Watch this space, you poor doomed motherfuckers

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. Christopher Brown
    January 17, 2020 @ 8:11 pm


    Another 10/10 for the Eruditorum. Well done.


  2. Dust Wayne
    January 17, 2020 @ 11:35 pm

    Excellent essay, though as bleak and pessimistic as you warned us readers it would be. But I have one very significant quibble to go with that.

    Now, I’m sorry that my first comment must come in the form of a(n admittedly nitpicky) criticism, but… what’s with the use of “Muslim” throughout it being equated with “English”? It is no doubt the case that many racists today no doubt construe “Muslim” as equivalent a mental construct of “ill-defined Middle-Eastern ethnic group”. But even knowing, of course, that you don’t mean anything untowards by it, it doesn’t sit right with me that you draw comparisons between “the English” and “the Muslims” and then call the biases and disparities you find, “racism”.

    Granted, the context of the Crusades does make it the best descriptor of the side led by Saladin, who was a Kurdish man leading a coalition of many peoples united by that shared religion. But then surely Richard’s side should be described as “the Christians” for similar reason (Des Preaux, English? with a name like that? indeed!)…

    …And indeed, whatever very salient parallels one might want to draw between the Crusades and the modern-day Western treatment of the Middle-East, I don’t think you’re giving the religious element enough attention here, in general—despite your pointing out of the implicitly theistic conclusions to which Whitaker’s views on history seem to lead. It’s right there in the name of the things that “the Crusades” were conceived of as wars of religion.

    Of course, that was a convenient excuse for disowned European nobility to get some land to itself, and there we have the real driving force of the war. But those ulterior motives are nowhere in the mind of the fictional Richard I played by Julian Glover, and, I’d wager, on the mind of the man writing him. For better or for worse, it is in my opinion an outright misreading of the text to assume that Saladin is being equated with “a warmongering imperialist”; instead, Richard the Lionheart in a 1960’s story called “The Crusades” is by definition a devout Christian — or, well, a crazed zealot, if you want to take a less sympathetic view of it — before he is anything else.

    One can then take issue with the fact that Whitaker uncritically presents the European “cover story” as genuine, naturally. But so long as this is the story he is telling, I do think actually engaging with this story on its own terms would necessitate, once one has acknowledged that this does not match reality, analyzing this story as being set in the archetype of all wars of religion. (Not to tell you how to do your job, but issues of religious tolerance are certainly as relevant to the modern world as issues of racism…)


    • Prandeamus
      January 18, 2020 @ 8:46 pm

      The concept of Englishness at this time was not the same as it is today, just to make things more messy still. It was still a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and Norman, and at this point Norman French culture had the upper hand in the aristocracy. The fusion of the two into into a unified concept of Englishness was two or three hundred years from Richard I, really starting when a great deal of French territory was lost in the reign of John. It would not suprise me one iota to find that the modern concepts of Muslim didn’t match those of Saladin either. In the context of the 3rd crusade maybe Christendom vs Muslims would be a better analysis?


      • Prandeamus
        January 18, 2020 @ 8:50 pm

        Historically, it might not be unreasonable to posit that Richard had no specific religious fervour, as pretty much all of the population of western Europe were Christians even if in name only. There were very few alternatives on the table, so to speak. Maybe he was conventionally pious but wanting the glory of war? I’m not fully abreast of current historical thought in this regard. My point is that there are other character options other than good guy and zealot.


  3. Paul F Cockburn
    January 19, 2020 @ 5:15 pm

    Ms Sandifer: What, may I ask, is the point of a first paragraph that just lists death after death after death? Your unbalanced fascination with mortality is getting repetitive; worse, it comes across (at least to me) as a trite couple of minutes’s worth of research on Wikipedia… and almost enough to stop me from reading on…


    • Prandeamus
      January 19, 2020 @ 9:40 pm

      Not that she needs any help from me but “dalek” might be clue. This is intentionally not the relatively positive TARDIS eruditorum.


      • Dust Wayne
        January 19, 2020 @ 9:56 pm

        I could be wrong but I don’t think Mr Cockburn is confused about that. Rather, he is arguing (and I see his point, though I don’t think it matters very much) that achieving the “bleak outlook” effect via a list of random deaths is a bit repetitive and a bit dull, and that surely things were going wrong in the world in ways that are more interesting to read about than the Wikipedia entry for “who died in March of 1965”.


      • Elizabeth Sandifer
        January 19, 2020 @ 11:37 pm

        With a side of wanting something that still had the underlying structure of “it’s this date, here is a snapshot of the world.”


