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This page is for discussing the ways in which The Wheel in Space doesn't fit well with other DWU narratives. You can also talk about the plot holes that render its own, internal narrative confusing.

Remember, this is a forum, so civil discussion is encouraged. However, please do not sign your posts. Also, keep all posts about the same continuity error under the same bullet point. You can add a new point by typing:

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  • 'Wheel in space' is almost certainly ahead of Moonbase. So if "every child," knows Cybermen existed in 2070, and this is future, why does Jarvis say the idea of Cybermen is "rubbish"?
This could be seen as some form of denial, much similar as the kind that Holocaust Deniers have.
If Zoe was reading the Hourly Telepress in the year 2000, and this episode takes places well after 2070, that means she's about 80, which is even more far-fetched than Victoria being 13. As implausible as it seems, it causes fewer continuity problems to place this story in the 2010s. Maybe Henry van Statten built it....
This is clearly well before Moonbase, not after it. In fact, it's well before the base was built in 2050. The only reason to believe it's after Moonbase is that it's from a later season--but by that logic, it must be before The Invasion.
You'd expect humanity to have space stations long before a moonbase. (In fact, we've already built a few space stations in real life, and haven't even come close to thinking about a permanent moonbase.)
There's no futuristic technology like gravity generators yet. The fanciest thing they have is a weapon-grade X-ray laser, something which seemed to be just around the corner in 1968 (although such a thing wasn't actually tested until 1983, and it failed those tests and was shelved).
Bennett is worried that until the space program shows concrete benefits it will always have opponents who consider it a waste of money, hardly the kind of thing anyone would say when there was a permanent moonbase controlling Earth's weather.
A date in the early 2010s (to fit Zoe's age) or 2028 (as REF: Doctor Who: Cybermen claims) fits all of this far better than post-2070.
The novelization does seem to be much farther in the future, as the Wheel is "one of humanity's distant outposts in this remote part of the cosmos", the Silver Carrier is a futuristic spaceship instead of a rocket, and antigrav technology is commonplace.
But in the TV story, it's definitely in our solar system, and close enough to Earth that meteorites on the same trajectory can threaten both, and it can be used as a radio beacon for an invasion fleet to locate Earth. Yes, the Wheel is there to "observe deep space", but that's also what the Hubble is there for. And the Silver Carrier is definitely a rocket, and 80 million miles is way off-course (which makes sense in the solar system, but in interstellar space that's nothing).
  • How can the Doctor show Zoe a memory of a scene where he was not present?
He's plugged into the TARDIS telepathic circuits, and it exists across all time and space. Plus, although BBC repeated the entirety of The Evil of the Daleks in their programming in the weeks that followed, we don't really know how much of the full story Zoe actually is shown. (It's unlikely the Doctor added incidental music and credits, for example...)
The fact of the Doctor having two hearts doesn't debut until Spearhead from Space, which postdates this story by about a year. Nevertheless, this is one of the only scenes of its kind prior to Spearhead.
Just because he doesn't remark on it doesn't mean he doesn't notice it. We also don't know exactly what the equipment was or how it functioned. An EKG is sophisticated, but wouldn't detect two hearts.
  • There are several references made to meteors and meteorites approaching the station. Meteors are the flash of light caused by asteroids hitting the atmosphere of a planet. Meteorites are the remnant rock that hits the surface. In space, they would be called asteroids.
Despite their true definitions people refer to Asteroids as Meteors or Meteorites just as they would call Lighting thunder or Frankenstein's monster Frankenstein.
Average "people" may make that mistake, but in this story, hyper-educated Zoe refers to objects coming at them in space as "meteorites." This is, without question, an error on the part of the writers.
  • The Cybermen ionize a star in M13 to deflect asteroids to the station. Apart from the various scientific idiocies (it would take thousands of years for any light waves to reach Earth and they would be unable to deflect asteroids), this seems an insane amount of trouble to go to to break into the station. Surely a simpler way would occur to the logical Cybermen.
Logic and simplicity aren't the same thing. In fact, some scientists and mathematicians believe that a sort of instinct for the simple and elegant is what makes them able to do things that automated theorem-solving programs can't.
That being said, it still is an incredibly stupid plan, and scientifically impossible.
It does seem overly complex yes, but "impossible"? Certainly not! You either plan it ahead of time, or what they're talking about may be along very different lines than we interpret it to be.
  • The Cybermen's entire attack is geared toward turning the Wheel into a beacon. Space is a big place. Wouldn't setting up a little tin satellite anywhere in the millions of miles of the Solar System have been more effective than the massively convoluted plot they end up using?
And it could also be easily detected, and disabled or destroyed. Plus, if you're looking to eventually take over all of humanity's assets eventually, go ahead and start the plan by taking over one at the outset. That also gives you access to more people to convert, and all the information they may possess that would help you further in your cause.
  • When Zoe is discovered hiding in the box in the TARDIS, the background is simply TARDIS interior circles painted onto a draped cloth. In longer shots, the join between the TARDIS set walls and the cloth is jarringly obvious.
That's obviously a production error (or a budget limitation), not a plot discontinuity. The cheap TARDIS set was obviously intended to represent the TARDIS (and just as obviously, neither that set nor a perfectly-designed and -shot set actually is the TARDIS).
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