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In order to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, this wiki contains details about all stories that have been officially broadcast, released or published for the first time, be it in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, or the United States. These details would be spoilers to some, but not to this wiki. If a story has been officially released, anywhere in the world, it may be discussed freely anywhere on this site. It's up to you to determine whether you wish to be spoiled about available stories that you personally have not yet experienced.

Instead, we only regulate spoilers which come from adventures that have not yet been released. This spoiler poilicy defines what we consider to be spoilers. It goes on to give instruction as to how such information can and cannot be integrated into pages here.

How we define "spoiler"

A spoiler is any information — in-universe or behind-the-scenes — coming from a story which has not yet been officially released in its entirety. Even if released by the BBC, Starz or Metal Mutt Productions, the following concrete examples are spoilers — but this list is by no means exhaustive:

  • "Next Time" trailers, teaser trailers, or anything similar
  • Cast or crew announcements
  • Information from an official website about a future episode
  • Information from an interview with a production principal
  • Any information about an unbroadcast or unreleased story

Where spoilers are allowed

We only permit spoilers in these areas:

This necessarily means that you can't put spoilers into other namespaces and then call them in the allowed spaces. In other words, you can't upload a picture or video destined for the upcoming series page, because this places the spoiler in the file namespace, where spoilers are not allowed. Uploading files also puts them onto every page through the "Recently Uploaded Files" module in the right rail. In a very real sense, uploading a spoilery image is the worst possible offence of this policy, because it adds the spoiler to almost every page on the wiki. Likewise, you can't add a spoiler to a template, or create a category with a spoiler within it, because spoilers aren't allowed in those namespaces either.

To put it very simply, spoilers must be within only the text of series articles or in threads at The Howling.

Please note spoilers are completely forbidden on in-universe pages, such as Eleventh Doctor or Torchwood Institute or sonic lipstick. The reason for this prohibition is simple: it is impossible to verify narrative elements before a story is actually released. And, indeed, even reputable sources occasionally get it wrong. If we were to believe Doctor Who Magazine, for instance, Oswald Danes would actually be Oswald Jones (DWM 427). Because so much on a wiki depends upon the correct titling of articles, it's a tremendous time saver to wait and see what happens in the story as published or broadcast.

Furthermore, only articles about series are generally left open to general editing. Story articles are typically protected from general editing until the moment of official release. Story names have been known to change immediately prior to broadcast, as with The Vampires of Venice. This has occasioned additional work, which could have been avoided had we but waited to create the article until the night of first broadcast.

Series articles must carry {{spoiler}} at the top of the the article, until that series has been completely released. This alerts the reader to spoilers about upcoming adventures and places all such articles in the a common category for easy maintenance.

Spoiler information relating to not-yet-released stories must be kept to series articles only. Please do not create articles about narrative elements rumoured to exist within stories that haven't been released.

Comics are special case

Comic stories are somewhat of a special case, in that an article may be started before the entirety of such a story is published. We realise that a six-part Doctor Who Magazine story takes six months to publish, and that it would be unreasonable to stop an article being written for that long. So we allow the publication of such a story. After all, there are multi-part televised stories, and we allow each individual episode to have a page before the entire story has been broadcast.

However, extreme care must be taken not to go beyond what has transpired in the story as currently published. Because mutli-issue comic stories frequently have cliffhangers like in serials, you should be aware of the high percentage of times those cliffhangers are used to misdirect the reader. It is often a safer course of action to wait until the story has been completely published before starting articles about the narrative elements. If you choose to start an article about a narrative element before the story is fully published, you should find a way to write about your subject without assuming that the story is telling you the full truth. Phrases like:

  • according to Character X…
  • in the opinion of Character B…
  • at the time that such and such happened, Character C opined…

help to protect against surprises when the next instalment is published.

Taking early parts of a comic story at face value is often a very unwise idea, as comic writers delight in telling lies that will sell issues. You must be very careful. Think about most of the good televised cliffhangers. If this wiki had been going when The Caves of Androzani premiered, we could potentially have written that the Fifth Doctor and Peri got shot by a firing squad — something that never actually happened. This sort of total misdirection happens at the conclusion of almost every instalment of modern comic stories.

For this reason, it's probably best if you do not ascribe any certainty to anything contained in a comic cliffhanger until the story is completely published.

What does "officially released" mean?

Basically, the rule is really simple. If the factoid you want to write about hasn't been in a story that has been officially released, you can't write about it here.

However, for clarity, it might be useful to define the word released as it affects this policy. We consider something officially released when it is made available to the general public, in venues that are ordinarily and legally used for that particular medium.

