A retcon is the alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work.
Retcon motivations Edit
There are various motivations for retconning. The changes may occur to accommodate sequels or derivative works, allowing newer authors or creators to revise the history to include a course of events that would not have been possible in the story's original continuity. Retcons allow for authors to reintroduce popular characters and resolve errors in chronology.
See also: The Time War
List of Retcons Edit
- The U.N.I.T. dating controversy: Mike Yates is very interested in an American 17-year-old, but the age of consent in America is higher than the UK - oh! Wrong dating controsery. The frequent implication of the 1970s Doctor Who serials was that all stories took place in an alternate near-future, which aligns well with the declared years of The Web of Fear and The Invasion. Jon Pertwee even stated in an interview that it was set during the 1980s, in which things like space stations came true. However, Mawdryn Undead states that it was all in the 1970s, and therefore Doctor Who showruiners smugly declare this to be evidence that the whole series took place during the 1970s all along, and that the show never stated even once that the UNIT stuff took place during the 1980s...except, it actually did. Sarah Jane said that she came from 1980 in Pyramids of Mars. This proves is that Steven Moffat never really studied the show and should have been fired years ago.
- The Deadly Assassin Time Lords: Not really a retcon, but Andrew Cartmel certainly seems to think so (because he's the kind of guy who could open the Box of Jhana without going insane). The Time Lords in The War Games appear to be pure and godly monks. The Time Lords in The Deadly Assassin are folly-prone and petulant. It apparently never occurred to fans from just studying the Doctor and the Master that maybe not all Time Lords are celibate gods, and that they probably come in different castes and have different types of training to suit their various occupations, because unlike a particularly retarded franchise, most writers for Doctor Who realized that not all members of the same species could have the same job, training, rank, demeanor, or even powers in the same society. Hell, the Daleks had a heirarchy before the Time Lords were even named for crying out loud! Regardless, this was largely regarded by fans as a retcon, one that really upset a lof of the Baby Boomer-aged fans in particular.
- Every fucking thing that Steven Moffat wrote.
In Doctor Who, the drug B67 is popularly known as "retcon". It can erase recent memories, or even replace them with false memories. As Torchwood 3 discovered, this drug has many uses. Not just the one obvious use; e.g., Gwen also used ti to allow her to confess her affair to her husband so she could stop feeling guilty, and then immediately make him forget it so she wouldn't get in trouble.
But before you judge Torchwood, remember that Superman has the same power, only he doesn't use a pill, he uses sexualized physical contact like kissing.