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Tommy Westphall's Mind: A Multiverse Explored

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Tommy and The Doctor [Sep. 5th, 2006|10:42 am]
Tommy Westphall's Mind: A Multiverse Explored


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No, not the doctors of St Elsewhere. A Doctor Named Who. Or, actually, not named Who. We don't know his name. His show is Doctor Who and it's a piece of science fiction legend.

Sitting here watching Doctor Who's "The Rise of the Cybermen", I remembered this post by eljuno - which brings in a few new shows into the Tommyverse.

The nexus is another British legend, Sci Fi sitcom Red Dwarf. In the episode "Psirens", the crew of the Red Dwarf come across a space ship graveyard - which includes a Klingon Bird of Prey from the Star Trek universe, a Weyland-Utani ship from the Alien series of films (Weyland-Utani also part of Angel and Firefly canon), as well as an Eagle ship from the TV series Space: 1999.

Given the predeliction for parallel universes in science fiction series - particularly in Trek but also in Dwarf and Who (see "The Rise of the Cybermen"), this may be Tommy Westphall Parallel Dimension time, but they are still joined, uh, at the ship...

Oh, Doctor Who. The Doctor travels through Time and Space in a ship called a TARDIS, which looks like an old British Police Box due to a broken chameleon circuit. (Ooh, look who's up on his Who lore!) The TARDIS appears in the hangar bay of the Red Dwarf - it can be seen during the launch of Starbug in the episode "Thanks for the Memory".

The Star Trek universe is already an established part of the Westphall-verse: linked to Angel and The John Larroquette Show through the fictional Yoyodyne company. (Yes, we're aware of its connection to/origin in the Buckaroo Banzai movie.)

So, through Trek to Red Dwarf we also get Space: 1999 and Doctor Who. Now I don't know if Space: 1999 already connects to other shows, but Who certainly does...

K9 and Company was a one-off episode broadcast as a Christmas Special in 1981 - featuring The Doctor's old companions K9 - the robot dog - and Sarah Jane Smith. Produced as a pilot for a proposed TV series, that option was never picked up, but a one-off aired pilot does count in the Westphall-verse. (K9 and Sarah Jane returned to the Whoverse this year in the episode "School Reunion".)

Torchwood will begin airing in October. The history of the covert Torchwood Institute was seeded in the second season (or the 28th, depending on how you count them) of Doctor Who - and the main character, Captain Jack Harkness - a bisexual space adventurer and rogue, was introduced in season one (or 27).

Sarah Jane Investigates is a pilot for a proposed series starring Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith. The pilot is tentatively scheduled to air on January 1, 2007. A decision about a move to series will presumably come after that point. But, as with K9 and Company (and W*A*L*T*E*R and The Art of Nick), an aired pilot counts.

NOTE: The Westphall Universe only includes television programs, not films or books or comics or animated series. With Doctor Who's nearly forty years of history, I'm betting a lot of connections will surface to other British programs. There are a few televised Who stories that are not considered canon, however - particularly "Dimensions in Time" (which would have brought in Eastenders) and "The Curse of the Fatal Death" (which was a Comic Relief special).

With the inclusion of Dwarf, Who, Torchwood, K9 and Sarah Jane, the British arm of the Westphall-verse increases dramatically from its previous single entrant - the original version of The Office. Other than these, the only non-US series in Tommy brain come from the Canadian Degrassi mini-verse.

In summary: Trek brings in Red Dwarf, which brings in Space: 1999 and Doctor Who, which brings in K9 and Company, Torchwood and the upcoming Sarah Jane Investigates.

From: westphallian
2006-09-05 09:27 am (UTC)

Re: other crossovers with Space: 1999. Wiki has this comment "# Footage of Moonbase Alpha was recycled for an episode of the American TV series Wonder Woman entitled "Time Bomb". In this episode, Alpha (and the moonscape) are intended to represent a nuclear war-ravaged Earth several centuries in the future." I don't think that counts though.

Looks like the only real crossover is a cartoon (which doesn't count) "An Eagle Transporter appears in the Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" as the ship that jettisons the last Star Trek videotapes onto a forbidden planet"

Why are there Doctor Who stories that aren't canon?

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[User Picture]From: crossoverman
2006-09-05 12:43 pm (UTC)
Why are there Doctor Who stories that aren't canon?

"Dimensions in Time" was produced for the Children in Need charity drive - airing on BBC in two-parts. Who fandom continues to debate its canonicity - see the Wikipedia link above.

"The Curse of the Fatal Death" was similarly produced for a charity - this time for Comic Relief. This episode is clearly a parody of Who, whereas Dimensions was played (mostly) straight with actors from the original series.

Complicating matters is the fact that in 2005 another short episode - bridging Seasons One and Two of the "new series" - was produced for Children in Need. This time, though, it is considered canon by writers and viewers.

Also considered non-canon is the live action "episode" - "Attack of the Graske", which was aired on BBC digital. It stars current Doctor David Tennant in an interactive adventure.

I haven't even begun to explore the "TARDISODES" - on-line prequels produced for the 2006 season. But they are more easily lumped in with the regular episodes... here's hoping they don't contain any possible crossovers!

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[User Picture]From: momsdinercodelj
2006-09-05 04:46 pm (UTC)
I'd argue that Dimensions in Time counts as far as the Grid goes even if it's not Who canon since it wasn't a dream sequence or any other scenario that would disqualify it. After all, there are shows already on the Grid that reference each other as television shows.

Thus Eastenders would belong as well.

Sadly, I don't think there are any direct crossovers between Who and the TV version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. If Dirk Gently had ever gotten his own TV show, it'd be part of the Tommyverse, though.
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[User Picture]From: crossoverman
2006-09-05 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'm wary to include "Dimensions in Time" because it isn't Who canon. Forty years of history makes the show intimidating enough, but including a special non-canon "episode" just confuses things. General wisdom is that it doesn't belong in Who canon, so it doesn't belong here.

Sadly, I don't think there are any direct crossovers between Who and the TV version of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Well, actually, I think it is linked... and completely forgot about this reference until now! The Tenth Doctor says in "The Christmas Invasion" (while wearing a pair of pyjamas during his advenutre): "Very Arthur Dent. Now there was a nice guy." Which seems much more than Ten throwing off another pop culture reference.
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[User Picture]From: momsdinercodelj
2006-09-06 12:44 am (UTC)
Yep, that's a connection all right. Sweet. I must have missed that line while watching that episode.

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[User Picture]From: crossoverman
2006-09-06 12:47 am (UTC)
I've made another post about it here.
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[User Picture]From: lokicarbis
2006-09-05 11:36 pm (UTC)
The Tardis also appears in an episode of the British sketch comedy "Chelmsford 123"
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From: westphallian
2006-09-06 12:31 am (UTC)
Sketch comedy shows are excluded from the Tommy-verse. Sketch comedy shows are fall under the (US) category of fair-use parody. And I assume there is similiar UK & Canadian law (the other two countries Tommy-verse shows come from). Sketch comedy is parody - it is using a Tommy-verse show either as a reference to it or a parody of the canon/show. Sketch comedy shows *use* other shows they don't crossover with other shows.

Also excluded because sketch comedies don't follow any canonical logic of their own and, wow, would they be a massive heasdache & mess to include.
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[User Picture]From: lokicarbis
2006-09-06 01:17 am (UTC)
My mistake - Chelmsford 123 was NOT a sketch comedy. It was, in fact, a situation comedy set during the Roman occupation of Britain in 123 AD (hence the title). Details here.

Sorry about the confusion - I typed that because I was thinking of some of the sketch comedies those actors had also been in.
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