Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Thete, Mar 5, 2013.
Indeed? Could you point me towards it please?
Huh? The Doctor stated quite clearly in An Unearthly Child he was from another planet.
That doesn't mean that he's not an advanced human from a future civilization or colony world. The Doctor refers to himself as a human being in "The Savages" for example, and in "The Evil of the Daleks", it's implied that the Doctor has become more than human only by virtue of his extensive time travelling. The whole Time Lord thing wasn't established until later.
By virtue of being a remake of a story or stories already told within the series proper - like, say the relationship between Never Say Never Again and Thunderball - I would say that the Cushing movies clearly fall outside the continuity and canon of DW proper.
They are, of course, an interesting addition to the DW universe or multiverse. A sort of apocryphal legend, I'd say.
The OP made a point that the Daleks as they appeared in the Cushing films with their bold paint jobs might be well suited for Trek. Oddly enough, for some shots, I think the subdued hues of the earlier casings, like those in "The Dead Planet" and the "Dalek Invasion of Earth" work better.
That does seem to be true -- the Doctor also referenced "we humans" in "The Sensorites." And he was referred to as having a "special human brain" in "The War Machines." The Daleks in "The Chase" referred to "The Doctor and the three humans" at one point, not "the other three humans" -- but otherwise they lumped the Doctor together with "the humans" or "the four humans." As late as "The Faceless Ones," the Chameleons identify the Doctor as human, though that might just be an assumption because they found out the Doctor hadn't been substituted by one of them. And he doesn't protest being called human in "The Seeds of Death."
Then again, in "The Ice Warriors," the Second Doctor says, "What do you mean, I'm only human? As a matter of fact--" but then he's interrupted. And in "The Wheel in Space" he explains Cybermen to another character as having once been "human beings like yourself" -- implying he himself isn't one. He also refers to humans as "they" in "The Enemy of the World."
Still, how is it relevant? It may be true that the makers of the Cushing movies had no reason not to make the Doctor human at the time. But it is also true that the Doctor has been defined as an alien for the past 44 years at least, so there's still no way to reconcile the movies with the series continuity as it now stands.
And even at the time, the continuities were clearly different, since he wasn't a person who came from another world and another time and was known only as the Doctor, but was a present-day English inventor named Dr. Who.
And really, what's wrong with that? It's all make-believe anyway, so where's the harm in doing different, incompatible interpretations of a fictional premise?
Well if we're suggesting that Trek and TV Who are parallel universes, then perhaps the Cushing universe is also one, a much closer parallel?
Sure, just go and watch classic Who.
My point is far more evident when you take into account that Moffat has literally had events in his series erase prior timelines to support the theory that there is no canon.
Whether there's a canon or not, in this sense it's undeniably true that the Cushing films were not part of the same universe or time line as the television series, nor were they depicting the same character.
Also, in An Unearthly Child:
"We are not of this race. We are not of this earth. Susan and I are wanderers in the fourth dimension of time and space."
I've never denied that the continuities were different. I'm just opposed to this idea that there's some sort of defined "canon" and that things can be either in it or out of it. The films are as much a part of the body of work that constitutes "Doctor Who" as the hundreds of novels and audio plays and comic strips - and there were a few tv episodes as well.
I also maintain that the Cushing films don't make such a bold definitive statement that the character is an English inventor - it may just be that he appears to be one. It's an re-imagining (I believe that's the buzzword) of the original concept. I don't see how "alien exile living on Earth and building new time machine in the back garden" is fundamentally different from "alien exile living on Earth and trying to repair damaged time machine in a junkyard". Just as we didn't know at that time whether the tv Doctor was human or alien or what, we didn't know definitively that the movie Doctor was human or alien. If there's one message that should be apparent in Doctor Who, it's not to judge by appearances.
Absolutely no harm at all. That's always been my point. The very concept of Doctor Who allows us to accept multiple timelines and parallel realities as standard, so why's this different?
I've seen all of classic Who, thanks. I don't see how that supports your argument. It's a tv show full of contradictions. What about the novels, comics, audio plays, etc?
And it's not Moffat's theory. It's a perfectly acceptable viewpoint held by a great number of Who fans.
Well, I deny it. Yes, not in the same timeline, where have I suggested they were? But there's only one Doctor Who - let's face it, he's been depicted with eleven different characters in the tv series alone. What's one more alternative version?
Bzzz! Incorrect! You're quoting the unscreened pilot version there. Naughty...
DOCTOR: Yes, my civilisation. I tolerate this century, but I don't enjoy it. Have you ever thought what it's like to be wanderers in the fourth dimension? Have you? To be exiles? Susan and I are cut off from our own planet, without friends or protection. But one day we shall get back. Yes, one day. One day.
