In the new Doctor Who continuity there is a 'minisode' entitled Time Crash.

My question is, are the minisodes (or any other deleted scenes for that matter) considered canon evidence when discussing shows such as Doctor Who?

  • @MrLister - Edited for clarity.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 20:08
  • This should probably be on Meta, but anyway: I believe minisodes and the like are canon, but deleted scenes generally aren’t.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 20:08
  • 3
    paulcornell.com/2007/02/canonicity-in-doctor-who Doctor Who has no consistent canon.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 20:10
  • 1
    NO CANON. Just fun. Doctor Who is closer to comic book storytelling than the recent movies (Avengers, etc) about comic books. LONG LIVE MOFFAT!! Commented May 29, 2014 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


Doctor Who has no canon. The writers have openly stated that they will retcon, revise, or most likely just plain ignore earlier material when they need to make the story work.

Having said that... the mini-episodes like Time Crash were written and produced by the same team of people that write and produce the televised episodes. In certain cases, (e.g. Space and Time), Moffat has even stated that they "officially happened", which I guess is as close to canon as you get with Doctor Who.

Time Crash, in particular, was written by Steven Moffat and basically occurs "during* the final scene of Last of the Time Lords; in that episode, we see Martha leave the TARDIS and Ten take off, then see the Titanic crash into the wall. Time Crash inserts itself in between those two events.

So, in the sense that anything in Doctor Who can be considered canon, the televised mini-episodes are as canonical as the televised full episodes.

The question of deleted scenes is a lot more complex, but in general, without outside corroboration of their content, no, most people don't consider the deleted scenes to be "real". A good example is a scene from The End of Time that confirmed the identity of the woman that appears to Wilf -- she is The Doctor's mother, but any mention of that was edited out of the episode, so that "fact" is generally not considered confirmed by fans.

UPDATE: @Elliot in the comments has brought up a couple of other mini-episodes, some of which I consider canon and others I don't. To the best of my knowledge, this is the consensus opinion among Doctor Who fans, though of course that can vary. (Side note: "Children in Need" and "Red Nose Day" are two different UK charity telethons; the former is the BCC's own charity and the latter is a private charity called Comic Relief. Both typically include short skits or mini-episodes based on popular culture.)

The basic rule is that any mini-episode produced while the show was on the air should be considered canon. In particular, since Children in Need is a BBC charity, all but one of those specials ties directly in to the current season of Doctor Who. The specials produced independent of any active Doctor Who production, on the other hand, are not considered canon. This basically eliminates two episodes, both of which are obvious spoofs:

  • Dimensions in Time - a Children in Need skit that was a Doctor Who/Eastenders crossover, and thus, isn't intended to be taken seriously. It does include a number of Doctor Who stars, including every living Doctor at the time, and in fact was the last time Colin Baker or Jon Pertwee appeared in-character.

  • Curse of the Fatal Death - a Red Nose Day episode starring Rowan Atkinson as the Ninth Doctor, plus a string of special guest future Doctors (including Hugh Grant and Joanna Lumley). Although written by Steven Moffet, he openly admits that it's a spoof (unlike, e.g. Space and Time, other Red Nose Day skits). It also directly contradicts every future Doctor Who episode, as we see regenerations Nine through Twelve in rapid succession, and Twelve is actually a woman.

The rest of the skits are considered canon; most of them appeared on DVD box-sets (sometimes exclusively), and have fairly well-defined places within the larger seasons.


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