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Forum: The Situation Room > Re-opening the character appearances template consensus discussion

I think there is a need to revisit the current standards for the appearances template with regard to actors who were credited for making an appearance. Currently we don't accept Appearance template tags for characters who appeared in, and whose actors are credited for, a particular hour if the appearance was recorded beforehand (and includes possible flashbacks). Instead, the standard is to note the appearance in the background & notes section. I'm arguing here in favor of moving the notice down to the Appearances table with an asterisk in only those limited and rare instances where the actor was actually credited for that appearance.

Please do not think that I'm doing something new by drawing a line in the sand with regard to what can be linked in the appearances template. I'm simply re-drawing the current line. Currently the line is drawn to permit only those characters who appeared in the real-time episode. I propose to simply redraw the line to now include also those characters who appeared and were credited for it, regardless of whether it was a real-time appearance or not. This is not a major overhaul of policy; my post is quite long only because this is a contentious subject and because I am arguing for a shift in consensus. Consensus is arrived at by the more carefully reasoned decisions, and I think my reasoning here is thorough and persuasive enough to change it. (Since I'm opening a consensus discussion, I will not consider simple votes of support or opposition. Consensus is not a poll, so everyone who wishes to sound off here must proffer legitimate discussion, not ballots.)

My first point is that the current standard of relegating notes to a notes area doesn't suffice for the flexible nature of the show. If 20 straight minutes of a flashback, or 25 straight minutes of recorded footage is ever played, according to our current standard NONE of the characters in those scenes can be listed as having made appearances... in their appearances list. Sure, we didn't see them during the in-universe episode hour, and sure, some or all of them might even be dead characters... but they still made a significant, credited appearance on the show. So all I am proposing is that we list accurately credited (and therefore significant) appearances in the Appearances template with a note to that effect.

In essence, all this proposal calls for is a shift of the note that is above the template to underneath it, and a tagged notice in the box. The appearances box explicitly contains the note function for exactly this purpose.

The second point: remember that the Appearances template is an OOU device. If it was an in-universe listing (which it is not) then everybody who existed throughout the whole day would get a credit for each hour, regardless of whether they appeared on the show. This isn't the case for obvious reasons. Therefore, what we place in the template is arbitrary no matter how you look at it. I'm defending the position that my proposal produces a more sound re-drawing of the line.

What character articles will this definitely affect?

  1. Reed Pollock
  2. Jamey Farrell
  3. Howard Bern (and so far as I can tell, that's the grand total)

Holy crap, what about the slippery slope? Won't we have to credit every single David Palmer posthumous footage?

  1. There is no danger of a slippery slope. We will never have to link any of the existing posthumous footage and pictures of David Palmer after his death because he was not credited for them.
  2. We will still not credit photographs of Teri or anything we've seen thus far following her death
  3. We will still not credit any photographed or recorded character if they were not credited

My third point starts with a related topic: sometimes an actor is credited for appearing in an episode where they simply didn't appear (or for non-canonical deleted scenes). This is noted in the appropriate episode guide Dramatis Personae list with a (credit only) notice next to the name. Appropriately, we do not place an appearances link in the template on the character's page for those episodes (that is, to indicate that he was credited even though he didn't appear). That is because, we all agree, the Appearances heading is not a list of credits. It is a list of appearances! Currently we define "appearances" to exclude certain things. I propose we alter our arbitrary definition to another, but more reasonable, definition. Myself, the other active admins, and the wiki's most diligent contributors have been enforcing the old consensus, so this might be hardest for us to consider. Especially if you are in this group, please take the time to read through my proposal.

