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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.

39 Comments

  1. David Anderson
    October 8, 2012 @ 12:20 am

    I actually think Tennant's Doctor is somewhere lower on the class scale than Eccleston's. Tennant gives the impression of a working-class lad 'made good', whereas Eccleston, apart from the accent which gets complicated, is more middle-class casual.

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  2. Scott
    October 8, 2012 @ 12:53 am

    There's another problem with the book's politics, I always feel. To me, it's represented by the scene where Watson and the Doctor are on the boat passing through the Suez Canal, and in response to a comment by Watson the Doctor makes a sneering comment about small-minded 19th century European imperialism. Now, this would normally be all very well and good of the Doctor, the man to whom small minded 19th century European imperialism is not going to appeal — except that the comment he's making the response to is merely an innocent observation by Watson that the journey to India has been made shorter by the canal. Which, say what you will about the culture of 19th century European imperialism that created it, is pretty much a fact.

    Granted, it's been a while since I read it so I could be misremembering or failing to spot the subtext of Watson's comment, but the overwhelming impression I came away with was less that the Doctor was standing up to the ugliness of Victorian superiority and hegemony and more the Doctor was being a bit of a dick and having a go at Watson for no real reason. And while I did honestly enjoy the book for the most part (although frankly Lane did start to over-egg the pudding with all the Holmes / Lovecraft references, but still, Rule of Cool I suppose), I seem to remember more of it throughout, to the point that while the Doctor, Benny and Ace might be making fair and valid comments on the uglier side of Victorian culture as represented by Holmes and Watson, the problem is that it's done so awkwardly done that I ended up sympathising with Holmes and Watson having to put up with these smug, self-righteous and insufferable tools who you'd avoid sharing a railway carriage with, never mind going on an adventure through time and space with, because they'd just spend the whole time lecturing you about everything you were doing wrong. And whether they have a point or not, no one wants to spend any time with people like that, because they might be right, but they're also nice to be around because they're deeply unpleasant about it.

    Combined with the superficiality of the critique itself (which, like you say Phil, pretty much boils down to "the Victorians were kind of dicks, really"), it doesn't really come off. I'm all for critiquing the imperialist undertones of Sherlock Holmes and Victorian culture (and Doctor Who for that matter), but you kind of have to make the people doing the critique more sympathetic than the people being critiqued if it's going to work properly.

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  3. Scott
    October 8, 2012 @ 12:56 am

    "not very nice to be around", that should read BTW.

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  4. Nick Smale
    October 8, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    If the Doctor is normally "the upper class white man who goes and fixes other people’s problems for them", Eccleston's Doctor was an attempt to change both of those things; he wasn't just working class, he also had a different MO than previous Doctors in that, rather than solving your problems for you, he would inspire you to solve them for yourself.

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  5. Wm Keith
    October 8, 2012 @ 2:20 am

    The only working-class Doctor was played by Jon Pertwee as an intellectual wage-slave fiercely aware of his precarious place in society. Normally the Doctor is a man of independent means; but the Third Doctor had to work for a living.

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  6. SpaceSquid
    October 8, 2012 @ 3:23 am

    @Wm Keith

    I don't think he had to work for a living at all. He just found himself having to swap around his eccentric hobbies. If any Doctor made their travels seem more occupation than exploration, it was the Seventh.

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  7. Nick Smale
    October 8, 2012 @ 3:52 am

    Apparently when American politicians talk about the working class, they mean "people who didn't attend college". When one of my former colleagues talked about the working class, she meant "people who don't know what order to use their cutlery at table". Clearly there are definitions that go beyond the strictly economic…

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  8. Wm Keith
    October 8, 2012 @ 3:54 am

    According to the transcript on http://www.chakoteya.net/DoctorWho/7-1.htm
    the following exchange takes place in the final scene of "Spearhead from Space"

