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Word Of God / Live-Action TV

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Word of God in Live-Action TV.

Examples with sources cited:

Who said it, and when or where they said it is included in these examples. If you don't know when or where, even in general, please add your examples to the section below, not here.

  • In later seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, questions not answered in the actual show tended to be addressed only in Joss Whedon's interviews. Some fans considered anything Joss said in an interview to be canon, while others did not and were annoyed by this practice.
  • Responding to a message board request, Coupling creator (and sole writer) Steven Moffat wrote a breakdown of the characters' lives several years after the fourth and final season. This gave Moffat the chance to write an "ending" for the character of Jeff, despite actor Richard Coyle leaving the previous year.
    • Unfortunately, because the primary source (an old Dr. Who forum called Outpost Gallifrey) has closed, The Other Wiki wouldn't keep it on the show's page anymore because of lack of citation, so if it pleases the crowds, here is the text to be preserved for everyone to read:

      "Sally said yes to Patrick, they got married and are very happy... especially as Sally beat Susan to the altar, and finally did something first. Patrick is now a completely devoted husband, who lives in total denial that he was anything other an upstanding member of the community. Or possibly he's actually forgotten. He doesn't like remembering things because it's a bit like thinking.

      Jane and Oliver never actually did have sex, but they did become very good friends. They often rejoice together that their friendship is uncomplicated by any kind of sexual attraction - but they both get murderously jealous when the other is dating. Jane has a job at Oliver's science fiction book shop now - and since Oliver has that one moment of Naked Jane burnt on the inside of his eyelids, he now loses the place in one in every three sentences. People who know them well think something's gotta give - and they're right. Especially as Jane comes to work in a metal bikini.

      Steve and Susan have two children now, and have recently completed work on a sitcom about their early lives together. They're developing a new television project, but it keeps getting delayed as he insists on writing episodes of some old kids show they recently pulled out of mothballs. She gets very cross about this, and if he says "Yeah but check out the season poll!" one more time, he will not live to write another word.

      Jeff is still abroad. He lives a life of complete peace and serenity now, having taken the precaution of not learning a word of the local language and therefore protecting himself from the consequences of his own special brand of communication. If any English speakers turn up, he pretends he only speaks Hebrew. He is, at this very moment, staring out to sea, and sighing happily every thirty-eight seconds.

      What he doesn't know, of course, is that even now a beautiful Israeli girl he once met in a bar, is heading towards his apartment, having been directed to the only Hebrew speaker on the island. What he also doesn't know is that she is being driven by a young ex-pat English woman, who is still grieving the loss of a charming, one-legged Welshman she once met on a train. And he cannot possibly suspect that (owing to a laundry mix-up, and a stag party the previous night in the same block) he is wearing heat-dissolving trunks.

