|Timeline - The 21st Century
||[Jan. 7th, 2009|04:36 am]
The 21st century is when... everything gets really complicated and gives me a headache.
Unsurprising really. Obviously the 21st century is when the bulk of the episodes relevant to this timeline occur, so each year has to hold a lot more information. It's also a period where we're less likely to have exact dates that things happen as they're rarely stated in the episodes. And when they are stated it's not always clear whether they are a precise date or more vague.
For example, in Fragments we have several in-episode captions which I have chosen to treat differently:- the first two say 'Five years earlier' and 'Four years earlier' respectively, I have chosen to treat these as vague dates so they simply refer to the date of the episode (2009) minus the number of years mentioned to give the year that the events shown happened - so five years previously refers generally to 2004. In contrast the caption for Ianto's section states it is '21 months previously' - as this number is in itself more precise, I have chosen to treat this as an exact statement of time.
Because of the sheer amount of information I have as much as possible tried to assign events/episodes to specific months. This has had to be based on a lot of speculation - where speculation is involved I have marked the date with this sign (s).
This seems a fair time to discuss why I've chosen to use this timeline. Basically the direct dating evidence we're given in new-Who provides two potential timelines - what I'd call the Concurrent Timeline (where the present-day episodes are dated approximately to their air date) and the Delayed Timeline (where the present-day episodes occur approximately a year after their air date). These two episodes have almost completely comparative evidence (bizarrely) as shown in the table below.
|EVIDENCE TYPE||CONCURRENT TIMELINE||DELAYED TIMELINE|
|A date shown on screen with a passage of time in dialogue.||In Torchwood: Exit Wounds we see a computer display which says that Owen was born in February 1980, while in Dead Man Walking we are told that Owen is 27 years old when he dies meaning this episode should occur between February 2007 and February 2008.||In Doctor Who: Aliens of London we see a poster that states Rose went missing in March 2005 and the Doctor tells us that it's been 12 months since she left with him. Placing the episode in March 2006.|
|A date of birth and an age are given in dialogue, giving a period of time that the episode should occur within.||In Torchwood: Reset Owen states that Meredith Roberts was born in January 1962 and was 45 when she died during the course of the episode - placing the episode between January 2007 and January 2008||In Torchwood: To The Last Man we're told that Tommy Brockless was born at the beginning of February 1894 and is (from one perspective) 114 years old. This means the episode must occur between February 2008 and February 2009. This potentially could fit into the Concurrent Timeline with only the first two episodes occuring in 2007. However, for both this evidence and the information about Owen's birth date and death age to be correct, every episode between To The Last Man and Reset would have to occur within the space of a week.|
|A year date is given alongside a non-specific passage of time that could be rounded up or down.||In Torchwood: Exit Wounds Jack is unburied by Torchwood in 1901 and states that he needs to be frozen for 107 years. Given the time of the year this could be fitted into the Delayed timeline.||In Torchwood: Ghost Machine Thomas Erasmus Flanagan tells us he has lived in Cardiff for 66 years since he was evacuated from the city in 1941 setting the episode in roughly 2007.|
Alongside this evidence above we also have a date from Torchwood: Adrift where we are given Jonas' birth and age, which sets the episode between February 2008 and February 2009 - this could fit within either timeline.
There's little to choose between the two lots of evidence, so it's a personal choice which one you choose, the timeline here is the Delayed Timeline ( lefaym has laid out an excellent version of the Concurrent Timeline here: lefaym.livejournal.com/22789.html).
I've chosen to follow the Delayed Timeline for the following reasons - firstly I'm placing slightly more value on the Doctor Who date as that so far hasn't been contradicted within the programme, while Torchwood has contradicted itself several times - Owen's birth date in particular, which is the primary evidence for the Concurrent Timeline, has produced reams of debate and problems. Secondly, the producers have stated that they intended the episodes to occur a year after the air date in interview and in Russel T Davies' book The Writers Tale. This is also the timeline that is followed in The Time Traveller's Almanac and the Torchwood: Archives.
Hope that explains it all clearly.
( The 21st CenturyCollapse )
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( Problems and ContradictionsCollapse )
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