Our Imposter Syndrome cancels out our Dunning-Kruger

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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. prandeamus
    May 24, 2014 @ 12:30 am

    My name is Rob, and I'm a who-aholic … No, I'm not. Or am I in denial? Anyway…

    I found this site by googling on who-related matters about 2 years ago and found the discussions of the wilderness years particularly fascinating. I find the "Who" material quite fascinating. Even if I periodically grind my teeth at some our host's exegeses, they are rarely less than entertaining. Indeed, if someone had made criticism this interesting at school I might have studied it more closely.

    Grateful to this place for alternative readings for things I don't like, in particular the reading of Love and Monsters with an unreliable narrator, which redeems almost everything except That Bit At The End.

    I am only a shade older than the program, by the way. By day, an IT developer/architect, by night a published pantomime author. And yes, the Myrka is a pantomime horse. Oh yes, it is.

    Love: Remembrance. Alien Bodies, Taking of Planet 5, Infinity Doctors. The Eleventh Hour.
    Hate: The book with Blake in it: Don't make me read that again. Divided Loyalties: please timeloop it.
    Couldn't finish: The BBC novel by Justin Richard about art theft or something…

    Not following the Albion postings with the same level of involvement but I can see the research that Phil has put into it, and admire "at a distance". I read Marvel comics as a kid in the UK in the mid 70s for a while, but borrowed a friend's copies because we were too poor to buy them. [Cue violins] Never really got around the feeling that DC were, at the time, a bit rubbish. Feel free to argue on this point, because there's no way I know what I'm talking about.

    I'm grateful for the general tolerance and good humo[u]r around here, too.


  2. Alex Antonijevic
    May 24, 2014 @ 12:36 am

    I don't really do much of anything, apart from being unemployed and looking for work, though I have a few qualifications under my belt. Sucks. But enough about me.

    Anyway, a couple of years ago, after The Wedding of River Song, I decided to fill the gap by watching the entire classic series, even the recons! I saw someone link to your Celestial Toymaker post on Gallifrey Base, and I read it, found it really interesting, so I started reading the rest of the blog at maybe 3-4 posts a day until I caught up to where I was watching Doctor Who (I believe I was somewhere in the Pertwee era when I discovered your blog). After that, I'd watch a serial, then read the post for that entry. I finished Survival when you were posting entries in the Wilderness Era, and it was sometime before the 8th Doctor movie that I started reading posts "live".


  3. Alex Antonijevic
    May 24, 2014 @ 12:38 am

    Oh, and 6 months of waiting and all we get is a silhouette and a vague "August" announcement? Where's our one minute trailer with music and voiceovers and scenes taken out of context to get us excited?


  4. SpaceSquid
    May 24, 2014 @ 1:47 am

    In the Deserts of the Real, my name is Ric Crossman, and I specialise in statistics and probability. Right now I work in a medical school, offering statistical support to clinicians; making sure they put enough people in their medical trials and then draw the right conclusions, that sort of thing. As of September, though, I'll be heading across campus to the statistics department to become a senior teaching fellow which, with the kind of logic you'd expect from an academic department, will make me the most junior member of the teaching staff.

    I found this blog through the delightful Abigail Brady and her X Marathon project. I got here just after Phil had put up his post on Curse of Fenric – still the greatest Who story ever committed to film – and the combination of the perfect source material and musings on the true nature of the Turing test pretty much sold me forever. When not here, I can be found writing about the Horus Heresy books or attempting to place the entirety of the X-Universe into a single coherent time-line.


  5. Bennett
    May 24, 2014 @ 2:56 am

    I'm about one month away from completing a post-graduate diploma in computer science after being quickly ousted from my previous career due to health reasons (nothing serious, just incompatible with the job I was being asked to perform). After then my job hunt will kick into high gear – with my fingers tightly crossed for something that will fit with my lifestyle needs (and I'm happy to stack shelves or wait tables until that shows up).

    I stumbled upon the Eruditorum via a link on the The Daleks' Master Plan entry of Adventures with the Wife in Space. And as I was reading those as soon as they were released I can even pin down the date: 13th of April, 2011. Scary to think that it's been three whole years, but then a lot has happened in that time.

    Oh, and speaking of which the Eruditorum is rapidly approaching its own point of origin. Will the occasion be marked, I wonder?


  6. Frezno
    May 24, 2014 @ 3:02 am

    I'm Frezno, and I've always billed myself as a madman with a silly voice. I dabble in a lot of hobbies. Let's Plays. Conquering old hard video games. Writing things. I found out about this here blog from a Doctor Who thread on Something Awful, of all things, back when it was only up to the Colin Baker era. I binged on it and was sold. Literally sold, since I have bought the book versions. Hell, I even read all of The Nintendo Project. Even got the mad idea to continue the thing with my own esoteric nonsense. It's fun, though, and on Monday it will even have a guest post by everyone's favorite Mr. Sandifer himself. Yayyyyy.


  7. What Happened To Robbie?
    May 24, 2014 @ 3:34 am

    I'm Jacob, for money I work as a carer and as an admin for a small charity that runs music and arts groups for young people with disabilities. For fun I'm a musician/composer – solo stuff here http://jacobsolstice.bandcamp.com/album/music-from-the-phantom-limb and also lead a costumed klezmer/jazz/funk/sea shanty band too http://dischargelounge.bandcamp.com/

    I'm also starting a podcast where I discuss with artists the wider influences on their work – eg the philiosphical, political, spiritual and cultural and hoping to have the first one ready this weekend.

    I started reading the blog while you were covering the Pertwee Era (I think) and I discovered it when doctorwhonews posted a story that you were releasing the first of the print books and I would comment a lot more but far more articulate and knowledgeable posters usually get there before me saying what I want to say ten times better than I could πŸ™‚


  8. J. L. Webb
    May 24, 2014 @ 4:01 am

    I AM JACOB… I do not work for any kind of money (bit of an issue really) broadly I'm a writer but that ain't paying any bills for now. One can hope…

    I found the wonderful Eruditorum in an odd sequence of events. Some time almost exactly concurrent with where Phil is in the show now I completed a watch/rewatch of all things Who, beginning in Totters Lane mid summer, finishing up Miracle Day about five minutes before the first (and greatest) Smithmas. Anywayyy I kinda cheated and skipped over widely derided stories, two Hartnels (Space Museum and Gunslingers) and C. Bakers (Twin Dilemma and A Fix). Eventually I doubled back and watched what I'd missed out (The Hartnels were lovely, the Bakers were ghastly). But the line in Space Museum introducing, for the first time ever, the Doctor's secrret origin… Walruses, cracked me up. Googling it to see if anyone else was amused I found the essay here in the episode. I then skipped forward and read the current essay at the time (ohdeargoditwaslogopolis), then doubled back and did the rest in about 3 days. Good times.