I suppose it depends how you define 'canon.' Sherlock Holmes fans use it to mean novels written by Conan Doyle. The Bible means the 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
If you apply the same sort of criteria to DW, I would argue that the likes of books, radio dramas, DW unbound and the Cushing movies fall outside the definition of canon, no matter how influential they have proven to be or how well they fit in within the continuity of the series.
But like Christopher says, it's all fantasy anyway, so does it really matter? Besides, IMHO, some 'non-canon' stuff from any series or franchise can be more entertaining than the canon stuff. Many of the Treklit novels for example.
Couldn´t it just have been another instance of him using the chameleon arch?
I suppose it does. But as there's no one definition that anyone agrees upon, it's best to just leave it alone in my view. I want the Doctor to have had as many adventures as possible for me to enjoy, not to be worried about whether or not they actually happened. That's why I do what I've been doing for the past 15 years.
It doesn't matter. That's the whole point. And that's why, for me, it doesn't matter if there's a canon or not, just whether it's entertaining.
^In which case, we're in full agreement.
The reason fans make such a fuss over the word "canon" is that they assume it's a value judgment, a seal of approval for what's real or worthwhile or acceptable. But it isn't. It's just a descriptive label. The canon is the original, core body of work, as distinct from derivative works by other creators or companies (i.e. licensed tie-ins or fanfiction). That's all the word means. It doesn't mean "real" or "right," because virtually any long-running canon will retcon or ignore earlier parts of itself, so canon is no more exempt from being contradicted than tie-ins are. Fans use "canon" as a synonym for "continuity," and that's generally the goal, but it's not absolute, because a canon can rewrite its own continuity, or it can add ideas from non-canonical works into its continuity (e.g. the Star Wars prequels and TV series incorporating characters, species, planets, etc. created for the comics and novels in some cases while ignoring them in others).
So canon does exist; it just doesn't mean as much as fans mistakenly assume it does. Doctor Who has a canon, but that canon has a very loose and mutable continuity.
Everybody should do what I do and just choose their own canon. There's no way I'm accepting lazy shit like Voyage of the Damned or End of Time and not Alien Bodies or Chimes of Midnight. The show contradicts itself so many times that trying to argue there is any "official canon" is pretty pointless.
I do the same with Trek, just focus on the stories I believe matter. Thankfully JJ Abrams had the dignity to remove his own story (Minus Romulus destruction and vanishing Spock!) from the Trek canon without me having to.
In sci-fi/fantasy television or film, half the work is us using our imagination. The concept of the author in the most classical sense, is pretty dead. Hence why I believe that the TOS Klingons were supposed to all have ridges, and that it's just a production design inconsistency going on instead of an in-universe transformation. This completely contradicts Worf in DS9 acknowledging the difference or the ENT virus story. But I don't care, as I feel we all have our own individual story we weave together.
I hate the concept of an "official" canon as we lose that and have to bow down to some stupid authority given by a corporation. As if I'm seriously gonna ignore TAS from my Trek canon because Roddenberry threw a hissy fit.
But what you're talking about is continuity. As I already said, it's a mistake to think that "canon" means "continuity" or "what is real." Canon means nothing more than the core material as distinct from derivative materials. It's not a matter of individual opinion. Your personal continuity can include a mix of elements from the canon and elements from outside the canon, while excluding others. But a personal preference is, by definition, not a canon.
By analogy, think of canon as like a continent and personal continuity as like a country. The United States is a country that includes some, but not all, of the continent of North America, and includes one state and a few territories that are not part of the continent. Russia is a country that includes territories that are part of the continents of Europe and Asia, while excluding other parts of both continents. A country is not a "personal continent" -- it's something different from a continent. While the two can overlap to a large extent, they are not synonyms.
Only if you make the mistake of equating canon with continuity. What you are talking about is continuity. Canon is what is official by definition.
He put it in a different continuity. But it is part of the canon, because it is a Star Trek production owned and distributed by the studio that owns the franchise.
The term "canon" is predominantly used in nerd circles to refer to official continuity. I know it has another meaning but I'm assuming that isn't what is being discussed here.
But the problem is that that usage leads to immense confusion and totally unnecessary arguments and stress because people are using the same word to mean two different things and thus blur the concepts together. Things would be so much clearer if people would just understand the difference between canon and continuity.
They don't need to understand any difference as the term canon has changed over time to mean which stories count/"actually happened" in a fictional universe. This is how the English language evolved in the first place. People misusing words and giving them new meaning until the old was forgotten.
Language change is beneficial if it improves clarity and understanding. The corruption of the meaning of "canon" has just created decades of pointless bickering and confusion. It's a maladaptive mutation and one that should thus be resisted.
Separate names with a comma.