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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. AD169
    August 8, 2011 @ 6:18 am

    The Daleks really do seem bored, unenthusiastic about extermination. It's because, of course, for the first time Peter Hawkins is not present. It will be interesting to hear the Special Edition with Nicholas Briggs dubbed in.


  2. Wm Keith
    August 8, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    But if you start issuing revised versions of stories, where will you end? Nicholas Briggs could re-do the Dalek voices in the first Dalek story to fit in a Davros retcon.


  3. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 8, 2011 @ 7:15 am

    Yeah, I confess to finding the idea of "fixing" the Dalek voices in this story appalling. The lousy Dalek voices are part of what this story is, and part of a much larger issue with this story which is that it was a rushed and half-assed attempt to cash in on the Daleks to get a ratings boost at the start of the season. So first of all, it's lipstick on a pig, so to speak – the underlying issue that the voice redo supposedly fixes is still there. Second of all, it's just moronic and serves to erase the actual history of what this story is.

    See also my views on The Five Doctors when we get there.


  4. Jesse
    August 8, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    The Sino-Soviet split was in 1961. Cultural Revolution didn't start til '66.


  5. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 8, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    Which is what I said – relationships were ostensibly cordial but largely hostile, then the Cultural Revolution hit and it turned to a near-war.


  6. Jesse
    August 8, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    It turned violent during the Cultural Revolution, but it stopped being ostensibly cordial much earlier. Lots of furious denunciations in the early '60s.


  7. 7a1abfde-af0e-11e0-b72c-000bcdcb5194
    August 8, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    "For most of the first two episodes, we have a closed structure."

    I think you meant "open."

    "phrases it in an almost overtly Marxist way, dividing the population of the planet into the few who get a good life and the massive working class that gets abused"

    Of course libertarians were saying that when Marx was still in diapers….


  8. Elizabeth Sandifer
    August 8, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    There's nothing inherently incompatible between Libertarianism and Marxism. It's just that in practice hardly anyone ends up enmeshed in those intersections. 🙂


  9. The Lord of Ábrocen Landmearca
    August 8, 2011 @ 10:10 am

    Writers? I was under the impression that the new season of Torchwood just copied headers from TV Tropes, handed John Barrowman a phone to the ADR studio, aimed the camera at an angry asshole and then blew some shit up before cashing their giant American-signed paycheques.


  10. 7a1abfde-af0e-11e0-b72c-000bcdcb5194
    August 8, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    "It's just that in practice hardly anyone ends up enmeshed in those intersections."

    Well, most libertarians were, back in the 19th century. And it's coming back: http://all-left.net

    Workers of the world, enmesh!


  11. The Old Bean
    August 8, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

    In addition, Daleks fail to recognise the Doctor in "Revelation of the Daleks". It seems to be "convenient amnesia".


  12. Spacewarp
    August 9, 2011 @ 3:38 am

    I remember this story first time around as a 10-year old, and the build-up was very exciting – the last time I'd seen the Daleks was 4 years ago in "Evil" and now they were back, along with cartoons in the Radio Times by Frank Bellamy! It was very much heralded as "The Return of the Daleks" in the media at the time, although I also remember being ultimately more intrigued by the story than the Daleks themselves.

    A very good appraisal of this tale indeed from you, and you focus very well on the story itself, quite rightly pushing the Daleks to the periphery where they belong. Although they don't actually overshadow the story, they have certainly overshadowed much meaningful discussion of it, particularly in fan circles. It is very rare to find a review of "Day of the Daleks" that doesn't mark the story down because a) the Daleks are hardly in it and b) the Daleks are rubbish in it. This invariably tends to lead to c) the story is rubbish. Which it isn't. It's a very thoughtful treatment of the perils of messing around with time, arguably the first in Dr Who, with some damn fine acting and a marvellous atmosphere of sterile despair. It's also worth noting that much of the future scenes show a perfect snapshot of early 70s Britain – industrial wastelands of overgrown rubble, and grey emotionless tower blocks.


  13. wwhyte
    August 12, 2011 @ 1:15 am

    Day of the Daleks is very much a companion piece to Inferno, spending the middle part of the story in a fascist alternative reality. It seems to address your criticisms of Inferno, though, since there's much more consideration of the ability of individuals to address an apparently hopeless situation rather than the disaster porn of seeing everything go wrong and then wronger.

    As I argued in the comments to your Inferno piece, though, I think that disaster porn aspect is the strong point of Inferno. In a world that lived with the threat of global destruction, seeing it actually happen is immensely cathartic. Day of the Daleks, because it traps itself in a setting that can only lead to a happy ending, can't have quite the same punch.

    A few small points: Jo is good in this one, but in her scene with the Controller she comes over very much as waiting for it to be her turn for her line rather than having a conversation, I think. And it's good to see the workgang-moving-stones scene from Dalek Invasion of Earth and Destiny of the Daleks again, somewhat giving the impression that once the Daleks have enslaved a race with hands, they don't really know what to do with them other than get them to pick things up.


  14. JoAnne Thrax
    May 11, 2013 @ 3:48 am

    "There's nothing inherently incompatible between Libertarianism and Marxism. It's just that in practice hardly anyone ends up enmeshed in those intersections. :)"

    Now, I'm pretty sure you're not going to go back and look at the comments on this two-year-old post, but I need to point out that once again you're confusing your America-specific definitions with those that everyone else uses. "Libertarian" starting in the mid-19th century (and still used in most of the world today) refers to libertarian socialism, i.e.: anarchism; this is completely unrelated to American "Libertarian Party" libertarianism, which is expressly capitalist. So, you know, the enmeshing has been there for well over a century and a half. Marx himself was well aware of non-Marxist socialisms, including of the anarchist variety. The confusion largely comes from people (particularly the American public) being wholly unaware of what anarchism actually is.


  15. orfeo
    November 8, 2013 @ 5:52 am

    "The most obvious answer would seem to be that the Doctor is in some sense unrecognizable in this form."

    Actually, the most obvious answer, by far, is that busy scriptwriters – especially ones who were asked to shove the Daleks into a non-Dalek story – don't pay nearly as much attention to this kind of issue as fans do after the event.

    But of course that's a real-universe explanation, not a Who-universe one where continuity must be maintained at all costs. Cue UNIT dating controversy…


  16. GeneralNerd
    November 27, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

    Hey! As an American I take offense to that. We spell it "paychecks" here.


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