      As the doorbell rings, it is best that we draw a veil."
    • Moffat also demonstrated his power on his Twitter, in relation to Doctor Who:
      "Not it isn't [his name]. That's just what some guy CALLED him. And WHOOSH! that's canonical now. See my power!!!"
    • On the other hand, in Moffat's column in Doctor Who Magazine he tends to take the view that if didn't appear on screen, his opinions are no more valid than anyone else's. He therefore feels free to do things like "reveal" the Doctor's real name is Mildred, or suggest that the Cyber-Brig continued hanging around UNIT H.Q. in a false moustache, getting in Kate's way. That said, however, 99% of readers recognize these as jokes, as opposed to - for example - Moffat indicating what the Doctor did during the first 7,000 years he spent in the Confession Dial in "Heaven Sent", which is taken more seriously because there is no joking involved. Or the fact that in 2015 he and the actors who played the Doctor and Clara, all concurred regarding the fact a romance existed between the two characters, even if it was intentionally left ambiguous on screen.
  • The Making of Doctor Who book (first edition 1972, second edition 1976), by scriptwriters Malcolm Hulke and Terrance Dicks, established much of what became conventional wisdom about Doctor Who's universe, fandom lacking any real way to see previous stories at the time. Perhaps more than any other source, it established the accepted framework of the Doctor's origin, with later additions, even in the TV series, getting assessed by whether or not they fit it, and past contradictions ignored. (That said, one part of this origin only got a foothold in the expanded universe, never being validated on screen - namely, the idea Susan wasn't the Doctor's granddaughter - and even then, the fact she's omitted from the Doctor's departure from Gallifrey is disregarded.)
  • Donkey Hodie:
    • Two posts on the official Donkey Hodie social media accounts confirm that "Everything Explorers" takes place during fall.
    • According to his puppeteer and voice actor Frankie Cordero, the reason why Purple Panda's voice changed in later episodes of the show was because the people working on the show had to find the natural voices of their characters.
  • In weekly podcasts, the producers of Lost have occasionally clarified plot points, such as confirming Jae Lee's death in "The Glass Ballerina" was a suicide. However, they are not always to be taken at their word: before season 3, in a long list of things we wouldn't see, they named "Desmond running naked through the jungle." Which did show up.
  • Nearly two decades after the series finale of Family Ties, and after a couple years of speculation from fans, Gary David Goldberg (the creator of the sitcom) has finally given his own input on Alex P. Keaton's current political leanings. Quite naturally, his response has managed to alienate certain fans of the show. The speculations have arose during the 2006 US elections, where Michael J. Fox (who played Alex P. Keaton) was lobbying for the legalization of ESCR. Furthermore, Michael J. Fox has also given his input on Alex P. Keaton's current political leanings (and place of residence).
  • TV execs had told creator Ryan Murphy he had the greenlight for season 3 of Popular, which is why the season 2 season finale was a cliffhanger. After the series was cancelled, Murphy released the rough outline of season 3 that he'd already worked out.
  • Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, will reveal some things during DVD commentaries. In the commentary of season 6 episode, The Skit, He has stated that he gets fans asking him why Debra is always so mean to Raymond. He states his answer is always because Raymond has earned it.
  • Dan Schneider who runs iCarly is very active in this regard. In addition to twittering, set pictures and livejournal discussion, he also posts episodic fact sheets. Some of these contain interpretations of events on the show, one example from the iFight episode is that Carly was at least a little jealous when Freddie made some comments about Shelby being hot and future wife material.
    • His blog for the finale of the show, iGoodbye, is an example of the creator using his word to make things unclear rather than clearing up misconceptions. This episode featured a Last Minute Kiss moment between one pairing, and the other major pairings supporters were not happy with it. Knowing that he had a Spin-Off show involving the 'third wheel' to promote, he took to his blog to creatively muddy the water, attempting to confuse the meaning behind the kisses, the romances, how much the romances meant in the context of the episode and the very idea that there was a romantic hookup involved. All without giving either side any additional content or clarity beyond what happened in the episode itself.
  • The Star Trek franchise as a whole is subject to one of the more controversial "words of God" in science fiction fandom: Paramount Studios (owners of the franchise) and Gene Roddenberry (creator of the franchise) established prior to Roddenberry's death in 1991 that only live-action Star Trek productions count as official canon; the 1970s animated series plus the novels, comic books and other spinoffs were not to be counted. That hasn't stopped some creative script-writers from sneaking references and concepts from the "expanded universe" into TV episodes and films.
    • An attempt at subverting this occurred when Jeri Taylor, co-creator of Star Trek: Voyager, wrote an original novel, Mosaic, based upon characters she helped create. Although originally thought to be the first canonical novel, given her special status (the only other Trek creator to pen a Trek novel was Roddenberry himself when he wrote the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture), it was later confirmed that the non-canon rule still applied, even to Taylor's novels.
      • What ultimately came of it was that, while Taylor may have intended Mosaic, as well as a follow-up novel focused on the other characters, Pathways, to be the canon background and story for the characters, and while she may have had these backgrounds in mind during her time on the show, once she stepped down from her position as executive producer, later material could and was established that was contradictory with them.
