Talk:An Unearthly Child/Archive 1

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An Unearthly Child vs 100,000 BC

on the bbc video release this serial is called the unearthly child so shouldn't this article be moved to An Unearthly Child as it is official.

There really isn't a definitive answer for this. As noted, "100,000 B.C." was the production team's term for the story. "An Unearthly Child" is simply BBC Enterprises' name to market it with, which was not applied until long after the serial was broadcast. That doesn't make it "official", though. --khaosworks 17:45, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Regardless of whether "An Unearthly Child" is the "official" or "correct" name of the complete story, it was given as such often enough that this should at least be noted in the opening section (probably in bold, as an alternate title). In addition, that title redirects here, and redirects are supposed to be clarified as near the beginning of the article as possible. Fourohfour 19:45, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
Has anyone actually called it "100,000 BC" in the past 15 years? It has been released on video (twice), and will be released in DVD shortly, under the name "An Unearthly Child". And let's face it: "An Unearthly Child" is a far more exciting name than "100,000 BC"!!! - NP Chilla (talk) 18:08, 8 January 2006 (GMT)
Exciting titles don't really come into it, unless we're going to rename other stories to A Journey to Cathay, Temple of Evil, Strangers in Space et al!
Both titles are in commons use across the web, printed books et al. Timrollpickering 18:24, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
The most prominent use of 100,000 BC over An Unearthly Child is Doctor Who Magazine, which has referred to the first serial as 100,000 BC for years. I think that's due to Andrew Pixley's influence. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:32, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course, as soon as I write that I receive DWM #365, which doesn't mention 100,000 BC once in its three-page article on the Doctor Who: The Beginning DVD. Curiously, Andrew Pixley gets not one, but two namechecks in the same issue — do you think Clay is trying to appease him? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
If we are going to call it 100,000 BC, then we should rename The Daleks as The Mutants (1963-1964); as that was the title used throughout its production. You can't have it both ways! - NP Chilla (talk) 16:55, 9th January 2006 (GMT)
Well, yes, we can — as in make an exception — basically because there's going to be confusion with the Pertwee serial. There's nothing confusing about 100,000 BC. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 17:37, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I stand corrected. But you know what I mean - if someone less familiar with the show gets the soon-to-be-released DVD (or possibly an old video) and sees the title "An Unearthly Child", they would be rather confused by the "100,000 BC" moniker. NP Chilla (talk) 19:08, 9 January 2006
As long as An Unearthly Child redirects here and the page explains the different names, there isn't a problem. I'm no fan of the title but the only titles for Hartnell stories everyone can agree on are the individual episode titles. 100,000 BC is quite common currency these days - in some ways it's useful, given the two different sections of the story, that An Unearthly Child can refer to just the first episode.
You won't catch me using the silly full name of The Massacre, but I accept that the fuller version is the one in common currency these days. I'd personally only use Doctor Who and the Silurians facetiously, despite the fact that it appears on screen, but I don't have a problem with the article being called that. --Whouk (talk) 19:20, 9 January 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't this be listed as two serials? An Unearthly Child (1 episode) + 100,000 BC (3 episodes) ? The text of the article seems to suggest it should be so, and watching it, it seems to be so. 18:11, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No, because the production was organised as one serial, not two, even though story-wise there is a bit of a thematic jump. The confusion also arises because "An Unearthly Child" was shot twice to remove certain story elements, so there exists an untransmitted (but available on video) pilot, much like "The Cage" was. But as far as the production code Serial A is concerned, it was 4 episodes of a single serial. --khaosworks 18:52, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps there should be an article on An Unearthly Child (pilot) then. It could serve as a nice jumping off point for all the series articles as well. 04:22, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think splitting it would make more sense - put both the transmitted and pilot version of AUC on An Unearthly Child and S1 eps 2-4 on 100,000 BC (Doctor Who), and note the serial thing in the notes section, linked with the {{ref}} and {{note}} templates from the serial code in the infobox. Whatever is done, it's a kludge, and this seems like the simplest and most sensible route to take. - SoM 19:44, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The vast majority of Doctor Who reference works treat Serial A as one story. I don't think it would help to split it up. I'd suggest details about the pilot should be in this article. --Whouk (talk) 19:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)


Just being a little pedantic, but when alphabetised in lists (such as Categories:Doctor Who serials) '100,000' is placed under 'O' for 'One hundred thousand'. Let's be a bit professional about this. DonQuixote

Not on wikipedia usually, numbered articles go under numbers in the cat. See what i said at Category talk:Doctor Who serials. Will canvas for general opinion... Tim! (talk) 22:17, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The Human Race's Evolution

I'm sure that most of you eagle eyed wiki members have noticed this fun fact, but I thought I'd note it here. In the 1960's there were two depictions of man's evolution where a rectangular shape helped to keep them from extinction. The first one was here where the occupants of the TARDIS helped to give fire back to early man. The second, of course, was when a much earlier form of man was taught how to use tools by the monolith of 2001: A Space Odyssey MarnetteD | Talk 03:54, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

100,000 BC or One Hundred Thousand BC?

Well, let's take a vote on this heady issue. Should the serial be indexed in the Category: Doctor Who serials under 1 or O? Place your votes under the appropriate header. I will leave the vote open until 0000 hrs EST on Monday morning, May 9, 2005, and hopefully we'll have a consensus then. --khaosworks 04:37, May 4, 2005 (UTC)

The serial should be indexed as 100,000 BC

  1. khaosworks 04:37, May 4, 2005 (UTC)
  2. Timrollpickering 08:08, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  3. 23skidoo 12:56, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  4. Tim! (talk) 13:59, 4 May 2005 (UTC) Better vote here as I started the debate :>
  5. MarnetteD | Talk 15:30, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  6. Ravenswood 19:48, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

The serial should be indexed as One Hundred Thousand BC

  1. DonQuixote 06:49, 4 May 2005 (UTC)


A lot of people don't know if it's pronounced "One Hundred Thousand BC" or "A Hundred Thousand BC" - the numeric is better. Timrollpickering 08:09, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Also, the numeric version appears to be the way the BBC officially refers to the story; I've never seen it spelled out in any official or licensed source. 23skidoo 12:57, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
  • To clarify (I know 23skiddo knows this, but just in case some are unclear) - the vote is not whether to retitle the article; it will remain 100,000 BC. The question is where to place it in the Category. --khaosworks 13:08, May 4, 2005 (UTC)
  • It just came to me. Shouldn't we also be voting on whether to change the BC to BCE to fit in with the standards and practices used today. Just kidding guys! Cheers to all.MarnetteD | Talk 19:02, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
I believe that filing it under "O" would be technically correct, but being an Asperger's sufferer, I feel compelled to file this under "1". Ravenswood 19:48, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
And when the "In the Beginning" DVD boxset is released in January 2006, we're going to start this whole debate ALL over again... ;) JohnDBuell 01:14, 9 May 2005 (UTC)