  • For Big Finish audios, the moment of public release is when a story is made available to download by the official Big Finish website. For those audio dramas not made downloadable, the moment of release is whatever date the company sets on its website for the CD release.
Example: AUDIO: Quinnis has a release date of 31 December on the Big Finish website. However, it was actually made available for download the 23 December. Thus, the 23rd became the "date of official release".
  • For televised episodes, time, not just date, of release is fairly crucial. Never, ever, under any circumstances start an article about an episode until its premiere transmission has clearly ended. By clearly ended, we mean that you should wait, out of an abundance of caution, until the top or bottom of the hour after the end credits roll on the global premiere broadcaster's initial showing of the episode, on their primary broadcasting channel.
Example one: The latest episode of Doctor Who is set to end its first BBC One airing at 1915 BST. You cannot start editing the article about that episode until the bottom of the hour, or 1930 BST. Or, if the episode is due to end at 1950 BST, you can't start editing the article until 2000 BST.
Example two: Torchwood: Miracle Day episodes premiere at 2200 EST (0200 UTC) every Friday night. Articles about those episodes can be edited starting at 2300 Friday nights, EST (0300 UTC). On a related note, TV: The New World was actually made available online, by Starz, prior to 2200 8 July 2011. However, as primarily a television episode, The New World was not open for general editing until after Starz' announced television premiere at 2300 on 8 July.
Example three: Class episodes premiere on BBC Three at 1000 BST/UTC every Saturday morning. Even though they air on BBC One later on, the online release on BBC Three is the premiere broadcast. As episodes are 45 minutes long, articles about those episodes can be edited starting at 1100 on Saturday morning.
Example four: You attend the British Film Institute's screening of TV: Death of the Doctor, in mid-October 2010. The event is officially sanctioned by the BBC. Nevertheless, the date of official release remains 25 October 2010, the date of first broadcast on CBBC. You can begin editing the article at 1730 British time on 25 October.
  • For books, it's the date given by the publisher as the release date. You get a copy before that date. Nevertheless, you cannot write about that story here until the date the publisher gives as the official launch date.
Example: You pre-order PROSE: Borrowed Time from amazon.com. Through a fluke of shipping, it arrives through your door a couple of days before the official release date given by BBC Books. You must wait until the official release date to write articles about it here.
  • For comic books, it's the date it actually hits comic stores (not necessarily the solicitation date), or the date it's made available on a company's official digital comic reader application, whichever is first. Though publisher's delays push back the date of official release, distributor's delays generally don't. Distribution snafus can mean that a comic has hit some comic stores, but not every comic store. The comic is nevertheless deemed to have been officially released.
Example one: An issue of Don't Step on the Grass is delayed to comic shops west of the Mississippi in the United States. (No, really, it happened!) The "day of official release" was therefore deemed to be the initial day on which distribution was successful east of the Mississippi.
Example two: The comic is generally delivered around the country, but doesn't hit your local comic store. The "day of official release" is unchanged. If you don't want to be spoiled, don't go to our article on that issue.
  • For theatrical performances of live stories, the official release date is the first performance open to general admission in the first city on a tour. Therefore, if you attend a dress rehearsal, even at the behest of the production company, you have not attended a global premiere.
Example: A new, two-hour piece called Doctor Who: The Play's the Thing is going on a 10-city tour, starting in Edinburgh at 1900 BST on 1 August and ending in London on 20 September. The article on this story, as well as those articles about elements from this story, may be edited beginning at 2100 BST 1 August. If you hold tickets to the Leeds performance on 10 August, you'll have to avoid the article on The Play's the Thing until the 10th so you're not spoiled.
  • For games, it means the time at which its "testing", "preview" or "beta" period has ended, and it has been released in whatever the publishers are publicly announcing is its final form. Often, but not always, this is the moment when the publishers start charging for its sale, or accepting in-game micro-purchases. The flow of money is a good indicator that we can start an article about a game. In the case of video games, beta access often comes with legal strings that would potentially bring consequences if we were to post almost any info you could add to the article by playing the beta version. If you want to talk about a pre-release game, please do so at the publisher's forum, not this wiki.
Please see this forum discussion for an excellent case in point.

Official info

What, then, do we do with information that comes from a reputable source like the BBC itself? We use it only on the series page. It cannot be used elsewhere. The three biggest types of "official" info are story titles, casting information, and the odd leak of in-universe information. Let's look at these three types in turn.

Confirmed stories

Stories that have been confirmed — by the BBC, Starz, Metal Mutt Productions or any other production partner — but have not been broadcast, are routinely created with their basic layout and infobox and then fully protected to prevent further edits until the stories have been broadcast or released.