  9. Lewis Christian
    May 24, 2014 @ 4:13 am

    I'm Lewis, 21 and I've just graduated university (BA Hons Creative Writing). In terms of Doctor Who, I write two blogs (wobblysets.blogspot.com and radiationgloves.tumblr.com). πŸ™‚


  10. The61scissors
    May 24, 2014 @ 4:13 am

    I am currently a college student in between my sophomore and junior years, and I discovered the Eruditorum several months ago when a passage from your Logopolis post was used on TV Tropes' quote page for Tom Baker (still need to work up the courage to brave that post by the way), and I've been making my way through the blog ever since. I've been a fan of Who since 2007, The Shakespeare Code, my preferred medium of Who is the Big Finish Audios, and like many fans, I think I could do a better job running Doctor Who, on the writing side at least, then Moffat and friends.
    This might sound odd, but I wish the Eruditorum was a college class so I would be forced to have a long-term understanding of the concepts on display here. Dr. Sandifer, you do a great job for the most part explaining some of the elements of literary theory you use in your posts, but I'm ashamed to admit I lack the mental commitment to put your information to memory. Basically, I wish I were a smarter person just so I could feel like I could properly participate in the discussions on your work. I may not always understand what is being said, if it reflects your basic like-or-dislike opinion of the episode, or if I agree with you, but your work deserves discussion.
    One last thing: how the hell did you get your hands on all of the expanded universe material? The Big Finish stuff, I can understand, as they offer digital downloads, but the books have to cost a pretty penny. Still, whatever your means, kudos for including them.


  11. The61scissors
    May 24, 2014 @ 4:17 am

    Oh, and by strange coincidence, I was wondering for the past week where I would put general fanmail for Dr. Sandifer. Glad the opportunity presented itself


  12. therichfox
    May 24, 2014 @ 4:35 am

    My name is Richard and I'm an ex boy scout.


  13. Bob Dillon
    May 24, 2014 @ 5:02 am

    My name is Bob Dillon, and I teach Physics and Maths at the University of Cambridge. I was born between episodes two and three of the
    Deadly Assasin, but didn't get into Doctor Who until the gap between Trial of a Time Lord and Time and the Rani. What actually got me hooked was finding a copy of "The Power of Kroll" in my local library.

    The way I found out about this blog, was a recommendation from a Mr. John Callaghan.


  14. evilsoup
    May 24, 2014 @ 5:32 am

    Trailers for trailers are the in thing right now, I'm sure we'll get a proper thing in June.


  15. evilsoup
    May 24, 2014 @ 5:41 am

    Welp, I'm currently unemployed in Devon. I'm writing a book, but then who isn't? I came to this blog via unnoun; I'm afraid I can't recall what my first post was, but you were definitely well into the Davies era by the time I started reading.

    I like the Eruditorum, but I find The Last War in Albion more interesting — I just have more of an emotional connection with Alan Moore's work than with most of Doctor Who (except for possibly the Eccleston series). So far you've mostly covered stuff that I've only heard of in passing, so I haven't been commenting; I'm really looking forward to when you get to the stuff I have read.

    Also, thanks to The Last War in Albion, I'm starting to have an interest n Blake. Is there any single thing you'd recommend reading of his to start with?


  16. Davis
    May 24, 2014 @ 6:28 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  17. Bennett
    May 24, 2014 @ 6:39 am

    "I'm sure we'll get a proper thing in June."

    My bet would be some time between July 24th and July 27th.


  18. William Whyte
    May 24, 2014 @ 7:02 am

    I'm William! I'm 45, grew up in Belfast, hardly missed an episode of Doctor Who from 1975 to the end (except for all of Season 17 when I was abroad). Currently in Boston doing cryptography. Always had aspirations to be a writer but never got round to doing any of that actual writing; however, back in the 70s and 80s, with the novelizations and the emphasis on writers in The Making of Doctor Who, Doctor Who was the perfect show to be into for someone who identified primarily with the writers. I was more excited at the age of 12 to meet Terrance Dicks than Tom Baker and am still a little puzzled about why convention panels are stuffed with actors rather than the people who come up with the ideas that are the heart of the show. (There are more actors, I suppose). So for me, for the longest time, the man who invented Doctor Who was David Whitaker, essentially because he wrote those two early novelizations; and coming to the Eruditorum early in its run, I think around The Chase, I loved the way that Phil front-and-centered Whitaker's contributions. (Also, Paul Cornell, what does he know, really).

    I haven't been as active a participant since the new series started here, partly because work and life have got more busy, partly because it's easier to jump into a fifteen-comment thread than an hundred-comment one, partly because the more knowing modern version of the show makes it less fun to bring your own interpretations because it's all out there anyway, partly because the show I grew up on is the show I truly love, and partly because, yes, I think Moffat cheats in his plot resolutions and is a bit Gatissly unreflective in his assumptions and it makes it harder to care.

    But regardless of my feelings about the current state of the show, this is both a great blog and a great community: I learn something from every post about how to think about ficton and performed narrative, and the comment section is full of enthusiasm and the joy of working things out together. Long may it continue.

    Favorite seasons: 2, 14, 26. But especially 2. And 1 of the new series.


  19. James V
    May 24, 2014 @ 8:30 am

    Name's James. I'm in my early 20s and a sophomore film student in Pennsylvania. I fell down the Doctor Who rabbit hole in the middle of the Tennant years. First episodes I saw were Utopia-Last of the Time Lords, when they first aired them on BBC America. In hindsight there's absolutely no reason why Utopia should have made any goddamn sense to a first time viewer, but for whatever reason I stuck around, and currently have about two thirds of the classic series and all of the new series sitting comfortably on the shelves to my left.