    DOCTOR: Yes, well, before we go into all that, Brigadier, I think we must discuss terms.
    BRIGADIER: Terms?
    DOCTOR: Yes. After all, you do want to take advantage of my services again, don't you?
    BRIGADIER: Then what do you want?
    DOCTOR: Well, facilities to repair the Tardis, laboratory, equipment, help from Miss Shaw here.
    BRIGADIER: Very well. Anything you need. Within reason, of course. Is that all?
    DOCTOR: My goodness, no. Don't you realise that when I was stranded on this little planet of yours, I had nothing but these clothes that I Oh, my goodness!
    LIZ: What is it, Doctor?
    DOCTOR: Well, I've just realised. I don't even own these. I borrowed them from the hospital. And there's that car, too. Yes, you know, I took to that car. It had character.
    BRIGADIER: No, Doctor. That car must be returned to its owner.
    DOCTOR: Must it? Yes, yes, I suppose it must. Still, there's no reason why you couldn't find me something similar, is there? I mean, it could persuade me to stay, you know.
    BRIGADIER: Oh, very well.
    DOCTOR: Good. When can we go and choose it?

    Of course, I have omitted from the passage the section in which the Doctor declines money:
    BRIGADIER: I think you'll find the salary is quite adequate.
    DOCTOR: Money? My dear chap, I don't want money. I've got no use for the stuff.

    I omitted it because the Doctor's statement is clearly false. If the Doctor happened to have (for example) the Tenth Doctor's everlasting credit card then he wouldn't need to work for UNIT. He could hire a laboratory, employ an assistant, buy clothes and a car.

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  9. Spacewarp
    October 8, 2012 @ 4:55 am

    Interestingly I think that's more a sign of the times than a quality of the Doctor's character. Stealing money from ATM machines is part of the Tenth's Mockney Wide-boy charm and moreover seems to have been socially acceptable since John Connor first did it in T2. Certainly no-one thinks any worse of the Winchester brothers, who have survived 8 series of Supernatural doing the same. However back in the early 70s it would have been seen as out-and-out theft and would have been severely detrimental to the Doctor's character.

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  10. SpaceSquid
    October 8, 2012 @ 4:56 am

    What you have there is an upper class man using his massive advantage in education in order to gain gifts from people in exchange for doing what he was planning on doing in any case.

    This isn't a man negotiating a work contract, it's a king demanding tribute because it's so important his subjects demonstrate their gratitude for him doing the job he loves in any case.

    In other words, the last thing this is about is money. The Doctor's statement, far from being "clearly false", is about as obvious a tell as one could wish for. He doesn't want to buy things, he wants people to give them to him out of gratitude. Money is so terribly incapable of fawning, after all.

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  11. Spacewarp
    October 8, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    Which is actually perfectly in keeping with this Doctor's character. It's almost as if the Time Lords designed his regeneration that way…

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  12. Andrew Hickey
    October 8, 2012 @ 6:32 am

    Hardly. Tennant's Doctor's accent, dress sense and demeanour are those of an upper-middle-class, not-too-bright, Guardian reader affecting what he wrongly presumes to be a proletarian accent.

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  13. Stephen
    October 8, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    Firstly, you've left out the DWRG and Discontinuity Guide links again.

    Secondly, perhaps a more redemptive reading would be to say that a lot of the things that undermine the anti-imperialism theme are there simply because they're being remembered/related by Dr Watson. Being a Victorian Imperialist, he's unlikely to care about details like the differences between Hindus and Muslims.

    Thirdly, Conundrum most certainly was having fun being Doctor Who. Just because you didn't like its take on the Land of Fiction doesn't mean that the book was ashamed to be Doctor Who. At worst, it could be legitimately accused of disliking some of the current TARDIS crew. But it's a book that enjoys playing around with Doctor Who toys just as much as a book like Verdigris. Saying that this is only the second book in a row (of the ones we've covered) to take that attitude does seem a little disingenuous.

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  14. Ununnilium
    October 8, 2012 @ 8:14 am

    Excellent point; the awkwardness of the anti-empire bits was something I noticed the first time around, but the reasons you give make sense.

    My main problem is… Well, half the book is an excellent Sherlock Holmes pastiche, reveling in its fanficness to the point where even the obvious cliches become infused with joy (Sherlock has an even older, even smarter brother! The Diogenes Club is not only a front for British government operations, but has a high-speed pneumatic underground railway!). Then it sets up the Lovecraftian part with a line that promises an approach like no other, along with Watson having a reaction that makes me actually understand how you could go mad from being confronted by something like that, in a way no other fiction has.

