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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. Matt Largo
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    Well, if he doesn't threaten the Daleks with an unlubricated horse cock, I'll be disappointed.


  2. encyclops
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:36 am

    "Predictable as ever, Doctor."


    August 4, 2013 @ 9:38 am

    Well, not the minority/female Doctor everyone was pining for, but I'm more than happy with Peter Capaldi.


  4. Ewa Woowa
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:39 am


    I look forward to the next era of stories, and If I may quote you back at yourself sir:

    "And so as long as there are stories, there are Doctor Who stories. When the stars go out and the universe freezes, around the last fire on the last world, there will still be Doctor Who stories to tell. And when we are done telling them, at long and final last, in the distance will be a strange wheezing, groaning sound. And out will step an impossible man, and he will save the day."


  5. Corpus Christi Music Scene
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    Not sure if this was a wise choice. Capaldi is an awesome actor but I cant see him doing it for more than a year and casual American viewers will probably fall off a bit.


  6. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:45 am

    Of course, given that he's the thirteenth regeneration, doing it for a year does give Moffat a rather meaty plot line for what's likely to be his final season as well…


  7. Triturus
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:47 am

    Considering Moffat was on record saying he wanted an older Doctor last time, until Matt Smith knocked it out of the park on audition, I guess it's not too much of a surprise that he's gone for an older actor this time round.

    I think this'll be good. Quite happy in fact!


  8. Bennett
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    I was hoping that they'd break the youth cycle, but I never dreamed they'd cast someone the same age that Hartnell was when he started.

    This might go without saying, but I'm really interested in how this change will be handled.


  9. J Mairs
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    "If you SPACKING Daleks don't spacking SPACK off, I'm going to rip your SPACKING eye stalks out through the back of your skulls and ram it down your bonded polycarbide backsides until you can see up your SPACKING green arses and through Time, you SPACKING blobs of genetically modifed cali-fruking-mari!"


  10. Josh Marsfelder
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    I only have one comment today, and it's more about the Internet fandom then the announcement itself (Capaldi himself seems like a fine choice).

    I've seen…quite a few jokes on Twitter about how the real surprise is that a Doctor Who casting rumour was accurate.

    Well…Hasn't every casting rumour since 2005 been pretty much dead-on? David Tennant was leaked ahead of time, so was Matt Smith, and both were discussed at length beforehand. Seems like another example of revisionist fan history to me.


  11. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:58 am

    Not nearly as revisionist as treating Smith's emerging as the frontrunner (or even as a plausible candidate) the day he was announced as being "discussed at length beforehand," surely. πŸ™‚


  12. Triturus
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:59 am


  13. prandeamus
    August 4, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    How long before the Daily Mail runs an outrage piece? You know, impressionable innocent fans find foul mouthed Spin Doctor Who on YouTube …

    Another fan-who like David Tennant, which is interesting…

    I think it is good for the show in the long run to break the youth fetish. It might have an impact on the show's young female feel demographic but Capaldi is a fine actor and I think he'll do well.


  14. storiteller
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:00 am

    It was quite odd as a American watching the special, because I had no idea who the large majority of the celebrities they were interviewing were. I wish they had provided a little description of the significance of each person!

    As for the actual 12th doctor, I was really hoping for not a white dude, although I don't trust Stephen Moffat to handle a female doctor. I haven't seen anything with Capaldi in it, so I'll have to go check it out now.


  15. dm
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    From youngest to joint eldest, unless I'm mistaken. I've always loved Peter Capaldi. Check him out in Local Hero for some Matt Smith drunken giraffe running.


  16. Josh Marsfelder
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    Well, I defer to your superior expertise in that case. My memory of Doctor Who in 2009-1010 is composed primarily of being profoundly uninterested in it thanks to the last few RTD seasons and having a distinct impression Smith was announced after him being a frontrunner.

    The memory cheats.


  17. dm
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:02 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  18. tom jones
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    Try the film Local Hero from about 1984 with Burt Lancaster. Or Dangerous Liaisons (I think he was the John Malkovich's character's valet)


  19. Bennett
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    You haven't seen The Fires of Pompeii?


  20. Pen Name Pending
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:04 am

    I'm not familiar with his work, but will he actually use his Scottish accent? That would be nice. Personally, I think this could be a bad time for a female or black Doctor: she'd be written too close to River Song, and if this next Doctor is really the 13th and thus probably with a darker personality…having him played by a black man would fall into a pit of cliches. I'd like to see a female Doctor take on their own era, rather than be on the end of another one.


