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TARDIS Eruditorum: An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 4: Tom Baker and the Hinchcliffe Years

TARDIS Eruditorum: An Unofficial Critical History of Doctor Who Volume 4: Tom Baker and the Hinchcliffe Years [Kindle Edition]

Philip Sandifer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In this fourth volume of essays adapted from the acclaimed blog TARDIS Eruditorum you'll find a critical history of Tom Baker’s first three seasons 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 that story not just as the story of a geeky sci-fi show but as the story of an entire line of mystical, avant-garde, and radical British culture. It treats Doctor Who as a show that really is about everything that has ever happened, and everything that ever will.

This volume focuses on the early gothic-horror tinged years of Tom Baker, looking at its connections with postmodernism, the Hammer horror films, conspiracy theories, and more. Every essay from Tom Baker’s first three seasons has been revised and expanded from its original form, along with nine brand new essays exclusive to this collected edition, including a look at how Genesis of the Daleks changed Dalek history, the philosophical implications of the TARDIS translating language, and the nature of the Master. Plus, you’ll learn:

How Doctor Who’s golden age was cut short by a bully with poor media literacy.

Why bubble wrap is scary.

The secret of alchemy.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 561 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1494254344
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Eruditorum Press (28 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H02P7M2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,085 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful but sometimes overly dogmatic 5 Feb 2014
By Alan Hansen VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sandifer's analysis of this key period of Doctor Who is smart and challenging, treating the stories as serious texts and subjecting them to appropriately rigorous analysis. However, he clearly has a number of bugbears that recur through the book, most obviously his allegations of racism with regard to The Talons of Weng Chiang. Now, I agree that some aspects of Talons make for uncomfortable viewing today and this should not be glossed over. But those parts are surely forgiveable in the context of the time in which the story was made, not least the yellowface performance of John Bennett as Li H'sen Chang. Sure, discuss these issues, point fingers where it matters, but Sandifer pretty much dismisses this hugely popular story entirely because it doesn't fit with his 21st-century sensitivities. And immediately afterwards he dismisses Mary Whitehouse as "a sanctimonious prude of the worst sort". Which is probably a pretty accurate summary of the ghastly woman but it could also fairly be directed at him.

It's a pity because, as I said, I'd recommend this book highly for any serious fan of the original series (or Proper Who as it's known in my house). I know Sandifer's intentions are good – yes, racism is A Bad Thing – but a more nuanced response might have helped his cause better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Infuriating and challenging 4 Feb 2014
Sandifer provides some interesting and thought provoking observations on the first part of Tom Baker's time as the Doctor, showing a commendable independence of thought. This is spoilt however by some ugly prose, which makes reading the book jarring and tiresome. Additionally he is prone to tedious hyperbole, especially when dealing with views that differ from his own. The tone is closer to bullying diatribe than objective analysis. Useful, but not enjoyable.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sandifer hits it out of the park again 20 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Superb stuff, written in with considerable style, summing up the glory years of Doctor Who and placing them in a uniquely persuasive cultural context. This or any slice of the eruditorum are perfect for a wet weekend or those moments on the bus or tube...just be prepared to miss a stop or forget a meal.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Anaylsis of the Salad Days 25 Dec 2013
By Maximilian - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dr Sandifer delivers once again in the latest published edition of TARDIS Eruditorum, this time covering the first three seasons of Tom Baker's tenure as the Fourth Doctor. Often referred to as the 'Hinchcliffe Era' by fans, named for the producer at the time, general consensus places these seasons as one of the high points of the classic era. In this book, Sandifer continues to look at the ongoing narrative of Doctor Who as a show, and examines how it managed to become one of the most successful programs on television, through the process of psychochronography. It is dense, it is fascinating, and it's remarkably engaging. Given that it's a bundle of critical readings, that's no small feat.

Although Tardis Eruditorum exists as a blog, all the entries here have been revised and expanded, and it contains a number of bonus essays exclusive to the book.

I can't recommend this highly enough. Five stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Brilliance for sale 'ere" 13 Feb 2014
By Theseus - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
1. If you're looking for an "episode guide" look elsewhere.
2. The cover design is charming.
3. Sandifer is a voice -- a real voice -- witty, spikey, tangenty, metatextual, rich.
4. He is also a fan of the show which, given the comprehensiveness of these books, is a necessity.
5. The prose here is sharper and cleaner than it was in his blog. The arguments have greater clarity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He has interesting opinions certainly, but... 5 Feb 2014
By Dennis Maloney - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't agree with everything he says. For instance he is very intense in his dislike of Pyramids Of Mars, Seeds Of Doom and Talons Of Weng Chiang 3 stories very rightly considered classics by most people. He makes valid points about them certainly but I'm not sure if he's taking the critic role a little too seriously. Still everyone is entitled to their opinion and his blog and the books are very entertaining reads. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking about the Doctor is fun 6 July 2014
By J. R. Woodland - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thoughtful, erudite, insightful, and occasionally annoying critical responses to the Doctor's narrative.
5.0 out of 5 stars He's back again 4 April 2014
By The Smiling Stallion Inn - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Philip Sandifer is back, yes, he's back, with another brilliant edition of TARDIS Eruditorum, a critical, ethical, cultural, ontological, metafictional, aesthetic and production study of Doctor Who, this time covering the Philip Hinchcliffe era of Tom Baker's years. (The next volume will deal with the second half of Tom Baker's career under Graham Williams and John Nathan Turner as producers.) Sandifer started this project as a blog and these books compile all of his Doctor Who entries, plus some new just-for-the-book entries, into a very well-produced, readable volume.

Sandifer is a talented writer who artistically/creatively forms his arguments, defenses, and examinations for some of the most popular, well-known Doctor Who serials. He is very thorough and even critical at times, but his goals and methods are to expose the avant-garde, alchemical, and even mystical nature of Doctor Who, such as the fact that The Deadly Assassin deals with the dreamscape/conspiracy surrounding Kennedy's assassination as a point of origin and death in Doctor Who.

The Brain of Morbius, with its mad and brilliant marvels, creates a thread for alchemy in material social progress. He even explores how the Time Lords are agents of history, not time, and how they become subjects of history in trying to change Dalek history in Genesis of the Daleks. Overall, Sandifer creates a brilliant book/series that is unlike many cultural, critical studies of Doctor Who, and that is a good thing. Reexamining the past at times can lead to new interpretations and new paths for the future.
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