    And then…

    Well, then we get a battle between generic aliens. (On a world with a really interesting ecosystem, mind, but still.) All of the wonder and horror of Lovecraft is sucked out; from the off-the-cuff explanation of the origin of the Great Old Ones to the checklist "this Mythos being is this Who villain" approach (which doesn't even get it right – Nyarlathotep as the strongest, and Azathoth as the weakest? Fenric as Hastur? Surely there are better Great Old Ones for someone who transforms sexually maturing girls who go on the water into twisted part-humans)… it really didn't work.

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  15. Elizabeth Sandifer
    October 8, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    1) Ah, yes, I did. Will fix that later.

    2) Yes, though it's the Doctor who's saying that, and Bernice who's narrating the section in question, so that reading doesn't quite get us out of it.

    3) I found little joy in Conundrum, if I'm being honest. Cleverness, yes, but not much joy. It seemed the most dour sort of postmodernism to me. Though as I said, it's clear that Lyons is just not an author I'm fond of. His work does seem joyless, dour, and bleak to me with little sense of fun. Even when he's being clever, it feels cynical to me.

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  16. Ununnilium
    October 8, 2012 @ 8:25 am

    I know very little about the details of class in England, but Eccleston's Doctor always felt more "street" to me – almost self-consciously so, really.

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  17. Aaron
    October 8, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    To be honest, I've really disagreed with your idea that somehow the NAs haven't been having fun being Doctor Who up to this point. I wrote a long comment about it, but then blogger erased it, so I'll say something a little different here. Conundrum is the most obvious example of an author that clearly loves Doctor Who and loves putting together the pieces in any way he can. The way the Doctor wrestles the narrative away from the narrator, or how the Doctor treads along the edges of the narrative is exactly what you praised Troughton for doing, except in literary form, and shows how much Lyons revels in the character of the Doctor. You may not like that he's retconning the Land of Fiction, but that's a personal point of taste. To Lyons, connecting the Land of Fiction to the Gods of Ragnarok is doing exactly what Cornell did with No future- taking a bizarre list of obscure Doctor Who references, mashing them together, and seeing what comes out.

    But Lucifer Rising, for instance, is doing exactly what this one is doing: mashing Doctor Who, full of neat little continuity references, together with an Arthur C. Clarke SF novel, and seeing what comes out. It's a pure crossover novel except in name. It also seems to revel in Doctor Who as being fun for Doctor Who's sake: look at that first scene where the Doctor gets his umbrella stuck in the door, or the scene where the Doctor juggles while Bernice is stuck in a drinks robot. It's full of love for the way the Doctor can be fun and yet serious at the same time.

    One point of Lucifer Rising I've always liked is to compare it's end to the finale of Journey's End. Here, the Doctor is told by Ace "It doesn't matter if you make me pull the gun, or you pull it yourself. It's still your dirty work. Take responsibility." And the Doctor does. It's a superb scene. Journey's End has Davros say the exact same thing, and then plays off of how the Doctor feels guilt over making other people his weapons. Both are done effectively, but which one, do you think, is the one that enjoys Doctor Who more? The one where The Doctor takes responsibility and saves the day by shooting the villain, or the one that subverts the entire premise of the Doctor by showing the audience how he just turns nice people into soldiers?

    But aside from all that, it seems bizarre to think that the early NAs don't enjoy being Doctor Who. Aaronovitch clearly loves that Doctor Who allows him to do a William Gibson mashup, which is really no different from All Consuming Fire. Platt loves Doctor Who in the same way Lyons does: he loves taking all the pieces apart and putting them back together. Kate Orman LOOOOOVES the concept of Doctor Who, and though Left Handed Hummingbird is pretty dark and brutal, you can't tell me after reading the "Pause the tape!" scene that Orman isn't having a blast playing around with these characters. In fact, the only author who doesn't like this incarnation of Doctor Who is Gatiss, who pretty much says in interviews "I wanted to write for the 4th Doctor because I hate the 7th Doctor, but since the MAs hadn't started yet I decided instead to just show how little fun the 7th Doctor is."

    I just cannot see how you can say how All Consuming Fire has fun with Doctor Who and not say the same thing about Conundrum, or Lucifer Rising, or Time's Crucible, or Transit, or even Iceberg and Birthright and Dimension Riders.

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  18. Aaron
    October 8, 2012 @ 8:46 am

    One recurring theme about Andy Lane is that he's great at set up and terrible at endings. This is probably the best example of that tendency.

