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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.

37 Comments

  1. That Guy
    March 4, 2013 @ 12:38 am

    One of the flaws you percieve in the 8th doctor adventures is that it never leads directly into the ninth doctor as he showed up on telly. Except that Big Finish doesn't do that either, and nor does any other version. My understanding is that that's a political thing.

    The BBC had got itself into trouble with spinoff media with one of the "Eastenders" video-only episodes that wrapped up plot elements that had been set up on TV – the argument being that the British public already pay for the programming anyway through the liscence fee, so why are you making them pay more to get the complete story.

    Therefore, the argument read, you couldn't have the doctor regenerate in any of the spinoffs or tell the story of the Time War, because that would be too close to making people pay for a story they should be getting for their liscence fee…

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  2. dm
    March 4, 2013 @ 2:50 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply

  3. dm
    March 4, 2013 @ 2:51 am

    Except for the fact that RTD actually did give DWM the opportunity to tell the regeneration story in their comic and they turned it down. I think the key difference is there is less ambiguity and debate about what is considered canon in Eastenders, whereas Doctor Who spinoff material is always hotly contested. If DWM or an EDA told the regeneration story, it wouldn't necessarily be a matter of paying more to get the "complete story", it would be more akin to paying more to get one possible version of that story.

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  4. Spacewarp
    March 4, 2013 @ 5:02 am

    According to the TARDIS Data Core wiki, DWM were kind of stumped because the BBC wouldn't allow them to show the 9th Doctor with a companion, but they couldn't figure out a way to kill the 8th's one off:

    http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Flood_%28comic_story%29

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  5. jane
    March 4, 2013 @ 5:37 am

    I dunno, I kind of like the fact that there's no set transition between Eight and Nine. In the end there was a Time War, and it's like a black hole, or an event horizon, and I wonder if it's more effective being like that. A clean break that isn't cluttered up by a particular history (though I wouldn't mind a televised story featuring McGann dooming his race and regenerating into Eccleston in the end.)

    Also, is it just me or is the sheer amount of stuff produced by Big Finish just absolutely mind-boggling?

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  6. poparena
    March 4, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    Curious, assuming your covering any of them, what category will the in-between New Series Adventures go under, Outside the Government or something new?

    (The only one I can imagine worth talking about is The Coming of the Terraphiles, but what do I know?)

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  7. Daniel Tessier
    March 4, 2013 @ 7:37 am

    I'd suggest Dark Horizons might be worth covering. Perhaps Only Human since it was written by Gareth Roberts before he became on the scriptwriters for the tv series.

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  8. David Anderson
    March 4, 2013 @ 8:29 am

    In an odd way, the ongoing adventures of the Eighth Doctor are the present for Big Finish. Doing the Time War would bring that to an end. Also, there are perpetual rumours of the television trying to get Paul McGann to return. Even if they're not true (presumably Big Finish have a better idea) it's something that the television might do. And Big Finish probably don't want to do something that will be so obviously superseded by television.
    So the Time War is something apocalyptic that hangs over Big Finish, perpetually deferred yet coming ever closer like Achilles and the Tortoise. (Lucie Miller/ To the Death is a clear example.)

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  9. The Lord of Ábrocen Landmearca
    March 4, 2013 @ 8:51 am

    So where are we in the timeline? How many more entires are left in the Wilderness Years?

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  10. Elizabeth Sandifer
    March 4, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    Rose will be May 1st.

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  11. elvwood
    March 4, 2013 @ 9:07 am

    Well, the last entry in the proposed Eighth Doctor timeline was This Town Will Never Let Us Go on April 26th, so I doubt they'll last much longer than that!

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  12. Elizabeth Sandifer
    March 4, 2013 @ 9:08 am

    Only Human, Terraphiles, and Made of Steel are all certain. Probably one or two more beyond that. I'll probably do them as You Were Expecting Someone Else.

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  13. elvwood
    March 4, 2013 @ 9:09 am

    Aaand pre-empted by the man himself while battle captcha…

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  14. Elizabeth Sandifer
    March 4, 2013 @ 9:10 am

    Well, you can still play "guess what's on April 29th" if you like.

    Though it's just about the easiest Pop Between Realities pick imaginable.

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  15. Nick Smale
    March 4, 2013 @ 9:50 am

    The Second Coming?

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  16. Elizabeth Sandifer
    March 4, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    Will get mentioned, but if I were giving it its own post it would go between Camera Obscura and Zagreus.