Results: Out of 7 votes, 6 for 1, and 1 for O, which is 85.7% in favour of "1", qualifying for consensus. I am indexing the article accordingly. --khaosworks 04:10, May 9, 2005 (UTC)


The word "novelisation", while it may be grating for some, has been used for decades to describe novels based on Doctor Who episodes. As far as I'm concerned, it's a real word. Ravenswood 16:43, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

I also find it rather disingenuous that Arcturus accuses me of reverting "just because it's something I personally don't like" when he's doing precisely that. Novelised is a transitive verb; it's not verb misuse. --khaosworks 22:20, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Woah. Am I right in thinking that if it was not for a few words being changed in the first episode then the Doctor would have been human and Time Lords never thought up? --βjweþþ (talk) 17:52, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

49th Century was replaced by them being from "another time, another world"

Erm, well no, not necessarily. The 49th century merely refers to when they were from, not where. The could be from Earth, Gallifrey, Skaro or even Tellytubbyland for all we knew, but it is true that "49th century" would have painted the whole idea of Gallifrey into a corner, perhaps hindering some of the enigmacity of the Time Lords. NP Chilla 20:46, 9th January 2006 (GMT)

And of course stuff like this was frequently ignored in later years so I doubt that line being in there would have made much difference.
More bizarrely some of the series outline documents suggest that the Doctor's actions are condemned by the authorities of his own time. It seems the Time Lord concept was not that incompatible from the outset at all. Timrollpickering 20:54, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

100,000 BC (Doctor Who)

I've moved this page from the old 100,000 BC because that name is too common a phrase for this show. I've also fixed all 40+ pages which link to it. However, what a pain! I won't be doing that again for other Doctor Who serials without using a robot. Dyslexic agnostic 19:20, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Requested move

100,000 BC (Doctor Who)An Unearthly Child – The actively used title by the BBC. Besides, the debate's reignited of late and it's time to decide absolutely for the next while at least - SoM 00:53, 12 January 2006 (UTC)


Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your vote with ~~~~
  • Oppose. "An Unearthly Child" is, historically, the name of the first episode, not the series. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 01:45, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support: Ask any fan of Doctor Who what the name of the very first serial is; and you'll see. Also, there is an article is called "Dog", not "Canis lupis familiaris". - NP Chilla (talk) 16:06, 12 January 2006
  • Oppose The current redirects and intro do the job fine. Do we rename the apatosaurus because popular usage goes for another term? Timrollpickering 16:31, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). In the case you give, however, "brontosaurus" is objectively wrong, while even the BBC didn't have a standardised name at the time - and, in the past ten years or so, they have favoured An Unearthly Child every single time AFAICS. - SoM 17:50, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
      • Comment See below - "the BBC" (a term I think is meaningless in this context, it actually means "(a) particular BBC department/s") output from various sources has not been the unaminous thing you imply. Timrollpickering 10:53, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
  • See below[1]
  • Support: Although "100,000 BC" is the more accurate title, as supported by the admirable scholarship of Pixley, Howe, etc., "An Unearthly Child" is more commonly used, and the Wikipedia guideline says that articles should be named according to the most common usage. However, the article should continue to use "100,000 BC" in its text when referring to the serial as a whole. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 18:20, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - I know it's not the official title, but it's the most common title used. That's the guideline here. Radagast 04:05, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - Unearthly Child is by far the more common name, and has been for decades. BBC has used this as the name for years, in the video releases, on on their website, and again in the latest DVD release. Nfitz 20:41, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment - just to note that this came in after Nightstallion (talk · contribs) closed the WP:RM discussion. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 22:53, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment - just heard about it. Nightstallion (talk · contribs) said he wouldn't mind if another admin looked at this. Don't think there is a way to formally close a WP:RM discussion. Besides, this is a real obvious solution. The BBC has consistently and continually referred to this as "Unearthly Child" without exception for over a quarter-century - it is the official name; are you suggesting that we rename The Daleks page as "The Mutants". And also it is certainly the most common usage. I don't think by any Wikipedia criteria could this page be called 100,000 BC. Nfitz 01:03, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • As I and Timrollpickering have noted, using terms like "official" is dubious because the BBC isn't a monolithic organisation, and certainly doesn't have an "official" line on anything. The best you can say is that BBC Worldwide or Enterprises have been marketing it under the name of "An Unearthly Child". The historical record continues to favour 100,000 BC. And yes, I would sooner support renaming The Daleks as The Mutants (1964) if that would satisfy everyone. The reason why I would prefer The Daleks is not because of popular usage, but because it can cause confusion between that and the Pertwee serial. There is no confusion in this case because the redirects can handle it with a minimum of fuss, unlike trying to distinguish the two Mutants serials, which would probably involve a disambiguation page. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 01:21, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • I woudln't say dubious. It's not like any arm of the BBC is calling it 100,000 BC, is it? Besides, isn't the real test here, the general usage in the English language? This is the criteria that one comes to in spelling debates (presuming one isn't dealing with regional variances) and place names. Do two Google searches. One for the phrases "Doctor Who" and "Unearthly Child" and the other for the phrases "Doctor Who" and "100,000 BC" I'm seeing 23,800 results for the former and 538 for the latter. Sure, Google does some strange things in the counts, but still you always get many more results for "Unearthly Child" than "100,000 BC". Nfitz 01:36, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Well, when BBC Books published the first edition of The Television Companion in the late 90s it had the first serial as 100,000 BC, so you could say that at that point they were endorsing that name, even though at the same time the VHS release was still titled "An Unearthly Child". It simply isn't as clear cut as the up-down vote makes it out to be. "The Discontinuity Guide", published by Virgin under license from the BBC, for example, side steps the whole issue by considering Episode 1: "An Unearthly Child" on its own and 2,3 and 4 as entirely seperate, not giving an overall name to the serial. At the same time, Virgin also came up with Lance Parkin's "History of Universe", which plonked for 100,000 BC. Doctor Who Magazine, pretty much the "official" licensed magazine for the programme, for the longest time also used 100,000 BC. Titan Books, also licensed published the script book under its working title of The Tribe of Gum. If the BBC had a consistent policy that would make it simpler, but the truth of the matter is, it didn't, and it doesn't. There is no Doctor Who office handing down edicts from high as to what this serial is to be called. That's why the divide in fandom is so marked as to what to call Serial A, and why we shouldn't just look at common usage for this particular serial (unlike The Daleks) but examine what is actually, historically correct and let redirects handle the rest. I am not suggesting we eradicate all reference to "An Unearthly Child". People can still call it that if they want to, but the accuracy of the article title is what's important here, since if they type in "An Unearthly Child" in the search box they can get here just as easily. General usage should not trump historical accuracy is what I'm saying. To continue to emphasise: there will be no confusion if the article remains named as it is. And yet, if we call the serial "An Unearthly Child" there might very well be confusion when we're talking about the episode or the serial, and have to rely on typographical cues to distinguish the two. I've really said all I have to say about this and am rapidly becoming a bore, so I'll leave it at that. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 02:10, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I suspect I became a bore some time back, and it hasn't stopped me. :) You are, of course, correct that there is no monolithic BBC policy on the subject. However, Nfitz is also correct when he says that "An Unearthly Child" is in much wider use than "100,000 BC". I agree that usage within the article, and probably in links to the article, should be "100,000 BC", since that is the correct title.
You lose me, though, when you say "General usage should not trump historical accuracy." The problem is that Wikipedia has a guideline that says that in article naming, general usage should trump historical accuracy. The example of the Venus de Milo seems completely appropriate to me; Aphrodite of Melos would be more accurate (since the statue is Greek, not Roman), but the guideline prefers Venus de Milo because that's the name in more common usage.
On the other hand, Nightstallion says that he tends to prefer accurate names over common ones and that that was a factor in his closing of the move request, so perhaps that guideline isn't followed as widely as the page might indicate. (Plus, we're already going against the MoS guideline when we italicize episode names, so it's not like there isn't a precedent for the project.) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 06:19, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


