Question Edit

Since the Third Doctor regenerates into the Fourth Doctor in this book, and "History will carry on much as before, apart from this one alteration," shouldn't the next story for the Third Doctor be TV: Robot? It seems unlikely that it leads into any further Third Doctor stories, since he isn't the Third Doctor anymore by the end of it. -- Rowan Earthwood talk to me 18:02, November 6, 2011 (UTC)

Merge tag Edit

Removed merge tag, as both novels have different titles. Precedent suggests that a two-parter get one page only when they have the same title, as does not happen in this case. Shambala108 03:22, April 2, 2017 (UTC)

Hmm, the trouble is that the "different titles" aren't used in the names of either page. I'd equate "Shock Tactic" and "Hour of the Geek" to be just like the episode titles of stories in the early 60s. We don't separate "The Powerful Enemy" and "Desperate Measures". CoT ? 03:32, April 2, 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I was referring to the "Book One" and "Book Two" parts of the titles. Shambala108 03:45, April 2, 2017 (UTC)
But the "Book One" and "Book Two" bits are separated from the "Interference". Here's an image of the cover of Book One and a crude recreation of the interior cover page of Book One.
Interference Book One
Book One
Shock Tactic

Notice how on the cover the "Book One" is smaller and in a different colour? The spines of the books use the naming format we currently use, the "Interference - Book One", but the majority of the renderings of the titles keep the Interference by itself. CoT ? 04:01, April 2, 2017 (UTC)

Just like the "Book One" and "Book Two" subtitles on Interference, The Jago & Litefoot Revival (audio story) has "Act One" and "Act Two" subtitles, listed on both the Big Finish website and on the actual covers themselves, but we've already combined those into one page. NateBumber 14:25, April 3, 2017 (UTC)

More importantly, both volumes feature the following description: "Featuring the Third and Eighth Doctors, INTERFERENCE is the first ever full-length two-part Doctor Who novel." Since the book clearly states that it is one novel in two parts, the merge is warranted. Shambala108, does it remove your objection? Amorkuz 23:59, August 23, 2017 (UTC)
Shambala108 replied over at User talk:NateBumber#Re:Interference; they don't name any more objections, but they recommend that we consult User:CzechOut because Thread:183627 hasn't been closed yet. Skimming the ~350 posts in that thread, I can see how its eventual closure might be useful in this scenario; indeed, Book One of Interference ends in a "To be continued". However, I'll also note that Interference isn't a TV story, and its status as "a novel in two parts" is based on plenty of evidence beyond just that phrase, so I'm not sure if Thread:183627 is 100% applicable to this particular case (especially since it seems to specifically apply to only post-2005 TV Doctor Who). – N8 04:02, September 4, 2017 (UTC)
While I'm at it, I should mention here the salient information from Amorkuz's talk page: the books present one continuous narrative, and they have the same title. Also, the two volumes of Interference are the only two BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures published in the same month, not to even mention that they were actually released on the same day. I've cobbled together an example of what a merged article would look like over at my sandbox. – N8 15:30, September 4, 2017 (UTC)

Well, User:CzechOut has shot this down for unanticipatable and obscure reasons on my talk page. Needless to say, I am inordinately disappointed, since I've been lobbying for this since literally April, and (despite his provided reasons) I still believe Interference (novel) would be to the benefit of the wiki. Ahh well. I've archived my sandbox at the Faction Paradox wiki's page for the novel. – N8 15:08, November 20, 2017 (UTC)

Looks like N8 and I were editing here simultaneously, so I'll just go ahead and post what I've been working on.
As pointed out at User_talk:NateBumber#Unfinished_Interference, there are strong reasons to keep these titles separate. Chief amongst these is likely the fact that we currently have the #1 SEO position on Google searches for the proper names of these two books, "interference book one" and "interference book two". It would be irresponsible of us to throw away that #1 ranking for the common noun, "interference" -- particularly as Interference is not the proper name of any DW product. (And, btw, if you change the Google search to just "interference", we don't show up until page 4. So practically speaking we'd kill our SEO advantage by doing this.)
Another reason they can be said to be different is that they have distinct ISBN numbers. They are physically separate products, unlike the way TV serials are sold. In physical form, you can't buy just Invasion of the Dinosaurs part 3, for example. There is no ISBN number for that. By contrast, these books were meant to be bought and catalogued separately.
Moreover, we do not consistently merge pages in multi-part TV stories, as witnessed by Children of Earth: Day Three (TV story) or indeed the various parts of Trial of a Time Lord.
Also, these pages have been separate for a decade now, and have therefore accumulated distinct link lists. This is testament to the fact that novels are dense. With long-form narrative such as this, it is much more useful to our readership to cite the particular book in which the reference occurs. Sam says she had sex with Fitz in Book 2, not Book 1. If we didn't have the separate pages, a reader in 2019 might spend some considerable time flipping through Book 1 for something that's just not there. This is less of a concern in TV serials, because they aren't that long, and people like rewatching TV to check up on a reference much more than they like scouring two novels to do the same. In other words, merger would simply make references more opaque, not more clear.
Comparisons with what we do on TV are therefore shaky.
That is not to say I don't understand what N8 and others are saying here. There are multiple pathways we could plausibly take. But as an admin, I'm primarily interested in:
  • How can people most easily find our pages from a Google search?
  • How can the references we make on other pages be most easily verified by editors five years from now?
And although N8's arguments have merit, the better answer to those two questions is simply to leave things as they are.
czechout@fandom    15:22: Mon 20 Nov 2017 15:22, November 20, 2017 (UTC)

A few points:

