Eruditorum Press

Sneakily taking the hinges off the doors of perception

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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.

9 Comments

  1. Matthew Celestis
    July 6, 2011 @ 2:30 am

    I love The Two Doctors. I totally agree with Shearman's defence of the story.

    If you are somebody like me who wants to accept the TV Comic as canon, the Season 6B theory has obvious appeal. It gives room for those stories to be squeezed into continuity.

    It was the comic strip that first came up with the idea of the Doctor on the loose after his trial by the Time Lords.

    Reply

  2. AGD
    July 6, 2011 @ 4:32 am

    Are you going to do all the multi-Doctor stories in sequence for each of the Doctors involved? That might get a bit convoluted for the ones with more than two.

    The links for "ok, not" and "quite" are broken (for me).

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  3. Jesse
    July 6, 2011 @ 4:43 am

    This is one of the few stories of the Colin Baker era that I enjoyed watching. I wish I could back up that enjoyment with a detailed defense, but I actually barely remember it — what stands out in my memory is the infectious fun Troughton was having when he got to play an Androgum.

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  4. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 6, 2011 @ 6:01 am

    AGD – No, not all of them. I've skipped the Three and Five Doctors for both Hartnell and Troughton, for instance. In this case it was very specifically the oddness of Season 6B that drew me to tackling this out of order, and the fact that, unlike the other multi-Doctor stories, it struck me as a story I could successfully write about twice.

    That's not to say I don't have it in my head to do stories that jump ahead for other Doctors, however. But generally, I won't do that unless I think there's specifically something to say about the era I'm writing about via the multi-Doctor story. In this case, there was.

    And I've fixed the linktext. 🙂

    Reply

  5. The Lord of Ábrocen Landmearca
    July 6, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    I already said this last week, but I find that as much as I enjoyed this episode, after it ends it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and your right- like every shitty Zach Snyder movie there's a violence fetish, and people seem to die pretty casually and just… ugh. Ugh. I hate this story. I hate it so much.

    I don't want this to be a part of my Doctor Who. Consign this this to the "Curiosity only" scrap heap and be done with it. Toss in the end of Christmas Invasion while youre ad it, that was was also horrible and cruel to the awesome (AND RIGHT) character of Harriet Jones, Prime Minister. Really, the seasons after that clearly show that Jones was right in doing what she did- which is why MAtt Smith's thing at the end of his first episode was so great. Yeah, he had the means for more peaceful methods than HArriet, but making sure they'll NEVER COME BACK is PRECISELY what needs to happen- otherwise you get shit like the Daleks and the Cybermen showing up time after time.

    Wow, THAT got off topic. What we're we talking about again? Oh, right- screw The Two Doctors. Booo. BOOOOOOOO.

    Reply

  6. Aaron
    July 6, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    But isn't part of the cynicism of this episode just the logical conclusion of the Second Doctor Era as you have described it? The Doctor has realised that there are some evil monsters that must be fought. And yes, that creates a hero, but the flipside is it creates it's own monster. Everyone gets destroyed by the Doctor, and everyone, including those who look like people, are shown to, underneath it all, be monsters worth destroying. The glee that comes from dealing with all of this through violence can only be the culmination of someone who views evil as something only worthy of annihilation, and the quips that the Sixth Doctor delivers are only possible because these things aren't people, but only monsters. From the way that you had set up the dialogue, I was fully expecting you to argue that in a sick, twisted way, the Two Doctors is a perfect mirrored reflection of the Second Doctor era and a perfect representation of where it went wrong. I wasn't expecting you to argue that it doesn't fit at all, because all the themes we see here are those exact same defects and excesses we see in the Troughton era, except this time, magnified and highlighted, rather than hid under goofy clowning. It strikes me as a capstone, not a curiousity.

    Also, I would disagree with you that the Sixth Doctor treats Peri with disdain here. Compared to Mark of the Rani or any of the others, he's completely chummy with her. See how Baker plays the scenes he has with her in the space station, especially at the beginning when he explains that she could go back to the TARDIS but shows real compassion for her upon her insistence on staying with him. He's concerned with a bigger picture, and often looks like he's ignoring her, but this is the only script of season 22 that also gives him moments where Baker is able to show how close the two are.

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  7. Elizabeth Sandifer
    July 6, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    Aaron – Well, part of that is that I think that by the time 1985 had rolled around, the defects of the Troughton era aren't the pressing issues anymore. I'm much more likely to argue for Terror of the Autons as the sort of capstone you describe, though I have to actually rewatch that first. (My watching is in the midst of Ambassadors of Death at present.) I think this is much more an attack on the "classic monster era" fan memory of Troughton's era than on the era itself – hence the hilarious marginalizing of the Sontarans."Oh, you want classic monsters just to have them around? OK. Here are some classic monsters that do nothing but stand around. Happy now?" Likewise, I suspect, the willful continuity errors, which I suspect were Holmes deliberately tweaking the obsessive fans whose influence on the series was at a high point in 1985. Which is part of the real issue I think a lot of people have with this story compared to the Troughton era proper – it's not responding to the Troughton era, it's responding to the strange beast that fandom was calling the Troughton era.

    I also know that the Sixth Doctor/Peri relationship is actually less fraught in this story than in the three preceding it, but it's still incredibly acrimonious coming off of Troughton. The contrast when you hit it coming off of the mild hostilities of Tegan and Davison is not nearly as sharp as when you come at it used to proper Troughton/Hines interplay. So yeah, when this is looked at in the context of the Baker era, it's going to come out differently.

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  8. landru
    July 11, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    I love this story. I saw it at a convention with a large crowd who laughed and laughed … I still love it to this day. To me this season was the last true season of classic Who. Sorry, but there you go.

    Doctor Who changes over time and you can't love it all. I get that. I feel that Troughton's Doctor is actually quite lovingly treated in this and so is Jamie. The alternate season thing is silly, but let's face it … the whole show is silly. The conceit itself is silly. Don't drink the cool-aid.

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  9. 7a1abfde-af0e-11e0-b72c-000bcdcb5194
    July 17, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    Lord of A.L. —

    I can't agree; I think the end of "Christmas Invasion" with what the Doctor did to Harriet Jones was the best part of that episode. Which doesn't mean she was wholly in the wrong; but neither was he. The contrast between the Doctor's aversion to violent methods and his constantly being forced into reliance on people who use them (from the Brigadier and Leela to Jack Harkness and River Song) is an ongoing theme of the show, and it's clear (I think) that neither side is portrayed as always and unambiguously right.

    Reply

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