Add any additional comments

I'll simply repeat what I said on the Wikiproject talk page. There is no confusion here, since if someone types in "An Unearthly Child" in the search box it redirects here. The same could be said for the situation the other way around, so all things being equal, we should not just look at popular usage, but accuracy should be a factor as well. Wikipedia is popular, in the sense that it is created by a community, but it should not be populist - just because a majority of people believe a thing does not make it any more accurate. The simple fact of the matter is that there is not a clear cut decision either way. The article sets out the historical chronology of the name changes and you'll note that "An Unearthly Child" comes a full 10 years after the serial is broadcast before it is used to refer to the serial as a whole. Before that, we have a variety of names, including the intitial working title "The Tribe of Gum" (which was also used on the script book). While any one of these titles have any one of these things going for them - first in time, use in publicity materials, "official" BBC listings, "100,000 BC" has the advantage of having all of these factors. It was the first name to be used in publicity materials; it continues to be used in reference works like "The Television Companion"; DWM uses (or used) it; no less a source than Andrew Pixley, possibly the Doctor Who historian prefers it. "An Unearthly Child"'s provenance, however, comes simply from a mistake made by the Radio Times and subsequently propagated. The biggest thing AUC has going for it, really, is that AUC is used for the marketing end of things, but I don't think that should trump the historical or factual arguments. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 01:45, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Here's a little fact for you: if you find a random sample of Whovians, and ask them what the title of the first serial of Doctor Who is, you will find the majority of replies is An Unearthly Child.
But hark, what does Justin Richards's magnificent book "Doctor Who: The Legend (Continues)" (in my professional opinion, the best Who book on God's earth and just about the most official you can find anywhere) say the serial is called? Well, An Unearthly Child.
Ah, but what about the official website ? Yes, surely this will clear the mess up: what does the BBC - the owner, creator and producer of Doctor Who - say the serial is called? Yep, you've guessed it: An Unearthly Child.
Having been released on video (twice), released on DVD (very soon!), novelised ([2])and referred to far and wide on almost every fan site under the sun by this name(see here, here and here if you don't believe me), do we even need bother arguing? It should be all conclusive, and totally undeniable: The first serial in Doctor Who is, was, and for ever more will be, An Unearthly Child by Anthony Coburn. NP Chilla (talk) 16:22, 12 January 2006 (GMT)
Casual fans don't enter into it. Ask a "casual fan" (whatever that means) and you might have him spell it as "Dalecks". How casual fans refer to the serial means very little. They can be wrong, Justin Richards can be wrong, and I say they are. Just because Richards writes that, you can't take it as gospel; you have to look at it and ask yourself: on what basis is he making that assertion?
As pointed out before, when you say the BBC, you have to specify which part of the BBC you are talking about. When you say the "official website", you are talking merely about the people who produce it; the same people, by the way, who claim that Rose takes place on March 26 in the UNIT website when the television series shows it takes place on March 6, so forgive me if I take their assertions with a pinch of salt. The information in the "official" website comes not from historical sources, but from The Discontinuity Guide, which is nowhere near as authoritative or even pretends to be as well-researched as The Television Companion.
The BBC did not create Doctor Who. Sydney Newman conceived the series, and Coburn, et al. developed it. Anthony Coburn did not write the first serial as "An Unearthly Child". He wrote the first episode titled "An Unearthly Child". The working title was The Tribe of Gum; production documents referred to it as Serial A and only partway through the production was the title of the serial put forward in publicity material as 100,000 BC. The use of "An Unearthly Child" to refer to the serial did not come about until 1973. Where's the conclusiveness in that? "Is, was and for evermore" is just so way off it barely bears saying.
Gallifrey One, Rotten Tomatoes, Drwho-online - so what? All non-authoritative sources when it comes to this issue. I say look at the historical documentation: the single fact that you cannot get away from is that the earliest title used in publicity materials was 100,000 BC. That is a historical fact that will not go away, and that is what "undeniable" means. As I have said, the strongest reason you can raise in support of An Unearthly Child as a title is merely that that's the title on the DVD. And I repeat: that isn't good enough to trump history. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 16:38, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
So what you're saying is that Terrance Dicks (who wrote the novel, and knows more about Who continuity then almost anyone else alive), Justin Richards (a world-renowned Who' expert, who - you can bet your life - checks his sources), BBC Worldwide (who do the DVD and video releases), BBCi ((the official website guys) and Outpost Gallifrey & drwho-online (both of which are sources we Wikipedians actually use to check our facts!!) are all absolutley wrong; and you are totally right?
And by the way, you seem to have got some of my more obscure language confused: "casual fan" means to "any old fan", "is, awas and will always be" is just a grand way of finishing my little piece, Anthony Coburn did write AUC (episode, serial, whatever!!), and no-one, no matter how stupid, could ever spell anything as "Dalecks". NP Chilla (talk) 18:52, 12 January 2006 (GMT)
What I'm saying is that Dicks, Justin, BBC, etc. need to have a basis for saying that the serial is called "An Unearthly Child", and that the historical record says there is no basis for calling it that, and in fact the title that has — all other things being equal — the most historical precedence, being the first title used in publicity materials, is 100,000 BC. We can make the appeal to authority all we want; but we still can't get away from the historical documentation.
(oh, and just do a google for Dalecks, or Darlecks, or Darleks and you'll see.) --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 22:45, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
To be fair, David J. Howe, Andrew Pixley and (at least until recently) Clayton Hickman all support 100,000 BC. All are at least equal to Justin Richards in stature and authority, and Howe and Pixley are widely recognized as the most thorough and authoritative Doctor Who researchers. That said, Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) does say,
"When choosing a name for a page ask yourself: What word would the average user of the Wikipedia put into the search engine?
Wikipedia is not a place to advocate a title change in order to reflect recent scholarship. The articles themselves reflect recent scholarship but the titles should represent common usage."
That standard, I think, supports having the article at "An Unearthly Child" rather than "100,000 BC" — the latter is more accurate, but the former is more common usage (thanks in large part to the novelization, video and DVD releases).