    My main deal is movies, both consuming and producing them. At any given moment I'm generally in various stages of production on a few different projects, whether for school, for fun, or for some local musician who's giving me 50 bucks to shoot their performance. I think it's fair to say Doctor Who has had a pretty big impact on how I think about storytelling and in particular visual storytelling. The Moffat era especially has spoken to me on an almost spiritual level, as in many ways, has this blog.

    I've been hanging around here a while. First time I visited the Eruditorum, the most recent entry was on "The Highlanders," so it didn't take me long to catch up, and it's been part of my weekly ritual ever since. I've also purchased the Kindle editions of each book as they've come out and will continue to do so unless prohibited by some unforeseen apocalyptic circumstances.

    Favorite Doctor: Whichever one I'm currently watching, but I tend to look at Smith, McCoy, McGann, and Troughton the most

    Favorite Seasons: 2, 13, 18, 26, 31. I have a pet fascination with the Cartmel era, and I maintain the belief that Verity's Season 2 is some of the most wildly imaginative television ever produced. On top of that Ian/Barbara/Vicki is one of the best Team TARDISes there's ever been.


  20. William Whyte
    May 24, 2014 @ 9:23 am

    There is a special place in heaven for people who like Season 2 most. And yes, Vicki is one of the best (and I think most underrated) companions — Maureen O'Brien brings such freshness and enthusiasm to it.


  21. elvwood
    May 24, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    John here. I used to be a games programmer and designer before moving into other areas and morphing into the poncier-sounding software engineer (in which role I am, I'm afraid to say, in a small way responsible for Jar-Jar Binks). A back injury ended that particular phase of my career; I am now largely a househusband, though I teach a little maths here and there (at primary, GCSE and university level). A lot of my time is taken up with rehabilitation as I try to become more functional again. As it is something I both enjoy and can do lying down, I am trying to see if my writing will go anywhere beyond the pocket money level it currently occupies.

    For fun I listen/watch/read/write about Doctor Who (duh!), read to my family (currently most of the way through the Vorkosigan Saga), and play card/board/roleplaying games. I have many other things I want to be doing that fall below the level of my actually getting to them, through lack of time, concentration or physical stamina. I am hoping that all the effort I am putting into looking after myself will help with the last two!

    I'm not quite 50; I started watching the show regularly with classic season 5, again with season 7, and again with the first new Christmas special. I came across this blog when it was covering the Hartnell years – late season 1 or early season 2, I think, though I can't remember exactly because I decided to start at the beginning. I learned of it from the oft-reviled Gallifrey Base, and have spread the word (I got Neil Perryman to read the Daleks' Masterplan entry, so Bennett's presence is indirectly down to me).

    I don't like to list favourite Doctors/companions/eras – I have them, but they change with the wind. The biggest surprises as I gradually make my way though the stories I've never seen (or have long forgotten) is how much I've enjoyed the Hartnell and McCoy serials.


  22. storiteller
    May 24, 2014 @ 10:42 am

    I'm Shannon and I work as a science communicator for the U.S. Federal Government. Considering I wanted to be a writer and a scientist (marine biologist at the time, but you can't get everything) since I was in third grade, it's a pretty good gig. These days, most of my non-work writing is on my blog about parenting, named for a bit in Where the Wild Things Are. I also occasionally write for local blogs and for the Slacktiverse.

    My favorite era is probably the 10th Doctor, because as annoyingly tragic and proud the 10th Doctor is, I also find him endlessly charming. Donna is the best companion of the era, of course. Martha could have been marvelous, but the writers did her a great disservice by making her boring and in love with the Doctor.

    I honestly have no idea how I found the blog, but I think it was while you were covering the Tom Baker years. The one thing it did was get me to watch the Old Who – I thought they would be too ridiculous before reading it and the blog really helped me see their value.


  23. Wm Keith
    May 24, 2014 @ 11:06 am

    I am a quasi-autobiographical fictional construct. As such, I have no physical existence and no need to earn a living. This is infinitely preferable to being a conveyancing solicitor.

    I have been variously active and dormant within fandom since the glory days of the McCoy era fanzines.

    I have one of the biggest collections of print fanzines in existence. Sadly, all my fanzines are the same issue of the same zine.

    I have been watching Dr Who since The Ark In Space. I missed Meglos 3 because it was tea-time.

    I have been following this blog since (I think) Simon Guerrier's blog pointed me towards your entry on The Time Travellers.


  24. BerserkRL
    May 24, 2014 @ 11:22 am

    I'm Roderick Long; I teach philosophy at Auburn University in Alabama; I'm also involved in political activism of the left-wing market anarchist variety. (I'm the "southern anarchist philosophy professor" Phil refers to in his "Love and Monsters" post — though I continue to insist I'm not actually southern, I just work here.)

    I believe it was Jesse Walker who got me reading this blog regularly, back when Phil was just starting the Pertwee era (after which I went back and read the Hartnell and Troughton posts too), but IIRC I'd seen a couple of posts before Jesse's recommendation — possibly via a link from Wifeinspace to the "Celestial Toymaker" post.

    I'd watched a lot of Tom Baker episodes on PBS back in the 70s but lost track of the show when I began college. I didn't start watching regularly again (apart from catching the tv-movie and "Love and Monsters," neither of which I much liked) until the beginning of the Matt Smith era, whereupon I went back and started getting caught up on both new and classic Who in a chronologically irregular manner … like crazy paving.


  25. BerserkRL
    May 24, 2014 @ 11:25 am

    Oh, and many of my early comments on this blog are under the name "7a1abfde-af0e-11e0-b72c-000bcdcb5194." No, I didn't pick it.


  26. Alphapenguin
    May 24, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

    My name is John, and I am at present a law student, though I hasten to add that I'm interested in working in civil rights law, labor law, and copyright work for indie artists and writers, because those are actually important. What I do for money is desperately try to win the rat race at my law school so that I'll actually have a full-time job when I graduate. If I win the rat race by far enough, I might even get a full-time job in a field I care about. What I do for fun is try to forget the fact that I'm in the rat race at all. Well, that and watch Doctor Who. And go out with my boyfriend. And write poetry. Sometimes all at once.