So in summary, the proposal is that we list all characters who appeared and were credited for their appearance. Please see the second paragraph if you'd like to make a response that can be taken into account. Otherwise, silence is consensus! Here is your forum, folks! – Blue Rook 20:04, 1 April 2008 (UTC)talkcontribs

I disagree. Unless I'm mistaken, Mandy, Audrey, Tony, and Sherry all made surprise uncredited reappearances to the show, but these still count. Even so, it seems to me like even if David Palmer's appearances as a photograph subject don't count, nevertheless, Marshall Goren's appearance as a "severed head", Ryan Chappelle's and Alan Optican's voice-only "appearances", and several other similar examples should be included, as they were part of the ongoing storyline. OneWeirdDude 23:08, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
The two points you bring up simply don't make sense to me. First, concerning your point about Mandy, Tony, and the other uncredited appearances: these still count because they appeared live on the show, not as recorded/photographic material. The debate on this page is concerning recorded material that is credited, not live uncredited appearances. Your second point about the voice-appearances and Goren's head, you say they "should be" included, but they already are included, and have been since the beginning. – Blue Rook 02:22, 28 July 2008 (UTC)talkcontribs
Our disagreement hinges on one very key factor. The whole reason that our current policy for template inclusion exists is because the Appearance template is an IU record of what we the viewers have seen each hour, not an OOU record of character appearances per episode. If you consider the template to be an OOU item, then of course your method is preferred. As a matter of fact, that would make the template merely a list of credits for each character (at least the credits that we'd include on our episode pages, not the on-screen ones). I suppose you can really look at it as sort of a hybrid IU/OOU item, much like terms such as "Day 1" and "during the events of Storm Force" are included in IU text, despite not really existing in-universe. The template is a list of IU appearances seen by an OOU being. Obviously Tony Almeida existed from 3pm-4pm on Day 1, but as we don't know what he was doing during that time, we don't write it in his summary. And by extension, we don't include it in his Appearances template. The same goes for Reed Pollock; We don't know what he was doing from 12am-1am on Day 6, so we don't write it in his summary or put it in his Appearances template.
I hope this clears up the IU vs. OOU nature of the Appearances template and the simplicity of its usage rules. Rather than convolute things by adding too many "unlesses" and "excepts" to the rules, we're simply recording which hours the audience saw (or heard) the character. No ifs, ands or buts to it. No arbitrariness. I agree that if it was an OOU item, your method would probably be better, but that fortunately just isn't so, or else we'd have more of a mess on our hands. Especially because of how unreliable the credits on the show are. I'm vehemently opposed to making ANY policy that relies upon credits. As previously proven, an actor credit means next to nothing. Some appear but are uncredited, some are credited but don't appear. As we've seen in the past, the credits on the show are quite meaningless for our purposes. Let's say Roger Stanton appears for an entire season in pre-recorded videos, but remains uncredited. We would go with the arbitrary decision to NOT include that in the template, when we WOULD include Jamey and Reed? Seems pretty silly to do that just because Harris Yulin is stubborn. --Proudhug 01:11, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I think I am failing to grasp some critical part of what you said. How is the appearances template not an OOU record of character appearances that we the viewers have seen per episode? Also, why on earth would an "in-universe record" have anything to do with we the viewers? Anytime someone charts what viewers are seeing, they are performing an OOU task. The only "in-universe listing" I can think of would be a CTU roster that Tony reads, or a phone book that Kim picks up. Anything that we list on this wiki is OOU. The material in it is in-universe, of course, but any chart or list we make is anything but.

Certainly I agree that credits are often not useful for the purposes of a wiki with our goals. But sometimes they are, and when they are, we should use them. With regard to the proposed situation of Harris Yulin reappearing with significant but uncredited footage: this hasn't happened, and it is doubtful that it will (if it ever does, I'm going to shit myself and then check in to an asylum). Jamey Farrell, Howard Bern, and Reed Pollock, however, have happened which is why I'd like to address them. When you said "we're simply recording which hours the audience saw (or heard) the character", that would logically seem to include these three individuals.

