Temporarily embarrassed proletarians

Skip to content

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. Aaron
    May 13, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

    You seem to be focusing less on the character of the Doctor and the companions and less of the actual plots of the episodes in these more recent episodes then you did back in Seasons One and Two. Is this intentional, possibly because the Troughton era, unlike the Hartnell era, has less interesting plots to talk about and more wooden companions than Ian and Barbara? For instance, you spent a large piece giving a proper farewell to Vicki and Ian and Barbara, a shorter one to Steven, and now almost none at all to Ben and Polly. Is there just less to say about Ben and Polly?

    Or is it just my imagination? Not a criticism, just I've been noticing a trend away from posts that assume your audience doesn't know what the episode is about to posts that assume the audience has at least read the wikipedia article about the plot of the episode. I was curious if this was conscious or the result of us just going through a set of episodes that are less important than earlier ones.


  2. Elizabeth Sandifer
    May 13, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    It's not your imagination. More than anything, it is, I think, a reflection of the fact that the show is less emotional in this stretch. The Hartnell era was, at least at first, drenched in the emotional responses to Ian and Barbara. With each subsequent companion, they've become more about performing plot functions. Ben and Polly are a part of that. It's made worse by the fact that Ben's role gets partially consumed by Jamie halfway through his run.

    But broadly speaking, it's mostly that the show is in a very high concept stretch. The premise of The Crusades – The TARDIS crew go on a pseudo-Shakespearean tour of major elements of the Crusades – is considerably more complex as a premise than "Identity stealing aliens attack Gatwick airport." And the show is turning from being about its characters to being about its ideas.

    I wouldn't say this stretch is less important, therefore – if anything, the run of episodes from the next one through to about Fury from the Deep is wall-to-wall classics, some of them even deservedly so. But it's a stretch that asks much less of its audience.


  3. Alex Wilcock
    May 13, 2011 @ 11:22 pm

    Excellent point on how these last two stories taken together carefully trash everyone’s holiday plans.

    Nowadays Doctor Who is powerless to stop its ratings taking a hit when the sun comes out – and tanking altogether on bank holiday weekends (then saved by the video surveillance and the iPlayer, which were things only the Chameleons dreamed of in 1967). In those same ‘getting warmer’ months of March to May 1967, the series was clearly more proactive: this makes it two stories on the run that thunder, ‘Going on holiday will kill you! Much safer to stay at home and watch TV…’

    Clearly, Voyage of the Damned should have been shown the week before Mayday Bank Holiday.


  4. Elizabeth Sandifer
    May 14, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    A follow up to Aaron after a day of thinking about it –

    Read the entry again. 🙂


  5. BatmanAoD
    May 15, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

    Philip, I don't see how that answers Aaron's question.

    Oops, gotta go, my palm is flashing red…


  6. landru
    June 8, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    I'm not opposed to the notion that the ideas are more important than the characters. Well, at least there has got to be a balance. For much of the new series, the ideas seemed to be generated out of the need for the companions to be alienated, homesick, suffer tragedy, etc. Father's Day, The End of the World, Doomsday … let's have a cry. I like a little emotion from the companion, but I also like adventure, even a bit of a scare now and again.

    The Faceless Ones is a flawed story, but I wonder if some of that is due to the characterlessness of the villains more than the companions.


  7. landru
    June 8, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    In a way, you could see this story as a metaphore for package airline tours … like that Eric Idle rant … wisking through foreign lands but not experiencing the culture.


  8. 7a1abfde-af0e-11e0-b72c-000bcdcb5194
    July 16, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

    Flesh, Eating, Shadows, and Library.


  9. Seeing_I
    August 10, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    I never took "Look after Ben" as denigrating to Polly – rather, I thought he was winking to Polly that the slightly thick Ben needed looking after by the more competent one. As if he COULD become an Admiral!


  10. Unknown
    September 27, 2013 @ 5:59 am

    The Mysterious Writer Without a Face C.S.SCRIBLERIUS

    Among an I number every time larger of authors that walk in the shadows detached the mysterious C.S. Scriblerius, believed is a pseudonym as of Twelve Hawks. The mysterious man without face announces his production as a writer that nobody saw and whose identity is the subject starting from their writings pages. Everything that it is known about those authors the book MAGICAL MYSTERY TRAVEL and their works as ””Percyfaw Code””,de Scriblerius, made available by limited time as e-book in an apparent strategy of marketing of enormous success in the web and ””The Traveler””, Twelve Hawks published amid the style of Hollywood hype where disembarked in the list bestseller of the newspaper The New Times.The mysterious to Thomas Pynchon’s same style, Philip Roth, JD Salinger,B.Traven, Cormac McCarthy, authors C.S. Scriblerius and Twelve Hawks “live out of the grating”, meaning that you chose roads no so conventional in the market editorial, using like this other means for popularization of their works,and, hindering of they be tracked.


  11. Philipp
    December 10, 2014 @ 2:06 am

    The Doctor opens "negotiations" with the Chameleons instead of making them blow up. And it works. The Chameleons slink on home, and all is well. … ichameleonlamp.blogspot.com


  12. TheGhostSquirrels
    February 21, 2015 @ 6:05 pm

    Memory, erasing, slendermen, Nixon White House


  13. ladysugarquill
    July 4, 2017 @ 2:15 am

    “With no emotional plotlines serialized across stories, or even, usually, within a single story, the characters spend much more time fulfilling plot functions than acting like characters.”

    Exposition and Comic Relief (because People Puncher has fallen out of fashion) really are genders in Doctor Who.


  14. Chris
    February 6, 2021 @ 8:04 pm

    This serial introduces the fan theory thaat the second Doctor could steer the TARDIS with a degree of accuracy. He actually returns Ben and Polly to the exact day they departed which is impressive considering what we’ve seen so far. The fact he has companions in no particular hurry to return home means he’s free to wander aimlessly for the next few stories – though his arrival on Telos could be read as a deliberate landing to ensure the Cybermen remained in stasis. He knew he had landed on Dulkis without any real proof so he must have being aiming for there. He still has major doubts about short range accuracy – SEEDS OF DEATH – but remember the WarLord’s words – “Of course, he can steer it!” to Jamie.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.