28 November 2012

That's A Matter Of Opinion

For a project of this size and scope [the network analysis part] I can not rely on just my opinion on how the pieces of the puzzle should fit together. I knew was going to have to start reading a lot books and blogs from other Who enthusiasts. This, I figured, would give me a more well-rounded version to work with. But even though I would take in as much information from other sources the final viewpoint would be my own. Isn't that how all writing work anyway?

For most stories I have quite a lot of additional information for the dataset. But in some cases, I do not. And still at other times, nobody agrees with anyone else. Most of those disagreements center around the This is a great story as opposed to This story is rubbish type of argument And I can see valid points in both views. Ask people what they think of The Romans and you'll get a wide range of opinions.

But there was one area which I found where the opinions vary the most. And that was on Who Is And Isn't A Companion!. This has turned out to be the most controversial subject to date. I have not found two lists which agree on this matter. There are always a few that don't make the cut.

The biggest disagreement I've found is with the character from First Doctor's adventures, Sara Kingdom. I've read many reviews on the subject and there seem to be a split on Yes or No for her. The other biggest discussion is how to treat those One-Off Companions (i.e., Jackson Lake and Grace Holloway). I knew this was going to be one of the larger bones of contention. No matter how I organized my data there was going to be someone who says it is wrong.

Subjective vs. Objective

First off, let me say that all information on these pages is completely subjective. No one has to agree with anything I say. With that out of the way let me give you the definitions I'll be using here.

Objective information reviews many points of view. And that's what I'm gathering in this phase of the research. Attempting to gather many differing opinions on each of the companions which will, in the end, help me make my own decision.

Subjective information is one person's opinion. One person says that Katarina was a Companion cause she traveled in the TARDIS over multiple stories. But they don't include Sara Kingdom. The next person says, Katarina wasn't a companion and neither was Sara Kingdom. They were both just a quick patch for the exiting Vicki. A third person venomously argues about how could you NOT include Sara Kingdom as a Companion. None are right or wrong. They are just different opinions.

I think we all know that much of the information about Doctor Who will be subjective in nature. People have opinions and like to express them. I am no different. I welcome different viewpoints - but I prefer them in a pleasant manner.

Example

On the BBC Web site Katarina is listed as a companion but Sara Kingdom is not. But the BBC has been careful to never to use the word canon. This means it's basically up to each individual viewer to determine what is and isn't canon in their own view. But the odd part of this entire discussion is that even though Sara Kingdom is brought up by many fans as a possible companion there was another character in The Daleks' Master Plan who is never mentioned, Bret Vyon. He had just as much screen time and traveled in the TARDIS just the same as Sara Kingdom but he never gets mentioned. More examples of Subjective thinking.

I will be touching on how I divided the Companions from the non-Companions in a future post as it's quite an involved answer. And it will prob ably be divided up into either individual Doctors or individual seasons if the posts start to grow long.

Feel free to chime in with your own opinion. You might just come up with something I missed which will improve my data. Let's just say it's going to be very subjective.

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