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TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unofficial Critical…

TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 6:… (edition 2015)

by Philip Sandifer (Author)

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In this sixth volume of essays adapted from the acclaimed blog TARDIS Eruditorum you'll find a critical history of the Peter Davison and Colin Baker eras of Doctor Who. TARDIS Eruditorum tells the ongoing story of Doctor Who from its beginnings in the 1960s to the present day, pushing beyond received wisdom and fan dogma to understand the story not just as the story of a geeky sci-fi show but as the story of an entire tradition of mystical, avant-garde, and politically radical British culture. It treats Doctor Who as a show that is really about everything that ever happened, and everything that ever will.This volume focuses on the bulk of the troubled John Nathan-Turner era, looking at its connections with soap operas, the Falklands, gaming, and more. Every blog post from the Davison and Baker eras has been revised and updated from its original form, along with ten brand new essays exclusive to this collected edition, including a look at who's fault the cancellation was, the influence of big budget musicals on Trial of a Time Lord, and an interview with Rob Shearman about the Davison and Baker eras and his efforts writing for the latter with Big Finish. Plus you'll learn:The secret Norse roots of Terminus.How the Morbius Doctors reveal the truth about the Fifth Doctor's regeneration.What it really means to be a renegade Time Lord.… (more)
Title:TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 6: Peter Davison and Colin Baker
Authors:Philip Sandifer (Author)
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015), 530 pages
Collections:Your library

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TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 6: Peter Davison and Colin Baker by Elizabeth Sandifer



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The latest of Sandifer's collected essays from his blog, hot off the presses. There is a lot less to say about this less popular era of Doctor Who - his previous two books covered the seven Tom Baker years, this one book covers five years and two Doctors. There's not a lot of people who pick this as their favourite era of the show. But Sandifer does his best to find redemptive readings - "it is preferable, given the choice among reasonable arguments, to like a piece of art rather than to dislike it" or, even more succinctly, "Disliking it frankly requires more effort than liking it, and I just can’t be bothered" - and generally succeeds, showing, alongside the usual complaints, the achievements and merits of even John Nathan-Turner and Eric Saward (though not Ian Levine).

As usual, he finds interesting things to say about some of the least celebrated stories, even trying to make a positive case for Time-Flight. But towards the end of the book he has to shift format, because there are fewer TV episodes to talk about. There's a lot more about spinoff literature than I remember from previous volumes. The essay near the start on Cold Fusion is particularly good. An upside of the Fifth/Sixth Doctors is that we are now in Big Finish territory, and I wish Sandifer had covered more than one Fifth Doctor audio (though if you have to choose one, he gets it right with Spare Parts) - he does six Sixth Doctor audios (though again, in line with his redemptive policy, this is where Colin Baker shows his strengths).

There are also a number of essays that don't fit any of Sandifer's usual categories: one on Tegan, a long interview with Robert Shearman, several pieces about why and how Doctor Who was cancelled / put on hiatus, and a great one at the start about the Five Faces of Doctor Who season of repeats in 1981. All very good stuff, and I'll be seriously considering this as a potential Hugo nominee for Best Related Work next year. ( )
  nwhyte | Nov 1, 2015 |
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