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  19. jane
    October 8, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    I can't help but think in terms of recuperation and detournement now, but from the perspective of the show — er, story, archetype, myth — what have you.

    That is to say, the critique of Britain's odious Imperialist value being firmed wedged in the show's DNA is our detournement of Doctor Who, which Doctor Who attempts to recuperate by lampshading it within a tale mashing together the genres that kind of define what Doctor Who is.

    Well, assuming that holding up a mirror to something, with comment, is actually a form of detournement.

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  20. Elizabeth Sandifer
    October 8, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    I'm not convinced, though, that Aaronovitch or Lane/Mortimore wouldn't have rather published Gibson-esque or Clarke-esque novels without the bother of Doctor Who. I mean, certainly they're able to write the books they are because of Doctor Who's flexibility, but there's a difference between using Doctor Who's flexibility and wanting to be Doctor Who.

    Certainly some of the books want to be Doctor Who – Time's Crucible and Birthright are two of the more obvious off the list you gave. Orman as well. But there's also been a nagging sense in several of the books between, say, Love and War and No Future where one feels like the authors have some ambivalence about their books being Doctor Who. Or, at least, and particularly in the Alternate History cycle where the tensions among the TARDIS crew became a common theme, they didn't seem to be having much fun. It's not universal, but it's a nagging problem. And I find it telling that the stretch from No Future to First Frontier or so is comprised almost entirely of "fun" books, comparatively. It's certainly not a hard and fast rule, but it does seem to me something the books definitely wrestle with in the 1992-93 range or so.

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  21. Matthew Celestis
    October 8, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    Have you read some of the King in Yellow stories? I think the disturbing portrayal of Hastur in those fits Fenric quite well.

    Though you are right, All-Consuming Fire does fail to capture the darkness of Lovecraft.

    It's actually Neil Penswick's The Pit which is the truest translation of Lovecraft to Doctor Who (sadly missed out from this series).

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  22. BerserkRL
    October 8, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    the Victorian era consisted primarily of horrifying colonial impulses

    Depends which people you're focusing on. I think of the Victorian era as the great period of anti-colonialism, the period when when the anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist movements really pick up steam (along with the feminist, labour, and anarchist movements).

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  23. encyclops
    October 8, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    Eccleston's Doctor was one of the reasons it took me a long time to warm to the new series: as much as I liked and admired some of the choices he made, he was the only Doctor so far who didn't seem to me to be the same individual. He seemed more like the Doctor's younger brother or cousin or something of the kind. Many of the observations that led me to that sense of him are usually explained away as "well, the Time War changed him."

    Nowadays I like him and most of his stories enough that I don't really complain about it, but that sense still lingers for me, that the First through the Eighth Doctors are the same person as the Tenth and Eleventh, but that the Ninth is someone else entirely. I don't have a strong sense of class in England either, but I wouldn't be shocked if that were a big part of the reason he seems so incongruous.

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  24. daibhid-c
    October 8, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    I thought one of the cleverest bit of All-Consuming Fire (which doesn't necessarily mean one of the most sucessful) was the fact the Lovecraft stuff turned out to be a red herring. The Doctor goes into great detail about the horrors of the Great Old Ones and then "Oh, hang on, it's not a Great Old One at all, it's only pretending!"

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  25. daibhid-c
    October 8, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    And the Benny comments that, “of course, the Hindus couldn’t touch pork and the Muslims couldn’t touch beef.” This is, of course, exactly backwards.

    Wait, it says what?

    (Races to bookshelf)

    Good heavens, my brain has a very effective autocorrect system. I've read All Consuming Fire dozens of times, and each time I read that sentence as being the right way round.

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  26. SpaceSquid
    October 8, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    That's interesting. Speaking as a lifelong British citizen, encylop's reading would never have occurred to me, but on reflection I wonder if that's because I put any discontinuity down to the general shift in approach the new series necessitated. Having watched the entirety of Tennant's run and Smith's adventures to date, perhaps I should go back and see how Eccleston strikes me now.

