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The Ninth Doctor
October 1, 2013 3:05 PM   Subscribe

The pre-2005 series had a Doctor who was dressed in vaguely Edwardian clothing, who spoke with an RP accent, who had his stories adapted into books. That’s just the way it was. - Andrew Hickey's  Fifty Stories For Fifty Years, one for every year of Doctor Who, reaches 2004 and  Scream of the Shalka (previously) - arguably the end of the line for "Classic" doctor who. Previous instalments had covered the TV series from start to end, as well as the odd novelisation or movie. Possibly of greatest interest are the years before the new TV series where, TV movie aside, the franchise survived and evolved in strange directions via novels and audio stories. Then, at the outmost reaches of Whodom, there is the Book of the War and the strange world of Faction Paradox, which THERE IS NO FACTION PARADOX, THERE IS NO EVIL RENEGADE, YOU DID NOT READ THIS POST.
posted by Artw (47 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, we still won't know fully where John Hurt fits into all of this until the 50th Anniversary Special in November, so I'm waiting for some clarification to several issues then. (And not REALLY expecting them.)

But then, between the baked-in elements of Time Travel and Regeneration, Doctor Who is the one sci-fi franchise that can do all the retcon it wants to (within the limits of the showrunner's tolerance to being burned in effigy).

And yes, repeat to yourself, it's just a show, I should really just relax.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:18 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why was I unaware of the The Book of the War. Why why why. That sounds like the greatest thing of all time.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:19 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is this where I express my continual love for The Eighth Doctor audio dramas, and also my affection for Lucie Miller?
posted by Kitteh at 3:19 PM on October 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Okay, I admit I haven't explored much Who outside of the show itself (give or take the odd comic), but this is on a whole other level. I...I think I need to go lie down for a bit...
posted by mgrichmond at 3:21 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Book of the War is great and awful at the same time. It's probably the worst written book to have ever influenced my own writing. I'm not sure if you've read Grant Morrison's Invisibles, but it's like if you took all the stuff you would skip over in the Invisibles and excerpted it in one book. An excellent examples of the strengths (imagination, playfulness) and limitations (parochialness, bad writing, lack of worldliness) of fandom.
posted by johnasdf at 3:22 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


On a related note, can I express my enjoyment of the DW comics of the 80s? Thanks to Doctor Who Monthly and the Marvel reprints, I came to know characters like the Meep or Frobisher as well as The Master or Romana.
posted by mgrichmond at 3:23 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


And farther out still on the peripheries of the Whoniverse, there's The Minster of Chance, one of only five Time Lords who survived the Time War. The first incarnation starred Stephen Fry, and the current one is played by Julian Wadham, with Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Jenny Agutter, Paul Darrow, Philip Glenister, and Tamsin Greig in supporting roles. (Previously)
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:25 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Book of the War is great and awful at the same time.

My favorite kind of thing!
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:25 PM on October 1, 2013


And yes, repeat to yourself, it's just a show, I should really just relax.

Say, Mike...what size jumpsuit do you wear?
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:27 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Tardis wiki claims that The Book of the War "doesn't exist in our reality." It took me a while to confirm that the book actually exists. Here's a synopsis which looks baffling.

There was a children's comic book published around the time of the second Doctor. It introduced the idea of the Emperor of the Daleks so even it must be in continuity. Everything is in continuity, possibly including texts that don't actually exist, definitely including episodes which have been lost.

Whovian continuity is awesome.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:30 PM on October 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Say, Mike...what size jumpsuit do you wear?

I'm sending some episodes from the Colin Baker era up to you through the umbilicus. (It stinks!)
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:33 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wish there were an anon option on Metafilter, because I want to admit how confused I am, without admiring how confused I am. What is The Book of War talking about? Yes, I read the links. I'm still confused, more confused.

Is this because I didn't start watching Who until the new series? Or because I never read any of the spinoff material? Or because I am home in bed with the worst cold anyone has ever had ever ever in the history of ever and I'm on two sudafeds and a dayquil? or is it because I'm stupid?

Can someone explain it to me like I am a (see above)?
posted by MoxieProxy at 3:49 PM on October 1, 2013


Wiki page for Faction Paradox - basically a spin off of a spin off of Who, with it's own competing timeline and worldview. The Book of the War is an in universe account of said timeline. It's got a lot of tricks, in-jokes and overly clever bits.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on October 1, 2013


What is The Book of War talking about?