  • "Interference is not the proper name of any DW product." As Amorkuz pointed out above, both books bear the description, "Featuring the Third and Eighth Doctors, INTERFERENCE is the first ever full-length two-part Doctor Who novel." That sounds to me like BBC Books thinks Interference is the name of a Doctor Who novel.
  • You're right that we don't consistently merge multi-part TV things, and that is indeed a weak point in my argument. However, I'll note that AUDIO: Human Resources, Blood of the Daleks, and The Jago & Litefoot Revival all have 2 ISBNs each. I imagine that the frustration of listening to Blood of the Daleks Part 1 for information given in Part 2 would even more frustrating than reading the wrong Interference, especially since the advent of "control+F".
  • I had no clue that SEO was such an important factor in our page-naming policies, though it does make sense. In that light, we should probably reconsider some recent page moves ... I have to note, however, that while we're on page 4 for "Interference", we're not in the first 12 pages for "Human Resources", and yet we're the first result for both "Interference Doctor Who" and "Human Resources Doctor Who". As far as I can see, the situations with Human Resources and Interference are exactly identical, from a SEO standpoint, but Human Resources Part One and Human Resources Part Two occupy the same page regardless.

I obviously don't agree with your decision, but I respect your authority, and I'm not trying to argue – I just want some clarification and/or a clear precedent so I can not waste everyone's time pursuing stuff like this in the future. I think a definition of precedent would also be helpful for the wiki's purposes, since (eg) AUDIO: The Jago & Litefoot Revival was decided – as far as I can tell – solely based on the same precedents I was trying to use to get Interference (novel). – N8 16:25, November 20, 2017 (UTC)

Two pages - one story proposal Edit

While understanding N8's frustration after all the work he's done, I have to admit that two of CzechOut's arguments, while not foreseen, seem very persuasive to me. I distinctly remember the difficulty of finding information on Class and would even go as far as to suggest that the banality of its name contributed to its demise (along with inopportune time slots and questionable distribution strategy of course). Secondly, a properly wikified novel is, indeed, a huge animal (even without the plot). While many two-part stories mentioned by N8 are similar to Interference, none of them is so massive. And combing through the paper edition of a book is not much simpler than verifying facts in audio stories: short of having eidetic memory, you need to reread the whole book for every new factoid. So there is a definite value in more precise links.

So, two pages. But this is not the end of the story for me. I do see the benefits of preserving two pages for these two books by analogy with five pages for the five episodes of Children of Earth, ten pages for the ten episodes of Miracle Day or four pages for the four serials of The Trial of a Time Lord. And, in view of those precedents, I propose to treat this as one story despite having individual pages for its parts. The two pages are currently written for two novels with no more relation between them than any other two consecutive books in the series. This is not entirely correct, is it? In fact, the current phrasing "This novel and the novel that follows it, Interference - Book Two, are the only two-part novels ever published as part of a Doctor Who novel range" is confusing, especially followed by "This novel is split into two distinct, though linked stories". It seems that the structure of the two books is even richer than that, with several substories, continued from Book One to Book Two and supplied with "Part One" in the first book and "Part Two" in the second book.

Given the seemingly non-linear narrative of the two books, the benefit of merging them on one page is diminished, whereas the necessity of explaining the innovative structure is increased. Perhaps, it actually does make sense to create the page for the story, but in addition to rather than instead of the existing two pages. Then the two pages would collect the abundant minutiae of each book, whereas the third, story page would provide the global view of the story, explain how things fit together, outline overall trends etc. Another possible use for the third page could be to provide a de-timey-wimey'fied description of events (to the extent possible), much like the page of River Song provides a proper chronology of her adventures, which we all learned out-of-order and some of us still have trouble recreating from scratch. Perhaps, this third page could even revive parts of N8's sandbox. Amorkuz 23:57, November 20, 2017 (UTC)

This sounds like a really innovative compromise that would satisfy both my and CzechOut's goals for coverage of the novel. I'd love to take part in the making of such a page. – N8 04:02, November 21, 2017 (UTC)

It's been nearly a year, and I've found myself thinking about this idea some more, so I threw together an example of what it would look like (modeled off of pages like Children of Earth, Miracle Day, and The Trial of a Time Lord) on my Sandbox, featuring an atrocious misuse of Template:Infobox Series. Let me know what you think, dear reader! – N8 20:29, October 30, 2018 (UTC)

Completely forgot about this, but I found a free second to mess around, and Infobox Audio Series turns out to be a much better fit, actually. I think I'm going to try to finish the summaries (probably in a far less-detailed form than I've done so far) and get Interference (novel) up and running by the end of the week, if there are no objections. – N8 20:42, May 28, 2019 (UTC)

It's usually the policy on this wiki to wait for consensus (so far it's just Amorkuz who proposed the idea and you who've agreed), and to give more than a couple of days after asking for objections. With this idea hidden away in a talk page, many folks haven't had a chance to comment yet (including myself). Thanks Shambala108 15:35, May 30, 2019 (UTC)

Hi Shambala108, thank you for the reminder about waiting for a consensus. I assure you that I would never move forward "only a couple of days" after asking for objections: in fact, it's been 212 days since I asked for any comments at all, and none have been raised. This leaves me practically boiling with anticipation (get it) for finally squaring away this problem. While it's perhaps true that not many folks have had the chance to comment, I'll point out that not many folks care about this page at all. In the 790 days since I started trying to improve the wiki's coverage of Interference, only 5 users have added anything to the discussion, and 3 of them only because I quite literally begged on their talk pages. I'm weary; Interference stuff has been clogging up my Sandbox for far too long; and the current plan is not only well-supported by precedent but proposed by an admin, so I can't imagine why it would be controversial. Sigh. In any case, I look forward to your comment. – N8 16:40, May 30, 2019 (UTC)
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