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Timing is everything

Despite what the title of this post might imply, this is about fanfiction and canon timing (and not-so-canon timing).

While I'm not being particularly productive with writing, I am always thinking about stories I have in progress or ideas I might want to pursue. In particular, I'm thinking right now about my David AU, and I'm finding that the timing I laid out for it is just not right.

The first part of David's Time Lord existence was spent in a forced paradox with the Doctor and Jenny. I've always thought this encapsulated two years of his time, but this is malleable: who knows how long things really take in the TARDIS, other than the TARDIS herself, so if it turns out that it took longer or shorter, it doesn't really matter.

The next important part is David's time on Earth. Because he cannot leave Earth or travel in time (unless I come up with a story for him to do so which doesn't interfere with Will's understanding), this is linear and fixed. The part after this, which is his life in the time vortex completing his TARDIS and then everything after that, again becomes non-linear, so that's not a problem.

I've always thought that David spent two years on Earth then two years in the time vortex, and thus built his TARDIS in four years. The more I think about this, the more I realize that the first part can't be true - he must have been on Earth for three or four years. First, TARDISes (What is the plural of this word??) take a very long time to grow/create - at least a century, if not multiple centuries. I don't have the numbers with me, but I calculated at some point that given the information from other sources on how long that takes and Donna's line about how to cut that time down to a fraction in the deleted scene from "Journey's End" in which Meta gets the TARDIS coral, it would still take a good ten to twenty years. I can cut that down a little bit with something about David being a Time Lord-human hybrid and therefore can improve on Donna's idea, but not so that it comes down to four years.

But, more to the point, my stories have definite timestamps on them, and looking at canon, it must be at least three years between David's arrival on Earth and his departure for the time vortex. He arrived in England nine days before "The End of Time", which was Christmas 2009. He leaves two days after "The Power of Three". Now, in general, it's assumed that episodes happen in the same year that they're aired unless a date is given in the episode or an event pushes episodes (or seasons) into the future. For example, "Rose" was assumed to happen in 2005, and then "Aliens of London" gave a definitive date (in Rose's "missing" posters) putting that episode in 2006 and subsequently all of Series 1, 2, 3, and 4 one year ahead of air date. (They can't have reset back to air date, because Rose herself prevents Series 1 and 2 from reverting, and then the Christmas specials all occur in the present day and keep the series spaced one year apart. "The Next Doctor" is the only DT Christmas special that doesn't and therefore allows Christmas 2009 to be open for "The End of Time".) Thus, I'd assumed that David had been in England from late 2009 to summer of 2012, or two years plus change.

However, there are at least two events that lengthen this time span. First, in "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe", Amy tells the Doctor that he's been "dead" for two years. The last time she saw him was in April 2011 ("The Impossible Astronaut"), so it must be at least Christmas 2012, if not Christmas 2013. Then, "The Power of Three", like "Aliens of London", starts in a non-wintery season and advances the timeline one more year. Thus, David must leave in either summer(-ish) 2013 or 2014, depending on how you want to interpret Amy's declaration of "two years", and that's three or four years (again, plus change).

Are there any other date considerations after "The End of Time" that I'm forgetting? Actually, the real question is about date considerations after "Closing Time", which happened in April 2011. I'd like to nail down just how much time I have for David to get himself into trouble on Earth. And, honestly, I love talking about the show's timeline. It's such a wonderful, bizarre mess.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 23rd, 2018 09:32 pm (UTC)
TARDISes (What is the plural of this word??)

TARDISes, I think; it's not Latin or Greek, just an acronym that happens to end in an S.

I have no idea how you would pluralize "Time and Relative Dimension in Space", or if it's even sensible to talk about doing so. It doesn't really sound like a countable noun to me ("dimension" is, but the phrase as a whole sounds more abstract to my ear).
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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