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  • CzechOut
    CzechOut closed this thread because:
    Consensus clearly apparent, and enough parties have now had the chance to listen to the story to make an informed decision.
    22:39, August 27, 2016

    Just today, Big Finish have released the latest box set of the New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield. These four stories feature Benny travelling with the version of the Doctor seen in the currently NOTVALID Sympathy for the Devil and Masters of War. During their adventures they also meet The Master from Sympathy for the Devil.

    I would propose that now that have interacted with the DWU these characters and their stories should be considered VALID. I also propose that, since at the time the wiki was biased towards keeping the Unbound stories out, we rethink a decision made a while back and decide that Evelyn and the Sixth Doctor do encounter the Sympathy for the Devil Doctor during the events of The 100 Days of the Doctor.

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    • I'm all for including them, at the end of the day this new audio is going out of its way to state that the Warner Doctor is from another universe. The 100 Days of the Doctor from memory did it by describing one of the Unbound Doctors, which I think was why it was decided he couldn't be included at the time.

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    • He is from another universe but that's a separate issue from validity.

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    • I haven't listened to the new boxset, but if there are references to Sympathy and Masters then it lends some credence to them being valid.

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    • Going to listen to it at the weekend (currently on the Legion Boxset on my relisten) I'll see if there are some references to Sympathy and Masters, if there isn't there might be an in universe Warner Doctor and a Notvalid one

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    • Without even knowing that I've read in Vortex and on the Big Finish website that the Warner Doctor is intended to be the same cautious Doctor as he was in the older plays, with Benny hoping to bring him out of that state of mind, so there is authorial intent that it is the same Doctor.

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    • I've noticed that some people have gotten trigger-happy already with removing {{invalid}} tags, making new categories and such, so The Doctor (Sympathy for the Devil) and The Master (Sympathy for the Devil) have been locked until it's decided at the conclusion of this thread what to do with them.

      I would like to remind all not to act on their own opinions until consensus has been reached here, and the thread is closed.

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    • That means I won't be able to add any information to those pages from those stories when I listen to them then?

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    • I likewise haven't listened to the next boxset yet but I agree that the earlier stories should now be considered valid sources for the same reasoning as Revanvolatrelundar.

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    • This hasn't actually been addressed in the thread, but I assume the Unbound timelines will remain separate from the "mainstream" timeline per T:DAB OTHER?

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    • What's the point of the distinction between a NOTVALID universe and an alternate universe in the first place?

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    • An alternate universe story can be put on an in-universe page. A NOTVALID universe story cannot be put on an in-universe page except in the "Behind the scenes" section.

      Also, NOTVALID stories are, on this wiki, not part of the DWU continuity, so they don't have continuity sections and are not allowed in the continuity sections of valid stories.

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    • I understand the rules. I just don't see why. They're functionally identical, as demonstrated by The Unbound Universe. The NOTVALID/alternate distinction means a connection to a different version of a character/concept has to be put in either the Continuity section or the Behind the Scenes section of a story, in a really opaque way.

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    • The difference, from how I perceive it, is that an alternate universe is a universe specified to be different to our own within a licensed story, whereas a NOTVALID universe is just a story set in a universe with a completely different continuity with no explanation as to why the difference has occurred. Also authorial intent is a factor, as per the original Unbound stories were specified to be in a completely different continuity and separate to the main DWU.

      Moving away from the semantics of canon here, I see the Warner universe as just another universe existing alongside the main DWU now that this new boxset has been released. The boxset has specified that Benny is travelling to another universe and is meeting this other Doctor, who has appeared in other stories beforehand. Basically this new boxset has legitimised the two Warner Unbound stories as existing within an overall continuity, just not in the same universe as most of the stories we experience.

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    • Just to clarify, even in the event that the two Unbound stories implicated are retroactively made valid by these Benny audios in this discussion, there is no "Unbound universe". The Unbound series features many disparate and different universes, whose only connection is they're all asking "what if...?".

      In regards to the distinction between a parallel/alternate universe and a NOTVALID reality: NOTVALID stories were not intended to take place at all within the timeline and continuity of the Doctor's universe, whereas parallel universes clearly exist within the same reality. NOTVALID stories may be licensed, but that doesn't mean they take place in the DWU.

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    • Alright, I've listened to the whole boxset. The Warner Doctor's universe is separate to the "prime" Doctor's universe, but there is travel between them. Benny is the real Benny. The Master is the same Master from Sympathy for the Devil. This is DWU plain and simple, and I would also advocate the two related Unbounds being reclassified as DWU as well.

      One problem is what to call the world. "Alternate" and "parallel" are never used in the boxset, it's only described as a "universe" without a specific name. However, the conceit of the original story was to imagine a world in which the Third Doctor arrived in the 90s instead of the 70s, so "alternate" isn't entirely inaccurate. "Unbound universe" would make sense based on the boxset title, but it's out of universe and has the problems SOTO mentioned above.

