Filling Gaps

What are your thoughts on the subject of “filling gaps”? Doctor Who, over anything else, is a general audience family-oriented TV show. Especially in the early Hartnell era when the show was at its most serialized, every story flowed into the next. Now, 60 years later, there’s so much expanded media that’s fit into whatever gaps in the TV series that people can find. Should things be forced into gaps where there seemingly aren’t any (like sticking the novel The Sorcerer’s Apprentice between Marco Polo and Keys of Marinus)?


I have no problem with gaps being filled even if those gaps are tenuous at best - sometimes that’s the only way of getting more stories with certain combinations of regulars.

That said, the gap between Polo and Marinus is fine because Polo doesn’t lead directly into Marinus and, aside from Ian’s costume there’s nothing else to link them (is there?).

There are stranger choices of ‘gap’ like The Paradise of Death being slotted in between The Time Warrior and Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

Usually, though, there’s a bit of fun creative thinking to get them to fit - a favourite non-gap of mine is the one Christopher Bulis squeezes in between Genesis of the Daleks and Revenge of the Cybermen.


Does it get a little silly sometimes? Yes, but overall I like it when we get new stories that tenuously stretch ‘canon’ to its limits. Sometimes the logical leaps make no sense, but I’m the kind of person who likes to pick and choose my own DW canon and try and make everything make sense according to that, and I’d never say no to more of my faves!

A gap I’d love to see filled is between Gallifrey: Enemy Lines and Gallifrey: Time War. There’s a whole Narvin and Ace boxset begging to be made right there!!! (Big Finish I’m free any time…)


Honestly I try not to overthink the placement in some stories. Many times the placement is between stories that if you follow the show is obviously set right after each other as you say.


I like filling gaps. Gaps are where I live with my own fanfiction. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with filling them in canon. Yes, it can get a little silly if there doesn’t seem to be a gap in the show, or especially if there’s a small gap different writers try to fill in different ways, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s fun!


The good thing about Doctor Who is that it doesn’t have a canon so its basically a free for all if you want to ‘acknowledge’ stories in the gaps or ignore them or just treat them as a bonus but not necessarily part and parcel of any character development. What helps with gaps in the classic is that character development was pretty limited and cursory anyway so inserting extra stories in doesn’t ever really affect the TV ‘continuity’. The modern series better character work does seem to make the authors of ‘gap filling’ books and audios work a little harder to make things fit with what we see on screen although it is never the be all and end all.


I haven’t listened to it, but I think the funniest example of this is The Other Side taking place in the middle of The Long Game, just before the final scene


Tbh when I listen to BF I don’t give any thought to where the story fits into the chronology of the TV show. I just want good stories. I think in the old days BF mentioned where the particular story fits in the context of TV episodes,


I also like that they fill in the gaps with new stories. It makes the Doctor’s travels feel more complete, particularly if there is a reference to an unseen adventure in the TV show and then the gap is gilled in later by Big Finish, a novel, or something else. I find it intriguing how, for example, One, Susan, Ian, and Barbara have a whole host of adventures between Season 1 and Season 2, as recounted in the First Doctor Adventures.