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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. Danger Mouse
    February 16, 2020 @ 10:43 am

    Insightful and interesting as ever, doctor.

    And, of course, in the story the TARDIS becomes invisible, signposting it’s future (or lack thereof) in the UNIT era.

    Reply

  2. CJM123
    February 16, 2020 @ 5:40 pm

    Really liked this weeks essay. It inspires two thoughts though.

    Are the Cybermen the only time a 1960s Science-Fiction name managed to sound relatively futuristic in the 1980s and 1990s?

    And secondly, what was the last truly bizarre and new Doctor Who story? City of Death? Vengeance on Varos? Paradise Towers? Father’s Day? Hell Bent? Actually, maybe there are more than I sometimes admit.

    Reply

  3. writepaperfor.me
    February 17, 2020 @ 11:35 am

    Very useful information for people, I think this is what everyone needs. Thank you for this information, I think it will be useful for me in the future.

    Reply

  4. Przemek
    February 17, 2020 @ 12:40 pm

    This was an intriguing take. It reminded me of Lindsay Ellis’s video essays on various pop culture hits that, more often then not, raise a point akin to “this popular thing is very problematic and its production actively harms people who work on it”… and then inevitably reach the same cynical conclusion: “but I like it and I want more of it produced”. She is aware of this cynicism and often ironically comments on it, as if that changes anything.

    Reply

  5. JFrancis
    February 17, 2020 @ 2:22 pm

    Now I can’t stop thinking about how, back during one of the big merchandise pushes for the 10th (?) Doctor era, one of the products was a remote control Dalek painted in a Union Jack pattern. Symbolism that has only grown more obviously apposite as the years have passed, perhaps, but ultimately another cynical marketing stunt that — I want to say, reduces iconography to brand, but that feels tautological.

    Oddly enough though, for all that the Daleks are unquestionably part of the brand, they have resisted hollowing out rather better than most parts of Doctor Who (TM). Their kitsch has never quite become detached from a mix of the horror and silliness of facism that became coded into them after a couple of stories. Something like ‘Remembrance of the Daleks’ or ‘Dalek’ makes sense and manages to be about something in the way that, say, ‘Silver Nemesis’ abjectly fails to be. The Cybermen were divested of any meaning from their second appearance, reduced to an ’empire of evil’ rather than the world of indifference they originally embody.

    As you say, ‘The Invasion’ actually takes steps to counter to this, embedding them in computerised capitalism. The enhanced workers offer a way to reposition the Cybermen as a source of horror beyond mere Red Scares: to become like them is to become the perfect tool of the production line, part of a strong, hypnotised workforce without the need to eat, sleep, love or hate. The same tools that permit the rich to become immortal condemn their employees to unceasing drudgery. Something like that. I’d probably like to see it played as the mode of thinking that wants people to change to better fit the system rather than the other way around. Company health insurance and HR-mandated CBT ending in undead zombie robots.

    Nothing like that has happened, of course. Perhaps ‘Age of Steel’ toyed with this notion but as a gimmick, not a plot point. The Cybermen remain resolutely un-strange. ‘The Invasion’ plays its part in that, presenting them at their most robotic – a version that proceeds to entirely overwrite their original, weirder incarnation by pre-dating the near-future of ‘The Tenth Planet’, and leaves us with endless shots of stompy metal men parading over contemporary landmarks. The Cybermen homogenise themselves.

    Even in their best appearances since, they’ve been disconnected from anything other than ‘being a Doctor Who monster’. I sincerely doubt that will be reversed in the era which has managed to strip away even the Daleks’ meaningfulness (cough ‘Resolution cough). Some extended media appearances counter this trend (I’m thinking ‘Spare Parts’, of course, and ‘The Harvest’, and in comics, ‘The Good Soldier’ and ‘The Flood’), but those are depressingly sparse.

    I suppose that it’s rather fitting that after ‘The Invasion’, this version of the Cybermen is reduced to cameos on other people’s televisions.

    Reply

  6. wings io
    February 18, 2020 @ 8:56 am

    The second, that the familiar location of your toilet is going to be made strange by the addition of a robotic Abominable Snowman. ..

    Reply

  7. Larry W
    February 19, 2020 @ 9:08 pm

    This is probably my favorite Zoe story ever. She gets more character shading and stuff to do than in most other stories.

    She is more playful and relaxed with photographer Isobel than she was with Jamie and the Doctor, during her entire run. She got to destroy a computer out of spite and became the darling of the UNIT control room by working out missile trajectories to destroy the Cyberman invasion fleet.

    Reply

  8. Anna Mike
    March 21, 2020 @ 7:58 am

    It’s interesting to read this article about The Invasion and the story of Cybermen as it’s written in an interesting way to make us continue reading to know what happens at last. Though, what stuck with me is the mentioning at the first para about “A flu pandemic rages, ultimately killing one million” because it connects us with our current fight against the Corona Virus (Covid 19).

    Reply

  9. Mike Rooney
    December 5, 2020 @ 6:19 pm

    I am so happy to come across this piece of write up, very much advanced my understanding to the next top level. Great job and continue to do same.Pelle Pelle Soda Club Leather Jacket

    Reply

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