Friday, July 10, 2009

QQ2 - The Web of Fear 2

Professor Travers unleashes the first missile of the UNIT Dating Controversy in this, the first unofficial UNIT story in Doctor Who history. When meeting Jamie and Victoria several years (to him) after The Abominable Snowmen, he staggers at the fact that neither of them appear to have aged a day. Taking a seat, he stammers, "Well, that was....over.....40 years ago!". Earlier in this episode, Travers's daughter, Anne, states that the first Yeti tale took place in 1935. If you were to take Professor Travers's statement at face value, that would place The Web of Fear in 1976, at the earliest, and, as we find out later, The Invasion four years later in 1980.

This is, of course, impossible.

Yet, taken at face value, this would mean that Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart (who is introduced in this story. Well, at least his boots are.) joins UNIT in 1980 (where Sarah-Jane Smith is from, incidentally), has several years of adventures with The Third Doctor...but then gets tired of it all and leaves UNIT to begin a teaching career in 1977 (see Mawdryn Undead).

This is, of course, impossible.

As part of the Chronic Hysteresis, I've decided I'm going to try and explain each UNIT dating discrepancy as they come along. However, the catch is that I'm going to do it badly. Here's my thought about this one. Professor Travers, obviously dotty and absent minded (as proven by his odd behaviour in Episode One), clearly meant to say "That was over....30 years ago!", or even, "That was over...(full stop, recalculates). Forty years ago! (rounding up)". So there. Would you trust the ramblings of an old man whose mind is as addled as Travers's was? No, you wouldn't.

Thus, The Web of Fear quite clearly takes place in 1968, coincidentally, the year in which it was also broadcast. First crisis averted. Can't wait to try and explain away The Invasion...


Post a Comment