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15 August 2010 @ 11:48 am
Canon backstory characters poll.  
Quite a few people asked me about this, and best way of deciding this in a way that most of the people on this comm are happy with is to have a vote on it.

The characters in question are:

Alice and Stephen.
Rhiannon and her family.

Characters from Torchwood series out side the scope of this comm (Classic Torchwood) aren't being considered for inclusion in this poll.

Poll #1605970 Backstory characters.
This poll is closed.

Which canon backstory characters should be allowed for fic etc on this comm.

Alice, Stephen, Rhiannon and family.
44(43.6%)
Only Rhiannon and family as they are mentioned in the Torchwood Archive book which only contains pre CoE information.
46(45.5%)
None of them.
8(7.9%)
None of these options, I'll explain in comments
3(3.0%)


This poll will remain open until Wednesday, 18th August, night.
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remuslives23: weevil huntingremuslives23 on August 15th, 2010 10:57 am (UTC)
We only learned about them in COE, but Alice and Stephen (and Rhi and co) were in Jack's life before that. We just didn't know about them until COE. They are part of his backstory. The events of COE and the new characters introduced there (Lois, Frobisher, Patanjali) might not be considered canon for Classic TW, but I think family members of the Team that were introduced in COE should be.

/my two cents. :)
AU: Captain Jack Harknessalt_universe_me on August 15th, 2010 11:40 am (UTC)
I don't mind including them because I think we should give them a chance to be part of some happier stories. But I don't necessarily think we have to follow their characterization from CoE, since we're not including CoE in our canon. But, either way I'm fine with it, since I don't write many family-type fics anyway :)
S Lynn: BRAAAAINSrobling_t on August 15th, 2010 11:43 am (UTC)
I'd err to the side of including them all where the alternative might be OCs instead; there are definitely stories to be told where Jack and Ianto not having families would look a little weird, and as long as we do have some data from canon we might as well allow for it rather than task people with coming up with substitutes that might go very, very badly...
It All Comes Back to the Breathjo02 on August 15th, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC)
I've reached the stage where just seeing the names of Alice and Stephen (and the rest of the new CoE characters even though they;re not relevant here) makes my skin crawl because, I've had over a year to get used to CoE and I just can't - I do hate it so much. I'll accept Rhi because many, many stories had already been written about Ianto family and in particular him having one sister, I can live with that pretty much.

Alice and Stephen didn't exist in fandom before CoE and they don't belong here.

(sorry - do I sound annoyed much? sigh)
.
angstosaurangstosaur on August 15th, 2010 12:36 pm (UTC)
you make a lot of sense really - I see exactly what you mean ... the names act like triggers to what came next ... and I feel your pain, I still cannot reconcile myself to what COE did ...

Rhi's existence was already there and I'd rather read about her than an invented family of OC's for Ianto ... but that brings into question her hubbie and kids ...

it's a tricky one ...
idamusidamus on August 15th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
I was torn between only Rhiannon and all of them, but chose all cause I think that will make room for more AUs
I vote as a reader only though
Nancynancybrown on August 15th, 2010 02:07 pm (UTC)
Open Playing Field, Closed Canon
I'm going to vote for the whole COE cast, as long as they're in fixit/AU format. I'd like to see COE as optional canon, where we can pick and choose bits to round out a story or universe, but otherwise treat it with no more weight than one of the tie-in novels. ("Oh, you're writing about Lois? I've got Nina in this story.") I think that will be a lot easier than trying to enforce a total "COE never existed, must not mention anything from it ever" policy, and more people will be able to post at and enjoy the comm.
sbs_01 on August 15th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
I voted none of them. It's my understanding that classic TW is only S1 & S2. (This may be incorrect as far as this community is concerned, so please correct me if this is wrong.) If a TW viewer has not read any of the tie-in novels, books or audios, then Rhiannon, her family, Alice and Stephen were new characters in COE.

If these characters are allowed in this community, please have the authors included them in the characters portion of the heading as I, probably, won't be reading Classic TW fictions with these characters in them.
dynamite with a laser beam: ianto gwen jack countrycide51stcenturyfox on August 15th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
I think since these characters existed before, though we didn't know about them, they've fair game.

