Canon EOS 5 TAMRON SP 70-300/4-5.6 Di VC USD
Rule 1: There is no such thing as canon in Doctor Who.
The best way I can explain this is by comparing it to Schrödinger’s Cat; everything is both canon and not canon until it is officially mentioned in the actual show, and even then it’s still up for debate. The show allows itself to create exit strategies and potential reasons for why a “rule” has changed. It allows viewers to come up with their own reasons as to why the Doctor doesn’t remember this or; why humans don’t know about the many times aliens have invaded earth and London, specifically. It creates answers within episodes that can be applied throughout the series, and where answers aren’t inherently given they can be found. Nothing is every really off-the-table, there is no rulebook to follow (probably because the Doctor, through it into a supernova).
However, lots of people like to point out the shows, so-called, “retcons”, which actually is a word created from the term, retroactive continuity, where the writers/characters appear too have completely forgotten, or chosen to dismiss things that have previously happened or been mentioned. This is basically a “literary device” that allows creators to change/evolve a previously established narrative. This can involve inventing parallel universes for characters to live out alternate lives; reintroducing a character who was previously thought to be dead or just exploring plot lines that would otherwise be in conflict with the work. The most interesting thing about these retcon’s are how often they truly occur and how often fans are happy to dismiss them.
In the Whoniverse the writer, Russell T Davies, takes it to a whole new level, by adding an actual drug into the universe called Retcon, an amnesia inducing pill that allows characters to forget any number of things. It’s what makes Doctor Who specifically such an interesting case in terms of retroactive continuity. The creators never allow anything to be truly retconned (obviously they can’t actually time travel and change the shows history) but at the same time the audience is expected to accept retcons and is even encouraged to find solutions which make them acceptable. Sometimes the creators introduce their own solutions, i.e. Torchwood literally retconning everyone to forget something or taking advantage of previous gaps in established lore to allow for a new cycle of regenerations.
The one thing I can say is that the show never really retcons anything because everything ends up being a retcon where they constantly are retroactively adding in lore that we ‘weren’t aware of’ previously; and when everything is retconned, then nothing is. It is one of the many ways the show allow itself to be constantly refreshed, clever and innovative in its own ability to stay open and flexible to change on the previously established.
As long time fans of the show will know, originally the Doctor was never even supposed to regenerate, the concept was added in so that William Hartnell could leave the show. At the time, he was working to an exhausting schedule as he slowly became more and more unwell. The producers, knowing of his illness, invented regeneration to allow the show to continue without any of the original cast (except, perhaps the TARDIS).
Speaking of the TARDIS, that’s a very interesting potential ‘retcon’ that no one ever mentions. Back in the 60s Hartnell suggests that the TARDIS is only a machine, a very advanced machine, but alas only a machine. In The Edge of Destruction, the crew (gang, team or Fam, if you prefer) discover that this very advanced machine has created clues to warn them of a danger threatening to destroy it.
DOCTOR: It? It? What do you mean? My machine can’t think.
BARBARA: You say it has a built-in defence mechanism?
DOCTOR: Yes, it has.
BARBARA: Well that’s where we’ve been wrong. Originally, the machine wasn’t at fault, we were. And it’s been trying to tell us so ever since.
IAN: A machine that can think for itself?
IAN: Is that feasible, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Oh, think not as you or I do, but it must be able to think as a machine. You see, it has a bank of computers.
This of course suggests the TARDIS is indeed and incredible machine with brilliant capabilities but it is not a living thing with thoughts and feelings, as later suggested, however, this could also be attributed to the Doctor not yet knowing the full extent of the TARDIS, its abilities, its creation. To him at this point in time it may just be a ship that can travel through time and space. It could also be that the Doctor is lying to Ian and Barbara about the ships true origins and capabilities because he is weary of them and probably believes they will not understand its true nature. Or it could all actually be attributed to the fact that the creators never truly meant for this incredibly advanced fictional machine to become anything more than an incredibly advanced fictional machine. This speculation is what allows all of these answers to be essentially all true at once, until perhaps, we are given a true explanation.
This is only a small example of how Doctor Who is a show built entirely on retroactive continuity, and never being able to truly know whether the cat is dead or alive until you open the box.
Retroactive Rule 1: There is such thing as canon in Doctor Who but it is constantly changing and evolving from what it originally was, so much so that, the canon is constantly paradoxical and somehow no longer canon.
Üsküdar, İstanbul, Ocak 2020
Bordeaux - France
Canon 100D - 24mm EF-S f2.8
Feel the colors.
Photo by Oliver Stratievsky©️
Nature, Wildlife and Landscapes
ohne die maschinen wirst du tod sein
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