Also, the appearances template has a notation function which would clearly indicate the circumstances of these types of appearances. We'd just be moving the notation below the appearances box, instead of above it. – Blue Rook 03:44, 2 April 2008 (UTC)talkcontribs

As I said, the Appearances Template is somewhat of a hybrid IU/OOU item. "Day 1" is an OOU term, but we use it IU. Look at the template as a visual summation of the main body character summary. It shows during which hours we know of the characters actions. We don't know what Reed was doing from 12am-1am, because he didn't "appear" on the show during that hour. It's IU because it shows during which hours the character appeared, not during which episodes. There's a significant distinction.
As for Harris Yulin, what if his testimony at the end of the second season has been pre-recorded instead of live? That would exclude him from your rule, despite its inclusion of Reed and Jamey. To say the credits are sometimes useful sounds pretty arbitrary to me. How can we make a rule based on something that's only sometimes useful. What we see on screen is always useful and doesn't require a hierarchy or rules and exceptions. The way we have it set up right now, there's never any doubt whether or not an appearance is included. For the proposed new way, it completely depends on whether or not the producers credit an actor. That's a ridiculously subjective thing for us to create a policy around. I don't understand how your proposal is simpler than the current policy. It creates a ton of rule clauses which will likely confuse site visitors, and leaves our decisions up to the actors, agents, bureaucrats and guy who merely forgot to add someone's name to the credits.
Let's imagine that next season involves a villain who sends CTU several pre-recorded video tapes of himself, giving his demands. The character's first four appearances are only pre-recorded and we don't see him "live" until the fifth episode. Due to a contract issue, the actor playing the villain has opted to remain uncredited for his role. According to your rule, his first four major appearances would be excluded from his appearances chart, with the only explanation to our readers being that the actor wasn't credited for whatever reason.
The notation function in the chart is to provide additional information about the appearance, not exceptional information. For example, we'll note that someone's appearance was as a corpse or live video or audio only, but not that they "didn't actually appear during that hour, but here's why it says so anyway." --Proudhug 15:43, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I was directed to this discussion after listing deleted appearances on a canonical character's page, and after reading through the discussion I wanted to add something. I don't wanna make myself more unpopular by starting more pedantic arguments (:P) buuut, I think it's important everyone is on the same page about what something like the appearances template represents, and at the moment I very much disagree with proudhug in that it is even slightly an IU item.

Firstly, the comparison of it to the terms "day 1", etc. Now these terms are not perfect, but they do represent 24 in-universe hours, and though it is extremely unlikely, it is feasible that had america undergone 8 24-hour periods of intense national security crises, that someone could label them as "Day 1", "Day 2", etc. Whereas using the heading "appearances", instantly implies that an audience is watching these characters do their thing. Also, we use the "Day X" terms in the absence of any other relevant terminology (in Day 1 articles, I always try to use "on the day of the primary"). If the appearances template is an IU summary, why is it not called "summary"?

Secondly, that the template is merely a summary of the in-universe character's actions, based on whether the audience knows what they were doing that hour. If that is the case, if someone's actions are mentioned, then the audience knows what they were doing and we should put an entry for that hour. I know that during Day 1: 2:00am-3:00am, Ted Cofell was authorising a money transfer, and have written a section about it in his character description. But I wouldn't put it on the appearances template, because he didn't appear!

Also, for someone like Ian (Day 3), we have a note saying he was a "corpse only" during one of his appearances. But he wasn't a corpse for that full hour in-universe - he was alive at the start of it, so should we remove the note? No, because the audience only saw him as a corpse.

Perhaps a strong example of this is Paul Coulander and Georgia Coulander. We see their names on a seating plan of flight 221, and are told where they are sitting in relation to Martin Belkin. So upon watching the first episode, we can see what is Paul Coulander's arm and head from behind a seat, but the person sitting next to him (Georgia) is completely obscured. I'm fairly sure I've followed the site's precedent in listing Paul as having appeared in the pilot, and Georgia not - yet I defy anyone to tell me that in-universe there is some difference between these characters.--Acer4666 12:30, May 9, 2011 (UTC)

