became the Face of Boe. Miracle Day stopped that. Good or bad, you decide.


  4. Shining Blitz
    July 23, 2014 @ 1:34 am

    Do we have an actual source on that, or is it just theory and hearsay? I know Moffat wanted Jack in AGMGTW, but I don't remember that detail being thrown around before.


  5. Scott
    July 23, 2014 @ 2:28 am

    Not really disagreeing, but Torchwood came before "Utopia", didn't it?


  6. Lewis Christian
    July 23, 2014 @ 2:35 am

    I couldn't find you the exact quote but I believe Steven said it himself in DWM 🙂


  7. evilsoup
    July 23, 2014 @ 3:36 am

    Yup, the final episode of the first series of Torchwood led more-or-less directly into the start of Utopia


  8. David Anderson
    July 23, 2014 @ 4:27 am

    I am now imagining Captain Jack asking 'Where is Jessica Hyde?'


  9. Anton B
    July 23, 2014 @ 5:12 am

    D'oh! Yes of course Torchwood came first but my point stands.

    @David Anderson

    Are we going to get a 'Pop Between Realities' on C4's Utopia I wonder? Best show on TV at the moment.


  10. Alan
    July 23, 2014 @ 5:19 am

    I never cared for the "Jack becomes the Face of Boe" idea. Among other issues, it makes Jack a dick for giving the Doctor the cryptic clue "you are not alone," instead of simply saying "The Master is hiding in the body of a Prof. Yana in the year Five Trillion." My preferred idea is that Jack's friends at the Time Agency did call him "The Face of Boe" but it was a joke comparing the good looking young cadet to the intergalactically famous Head-In-A-Jar whose existence was well known in the 51st century.


  11. Katherine Sas
    July 23, 2014 @ 5:22 am

    "However awkward Let’s Kill Hitler may be, almost nothing about Doctor Who in this era is playing it safe."

    That may be true for the Moffat-written episodes, but I'd have to disagree more generally – my biggest problems with The Curse of the Black Spot and Night Terrors are that they play it far too safe.


  12. reservoirdogs
    July 23, 2014 @ 5:48 am

    I think Jack was supposed to be Captain Avery.


  13. Pen Name Pending
    July 23, 2014 @ 9:06 am

    I'm not the one to be a grammar Nazi, but I think it might be for the best that I point out that the first sentence of the second paragraph says "tit's" instead of "it's."


  14. Garth Simmons
    July 23, 2014 @ 9:36 am

    Retroactively "You are not alone" could be referring to the fact that Gallifrey is hidden not destroyed. I think that makes more sense as the whole YANA thing is a pretty nonsensical clue relying on condensing his words into an acronym. Which like you say is stupidly cryptic.


  15. jane
    July 23, 2014 @ 10:49 am

    Neither is really "playing safe" though, certainly not at the conceptual level. Black Spot takes a huge turn in style, tone, even genre when the Doctor, Amy, and Avery embrace death and pass through the looking glass. It becomes a completely different show — not to mention providing extended metaphors for "near-death experiences" and in fact the show itself. Yes, many of the specific dramatic beats are "safe" but the story as a whole is not.

    Likewise, Night Terrors continues the very un-safe running theme of Series Six, which involves the monstering of Amy Pond. Amy is literally transformed into a "night terror" after advocating violence as a means of getting past the little devils. And again we get a shift in genre at the climax, as the "haunted house" story becomes a "coming out of the closet" metaphor.

    And then there's how the "non-arc" stories of the season (with the exception of The Doctor's Wife) rather play out as metaphors for the characters' psychologies regarding the season's arc. TGWW is surely the most obvious, functioning as a way for Amy and Rory to come to grips with the consequences of their desire to save their lost child from the fate her adult self has already accepted. But even Black Spot foreshadows Amy's upcoming "near death experience" when she's sonicked from the Flesh, and Night Terrors we get a parent coming to deal with having an alien child — again, an issue facing Amy and Rory.

    All of which is to say, compared to how RTD (or JNT or even Williams) structured the stories in "arc seasons," even the fairly disjointed Series Six is far more engaged and integrated with the overarching themes.


  16. reservoirdogs
    July 23, 2014 @ 11:17 am

    Oh Jane, you're back.


  17. Matthew Blanchette
    July 23, 2014 @ 12:52 pm

    That last line is a damn fine encapsulation of the Davies era, right there.


  18. Matthew Blanchette
    July 23, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


  19. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 23, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

    Matthew, no.


  20. Spacewarp
    July 23, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

    Ah well, you could always argue that as an ex-Time Agent he's well aware of the dangers of changing the timeline, and since as the Face of Boe he remembers the events of Utopia/Drums/Last he would make sure he didn't do anything to change them. If that involves muttering "You…Are…Not…Alone" on his deathbed then so be it.


  21. Matthew Blanchette
    July 23, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

    All right. I'm sorry about that; not enough hours of sleep and too many hours of work. :-S


  22. JRSM
    July 23, 2014 @ 6:29 pm

    Well, it IS Torchwood…


  23. BerserkRL
    July 23, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

    That's what happens when you're torn between " it's " and " 'tis ."


  24. Lewis Christian
    July 24, 2014 @ 12:34 am

    That last line is a damn fine encapsulation of the Davies era, right there. Arguably a fine encapsulation of Moffat's era too.


  25. Daru
    July 24, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

    By this point I was more watching this out of habit and wonder at "how on earth will they draw this together, than feeling gripped or engaged at all.


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