I know that a Google test is not conclusive, but it is illustrative: a search for "An Unearthly Child" and "Doctor Who" yields 21,700 results, while a search for "100,000 BC" and "Doctor Who" yields only 1,240. The former, of course, is biased because it will include commercial sites selling the video, novelization and/or DVD, but I don't think we can dismiss the title something is marketed under out of hand, especially given the "common usage" criterion quoted above.
I still haven't completely decided on my vote (or whether to vote at all, per Snowspinner's "voting is evil" below), but I'm increasingly thinking the page should be at "An Unearthly Child". —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 20:01, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
But common useage is not ultimately relevant here because the redirects can handle it. It works both ways, and I've acknowledged that. This vote is also bad because it's not a clear-cut choice between 100,000 BC and An Unearthly Child. So why not The Tribe of Gum? Or The Cavemen? My position is based on which title has a better documentary claim to the name. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 22:45, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
The way I read the guideline, it seems that common usage is relevant. Surely the guideline exists exactly for cases such as this? I'm not doubting that "100,000 BC" has the better documentary claim. But basing the argument on the documentary claim seems to me to be equivalent to what the guideline calls "recent scholarship". Pixley's work is as close as Doctor Who history gets to academic scholarship and research. He's made a convincing case that the proper name of the serial is "100,000 BC". However, neither fandom as a whole nor the merchandising wings of the BBC have changed their usage, which is still "An Unearthly Child". —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:53, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I would argue that the guideline exists for choosing a name when creating pages, not necessarily moving them. Sure, I would support a move if the current name of the page is patently wrong (for example, if this argument was about whether to move it from "The Cave of Skulls" for example), but it isn't wrong. In fact, it's accurate. I don't think we need to move it, as the redirects are doing a more than adequate job. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 02:17, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
It seems improbable to me that Wikipedia would have a guideline for the names of pages that would apply only when they are created. True, it says "when naming pages", but it also says, "Redirects help, but give a slightly ugly "redirected from" announcement at the top of the page." See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)#Rationale, which to me suggests that the convention applies to what articles should be named, not just what articles should be named when they are created. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:31, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Sure, redirects are ugly, but then so is a redirect from 100,000 BC to An Unearthly Child or whichever you might care to name. That has always worked both ways. That's why I keep saying, at the end of the day, when we tally up the reasons, all other things being equal, the factor that gives 100,000 BC more validity is that it is simply more correct. I do not see why we cannot be factually correct about the title of the serial as long as it is signposted properly. It seems to me that the only reason people want this at "An Unearthly Child" is because it's a more exciting title. But that's marketing. If the BBC came up with marketing the DVD as "Doctor Who and the Secret of Fire" I doubt there would be as much division about it. That, to my mind, seems a poor reason, and I don't think we should promote the myth or impression that the title is the correct one. And we haven't even started on "Inside the Spaceship/The Edge of Destruction" or "Doctor Who and the Silurians" yet, which I can bet you is coming. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 06:25, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't think I was clear. I was citing the "redirects are ugly" passage in the context of Wikipedia's justification for going with the most commonly used title instead of the one most supported by scholarship (when the two are in conflict). At the end of the day, either someone searching for "An Unearthly Child" or someone searching for "100,000 BC" will get a redirect notice. Wikipedia has decided, in the guideline, that preferential treatment should be given to the most common usage, rather than the most accurate one. This is consistent with Wikipedia's egalitarian principles. The guideline says, "The articles themselves reflect recent scholarship but the titles should represent common usage," and "Names of articles should be the most commonly used name." That seem perfectly clear to me; our article can remain factually correct and use "100,000 BC" while the article name yields to the more common usage. Our case seems quite comparable to the examples given on the guideline page of using Jimmy Carter instead of James Earl Carter, Jr., or Venus de Milo rather than Aphrodite of Melos. For me, at least, whether the title is "exciting" or not is immaterial — it's about following Wikipedia's guidelines. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 18:16, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I think Josiah's argument is sufficiently persuasive for me to support moving the article but referring to the serial as 100,000BC in the article, as long as that can be done without causing confusion. I say this part of moving towards consensus and not as a vote... --Whouk (talk) 18:50, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Neither side is right or wrong, of course. That's why it's so contentious. As I've said before, I called it AUC, but what I call it is pretty irrelevant. I wouldn't be surprised if Justin's choice of title may well have been based on his publisher (the BBC) preference at the time, just as someone freelancing in DWM would refer to the story as 100,000BC whatever their own view (once edited, at least).
The only definitively correct way to refer to the story is Serial A. I'm not taking part in the vote both because I don't think it's a particularly useful precedent and because I don't have a strong view either way. As long as the page is found via both titles and as long as the title confusion is made clear early on, we've done our job. --Whouk (talk) 19:48, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
I suspect that in Justin's case it may be personal preference or a change in editors. Back in 1997-c1999 the BBC published a number of reference books which all went for 100,000 BC - indeed one of them (The Television Companion) was billed as the "official" guide to the series and "continuity of product" was cited at the time. When Virgin were publishing Doctor Who books the editor adopted a "choose whichever titles you like" approach which perhaps prevented the poor editor from having to be the one to take the decision but resulted in a very confused situation for fans, with some books even taking pot shots at the approach. Timrollpickering 10:49, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Let's not forget: the Wikipedia article is called "Dog", not "Canis lupis familiaris" (THAT WAS MY WISDOM OF THE DAY!!) NP Chilla 20:44, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