    I've been watching Doctor Who since Series 3 of the new series, as I was born between episodes 2 and 3 of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy and thus was not old enough to know what Doctor Who was for many years. Fortunately, I have corrected that mistake and have now watched the whole of the new and classic shows, recons included.

    I found out about this blog through a link from Adventures with the Wife in Space, and I've been reading since about halfway through Tom Baker.


  27. Author
    May 24, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

    Demontage? Yeah, I actually finished that book. I think I want to get rid of it, though. Didn't seem like the 8th Doctor after a bit–part of me wondered if that was really the painting of the 8th Doctor there, that would have been fun.


  28. Author
    May 24, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

    Ha-ha, yeah, just like the 50th anniversary trailer. Is it coming this month? Is it coming next month? When is it coming?


  29. Author
    May 24, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

    My name is Courtney in Texas, I've sort of spaced on my Master in Publishing, and I should probably get a job. (Too many years as a student for me, I guess.) I've self-published a couple of fantasy novels, mostly different variations of the same series story–there was the 2002 version when I was in high school (and some sequels), the 2008 version when I was just starting college, and now the 2013-2014 variations. Oy vey. I've also tried my hand at poetry/song-writing a bit.

    I got into Doctor Who in summer 2006 when they first started airing on the Sci-Fi Channel here in the US. (It sounded like fun, came on before or after the Stargates) and I didn't know how famous/classic they were until a Wikipedia search. I was born a month or so before the 25th anniversary of Doctor Who, wilderness era child.

    I've stuck with new Who for a long while, read New Series books, checked out old Who on YouTube before I started renting through Netflix, began buying some old 8th Doctor books, read DWM comic collections, The Writer's Tale, read and wrote fanfiction, started checking out critical essays on Doctor Who and came across TARDIS Eruditorum Vol. 1 on Amazon. That led me to discovering your blog, but I mostly started reading blog entries as they were updated when you began the Davies era. I might have glimpsed some 8th Doctor stuff previously. (Most recently I finally started subscribing to DWM. Yay.)


  30. Chicanery
    May 24, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

    I'm Chicanery. Or Donal, but no one can pronounce that. Especially when I write it Dòmhnall. I'm 20, doing a BA in English (for my sins), with a part time job in a low level position atTesco. I've been watching Who since the revival, after my mother (the dear old racist) convinced me to, since she was a fan of the classic series growing up. If it had rebooted a few years later, I probably wouldn't be here, because although I liked the RTD era at the time, when I look back upon it… Not so much.

    Anyway, I found this place once I started watching Classic Who. Someone posted a link over on the A.V. Club (probably Prole Hole, the daft Scot [hi bud]), and I arrived here as the Classic Series coverage was ending. Then I disappeared for a long while, maybe reading the entries for Classic serials after I watched them. I haven't read the EU in depth, and nothing from before 2005, so the blog just became a thing that was largely irrelevant to my interests.

    I've read it all since the New Series coverage started, though.


  31. peeeeeeet
    May 24, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

    OMG I am Pete Galey, I am 37, I am a ginger from the north of England (not the Eccleston side, the good side). I have memories of season 18 when i was around 3, was in love with Nyssa, became properly fannish with Remembrance and began embarrassing myself on the Internet around 2001 starting on rec.arts.drwho and thereafter mainly on LJ, these days on nowhere except bits of Twitter and blogs like this. I have been known to program computers for money and had an Android app with a large number of eloquent one-star reviews that has now mysteriously disappeared. I have no immediate family. I like telling stories, playing pianos and being both a liberal and democrat but not both at the same time because that would be silly. This week I arv been moshtly clicking cookies, re-falling for Alex Vause and obsessing over the price of bitcoins.

    I started reading somewhere around Colin Baker I think? Not sure what brought me here, probably followed a link from somewhere.


  32. Shane Cubis
    May 24, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

    I'm Shane Cubis (obviously), a 34-year-old Australian writer and editor. One of my earliest memories is watching Doctor Who with Dad, and telling him I didn't want to eat my crusts.

    Discovered the site when I was running a national men's mag ("People", if you're Aussie) and bored day to day. Last June I was made redundant so I went overseas for two months then came back to freelance. This year I've been writing a twice-weekly column for a union-funded work-life balance site, and have done chief sub-editor stints at Penthouse and Foxtel magazine.

    Dunno why this became a CV cover letter… Anyway, I enjoy living in a world where this blog exists and in some way pays for a man's groceries.


  33. Shane Cubis
    May 24, 2014 @ 2:57 pm

    (I'm also not sure why I put inverted commas around "People" and no other titles. Terrible subbing!)


  34. T. Hartwell
    May 24, 2014 @ 3:02 pm

    Thomas- 20-year old film and music student, currently work as a church pianist.

    I discovered the blog when the "Mind Robber" entry was linked to in the AV Club article on the episode, at which point I quite likely realized this was an important thing to have in my life, so started reading the blog as I watched episodes (IIRC the blog was just starting the Pertwee era when I hopped on board). Have very fond memories of following along during the Baker years (especially the Williams era which to this day remain one of my favorite stretches of the blog, curiously enough).

    In terms of what I do for fun, I'm always involving myself in various projects, usually very expansive and overambitious. I'm almost always messing about with LEGOs (my current project being a scale model of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion), I do instrumentals to musical theatre songs using music notation software, I write (though not as often as I should), I watch a boatload of films & TV…a lot of stuff, really, though to pretend any of it is really consequential gives my life a bit too much credit.

    Currently I'm organizing a load of stuff on my computer while listening to every recording I have of the musical "Chess". I have a perverse love of organizing things, don't ask me why.


  35. HarlequiNQB
    May 24, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

    James Taylor. No, not that one. Not that one either. Oh, that guy? Yeah, still not me. Oh, yeah, actually, I am that James Taylor, the one that does the covers. This is why I stick with a silly nickname online even though I'm 40. πŸ™‚

    Other than doing covers I make games, or at least I contribute art to the creation of games – there's about 199 other guys and girls working on them too, so I don't really make them, just bits of them. Ostensibly I make vehicles (Cars, tanks, spacecraft, that sort of thing), but I've not really done it for a while, being more a Jack of all trades currently.