I guess I was being pretty broad when I said it's a IU/OOU hybrid. I mean, technically the On-screen kills by Jack Bauer article is also an IU/OOU article by that same definition. My overall point was that the template isn't for episode appearances, which would be entirely based on OOU information. --proudhug 21:51, May 13, 2011 (UTC)
I was kind of arguing that's what it is, and it is entirely based on OOU stuff. I mean, we have rules for it (not counting the previouslies, non-live footage or photos), for practicality, but it is listing who appeared in what episode. I disagree with what was sort of agreed upon at Talk:Howard Bern (in that, he appeared in the last episode because the footage was filmed during that hour) because imagine if a new character is introduced in the film, and CTU dig up some archive footage of him attending the Palmer breakfast in day 1, then we would give him a day 1 appearances and list him as having appeared in Day 1: 7:00am-8:00am.
I think down at the bottom of IU articles we have BGIN, external links, and appearances, the OOU parts down at the bottom together. In this way, I don't see why we can't list deleted appearances on the template, or include the template on some OOU stuntmen articles who play forbidden characters to show what episodes they appeared in throughout the show? I dno what anyone thinks bout that--Acer4666 22:53, May 13, 2011 (UTC)
Okay, it seems we're 100% agreement on your first point, but just look at it in a different way.
A long time ago we used to put the Appearances template on actor pages too, but it was eventually agreed that they should only be used for IU articles. This would mean stuntmen articles are excluded. And deleted appearances are forbidden because they're non-canon. Personally, I've never understood why some people aren't satisfied that deleted appearances and pre-recorded appearances are worthy of BGIN notes. --proudhug 23:07, May 13, 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I suppose the odd deleted appearance could go in BGIN. And for actor pages that have character pages linked to them, it's unnecessary to re-do the appearances template as it's just a click away. But for the multiple-role stuntmen and extras with no character articles or unnamed entries for the people they play, we end up having to work which episodes they appeared in into their character descriptions, and having Day X: Y:00am-Z:00am in the middle of a sentence is a bit of a pain! Also, appearances templates do currently appear on OOU articles, such as the deleted characters ones--Acer4666 23:14, May 13, 2011 (UTC)
The descriptive sentences are more useful for those actors anyway since using the appearances template instead would provide interested readers with no timeframe to verify the individual appearances. All actors' articles are better kept consistent with one another, without those templates. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 04:34, May 16, 2011 (UTC)
I was suggesting having the descriptive sentences in addition to the appearances template, to save the bother of working links to the episodes into the sentences which can be a pain. But, I agree with the having consistency for actor's articles, so I dunno.
The other thing I think the appearances template would be useful for (as it doesn't actually say "appearances" anywhere on it) is for directors, like on the Brad Turner article. I personally think it looks better than a list, like on the Jon Cassar article, and we could make them all consistent--Acer4666 10:38, May 16, 2011 (UTC)
Again, we used to have the Appearances template on crew pages like directors, but decided it was best used for IU pages only. I don't remember the rationale (I'm pretty sure I didn't participate in the discussion), but I kind of agree with it currently. I'd be willing to vote for the removal of the template for deleted characters. --proudhug 18:11, May 18, 2011 (UTC)
I remember reading that convo once (it might have taken place before my time here), and what I recall from it was: the appearances templates are for characters, not for actors. I don't remember any aspect of IU/OOU about it. Now this is a guess, but I strongly believe that non-canon character articles did not exist at the time of that conversation.
There's no actual reason to remove appearances templates from non-canon character articles. The idea that since they are OOU they shouldn't get an appearances template isn't a rationale, because the heading says "deleted appearances" anyway (as of a moment ago, I corrected all the ones that were missing it). Blue Rook  talk  contribs 03:40, May 19, 2011 (UTC)
You're right that non-canon characters didn't exist at the time. I remember the decision was to only include the characters and not OOU people and not IU locations or other IU items, but somehow that morphed into just including any IU page. Then when the non-canon character issue came up, people just added it there, too. I can see putting forth the argument to include "only characters" or "only IU articles," but not "IU articles and non-canon characters." You know I'm a stickler for hard-and-fast rules, and that just seems to be a pick-and-choose rule. But to be honest, I really don't care too much, so long as there are good reasons for us doing what we're doing. I likely wouldn't care if people wanted to put the template up on every page on the site. --proudhug 03:49, May 19, 2011 (UTC)
