The Full Lid
6th March 2020

Hello there! Welcome to The Full Lid. I'm Alasdair, your host and every week around 5 on Friday I bring you a pop culture download of everything I found interesting, or noticed, or on occasion was shiny during the week.

One thing before we jump in. How did folks like the themed interstitials? I had fun doing them and feedback is always useful. Thank you:)

In a moment, contents. But before that, Doctor, could you?


Fate's Countermeasure
Al Dente: Yeastie Boys
Bog Bodies
Signal Boost
The Me of it All
Escape Pod Onboard Information Card
Signing Off/Playing Out

Fate's Countermeasure

Right then! What a nice, quiet episode of Doctor Who that was. Quiet season in fact. Nothing much happened. Status quo very much the same. At no point did giant weirdly cute rhino police invade an English city, no one snogged Byron and everything left... pretty...

Why are you looking at me like that?

Editor's note: Spoilers, sweetie
Okay, two things. Firstly, I would ABSOLUTELY buy their album. Gallifreyan clipping. for the WIN.

Secondly this season of Doctor Who finished with the revelation that the Gallifreyans stole the ability to re-generate from a mysterious child found by an early explorer near a dimensional portal. This child was functionally immortal with no limit on their regeneration cycle. To protect the frankly horrifying truth that they had killed this kid repeatedly until her own adoptive mother had worked out how to replicate the ability in herself, the child's memory was wiped and they served Gallifrey down through the centuries as a perfect deniable operative. Because when you've conducted systemic child abuse and eugenics, what's a little indentured servitude?

This is massive stuff, and the reaction to it has been both odd and broad spectrum. Depending on where you stand, the episode either burnt the canon down while laughing maniacally, changed nothing, somehow did both at once and did both badly, or ended on a deeply audacious and fascinating note that people haven't been able to stop thinking about.

Guess which camp I fall into. 

Go on. Guess.

Let's! Talk! About The Eternal Champion!
The grimacing chap up there is Dorian Hawkmoon or, as I suspect he would say it 'DORIANNNN HAWKMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!'.

Dorian is one of the aspects of the Eternal Champion, Michael Moorcock's deathless hero who battles evil, dies a lot and exists across multiple dimensions as a Champion of Law or Humanity. So essentially one of the earliest pieces of meta-textual genre fiction, the mid-point between Tristram Shandy and the MCU with way more sword fights. They're good fun, and incredibly variable and if you want an instant on ramp. The Eternal Champion is a pretty great place to start.

I mention them here because, well, 'Champion of Law or Humanity' sounds an awful lot like 'Time's Champion' a frequent name for the Doctor during the Virgin New Adventures years. Plus the concept is remarkably similar. A deathless champion of right, not always in control of their faculties but always driven to defend the weak and fight injustice.

Eternal Champion. Time's Champion. Timeless Child. Last Son of Krypton. All alone. All defined and shaped by the people around them. All struggling to do the right thing. This is elemental, powerful stuff. So much so that it's the sort of ground Andrew Cartmel would have mined had the original version of the show continued. Instead, here Chris Chibnall uses it as a means of not only giving the Doctor some mystery back but embedding them in the universe and then blowing the bloody doors off it. To explain how, we need to go see Jenny.
This is Jenny Sparks's latest incarnation. I LOVE the shoes.

Jenny, created by Warren Ellis and updated here for excellent recent comic The Wildstorm, is a Century Baby, a being created by the universe to do one specific task. Jenny's original task was to be the spirit of the 20th Century. This version? Has been alive 120 years and has things to do still. Her contemporaries include Elijah Snow, lead character of Planetary, also by Ellis and co. He's a brilliant, irascible human marshmallow with a wicked fast analytical mind and a pair of companions and... you're getting this right? 