      In any case, I don't think this affects the status of the other Unbounds. Deadline and Full Fathom Five particularly sit beyond the bounds of the DWU.

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    • I should point out here that this situation has arisen on the wiki before, where a new story uses characters/situations from stories this wiki considers NOTVALID. In several cases, not only does the new story not make the old story valid, but the new story was also declared NOTVALID. A specific case in point: A Fix with Sontarans and Fixing a Hole.

      I'm not saying that will necessarily apply here, but I suggest everyone interested in this thread take a look at the discussion for A Fix with Sontarans and Fixing a Hole at Forum:Is A Fix With Sontarans Canon?.

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    • This story directly states that the Warner Doctor's previous stories are not part of the same timeline as the mainstream DWU; rather, they are an offshoot "what if" scenario.

      However, because mainstream Bernice Summerfield crosses into this timeline, it is now a timeline visited by a mainstream character. I see no reason to treat this timeline as any different from any other point-of-divergence timeline; therefore, I believe Sympathy for the Devil (et al) should be valid sources for this timeline.

      (In other words: the question isn't whether The Unbound Universe is valid, because it most certainly passes our rules barring an overly strict definition of "DWU"; the real question is whether it changes the status of Sympathy and Masters retroactively.)

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    • Bwburke94 wrote: This story directly states that the Warner Doctor's previous stories are not part of the same timeline as the mainstream DWU; rather, they are an offshoot "what if" scenario.

      That's not new information though. Big Finish has said that from the start. Their page for the Unbound series on their website says, "Doctor Who - Unbound poses the question: What if...?" and describes the Unbound universes as "alternative realities." So I don't see why they have ever been considered anything other than standard point-of-divergence timelines. The only one that's not so clear-cut is Deadline, because it's an alternate version of our timeline instead of an alternate version of the universe of Doctor Who.

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    • We're not debating the status of the entire range here, though. A new story has been released which depicts just one of these realities as existing alongside and intertwines with the continuity we deem here as valid.

      The new boxset isn't at all the problem here, but adding its content to our articles is, to a degree at least. Do we add the new boxset's information to The Doctor (Sympathy for the Devil) article, or do we create a new The Doctor (The Library In The Body) article and leave a BTS note?

      I'd like to start moving this debate towards a close now. Its uncertain status is stunting the wiki from growing, which is a shame as we've already seen some new users wanting to add some information, only to be halted by our debate.

      I am all for including The Warner Doctor, and his previously non-valid past to our articles, as an exception due to the circumstances of the new boxset rather than a general rule to the entire Unbound Series, which we can always debate in another thread. What does everyone else think?

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    • Looking back at everyone's posts, it seems that everyone who has stated their opinion agrees that the two Unbounds should be made VALID. If anyone thinks otherwise they should probably say so now.

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    • Uh-oh. The Vienna discussion was just closed as non-valid, which could have major negative repercussions on the concept of "retroactive validity".

      Vienna was a massive mess I don't want to repeat, but the ultimate closing decision was based on a vague pre-Worlds of Big Finish statement by the creator. How is this any different to the pre-Unbound Universe statements regarding Sympathy?

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    • Thanks to everyone who participated in this debate! I want to especially thank those who thought we were moving a little slowly on this issue for their patience. It's very important, and one of the basic tenets of the wiki, that we make decisions based upon as much information as possible -- not the least of which is being able to actually experience the story in question.

      Ultimately, the basic positions being argued by Revanvolatrelundar and PicassoAndPringles, and several others, seem obviously true. This is the same Master and Doctor of Sympathy, and it's apparent within the first couple of tracks of The Library in the Body that Benny is her mainstream self -- the character who was a companion to the Seventh and Eighth Doctors of the prime universe.

      There are no known statements from the producers that Doctor Who - The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield Volume 3 is meant to be regarded as parodic or otherwise outside the DWU. Her journey out of the prime universe seems completely analogous with the Eleventh Doctor's excursion to a pocket universe in The Doctor's Wife, a story of unquestioned validity.

      Therefore, this boxset is completely valid under T:VS, and its narrative elements may be used on any appropriate in-universe page. Logically, Sympathy for the Devil and Masters of War are now also to be considered valid.

      Revan has brought up a secondary issue of what to call the Doctor being played by Warner. Logically, under T:ONE NAME, the character should simply retain the name of The Doctor (Sympathy for the Devil). Under that same convention, I'd suggest that PicassoAndPringles' concern about what to call this universe be similarly resolved by appending (Sympathy for the Devil) to the universe described here. To me, "Unbound Universe" is a marketing term, and none of the characters use the term "unbound" to my knowledge -- making something like Parallel Earth (Who's Who?) a more appropriate model.
      But neither of these naming questions are the subjects of this discussion. I merely take note of them to say that, while current rules would seem to easily apply, they are both eligible for further discussion.
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