In late 1963 we had Doctor Who, the series which spawned the Whoniverse. Then in 1964, in the pages of TV Comic, a Doctor Who spin-off comic started. It was the first part of what would become the Doctor WhoExpanded Universe: a never-ending supply of stories with many different branches, timelines and continuities, which have a strong tendency to reference each other and mutually contradict each other in the same breath. Their canonicity to the TV series is "debatable" and very, very complicated.Some Expanded Universe stories and characters have been directly adapted into (or just referenced in) TV series episodes. And many Expanded Universe stories and characters are adapted into otherExpanded Universe stories and characters, which are then adapted for TV, which then spin off into more Expanded Universe stories... you get the idea.Expanded Universe material in general and without the Doctor, in particular, tend to be Darker and Edgier and skew more towards the cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism than their parent series. The different Sarah Jane spin-offs serve as a lesson in how you can spin off the same character in different ways, using different tropes and for different audiences. The Third Doctor Radio Dramas have her as a Damsel in Distress; The Sarah Jane Adventures and K-9 and Company are notably fluffy and sweet (with still pretty dark themes for children's television of their respective times); the semi-professional direct-to-video fanmade production Downtime tackled a few more serious issues; the Big Finish Doctor Who audio adaptation series Sarah Jane Smith is dark, mature and complex.The Expanded Universe has branched in diverse ways into separate fully licensed and semi-official sub-continuities, divided (in some cases) by the BBC's copyright restrictions. This is further complicated by the fact that no one person, including the BBC, owns all the rights to the monsters and characters which have appeared in the Whoniverse. Sometimes the varying franchises acknowledge each other, sometimes they ignore each other, Depending on the Writer. In one notable instance, Big Finish Doctor Who explicitly named the Eighth Doctor Adventures as an alternate timeline that takes place in an Alternate Continuity, before — a few years later — referencing them and the canonically incompatible Doctor Who Magazine comics as canon anyway. The Timey-Wimey Ball, Broad Strokes and especially the MST3K Mantra apply where necessary.The "wilderness years" also spawned numerous Fan Work stories, typically involving the then-cancelled TV series' actors and crew in some way. These include the Doctor Who Audio Visuals (which eventually became the official Big Finish production studio) and various BBV productions. The people responsible for these Fan Work productions ended up directly involved in Doctor Who proper, and many of the concepts became Ascended Fanon.In short: the Doctor Who Expanded Universe is a never-ending rabbit hole of stories. It's all tangled and full of Broad Strokes, and those who expect consistency, or even, in some cases, sanity, are in for a confusing ride. But the sheer importance and impact of the Expanded Universe to the TV series proper is tremendous: numerous post-2005 Whoniverse writers (and quite a few actors) got their start in Doctor Who in its expanded universe, and everyone involved with the show has been heavily influenced by the stories.
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TV Comic: This British Anthology Comic publication specialised, as its name suggests, in comic strips featuring licensed TV characters. It ran a Doctor Who strip from 1964 to 1979, with a break during 1971-3 when the Doctor Who strip appeared in a sister title called Countdown and later TV Action, aimed at a slightly older audience. However, all these strips were definitely commercial publications aimed at a child audience, and the stories featuring the first four versions of "Dr. Who" and his companions (who in the early days were entirely different from the TV characters, due to the publishers only paying the fee to use the Doctor himself) reflected this. Apart from sharing very basic elements, they didn't have much in common with the television series. At one point, the Doctor joins forces with Santa Claus to battle an evil wizard and save Christmas.
The Dalek Chronicles. This comic ran in the Gerry Anderson-linked anthology title TV Century 21 from 1965 to 1967, featuring the Daleks in general and the Emperor Dalek in particular as the Villain Protagonists, killing and destroying everything in sight. This strip owed its existence to the fact that Terry Nation personally owned the copyright in the Daleks and initially licensed them separately. For its time it was distinctly Darker and Edgier than the main Doctor Who strip, and was partially written by the first script editor of Doctor Who, David Whitaker. It has a much higher reputation among fans than the early Doctor Who strips, and parts of its content undoubtedly influenced plots and Dalek characterisation and tech in later TV stories. Examples include the Emperor Dalek and, of course, the storyline about the nonconformist (though still violent) hippy Dalek who decided to go against the Emperor and defend pretty things — to the death! (The latter storyline appeared, minus the silliness, in the television story "The Evil of the Daleks".) The later ones have some excellent artwork by Ron Turner.
