Eruditorum Press

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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.

27 Comments

  1. William Whyte
    April 2, 2012 @ 12:29 am

    Nice point about the sudden drop from Longleat to the hiatus. That simply hadn't struck me at the time. Time passes much slower when you're 14 and it seemed like an age.

    Reply

  2. Spacewarp
    April 2, 2012 @ 1:15 am

    Great reminder that the major trapping of fandom that we take for granted today (conventions & dressing up) were a US import and simply didn't exist in the UK back then. Younger fans today assume that how it is now is how it always was (a similar thing has happened with Halloween, where my kids think "Trick or Treating" has always existed in the UK, and yet it only really took off in this country after the 1980s).

    Of course the idea of someone dressing up as a Klingon/Cyberman/Doctor is still viewed with derision by the non-fandom mainstream, but the difference is that it was probably also viewed that way by UK fans less than 20 years ago.

    Reply

  3. John
    April 2, 2012 @ 1:26 am

    Not much on the Fifth Doctor Comics. I was hoping you'd cover classics like 'The Tides of Time' and 'Stars Fell on Stockbridge' in great detail. :/

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  4. Dougie
    April 2, 2012 @ 1:42 am

    I was nineteen and an Arts student at University. I travelled down from Glasgow to stay in Salisbury for the weekend with my aunt and uncle, taking buses and trains to Longleat. I chatted to a few people about comics and tv shows (some of them were girls!). Mostly, I queued. First to watch the final two episodes of Dalek Invasion of Earth and all (!) of The Dominators. Then, on the second day, for Janet Fielding's autograph.
    It was a hugely British experience, standing in line for two and a half hours in pretty, tended gardens. Richard Franklin was very pleasant and patient. The army were trying to manage the crowds but there were just too many people;I slipped out of a marquee at one point and was told off by a little army cadet for trespassing. All the safari park animals were penned up for winter and I never got to see Longleat House. I missed Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen and Anthony Ainley but caught a glimpse of Davison. A girl called Tracy told me Turlough was drunk.

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  5. Wm Keith
    April 2, 2012 @ 2:03 am

    I live in a timewarp which is forever 1997. That is to say, I believe in paper fanzines, I worry about whether my fanzine looks too glossy (never mind that it hasn't printed an issue in 15 years), I know that Hartnell/Troughton was a rejuvenation, I know that only BBC TV episodes are canon, and, yes, not only do Dr Who fans do not dress up (that's Star Trek fans), but when we want to have a fun convention ("Fan Olympiad") and play silly games, we're too embarrassed to own up to it, so tell the hotel it is a "Writers' Forum".

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  6. Zapruder 313
    April 2, 2012 @ 2:31 am

    Seconded! I have been really looking forward to Philip's thoughts on The Tides of Time especially, and the whole "the Doctor has strong ties to, and seems to sometimes live in, a fictional English village" motif. Surely they deserve an entry of their own? I remember at the time wishing the TV show were more like the DWM strip!

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  7. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 2, 2012 @ 4:09 am

    Part of it is looking ahead. I think there's a fairly coherent aesthetic to the strips that covers from The Tides of Time up through the bulk of the Sixth Doctor strips. So I'm planning on the relevant Sixth Doctor entry extending back over these.

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  8. Anton B
    April 2, 2012 @ 4:32 am

    Oh I'm really looking forward to that! It's aways struck me that, much as I would also have loved the TV show to be more like the comic strip in DWM, it couldn't be and (apart from budget constraints) there are metatextual reasons for this which I hope you'll be exploring.

    Reply

  9. Alan
    April 2, 2012 @ 7:11 am

    I keep seeing references to "Love and Monsters" implying a fondness for this episode. It baffles and disturbs me.

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  10. Elizabeth Sandifer
    April 2, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    Ah, Love and Monsters. The new series' only real Marmite episode.

    Reply

  11. Jesse
    April 2, 2012 @ 7:37 am

    The best non-Moffat episode of the RTD era (and a spiritual sequel to The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, the best serial of the original series).

    Reply

  12. Spacewarp
    April 2, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    And a thoroughly enjoyable 45 minutes all round. I could watch it again and again (and I often have).

    (Note: This comment is not sarcastic.)

    Reply

  13. William Whyte
    April 2, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply

  14. William Whyte
    April 2, 2012 @ 10:40 am

    I think End of Time and Journey's End are pretty Marmite too. And Last of the Time Lords, for that matter. (For the record: Love, hate, hate. And for the record on Love and Monsters, love).

    Reply

  15. sleepyscholar
    April 2, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    Trick or treating has always existed in the UK, as it's a Celtic custom ('souling' or 'guising'). It's mainly England where it didn't take off until after the 80s.

