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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.

23 Comments

  1. Carey
    July 20, 2012 @ 12:42 am

    There are more secret connections than you may realise with the KLF, PhilIp: one half of the KLF, Bill Drummond, started out working as a set decorator for Ken Campbell's "Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool" and, in particular, their staging of the Illuminatus trilogy which featured in its cast a young Sylvester McCoy."

    And, of course, the semiotics of "Doctoring the Tardis" are fascinating: the melding for two nostalgia objects into something new (in this case a mash up of the Doctor Who Theme with Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2") quite fittingly considering they belong in the same time frame in the minds of many of the record buying public of the late 80'sin the way Glitter's glam rock image and Top of the Pop performances visually refer to, and are mimicked by the Doctor Who stories of that period.

    Unfortunately, Glitter's fall from grace when outed as a pedophile makes Doctor In The Tardis as something rarely referred to nowadays, in the same way that Glitter himself has been all but written out of pop history other than a cautionary footnote…

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  2. John Callaghan
    July 20, 2012 @ 4:04 am

    I was initiated into Pete & Pete as an adult and I love the show for its surreal portrayal of The Dream Of American Childhood, so to speak. I like Daria and Eerie Indiana for the same reason.

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  3. Andrew Hickey
    July 20, 2012 @ 5:04 am

    One of the more interesting events I ever attended was a memorial show for Robert Anton Wilson which featured nearly-Seventh Doctor Ken Campbell, Drummond and Alan Moore. It was organised by Coldcut.

    Coldcut's biggest hit under their own name was "Doctorin' The House", whose title Doctorin' The TARDIS is punning on. There are lots of little connections between all these people…

    I don't think, though, that the nostalgia angle was the only appeal the record had (though you miss that it had a third song, Blockbuster, as a thread in it) — it was full of catchphrases from the pop culture of the time ("You what? You what?" , "Loadsamoney"), and more to the point it was also playing off the success of Star Trekkin' by The Firm, which had got to number one in 1987 by having a former glam rock star (Tony Thorpe from The Rubettes) sing about a 1960s TV SF show…

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  4. Abigail Brady
    July 20, 2012 @ 5:06 am

    One of my proudest accomplishments in life is arranging for a roomful of people (one drunk Friday evening) to dance to Doctorin' the Tardis with a radio controlled Dalek.

    I assume everyone here has seen the video for it. If not this should be corrected.

    Reply

  5. 92ba5850-d281-11e1-95b1-000bcdca4d7a
    July 20, 2012 @ 6:45 am

    (This is Daibhid C, currently unable to sign in with my LJ account for some reason)

    This stirred up a lot of my own childhood (well, teenage) memories. Including that Clarissa Explains It All was broadcast in the UK as part of Going Live! on Saturday mornings (or was it Live & Kicking by then?) I remember liking it, but I didn't consider myself a fan. I was a fan of Press Gang, though, although for some reason I never saw UnXpected.

    Another memory from the same period is loving Doctorin' The TARDIS (of course; a song about Doctor Who was in the charts!) but not otherwise seeing the point of The KLF, whose other songs all sounded the same. However, this may have been because my sister was a KLF fan, and I couldn't possibly like something she liked.

    She wasn't that fond of Doctor Who, possibly for much the same reason. (Nowadays she likes the new series, but is still unsure on the classics.) The fact The KLF were The Timelords struck us both as a bizarre inconsistency in the way the universe worked.

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  6. Ununnilium
    July 20, 2012 @ 7:25 am

    Personally, I think Hey Dude is a step up from Salute Your Shorts. But only one step.

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  7. BerserkRL
    July 20, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    The monster truck link doesn't work. 🙁

    Reply

  8. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 20, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    Fixed.

    Reply

  9. Matthew Blanchette
    July 20, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    Personally, I think it's the reverse. At least Salute Your Shorts had funny characters — and that theme song! 😀

    Arguably, though, Danny Cooksey was the most memorable part of it.

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  10. Ununnilium
    July 20, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    But the theme song for Hey Dude was the best part! And… oy. The Hey Dude characters were cliches, but the Salute Your Shorts characters were insulting stereotypes.