^ I strongly support making the move, but decline to vote because voting is evil. However, with many valid names in play, we should err on the side of the most common name, which is pretty unquestionably AUC. Phil Sandifer 19:25, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

But unless you vote I'm don't think your support for AUC counts. So if you feel as strongly about this as I think you do, perhaps you should try voting (even if it is only this once - no-one's going to hold it against you!!) NP Chilla 20:49, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I think my support counts very much - probably moreso than a vote. But that's because I, at least, wouldn't bother paying attention to a vote anyway if I were making the decision - I'd look at the arguments. :) Phil Sandifer 22:43, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Not moved, vote is evil, evidence is inconclusive. —Nightstallion (?) 08:39, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Discussion moved from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Doctor Who

I know you're all probably sick to your back teeth of hearing about it, but considering how we have just changed the name of the 1996 television film to Doctor Who (1996) (in my personal opinion, an infinitely better name), why not try to resolve the seemingly never ending debate of whether it is 100,000 BC or An Unearthly Child? Talk:100,000 BC (Doctor Who)

NP Chilla 19:02, 9th January 2006 (GMT)

Okay can we also try to bring peace to the Middle East and Northern Ireland, bring harmony between all religions, sort out whether the UK is an international or European country and all those other things that have been fiercely argued a lot? ;-) Timrollpickering 19:26, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I hate to say it, but I think the debate is about to get a second wind, seeing as the upcoming American DVD release, The Beginning dubs the story An Unearthly Child and also uses the Edge of Destruction name for the Inside the Spaceship two-parter... 23skidoo 19:34, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I think you're right, and that we should think about people less familiar with the original series; after all, a lot of people who have only watches the Ninth and Tenth Doctors in action will snap up the boxset, to learn more about Doctor Who. Calling it An Unearthly Child will not only help these "newbies", but also sooth the feelings of quite a lot of Whovians I know. (As well as this, at least half of the sources I have seen - official or otherwise - call it "An Unearthly Child"). NP Chilla 20:39, 9 January 2006
The current opener to the article and the redirects handle the requirements anyway. Fandom has long been deeply divided and I don't think some notion of appeasing one wing of the debate should direct where the Wikipedia page is located. Timrollpickering 21:06, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree. As long as the proper redirects are in place and the article acknowledges the alternate titles, I think we're good. This isn't quite the same situation we had with the TV movie when an off-the-cuff remark by the producer calling it Enemy Within came to be seen as somehow official. (And the Doctor Who Information Network here in Canada apparently uses a different title altogether that was mentioned in a CBC profile of the series made to tie in with the Eccleston season. I forget the name that was used.). 23skidoo 21:51, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The CBC profile I think used "Out of the Ashes", which apparently came from a misreading of Shannon Patrick Sullivan's webpage. As for 100,000 BC vs. An Unearthly Child, I agree that the redirects and article opening make the issue less pressing, but I also think that the title used in the DVD release (which isn't just in the US, but UK as well) lends a bit more weight to the An Unearthly Child argument. However, if we do reconsider the page's location, I agree that it shouldn't be about appeasing one group or another, but what's best for the article. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:42, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

The DVD releases seal it for me - these should both be at their DVD titles, with the others being redirects. Phil Sandifer 20:41, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

That's a good point to raise. I personally believe that it should be An Unearthly Child; but then it's not up to me, and I fully understand where Josiah is coming from. Why don't we settle this once and for all: a democratic vote where Whovians like ourselves vote for one title or the other. Anyone else agree/have another idea? NP Chilla (talk) 16:18, 11 January 2006
I'll put my vote in as An Unearthly Child also. Essexmutant 16:28, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

It's been said before, but I'll say it again. The title of the serial is 100,000 BC. The title of the first episode is "An Unearthly Child". The fact that BBC Enterprises releases the DVD as "An Unearthly Child" is a matter of marketing, not historicity, and neither here nor there. The real reason the serial was called An Unearthly Child to begin with was because of a mistake by the Radio Times. AUC redirects to the right page, and there's no confusion. I'd rather rename The Daleks to The Mutants rather than change 100,000 BC to that. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 16:39, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Putting the name of the article aside for a moment, I'd like to remind everyone that Wikipedia is not a democracy. If possible, we should decide the article name by consensus, not voting. I don't have a strong opinion about what the article should be called (both sides have persuasive arguments), but I do feel strongly that we should take care not to let ourselves become factionalized. Although arguing about episode titles is a long-standing form of entertainment for Doctor Who fans, we should try not to do it here, as it's agin the spirit of the project. Discuss, listen, and compromise rather than arguing.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled flamewar. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:52, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
There is a long-standing bias towards articles being at whatever location they are most often referred to as. That the VHS and DVD releases were both at An Unearthly Child, that the novelization pointed towards Unearthly Child, and our article freely admits that the BBC now refers to the story as An Unearthly Child. These are all documentable, and as evidence are stronger than vague debates about what it "should" be. If you strongly believe that it should be 100,000 BC, go convince the BBC to refer to it as such, and then Wikipedia will change to follow. But we're bound to follow the dominant usage. Phil Sandifer 17:30, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm rather sceptical that within the context in this debate it's possible to talk about such a single thing as "the BBC". Often this actually means (whether realised or not) "this particular BBC department/output agrees with me" and the usage by departments is not always universal - I remember the fun in 1998 when "the official guide" published by the BBC listed the third story as Inside the Spaceship whilst at the same time others were trying to assert the BBC archive catalogue computer - which seems to have had the same titles since c 1981 yet contradicts some of the titles used in a 1990 study by the BBC Research department and both in turn contradict titles used in lists from the old production office. So just which was "the BBC"?! Timrollpickering 22:56, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I think that anyone who wants to take a position on this issue — no matter which side you eventually fall on — really needs to read Andrew Pixley's "By Any Other Name" which details how convoluted the history of the names are and when they were promulgated. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 23:25, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
One might also note that "An Unearthly Child" redirects to this article, so where's the confusion if someone types it into the search box? And, anticipating that the counterargument will be raised that "100,000 BC (Doctor Who)" will do the same, I once again point out that the latter has the advantage of being the first non-generic title publicly used, and why I take the position that it has historical precedence. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 23:35, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Right. This is becoming an increasingly bloodthirsty argument; a seemingly never-ending paradox analogous to Sisyphus, forever condemned to push his boulder of the hill every day, only for it to roll down again... Er, sorry about that. But I don't get quite what Josiah is saying. A vote was held to decide whether or not a story should be catalogued as "1" for "100,000", or "O" for "One hundred thousand..." Why should we not have one now? Have the rules changed? - NP Chilla (talk)

