Complex TVMain MenuIntroductionVideos for IntroductionComplexity in ContextBeginningsVideos for Chapter 2AuthorshipCharactersComprehensionEvaluationSerial MelodramaOrienting ParatextsTransmedia StorytellingEndsVideo GalleryTable of ContentsJason Mittell06e96b1b57c0e09d70492af49d984ee2f68945deNew York University Press
DOCTOR WHO narrates a convoluted timeline between the title character and River Song, while a BBC paratext reorders the story from her perspective
12015-03-16T06:48:46-07:00Jason Mittell06e96b1b57c0e09d70492af49d984ee2f68945de13501A paratext can resequence the discourse to orient viewers, as with the retold story of River Song.plain2015-03-16T06:48:46-07:00Critical Commons2011VideoDoctor Who BBC videoBBC2015-03-16T13:17:58ZJason Mittell06e96b1b57c0e09d70492af49d984ee2f68945de
12015-03-16T06:42:29-07:00p. 265: DOCTOR WHO2plain2015-03-16T06:50:01-07:00Even when the storyworld is not realistic in the least, mapping chronology and calendars can be a crucial orientation strategy. Probably the most complicated time line on television is the “timey-wimey” playfulness of Doctor Who, especially in the title character’s ongoing relationship to fellow time traveler River Song, as discussed in chapter 4. Fans have created numerous visual representations of the bidirectional relationship experienced by River and the Doctor, attempting to match up their experiences and chart the key moments in their story, a strategy that the characters themselves perform on the program by syncing up their journals and memories whenever they meet. Of course, this is not the exclusive domain of fans, as the BBC produced its own orientation material with a video chronicling River Song’s story, narrated from her own temporal perspective. This paratextual video highlights how orientation is an element of both official and unofficial production and can be presented in a range of media, not just graphic time lines or textual lists.