The Madness of our Methodology:
Our method is to mimic the style and layout of the original DisContinuity Guide, including its several criteria and points of interest. Until the Guide goes online, here are those terms defined again:
Roots: Other books, movies, plays, what have you, that we believe may have have influence the stories. Doctor Who has a long tradition of homage and pastiche, so we like to take the time out to suggest possible inspirations. We've made it a rule of sorts not to nominate the original series.
Intertextuality: Inclusions and mentions from Who, outside the TV/audio realm, but worth elaborating on. Our rule of thumb is that while influences are reasonably self-explanatory, references themselves are to be made retrospectively and from the audio to (insert other medium here). So if something published outside of the audios later contradicts the events of an audio story, then it's someone else's problem. See below for more on this.
Goofs: Balls-ups, blunders and simple oversights. We forgive them, but take great joy in pointing them out. That's fandom for you.
Fluffs: Rare treasures, but something worth listening out for in the age of audio. Relaxed schedules and skillful post-production have simply made these baubles too hard to find. We persist though.
Technobabble: When good scientific explanations go bad. Pertwee said so much when he lisped the immortal line "I'll explain later".
Dialogue Disasters: Sometimes those words just look better in print...
Dialogue Triumphs: That's more like it. A continuing tradition, and something to aspire to.
Double Entendres: They're childish and tend to suggest unwholesome things about what we ourselves spend our spare moments thinking about. But it wouldn't be the Guide without them!
Continuity: The C word. Like that other C word (the one that rhymes slightly with Shannon) that we won't go into here. The original Guide explains it as including 'anything of potential importance in the Doctor Who universe... has a place in Doctor Who's continuity, whether it was referred to again or not'
Links: 'Direct references to other transmitted stories blah blah blah' Where possible these are links to the appropriate entries.
Location: The stated (or sometimes in our case, assumed) time and place.
Future History: We've pushed this forward to anything that we think occurs after the year 2000 of importance.
Q.v. In the original book, an aspect referred to elsewhere in a boxed section. We're not going to reproduce them here, so if you don't have the Guide at home, just take three to five minutes thinking about something nice.
The Bottom Line: Our humble and often scathing verdict on the story. While we're probably as representative of fandom as the original Guide authors were, and our opinions are no more or less important than anyone else's, we're the ones being published on this page, so nyeeur.
The issue of 'canon' has of late reared its head again with a few obvious nods made towards not only the worlds of the Virgin and BBC Books, but also the DWM comic strips and other media. To address this aspect, we have created a new category, 'Intertextuality', which notes intentional references towards non-television and audio Doctor Who media.
"But guys-" you ask, "why not just leave these in the Roots section where some of them were before, or put them in the 'Links' section. They are, after all, links!"
This is a good, if somewhat inelegantly phrased question, with an equally inelegant answer.
Put as simply as we can, the issue of whether story Y fits in between A and B hasn't mattered to us outside of the TV stories (which cannot be touched), and the audios. We believe that this is pretty much where Big Finish sit also, which is why such references are few and far between, and we haven't seen any prequels or sequels to the BBC Books occurring in audio*. As we hear it, the Big Finish audios are based around the TV series, and maintain their own continuity. For this reason we've kept the Links section in reference to TV and audio, but as Doctor Who is such a multifaceted, interlinked, shapeless cake of a beast (picture that if you will), we felt a line should be drawn, if only for our own sanity.
It would be unfair and unprofessional for us to not acknowledge the wider, all-embracing multimedia world of DW as it is today; but we remain unconvinced that the wonderful people at BF or behind BBCi's webcast adventures lose any sleep wondering whether they can afford to produce a forthcoming adventure because it might conflict with an even more forthcoming novel, a series of ice lolly cards, or a comic strip published in an annual from 1972. We're not in the business of working out what's canon and what's not, nor are we going to go to great lengths to position audios between books, TV episodes, comic strips and charity based fan fiction. Other people do that really really well already, and more power to their elbows if we're not around mucking things up with our own convoluted systems and theories.
Hence, 'Intertextuality' - influences and mentions from outside the TV/audio realm, no less for their inclusion, but worth elaborating - especially if the reference merits further elaboration.
Lastly, our rule of thumb with regard to 'Intertextuality' is that while influences are reasonably self-explanatory, references themselves are to be made retrospectively and from audio to (insert other medium here). So if something published outside of the audios later contradicts the events of that adventure, then it's someone else's problem. If someone refers to the events of 'The Fires of Vulcan' in a BBC novel, then we're happy for Mr Lars Pearson et al to take care of that end of the equation.
We now return you to our enhanced programme. Happy reading!
The DCG team
*'The Ratings War' notwithstanding; as it is in fact a sequel to a yearbook adventure, itself a sequel to a DWM strip, and it's a DWM freebie 'for the readers' and is perhaps therefore less 'official', we're happy to let it go. This time.