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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.

26 Comments

  1. Matthew Kilburn
    February 24, 2014 @ 12:38 am

    An examination in thought and feeling as ever… but the 'ethical problem' isn't one the programme shies away from depicting. The message of The Sarah Jane Adventures is often that there are no pat answers to problems and that life is complicated.

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  2. Sean Case
    February 24, 2014 @ 1:50 am

    Oh, that is Nigel Havers as the groom.

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  3. Seeing_I
    February 24, 2014 @ 4:58 am

    This episode and "The Death of the Doctor" really show what a great companion Clyde would have been. Missed opportunity!

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  4. Kyle Maddex
    February 24, 2014 @ 5:01 am

    To be fair, David Tennant did show up as the Doctor on an episode of Extras, but that was for about thirty seconds, if I remember correctly.

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  5. John
    February 24, 2014 @ 5:12 am

    In Extras he was playing himself playing the Doctor. And surely that falls into a category with "A Fix with Sontarans" or whatever, no?

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  6. Daru
    February 24, 2014 @ 6:15 am

    I loved Clyde in this and yeah totally to Seeing_I above – but I always felt that Sarah Jane's character was kind of sidelined by this story. It felt quite unbelievable to me that she would fall for this guy (even if he was Nigel Havers) so quickly and then marry him. Still love the story though, mainly for The Doctor and Clyde.

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  7. inkdestroyedmybrush
    February 24, 2014 @ 8:28 am

    this is, really, the most satisfying episode in the gap year of the Doctor for me. It feels like classic Who in that its simply not trying to be too angsty and Tennant's Doctor shaves for this one. essentially, without trying to over do things, it does things just about right, which is interesting on the face of it, because it shows the high wire act that they have to tread: the best episodes generally were ones that seemed to simply zip along without having to kill themselves and, before you know it, we're caught up in it.

    does this not feel like a two part Classic Who episode? Its certainly better than Black Orchid, and it juggles almost as many characters in a much better fashion.

    Clyde is certainly the glue of the show now, and this makes it apparent.

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  8. Adam Riggio
    February 24, 2014 @ 10:22 am

    I don't know that I'd call it a missed opportunity as one the show hasn't necessarily done yet. There are some rumours that Moffat is introducing another male companion for Capaldi's first season, and wouldn't it be smashing if that companion were an older Clyde.

    I mean, that probably won't happen, simply because of Doctor Who's necessary tendency to move on from the past. I think this could turn out to be a serious problem as the show develops in our current media landscape. The Netflix-ization of television has led to people being able to marathon entire shows very easily, which I've noticed has lately kept folks from getting into Doctor Who, even though they're very enthusiastic about it. I've had friends think they'll only understand what's going on if they watch every show since 1963. When I explain to them not only that they can't, and that it's not necessary, and that they probably at most need only start watching from the start of the Smith era (and they can probably just jump in blind at Capaldi's first full episode), they don't understand.

    This could result in a bigger continuity explosion than we got in the 1980s thanks to Ian Levine's influence. The producers always have to remember that what keeps Doctor Who alive is its ability to junk everything that came before and move into different, unconnected stories and problems. The increased reliance on continuity over the last few years has bugged me, because of this danger, and because the weight of so much detail in the Doctor Who universe/chronology could easily make the show incoherent.

    So as much as I'd like to see a TARDIS team of three defined by the personality tension of Clara and Clyde's whimsy with what I think will be the intensity of the Capaldi Doctor, I'd also like to see something completely different.

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  9. heroesandrivals
    February 24, 2014 @ 10:24 am

    That was what I took from it. He agreed to seduce her for the Trickster in exchange for his own life but in the process of that interaction he grew as a person.
    A selfish rapscallion, yes., but also someone who aspires to be something else. Alas he doesn't suffer from a surfeit of choices; "be evil" or "don't be at all."
    The fact he ended up with the latter is quite dark for a kid's show. (Sure, "Warriors of Kudlak" murdered dozens of kids but that was offscreen and it's possible that SOME of them still lived so those victims remain in a quantum 'uncertainty' state, neither alive nor dead until the plot is followed up on.)