    Reply

  16. Alan
    April 2, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

    I just couldn't get past the Unfortunate Implications of the ending. Specifically, (a) the body horror of spending eternity as a severed asphalt head and (b) a long term "romantic relationship" presumably consisting of a lifetime of fellatio with a severed asphalt head.

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  17. SK
    April 3, 2012 @ 12:33 am

    Trick or treating has always existed in the UK

    Lies: even if there were such an antecedent custom, it couldn't really be called 'trick or treating' in any accurate sense, and had become, say, the almost-completely-dissimilar Hallowe'en rhyming, before the degenerate 'trick or treat' version was re-imported from the colonies in the 1980s/90s.

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  18. Wm Keith
    April 3, 2012 @ 1:55 am

    What has died out in England is the Protestant tradition of Guy Fawkes' Night. This has allowed the bonfires, and the focus, to return to Halloween/Samhain, and the gaudily vibrant American tradition has more than filled the gap.

    Reply

  19. Spacewarp
    April 3, 2012 @ 6:33 am

    I think RTD's take was that the joke was just too good to pass up.

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  20. BerserkRL
    April 3, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

    "Love and Monsters" was the reason I didn't get back into Doctor Who until 2010. I'd been a fan of Tom Baker in high school but had lost track of the show after that (apart from the tv movie) and was only vaguely aware that it had come back, so when I decided to watch an episode, it was "Love and Monsters," which I found so repulsive and inane that I actually forgot it, but lost all motivation to see the show until several years later I happened to catch "The Beast Below" and was lured back. Then when I was watching the Tennant era I suddenly realised, "oh yeah, I've seen this before — this is why I never watched this show again until 2010."

    Reply

  21. John Nor
    April 3, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    "It also, of course, included the comic. Dave Gibbons left after three Fifth Doctor stories, and it’s difficult to argue that the strip didn’t take a downward turn at that point. Parkhouse’s version of Davison’s Doctor is essentially indistinguishable from his version of Baker’s. The only new character trait he adds is an obsession with cricket"

    While the Gibbons-art story "The Tides of Time" is a high point of the Fifth Doctor DWM comics (indeed a highpoint of Doctor Who), "Lunar Lagoon" and (final story of the era) "The Moderator" are great stories too, with the latter two actually being very "Davison Doctor" in their characterisation.

    Also, "an increasing deemphasis of the comic strip. Whereas in the Doctor Who Weekly days the rest of the magazine was just filler for a Doctor Who comic book, in the Davison era the comic becomes almost extraneous to the publication"

    "The Tides of Time" has that utterly beautiful full-colour centre two pages, though after that there may be less emphasis. Or maybe there were just more pages.

    The Tides of Time collected edition is brilliant.

    Reply

  22. dm
    April 3, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Boomtown and Gridlock are also pretty marmite. They are two of my favourite stories, though. I think Love and Monsters is fantastic also. What's the fan consensus on Midnight? I stopped reading fan reviews after people lauded Rise of the Cybermen whilst rubbishing Love and Monsters and Gridlock. I hope it has the respect the writing deserves, but I can see it being Marmite (Low stakes?! Why don't they identify the monster?! Surely this should have been the Mara?! Gay Agenda!!!!1one).

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  23. dm
    April 3, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    I went to a convention around '95 (at the tender age of five) where my older brother (c. 9 years) dressed as Peter Davison's Doctor. From memory it was not uncommon for people to dress up. Maybe it's an Australian thing as well (also, post-hiatus/cancellation- things do seem to have been a little more "hardcore" and "Star Trek" in that era).

    Reply

  24. dm
    April 3, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    addendum: it may have been late '93 or early '94, as there may have been a Dimensions screening, though I don't think I could form coherent memories at that age. Ah, perhaps it was a More Than 30 Years screening? When was that?

    Reply

  25. Matthew Blanchette
    April 3, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

    Alan, Berserk: Have you forgotten that this is the same corner of the Internet that gave glowing praise to "The Gunfighters" and "Time-Flight"? 😉

    Reply

  26. SK
    April 5, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    I was all fired up to read 'The Tides of Time', having heard such amazing things about it, but I found it very disappointing: impressive art, but a boring, linear story, a Doctor who was nothing like any Doctor on TV or in the novels, and, well, basically boring.

    It may be relevant that weirdness-for-the-sake-of-weirdness always gets my back up.

    Reply

  27. Froborr
    October 3, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

    In the U.S. at least (I have little contact with British fandom) fan consensus seems to be that Midnight is genius and Love and Monsters is crap. Personally, I think Love and Monsters is a flawed masterpiece, with the main flaw being that horrific "joke." (Try, just for a second, imagining being that woman. shudder)

    On the other hand, it has less Rose than any other episode of Davies' first two seasons, and is therefore automatically the best.

    Reply

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