    Games I've worked on (if you're interested) include most of the Saints Row series, two of the Red Faction series, The Punisher, and Barbie Horse Adventures on the Gameboy. Yes, really.

    I'm Welsh, live in Illinois (in the US), 5 miles from where HAL 9000 would have been/was allegedly manufactured in 2001. Moved here after a stint in Minneapolis, which is where my wife was living. We met online – Not on a dating site; she was the admin on an game art forum I hung out on. She made more money than me, so I moved to MN instead of her to the UK.

    I have no recollection of how I got to reading Phil's stuff, but I do recall it was early in the Troughton era. Later he had an open call for artists to do the cover for his first TARDIS Eruditorum and I missed it because I was away at the time. Apparently he remembered me though because he asked me to do the second book cover. You can read all about that on my blog though, and seemingly some of you have.

    My first recollection of Doctor Who was Tom Baker looking like a cactus. I have never been a fan of the show in the same way that I'm not a fan of the sky – it's just always been there, and occasionally fills me with awe (except the sky didn't bugger off for 14 years – I would have noticed).

    I've been doing non game art for the last 4 years, having given it up seriously when I was rather younger. I consider drifting from it the stupidest thing I've done in my life, and given that I'm a smoker that's a fairly big deal.

    I'm married, have a son and two cats. Sometimes I complain about the bacon in the US – everyone needs a hobby, right?


  36. jane
    May 24, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

    I'm Alison J Campbell, or so my friends tell me. Actually, my friends call me Jane. That helps.

    I don't remember how I found the blog here, only that it was around Warriors of the Deep, and that I read it religiously and continuously so as to be able to make my first comment for The Awakening. Which is apt. That was, hopefully, the last all-nighter I'll ever pull.

    The show, that's a different story. I grew up in the Detroit area, and back in the early 80s Who was showing not on PBS, but on Channel 62, one of the first black-owned stations in the country, which ran single episodes at 5pm, weeknights — with commercials. Doctor Who is weird enough, but having commercials from the Saint Louis tourist board, the local R&B dance show, and various used car dealerships run by former football (American) players cutting in three times per episode, over a dodgy aerial signal that couldn't decide between static and squiggly lines, all permanently etched on VHS, yeah, I was hooked.

    My first episode was Hand of Fear, Part 3. I didn't know the show was serialized — I tuned in right around the moment Eldrad emerges from nuclear reactor. The cliffhanger was, therefore, a shocker. I loved it, even though I was terribly confused. Sadly, I didn't catch the show again until Deadly Assassin Part 2, which was even more weird and wonderful. Shortly thereafter I programmed the VCR, and the first story I saw in its entirety was Face of Evil.

    I cosplayed Five at a convention in the mid-80s and got a lot of strange looks. Didn't do that again.

    My life is weird. Queer. I spent a year living at a dog rescue out in the boondocks, and helped to save over a thousand dogs, but two-hundred puppy deaths did me in. I've had mind-boggling out-of-body religious experiences, which is a terrible thing to do to an atheist, so much so I have to quibble with calling myself that anymore, more's the pity. I've seen my dad have two heart attacks, and both times I had no idea what to do, but those were nothing compared to seeing him with meningitis. I've howled at the moon with several hundred naked people drumming and dancing around a bonfire. I've studied ecological philosophy on a Greek island, painted silk scarves for not much of a living, made pizzas for less, hiked the Grand Canyon (going down is the worst), lost a bicycle in Penzance (while destroying four umbrellas), been mistaken for a pagan folk singer, am over half-deaf, (he's still alive), and I quit smoking twenty-one years ago on the suggestion that it would help my putting game, which was, unfortunately, blatantly false.

    I have dreams of living out of a shopping cart, but my two dogs (a Jack Russell and a Blue Heeler, both of whom were abandoned for being pregnant) refuse to go along with that plan. I am manipulative, vengeful, self-centered, a perfectionist, arrogant, love oral sex almost as much as I love giving it, and have no compunctions against prevarication. I have been both skeletally underweight and clinically obese. I think having to work is a sin perpetuated by sadists, and I believe everyone deserves one secret which, if it was forced to lie out under the sun, should be utterly and completely forgiven.

    Also, I like lemon cakes.


  37. euryale000
    May 24, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

    Hey, call me Euryale. I just finished my Ph.D. in the social sciences and am currently banging my head against the cement walls of the academic job market. Actually, Phil, this blog has given me inspiration and hope for things I can do with myself if/when I fail to get a job in the area I've been training for for the past decade. Anyway…

    I don't comment much, but I've been reading since the late Hartnell era. I don't quite remember how I found this blog, but I think I came across the Nintendo project first – someone probably linked it on facebook – and then I was like "Wait, a Dr. Who blog? I'm in!" When I was a kid, we had half a dozen episodes of the show taped off of PBS (with the pledge drives cut out, thank goodness!) that my sibs and I watched until the tapes wore out. And until the parents taped over the Ark in Space – NOT COOL, GUYS! Then, when I got to college the Internet was a thing and ebay was a thing and I had enough catching up to do to keep me busy until the show started again. That's my story!


  38. Andrew Morton
    May 24, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

    My name is Andrew and I am a software tester in the UK. I have been reading Eruditorum posts from the very beginning, having been following the Nintendo project before it. I found the Nintendo project linked to from Dinosaur Comics and Dr Sandifer's posts have been required reading ever since.
    That said, I am very much a lurker, this being I think my third comment on the blog. So I will take this opportunity to say that, although not vocal I do very much enjoy all the writings and thank Phil for his fantastic and engaging work.


  39. David Anderson
    May 24, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

    I am not Phil, and I can't help you with the prophetic books.
    But: find a good anthology of English Poetry (the Oxford Book of English Verse or the Penguin Book of English Verse for example), and read the selection of Blake in that. Then find a Selected Poems, and read The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

    You're unlikely to find any complete text of any of the Prophetic Books without getting hold of a Complete Poems.