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  10. Lewis Christian
    February 24, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    Amazingly, this is the best Tennant story (IMO) in 2009. In other words, I consider it a Doctor Who story. I was against the idea at first because I felt it wasn't right (I felt that spin-offs could bleed into the parent show, but not vice versa). Part of me still thinks that, but only because of the amount of Doctor Who fans who just didn't watch this or didn't know of its existence because they're not into the spin-offs. But then again, it is, as you say, thus a 'bonus' – so when people do find it, it's an extra treat under the Christmas tree, as it were.

    Also interesting that the Brig was originally meant to feature too (would that have sidelined Sarah even more?), and would've been totally squee-worthy with Doctor Who's Biggest Fan Doctor (Tennant) meeting the Brig.

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  11. Lewis Christian
    February 24, 2014 @ 10:40 am

    {In case anyone doesn't know, I believe the Brig plans fell through because Nick fell ill.}

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  12. liminalD
    February 24, 2014 @ 1:20 pm

    I always just flat-out skip to the end of Planet of the Dead for Carmen's prophecy and then watch The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith, pretending that it's one of the 'actual' Doctor Who specials. It's WAAAAY better than Planet of the Dead, and I like to pretend that Clyde and Rani will show up on Doctor Who-proper one of these days. They go together so well, and they could be a stand-in for Sarah Jane in a similar way to how Kate Stewart has been a stand-in for the Brig lately. And as much as I'd have loved to have seen the Brig again here, I feel he might have made the story a little too cluttered, it already feels a little crowded 🙂

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  13. Anton B
    February 24, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

    Reply

  14. Lewis Christian
    February 24, 2014 @ 3:31 pm

    Interestingly, too, SJA makes note of the Doctor's upcoming demise.

    "The Gate is waiting for you."

    It is, for all intents and purposes, an extra DW Special.

    Reply

  15. Galadriel
    February 24, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

    Was Peter even fully aware of the conditions of his deal? According to the flashback, all he was told was "I will give you life, and the true love you've always dreamed of. All you have to give me is your agreement." The wording leaves a lot of ambiguity–perhaps he didn't make that connection between Sarah Jane's love and his life until the wedding.
    After all, it's Sarah Jane's declaration in part two that "if we got married, then the deal would be complete. He would give you back your life." Granted, that fits the Trickster's mode, but he also isn't known for being explicit until the deal is filled–ie, the Graske in Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane.

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  16. Galadriel
    February 24, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

    Well, I did remember that he produces the ring and says "the angel said people would try to stop us being happy," but that isn't concrete evidence either way.

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  17. Galadriel
    February 24, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

    I'm sure we'll cover this more with season five, and even with season four's "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith," but I had such fervent and unrealistic hopes that someone from SJA would be in the fiftieth as a tribute, just as Kate was for the Brig. It wouldn't have fit, but I wanted it anyway.

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  18. Galadriel
    February 24, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

    As for the Doctor's absence in Torchwood, I've heard that was a deliberate choice so children wouldn't want to watch it–but by the same token, placing him in the SJA creates the potential–no, an excuse–for the adults, as you said.
    IMO, even though it was clear the romance was doomed, the emotional reactions felt realistic, and the body language after the time-trap broke was heartbreaking

    Reply

  19. Adam Riggio
    February 24, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

    I know! It's a little weird that I'd make this suggestion on the same day of the new companion's announcement. I'm discovering these odd coincidences everywhere in my life lately, but they're all very convenient.

    Reply

  20. Matthew Blanchette
    February 24, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

    "and the third of which damn near single-handedly justifies the “Doctor’s Reward” section of The End of Time just for how amazing Sladen is in it."

    No. I'm sorry, but no. Lis Sladen is great, but that moment is contrived, and nothing justifies that jejune and unnecessary segment of what is undoubtedly the worst thing RTD has ever written (and I don't mind RTD, but good god).

    Just… no. Please tear it to shreds when you get to it.

    Reply

  21. Lewis Christian
    February 25, 2014 @ 1:18 am

    Even if they'd just placed a prop into the Black Archive (like they did with Jack's vortex manipulator), that would've been a nice nod.