I wasn't an active member when the "1" vs. "O" vote occurred, so I can't speak to that precedent. What I meant was that Wikipedia prefers consensus to majoritarian voting, when possible. In the past, this preference was strong enough that some Wikipedians used to say "voting is evil". This was later toned down to "polls are evil". But the point is that if it's possible to create a consensus, we should do so. There's no harm in holding a straw poll to see which side has numerical support, and if y'all think it would be helpful to do so on this issue we can. But the problem with voting and polls is that they encourage people to take adversarial, binary positions instead of finding common ground. I suppose that since there are two clear alternatives here and not a lot of room for compromise options, a straw poll might be warranted. I'm just leery of jumping into one without ensuring that the arguments of both sides have been fully understood by all parties.
I don't know how formal we need to be on this issue, or whether we need to follow the suggestions at Wikipedia:straw polls to the letter. But that page does say, "Consensus must be reached about the nature of the survey before it starts. Allow about a week for this process." So before we jump into voting on 100,000 BC vs. An Unearthly Child, do we all agree that these are the two options to consider? Is the wording, "Should the article currently at 100,000 BC (Doctor Who) remain at that location or be moved to An Unearthly Child?" OK for the straw poll, or is another wording better? I know it's tedious, but since the issue is one on which Who fans are far from unanimous, we should make sure we make the decision in the right way. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:47, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't agree that there are only two options. There's also a case for The Tribe of Gum to be considered, not least because it was the first title used internally, the one recalled by the author some fifteen years later and used on the script book. Whilst I would not support it myself, it does have a case for it and is still often cited as a common alternative with the other two. Timrollpickering 00:38, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
That's a perfect example of what I'm talking about — why I think an up-or-down poll is premature at this stage, and we'd be better off discussing it more first. But I suppose it's moot now that we've started the WP:RM... —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 01:22, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the debate wouldn't be so emotional (he says with a wink) if 100,000 B.C. weren't such a lame title. An Unearthly Child has a better ring to it, as does The Tribe of Gum even. The Daleks, similarly isn't that descriptive a title; The Dead Planet sound better. And Inside the Spaceship make Doctor Who sound like a kids program (wink) instead of the more action-packed Edge of Destruction which Target used for its novelization. We can only thank our lucky stars the BBC settled on overall serial titles fairly quickly after that. Can you imagine us having to debate 26 years worth of the things? 23skidoo 04:50, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I would rather leave it wrong than have a vote. But I really hate voting. Phil Sandifer 19:23, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Requested move

I think this is only going to get bloodier as time goes on, so I've put in a formal WP:RM request now and had done with it. See Talk:100,000 BC (Doctor Who)#Requested_move. - SoM 00:57, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. And please feel free to add your vote/comment/piece for discussion here!! NP Chilla 19:21, 12 January 2006

I wonder how long this will go on for before the votes are counted and a decision made - can anyone please tell me? NP Chilla 19:18, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that Nightstallion's removal of the move template and comment are meant to signify that the move request had failed, although I could do with a slightly less telegraphic explanation, myself. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 06:30, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

But that's not fair - according to WP:RM, when a voted majority of 60% or higher is acchieved (3 out of the 5 votes cast are sufficient in this case) in 5 days, the move is taken/not taken as the majority voted for. What's going on? NP Chilla 16:29, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I've asked Nightstallion to explain his reasoning further, either here or at the talk page. However, I'm guessing from his "vote is evil" comment that he felt that in this case the voting process failed to produce a true consensus, even though the 60% threshold was reached. WP:RM says that community consensus is "generally 60% or more" (italics added). Although the RM process resembles a majoritarian vote, it's supposed to be a measure of consensus. I actually think we were heading towards a consensus supporting the move, myself, but I'm guessing that Nightstallion didn't think so. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:02, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Nightstallion has responded on his talk page. It's more or less what I thought — his main objection was that we should have come to a discussion-based consensus rather than a vote (which I happen to agree with). However, he also said that he wouldn't mind having another admin take a look at the move request, so I've asked Mindspillage to check it out so we can have a second opinion. (We've got plenty of admins here at the Project, but I think it's best that we get an outside view.) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 00:20, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Heck, that's complicated. So, what should we do know? In order to get our consensus, I mean - does that talk we had on the discussion page of "100,000 Bc"/"An Unearthly Child" count towards something like a consensus? - NP Chilla 15:43, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
It might be heading there, although the strong opposition of Khaosworks and Timrollpickering weigh against it. You're right that consensus is more difficult to achieve than a simple majority — in order to reach a consensus you need to listen to your opponents' arguments and respond to them thoughtfully, not just drown them out with arguments of your own. That's a skill that isn't developed much these days (especially in the political arena... but I digress). To reach a real consensus, all parties have to be willing to compromise and recognize that those who disagree with them have good reasons for holding the positions that they do. It can't be about winning and losing, but about reaching a solution that's acceptable to everybody. And that's not easy.
This sermon has been brought to you by the Organization of Wooly-Minded Liberals. We now return you to your regularly scheduled flamewar. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:38, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I see. That's even more complicated than I thought! So, where do we go from here? The arguments on "100,000 BC"'s talkpage have already hit fever-pitch, and both sides of the argument seem to be deadlocked. NP Chilla 14:05, 19 January 2006

Yup. And, fundamentally, it's a binary choice with no room for compromise - the page is moved, or it is not moved. A compromise wording isn't possible. - SoM 15:21, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree that it's a purely binary choice — as Timrollpickering points out above, "The Tribe of Gum" is a third option for naming, and there might be room for compromise on ancillary issues connected with the naming. For example, in the discussion on the article talk page, I suggested that the article could be named and actually located at An Unearthly Child, but referred to in the article and links as "100,000 BC". This was in accordance with the guideline, which says, "articles themselves reflect recent scholarship but the titles should represent common usage." Whouk seemed to find this persuasive, and with time others might have as well. I'm not mentioning this to say that I've got all the answers, but to show that even in an apparently binary argument there can be room for compromise. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 16:34, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh, I never thought of that. (Although it is made clear in the article that The Tribe of Gum is the story's working title; not to mention the fact that it sounds like a brand of Wrigley's Cheming Gum!!) But, binary or not, there is a large question mark hanging over our heads, as far as this is concerned: neither side of the argument shows signs of deferring, and compromise seems about as likely as Davros becoming Miss World 2006; what do we do under such situations? My 25 years of working at the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation (an in-joke for you, Josiah!!) have not prepared me for this. NP Chilla 21:45, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps I'm overly optimistic, but I think that a compromise and/or consensus may yet be possible, if we all take the time to listen to each other and consider each other's arguments seriously. For what it's worth, here's Mindspillage's comment on the matter (copied from my user talk page):
Ouch, that's a tough one. I don't think Nightstallion was wrong to close it that way, but I don't think that should be treated as as the be-all and end-all final decision so therefore it can never be moved, either. No consensus, indeed. This is just as hard in its own way and for the same reasons as the Ivo... erm, that country in Africa which was the subject of a similar naming war, for almost exactly the same reasons. It's a tough call. Keep talking about it. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 22:34, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I know that's probably not what advocates on either side wanted to hear, but I think it's a very sensible response. It ain't easy, but it's the Wikipedia way. So, like the lady says, let's keep talking about it. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 02:25, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that does sound sensible. So, should we continue the discussion here, or on the talk page of "100,000 BC"/"An Unearthly Child"? NP Chilla 19:08, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that it makes more sense to discuss it there. In fact, I might move this discussion to Talk:100,000 BC (Doctor Who), so that it's all in one place. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:51, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
And I've just done that. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 00:44, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Continued discussion