For example, here's a story I might write:

It's Mother's Day, and it's a character study of what all of team are thinking and feeling: Owen is getting pissed down the pub and thinking about his terrible mother, Ianto and Rhi go to the cemetery and Ianto also thinks about what kind of great mother Lisa would have been, Gwen and Rhys have to split the day up so their mums don't feel slighted, Tosh is sad because she can't see her mum, and Jack brings flowers to Alice and spends the day with Steven. This could easily be an S1 or S2 story, yeah?

See, I've read Series One stories about Owen and we find out later what his mother was like, but she was like that in his backstory.

I think if the characters are listed in the heading and people don't want to read about them, they can skip the story.

Edited at 2010-08-15 02:58 pm (UTC)
beesandbrews: sad sambeesandbrews on August 15th, 2010 04:08 pm (UTC)
Man, this is a hard one. On the one hand, I totally get the trigger association with CoE. On the other hand, after working on the TW:VS I've seen that it is possible to write these characters and honor the contribution that backstory elements added to the TW continuity.

So, I suppose, if the story was set in Season One or Two and included those characters building them into something other than the Red Shirts of CoE then they should be permissible.

Having said that, I would likely to skip those stories because I am one of those readers where pretty much anything associated with CoE sets me on edge.

I'm not sure that helped.
angstosaurangstosaur on August 15th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
maybe the way to solve it would be to allow all, but have a rule that characters be listed, allowing readers to choose what to read and what to avoid... as suggested above... however a COE fixit may be going too far ...
beesandbrews: sad sambeesandbrews on August 15th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
Agreed. List the Characters and No CoE fix it stories.
angstosaurangstosaur on August 15th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
it does seem fair to allow for Jack and Ianto to have family that we can visualise, after all Owen had his fiance and (off screen) mother, Tosh had her mother and Gwen & Rhys a host of family and friends ... I find it creates a balance having a set of characters to associate with Jack and Ianto as well, especially as Ianto was never even given a place to live ... writing fanfic around known supporting cast members is easier in many respects (rather than inventing siblings etc) as both the writer and reader 'hear' the same voices ... if that makes sense...

after all, when it comes to character triggers for COE trauma, Gwen and Rhys could be deemed to be just as distressing ... just a thought ..

xtricksxtricks on August 15th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
I'd prefer not, mostly to encourage teh creation of new family for the existing characters -- I like Rhi, and Alice and etc and can split them off from CoE but I also like fanon created work and there's a tendency in all fandoms to prioritize canon work over fanon work -- and I'd like to see what fandom would do more than canon, at this point.
excentric397excentric397 on August 15th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
I can deal with Ianto's sister and her family. I've read some really nice stories involving them. Alice and Stephen, though, were to me just constructs used as plot points to destroy Jack. They are in no way associated with seasons one and two, and I will definitely choose not to read anything involving them. Allowing them seems to destroy the basic premise of this new com.
coldwater1010 on August 15th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
This is a tough one. One of the few things I truly loved about COE was Ianto's family, Rhiannon in particular, and Alice and Steven I can take or leave. They were really only designed for COE which doesn't really have much of a place in a classic Torchwood com, but it might be hard to ignore that Jack has living family floating around somewhere particularly if you're wedded to canon.Character warnings is probably a good way to go.
The "Original Function"™iceshade on August 15th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
I actually like Rhiannon and family, and I think they should be okay, as long as they aren't the focus of the story. I'm a bit iffy on Alice and Stephen since they were clearly created just for CoE (and in Stephen's case, just to die), and if CoE had never happened, the team would never have found out about them.
xtricksxtricks on August 15th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
I think that's maybe the key -- Rhi and co, we could have found out about w/o CoE fairly easily. Not so much with Alice and Steven -- she's cut off most contact with Jack and has a different name and etc.

Perhaps the way to decide is to imagine how -- w/o CoE, particular characters might have come into contact with Torchwood.
The "Original Function"™iceshade on August 15th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
I personally like to point to nancybrown's most recent reel_tw story, which was a take off on E.T. and introduces both Jack and Ianto's families without being CoE compliant otherwise.
/shameless reccing
milady_dragonmilady_dragon on August 16th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
Here's my issue with Alice and Steven - Jack knew he was going to be leaving with the Doctor when he could, so I seriously doubt he would have gotten so involved with someone that he'd risk leaving family behind. Jack might be a bastard, but I doubt even he would choose to have a family (even as badly as it turned out) when he knew he'd be leaving at any time. Jack simply wouldn't settle down with someone when he knew his staying was only temporary. I could see it earlier in his stay, when he knew the Doctor wouldn't be arriving for a century, but not so close to the time foretold that he's risk abandoning them. He had enough abandonment issues as it was.