Doctor Who Magazine: From 1979 onwards, and still ongoing. By and large, the DWM comics have tended to reference their own sub-continuity more than other media. However, during the early 1990s, they shared the same continuity as the Doctor Who New Adventures novels; in the mid-90s, around the time of the TV Movie, they made a break with the novels' continuity by killing off the Doctor's companion Ace as a teenager (after the books had shown her to age, turn into a Nineties Anti-Hero and finally leave the Doctor for good).
Radio Times comic strip: A short-lived Eighth Doctor strip written by Gary Russell with art by Lee Sullivan. It ran for about a year in Radio Times after the TV Movie, and ended up getting Cut Short. (Gary would later wrap up the story as a side-plot in his Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Placebo Effect.) Format-wise, it was more akin to a newspaper comic than anything else, with short strips generally cliffhangering into the next one.
IDW Comics: American company IDW Publishing picked up the licence for US Doctor Who comics after the export success of the 21st-century revived series, reprinting the Doctor Who Magazine run from the beginning as Doctor Who Classics, producing their own one-shots and miniseries, and eventually launching their own separate ongoing series. IDW's issues are officially No Export for You to the UK, for licencing reasons, although it's easy to find the TPBs in comic shops. Their Doctor Who licence ended at the same time as Matt Smith's tenure on the show. Their releases included, but are not limited to:
Titan Doctor Who comics: After IDW lost the US Doctor Who comics license, Titan Books, previously known mostly for publishing 2000 AD strip collections, were the next recipients. They are publishing three separate ongoing series featuring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors.
Dr. Who and the Daleks (based on "The Daleks") and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (based on "The Dalek Invasion of Earth"): Two colour, relatively high budgeted Doctor Whofilm adaptations from the 1960s. The films, starring Peter Cushing, shortened and dumbed down the stories, meaning that they cut out much Padding, but simplified the themes, softened the characters and overall made things Lighter and Softer. The Doctor underwent Flanderization into a human Absent-Minded Professorliterallycalled Dr. Who who had invented a time machine called TARDIS (no "the"). His grand-daughter Susan was de-aged to prepubescence and Barbara and Ian were changed from teachers to Doctor Who's grown-up elder grand-daughter and her incompetent Plucky Comic Relief boyfriend. The second film replaced Barbara and Ian with Doctor Who's niece Louise and Tom Campbell, a bumbling policeman who anticipated a couple of TV companions by stumbling into TARDIS thinking it was a real police box. Needless to say, they occur in a Alternate Continuity from the series. At least one official prose spin-off short story has been published featuring the movieverse characters. Bernard Cribbins, who played Campbell, played Donna's grandfather Wilfred Mott in several Davies-era TV stories, decades later. Steven Moffat, showrunner of the main series, has cited the movie Daleks as inspiration for the Dalek design of series 5.
BBV movies: Semi-pro direct-to-video licensed videos starring TV series companions and monsters, including:
Downtime (also integrated into the Missing Adventures continuity; introduced Canon Immigrant Kate Stewart)
Shakedown: The Return of the Sontarans (also integrated into the New Adventures continuity)
In the 1980s, Canadian company Nelvana planned to produce an animated Who series for American network CBS, which fell through. Early concept art for the series featured a Doctor who bore a striking resemblance to Egon Spengler, from The Real Ghostbusters.About a decade after Doctor Who went off the air, BBCi started experimenting with the series, doing webcast dramas with animated elements. These include:
Scream of the Shalka: A 2003 anniversary special by BBCi, which featured a Ninth Doctor played by Richard E. Grant. The TV series' return (announced two months earlier), however, meant the Shalka Doctor got overwritten in continuity. It also had a cameo by a now somewhat well-known Who fan who basically insisted on having a part written just for him after hearing about the production from down the hall.
The Infinite Quest: a 13-part serial featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha, broadcast as part of the BBC kids' series Totally Doctor Who.
Dreamland, a 2009 CGI-animated serial featuring Ten solo with "guest companions". Initially, it was shown on digital and online, before appearing on BBC Two. This is almost certainly in mainstream TV continuity, as one of its villain factions later turned up in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Doctor Who Novelisations: By Target. During the 70s and 80s, in the days before video took off, these were the way to catch up on previous Doctor Who stories. They retold (and frequently expanded on) the stories on TV, and several of them are highly acclaimed. Usually also available as audiobooks, read by the TV series actor(s). Almost every story from the classic series got a novelisation, with the TV Movie's being done by BBC Books; the five that didn't get one ("The Pirate Planet", "City of Death", "Shada", "Resurrection of the Daleks" and "Revelation of the Daleks") received fan novelisations courtesy of the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club. (If you noticed that three of the five are Douglas Adams stories, you're right. Adams wouldn't allow others to novelise his scripts, and — notorious procrastinator that he was — never did them himself. Also, with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy having taken off in the meantime, Target Books was no longer able to afford the advances he commanded.) "Shada" eventually received an official novelisation by BBC Books in 2012, written by Gareth Roberts; "City of Death" is set to receive a BBC novelisation in 2014, again courtesy of Roberts. However, there've been no official novelisations of anything past the TV Movie, and it looks unlikely there will be.