Information relating to these fully protected stories should go on the story's series article.

For example, prior to the The Sarah Jane Adventures television story The Nightmare Man being broadcast it would have been fully protected, any sourced information relating to it would go on the Series 4 (SJA) article.

Confirmed actors and in-universe elements

DO NOT create articles relating to in-universe elements or actors who will appear in yet to be broadcast or released stories, even if the information comes from an official BBC press release. This information is often vague, inaccurate or contains spoilers.

If these articles are created they will be deleted.

To nominate a page for deletion add {{proposed deletion|reason for deletion}} and add your reason for nominating the page for deletion. See our Deletion policy for more information.

Also, please do not add spoilers to in-universe articles, even to the Behind the scenes section. Please wait until an episode airs before adding the new information. All spoilers relating to an in-universe article should be place on the appropriate series page.

Rumours

Rumours are allowed on series pages, but they must be cited so that users can verify the page's claims. Citation of this kind is effected by reference tags around the source, like this: <ref> '''source'''</ref>. All facts not confirmed by the BBC Press Office or members of the production crew in a formal interview must be placed within a section labeled "rumours" so that users may clearly understand what they are reading.

Information without a source can be tagged with {{fact}} or {{facts}} which produces the following results: [source needed] and [additional sources needed]

Cast or crew information

Information as to cast and crew must initially start in the rumours section of an article, unless the news is broken by the production company themselves. Once the person has been confirmed through either official, production company press release or a known member of the production team, it may be moved to either the cast or crew section, as appropriate. It must still, however, retain a citation, as mentioned above. (<ref> '''source'''</ref>)

Only after the story is released may the reference tags be pulled from the article.

After broadcast

Rumour sections are subject to complete removal after the story is broadcast or published, unless a rumour has some bearing on the story as released. By their nature though, rumours are rarely of any value once a story becomes public. If they turn out to be true, the info naturally goes into another section of the article. If they turn out to be false, the info is most often dismissed as no longer interesting.

Once the story is released, it becomes the primary source for information about itself. Thus, the credit roll at the end of the story becomes the highest-order source for information about the cast and crew, and citation for that person's involvement is no longer necessary.

Full example

For example, let's imagine that Jennifer Aniston were rumoured to be in an episode of Doctor Who called The One with the Bug-Eyed Monsters. And imagine we learned of her involvement first through a report on DigitalSpy. So initially, we'd put her in the "Rumours" section, and cite Digital Spy. Then imagine she were to be confirmed by the BBC Press Office. We'd pull her up to the "Cast" section and change the citation to BBC Press Office. Then imagine The One with the Bug-Eyed Monsters comes out. Sure enough, she's in it. At this point you can remove all citations, because it's now a fact established by the episode itself.

Spoilers and the forums

As made clear above, spoilers are only allowed on series pages or story pages — although in practice, the story pages are locked from general editing until the moment of their release. Spoilers are not allowed anywhere else, save from Howling:The Howling. They are absolutely not allowed in the various forum namespaces — i.e. Forum, Thread, Board Thread, Theory and Topic —  at all. Please be very careful about how you speak in the forums of the current series of the various programmes we cover. The excuses, "Oh, but that's in a preview trailer", or "the BBC have already released that", will not protect you from the wrath of an administrator. Our definition of a spoiler is simple, but it's different than the common definition of a spoiler. Trailers are spoilers. Information on the BBC's website prior to the broadcast of an episode is a spoiler. A spoiler is not "that which hasn't been released by the BBC". A spoiler is "anything released by anyone prior to the debut of the story in the country of first publication". Even "next time" trailers that frequently come at the end of episodes are considered spoilers here.

The forums must be areas in which every user can go without fear of encountering material about un-broadcast episodes. Again, when we say "un-broadcast", we mean "not yet broadcast in the country of first publication. Thus, it is not a violation of this policy to, for example, talk about the latest episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day on a Saturday night, even though the BBC premiere won't be until the following Thursday. Nor is it a violation to talk about the comic strip in the latest issue of DWM, even though American readers could not possibly have received their copy yet.

Finally, it is a violation of this policy to use the template {{Please see}}, or any other page link, to entreat someone to come to a thread in the Howling namespace. This is the equivalent of a "form letter", and it makes it look to the reader like you're asking them to any other forum thread. If you want someone to join you at the Howling, please write out a personalised message. And, if the thread to which you're inviting them includes spoilers about the future, please make that fact clear in your message on their talk page. If a user comes to an admin, complaining that they were asked to go see a thread, and now that thread has ruined things for them, then the party who extended the invitation is in violation of this policy.

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