By evoking the Eternal Champion and the Century Babies, Chibnall brilliantly updates the Doctor, places continuity in a box to be opened when needed and grounds her in a contemporary heroic context without undercutting the decades of context everyone wants around just in case. Instead of just being the slightly erratic old man in a box who had to learn how to be around people, the Doctor has now ALWAYS been around people. A being designed only for empathy, trapped in an endless loop of instinctive compassion and enforced ignorance. Fate's countermeasure against entropy. No wonder he was so grumpy, even if odds are he had no idea why. But as we saw, liberation was on the way, in the form of...
Cory Doctorow?!

Yes. Cory Doctorow. Buckle up, kids, it's time to do a Law!

Cory is one of the champions of Creative Commons licensing. You may have heard me mention it about... 642 times and counting? It's what enables EA to distribute its shows, because by asking you to not modify it or take credit for it we're simultaneously empowering you as a listener to pass an episode onto someone else and also protecting the IP rights of our authors and ourselves. In other words, it's available for free to anyone, and we trust everyone to do the right thing with it.

That... sounds a little...

The idea of material having flexible, Lego-built copyright is just part of it. As a good example, a couple of years ago James Bond passed into public domain just in Canada for a short period of time. Friends of ours put out an unauthorized, totally legal Bond anthology in that time period. Sharing is caring. Fun happens when we all get the same toys. Like proto-Sherlock says, hack the planet.

What this Doctor Who finale did, in an emotional and creative sense, is effectively turn the show into a Creative Commons licensed property. Not in ANY LEGAL SENSE AT ALL of course, but very much in a creative one. Think about it: the Doctor is infinitely older than she ever thought. Her first incarnation is just the first one she can remember. She can be anyone, look like anyone. HAS BEEN anyone. 

Millions of Doctors. Millions of people. A disparate group mind of benevolent brilliant idiots in boxes, helping where they can. Occasionally ginger. Occasionally a curator. Every ethnicity. Every age. Every gender expression. An idea made bulletproof and protean by how free it is, unshackled but still connected to a past that has served it's purpose.

Fan fiction. Fan movies. RPGs. Comics. Fanzines. Audio drama. Every version of the Doctor ever created is now plausibly an official version of the Doctor. Peter Cushing? In. David Warner? In. Joanna Lumley? SO in. 

This finale rendered the Doctor into an idea. One that simultaneously transcends and respects copyright. Or to put it another way, you know that line in Shakespeare Code about the academics punching the air when they find proof Shakespeare was bisexual?

How about the authors of these 79,924 pieces of fan fiction? For starters.

The cynical response is that this won't stick. That's possible. But the Doctor's own response when faced with the truth of her past is for me far more inspiring. Not to worry about what's back there and what it does but to be excited, thrilled even, by the new context that past now has and what's still to come.

The Doctor isn't just in, it turns out she always has been.
Daði Freyr with Think About Things (Daði og Gagnamagnið) are current favorites to win this year's Eurovision Song Contest. God I hope they do. We need more of this inspired, gleeful weird in our lives.

New reader? Find The Full Lid archive here.
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And thank you!


Al Dente: Yeastie Boys

Gentlemen? Thank you.

I love ciabatta bread, always have done. I used to run a store that was maybe 60 meters down from three very good coffee shops. The one that got my business sold fresh-baked ciabatta loaves for a pound with bread and jam. I would take my lunch break, stuff this delicious chewy cloud bread directly into my face hole and then spend the rest of the hour brushing the flour and polenta off every single surface of my body.

It was totally worth it.

So, first, go see Birds of Prey.

Not a non sequitur! Not a dream! Rather, the inspiration for my latest yeastie science. The movie is GREAT fun and it's emotional core is, no fooling, the deep love Harley feels for a particular egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. Binging with Babish, one of my favorite YouTube food channels, reverse engineered the sandwich and the bread and the rest is delicious, chewy history.

In order to get your very own lovely dome of bread, you're going to need to do some stuff. First off:

  • Add 177 grams of AP flour to 177 grams of warm water and add 1/16th of a teaspoon of yeast. This weighs about as much as a right wing politician's sense of empathy so don't worry too much about it. Just get a little, throw it in there, stir it all up until it looks like slightly too thick cake batter.
  • Then wrap it in cling film and let it sit for eight hours on the counter.
  • Then, put it in the fridge overnight.
Day 2!

