Wednesday 9 October 2013

Philip Sandifer: Writer: Outside the Government: Warriors of Kudlak

"Frankly, writing a 1970s-style Doctor Who story is dead easy. This is the dirty secret of the bulk of the wilderness years - all the oft-praised “trad” writers who cranked out good old-fashioned Doctor Who had it profoundly easy. Writing a Hinchcliffe-era clone of a story is fairly trivial. You find a horror movie concept Doctor Who hasn’t done before, you come up with some technobabble as to why it’s aliens, and then you just have to learn to imitate the voices of Tom Baker and Lis Sladen and you’re good to go. It’s doubly easy if you actually have Tom Baker and/or Lis Sladen working for you, because then they’ll helpfully imitate their own voices.
 This isn’t to knock Robert Holmes, or any of the other Hinchcliffe-era writers. For one thing, it’s a lot easier to imitate the Hinchcliffe era than it was to come up with it. Doing it in 1977 is harder than doing it in 2007. Nevertheless, doing it in 2007 is dead easy. And the same goes for the Letts era: come up with some mundane aspect of the modern world and have aliens take it over. Instant Pertwee story. In that regard, The Sarah Jane Adventures should be able to take any halfway decent writer and let them have an episode without any difficulty. There’s just not a lot of moving parts here."
Phil Sandifer demonstrates the banality of so much Doctor Who, both new and old. I tend to dislike the 'middle period' of Doctor Who in the 70s and it's so frustrating that the current show so often uses it as a template.


  1. Sorry, but that's utter crap. The Hinchcliffe Era was far deeper than that. It's also incredibly stupid that Sandifer nonchalantly mentions "learn to imitate the voices of Tom Baker and Lis Sladen".

    If Sandifer thinks that the Pertwee and/or Hinchcliffe eras are so one-dimensional maybe he should put up or shut up. Try writing something comparable. I'm willing to bet that a)he'll completely fail and b)he is utterly clueless as to why these are among the highest-watched and best-loved eras in the entire history of Doctor Who.

    Let Sandifer stick to his sub-Lovecraft nonsense, and admiring the sewage spill that is the Cartmel era. He clearly knows less than nothing about 70's Who. And reading his "TARDIS Eruditorum" that extends to other walks of life as well.

    1. Wow. You're making me feel like Sandifer is my long lost brother.

      Sandifer, unlike me, is actually a fan of the Hinchcliffe era. Check out his posts on seasons 12,13 and 14. You will actually find he has a lot to say about how much he loves those stories.

      If you read the comments, it actually looks like Sandifer was surprised when Hinchcliffe critics like myself came out of the woodwork and started making negative comments on season 13. He seems to have thought before then that every Whovian adores the Hinchcliffe stuff. The discussion shaped his evaluation in quite an interesting way.

      Thanks for dropping in.

  2. Phil Sandifer is a revoltingly pretnetious waste of space.

    He is also a murder suspect, and tried his best to cover his tracks.

    Frankly, I wouldn't doubt that he actually killed someone.

    1. Well I disagree with him a lot of the time, and I doubt he and I would be friends if we were to meet, but I liked what I quoted here.

    2. Murder suspect? Really now?

    3. It's not quite as exciting as he's making out. I'll leave you to search it out on Google