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  27. Aaron
    October 8, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

    I think Lane's later output is pretty convincing proof that at least he always was most interested in playing with Doctor Who. All Consuming Fire, Original Sin, and Empire of Glass are all examples of Andy Lane's work that really depend on him exploring the worlds and mythology of Doctor Who, not just writing normal sci fi and pasting the Doctor in. Mortimore and Aaronovitch are harder for me to justify, but I think the stuff in Lucifer Rising you're picking up is related to Mortimore, not Lane. Mortimore's later books seem to want to delve far outside of Doctor Who as a medium, and the Arthur C. Clark style space opera has Mortimore written all over it. I think Lane's comments in interviews about how he tried with all his novels, but especially with Lucifer Rising, to get pictures included, because to him it couldn't be Doctor Who without visuals, speaks a lot to his viewpoint concerning whether he wanted to be doing Doctor Who or not.

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  28. Ununnilium
    October 8, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    It's not so much that Fenric isn't disturbing enough to be Hastur as that he doesn't really fit the MO.

    That said, I gotta agree with daibhid-c. That's an enormously smart idea… but came too late for me. It could've really worked if it came right as one was saying "Hrm, this isn't really Lovecraft-y, is it?"

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  29. Josh Marsfelder
    October 8, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    This was a really great post, Phil. I was sort of anticipating your take on this one. I really like how you spelled out the tension about detournement inherent in the show's premise (and that of Sherlock Holmes too)-One of the best such analyses I've seen.

    This gets back to the discussion we were having on Jack's blog about how far exactly an institutionalized work of fiction can go with radical politics and ideas. I still think as an institution the answer is probably not terribly far, if at all, and Doctor Who, much as I do like it, isn't helped by the overtly Victorian parts of its roots. Although I've found reason to add caveats to my premise of late, I still think there's an inherent tension in trying to do Situationalist pop culture in general and with Doctor Who in particular, and it's one the show still hasn't resolved (if it ever can).

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  30. Ununnilium
    October 8, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

    Well, that's the thing – it can go really far. Not out to the edges, no, but that's not really what it's for, is it? It's for bringing up the general level of consciousness. Not everyone is going to respond to Situationist theater, so you slip in the same basic ideas under what seems like a perfectly safe show.

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  31. Anton B
    October 9, 2012 @ 12:06 am

    My born and bred Brit/Who fan from episode one perspective totally accepted Ecclestone as the Doctor. I felt RTD had combined in him many of the previous incarnations' traits. For instance his occasional condescension was very Pertwee, his unpredictability came from Troughton, his irascibility from Hartnell, his eccentricities from Tom Baker. As far as his class goes – don't confuse 'northern' with 'lower class' or, for that matter, 'rich' with 'upper class'. Despite the 'divorced dad back on the scene' leather coat and V neck jumper Nine gives the impression of a wayward younger son of a northern industrialist. In other words 'new money'. Both Tennant and Smith suggest middle class students on a timey wimey gap year.

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  32. encyclops
    October 9, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    To be clear, I didn't really consciously think about Eccleston's Doctor in terms of class. I just saw him in contrast to Paul McGann's, who was to me a quintessentially (verging on blandly) Doctorish Doctor in the midst of what might still be the least Doctor Who-ish scripts of all time. Eccleston struck me as the opposite. It wasn't that he didn't exhibit traits of past Doctors (though frankly that seems easier to achieve as we rack up more Doctors to draw from). It was just an overall impression.

    Could have been the clothes, or the accent, or the hair. Could have been his active, physical demeanor (I couldn't imagine him tinkering with experiments or, frankly, reading Dickens for pleasure). Could have been that sense that he'd deck you in a second if you looked at him funny. Could have been that Eccleston was the first and so far only actor officially playing the Doctor that I'd seen in substantial acting roles before this one. Could have been some subconscious sense that Eccleston was keeping the part at arm's length, bringing a professional dedication to the role but not immersing himself in it. Could have been some or all of these things working in concert.

    Again, though, I think he was terrific. I don't really mind a strikingly different Doctor — this isn't James Bond, after all — and I'm really crossing my fingers for someone very unlike Smith/Tennant as the Twelfth Doctor.

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  33. Adam Riggio
    October 9, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    A significant part of what I like about Doctor Who (and philosophy, literature, and the random events of life when you look at them the right way) is how oversignified it is, in the sense that so many interpretations can be made, have been made, and will be made. The thoughts of the Eruditorum are quite original, compared to what's come before in the Doctor Who community, but they're not the only interpretation, and I don't think Phil has pitched them to be the definitive word on the history of the show. This, even as he's steadily grown in power, fame, and influence.