You really, really don't need to be embarrassed by being confused about this. The whole point of the book seems to be making the reader confused in an interesting way.

Well, we still won't know fully where John Hurt fits into all of this

There's a serial from season 14 (1976) that stars the John Hurt Doctor. It's noteworthy for being lighthearted yet morally ambiguous to a degree that's really not topped until the new series. It seems straightforward at the beginning, opening as it does with a duel of wits between the Doctor and the Master (Patrick Stewart) set in ancient Rome. However, the series then introduces a new Time Lord, the Timekeeper (Derek Jacobi), who insists that every change in the timeline is effectively the mass murder of trillions of future people who will abruptly wink out of existence. The Doctor escapes being erased from reality by the Timekeeper's "Infinity Bubble" only through the intervention of an unnamed character believed to be the Rani (Siân Phillips) who heaps withering scorn on all parties and brings the serial to an abrupt, jarring, inconclusive end.

Unfortunately the series has been lost in its entirety, in part because it was never aired on television and consisted either of (a) five or ten minutes of actors goofing around on the set of I Claudius or (b) a 2013 comment on metafilter. Nevertheless, it is in continuity and it certainly informs the way I think about the John Hurt Doctor.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:20 PM on October 1, 2013 [21 favorites]


On a related note, can I express my enjoyment of the DW comics of the 80s? Thanks to Doctor Who Monthly and the Marvel reprints, I came to know characters like the Meep or Frobisher as well as The Master or Romana.

God yes - the Frobisher period is by far my favourite non-TV Who.

I spend a lot of time explaining to friends why the fiftieth anniversary special should be a cover version of Doctor Who: Voyager, with Hurt's Doctor as Voyager and a CGI Frobisher.
posted by bebrogued at 4:22 PM on October 1, 2013


Somewhere all of these happened too.
posted by Artw at 4:36 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


We know who the true Ninth Doctor was. Also the true Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth.
posted by delfin at 5:44 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's absolutely canon.
posted by Artw at 5:45 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh my fuck I think I need a copy of The Book Of The War. Annoyingly I can't buy an e-text of it off of Amazon, or find one on the intertubes, so I just spent $14 on some dead trees. I suppose I will consider adding a layer of marginalia to my copy. Preferably in several colors, and different hands.
posted by egypturnash at 6:20 PM on October 1, 2013


I wish the Big Finish stories were novelized because I've never been able to get into audio dramas and I'd love to explore the non-TV parts of Doctor Who. (And if they are, somewhere, feel free to point me at it.)
posted by immlass at 7:24 PM on October 1, 2013


I used to have a problem with the idea that things like comic books and fan fiction were canon. And then it occurred to me that there are immense spaces inside the TARDIS that cannot exist in nature and some of which actively deny their own existence. Then I realized that a piffling thing like canon is not particularly important.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:43 PM on October 1, 2013


Hypertime, Continuity, Doctor Who, The Prismatic Age Etc.
posted by Artw at 10:13 PM on October 1, 2013


It's all canon. All of it. Especially the two 60s films with Peter Cushing and Dimensions in Time.
posted by feelinglistless at 1:39 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find it fascinating that for all he's done in his career, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death is the second Google result for "Rowan Atkinson".... In any event, as I've averred in the past, if it isn't canon then I don't wanna be right.

I will, however, allow in 2013 that having Peter Capaldi take over the role is quite the equal of the blessing that the series could have had with any of the Curse principals doing so, with the possible exception of Grant (Richard E.).
posted by dhartung at 2:44 AM on October 2, 2013


Dimensions In Time is cannon...! And I'm STILL gutted about Big Ron!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:59 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dimensions In Time is, by any reasonable aesthetic criteria, godawful.
posted by Artw at 5:08 AM on October 2, 2013


For some hardcore awful: Doctor in Distress
posted by Artw at 5:11 AM on October 2, 2013


Pretty much all of the movies/reboots proposed in The Nth Doctor would have been awful as well... The quiet flop of the 1996 movie was actually pretty much a best case outcome.

Speaking of which...

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 58 Doctor Who: The Movie (with guest host Courtney Coulson!)
posted by Artw at 5:35 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


As noted before, ANYTHING can be considered canon for Doctor Who.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:59 AM on October 2, 2013


2005 was the year everything changed.
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on October 3, 2013


Since the other thread is closed...