Your delicious yeastie boy will have grown a little bit. Take him out and let him sit for a bit while you make your actual dough. That looks like this:
  • the rest of that packet of yeast you opened yesterday
  • 361 grams of AP flour
  • 12 grams) of kosher salt
  • 14 grams of instant non-fat milk (or just milk, like I did)
  • 35 grams of olive oil
  • 152 grams of lukewarm water
  • Your entire pre-ferment

Next up, mix it used the paddle attachment of your mixer (I don't have an idea of how long mixing it by hand would take. My guess is at minimum 10 minutes).

Then once it's all mixed together, knead on medium-low speed for 7-8 minutes until smooth, shiny, and sticky.

Oil your hands and a bowl. Trust me, my frequently dough-encrusted FitBit can testify to what happens when you do not oil your hands. Then mold the dough into a ball in your hands and drop in the bowl for 2-3 hours or until its doubled in size. 
Then you get to mess with it! This bit's GREAT! 

Take an oiled spatula and fold the dough in on itself eight times, rotating the bowl as you do. If it looks, as that does on the left, like it's about to attach itself to Rafe Spall's arm, you're good to go. Then cover it (and Rafe, if he's there, he might be cold) and leave it for half an hour.

Then do the same thing again.


Make sure your surface is well floured. My definition of well floured is 'drifts of flour' and that... that's not right so something less than that. Roll the dough out into a rough rectangle, then cut it for size and shape. Then transfer to a piece of baking parchment and prepare for the second very clever bit!

Leave the dough to proof on the parchment paper on an oven sheet, with another one inverted over the top. This will take an hour. Then, heat your oven and flip one of your trays over and slide it back in. Because if you don't have a pizza stone, and I don't, that works just as well. Thanks, Bread Ahead! Continuity! It's what's for breakfast! Along with ciabatta!

While this is going on, pre-heat your undo to four fundo as You Suck at Cooking would put it. That's 232 degrees C / 450 F. Once it's at heat, slide your grease proof paper onto your 'pizza' 'stone' and wait 20 minutes. Or 18, depending on your oven.

And then?
LOOK AT THESE THINGS! LOOK AT THEM! That's actual bread! I made! From a recipe!

I love baking because when it works it's magic and even when it doesn't work it's usually delicious and these were just amazing. The best one weirdly was bottom right, the loaf I put together from the off-cuts. That being said they were all super tasty and had the exact texture I wanted. 

On the right? You see the sandwich. Lightly scrambled eggs, sliced 'cheese', bacon and hot sauce mayo. The perfect way to start the day, especially if you're a mostly reformed super villainess.

Or you just really like bread. Like me. Which is why later in the week, I made tortillas too. You'll find the recipe further down. But do try this as well. It's was fun and delicious.
Cinema Wins! For when you, like me, are capable of feeling joy in your cinema analysis!

Bog Bodies

Brendan Shalvey and Gavin Fullerton's Bog Bodies is the story of an unlikely pair on the run from the Irish Mob across a bog that has served murderers well for centuries. It's great, and a review didn't quite sneak in under the wire before deadline. Go pre-order it at your local comic shop. Details are at the link or just give them this number:

I'll review it when it releases in about two months.
Food YouTube is often hilarious, frequently brilliant and Joshua Weissman is no exception. I made these tortillas this week and they are immensely simple and taste great. Also I think I want a tortilla press now.

