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TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unauthorized Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 2: Patrick Troughton [Paperback]

Philip Sandifer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

25 Sep 2012
This second volume of collected and expanded posts from the popular blog TARDIS Eruditorum offers a critical history of the Patrick Troughton era of Doctor Who. Steadily tracking the developing story of Doctor Who from its beginning to the present day, TARDIS Eruditorum pushes beyond received fan wisdom and dogma to understand the story of Doctor Who as the story of an entire line of mystical, avant-garde, and radical culture in Great Britain: a show that is genuinely about everything that has ever happened, and everything that ever will. This volume focuses on Doctor Who’s intersection with psychedelic Britain and with the radical leftist counterculture of the late 1960s, exploring its connections with James Bond, social realism, dropping acid, and overthrowing the government. Along, of course, with scads of monsters, the introduction of UNIT, and the Land of Fiction itself. Every essay on the Troughton era has been revised and expanded, along with eight brand new essays written exclusively for this collected edition, including a thorough look at UNIT dating, an exploration of just what was lost in the wiping of the missing episodes, and a look at Stephen Baxter’s The Wheel of Ice. On top of that, you’ll discover: Whether The Mind Robber implies an alternate origin for the Doctor in which he is not a Time Lord but a lord of something else entirely. How The Evil of the Daleks reveals the secrets of alchemy. What can be seen on a walking tour of London’s alien invasions.

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TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unauthorized Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 2: Patrick Troughton + TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 1: William Hartnell + TARDIS Eruditorum - An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 3: Jon Pertwee
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Product details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (25 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479389064
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479389063
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Philip Sandifer has a PhD in English focusing on film and media studies. He teaches and is a freelance writer.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some really interesting ideas here 11 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I hope you have enjoyed reading Dr. Phil Sandifer's fascinating Doctor Who blog, because I certainly have. When it comes to buying his second volume on the Troughton era, the question is, why buy the book when you can read the blog for free? As with the previous volume, there is plenty of extra material to justify the purchase. Sandifer offers essays on several spin-off products that are not covered on the blog, such as Baxter's Wheel of Ice. He also provides bonus essays on topics such as UNIT dating and the unfortunate presence of mute black strong men in some stories.

The Troughton era is not my favorite period in the history of the show. I like Season 4 and find some of Season 6 fun, but I find Season 5 monotonous. As ever with Sandifer, sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I disagree with him. Thankfully, this we haven't got to the Thatcher era in the books yet, so his left-wing politics come across as a little less obnoxious than they have been on the blog.

A key paradigm in Sandifer's discussion of the Second Doctor is the notion of his 'Mercuriality,' that is his connection with the mystical properties of metals within the alchemical tradition. This concept is vital in making sense of The Wheel in Space.

As regards the last true Doctor Who historical (leaving aside Black Orchid, which is barely an historical), Sandifer argues that the story is primarily about convincing viewers that the Hartnell era was over and the new regime was going to be a lot more fun. The Highlanders is thus a wicked send-up of the Spooner historicals. I was pleased to see that Sandifer has some positive things to say about the undeservedly despised Underwater Menace.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Stimulating Read 15 Nov 2012
By ChrisJS
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I remember watching Patrick Troughton's Dr Who the first time around and watching the few remaining episodes has shown me in later life what a brilliant Doctor he was. Several of his stories stand out as particularly inventive and several also stand out as lacking inspiration.

Philip Sandifer doesn't always agree with me about which series were the best or worst but he is always stimulating and challenging. Each story is related to contemporary popular music (and I'm amazed at the number of songs I remember!) and news events. This in itself is stimulating.

Sandifer also adds in chapters about cultural developments that have a bearing on Dr Who (inspiring it or inspired by it) and also reviews of some of the later audio stories and novels featuring Troughton's Doctor.

The real value is in Sandifer's commitment to the values underlying the various adventures (which is what we called them in the day (as opposed to episodes or series)) and sometimes he makes a brilliant case for questioning directions the programme took. Racism in particular is an ever present issue and he shows how it undermines some of the more popular adventures for the modern viewer.

One thing he cannot access is the way we viewed the stories the first time. I can remember the emotions far more clearly than the details of sight or vision. Partly this was to do with viewing 25 minute episodes at one week intervals, whereas today we tend to view them in one sitting. But it is also about viewing them through a child's eyes. But it's brilliant to have such an informed guide to the adventures from an adult perspective and for this reader at any rate, the two views travel comfortably side by side.

I certainly recommend this book (and its predecessor) to anyone who remembers the programmes and I hope they'll also encourage newcomers to watch the surviving episodes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating... Erudite, Even! 21 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the second book based on the author's blog about Doctor Who. It analyses the series by going through it, story by story, and examining it with an academically critical eye.

This might not be to everyone's taste, and some people have derided it as being pretentious. Fortunately, being an English Literature graduate, pretension is right up my alley and I absolutely loved the book. Each entry starts by putting the story into some sort of historical context, and then goes on to have a look at what exactly is going on with these nearly 50 year old stories, often relating them to high concepts (alchemy being perhaps the most important in this volume). The author is unashamedly intellectual in his approach, treating fan criticism as a playground for academic discussion. This makes it sound quite dry perhaps, but the book is written with great humour and is very readable. It is certainly more interesting than continuity-obsessed spoddy reviews that aren't interested in such irrelevant things as, you know, the rest of the world...

The one chapter I didn't enjoy much was the one on The Invasion which is basically a 'what I did on my holiday in London' piece and is a little self-indulgent. Everything else was fascinating though, including chapters on stories I know nothing about.

Although the blog is obviously free and all the articles are still up, each entry has been lengthened and goes into more detail; perhaps the best thing to do is to try out the blog to see if you like the style. I love it, and look forward to the next volumes!
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