The Companions of Doctor Who: A short-lived series of Target novels featuring companions without the Doctor. After original novels featuring Turlough and Harry Sullivan (the latter written by Sullivan's actor Ian Marter), it fizzled out with a novelisation of K-9 and Company.
Doctor Who New Adventures: Created after the show was cancelled, as an official continuation of the adventures of the Seventh Doctor and, initially, Ace. Also known as "Virgin New Adventures", after their publisher. Choosing to aim for an audience of 25 and up fans and readers of Science Fiction (versus targeting a younger, less reverent demographic, as they also considered), they made both the Doctor and the tone of the entire franchise Darker and Edgier. They also made the stories a bit harder on the Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness (the television series had gone in that direction anyway). The novels (more because of the creativity of the fans-turned-authors Running the Asylum than by Executive Meddling) riffed over each other's contributions. Future Show RunnerRussell T Davies contributed one of the novels, Damaged Goods. Other writers for the New Adventures would later write for the 2005 revival series. The penultimate New Adventures novel featuring, Lungbarrow, by Marc Platt, also went into the Doctor's secret Back Story, hinted about onscreen. After Virgin lost the licence, a few further novels featuring characters original to the series without the Doctor were published as "New Adventures", to tie up long-term arcs.
Doctor Who Missing Adventures: Novels starring the first six Doctors, also published by Virgin at the same time as the New Adventures featuring the Seventh. Although they were written to officially fit in between specific pairs of TV stories, and so couldn't do anything that would truly break TV continuity, they often adopted the more "mature", Darker and Edgier subject matter and tone of the New Adventures.
Decalogs: A five-volume series of short story anthologies featuring the Doctor and his companions, also published by Virgin. Notably, Decalog 3: Consequences contained "Continuity Errors", later head writer's Steven Moffat's first contribution to the franchise. Following Virgin's loss of the Doctor Who license, Decalog 4: Re:Generations focused entirely on the family history of New Adventures companion Roz while the final volume, Decalog 5: Wonders, said "screw it" and was, with the exception of "The Judgement of Solomon" featuring Benny, an anthology of standalone sci-fi short stories completely unrelated to the Doctor Who franchise.
Eighth Doctor Adventures: Published by the BBC. The authors really had a field day with the Eighth Doctor, who had only appeared in the Made-for-TV Movie. Since his run in the TV series was so short, nearly all of his adventures had to be shown in the Expanded Universe, in the novels, audio plays and comics. General consensus says that both this series and the Doctor Who New Adventures took place in the same universe, though some writers disagreed. At any rate, the Eighth Doctor novels started off Lighter and Softer then before and then got Darker and Edgier again and engaged in heavy Story Arcs leading to (arguably) Continuity Lock-Out and eventually Cosmic Retcon, which in turn led to... etc., etc. Not to be confused with Big Finish's New Eighth Doctor Adventures audio series.
Past Doctor Adventures: A range of novels by the BBC analogous to the Virgin Missing Adventures, featuring the first seven Doctors (and in one instance after David Tennant became the Doctor, but before his first full episode, the Eighth). Dropped in 2005, around the time of David Tennant's debut, and has been revived with The Wheel of Ice in 2012 (a 7-year release gap) and Harvest of Time in 2013.
Short Trips: Short story anthologies by the BBC, later published by Big Finish. (Once Big Finish lost their licence to publish Short Trips as books, they continued making new ones as an audio series.)
Telos novellas: Briefly, Telos got the licence to do Doctor Who novellas, featuring all the Doctors. These eventually spawned another Spin-Off, Time Hunter.
New Series Adventures: 2005 onwards. These feature the current TV Doctor and aim themselves towards a more general and kid-inclusive audience. However, the writers like to sneak in references to Darker and Edgier works from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe. These new books appear to be in continuity with the TV series, being referenced (in "Boom Town" and "The End of Time" Part One) in the TV show itself.
Iris Wildthyme: Rogue (alleged) Time Lady, voiced by Katy Manning in the audios (who also played the Third Doctor's companion Jo Grant in the classic series), whose (alleged) TARDIS looks like a red double-decker London bus, smaller on the inside. She actually originated outside the Whoniverse in a few Magical Realist novels by Paul Magrs and got transplanted into it. If you're looking for a Whovian equivalent of Squirrel Girl, here she is.