Well that's the thing; there aren't any policies about this... because there does not need to be. We have longstanding precedent (which is what is most often codified into policy) and it says: "characters, and recently, IU content like places/buildings/items". Sometimes we get caught up in rules and policies, but they aren't necessary in things like this because of the precedent. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 04:09, May 19, 2011 (UTC)
I agree that rules aren't necessary for governing the use of the template, which in effect is just an aesthetic device. I know we have standards to keep articles looking consistent, but as for the use of the template in multiple performer articles - currently they have "gallery of roles" sections, which aren't consistent with other actor articles, can they not also have the appearances template?
And am I right in thinking you guys wanna remove the template from articles such as silent clock and Cubby?--Acer4666 14:40, May 23, 2011 (UTC)
No, just "not on actor/crew pages". The Cubby article doesn't matter so it might as well remain, and the silent clock article I would argue definitely benefits from that template's usage. I wouldn't object if it started getting used on object pages like Omar Hassan's pen and other IU stuff, but nor would I go through the trouble of inserting it on them. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 21:28, May 23, 2011 (UTC)
Haha can Troy Gilbert (and others) be my nice little fun pages where I don't have to worry about anything ;)?
I personally think multi-role actor pages (especially Ineligible character performers) would benefit from them just as silent clock and cubby do, and as I say I don't think consistency with actor articles is an issue seeing as the majority of them look vastly different anyway. But, if no-one else agrees I shall cede the point, I guess the precedent for the look of these type of pages is still evolving as more get added, so I may find a satisfactory way of listing their appearances--Acer4666 21:51, May 23, 2011 (UTC)
The overall gist of it seems to be "the appearances templates already exist, on each specific role, so no need to conflate them em all together". I've always thought that to be a very strong rationale. Plus, look at it this way: at the moment, according to Categ:Actors, there seems to be 1,210 actor articles. More will only appear. What you're proposing is that a huge slice of these get appearances templates—think of the maintenance! and, as I argue, needless maintenance.
Something of a compromise just came to mind: currently, appearances templates aren't used for these performers (nor any actors at all), but their episodes for Ineligible Characters are simply listed over on the multi-role article. What if we simply relocate the lists from the multi-role article and insert them into the specific actor articles? The benefits as I see them are as follows:
  1. We don't need to go back and edit episodes on the multi-role page ever again, and instead, we just insert a parenthetical saying "see actor's article". This is good because only editing veterans know to go there currently; newcomers are clueless and they shouldn't be left in the dark. It's also good because editing that page is like being conscious during eye surgery.
  2. It doesn't involve appearances templates.
  3. It satisfies what I believe is your central concern, that is, getting the episodes for Ineligible Characters on their actor articles.
Yes/no? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 23:08, May 23, 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I mean that's what I'm trying to do atm anyway (listing which episodes an actor appears in on their article) in lieu of being able to use the template, I guess my chief concern is finding a way to list them which is aesthetically nice and easy to navigate. As I say, I think allowing the appearances template to be used on such articles would solve that problem, but I'll carry on doing what I'm doing just with text and see how it goes.
I think taking the episode lists off the multi-role page would be good, to save messing round with that page--Acer4666 21:08, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
The appearances template would only obfuscate things, since nobody would know which Ineligible Character was being played in which episode anyway. Simply listing each episode next to each specific IC (in the gallery or some such place) makes everything perfectly clear right? Before we shift this content we might want to wait for others to sound off, especially Proudhug (since we're considering moving content off the multi-role actor page, which was his brainchild to begin with). Blue Rook  talk  contribs 02:24, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