        • Elizabeth Sandifer
          January 19, 2020 @ 11:39 pm

          (And, spoilers, the music charts and news sections are also a few minutes research on Wikipedia. Well, and the Official Charts Company.)


  4. morph tv apk
    January 20, 2020 @ 11:08 am

    Morph TV brings in content from top providers and sources. The content is available in HD and the accelerated downloading feature of Morph TV speeds up the downloading enabling you to have your favorite content offline on local storage within a few minutes


    • Xaldel
      January 21, 2020 @ 7:08 am

      Wow. Even the comments in this Eruditorum reflect the desolated state inflicted upon us by capitalism. Profound.


  5. RobertSaysThis
    January 22, 2020 @ 6:29 pm

    For me the whole concept of a historical story became less and less comfortable the bleaker the future looked, because not changing history seems so hard to justify from any kind of moral perspective if it’s just endless violence until all the large mammals die. This is maybe coming up next time, of course, because the Monk would agree with me and I’m not sure his argument in the Time Meddler to that effect is ever really refuted in the show.


  6. Przemek
    January 23, 2020 @ 10:57 am

    “Sure, there’s good in every generation—often profound levels of it. But there’s also an abundance of moral horror. And the claim that the good parts win out and exist in abundance is, in the end, cold comfort to the impressively large number of people it doesn’t work out for.”

    This is not only an amazingly well-put argument, but also, coincidentally, the perfect encapsulation of why I stopped being a Christian. I’d rather believe in a world without God than in a God that allowed Auschwitz to happen.

    Thank you for another amazing essay. Among other things, it reminded me of a human trait that annoys me to no end: the tendency to use one’s idiosyncratic experiences to make sweeping statements about the whole world. “Things used to be much simpler when I was younger” being my favourite example. Suuuure, buddy. Sure they were.


  7. Steve
    January 24, 2020 @ 2:03 pm

    It is a little bit like characterising the fighting in Burma in WW2 as the British fighting to repel an imperialist attempt by Japan to seize their lands. When you originally seized them yourself by imperialist conquest, you really don’t get to portray yourselves as defenders against imperialist invasion.


    • Przemek
      January 24, 2020 @ 2:31 pm

      Okay, but where does it stop? At least some of the people conquered by Saladin probably weren’t the original inhabitants of their lands either…


  8. Roderick T. Long
    January 27, 2020 @ 10:25 pm

    “you cannot have a goal without a desire, which in turn requires there to be someone having the desire.”

    This is far from obvious. There is a very long philosophical tradition, running from Aristotle all the way through, e.g., Ruth Millikan, that regards natural teleological explanation as an alternative to explanation in terms of desires or intentions. (And the tradition includes Charles Darwin, who actually thought he had vindicated — not refuted — Aristotelean teleology, by providing a mechanism for it.)

    “To portray Richard I as morally equivalent to this, little yet as tacitly superior to it, is appalling.”

    The TARDIS Eruditorum continues to be the only place in the universe where “little yet” is used to mean “let alone.” 🙂


  9. John Martin
    February 4, 2020 @ 12:35 pm

    Mega Box HD Is the Best app for TV Shows and Movies You can watch reality shows, documentaries and sitcoms absolutely free.


  10. hax4you
    February 4, 2020 @ 12:43 pm

    Hax4You is currently the best cheat for Rule of survival to get VIP features. Game Cheat Available update version V5.6


  11. TVTAP
    February 4, 2020 @ 12:46 pm

    TVTAP is an Android application mainly created to watch Live TV Channels for Free If you want to watch movies and tv shows then go to this site


    February 4, 2020 @ 12:48 pm


    February 4, 2020 @ 12:50 pm

    If you want to any app then go to this site


  14. Benstokes
    February 25, 2020 @ 2:15 pm

    I like it.
    you can stream a lot of channels where your favorite shows and Movies


  15. mediabox hd apk
    May 7, 2020 @ 5:45 am

    Watch latest movies and shows on mediabox hd.


  16. Megabox hd
    August 10, 2020 @ 2:07 pm

    This is far from obvious. There is a very long philosophical tradition, running from Aristotle all the way through, e.g., Ruth Millikan, that regards natural teleological explanation as an alternative to explanation in terms of desires or intentions. (And the tradition includes Charles Darwin, who actually thought he had vindicated — not refuted — Aristotelean teleology, by providing a mechanism for it.). You can use for watching movies on Android.


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.