      • D.C. Fontana is also considered a Trek creator. She wrote much of the continuity for TOS including Spock's background, plus several episodes. Her animated-series episode Yesteryear is generally regarded as canon (reinforced by the fact that some of the events of Yesteryear are directly referenced in TNG episode "Unification, Part 1", and later the city of ShiKahr is seen in both Star Trek: Enterprise and the CGI-remastered version of the TOS episode "Amok Time"). Her novel Vulcan's Glory, is accepted as canon by many fans, but officially it is not.
      • In the opening when the Voyager tips its underbelly to reveal three gray patches. John Gross of Ambilin Imaging *and later Digital Muse and EdenFX* ends up confirming what should be considered a very minor Special Effects Failure as those three gray patches are where texture should go.
    • He also canonicized the proper term for a Star Trek fan. Once at a convention, he used the term "Trekkie" and a fan corrected him with "Trekker" - the response? "No, it's Trekkie. I should know, I created them!"
  • On a now-defunct section of Sony's website, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak said that the show got rid of the returning-champions format because it was deemed unfair: a contestant might be great at solving puzzles, but have little to show for it thanks to just one Bankrupt, while the dummy of the group could end up having victory dumped in his lap again and again.
  • J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, was one of the first to interact directly with fans via the Internet, via USENet and CompuServe. He often directly answered fan questions, explaining many things about each episode. Fan website The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5 has archived most, if not all, of his comments, sorted by episode.
  • The Community episode Remedial Chaos Theory has the show's timeline branching based on the outcome of a roll of a die. Due to the episode being aired out of order some plot details from the episode intended to air after it such as Shirley calling Britta's lighter a Marijuana Lighter implied the canon timeline was the one based on the winner of the roll being Abed. Word of God in the form of a blog post from show creator Dan Harmon on his official blog (Entitled "Fine, we're geniuses but not EVIL geniuses") apologized for the confusion and stated that the canon timeline was actually Abed grabbing the dice, making Jeff get the pizza.
  • In the eighth season finale of Scrubs, the Janitor finally reveals his real name as Glen Matthews. Throughout the series, the Janitor has many aliases, and seconds later after he reveals his "real name", someone walking by calls him "Tommy". However, series creator Bill Lawrence stated on his Twitter account that Glen Matthews is the Janitor's real name.
  • Horatio Hornblower: According to Jamie Bamber, the character he portrayed, Midshipman (later Lieutenant) Archie Kennedy, is the third son of a Scottish lord. He mentioned it in an interview for the A&E Network and it appears in the book The Making of C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower. Given Archie's status as a Composite Character and Ascended Extra, the majority of his backstory is composed of either the actors' and writers' statements about him, or Fanon.
  • The creators of Once Upon a Time revealed a few more details on Neal's 'betrayal' of Emma on twitter, mainly that he was going to abandon her with the yellow bug and a large sum of money so she could go to Storybrooke, believing himself to be 'in the way' of her reuniting with her parents, but August was the one who set Emma up for going to jail. August also took the money Neal left for Emma and used it to pay himself a trip to Nepal.
  • David Rogers, a director for The Office (US) has addressed an apparent Series Continuity Error that occurred in the series' penultimate episode, A.A.R.M., namely the contradiction between the season premiere in which Dwight learns Angela's son Philip is not his after stealing his diaper and having a lab run a DNA test and A.A.R.M. in which Angela tells him Philip is actually his son: apparently, they had planned on planting hints before The Reveal, indicating that Dwight had stolen the wrong diaper, but ultimately didn't go through with it.
  • Game of Thrones: While Lyanna Stark is revealed to be Jon Snow's mother, Rhaegar Targaryen is implied to be Jon's father. HBO's blog confirms Rhaegar is his father.
    • House of the Dragon: Although there's been no reference to him in the first season, the October 11, 2022 entry on George R. R. Martin's blog states that Daeron Targaryen, youngest - and nicest - son of Alicent and Viserys, has not been Adapted Out and is currently in Oldtown (where he was Ormund Hightower's squire, per the books).
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: According to this Vulture article, the inspiration for Galadriel's subplot with Sauron and her Xenafication is based on what Galadriel says to Frodo in chapter seven of The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • The co-creator of Odd Squad and head writer, Tim McKeon, has stated on his Twitter account that he pitched and made so many time-travel episodes, he was prohibited to pitch any more. If fans ask him something like when an episode is airing, and especially if they tweet about Odd Squad, he'll often provide an answer and a thank you (respectively), albeit sometimes the answer can be vague. Funny enough, he's also a pie enthusiast, whereas Agent Olive from Season 1 has a great fear of pie.
  • In an interview with the fansite RoboCop Archive, the writers of RoboCop: Prime Directives brandished the idea that Ellen might've either killed herself out of grief for Murphy's "passing" or died as a result of a home invasion to explain her death between the original film and PD.
  • Persons Unknown: Executive producer Rémi Aubuchon revealed in an interview what the series would have gone into had it not been canceled.
  • It has been said at around the 30-minute mark of this interview, Hayley from Power Rangers: Dino Thunder was supposed to be revealed as a lesbian. The reason why it was never revealed? A mix of budget and the politics of the time.
  • According to a Kidscreen article, the four main characters on Donkey Hodie aren't children despite acting like them, and are ageless, similar to Winnie the Pooh or SpongeBob SquarePants.

