Notes on Canon & Continuity.   Posted by GM BadCatMan.Group: 0
GM BadCatMan
 GM, 2 posts
Sat 17 Jan 2015
at 09:48
Notes on Canon & Continuity
"One of the things you'll learn is that it's all real. Every word of every novel is real, every frame of every movie, every panel of every comic strip."
the Eighth Doctor to Trix, The Gallifrey Chronicles

I'm very much a Wilderness Years, expanded-universe fan, so for me and the purposes of this game, it's all canon, it's all in continuity. Even the bits that contradict the other bits (especially the bits that contradict the other bits!). So, I'll be accepting, using, and playing with content from the books, comics, audios, and yes, even the TV series.

That said, I haven't been able to get everything and some things I've read or seen so long ago I can hardly remember. So what is included depends on what I think of and like, what I know and remember and can research. What I'm familiar with are:
  • Classic TV series, Seasons 1 to 26 and novelisations
  • New TV series, Series 1 to 5 and 7b and 8
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures and K9
  • Virgin New Adventures (NAs) and Missing Adventures (MAs)
  • BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures (EDAs) and Past Doctor Adventures (PDAs)
  • DWM Comics, up through to the Tenth Doctor
  • IDW Comics, for the Tenth Doctor

I'm much less familiar with the Big Finish audio series and the New Series novels however, and of course anything that's not on that list.

Of course, some stories aren't clearly dated or contradict other stories and even themselves. So, I will rule on and interpret continuity according to my sense of what's in continuity, my pet theories, and what works best for the game. Some things I may shift according to my head-canon or just so we can use it in the game. I'll correct or patch over any mistakes I make if they're noticed. Chalk continuity errors up to a messed-up time-line or an imperfect memory.

The main references I'm going by are:

Rulings on canon and continuity will go in this thread as I think of or need them.

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:09, Fri 06 Mar 2015.

GM BadCatMan
 GM, 3 posts
Sat 17 Jan 2015
at 09:55
UNIT is the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, none of this "Unified" nonsense. As a game, we don't have to go with the UN's dictates (well, except as part of the game).

As such, UNIT is a much friendlier organisation than seen in Torchwood, i.e., not engaging in egregious human rights violations. They're like the UN peacekeepers and a very international organisation. They wear blue berets, not red, and conventional fatigues as suits a mission, not black.

For the UNIT dating conundrum, I consider most UNIT stories to have occurred at or around their original production/transmission date or a year or two after. Don't worry, I've solved the UNIT dating conundrum:
  • "The Web of Fear" occurred circa 1965. "The Abominable Snowmen", in 1935, was said to be "forty years ago", which is an off-the-cuff comment that could be up to 10 years out. (Right off the top of your head, how long ago was World War 2?) Say it was less, only 30 or more years ago, and it all begins to fit.
  • "The Invasion" took place four years later circa 1969.
  • The Pertwee and Tom Baker eras of UNIT spread out across the 1970s.
  • The Brigadier pretended to retire in 1976 so he could covertly spy on alien activity (Turlough and Mawdryn's lot) at Brendan Public School. He lost his memory in 1977 in the past-segments of "Mawdryn Undead".
  • Naturally, UNIT didn't leave their commander amnesiac for six years. They retrieved him and restored his memories. The Brigadier returned to commanding UNIT. Wisely, they didn't inform the Doctor about events in his future.
  • If Sarah Jane Smith did indeed come from 1980, then the present-day segments of "The Time Warrior" occur in that year. However, there are other interpretations and EU fixes that push this further back into the 70s.
  • In 1983, the Brigadier's memory is wiped and he is returned to Brendan Public School in time for the present-day segments of "Mawdryn Undead".
  • Through this time, Earth governments and UNIT themselves study captured alien technology, repurpose and reverse-engineer it, and conduct experimental space travel and other activities. These are top secret and concealed from conventional research. Hence in the UNIT stories and others, we see Earth powers possessing means of space travel and power generation in advance of what conventional history knows it to be capable of in the 1970s and 80s.


This message was last edited by the GM at 07:21, Sat 07 Mar 2015.