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TARDIS Index File

BC

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BC or B.C. was an initialism (Before Christ) used to designate an Earth year's position relative to the epoch known as AD. The term "BC" thus designated a negative number; 100 BC was ninety-nine years before 1 BC. Its positive counterpart was AD.

There was, however, a question as to whether the year 1 BC was followed by the year 0 or the year 1 AD. Some people, including the human chronologist Professor Wagg, clearly believed that 1 BC was followed by 0, allowing him to make the claim that the year 2000 was the first year of a new millennium, as did American journalists working for television station KKBE. (TV: Doctor Who) The Eighth Doctor concurred with this opinion. (PROSE: The Novel of the Film) However, the Sixth Doctor (PROSE: Millennial Rites) and Dave Young (PROSE: Escape Velocity) both strongly argued that 1 BC was followed by 1 AD, thus making 2001 the start of the 3rd millennium.

Timeline

Prehistory

3rd Millennium B.C.

2nd millennium B.C.

10th century B.C.

9th century B.C.

  • Circa 800 B.C.: Azal sealed himself up within the Devil's Hump, awaiting the day when he should make his final judgment on humanity. (TV: The Dæmons)

6th century B.C.

5th century B.C.

4th century B.C.

3rd century B.C.

2nd century B.C.

1st century B.C.

Behind the scenes

  • An inherently Christian designation, BC is not generally used in calendars of the traditionally non-Christian world. Consequently, some people use BCE (meaning Before Common Era) for BC. CE (meaning Common Era) as a substitute for AD. These largely cosmetic replacements are thought to avoid religious offence. However, Doctor Who fiction has typically remained loyal to the BC/AD convention. Even as late as the RTD and Moffat eras, dialogue and on-screen graphics prefer the Christian convention. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii, The Pandorica Opens, A Good Man Goes to War, The Angels Take Manhattan)
  • In the real world, there is no year zero, so therefore 1 BC is immediately followed by 1 AD. Doctor Who fiction, however, is unclear as to this point.
  • On this wiki, templates and categories, both of which use, or are used in, mathematical formulae, assume the presence of a year zero, since the fiction of the DWU allows it. Hence, we deem that the year 2000 is in the 21st century.
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