Obviously when the multi-performers page was created, we literally knew nothing about all this stuntman nonsense, so it wasn't an issu,e and I didn't foresee the remotest possibly of it ever becoming something unruly. The principal purpose of the page was to be a handy reference for the (at the time) few actors who'd played more than one role on the show. I still think this is a useful thing to have, but really this function can be done with a category. However, the other usefulness of the page was to do exactly what Acer wants here, namely to show who and when these different roles were, in a visually simplistic list. Now, I would argue that it still does and can serve this second purpose.

Since, for simply practical reasons, I don't have a huge issue with the occasional "see actor's article" link, I don't see what the problem here is with simply moving that exact content to the actor's page and just listing it in a similar manner. Blue Rook is right that the template would only create more problems since it wouldn't indicate who was being played in each episode, nor would it indicate when an actor played more than one role in the same episode. And to include a plethora of footnotes would only defeat the entire purpose.

So... what was the question again? --proudhug 03:08, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

The modification that I proposed, and which Acer seems pretty cool with, is simply a movement of content, and encompasses the following: most of these new, prolific stuntmen articles will simply get "see actor's article" on the Multi-Role Performer article. (Yes, some already do have it.) All the episodes for those particular characters would simply be slid into the newfangled "gallery of roles" that we're starting to use on such performer pages. The gist would be, the stuntmen pages themselves would be the locus for whatever appearances list you wanted. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 05:12, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

I'm pretty much cool with whatever. I just wasn't sure if you were proposing a complete removal of the multi-performers list page or not. --proudhug 05:17, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

Not bad. Acer, I'd say that's good enough to begin moving those character appearances to the performer pages at this point. I saw that edit summary of yours earlier (about how rough it is to edit the multi-role page now) and I winced too.

Reboot 2[edit source]

The original purpose of this thread was to talk about the four (4) mega-notable, credited pre-recorded footage appearances of Jamey/Marwan/Bern/Pollock. Now that the show is over, and hypothetical examples are perma-moot, what's everyone's opinions of this: Wiki_24:Sandbox/test222. I ran out of steam before making the examples of Bern and Pollock, but theirs would be similar too.

These four (4) mega-notable, credited pre-recorded footage instances are so rare, and so extremely noteworthy, that it's pretty clear they deserve some kind of notation within the template. BGIN doesn't cut it, not by a long shot. And in the past there have been groundswells of visiting editors changing these, over and over again (read: I've never been alone in wanting to somehow change this). I have no idea if this is the final form it will take, and it doesn't matter because my whole point now is to demonstrate one method by which we can differently show such instances in the template, and to say "hey, we can show these rare and extremely notable instances without actually linking those episodes". Blue Rook  talk  contribs 06:11, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