  40. James Ashelford
    May 24, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

    James Ashelford, a cook and first aider from the UK. I actually jumped aboard rather recently having discovered the TARDIS Eruditorum ebooks on a link from the Running Through Corridors page on Amazon and I'm just about caught up now.

    My first Doctor Who story was Planet Of The Daleks, an early '90s BBC2 repeat, so to me Doctor Who was always mainly a books thing, so I was rather glad when I found out this blog had an extensive Wilderness Years section.


  41. LouderInside
    May 24, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

    I'm more of a lurker myself, although I have to say that one of the things I love about the Eruditorum is the quality of the comments that the blog attracts.

    I'm Paul, English and just the other side of 40. The Key to Time season was the first I remember watching 'live' and I went straight through to the cancellation, forgot about the show during the wilderness year, then embraced it all again with a rather unseemly passion when it finally came back. I'm the sort of fan who tends to think the current Doctor is the best ever, at least until their final season when they start to bore me, and I become impatient for them to get off the stage and let the new guy pick up the toys. Hopefully next time it won't even be a guy. If pressed though, I'll probably confess that I secretly like DW best when it's in black and white.

    I found the Eruditorum just after the first Kickstarter closed. I missed out on that but have gone on to load my Kindle with all the subsequent books. The Kindle thing is important actually – I write travel guidebooks for a living and my partner is an aid worker so we need to be pretty mobile (I'm currently based in Jordan).

    As a self-employed writer who is keenly aware of how tight the profit margin can be, I'm deeply impressed with Phil's work in turning this blog into a going concern by connecting directly with his audience – the Eruditorum feels as much a teaching tool about freelance economics as about cultural analysis.

    Spending a year here and a year there means that 'traditional' hobbies sort of fall by the wayside (my worldly possessions have been in storage for a while now), so I give repeated thanks to the myriad opportunities that the digital world presents. I'm currently working on a writing project about Haiti in the early 19th century – if I'm in the UK I always grab the opportunity to spend time in the British Library, but I'd be completely at sea if it wasn't for people out there digitizing books that are 200 years old, or the chance to make direct contacts with academics in the field. Or, in fact, tell everyone about it on a blog I only started reading fervently when it confirmed everything I've always thought about 'The Web Planet.' What a strange and wonderful thing the internet it…


  42. Nick Smale
    May 24, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

    My name is Nicholas Smale, and I'm a Doctor Who addict.

    Um… I'm 48, born between episodes 3 and 4 of "The Gunfighters"… Mathematician by training, arts publicist by vocation… Devonian by birth, but for the past 20-years I've lived in Manchester…

    I've been watching Doctor Who since the early 70s, from so young an age that I couldn't tell you what my first story was; however, I've seen every episode since The Three Doctors upon it's original BBC1 broadcast.

    Discovered the mighty Eruditorum by following a link from twitter.


  43. Anton B
    May 24, 2014 @ 11:47 pm

    Hello I'm Anton Binder. I live in Brighton, England.The Eruditorum has been my regular breakfast fix for three or four years now (blimey!) and I genuinely can't remember when or how I found it. I'm probably one of the oldest people on here. I not only remember watching An Unearthly Child on the night of it's first broadcast but I remember being excited by the trailer for it from the previous week. I've been a Doctor Who fan ever since. Hartnell is my Doctor of course but I also love Troughton. I stopped watching when sex and drugs and rock n roll got in the way (in my life not in the show!) somewhere in the Tom Baker era but have subsequently gone back and filled in the viewing gaps. I think the 'reboot' from Eccleston onwards has, for me, more than fulfilled the promise of Newman, Lambert and Whittaker's extraordinary shared vision.

    My own extraordinary vision, on the other hand, is still, I'm glad to say, being fulfilled. I am a dramaturge. Which is to say I work creatively mostly in the field of live theatre. I In my misspent youth I hung around with the Sex Pistols and other punk bands in London as I was friends with people who worked for Maclaran and Westwood. This inspired in me a love of situationist street theatre and physical performance. After a few years fronting various experimental noise bands and a stint as an alternative cabaret compere and impro-comedian I took my BA Hons in Drama and English and post grad teaching degree as a mature student. I have, over the years, performed, directed and written in various media. My most critically aclaimed show was Andy and Edie a physical theatre two-hander about Warhol and Edie Sedgwick. My most ambitious was a multi media site specific adaptation of The Tempest performed on and around an oil rig which was towed onto Brighton beach. I am currently a qualified teacher of drama but am happy to be working in a supermarket while waiting for the perfect teaching position to emerge. I have also in the past been the manager of a glass blowing studio in Bristol and a coffee and tea importers in Brighton. My ambition remains to be Doctor Who.


  44. peeeeeeet
    May 25, 2014 @ 1:41 am

    … oh, and Andrew Cartmel has totally favourited like three of my tweets. Yeah, I know he's a very nice man and probably favourites everyone's tweets but STILL


  45. ferret
    May 25, 2014 @ 2:47 am

    I got here the same way, same time. I'm 36, a self-employed maker of websites. One of my earliest Doctor Who memories is seeing Tom Baker fall to his death and thinking "That's wrong, you're not allowed to kill the hero!" which was then proved to be correct, to my jaw-dropping surprise.

    I moved to Australia 10 years ago, neatly putting Classic Who in my British years and NuWho in my Australian years.

    I'm currently building a veggie patch with my son while he adjusts to having a brand new baby sister around. There's going to be a fence and everything.


  46. Toby Brown
    May 25, 2014 @ 3:36 am

    I'm Toby, currently a physics student in Manchester but soon to be leaving with exactly zero idea with what I will do afterwards, which is a genuinely terrifying prospect. I've been turning over going into the police for a while now, but don't know how realistic I'm being.
    When I discovered this blog I think you somewhere around mid-Tom Baker, but didn't actually catch up with the current posts until the end of that run. I've found it to be one of the most interesting things I've read in a long time and one of my friends doing English literature sometimes seems genuinely impressed with my ability to take apart texts, which I have to credit you with entirely.
    Discovered Who from reruns on some channel in the 90s when I was young enough to be impressed by the effects, my favourite Doctors are Troughton, Smith and McCoy whereas I can't watch anything with Tennant.