  21. dm
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:04 am

    And, like David Tennant, another Scot. That's the third! I wonder if he'll use his accent…


  22. Corpus Christi Music Scene
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    You may have seen him in the Series 4 episode Fires of Pompeii. Or Torchwood : Children of Earth. The first thing I remember seeing him in was Prime Suspect 3. Hes great in The Thick of It.


  23. dm
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    Also check out Neverwhere, Children of Earth, The Thick of It. But mostly Local Hero, one of the most underrated British films of all time.


  24. Josh Marsfelder
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:07 am

    I know several young female fans who are enormous fans of the classic Doctors. Also the majority of female fans I know would have preferred the new Doctor be a woman instead of a male of any age.


  25. Pen Name Pending
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    Especially with Clara! Looks like there will be a shift in the relationship, which is nice, because I'm sick of all the claims of romance (both in fandom and, to a lesser extent, in the show itself).

    I wonder if they'll introduce an "action man" companion in the mold of Ian, Steven, Ben, and to a lesser extend Jamie and Harry? Or can he run just as well? Or will he employ new, more reserved tactics? This regeneration thing is fun.


  26. Pen Name Pending
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:19 am

    Young female here, although I'm the least likely person to like something because of the sex appeal of its actors, since I find that sort of thing kind of disturbing. I think there's a lot of interesting story possibilities with the character and even more now that he's older. I'm sure he'll bring something new to the role we haven't seen for a while!

    I gave my thoughts on a female Doctor above: I would like her to have her own era rather than being tacked onto another with a given storyline (the whole Hurt Doctor revelation stuff), and I fear right now she'd be written too close to River Song.


  27. Matthew Blanchette
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:22 am

    Who the hell was that Rufus Dog guy? And that kid sitting next to the fat lady? And that Italian guy; who WERE these people? :-S


  28. dm
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:32 am

    "Or can he run just as well?"


  29. Ross
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    I've always felt that the Doctor works best when the character is played in conflict with his apparent age; Smith's at his best when he's playing an old man pretending to be a young man (… pretending to be an old man. It's weird.), and Hartnell's best moments are when he plays it as a young man in an old man's body.

    But I think the style of the new series is far more amenable to "young actor playing it old" than "old actor playing it young", so I'm very curious how the show will have to adapt for this.

    Honestly, i'm not optimistic that Moffatt's good enough to pull it off, especially given that the public zeitgeist of the show now is very much tied into a "Leading Man of Action" mindset


  30. Ross
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:39 am

    My recollection is that until pretty much the moment Smith was announced, Patterson Joseph was considered a lock for the part.


  31. Paul M. Cray
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    Rufus Hound is an actor/comedian, the kid is in "Outnumbered", a sitcom, and the Italian guy is a judge on "Strictly Come Dancing", a popular dancing competition and mainstay of the BBC's autumn Saturday night schedule.


  32. Nyq Only
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:45 am

    If you need an actor to play Steven Moffat then Peter Calpadi would be an obvious choice.

    "I haven't seen anything with Capaldi in it" – recently in World War Z – the last bit set in Wales that felt like an episode of Doctor Who πŸ™‚ in which he plays a WHO doctor.


  33. Josh Marsfelder
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    See, I remember that everyone wanted Patterson Joseph, but that nobody had any actual evidence to back up the claim he actually was the eleventh Doctor.

    Then I recall there being chatter that it was then-unknown Matt Smith, followed by the leak that it was Matt Smith, then the actual announcement.

    But this is why I don't blog about Doctor Who.


  34. Adam Riggio
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    I was there too. Matt was a total surprise. Nobody knew who he was, there were no leaks prior to the announcement, and because nobody knew who he was, he wasn't in any of the betting pools either.

    Everyone was expecting Paterson Joseph or David Morrissey.


  35. Daibhid C
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:58 am

    Also check out The Crow Road, based on the book by the late Iain Banks.

    I'm from the UK, and I'd little idea who many of the slebs were. Vaguely recognised the Outnumbered kid; knew Ms Tarbuck from QI and HIGNFY; kind of recognised Bruno from the impersonation of him on The Now Show.


  36. Daibhid C
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    Here's your obscure fact of the day: Sylvester McCoy is the only Scottish Doctor who never played Robert Louis Stevenson in a BBC dramatisation of Stevenson's time in the United States.


  37. David Jones
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    If anything, Capaldi is already typecast as a sweary politico, so it'll be interesting to see him play against that backdrop. I'd forgotten that he was in Local Hero. I hope that he doesn't do an Eccleston and bugger off after a year.


