The so-called "Wilderness Years" of Doctor Who, between its 1989 cancellation and its revival 16 years later, may be one of the show's greatest periods creatively. Whilst TV outings were sparse and often disappointing (Dimensions in Time and the TV Movie to name but a few), writers who had grown up with the show took up pens, microphones and video cameras to keep the show alive. But with so many great original characters, monsters and concepts born offscreen, their canonicity in the revived series is usually dubious... until it's not. Doctor Who canon is a marvellous and frustrating beast. Unlike franchises such as Star Trek and Alien, the creative teams take no official stance on what's canon and what isn't, even when the BBC licenses a lot of this spin off material. After more than 50 years of stories, you really need to make up your own mind about what really "happened" and what didn't. Some fans say that everything is canon and have fun thinking up ways to reconcile all the problems, others say only what's shown on television is definitely canon, whilst others think that only what's shown in the parent show counts and ignore even the TV spin offs. It's a tough crowd. But most people pick and choose, and though even televised continuity is by no means sacred, it's generally agreed that something definitely exists in the Whoniverse if it has appeared in Doctor Who itself. So here is a list some of the characters originated in spin offs who, by appearance or direct reference, have graduated to the TV canon.