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  17. Nick Smale
    March 4, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    So if it's not a Russell T Davies authored fantasy drama starring Christopher Eccelston, then it must be a Russell T Davies authored fantasy drama starring David Tennant…

    Casanova?

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  18. elvwood
    March 4, 2013 @ 10:09 am

    Mind-boggling is the word. There's no way I can keep up with all of it. Of course, as someone whose preferred medium is audio, this suits me just fine: even if Big Finish lost the license next time it was up for renewal (unlikely), I would have years of fresh new stories still waiting! Unlike (say) McCoy on TV, where there's only one I've yet to see, and zero chance of any more appearing.

    I also like it that we've never seen/heard/read the eight-to-nine regeneration. I'm not against filling gaps (like the Liz and Mel ones mentioned), but this is one that should remain myth. If it has to be shown, I think it should be shown in several different, conflicting ways.

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  19. Pen Name Pending
    March 4, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    Terraphiles is an interesting one. There is a Ninth Doctor book called The Stealers of Dreams which I have not read yet (it's on my list), but it seems like just the thing you would talk about as it's about a world where fiction is banned. Touched By an Angel is also rather good and could be useful to discuss the Weeping Angels in translation into another media.

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  20. Tiffany Korta
    March 4, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

    To be honest I think the whole 8th to 9th Regeneration is in the same posistion as the whole Time War(s). There's just no way you could show what happened in a way that would match the fan's expectations.

    So I suspect it will alway's stay one of those untold stories…

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  21. Archeology of the Future
    March 4, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    I think it's only fitting that the only Doctor who lived primarily in spin-off media should be able to have an infinite and unbounded opportunity to continue appearing in them. The whole wonder of that is that the 8th Doctor is the only one who escaped 'back home' to the Land of Fiction where the 'real world' need never impinge. All of the other Doctors are hobbled by the real world in one way or another. Not the 8th. He's the one who escaped mundane physical reality to live unbound.

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  22. elvwood
    March 4, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    Eighth Man Unbound, eh?

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  23. theonlyspiral
    March 4, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

    Not related to the entry but of interest to me (as I have read the Troughten book thrice over) can we get a status update on the Pertwee volume?

    I know I can go back and read it on the site…but the added material and editing really adds another dimension IMHO.

    Reply

  24. Archeology of the Future
    March 4, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

    Actually, now I think about it, the wilderness years had an interesting effect on Doctor Who. All of the Doctors from the eighth onwards now have an established gap into which a future fandom can insert any number of stories.

    The ninth Doctor has everything before he meets Rose. The tenth has his grand tour prior to finally being called in by Ood Sigma as he were a pedalo on the park pond and the eleventh has a huge chunk in the Impossible Astronaut. In fact, Moffat has the eleventh continually up to adventures that we never see on screen.

    It's almost as if RTD and Moffat were creating the best situation for a future acended fandom to gestate inside.

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  25. Dr. Happypants
    March 4, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

    Hasn't every Doctor since Colin Baker's had such a gap, though?

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  26. Aaron
    March 4, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

    The 7th Doctor doesn't really have any gaps though. Lungbarrow leads directly into the TVM, and whatever Big Finish wants you to think, there's really not a lot of time between Survival and Love and War, certainly not enough to put a few years of Ace's life.

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  27. David Anderson
    March 4, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

    Dark Horizons is fun. I've just read Stealers of Dreams, Sick Building and Eyeless. Stealers of Dreams is probably the most interesting out of those. Eyeless and Sick Building seem a bit inhibited by the child friendly format; Stealers is writing for a family show.
    Terraphiles is more interesting for the author, than for the story. Doctor Who has been doing Moorcock since about the mid-seventies. (It's as if Joss Whedon were to write a Doctor Who story in his Buffy manner thirty years from now.)

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  28. SK
    March 4, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

    As long as the regeneration is never shown, there is a clear diegetic break between the old and new series.

    I like that.

    Reply

  29. Spacewarp
    March 5, 2013 @ 12:05 am

    To my mind this has always been a major problem with Doctor Who (and genre TV in general) – giving the audience what they think they want cheapens it. The first appearance of the Time Lords shrouded them in mystery and majesty, while providing little information. Their subsequent drops into the Pertwee era (and "Genesis") did little to diminish that mystery, until "Deadly Assassin" came along, and suddenly the Time Lords seemed smaller.