    Reply

  22. Seeing_I
    February 25, 2014 @ 5:43 am

    Playing himself as the Doctor in a weird riff on "The Twin Dilemma." One of the odder moments in Doctor Who's renaissance.

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  23. Seeing_I
    February 25, 2014 @ 5:47 am

    I agree. SJA was a much better show than Torchwood, and much more in keeping with the spirit of Doctor Who. Much as I enjoyed Torchwood (for all its faults) and much as I think "Children of Earth" is one of the best things ever to go out under the umbrella of the Doctor Who universe.

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  24. XRE
    August 11, 2017 @ 1:51 pm

    “And beyond that… Peter is the sort of person who will try to mind control his fiancee to make sure she does what he wants. No matter how much you handwave away the “but she wasn’t mind controlled when she agreed to the proposal,” you still have Sarah Jane professing her genuine love to someone who fucking sci-fi raped her, which, no. Just no. We’ve praised The Sarah Jane Adventures in the past for its ethics, but this is absolutely horrific. There is no standard whatsoever by which knowingly attempting to covertly mind control your bride to be is not horrific abuse, and this story normalizes it so that the abuser can get a stirring speech about how Sarah Jane made him into a better person. It’s absolutely appalling.”

    Jesus dude…calm the fuck down and get over yourself.

    No.

    Sarah jane was no raped in any sense of the word.

    Her husband to be didn’t really love her, but he felt affection for her and realized what he was doing was wrong before he fixed things. And he probably felt that way considering he was being given a second chance at life. near death experiences changing how one feels after all.

    For Sarah jane meanwhile I don’t think she legitimately loved him so much as made a mistake by rushing into something with someone who seemed to for the first time in her life really click with her. Her profession of love later on practically confirms she wasn’t really in love with him. She after all forgets him almost immediately and likely wasn’t considering the full implications of his actions in the heat of the moment. But I guess we’ll just cheerily ignore that because…criticism or something.

    Mind control is not an equivalent of rape like…at all. Especially when the form of mind control equated to having the wedding she agreed to of her own volition (and yeah that does justify quite a bit) happen faster than it would have and otherwise putting her super computer away.

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  25. XRE
    March 2, 2018 @ 10:35 pm

    “No matter how much you handwave away the “but she wasn’t mind controlled when she agreed to the proposal,” you still have Sarah Jane professing her genuine love to someone who fucking sci-fi raped her, which, no. Just no.”

    Yet again a fundamental misreading of the text.

    First of all Sarah Jane wasn’t ‘sci fi raped’.

    Whether you refer to literal physical rape or ‘mind rape’ neither is true in this instance.

    There is no indication they had sex and to count the hypnosis as a form of rape is idiotic, not least of all because it’d mean the Master was raping countless people in the 1970s Pertwee stories or that Sarah Jane and the Doctor themselves have been ‘raped’.

    Mind control doesn’t = rape, not even mind rape under any given circumstance.

    As for her fiance’s actions let’s put some things into context.

    He never outright states he was consciously in on the hypnosis.

    All he says is that the ‘Angel’ (the Trickster) told him that putting the ring on Sarah Jane would protect her (likely a priority for a man who’s just experienced death from a dumb accident).

    So no even if hypnosis=rape Peter wasn’t guilty of it because he didn’t know that that was what the ring did.

    Moreover even if he DID know it’s entirely understandable for him to have gone along with it on the word of the Trickster.

    To him the Trickster was a literal angel, a creature that had done him the greatest of kindnesses in resurrecting him and then gone a step further by delivering him a woman who emotionally fulfilled him.

    Couple that with the fact that he truly believes the Trickster to be an agent of GOD Himself and if ‘the angel’ is telling him to put that ring on Sarah Jane to protect her via hypnosis he is entirely justified in thinking there is nothing wrong, because the ultimate moral power of the cosmos has signed off on it

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      March 2, 2018 @ 11:35 pm

      You are a fucking loathsome person. Never post on this site again. I will delete all future comments from you on sight.

      Reply

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