Having just received my Beginning box set (pre-ordered from BBc Shop - the quickest and cheapest shop for Who items out there!), I learned that according to the onscreen production notes for episode 2 (if I remember correctly), "Doctor Who and One Hundred Thousand BC" was a working title for this story. Nowhere else in these notes does "100,000 BC" appear. NP Chilla 18:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Please read the Pixley article linked to in Doctor Who story title controversy. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 22:25, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Or to elaborate, what Pixley determines in his article is that the rehearsal scripts had "The Tribe of Gum" as a working title, then were switched to "Doctor Who and a 100,000 BC" (sic) in the midst of production. "100,000 BC" then remained on record as the closest thing to a title we have when the serial went out, and continued to be so until 1973 when the Radio Times erroneously decided that the first episode of each serial was the overall title for no apparent reason.
To grossly simplify the argument (which is why I suggest people read the article which does a much more detailed job in laying out the sequence of documentation), subsequent serials had titles like "Dr Who + the Aztecs", "Dr W + the Sensorites" and "Dr Who + the Reign of Terror" (all sic) written on production documents. That's why Pixley prefers to drop the "Dr Who +" suffixes and just go for, in this case, "100,000 BC". --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 22:49, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I have just read that very article (and thank you for recommending it to me - it was very interesting indeed). However, what I am trying to say is that the production notes for the DVD release (which were assuredly penned by someone who knew what they were talking about) say that "(Dr. Who and) 100,000BC" is indeed a working title, and Mr. Pixley (who, I readily admit, is an authority on Doctor Who) is writing an article with little or no official input. NP Chilla 16:43, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it's a working title that was used up to the time of broadcast. There's no need to choose between the authority of the DVD production notes over Pixley's scholarship, since they're not in contradiction here. At this time in Doctor Who's production there was little distinction made between working titles and "real" titles, since there were no real or official titles. Pixley and Howe have made the reasonable but slightly arbitrary decision to designate the title in use at the time of broadcast as the "real" title. The majority of fans and the BBC's marketing departments have not followed this designation, even though it is based on solid scholarship and reasoning. We're still at the same place: the most commonly used name is "An Unearthly Child", but the most accurate name is "100,000 BC". Wikipedia has a guideline which I think applies in this situation, favoring common names, but others disagree. And so forth. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 18:46, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
EXACTLY!!!!!!! You've hit the nail exactly on the head: like you say, Wikipedia's guidelines say that the common name is preferable over the accurate name. And, as you also mention, there are NO official titles during this era at all: every episode has its own title; and "100,000BC" is, in this case, being used as it was the working title. If we use this logic, The Gunfighters should be The Gunslingers, The Daleks should be The Mutants, and Inside the Spaceship should be Beyond the Sun (or The Edge of Desruction; but that's another story...!). NP Chilla 20:14, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
The term "working title" got applied to a lot of titles, including many that I presume you have no problem with. Also I don't agree with the earlier point that the decision to designate the title in use at the time of broadcast as the "real" title was a "slightly arbitary" decision by Pixley and Howe - the history of title use since the mid 1970s has shown a good number of the titles used in the early days of reference books and organised fandom being succeeded by what were found to be the titles used at the time (e.g. The French Revolution -> The Reign of Terror), although sometimes there were diversions (e.g. Beyond the Sun). 100,000 BC is as much the title from the time as The Reign of Terror. Timrollpickering 21:10, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Of course you're right, but what I'm saying is that Wikipedia's guidelines state that the most common name is used in such cases. As in your example of The Reign of Terror - it could well have been called The French Revolution, but fandom (and Auntie Beeb) always refer to it as The Reign of Terror. Whichever title is the more accurate I have no idea; but the most commonly used title is put first (as we see in The Daleks > The Mutants). Until I saw this article for the first time, I didn't think that 100,000 BC was even considered as a title for the serial any more (and I possess both video releases and the new DVD). Do you see what I mean? NP Chilla 16:52, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh, I agree. It's all very clear-cut to me. Common usage takes priority over historical or technical usage. It's an issue of clarity. The only people who would refer to the serial as anything other than "An Unearthly Child" are hardcore fans who are aware of the debate. To refer to it as anything else in a common context strikes me as pedantic, as the only context in which there is no consensus is in places like this.
Furthermore, there only seem to be two strong objections, and the main argument against seems to be that the standard Wikipedia rules and (frankly) common sense don't necessarily apply in this instance. Although why that might be has yet to be clarified. --Aderack 12:24, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Page move

As this page has been moved again, entirely without discussion or consensus, could an admin move it back please? —Whouk (talk) 16:44, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Done. A glance at this talk page should make it clear that the naming of this story is controversial, and so a move should not be performed without an effort at reaching consensus. I'd also like to add my own opinion that the name "An Unearthly Child and 100,000 BC" is a monstrosity which reflects neither popular usage nor historical accuracy (which are the arguments supporting the main contenders for the title). Even if fans like to divide "An Unearthly Child" from the next three episodes, that doesn't justify creating a double title in this way. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:32, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Ah! You're already using your admin powers with aplomb and such, gracefully deleting and moving, skidding across different buttons as if you had the power of a thousand suns in the palm of your hand! Or something like that, anyway.--Sean Black (talk) 23:27, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Andrew Pixley (and page move revisited)