  47. Mike
    May 25, 2014 @ 4:07 am

    Hi! I'm one of many Mikes that are out there. I seldom comment, but I've been following the blog day in and day out since the AV Club Mind Robber entry. I'm one of that crop of people.

    I first watched Doctor Who in the 80s when I lived in Australia. Five is my formative Doctor and I distinctly remember Seven's debut. My family moved to the Detroit area at the end of the 80s, and I caught reruns on PBS (particularly Three and Four). During the Wilderness Years, I surreptitiously read the New Adventures while I was in middle and high school. I was a far of this show that wasn't on the air and that no one had heard of. And then in 2005, I caught the new series on a Canadian channel (that being a thing you could do in Detroit). Watching the show come back was one of the oddest experiences of my life, exceeded by having this show I'd cared about for so long becoming popular.

    I work as a user experience researcher and designer. Lots of web analytics, surveys, usability testing, and sketching out designs. I had a book published last year on quantitative user research, so it's been super interesting to hear about the details of publishing.

    Otherwise: vegan cooking, has cats, Legos, and spend too much time on the computer.


  48. Anglocat
    May 25, 2014 @ 4:34 am

    Hi all. I'm John Wirenius, but I've been blogging for 7 years at "Anglocat on the Prowl." I'm also a backer both of TE and of "Last War."

    I'm a lawyer by day, writer by night. Most of my writing has been academic–law and some legal history–but I'm self-publishing a novel this June. It's called "Phineas at Bay" and it's a sequel, set in the 1890s, to Anthony Trollope's Pallisers novels. They were filmed in the '70s by John Nathan-Turner (!) and featured Antony Ainley, Philip Latham (Borusa in "The Five Doctors") and Shelia Ruskin (Kassia in "Keeper of Traken"). (I admit that one or two Who inside jokes has crept into the novel)

    Thanks to Phil's positive experience with CreateSpace, and the very high quality in my opinion of the books, I'm using them too, as well as e-publishing.


  49. Eric Rosenfield
    May 25, 2014 @ 5:51 am

    My name is Eric Rosenfield. I'm a Product Manager at comiXology. I discovered TARDIS Eruditorum when I found a link to it I believe in the TARDIS Wikia, and started reading and never stopped. I switched to only read the book collections so I could get the bonus materials inline with the web materials. So now I'm waiting eagerly for Tom Baker 2 and the proper first volume of Albion.


  50. prandeamus
    May 25, 2014 @ 6:21 am

    I just want to say "GUID for you" because it's such a nerd pun.


  51. Iain Coleman
    May 25, 2014 @ 8:48 am

    I'm Iain Coleman, I work in research support at a university in London. My specific role is all about trying to enhance and support the benefits that our university's research has in the world outside of academia, and so the scope of my work ranges from English literature and philosophy to engineering and nursing.

    I got here by some circuitous means, including some years doing space physics research at the British Antarctic Survey, some time as an elected local politician (including being one of the people running Cambridge for a few years), party activist and parliamentary candidate, and a fair bit of experimental theatre until being appointed as a full-time science writer at the University of Edinburgh.

    I blog about the science of Doctor Who over at Relative Dimension, which I know a few of the folk here follow, and which I first thought about starting when I was feeling frustrated at no longer having any regular science writing to do. The posting schedule is a bit more haphazard than I had originally planned, partly because I underestimated the amount of research that would go into some of these posts, and partly because I am also writing a screenplay based on the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, Thomas, Mary and Judas which is likely to offend basically everybody.


  52. Triturus
    May 25, 2014 @ 11:19 am

    I'm Matt, from Cambridge, Englandshire. I'm an ecologist, so I spend a lot of my work time working out ways for housing developments and great crested newts to coexist.

    For fun, I make a row on the guitar, although these days mostly in private, and I spend a fair bit of my spare time planning writing or music projects that I know will never be completed. Although I did manage to write a novel in 1999, but it was crap.

    I've been watching Dr Who since episode 4 of the Sun Makers. I watched almost every episode until the 1985 hiatus, after which I watched so sporadically that I didn't even notice when the show was cancelled. I've never read an NA or an EDA, or listened to a BF, so the whole Wilderness Years thing was all new to me.

    I discovered this place through a link that someone posted on the Guardian series of blogs on 'best who episodes' which started in Feb 2013. Started at an Unearthly Child and read the whole thing compulsively, until I finally plucked up the courage to post at some point in the Tennant era. At least half of the time I'm not really sure what at least half of the blog regulars are talking about, but I reckon I've learned a tiny amount about post-modern critical thingummies, so I hope it's been worthwhile.

    The combination of the wonderful writing on this blog and the joy I've got out of the Moffat / Matt Smith era has turned me back into a Doctor Who fan of the sort I haven't been since I was about 12.

    So, Sandifer, Moffat and Smith; it is YOUR fault that I now have a shelf full of classic DVDs, a Gallifrey Base login and a wife that looks at me strangely when I get all enthused about quasi-sentient metafictions. I hope you're happy πŸ™‚


  53. reservoirdogs
    May 25, 2014 @ 11:49 am

    My name is Sean. I'm an English Major at UCONN, I'm going to start writing a screen play with my brother in June, and I may or may not go out of the country in July depending on the political climate of Vietnam. I hope to, at some point, work in the comics industry, yet can not draw to save my life. I found out about the blog through the AV Club (i believe sometime around the rose post, though i am not sure, i know you posted the academia one when i was following you. you didn't do the background change when i began following you, but it was sometime shortly after i started that you did) and have been following ever since. I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to the second book of the Last War.


  54. Pen Name Pending
    May 25, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

    Olivia. Student looking to major in English, focus on creative writing, with a side of media studies (thanks to this blog!).

    I discovered this blog through Wife in Space where you were in the WIlderness years. After browsing through the articles on stories I have seen, I just decided to read the whole thing, and now I view things in a whole new way. I also read Josh Marsfelder's Star Trek one, and basically any analysis of media I am familiar with that I can get my hands on. I like tumblr too, but it's nice to read more than gifs sometime.


  55. BerserkRL
    May 25, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

    So that's what the Scots have really meant all these years.