Signal Boost

  • The Piece of Cake Podcasting Network is crowdfunding their new show, Null & Void. Written by Cole Burkhardt, it's “for people who haven’t quite found their way in the world just yet.” The story follows a young black woman, Piper Lee, whose life is saved by a mysterious voice named Adelaide. After uncovering a malicious plot, Piper and her friends must defend their small town from a family of ruthless billionaires who wish to exploit and destroy it. Can Piper save her home and discover the true identity of Adelaide? Or will this inscrutable voice lead them all to ruin? The season starts in April, the show is crowdfunding now and you can see their logo up top. If all goes well I'll have some more coverage of them soon too... Until then, find them on Twitter here and have a trailer.
  • Premee Mohamed is many things. An amazing human. An amazing writer. One of the most instinctively funny people I've ever met. Has a collection of favorite pipes at chemical plants. Her debut novel, Beneath the Rising, is out now. As is The Apple Tree Throne, it's shorter, older sibling. Seriously, just go look at this, marvel at the photo, buy the books. It's all good.
  • Phenomenally talented author and EA slush reader Julian Jarboe has a new anthology on the way! That was enough to sell me but given that it's called Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel I am doubly sold.
  • Sarah Gailey. That's it. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
  • Beth Elderkin is a fantastic writer and videographer. This piece by her, breaking down the good, the bad, and the bigoted of Altered Carbon season 2 starts good, gets very good and ends fierce.
That's this week's Signal Boost, folks. If you have a project you'd like to see here, get in touch.

The Me of it All

You know that video that's been all over Twitter of the two cops pulling off a drift so perfect they CLEARLY had no control of the car and are just incredibly happy they got to style it out without anyone getting killed?

My week, everyone!

It's not actually bad at all. Or that road rash-y. Just one of those weeks where everything happens A Lot. Let's check in:

The Clark Kent Beat

  • SciFi Now pieces done!
  • ComicsScene piece done!
  • Social media for myself partially scheduled!
  • Social media for EA partially scheduled!
  • Blog series catching up on the reviews I want to do but haven't fit in here yet, planned!
  • Multiple aspects of the Doctor Who finale's consequences for multiple markets, planned!
  • Doctor Who book notebook! Prepped!
  • Novel third draft playlist, built!

Book o' Clock

Fiction projects I should give codenames to OTHER than:
  • Weird MMA noir thing
  • Hostage Orbit
  • Manx MG book
sketched out!

Guest Cast

I was incredibly pleased to be on Tim Niederriter's Alive After Reading last week. Tim's a great host, do go check it out.

Pods Cast

Two shows this week. Over at PseudoPod we've got an immensely fun shipwreck story that goes nowhere you expect. Meanwhile over at Cast of Wonders I was incredibly pleased to be a (small, officious, and grumpy) part of Maire Brennan's Lady Trent universe.

PseudoPod 691: Half-Men of the Night Marie Cast of Wonders 405: From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review

Escape Pod Onboard Information Card

This is the cover to our first ever Escape Pod print anthology! Edited by Mur and Divya! Filled with fiction! Some old! Some new! All perfect in-flight reading as you hurtle out into the void!

Pre-order links now available!

Signing Off / Playing Out

A sentence I feel I should only write once the week has stopped happening!

Right then! The Escape Artists Podcast Network is co-owned by my partner in all things and I and features four shows: Escape Pod, PseudoPod, PodCastle and Cast of Wonders. Science fiction! Fantasy! Horror! YA! You like stories?! You like fiction?!


(ratchets down a notch)

Great because we've got over 2400 episodes and counting for you.

Breadventures abound on the Team KennerStuart Instagram this week and the Twitters are what the Twitters are.

This work is produced for free. If you like what you read please consider dropping something in the tip jar. Thank you :).

Editor's note: Hugo award nominations close on March 13th. Alasdair is eligible for Best Fan Writer (eligibility post and sample pieces here) and this very newsletter is eligible for Best Fanzine. Thank you for your consideration!

Playing us out this week is Tally Hall with Turn The Lights Off. I'm not saying this is the theme tune to my version of Scooby Doo. But I'm not NOT saying that. I discovered this via excellent Tiktokker Radical Slinky. Definitely worth your time. Oh and your suspicion was correct, because this?
is a Full Lid.
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Agathon Towers · Cheapside Road · Reading, Berkshire RG1 7AG · United Kingdom

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