    Similarly the 9th Doctor's tenure gave us the same sense of the half-glimpsed majesty and horror of the Time War as Troughton's "War Games". This was something terrible and incomprehensible that we could never hope to understand, but that we should be glad we never witnessed. "The End of Time" showed us a glimpse of the Time War, but (to my mind) like "The Three Doctors" it only gave us a tantalisingly brief look through the smallest window. It didn't ruin the mythos, and even added to it (what the hell is "The Moment"??).

    The Time War remains as exciting and mysterious a concept as it was when we first heard of it 7 years ago. The Time Lords on the other hand between 1969 and 1976 went from omnipotent superbeings to squabbling old men.

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  30. Ununnilium
    March 5, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

    But the thing is, you can give someone what they want without screwing it up if you do it in a non-boring way. Deadly Assassin showed a lot of what Time Lordliness was like, sure, but it set up a lot of new possibilities – ones that were pretty much ignored in their later appearances, which just took the basic idea of Assassin and repeated it in the dullest way possible.

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  31. Josiah Rowe
    March 5, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

    That's assuming that the Big Finish post-Survival Seventh Doctor stories are compatible with the New Adventures. I suppose if you squint a bit and ignore things like character development, putting those in the same timeline almost works… but it's much cleaner to say that (apart from audios like Shadow of the Scourge and the Love and War adaptation, which are clearly set in the Virgin continuity), the Big Finish Seventh Doctor stories are a separate strand from the New Adventures, just as the comic (which gave a huge FU to the NAs by killing off Ace) is. We've got at least three different ways to get from Survival to the TV movie, and again three ways to get from the TV movie to Rose. I tend to see them as strands of a frayed rope, as if the Doctor's timeline got a bit loosened during the Wilderness Years. The strands cross each other and occasionally touch, but by and large fitting the three media (novels, audios and comics) into a single timeline for the Seventh and Eighth Doctors is a fool's game.

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  32. Josiah Rowe
    March 5, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

    I second the query, and add another: what's the status on the Wonder Woman book? I see that the Kickstarter was completed, but I haven't seen a recent update here on how it's going and when we might be able to get our grubby little protruberances on it.

    Reply

  33. Elizabeth Sandifer
    March 5, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

    The Pertwee book has under a hundred pages left to get back from the copy editor and is still on track for this month. Though I should ping her and see how she's doing.

    I'm about halfway through editing the Wonder Woman book, and assuming I do go with self-publishing on it my copyeditor should get to it after she finishes Pertwee. But that assumption is pleasantly uncertain right now – more as this story develops.

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  34. Josiah Rowe
    March 5, 2013 @ 7:49 pm

    Hooray for pleasant uncertainty!

    Reply

  35. Anton B
    March 5, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

    'Doctor Who has been doing Moorcock since about the mid-seventies.'

    Can you elaborate on this? I like Buffy but your Whedon analogy lost me I'm afraid. I've been reading Moorcock and watching Doctor Who since the early seventies and I've never detected a relationship. The closest I can reach for would be the Dandy Adventurer trope from the Cornelius novels but that really is stretching it. 'Terraphiles' was dross though wasn't it?

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  36. David Anderson
    March 6, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    As Phil pointed out in his Buffy essay, the basic mode of storytelling in genre tv now is one that Buffy pioneered. The way I'd put it is that you're self-aware and ironic about the genre conventions you're using and then you go ahead and use them all straight anyway. TV series that have nothing to do with high school angst or horror are doing that. The state of play is now that competent genre writing means the ability to write a Buffy pastiche.
    Moorcock's influence over uk fantasy and sf is based around his deconstruction of genre moral tropes, his deconstruction of English identity tropes, together with his mix of psychodelia with fin de siecle decadence. The Doctor Who episode most directly influenced by him is Enlightenment. But the morally ambiguous Seventh Doctor is Moorcockian. So is the English innocent abroad Fifth Doctor. But Doctor Who has also been influenced by 2000AD, Alan Moore, and so on, who are all attempts to develop Moorcockian fiction beyond Moorcock. So Moorcock writing a Moorcock meets Doctor Who pastiche in the early 10s is writing something that Doctor Who and genre fiction generally have been doing for the past thirty odd years, and trying to develop further for the past thirty.

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  37. Anton B
    March 7, 2013 @ 12:17 am

    Ah I see where you're coming from. Self-awareness of media-tropes and ironic distancing are conventions of Post-Modernism though and aren't specific to or invented by Moorcock, although he was one of the first in SF, along with J.G. Ballard to use them.

    Reply

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