  56. brownstudy
    May 25, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

    Mike Brown, day job as a contract tech writer for a government agency in Durham, NC. I'm 52, started watching DW in high school when it started appearing on our local PBS station, lost touch with it after the Davison era. Had seen traces of the new series on late-night PBS channel flipping but was not interested, for whatever reason. When I discovered the new series was available on Netflix streaming, I scarfed them down when I should have been writing papers for my masters in information science classes.

    Ran across this blog I think when I was searching Amazon for Doctor Who-related stuff and the first Hartnell edition was published. Followed the trail to this blog, read some posts, bought the ebook for my Kindle, and this blog has been part of my information diet ever since. I prefer to read new posts a few days later so I can also enjoy the comments.


  57. brownstudy
    May 25, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

    I was in London last week and on the underground and saw a guy reading the paperbound copy of the Tom Baker Eruditorium book. My first glimpse of an Eruditorium book in the wild, as it were. I wanted to get the guy's attention and give him the thumbs-up or something, but being tapped on the knee by a creepy looking old guy on a crowded train just seemed the wrong thing to do at that time of day.


  58. Triturus
    May 25, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

    You should have done it! We need a secret sign, or a secret handshake or a code or something.

    I shall be rolling one trouser leg half-way up my shin from now on. Even if I'm not wearing trousers.


  59. William Whyte
    May 25, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    And 18!


  60. Daru
    May 25, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

    Aye we huv.


  61. Anton B
    May 25, 2014 @ 10:17 pm

    Badges! We need some badges!
    (That's 'pins' to US readers)


  62. Daru
    May 25, 2014 @ 10:18 pm

    He faved one of mine too – and yes he is a very nice man!


  63. Daru
    May 25, 2014 @ 10:56 pm

    I am Daru. I live in Southern Scotland. My background is in the arts and illustration, which I promptly gave up after being wowed as a student in Edinburgh by the public Beltaine celebrations & Galoshins that happen on a hill in the city centre with a fire as big as a house, frolicking red men & women & thousands of people (before the days they made people pay and had 'insurance'). This led me to work in archaeology, teach Tai Chi, to explore improvisational drama & work to support adults with disabilities.

    Nowadays I work as a self-employed storyteller (with my own Goblin Orchestra) and I work as a Forest School's Practitioner teaching kids and adults how to work with nature, doing outdoor art, using tools, making fire and getting inspired by all that is outdoors. Getting paid to be a Druid. Love it.

    Earliest Who memory is the giant maggots and watched all the way through until I got distracted by smoking and paganism – and became cynical with McCoy whilst studying and promptly bailed. Never came back until Rose and never was a true believer or a part of any online fandom – when watching series one I had NO IDEA Eccleston was leaving or was going to regenerate!

    Found your blog Phil from a link at Neil Perryman's Adventures With The Wife in Space and got reading about two years ago I think.

    I live in a beautiful little town by the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders not far from where Thomas The Rhymer was abducted by the Faeries. It has its own music festival, brewery, a whole bunch of natural springs, green hills and forests on all sides and a yearly festival where children are dressed as flowers, an effigy of the Devil is burnt on a local hillfort by the Freemasons and a local boy turned into a saint.


  64. peeeeeeet
    May 26, 2014 @ 12:54 am

    It so happens that The Pallisers is on BBC2 right now! Peter Sallis is expositing to June Whitfield, yay


  65. storiteller
    May 26, 2014 @ 3:06 am

    Wow, that's like every wonderful stereotype about Scotland rolled into one.


  66. Anglocat
    May 26, 2014 @ 4:38 am

    How perfect!


  67. Daru
    May 26, 2014 @ 7:22 am

    Yes it's all true! They do have across the Borders and Southern Scotland yearly festivals called Common Ridings where the populace ride the town boundaries on horseback. This festival comes from that and includes the children a lot more, unlike others. I feel really outside of it all (gladly in a way), but I do sort of appreciate the silly hodge-podgeness of it, and the fact that we get a bonfire as big as a small house on top of a great hill every year!

    They even have a bagpipe competition here – there's another stereotype for you!


  68. BerserkRL
    May 26, 2014 @ 9:54 am

    Lanyards will be distributed on a case by case basis.


  69. Carey
    June 9, 2014 @ 1:18 am

    Woefully late to the party, but:

    My name is Lee Carey and I am a British children's illustrator. I was born kicking and screaming into the world seven weeks early just after 5.00pm on Saturday June the 22nd, 1968, just in time for the repeat of episode three of Evil of the Daleks. I was obviously in a hurry to see it, but unfortunately still missed it because I had to be hurried to an incubator.

    My first memories of Doctor Who were the visual set pieces from the Lett's era: that of the Sea Devils coming out of the sea; the Doctor confronting Giant Maggots; Mr Potato Head removing his helmet in The Time Warrior and Giant Spiders.

    These all scared me, so I didn't watch Doctor Who.

    Then I saw a scene featuring Davros from Genesis of the Daleks. Now hand on heart, the Daleks have never scared me. But the idea and realisation of Davros, a hideously scarred remnant of someone who was half man, half Dalek, scared the willies out of me so much that I didn't watch Doctor Who again for quite a while.

    A couple of years later, two events occurred: one was I found a copy of Barry Letts' novelisation of the Daemons. I loved it. And two, I watched the repeat of The Ark In Space. And was still scared. But this time, I loved that feeling, and continued to watch.

    This love of Doctor Who spurred me on to read the comic adaptations over the years, which introduced me to the writings of Alan Moore, and the visual stylings of Dave Gibbons. And made me want to become a cartoonist myself, and eventually draw a Doctor Who comic strip. I'd love there to be a happy ending and say that I realised my dream, but as of now, even though I have drawn for companies such as Disney, Warner Bros, and comics featuring Merlin, Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, Dexters Laboratory and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I've yet to fulfil that dream. The closest I ever came was the cover to The Celestial Toyroom here: http://careyart.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/doctor-who.html

    I found the TARDIS Eruditorum through the Wife In Space blog, where Neil correctly said that you were doing the same, but far more seriously. I've enjoyed your writings ever since, Phil.

    In the meantime, Doctor Who has never again been broadcast on my birthday, and I now have the superstition that when it does, that will be the day I leave this firmament.

    And on that note, keep up the good work.


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