Puffin ebooks: A monthly series of short ebooks released for the 50th anniversary, featuring the first eleven Doctors in chronological order, written by famous children's authors. Collected as "Doctor Who 11 Doctors 11 Stories". Notably the Ninth Doctor story The Beast of Babylon gave room for Ninth Doctor adventures without Rose while still allowing the events of "Rose" to be his first adventure.
Time Trips: BBC Books' analogue to the Puffin ebooks. A monthly series of short ebooks, featuring a different Doctor each story, written by famous novelists. They'd done three ebooks before this, tying in with Series 7 (The Angel's Kiss, Devil in the Smoke, and Summer Falls).
Doctor Who Tales Of Trenzalore: This tells the story of some of the Doctor's battles during the Siege of Trenzalore; however, instead of telling it as one big story, Tales of Trenzalore breaks down the years into four different periods, by four different writers.
Doctor Who and the Pescatons: A 1976 half-drama-half-audiobook on vinyl LP, in which the Fourth Doctor and Sarah fight off an invasion of Earth by the fish-like Pescatons. Also got a Target novelisation, in the final years of the range when they were casting around for new titles.
Exploration Earth: The Time Machine: An episode of an educational radio show on earth sciences, in which the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane guide pupils on a trip to Earth's early geological history, with occasional interruptions from villain Megron.
Slipback: A serial featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri, broadcast during a short-lived children's strand of programming on Radio 4. Created to ensure that some kind of Doctor Who would exist in broadcast media during the gap created by the cancellation of the original Season 23. Like "The Pescatons", also received a Target novelisation.
Audio Adventures in Time & Space: A semi-official Fan Work production label by BBV (headed by Bill Baggs and Nicholas Briggs). Works from various continuities were produced under the label. Since BBV didn't have the rights to the Doctor, there was a lot of Writing Around Trademarks involved: for example, Ace would travel with Sylvester McCoy as "The Professor", instead of as the Doctor. Some stories focused instead on classic villains, such as the Rani or the Cybermen — the TV series writers were occasionally involved in writing these audios. Others were based on Nicholas Briggs' Who-clone series The Stranger (in which Colin Baker played the titular Sixth Doctor Expy, and Nicola Bryant was Peri Expy "Miss Brown").
BBC Audio (aka AudioGO): Original audio books, as well as recordings of existing novels, featuring TV Doctors and companions. They also recruited Fourth Doctor Tom Baker to do several series of audio plays for them. (To make things not confusing at all, these are now also sold on the Big Finish website, but are in no way part of the Big Finish canon.)
One cooperation project by AudioGO and Big Finish, the 50th anniversary "Destiny Of The Doctor" series, enabled Big Finish to briefly escape the trademark issues around the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.
Kaldor City: Stories set in the decadent far-future human (probably) culture seen in the Fourth Doctor serial "The Robots of Death". Either an Intercontinuity Crossover or proof that Doctor Who and Blake's 7take place in the same universe. An earlier Past Doctor Adventures novel, Corpse Marker, by former Who writer and Blake's Seven script editor Chris Boucher, had already crossed this over. In fact, these act as loose sequels to that novel. These have more grounding in the Whoniverse than the B7 universe, though, and featured the surprise return of an old baddy.
The Curse Of The Daleks, a 1964 stage play serving as an Interquel between the first Dalek story, "The Daleks", and their second, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". (The earlier The Dalek Chronicles comics had done the same.) It did not feature the Doctor or any of his companions.
Recall UNIT: The Great T-Bag Mystery, a 1984 stage play featuring Mike Yates, John Benton and a single Dalek, but not the Doctor or any of his companions. It was written by Yates' actor Richard Franklin and performed during that year's edition of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. And no, it has nothing to do with T-Bag.
Doctor Who Live: The Monsters Are Coming!, a 2010 stage play serving as a sequel to the Third Doctor story "Carnival of Monsters", featuring the son of Vorg from that story and, as you can infer, lots of monsters live on the stage. It did feature the real Doctor... in the form of prerecorded Matt Smith footage which the characters on stage interacted with.
The Crash of the Elysium, a 2011-2012 interactive stage play produced by immersive theatre codifiers Punchdrunk from an idea by Steven Moffat. It featured the Weeping Angels, more prerecorded Matt Smith footage (except for one day where Smith appeared in the flesh) and (of course) the crash of a spaceship known as the Elysium. Being a Punchdrunk production, the fourth wall was smashed into bits in this play as the audience was recruited by the military on a quest to face the Angels and rescue the TARDIS, whom they have separated the Doctor from (again).
