Doctor Who, the Second Doctor, “Fanon” and Season 6B.
The contributors to Doctor Who and History researched a specific aspect of history as it is explored in the show. This series of taster-blogs previews their work – and thought processes – by offering a sneak peek at the finished book. Rhonda Knight looks at Terrance Dicks’ contributions to the Doctor Who universe and how fans respond to and use the Second Doctor’s final serial “The War Games” (written by Dicks and Malcolm Hulk).
Because the conclusion of “The War Games” does not show the Second Doctor changing into the Third Doctor, this scene has given fuel to a fanon, an extra-textual, therefore, non-canonical reading that is widely accepted by fans. Often, fans create these new “readings of characters or events,” in service of “correcting perceived errors of continuity” (October n.d.). However, as Parrish (2007, 33) points out, fanons emerge only through the repetition of particular readings that creates a general acceptance among fans. These readings begin to seem like they are canonical and thus establish a fanon. One of Doctor Who’s most prevalent fanons is that of Season 6B. This fanon asserts that the Second Doctor’s adventures do not end with “The War Games.” Season 6B is an attempt at retroactive continuity, explaining the Second Doctor’s later appearances in the program, namely “The Three Doctors” (1973), “The Five Doctors” (1983), and “The Two Doctors” (1985). as such, Season 6B creates an extra-canonical space in which stories may be told without altering the continuity of the Second Doctor’s regeneration into the Third…Dicks subsequently embraced the narrative space of Season 6B as a way to revisit the characters and situations of “The War Games” and by populating it with new enemies known as the Players, who appear in a trilogy of novels.
This brief snapshot of the author’s chapter focuses on a small part of a much larger argument that seeks to address the significance of the programme to exploring and understanding history.
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ABOUT DOCTOR WHO AND HISTORY
When Sydney Newman conceived the idea for Doctor Who in 1963, he envisioned a show that would entertain as well as educate. Historical adventures were part of his vision-the Doctor and his companions would visit and observe, but not interfere with, events in history. That plan was dropped early on. Not only has the Doctor happily meddled with historical events for decades, his adventures-on television, in films, novels, comics, books and games-reflect how we regard our own place in history. This collection of new essays examines how the Doctor engages with history and inspires reflections upon it history. Topics includes reconstruction of lost historical serials, reflections on Britain’s colonial past, the subversion of nostalgia for village life, the depiction of Norse myths, alternate history, and the impact of historical decisions on the present.
|Number of Pages||193|
|Author||Fleiner, Carey, October, Dene|
|Publisher||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Publication Date||August, 2017|