Examples that need identification of the source:

If you know when or where this was said, please add that information and move the example to the section above.

  • Doctor Who:
    • The episode "The Brain of Morbius" shows the faces of several actors who, depending on your interpretation of the scene, may be Doctors predating the canonical first Doctor. Despite the fact that the canon is very clear on the fact that the Doctor's lives are all accounted for, some people on the production staff have affirmed that they intended the faces to be earlier Doctors. These faces appeared again decades later in "The Timeless Children", again as supposed faces of the Doctor.
    • What today is regarded as canon was actually only settled on relatively late in the day. For example, it wasn't even established during "The Brain of Morbius" that Time Lords are limited to twelve regenerations (that was first mentioned in "The Deadly Assassin", broadcast the following year). Terrance Dicks, onetime script editor of Doctor Who and the man who introduced the concept of the Time Lords themselves to the show, famously once stated that 'canon was what the production team could remember on any given day.'
    • When "The End of Time" aired, there was considerable dispute over the true identity of The Woman who kept showing up. Russell T. Davies has confirmed that she is in fact meant to be the Doctor's mother, although the writers intentionally left it open to interpretation.
  • Creator of the tragically short lived Pushing Daisies Bryan Fuller revealed how he envisioned the show ending in a TV Guide interview: Emerson gets back together with his wife. The watches only led to a buried treasure and had no bearing on Ned's powers. The world finds out about Chuck and she goes off and travels with her parents to hide from the attention. She and Ned have a long, loving relationship. Many, many years later they finally kiss when Ned is on his deathbed and Chuck hasn't aged a day.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) has occasionally relied on this, such as producer Mark Verheiden confirming that Six was released from prison as part of President Lee Adama's amnesty to the rebel and Final Five Cylons in the episode "Revelations". At times, the Word of God has simply made things more confused. In the episode "Hero" it is stated that Tigh and Adama served on the battlestar Valkyrie one year before the series begins and were moved to Galactica as punishment after a vital mission failed. This contradicts statements made in several other episodes that Adama had commanded Galactica for 2-3 years prior to the series. And worse still, a document seen on-screen in the very same episode suggested he'd actually been in command of Galactica for six years. When asked about the problem, producer Ronald D. Moore said there wasn't a problem, they'd worked it out behind the scenes and it all tracked, but didn't share this explanation with fans, leaving the situation unresolved. Many people resolve this by assuming they were moved back to Galactica from active duty on the Valkyrie, the punishment being command of an inactive ship.
  • Power Rangers RPM:
    • The series is stated to take place in an Alternate Universe, separate from the other Ranger series. Good thing too, or else that would have meant all the previous Rangers and/or their descendants would have been horribly killed in the end and all their work for naught. This was later canonized when Scott crossed dimensions and guest-starred in Power Rangers Samurai.
    • On a lighter note, Tommy really does end up marrying Kat and Kimberly eventually marries Skull, although for obvious reasons, those little tidbits are all but ignored. Even when such relationships should get referenced in later series, the subject never comes up (Tommy's a regular in Dino Thunder but apparently still single, Skull's son appears in Samurai but his mom is never mentioned).
    • Also, Power Rangers S.P.D. had the writers explain a lot of things that had not been competently conveyed in the series itself.
    • Johnathan Tzachor, producer of the franchise for all of Saban's seasons, has claimed that any season he didn't produce either in part or full (Power Rangers Ninja Storm, Power Rangers: Dino Thunder, Power Rangers S.P.D., Power Rangers Mystic Force, Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, Power Rangers Jungle Fury and Power Rangers RPM) are no longer considered as being part of the franchise's canon. However, in this case he's been overruled by Saban.
  • There was some speculation that the Father Ted character Father Noel Furlong, a youth group leader, was having sex with the young people in his charge and was therefore a comment on paedophillia in the Catholic Church. (The fact that the character was played by Graham Norton helped this view). The creators have confirmed that the character is actually asexual and the joke is that the character is too enthusiastic about the quite normal behaviour of the young people.
  • A strange example of this trope is Twin Peaks, as creator David Lynch has stated that he does not support the identity of Laura Palmer's killer being her father, as he was a victim to Executive Meddling, and wanted the mystery of the killer to go on for the entire series. He therefore claims that the killer could be anybody.