The Doctor Who Roleplaying Game: Made by FASA in the 90s. Marred by poor research, which unintentionally generated Fanon. FASA put out several supplements, along with two choose-your-own-adventure books. Virgin Publishing (the publishers of the New and Missing Adventures lines of novels) did a second RPG in the 90s, called Time Lord. A third game from Cubicle 7, Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, came out in winter 2009.
The Make Your Own Adventure With Doctor Who series (Find Your Fate in the US): Six choose-your-own-adventure books with the Sixth Doctor released in the 1980s by Severn House (UK)/Ballantine (US). BBC Books did their own choose-your-own-adventure books for the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors with the Decide Your Destiny books.
Dalek Attack: Another platformer, featuring an Out of Character Seventh Doctor, as well as the Fourth and Second, outright killing the Daleks and their allies with his sonic screwdriver and grenades.
Destiny Of The Doctors: A PC adventure game in which you play a jellyish-esque creature who must rescue the first seven Doctors from the Master.
Top Trumps: A Tenth Doctor card game.
All the minigames on the BBC's Doctor Who website.
The Adventure Games: A set of episodic adventure games with the Eleventh Doctor, headed by Charles Cecil and developed by Sumo Digital. Said to be part of series 5 and 6, four were released in mid-to-late 2010 and one was released in late 2011.
Doctor Who: Worlds in Time: A web browser MMO in which time is breaking apart (again), and the Doctor is recruiting a vast network of assistants to help find and repair damaged patches of time, and defeat the alien menaces that plan to use the situation for their own benefit. Each assistant gets their own sonic screwdriver.
The Eternity Clock: Yet another platformer, released on the Playstation 3, Playstation Vita and PC and featuring the Eleventh Doctor and River Song.
Legacy: A free-to-play Match Three RPG puzzler for iOS and Android in which episodes of the show are re-enacted in the style of Puzzle And Dragons.
Tropes used in the games:
Black Cyberknights: Show up in one of the pre-generated adventure paths in the RPG. They stage a duel to try to figure out which of the local knights would be best for conversion.
Cursed with Awesome: Due to the destruction of the human race in 1963 in City of the Daleks, Amy is slowly fading from existence. While this is certainly a bad thing, it also affords her occasional invisiblity, which can come in quite handy during stealth sequences.
Temporal Paradox: Lady Morgana manipulates the players into making one to fuel her Paradox Battery.
The Tourney: Much less fun if you are thrown through a temporal vortex directly into the middle of one, as happens to the players in "Knight of the Comet"
Tropes that appear in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe in general:
Aliens and Monsters: Depending on the medium, these can get very outlandish, and often a lot more alien than the TV series (specifically, its budget) would allow for.
Anyone Can Die: The Doctor Who Magazine comics famously killed off Ace, Big Finish sees Tegan dying of cancer, and Death Comes To Time even permanently killed the Doctor himself. Various works tend to throw in cheeky references to the fact that certain companions are dead in other continuities.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Or in this case, literally shattering it. One DWM comic called "TV ACTION!" (as a nod to the earlier strip title) has the Eighth Doctor and companion Izzy following a villain "into our world", ending up in the BBC studios. Where Tom Baker himself distracts the villain allowing the heroes to save the day.
A similar story is done in IDW comic "The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who", where the Eleventh Doctor ends up in the real world and even meets Matt Smith.
Canon Foreigner: Most works feature at least one original companion, and they tend to stick around for a very long time and appear in other media as well. For example, Doctor Who Magazine comics companion Frobisher showed up in Big Finish as well, and eventually in IDW comics. Doctor Who New Adventures companion Bernice Summerfield has appeared in more novels and audios than can be sensibly listed anywhere. Big Finish companion Dr. Evelyn Smythe has even appeared in the official BBC web animation "Real Time". During 2009, when the Doctor was companion-less on TV, DWA gave him Heather McCrimmon, a descendent of Jamie. And so on.
Canon Immigrant: Occasionally, characters from the Doctor Who Expanded Universe make it into the TV series. Examples are Kate Stewart (from Downtime) and the cast of "Human Nature".
Cast Full of Gay: The majority of the more mature Doctor Who spinoffs have a lot of gay and bisexual characters, always shown in a very positive way.
Continuity Snarl: Different branches and franchises freely reference each other or contradict each other, and no single author has the power to say whether or not something is canon to something else. It's all a bit like a big tangled ball of multicoloured yarn.