Pixley has written to me to ask that his name be removed from that paragraph. He points out that although it's a title that he's chosen to use, he has concluded that there is no such thing as the "most accurate title" as the there were no consistent overall story titles for those early serials and people should be free to call them whatever they want. I realise of course that I'm probably stirring up the can of worms again, but... here's his position for what it's worth. :) --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 22:27, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

And wasn't that the main argument against An Unearthly Child? AUC is the only title to appear on-screen in every version of the story (including omnibii), it's the title used by the BBC to publically refer to it, and it doesn't require a (Doctor Who) disambig in the title. - SoM 13:31, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
I do concede that a large chunk of my defence of 100,000 BC is premised on the impression I had of Pixley's article. That being said, for historical reasons I still feel that 100,000 BC has the better provenance — but if people still insist on shifting it to AUC, I'll follow that consensus. I only then raise the spectre of what we do with Inside the Spaceship, The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve and Doctor Who and the Silurians. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 13:47, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Doctor Who and the Silurians', awful though that title is, can at least be a separate issue as it does have an on-screen title. —Whouk (talk) 13:58, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
For those arguing "for historical reasons", shouldn't they be arguing for moving And Then There Were None back to the original title of "Ten Little Niggers" (the original title of both book and article, but the current title of neither), among other examples of the sort? WP Doctor Who stuff doesn't exist in a vaccuum.
Current, popular usage, primarily spawned by the video/DVD titling, leans towards An Unearthly Child (similarly, Edge of Destruction rather than "Inside the Spaceship". Not sure about Massacre off the top of my head). - SoM 23:27, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
The difficulty with The Massacre is that the CD release of the audio has both versions of the title in different places (see the notes in The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve). Of course, I'd prefer the longer title. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 23:59, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Ah well - like Silurians, different matter entirely to AUC & Edge. - SoM 01:04, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
If you think The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve is a mess, just wait for someone other than Pixley to spot that the story listed in one or two places as The Ghosts of N-Space has the announcer call it Doctor Who and the Ghosts of N-Space in the opening credits... Timrollpickering 22:29, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Putting The Massacre (of St. Bart's Eve or not) and other thorny titles aside, with Khaosworks yielding the only remaining supporter of 100,000 BC is Timrollpickering. I've just left a note on Tim's talk page to see if he's willing to go along with moving the page, or has strong feelings in light of Pixley's comment. I think that with Terence willing to go along with the move we have a consensus, more or less, but if Tim were on board we'd have unanimity. Let's see how strong the consensus is before we go ahead and make the move. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I'd accept a move of the page's location but I think you suggestion above makes sense:
...there might be room for compromise on ancillary issues connected with the naming. For example, in the discussion on the article talk page, I suggested that the article could be named and actually located at An Unearthly Child, but referred to in the article and links as "100,000 BC". This was in accordance with the guideline, which says, "articles themselves reflect recent scholarship but the titles should represent common usage."
In particular the box on the page itself should give both 100,000 BC and An Unearthly Child (and perhaps also The Tribe of Gum) as the titles - see Derry for an example of how this is handled elsewhere. Timrollpickering 22:29, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
I have a difficulty with this, because then we'll have a knock-on issue with all the other early Hartnell ones (and what about The Cavemen?). Surely it's sufficient to detail it in the Titles section of the article? --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 22:59, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
For most of the stories there isn't really much debate about the titles now - I don't think we'd need to list older titles like The Saracen Hordes, The Crusaders, The Lion and The Lionheart all with The Crusade. See Gdańsk for a case where there hass been a naming dispute in the past but the name for present day use isn't disputed so "Danzig" is not listed in the box, unlike Stroke City where the dispute is current and so "Derry", "Londonderry" and "Doire" are all listed on that page. Really it's only about four or five stories, each of which has about two different titles in contention between the reference books, the licenced magazine and so forth. I don't think this will crowd things out. Timrollpickering 12:24, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps for sanity's sake we should simply list the most commonly tussled over. In this case, An Unearthly Child / 100,000 BC and then The Edge of Destruction / Inside the Spaceship and The Daleks / The Mutants and leave it as that. --khaosworks (talkcontribs) 12:31, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
That works for me: place the articles at the most common names (An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction), pipe in-text links or use redirects so that articles use the more accurate names (100,000 BC, Inside the Spaceship — I think we can continue to refer to serial B as The Daleks, though, for simplicity's sake), and (for these three stories only) list both titles in the infobox. We can worry about the other debated titles later.
Unless anyone objects, I'll take care of these moves later today. By the way, it's been pointed out to me that Wikipedia guidelines suggest that we don't have to — and actually shouldn't — turn redirects that display correctly and bring readers to the correct page into direct links. See Wikipedia:Redirect#Don't fix links to redirects that aren't broken. Only double redirects need to be fixed after a move. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 15:34, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Umm... didn't we just establish that the guy who was the authority on "most accurate titles" told Khaos that, quote, "he has concluded that there is no such thing as the "most accurate title" as the there were no consistent overall story titles for those early serials"? - SoM 15:41, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
The guideline talks about the article "reflecting recent scholarship", but it's not clear whether that means the "recent scholarship" name should be used within the article, or that the fact that there is recent scholarship should be noted (as it is already in this article). I'm concerned that it would confuse a reader to see a page called, say, The Edge of Destruction which then refers to its subject throughout as Inside the Spaceship. (Although I note that this article seems to studiously avoid repeating the title.) —Whouk (talk) 15:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree - it's ack-basswards to have an article which doesn't agree with it's title. Note the alternative titles, yes, but pick one and stick with it for the rest. - SoM 16:13, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
It may be ass-backwards (or even bass-ackwards), but it seems to be what Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) supports, at least as I read it:
"Wikipedia is not a place to advocate a title change in order to reflect recent scholarship. The articles themselves reflect recent scholarship but the titles should represent common usage."
I think that as long as we note the discrepancy in the introduction it should be fine. I like Khaosworks' latest phrasing in this article:
"An Unearthly Child (also known as 100,000 BC, among others, see below) is a serial..."
Does anyone object to that wording? Can we go ahead and move this page to An Unearthly Child, and Inside the Spaceship to The Edge of Destruction? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 17:10, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
I think we can go ahead and do just that - move this page to An Uneartgly Child, and come to a decision about The Edge of Destruction on its own discussion page. NP Chilla 20:37, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
Right. I'm going to bite the bullet and move this page, fix the redirects, then go to bed. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:27, 31 March 2006 (UTC)
The first two are done; I'm now embarking on the third. Good night. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:44, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay, shall we continue this on Talk:Inside the Spaceship? Anyone objecting to a move to The Edge of Destruction, speak there now. --KJBracey 09:05, 2 April 2006 (UTC)