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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. Carey
    November 11, 2011 @ 12:34 am

    Re: "In a nation where dead history routinely abuts with living memory, the sense of an undying past that looms continually over the present has particular power. And both Children of the Stones and the Hinchcliffe era trade on this fact.

    But what the Hinchcliffe era never quite does is connect the two. It never manages to have a story in which the persistence of material elements of the past causes specific types of events to occur."

    Interesting that, as I'd never thought about it before, but you're right. Which dovetails into another theory of mine where the "periods" of classic Doctor Who aren't as clearcut as we may think, and saying "the Hinchcliffe era" doesn't actually encompass the years he was producing it. The clearest example of this is the Image of the Fendahl, which does exactly what you say above, and in many ways encapsulates the Hinchcliffe era (bodily possession, hypnotism, a threat from the past, ancient Time Lord mythology) except it was produced by Graham Williams. Similarly, I personally believe the last Williams' era story to be Warrior's Gate for the same reason (and really can't wait until you get to that story).

    Never seen Children of the Stones, unfortunately, even though I would have been the right age to catch it on original transmission. But as always, I enjoyed your essay on it.


  2. elvwood
    November 11, 2011 @ 3:38 am

    I was lucky enough to see Children of the Stones at the time, and I loved it! Proper creepy stuff. I remember the atmosphere and my reactions to it better than the story, which may be a sign that I didn't follow it properly; but it all seemed to make sense at the time. I never thought about parallels with Doctor Who, but that does make sense. Thanks for reminding me about it!


  3. Seeing_I
    November 11, 2011 @ 6:37 am

    They showed this in rotation with "Into the Labyrinth" and "The Haunting of Cassie Palmer" in the early days of Nickelodeon, around 1982 or so. "Children of the Stone" was epic, enthralling, spook-tastic television and I'd really like to pick it up on DVD sometime. I still remember how creepy the Wilberforce family was and how stunning the reveal of their (very well-done) worm-like form was. Great stuff!


  4. rocalisa
    November 11, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    I'm pretty sure the Wilberforces were from "Under the Mountain", not "Children of the Stones". I haven't actually had a chance to see either, but I've read the original book of "Under the Mountain" (which is set in and from New Zealand as am I) and I've read about "Children of the Stones" and I WILL find time to watch it one day.


  5. William Whyte
    November 11, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    Not to be picky, but why is it that when Children of the Stones requires children to remember things across weeks it's a good thing, but when Terry Nation does it it's a sign that he's not a very good television writer?


  6. Elizabeth Sandifer
    November 12, 2011 @ 6:20 am

    Largely because Children of the Stones is expiating the audience to remember complex plots, whereas Nation is expecting the audience to remember Sarah Jane's preference in fizzy beverages. One is being complex and expecting the audience to keep up, the other is expecting the audience to remember useless trivia.


  7. Seeing_I
    November 12, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    @ Rocalisa: Oh, you're right about the Wilberforces! Memory, memory.


  8. harbqll
    November 12, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

    @Seeing I – I also was one of those kids who caught Children of the Stones on Nickelodeon's 'Third Eye' series. And it also stuck with me ever since, to the point where I just re-watched a a couple months ago, and still enjoyed the heck out of it. If you're interested, you'll be happy to know that the show is available on Netflix.

    Now if Netflix would just pick up a region 1 version of Blake's 7, I'll be a happy geek.


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