I haven't gone back to read this entire thread again to see what exactly your arguments are for this (I will), but even what you just posted seems to refute itself. These are such rare examples, so why is it necessary to create special template parameters for them? Why exactly doesn't BGIN cut it, not by a long shot? It seems to me that's exactly what the BGIN section is for; to point out unique notable information.
And maybe I've just been oblivious, but I haven't noticed the "groundswells" of editors changing those pages. I recall it happening a couple times in the past, but certainly not as often as we get vandalism or good-faith policy violations (would you say we get groundswells of these, too?)
Interestingly, I'm completely polar opposite to your opinion that it's okay to visually show the "special" episodes in the template, but not link them. What's wrong with linking episodes? If someone wanted to change the template so that it always linked all of the episodes, but only changed the color for ones the character appeared in, I would think that might be a good idea. But to change the color and not link it is baffling to me. --proudhug 07:30, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
Mentioning something's rarity in an argument doesn't refute that argument. I brought up the precise number of these rare situations to demonstrate how final this is, because in the earlier arguments, you put some hypothetical situations forward against the idea, but now, the show's finished airing. There's no longer any concern for a slippery slope, which seems to be the chief force behind your early worries about a possible pre-recorded footage situation of a Harris Yulin-type persuasion.
The groundswell part I mentioned was continually done in good faith, and any comparable "vandalism groundswell" is a non sequitur because, well, those people aren't contributing, they're simply vandalizing.
And the last point, I didn't link them in the prior sandbox incarnation because I specifically thought you'd be more amenable to the idea if links were removed in these instances. I can restore the links in a heartbeat, but still make em different. Check it out now; in this incarnation, the episodes are linked but italicized and un-bolded. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 11:20, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
My personal view against this idea is not because of a slippery slope, but because of the arbitrariness of the credits' accuracy. If we want to acknowledge false credits in the appearances templates, then we should also do it for people who didn't appear at all; if we want to acknowledge non-live video in the appearances templates we should also do it for those that weren't credited. Kind of splicing the two criteria doesn't make sense I feel - you'll still get people adding stuff like uncredited non-live video (such as Palmer's), in fact this sort of thing will probably encourage it more.
I think that Arnold Vosloo's credit on the episode was an actual mistake, as his video was not recorded specifically for that episode (I know they're made in twos, but he didn't film anything specially for that ep), whereas the others did do work and their credit was for their work on the recordings. So already there's arbitrariness within the four this will affect. Like I say I feel the appearances template is completely OOU, but we have rules based on practicality (ie no non-live video or pictures) rather than on credits.--Acer4666 11:29, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
There's nothing arbitrary about these 4 at all, nor is there anything "false" about them. The actors were given credits, and they were seen in the episode. Plain and simple.
These two criteria together are extremely useful and specific, and it shouldn't pertain to how you may "feel" about it as you mention two times. And anyone who tries to insert Palmer photos or whatever will be reverted as usual. You guys also seem to be overlooking the fact that these four pre-recorded instances are very significant to their episodes' plots. Everyone should be thankful they were credited.
Finally the Vosloo example you give pretty much makes no sense at all? He was given a credit on screen, and the character features prominently in the episode; that's all we're talking about here. Whatever you're mentioning about "his video was not recorded specifically for that episode" doesn't seem to have any pertinence to this discussion. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 12:03, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
"The actors were given credits, and they appeared in the episode, plain and simple". Using that logic, because Walid Al-Rezani "appeared in his episode without a credit, plain and simple", therefore David Palmer "appeared in Day 5: 8:00am-9:00am, without a credit, plain and simple".
One of your arguments for changing the standard was because people in good faith editing the appearances in was a problem. I say that listing some non-live video and not others would actually increase this problem, and you haven't disputed that, you've just said they'll be reverted as normal (implying that it's not really a problem).
Plainly and simply - the appearances template is not a list of credits, it's a list of appearances. If we include non-live video, then we do so for everyone. People are credited for the work they put in to creating a TV show, not whether or not they are in front of the camera (see Category:Crew and Category:Uncredited actors). However much you may personally feel thankful that they were credited, I am not because it creates a massive inconsistency.
And to explain my vosloo example to you - Could Day 1: 11:00pm-12:00am have been made if karina arroyave moved to spain before they made that episode? No. Could Day 4: 2:00am-3:00am have been made if Arnold Vosloo had moved to spain before they made that particular episode? yes. Their character's prominence to the storyline has nothing to do with the actor being credited, as you suggest. You seem to be suggesting we base decisions about the appearances template on how significant to the plot the characters were, which makes no sense to me.--Acer4666 13:09, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
By "moved to spain", I mean - was the person's presence necessary for the completion of the episode.
Also, when debating on here I often try to not portray my views and opinions as hard cold fact (ie. "I think that we should do things this way", rather than "This is the way things should be done"). I preface my opinions with "I feel" to not seem like I'm dictating the way things are, but these discussions are just different people expressing opinions. Picking on the fact I do this doesn't lessen my arguments, as everything you have said is your opinion as well, and how we "feel" about it does pertain to every debate had here.--Acer4666 13:27, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

To your first paragraph: These exceptions hinge upon the credit the actors received. You and Proudhug no longer need to refer to the trillion of non-credited pre-recorded appearances, because they are a non sequitur. They do not pertain to this discussion of these clearly-defined exceptions.

To second: You misread me when you say that people changing the templates is a problem I'm trying to solve. It wasn't a problem. It is proof that I've always had support for the idea that this needs improvement.

To third: Everyone knows the appearances template is a list of appearances. Make no mistake, I'm talking about the 4 most obvious exceptions here. The show creators did not make a "massive inconsistency" because of these four credited actors. Those actors were on the screen, so they got a credit!