    This is Phil's story of Doctor Who, and I think whether one agrees with his precise assessments of particular books, stories, or eras, their real value isn't in their being definitively correct so as to seal discussion shut forever. I find the Eruditorum valuable because of how it can provoke us to think about Doctor Who differently than we ever have before. I know it's had quite an influence on how I think about the show.

    When it comes to the Virgin era, I think Phil's new perspective accomplishes something like this. The general consensus in fandom has been that the tone of the Virgin era was retroactively taken to be the culmination of the McCoy TV era. In demonstrating the relative quality of Season 24 and following through that effect until cancellation, Phil showed the peculiar flavour of the McCoy TV era that Virgin never picked up. That's an important way the McCoy TV era differed from the Virgin era that wasn't really noticed before.

    However, there is one way the Virgin era did run together with the McCoy TV era, which was its relative obscurity as a cultural product in its day, and exploring the mind-set that comes with this decreased visibility. Most importantly, I think Phil's analysis shows that in the early-mid 1990s, Doctor Who was a cancelled television show that died in obscurity and carried on as a novel chain marketed to a cult audience. It had been a central institution of British culture, but its status by the McCoy TV and Virgin eras consisted of a terrible fall from great success.

    Sure, some new fans came along in the 1990s, but today I can't go a couple of weeks without hearing among some new convert to Doctor Who fandom in my extended social circles (some of whom aren't even caused by me!). That kind of exponential international fanbase growth was impossible in the McCoy TV and Virgin eras.

    Phil's readings of many Virgin novels as Doctor Who stories whose writers don't fully want them to be Doctor Who stories helps show an aspect of this purgatory period that I don't know if the Doctor Who community has fully explored. That kind of historical understanding can be very important.

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  34. SpaceSquid
    October 9, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    Whilst Anton B's idea of the 9th Doctor being nouveau-riche is a really interesting one (and of course one could if desired expand the thought; a Doctor delighting in his current exploits but constantly hounded by his miserable, exceptionally difficult past), I'd hesitate to suggest there's a problem here with confusing Northern and working class. To the ears of this middle class Northerner, at least, the 9th Doctor sounds like both.

    Assuming a working class accent must imply someone is working class is its own mistake, of course, but it's a very different one, and much more understandable.

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  35. Josh Marsfelder
    October 9, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

    True, and I think that approach works for most things in the pop consciousness that flirt with radical thought. Doctor Who just confuses me because it's this pardoxical show that's both incredibly institutional and incredibly radical. I mean when you have people like Verity Lambert and David Whitaker as your founding figures I just can't see how Doctor Who doesn't in some sense have a radical heart. But…being the tentpole Saturday Teatime show or the blockbuster "family adventure" franchise seems to encourage it to play it safe. There's a central conflict of interest there that at first fascinated me but now just baffles me instead.

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  36. Josh Marsfelder
    October 9, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

    I think that's the best summary of the Eruditorum philosophy, seminars and post-structuralist thought I've ever read. Cheers, Adam!

    I'm sure others will disagree, though 😉

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  37. Ununnilium
    October 9, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    It is! It's so great!

    Doctor Who is a creation born standing between two worlds and able to move freely between them. The TARDIS doesn't just move along axes of space and time, but axes of radical and conventional, change and preservation, mercury and diamond.

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  38. Russell Gillenwater
    October 9, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    Even though I accepted Eccleston from moment one of Rose (and he is still my favorite of the Modern Series Doctors) I never really felt he was a direct continuation of the classic Series Doctors and Tennant and Smith have done nothing to change that opinion. I see them just as a modern take on the character. I mean nothing drives this point for me more than the 11 Doctor Character option figure set. The Classic Series Doctors just look like they’re from a different version of the show, which is MHO.

    I just want to add two important points about one of the books Phil skipped, The Theater of War. First it was the first book by Justin Richards who will be one of the more influential novel writers, especially with the EDAs and his influence is still there as he manages the Modern Series book line. Second, The Theater of War introduced one of my favorite Doctor Who characters, Irving Braxiatel.

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  39. BerserkRL
    October 9, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

    FWIW, inasmuch as I started watching Smith in new episodes and Eccleston and Tennant in reruns more or less simultaneously, they've always seemed like a single three-headed Doctor to me.

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