Story Variations - how best to handle these?

Hey everyone,

This has come up again (and we have been discussing it privately in our Staff forum), so I thought I’d ask everyone’s opinions and then I’ll be closer to launching it…

How best to deal with variations of stories?

For example - some stories are missing, and there have been multiple ways of viewing it - telesnaps, audio tracks with commentary, animations. Some stories have been adapted into special omnibus editions. Some have had new versions with updated special effects. Some have been officially colourised.

I’d like people to keep track of, and rate, all these different ways of viewing stories, so it’s easy for people to find out different ways to view a story and how good each one is.

BUT I don’t want to clutter the site with things that are out of order. For example The Daleks In Colour is currently showing just before The Star Beast, as that is when it was relased. I don’t like that.

Also, if someone is trying to 100% all First Doctor stories, they shouldn’t have to watch The Daleks in Colour if they’ve already seen The Daleks. It’s the same story. So stories that are different variations of the same story will be grouped together.

What I’m currently thinking is this, and let me know if you see any potential issues:

  • When viewing a story page, e.g. The Daleks, you’ll be able to easily switch between this version and all other variations, e.g. The Daleks in Colour
  • These variations all count as a single story in terms of stats and completion percentages. So whether you’ve seen one version of Pyramids of Mars or both (including Tales of the TARDIS), you still get to 100% the Fourth Doctor and get his badge.
  • Each variation will get its own ratings and stats, separate from each other, so you can see which is the most highly rated variation.
  • I’m just not quite sure how to present that a story has multiple variations on the listing page at the moment.

Thanks! Looking forward to eventually adding this feature!

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Oh! AND!

Tales of the TARDIS is its own special case, because whilst they are just omnibus / updated variations of classic stories, they also feature brand new content with companions and Doctors, which should be included in their Completeness. Argh!

Should TotT be both a variation and a story for the bookend material?

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Currently I’ve been rating TotT for their new material and not for the reedited serials. Maybe they should be split into 2 separate items, one for the reedit and one for the new scenes.

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And then don’t forget that some of the novelizations have two different audiobook versions. Planet of the Daleks for example has an abridged version read by Jon Pertwee and an unabridged version read by Mark Gatiss with Dalek voices by Nick Briggs.

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That reminds me of the TV Movie. There are two novel adaptations and one of the audio reading is abridged, resulting a total three versions of the novel I have to go through. :rofl:

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This idea is exactly why I’m seeing Tardis Guide as the go-to place to rate, review and keep track of all things Doctor Who. No other website or service has even remotely attempted to keep variations of the same story separate. This addition gives an already fantastic site even more value!

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Tardis Guide forever <3 :tardis: :tardis: :tardis:

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Glad you’re excited for it!! Just got to build it now :laughing:

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This is exciting. Helpful for new fans deciding which version of a story they want to watch. Great idea.

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I think this is made worse by the two book adaptions being different; I haven’t actually got round to reading the first one, but in the foreword for the Target edition Gary Russell mentions having to cut several segments (pertaining to the existence of other doctors) from the original. There is also a book containing the script of the TV Movie, if you wanted to count that as another different adaption of the same story (it also having differences to what actually is in the TV Movie). (I’m aware of two audiobooks of it as well, the reading of the Target release and a reading of the original novelisation.)

Typing this out I’m starting to think that maybe no one should know this much about the TV Movie…

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Hey everyone,

I nearly have this ready… everything is in place… but I just want to touch back on the idea of making Tales of the TARDIS bookend content its own separate thing.

How should I preset that? And should the current ratings (and reviews!) that already exist be assigned to the omnibus or the bookends? I know some will rate for one thing, others for another… it’s quite hard to unpick this now.

Mentioning specific people who helped with this so far, hopefully they can chime in:

@Owen @DarthGallifrey @MrColdStream @15thDoctor @deltaandthebannermen @PlanetBarcelona @SweetAIBelle @ItsR0b0tNinja

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My rating was for the bookends as I didn’t actually watch the bit in between and I’m pretty sure that’s what a lot of people did.

Not sure about the reviews but I imagine it depends on what they’ve reviewed - is it the bookends or the whole story?

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I had a look at some of the reviews (thankfully there aren’t many) but people tend to review it as a whole, both the bookends and the story. Hmm.

Also not sure what to even call the new things once I’ve split them out.

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Well, they are kind of like minisodes. A Tardisode?

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I think I only rated the Pyramids of Mars one, and that was only for the bookending content.

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Ooh I like making them minisodes…

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I think I’ll convert all current ones into minisodes and move the ratings and reviews to the minisodes, except for Pyramids of Mars which has lots of reviews, and they are all mainly for the new version not the bookend content (which was pretty meh)

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Yeah, I can see the challenge with Tales. The first six have good bookends, but the serials themselves are untouched except for missing the opening and closing titles and cliffhangers. The Pyramids episode has bland bookends and a serial that has been cut down and featured new effects. I have rated the original Pyramids and the Tales versions separately and have separate reviews for them. For the others, I tend to focus more on the new stuff, because the serials themselves are virtually untouched.

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I’ve started work on this but have to go have an Indian dinner now :sweat_smile:, I’ll finish it when I come back :muscle:

So far I’ve split out Earthshock and The Mind Robber. Let me know if you think this works:

Oh and I’ve set “The Daleks in Colour” to be a variation of The Daleks, so if you complete the Colour version it counts towards your First Doctor completeness and badge :smiley:

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I think that this is perfect

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