The Canon of Whovian Scripture

As some fans of Doctor Who have already noted, the inclusion of mention of companions of the Eight Doctor's from audiobooks in the prequel minisode “The Night of the Doctor” seems to give the stamp of canonicity to those stories.

Of course, that conclusion perhaps needs to be tempered by the fact that even the TV movie featuring the Eight Doctor is not always treated as genuinely canonical – the whole notion of the Doctor being half human on his mother's side has been set aside.

The return of Paul McGann is itself a fantastic treat. But how much is to be made of it when it comes to the details? For instance, his newer haircut and clothing appear to have been set aside altogether, perhaps in the interest of making his Doctor less dark, so that the (non-)Doctor who follows him can seem darker by way of contrast?

One last thing – as someone pointed out, the fact that the Doctor asks before taking the elixir that will let him regenerate asks “Will it hurt?” It is a great pun – “Will it Hurt?” :-)



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  • Josh Man

    Technically, they retconned the Doctor being half-human. If you recall, just before the Master looks into the Eye of Harmony and makes the deceleration that the Doctor is half-human, the Doctor and Grace kiss.
    In Smith and Jones (Martha Jones’s first episode as a companion), we learn that the Doctor kissing a human makes his DNA appear human, as he kisses Martha in order to fool the Judoon.
    Davies did this to retcon the half-human bit in the TV movie. It was the kiss with Grace that made the Master THINK the Doctor was half-human, the Doctor never actually had human DNA.

    • James F. McGrath

      I saw that episode more than once, and yet didn’t pick up on that being the solution to the half-human problem!

  • SelfAwarePatterns

    From what I’ve seen, Doctor Who, like Star Trek, doesn’t seem to be too shy about violating its own canon (easy enough to understand in a series spanning decades), so I’m not too sure that being in the canon is all it’s cracked up to be. Although I suppose the same thing could be said of any canon.

  • Ian

    “Physician, heal-thyself…”