So, to me...Alice and Steven simply don't belong. While it's perfectly logical for Ianto to have family.
Becca: merev02a on August 18th, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
Additionally, would Jack not also be concerned with timelines? He married a woman, who, we as fandom have accepted, died young. Beyond the nameless bride, he never marries again... going as far as leaving Estelle before she can leave him/waste her life on him. I am doubtful that he would have fathered anyone.
milady_dragonmilady_dragon on August 18th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
You're right. And I doubt that his 51st Century genetics is a good thing to spread around in the 21st Century...especially since we don't really know how he can get pregnant, only that he can. What if Steven inherits that ability and accidentally gets pregnant? Okay, it's a wild thing to think, but we just don't know about what changes have happened in the human genome. Jack wouldn't want to mess with time lines by having children who could very well be genetically superior.

You People And Your Quaint Little Categories: Blue Rose by My Utopiajoanne_c on August 16th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
I voted for all for a few reasons.

1. I think it's unfair to say you can include Rhiannon and family just because it's mentioned in a book (I don't consider books canon, so that's my bias, I admit).

2. It's been said that Jack has several children - I don't think it's fair to dismiss the one we know about just because she was brought in for something really awful to so many people. I also think the several children is key - I've had ideas for many other characters to be related to Jack.

3. I like the idea of Jack as a father and don't see why it can't be with Alice any more than a made up character or other canon character.

4. So if it's no Alice and Stephen, I would like it to be none of them. That makes more sense to me as a reader, writer and fan.
michael_the_car on August 16th, 2010 04:47 pm (UTC)
Purely as a reader, I like Rhi and her family, because Ianto has to have had a life before TW and she is better than than some of the 'sister' fics I have seen. (And she did drop a lot of some tantalising clues about how rough his home life was, bless her)

Alice and Steven are pure CoE, and I still can't watch that fiasco even now, so I will avoid any fics with those two in the character list.

Can I just say that I'm so pleased this journal has been created, I was already dreading having to pick through the others to avoid S4 because I'm simply not interested enough to want to read anything about it, be it in the form of spoilers, discussions or the inevitable fic.


neurwen: pianeta bluneurwen on August 16th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
I voted for the option "none of them".

While I accept that Ianto had a sister - it is normal for human families to have more than one child - and that he lost touch with her for various reasons; I don't accept the fact the Jack fathered children.

Maybe Jack did when he didn't know yet he was immortal, so he married the woman we saw in the pic and they had a child. But after that I don't think he had other children.

He was waiting for the Doctor to return, he didn't want to stay on Earth, maybe he was scared that his children would have been immortal too and there was always the problem with the time-line thing too.

Jack is many things but he is not stupid (at least the Jack we saw in S1 and S2).

Alice and Stephen were just a plot device for CoE.
stuffphile: Server buildingstuffphile on August 16th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
I'm coming down on the side of "none", as well.


If purpose of this comm is to preserve s1 and s2 in a bubble, and enjoy and build on them (and it seems to be, going by the info page), then CoE just doesn't fit here.

I've no interest in disparaging any of the fanfics that make use of those characters, whether they are fix its, A/U, or whatever--I've read plenty and it's great to see the different stories people have come up with, but there's plenty of space for them in the various TW comms already.
Becca: Torchwoodrev02a on August 18th, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
I cannot see Alice or Stephen without immediately thinking about COE and my stomach turns a bit. I'm sure that their characters could be more interesting, but the interaction between Alice and Jack turned Jack into an instant self-depreciating asshole (just add water!). Rhiannon is tough... and I think she adds an interesting element to who Ianto is.

I guess, honestly, we come to another impasse with this question, however: What do we accept as Ianto's background cannon? Is he the son of a master tailor or the son of a department store employee living in council flat?
One sugar cube, two sugar cubes, three sugar cubes: TW: Ianto-readingca_te on August 18th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
I think that it would be a good idea to include also Alice and Stephen along with Rhi and family, because as remuslives23 said, they were there, even though we didn't know about them yet, before COE.