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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.

17 Comments

  1. Richard Pugree
    March 17, 2015 @ 4:14 am

    Agree wholeheartedly. This has been staggeringly good television doing all of the things Davies does best, the best he has done them.
    As you point out, the 2nd episode of Banana and the 6th of Cucumber are particular triumphs.

    In fact, that Cucumber episode also functions as the final episode of / epilogue to Queer as Folk in a brilliantly daring way. Next time I watch QaF through, I'll stick that episode on the end. And given the particular structure of that episode (distinct from any of the rest of Cucumber), although it pays off things that have been building up for 5 episodes previous, I suspect (although can't myself test this of course), that it would also work as a standalone piece.

    Reply

  2. Zoe Anderson
    March 17, 2015 @ 4:29 am

    Lovely piece, and gorgeous points about different voices. I was always going to watch Banana for the Russell T Davies scripts, but I love how deliberately the project was used to find and promote new queer voices. The writing team is all gay; Davies could have asked former colleagues, but went looking for people starting out. Of course some are stronger than others – but the sheer loveliness of Banana 4 and 6 is even more impressive when you realise that those were Charlie Covell's first screenwriting credits.

    And yes, that's exactly how I'd describe Banana episode 8, except that I'd add unsubtitled Yoruba.

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  3. xec tilus
    March 17, 2015 @ 4:52 am

    You'd be right there. I watched Cucumber 6 entirely devoid of the context of the other episodes (save some vague awareness), and thought it was phenomenal.

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  4. Richard Pugree
    March 17, 2015 @ 5:01 am

    Good to know, thanks!

    Reply

  5. Pôl Jackson
    March 17, 2015 @ 6:22 am

    Assuming this becomes available in the US soon, what's everyone's recommended watching order?

    Reply

  6. Zoe Anderson
    March 17, 2015 @ 6:34 am

    In the UK, each episode of Cucumber was followed by an episode of Banana. Both shows are designed to work independently, but I think that original combination works best. Details from one show are paid off by the other. It's also just fun when Banana people start popping up in the background of Cucumber scenes, like the most de luxe extra casting ever. I haven't watched all of Tofu, but there are some behind-the-scenes elements which would be spoilery if you watch out of order.

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  7. Richard Pugree
    March 17, 2015 @ 8:08 am

    Seconded. I haven't seen the tofus, but watching it Cucumber, Banana, Cucumber, Banana and so on is rewarding. Its more important in some episodes than others perhaps, but the ways they dovetail together are fun and lead to some pleasant surprises along the way.

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  8. occono
    March 17, 2015 @ 10:27 am

    It airs on LOGO in the US in April. The viewing order is pretty straightforward, Episode 1 of Cucumber connects to Banana #1 and so on.

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  9. Katherine Sas
    March 17, 2015 @ 10:50 am

    Will set up the DVR – can't wait!

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  10. encyclops
    March 17, 2015 @ 12:08 pm

    Definitely hoping to find a way to watch this after I watch Queer as Folk, which I finally just broke down and bought and plan to marathon possibly as early as next week.

    My own queer experience has more often been defined by the fear that I'm normal and broken; weird and broken would be in some ways a relief, because the one explains the other, whereas normal and broken is just a character flaw. Not arguing with you, just an interesting insight your phrasing brought up for me.

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    • encyclops
      July 8, 2016 @ 9:05 pm

      …I finally watched this.

      I saw episode 6 of Cucumber yesterday. It was a rough day to have watched that particular one. But it was magnificent and utterly heart-wrenching. When that magical realism moment happened I knew who it was immediately, but was still jolted to discover I was right.

      This is fucking great stuff. I have yet to see Banana (it’s on its way) but I can’t wait.

      Reply

  11. Steven
    March 17, 2015 @ 1:42 pm

    SPOILERS HERE FAM: Cucumber is tainted, slightly, by the Indian man suicide sub-plot – particularly in the last episode, with Henry crying discrimination, fairly unconvincingly, to get out of an enquiry into someone's death. It was really poorly judged – especially when played as a fist pumping moment.

    It didn't even ring true taken in isolation, speaking as someone who sits in corporate HR meetings 10 times a week. I always hate it when people watch courtroom dramas and then say it doesn't go like that, but I really thought that scene lacked an argument – they weren't convincing, it didn't make sense.

    I loved the series but thought the last episode, last line aside, was by some distance the weakest – a bit flat, maybe that'll change on rewatch. I didn't mind the jilting episode of Banana either.

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  12. Steven
    March 17, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

    also charlie covell to do a Who script, please. TBH i thought while watching the episode she acts in that she could probably replace Capaldi in a few years, that's if Sally Hawkins is busy.

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  13. Richard Pugree
    March 17, 2015 @ 3:58 pm

    Oh God yes, please let that happen!

    Reply

  14. jane
    March 18, 2015 @ 7:03 pm

    So this takes place in the Tennant continuity, what with the HC Clements reference, yes?

    Reply

  15. Richard Pugree
    March 19, 2015 @ 2:33 am

    RTD gave a brilliant interview to the radio times which talks about the walls between fictional worlds.
    It's here for those who missed it:
    http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2015-02-26/russell-t-davies-id-long-wanted-to-write-a-death-that-feels-like-a-death
    It discusses Cucumber Episode 6 in detail though, so Spoiler Klaxon for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

    Reply

  16. Daru McAleece
    March 20, 2015 @ 2:27 am

    I thought that Cucumber and Banana as a whole were some of the most amazing television produced in recent years. Episode 6 of Cucumber rocked me for days – it's a pretty unusual experience to has a TV story that feels so immersive, visceral and it had a massive impact on me. Quite an experience.

    Reply

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