Tonight I re-watched the Doctor Who TV movie from 1996 – only the second time I’ve watched it. It was actually at least as good as, and in some respects better than, I remembered it having been.
The most controversial element in the movie (which was filmed in Canada in the hope of reviving the series in the Americas after its long hiatus in the UK) is the suggestion that the Doctor was half human (on his mother’s side).
I think that the producers have pretty much decided that that will not be part of the show’s “canon.” Indeed, some things mentioned in the rebooted series (such as the impossibility of a human-timelord hybrid mentioned in connection with Donna) may actually be intended to leave that idea behind. But in the process, contradictions are created.
I think it is one of the interesting talking points about sci-fi that it tends to have a “canon” in a way that religions might, but other TV and film genres tend not to.
Also an interesting talking point at the intersection of religion and science fiction is the way both so-called Biblical literalists and fans of a particular sci-fi series will put their creative efforts into harmonizing contradictory elements found within the canon of the show/scripture.
For the Doctor Who fans reading, what do you do with that detail – especially now that we have perhaps caught a glimpse of the Doctor’s mother on the show? Just ignore it – or blame it on the Canadians? Harmonize it somehow?
But more importantly, do you think that harmonizing contradictions in scripture and doing so with a sci-fi series are precisely the same phenomena, or are they different, and if so in what way?