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  11. Matthew Blanchette
    July 20, 2012 @ 9:43 am

    But insulting stereotypes are ALWAYS more entertaining than cliches! 😀

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  12. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 20, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    Whenever I post something, I always wonder what the most substantive topic of discussion in the comments will be. I'm never right.

    Reply

  13. Iain Coleman
    July 20, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    I've never heard of Hey Dude. Please tell me the theme song was a filk on the Beatles' "Hey Jude".

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  14. Ununnilium
    July 20, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    Philip: Glad to be of service!

    Iain: IF ONLY. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4_Nu3tN6rg

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  15. Iain Coleman
    July 20, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    How terribly disappointing.

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  16. Matthew Blanchette
    July 20, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    You just described, with the exception of Christine Taylor, the entirety of "Hey Dude" and its cast.

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  17. Laurence Price
    July 21, 2012 @ 10:05 am

    Regarding RTD's script being rejected by Andrew Cartmel: an interesting example of what the young Rusty was doing c. 1989-1990 was an early Saturday morning children's show called Breakfast Serials. It stuck in my mind for a couple of decades, and I only realised that the author was one Russell Davies when I gave in to nostalgia and googled it. It's very much for younger children, but there's some intriguing stuff that stands out beyond the usual cartoon morality plays, particularly the segment called Nicechap. I think you can find chunks of it on Youtube, for those who have lots of time. Mind you, for the full authentic effect, you need to watch it at 7:30 on a Saturday morning with the sound turned down low enough not to wake your parents…

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  18. Matthew Blanchette
    July 21, 2012 @ 11:06 am

    Phil… will you be covering Drop-Dead Fred at any time in the future? I know at least one person who thinks that's influenced Moffat-Who… 😉

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  19. encyclops
    July 24, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    When I was a kid, Nickelodeon was showing fantastic stuff like The Third Eye (an anthology series that was almost too scary for me to watch but included Children of the Stones) and The Tomorrow People (which I absolutely adored) in addition to You Can't Do That On Television, all of which handily paved the way for Doctor Who just a year or two later and Monty Python a few more years down the road. I think my little sister had to settle for Hey Dude and its ilk; I feel sorry for both of you.

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  20. Andy
    December 12, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    Andrew Hickey: I always thought the Rubettes were a 70s 50s/60s tribute act? They certainly didn't sound 70s. But then a lot of things didn't sound 70s in the 70s. Nostalgia ran high. As for "Star Trekkin'" being based on a 1960s TV series, of course Star Trek had its origins in that decade, but by 1987 had become a series of high profile movies and was certainly not "harking back". In fact, the Star Trek franchise was in such good health in 1987 that the "Next Generation" series was launched in the States.

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  21. GarrettCRW
    December 20, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    YES. If you can't remember Pinwheel, you can't remember when Nickelodeon was good.

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  22. Alex
    July 11, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    Of course Coldcut formed the Ninja Tune record label, featuring among its stable of artists the Cinematic Orchestra. On their track "All Things to All Men" the guest vocalist, Roots Manuva, promises to 'take you to my Tardis.'

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  23. Katherine Sas
    June 12, 2014 @ 3:09 pm

    "The Norms – all of whom are, apparently, our enemies – can recall where they were when Kennedy was shot, or when Paul Gascoigne cried at the 1990 World Cup. Our version of the past is a little more hardcore. I know exactly what I did on the day that episode one of "Four to Doomsday" was broadcast, and that's not even one of the good ones."

    That's great. I wasn't lucky enough to grow up with Doctor Who, but I can definitely remember where I was for many of the books, movies and tv shows that had a major impact on me throughout my childhood (and my adulthood, come to think of it).

    I did, however, grow up with Pete & Pete and I'm pleased to hear you speak highly of it. It certainly always felt subversive, edgy, and thoughtful and you're right that even at 10 those qualities made an impression on me and stuck with me even if I didn't know why. Also, I loved Clarissa, too.

    Reply

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