Two newly discovered lost Doctor Who episodes come out this week!
posted by Artw at 1:17 PM on October 6, 2013


Or will they?
No one knows. And the presser was delayed.
posted by Mezentian at 6:49 AM on October 8, 2013


Is this where I express my continual love for The Eighth Doctor audio dramas, and also my affection for Lucie Miller?

I have just started on the McGann Big Finishes (I am up to Time of the Daleks) and I'm ready to say that The Chimes of Midnight is one of the most amazing Who stories I have had the pleasure of enjoying.

Not bringing McGann (and William Russel) back for the 50th is such a mistake.

And it's something even the addition of Pertwee into the mix doesn't make up for.

Pretty much all of the movies/reboots proposed in The Nth Doctor would have been awful as well... The quiet flop of the 1996 movie was actually pretty much a best case outcome.

If anyone hasn't and is curious enough, I can recommend The Nth Doctor.
posted by Mezentian at 6:58 AM on October 8, 2013


Confirmation?
I think so. BBC News says: A number of early episodes of Doctor Who, which were believed to have been permanently lost, have been returned to the BBC.

Suddenly I cannot sleep.
posted by Mezentian at 8:13 AM on October 8, 2013


I went to sleep and this happened:
Deborah, along with Frazer Hines, will be helping the BBC to launch the newly found Dr.Who episodes this Thurs (10/10/13), betwwen 3.30pm and 7.00pm approx.
posted by Mezentian at 7:42 PM on October 8, 2013


Nine episodes from the fifth season of Doctor Who and starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor have been recovered from Nigeria, the BBC announced today.

The previously missing, presumed destroyed episodes hail from The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, with episodes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of Enemy completing that particular story and the return of episodes 2, 4, 5, and 6 of Web meaning only episode 3 of the Yeti sequel is still missing. Episode 3 of Enemy and episode 1 of Web were also returned, but were already held in the archive.


yay!
posted by Mezentian at 6:08 PM on October 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The titles are available exclusively on iTunes

*growl*
posted by Mezentian at 6:15 PM on October 10, 2013


SECOND DOCTOR FUCK YEAH
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:54 PM on October 10, 2013


The titles are available exclusively on iTunes

They're putting one out later this month on DVD and the other early next year. (But I know what I'm doing this weekend.)

Also I'm waiting for the website where I record my classic Who watching to update those serials from lost to not-lost.
posted by immlass at 7:27 PM on October 10, 2013


We have made amazing strides in the last 30 years. I just pulled out my Radio Times 20th Anniversary special.
I am too lazy to key in the list of lost episodes from that date, but back then we were pretty sure 131 episodes had been lost forever. We're down to less than 100 missing (96, I think if you exclude The Feast of Steven).

Someday, somewhere, I hope we get to see animations of Power and Evil of the Daleks. But at least I'll always have my Target novelisations. And there's still some hope that more episodes of the Dalek's Master Plan exist.

I am ever so chuffed to see Web of Fear, and curious to see Enemy Of The World. As a kid I hated that story (it seemed so lame), but the existing bits I have seen looked promising, and if nothing else it has Pat acting against himself.

(still excited)
posted by Mezentian at 8:30 PM on October 10, 2013


2007: Blink
posted by Artw at 7:43 PM on October 12, 2013


Love And Monsters, the episode from 2006, had been practically the only story of that year to involve any real imagination or sense of joy,

Whut?

I rewatched Blink recently. It holds up really well.
But that link with its Ian Levine and Lawrence Miles references has be backing for the door.
posted by Mezentian at 8:22 PM on October 12, 2013


Yeah, TBH that's the first I've heard of anyone liking Love And Monsters... I think it;s sort of okay but the general consensus seems to be I'm being soft on it.

Sad Tony was robbed...
posted by Artw at 9:45 PM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


In my rewatch I warmed to it more than my original hatred. I think there was a good story at the heart of it, ruined by a stupid monster and some vile humour.
posted by Mezentian at 10:20 PM on October 12, 2013


Yeah the concept of their being Dr Who fans in show universe is an interesting one... pity the execution was rage inducing bad.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:33 AM on October 13, 2013


TBH I can't make much sense of the latest one.
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on October 20, 2013


I think the unstated through-line for that one is that The End of Time is akin to The Brady Variety Hour.

Well, that's my takeaway. And it's probably accurate, what with all the hammy acting and special guest stars.
posted by Mezentian at 9:38 PM on October 20, 2013


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