More about how I started in RP as well as transcribing the Twitter entries for later reading...
I always liked Gwen Cooper in Torchwood since I saw her first in "Everything Changes." She was presented in the tradition of a companion in Doctor Who discovering the world of aliens, this time through Captain Jack Harkness. In this first episode she was still able to keep her own life with her boyfriend, Rhys and her connections in the police department like PC Andy, while being able to go on new adventures with the Torchwood team. Series one and two seemed like a story with a beginning, middle and end, where the cliffhanger at the end of series one led into the Utopia story in Doctor Who, where Jack finally found the Doctor and returned to Torchwood having come to terms with his responsibility to lead the team. After series two, Gwen and Ianto got to meet with the Doctor as they worked together in "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End." It fits in with what was later seen on Twitter where the Doctor joins with all his contacts on Earth, including Captain Jack and his team as well as Sarah Jane, Luke and Mr Smith, in order to fight the Daleks. This is where I picked up with the online fanfiction scene.
With all these connections the Doctor made, Twitter seemed a good place to start connecting with other fans when I noticed that they were telling new stories in character through role playing. I chose Gwen to play since she was in the present day, she already knew many of the characters and has a naturally inquisitive personality. She wants to investigate what's going on, and there is less concern over "spoilers" that may be a consideration for past companions. This was a learning experience to be sure, as with any game I learned the rules and how to adapt to the other people in the game. There soon were a Jack and Ianto, John and even the pterodactyl and weevil in the roleplaying group, #TorchwoodRP. Later on there was the unique opportunity to include Owen and Tosh in this post-series 2 scenario and tell more stories about them, as parallel universe travellers. They, along with Andy and the rest of the team were captured by Jack's brother Gray.
After all this there was a history which had to be collected and I set up a website for that, working with the Twitter archiving methods and my saved files from the Twitter website. Some of the earliest tweets, like the Hartnell and Troughton Doctor Who episodes, required reconstruction from various sources, occasionally searching on http://tweetstats.com or http://tweetscan.com, though most of the tweets for the logs came from my own files of the feed and characters' profiles. When making the logs they required editing to put the tweets in the right order and present the story clearer., copying and pasting into notepad. I had been saving the pages all through 2009 and on in 2010. Even going back as I did in July 2009 some of the earliest tweets on the profiles weren't accessible from the web (as the profiles only go back for 160 pages). Of course, Twitter lists help a lot when catching up or saving one RP story. A single group of characters may be collected into a list for easier reading. Recently I've even created groups in Google Reader for saving tweets, unlike Twitter web the tweets or blog entries stay in the program for as long as you want, going back to the time you started the subscription. A good resource for collecting all the sites made by one character, such as a blog, formspring, twitter and blip account, and reading entries that I may have missed when they were first posted on the web.
Like any story, the Twitter RP changes over time incorporating new characters and seeing others again. With new characters, they can provide the sense of a larger world outside the Torchwood team, also presenting people from their history. After a year and a half of Torchwood RP on Twitter, it is still going and working from its own backstory as well as the canon that came before it. All of this backstory expands on the original canon, exploring the possibilities of what was presented in the TV show.
- RP History