  38. Daibhid C
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:09 am

    Oh, god, how snobbish do I sound there? "No, I don't watch Strictly, I'm too busy listening to Radio 4…"


  39. Matthew Blanchette
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    You know… from the outset, for me, Matt Smith, being an unknown, WAS the Doctor; completely inseparable from his part. Peter Capaldi, on the other hand, most of us already know… as Malcolm Tucker.

    It'll be interesting to try and put that baggage out of mind when we actually see him play the part.


  40. Pen Name Pending
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:30 am

    Loved how Stephen Hawking was there.

    Americans know Bruno from Dancing with the Stars…which is just the American version of Strictly, I think.


  41. reservoirdogs
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:58 am

    Please let his catchphrase be "Oh Fuckballs!"


  42. Matthew Blanchette
    August 4, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

    I don't watch Dancing with the Stars… but, yes, Stephen Hawking was a welcome surprise.


  43. Matthew Blanchette
    August 4, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    That's certainly specific.


  44. Pen Name Pending
    August 4, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

    Oh, I only watched Dancing for a few seasons several years ago, until every other word out of their mouth was "sexy".


  45. prandeamus
    August 4, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    Rufus Hound is a massive Who fan. He even has Who-themed tattoos. One of his funniest appearances is on "Argumental" when he had to argue that Doctor Who was crap. It nearly killed him trying.

    His mortification at misremembering the number of knocks from Bernard Cribbins was palpable. He'll not live it down.


  46. othemts
    August 4, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    It seems appropriate that as Doctor Who enters its 51st year the star will be someone who was a young child when the show premiered & grew up a fan.


  47. William Whyte
    August 4, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    If you need an actor to play Steven Moffat then Peter Calpadi would be an obvious choice.

    Good point. Scarily good point. Now I'm a little apprehensive.


  48. Lewis Christian
    August 4, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

    Capaldi's a huge fan – I can't see him only doing one year. He'd surely do a few.

    Plus, being a well known face (in the UK, anyway) and being the age he is, he perhaps won't have the desire to leave to head off to Hollywood etc (as Matt and David did), and as such may stick around longer.


  49. Jesse
    August 4, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    I was hoping that they'd break the youth cycle, but I never dreamed they'd cast someone the same age that Hartnell was when he started.

    But coming after John Hurt, he'll look like a whippersnapper.


  50. AuntyJack
    August 4, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    Don't forget he was in Lair of the White Worm as well.


  51. Sean Case
    August 4, 2013 @ 7:57 pm

    Now we know why the Doctor can never reveal his name—not on a family show, anyway.


  52. Daru
    August 4, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

    Amazing experience of watching it live! My partner and I were in a wee quirky pub in our village where our barman is great fan, we had 3 old collie dogs going mad, another drunk local who kept of talking and saying "there were two Bakers in a row", other folk coming in and talking over the show, the barman's wife coming in and shouting "oh God not Doctor Who!"

    Apart from al that it was enormous fun having the transition pitched as a live TV experience and watching it live.


  53. James V
    August 4, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

    Well, I'm pretty damn happy with the casting. I suppose if I have any reservations it would be that Capaldi is a pretty…safe choice. But whatever. He easily fills my only 3 criteria for a Doctor:

    Good actor

    Enthusiastic about the part

    *Crazy hair (and more than one Doctor has gotten away without this one. Though McCoy compensated with the hat)

    Absolutely everything else is up in the air. As long as the person checks at least the first two of those boxes (though preferably all three), then I'm in!

    There's no feeling quite like the excitement of seeing the future of Doctor Who open up in front of you. It was a thrill four years ago and it's a thrill again now.


  54. Bennett
    August 4, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

    It's quite interesting to see such a wide variety of accounts of whether Matt Smith was known to be The Doctor prior to the announcement. As Josh said, the memory does indeed cheat.

    Gazing back on the Doctor Who News archive shows that their last article prior to the annoucement briefly mentioned Matt Smith as a new name in the list of potential candidates:

    Of course, Doctor Who News isn't in the habit of publishing leaks and rumours so he may already have been seen as a lock in some fan circles.

    Expect the true story to come out when New Who gets rereleased 20 years from now on whatever format is out then.


  55. Ozyman Jones
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:06 pm

    Well..I'm enthused. The casting just 'feels' right from the get go for me. Looking forward to a new beginning. With an older Doctor and such an experienced actor, it'll be a very different Dr Who than we've had for the past seven years or so; since CE departed really. I imagine that a whole new approach to storytelling should follow with a very different interpretation.

