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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. Mike Russell
    April 9, 2011 @ 5:31 am

    Intriguing essay on a book I haven't read.

    I'm trying to remember how we "know" that William Hartnell was homophobic. He very sensitively played a gay character in This Sporting Life, the movie that got him cast as The Doctor in the first place.


  2. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 9, 2011 @ 6:36 am

    The usual citation is to the making of The Myth Makers, although there are some major flaws with that claim, mot notably that Hartnell had worked with Max Adrian before. In practice, Hartnell's homophobia is complex – as I say in the entry for The Plotters, Hartnell was, from what I can tell, a "some of my best friends are gay" sort of homophobe.


    • Chris
      February 9, 2021 @ 4:57 pm

      One of Hartnell’s best mates on THE ARMY GAME was Charles Hawtrey who was hardly discreet about it. He was even invited to the Hartnells’ home as a guest. Part of his attittude towards Adrian was possibly Maureen O’Brien’s adoring attitude to this Grand Old Man of the Theatre – something the mostly filmic Hartnell would be aware of. That, and a regrettable slice of anti-semitism – but wasn’t Verity Lambert…, my brain hurts!


  3. Mike Russell
    April 10, 2011 @ 7:21 am

    Ah, thanks for the info. So yes, complex as you say, and for the mid-60s, even "some of my best friends are" was better than the average attitude.


  4. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 10, 2011 @ 7:29 am

    Yes and no. I mean, it's clearly better than the average attitude. But in 1966, homosexuality was one year away from legalization in the UK and the arts/theater community were the main bastion of open acceptance. It would have been hard to work in television without working with gay actors. Given Hartnell's far less nuanced opinions on race, my strong sense has been that Hartnell's "some of my best friends are" attitude was as progressive as it was basically out of pure luck of his career path.

    Still, the idea of Hartnell not pitching a fit at a script that had him grousing that King James I wasn't interested in him seems to me far-fetched. 🙂


  5. neroden@gmail
    December 14, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

    The real trouble is that O'Mahoney's story is, as usual, much too short for the mountains of overwritten prose he piles on it. "Falls the Shadow" is worse. This reinterpretation might have been readable as a short story, but it was embedded in a genuinely bad book which seems to want to talk about de Sade's rather stupid theories rather than write a Doctor Who story.

    It's interesting to note that O'Mahoney's treatment of Dodo often gets condemned… whereas the treatment of Dodo in Who Killed Kennedy, which is in some ways far nastier, but also very interesting, generally doesn't come in for the same criticism. I think the only conclusion I can draw is "If you're going to do something questionable, you have to do it WELL" (in a technical sense) and I don't think O'Mahoney does.


    • ladysugarquill
      June 28, 2017 @ 4:23 am

      The Eight Doctor novels certainly did it better with the Sam storyline – and also with Fitz, but Sam’s in particular deals with sexualization/desexualization and how it relates to the character of the Companion.

      I find them much too bleak for Doctor Who, but they’re an interesting exploration of the concept.


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