    As to the whole 'sex appeal' angle… hopefully it'll fade a little into the past. They've done that now, time to move on. Rejuvenation.

    As for loosing viewers? Well my parents, ages 73 and 74, have watched Who since Troughton and were loosing interest in the current seasons, saying it was just like all the other shows around, especially with the sexual tension angle to the Doctor-Companion relationship. They're thrilled with the new Doctor.

    Going for the 'grey' demographic.


  56. elvwood
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

    I caught that episode of Argumental – didn't know who Rufus Hound was at the time, stopped to watch it for Marcus "King Stupid" Brigstocke. Hound's anti-Who rant was superb! Even before he finished I was thinking, "this guy really knows his "Who".


  57. Kit Power
    August 4, 2013 @ 11:41 pm

    My gut feeling it 'they went for it' – this really is different for New Who, and I'm glad. It's one thing to waffle on about the infinite flexibility of the show, but if you keep casting youngsters it starts to ring a little hollow. In the 50th year, they've cast a new doctor as old as the first one. That's exciting.


  58. prandeamus
    August 5, 2013 @ 5:39 am

    From, by the Man Himself:

    I had to argue that Doctor Who is rubbish. I'm a professional. It was necessary. But I tell you this and I tell you it true. I would rather argue that I have the worlds smallest penis or the worlds ugliest Mum. Winning the round sugared the pill. Team Blue are now certain to take the show.

    But no. For whatever reason, the bitter, twisted, masochistic producers – I believe Mr Sergeant to be a man above corruption, even with Marcus' bankroll – intervened and the show went to the Reds. I now know how the people of Gallifrey felt about the actions of Castellan Kelner. Mystified. Betrayed. Hurt.

    Well, enjoy it while you can Brigstocke, because 2-nil is as far as it goes. Next week, and the week after that, and the week after that, in fact every week until the end of the series – Nay! the end of the universe – I will have justice! There's a reason the Tardis was blue, y'know. Allons y!


  59. prandeamus
    August 5, 2013 @ 5:40 am

    And with more predictability than a Terry Nation script, the fake "PeterCapaldi" accounts have surfaced on Twitter and Facebook … And gathered tens of thousands of naive followers immediately. What a world we live in.


  60. peeeeeeet
    August 5, 2013 @ 6:28 am

    I don't watch Dancing with the Stars… but, yes, Stephen Hawking was a welcome surprise.

    If ever a comment deserved to be cut adrift from its immediate context…


  61. Daibhid C
    August 5, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    Yeah, it's weird. I started off with the less specific fact "Sylvester McCoy is the only Scottish Doctor who never played Robert Louis Stevenson", and then I noticed the rest.

    Capaldi was in the 1992 BBC2 series Early Travellers in North America, and Tennant in the 2011 Radio 4 two-part Afternoon Play Stevenson in Love.


  62. storiteller
    August 5, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    I actually had seen both of them and I vaguely remember him being fine but not particularly exciting in Fires of Pompeii and weirdly, don't remember him at all in Children of Earth. (Perhaps because I was distracted by the Jack / Ianto thing even though I had only watched a couple episodes of Torchwood prior.) I was more talking about leading roles. However, I'll definitely see if Local Hero is available on Netflix.

    As for his role in Children of Earth, I doubt they'll try to square that with Who continuity, but it would be very interesting if they did! As my husband pointed out, it would be that the Doctor was not only there during Children of Earth, but actually caused the entire issue….


  63. BerserkRL
    August 5, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    He actually reminds me a bit of Craig Ferguson. It's the creepy smile.


  64. BerserkRL
    August 5, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    In the 50th year, they've cast a new doctor as old as the first one.

    Though he sure doesn't feel as old as the first one.


  65. BerserkRL
    August 5, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    Which sucks, because I am the real Peter Capaldi. For fifty quid you can have my autograph.


  66. Ross
    August 5, 2013 @ 11:35 am

    Hartnell was deliberately playing the role older than he actually was, because the role was specified as calling for an older, sort of wizardly character. Capaldi presents himself publicly as younger than his actual age, because he is a middle-aged actor in the twenty-first century, and that is how it's done these days.


  67. storiteller
    August 5, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

    He reminds me much more of Anthony Bourdain, at least in terms of looks and swearing.


  68. William Silvia
    August 11, 2013 @ 2:29 am

    He was in Doctor Who and Torchwood as well.


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