And regarding the fourth group of points, it sounds like a hypothetical about something that did not happen, and also, it cannot happen, because the show is off the air. This is why I'm revisiting it now. We won't be encumbered with a string of what-if-in-the-future arguments because they are moot. Finally, I wasn't being clear about the whole "significance" thing. I was not referring to character significance. I was referring to the prominent significance of these pre-recorded appearances themselves, and specifically in the sense that "this is why these actors were credited, as opposed to Dennis Haysbert, whose subsequent pre-recorded re-appearances were insignificant and therefore the show creators did not credit him." Blue Rook  talk  contribs 13:46, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

  1. We do need to refer to these other appearances, for consistency. When I suggested putting appearances templates on multi-role actors, you said no because it would be incosistent with non multi-role actor pages. That's a valid argument, to talk about other things that should be affected by the change. You're suggesting treating one group of non-live video appearances one way, and others a different way, and us talking about the ones your excluding isn't a non-sequitur, we're talking about why you've decided to exclude them (based on credits, which as you say above are "often not useful for the purposes of a wiki with our goals").
  2. I don't think that actually proves you have support, but fair enough
  3. The credits people have made an inconsistency. They've credited Arnold Vosloo and not Dennis Haysbert, when both appearances were exactly the same! Arnold was on-screen and got a credit (as you say) and Dennis was on-screen and didn't get a credit!
  4. How significant someone's appearances are is a subjective thing. Palmer appears in footage, and Martha says "oh look, it's his inauguration speech", then goes on to reminisce about his inauguration, furthering her character. Some would say that is prominent to the episode- others like yourself would say not. At the moment, we have clear and unambiguous rules on whether someone "appears" or not, but you're suggesting changing that based on subjective prominence to the episodes.--Acer4666 14:06, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  1. As we agreed earlier, adding appearances templates to multi-role actors would be a confusing and difficult-to-maintain alternative to listing those appearances, with wide-ranging consequences for numerous pages all over the project. This proposed exception affects only 4 articles, which is why I'm making it: it's perfectly manageable and there has been support for it over the years.
  2. &, 4. I understand the point you're making there, but doesn't the "significance" of these have to do with the fact that they are all original, newly-filmed footage of those actors? The Palmer stuff was all recycled, these 4 are not, I think. To further clarify these exceptions on that ground, I expanded the note over on my sandbox demo. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 14:26, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
I'm, sure the Marwan stuff was all recycled too. That's why I was calling his credit a mistake.
I'm saying there'll be also be "support" (in terms of people adding episodes to the template) for including David Palmer's footage. I know your change will only affect 4 articles, but it also produces a double-standard which implies a change for many more articles.
Here's something to think about too - Kirk Baltz was credited for Day 1: 6:00pm-7:00pm, and watch that episode on its own, does he appear on screen? Yes, in the previously segment. Should we list him? I know you will argue that it's not part of the episode or what have you, but your "plainly and simply they appeared on-screen" argument indicates that he should be listed. Bear in mind the template is a list of episodes, not in-universe hours--Acer4666 14:36, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
I still need an explanation for the whole "BGIN doesn't cut it, not by a long shot" comment that this entire thing seems to hinge upon for you. It just seems to me that these four examples you're centering out are much better, easier and consistently handled with a BGIN, rather than a special elaborate template recoloring. --proudhug 15:47, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
Do you have proof (maybe a crew interview or something) that his credit was a mistake because he was shown filming that content IU in the prior episode? Since his voice and face featured prominently in that episode, and in a new format, the immediate logical conclusion is that he was given the credit for that reason, not on account of some mistake.
Acer the Kirk Baltz credit probably refers to this, but since there probably is no way to prove either theory correct or incorrect, to me it's a moot example.
Proudhug we don't have to do a recoloring or anything on that order; in the new example instead I just removed the boldface and used italics to differentiate it. (Another visual possibility is that the episode hour itself is unlinked, but the asterisk is highlighted and contains the link; I'm willing to be very flexible on how the final product might look.) The reason I've always agreed with those editors who've tried to use the template for these is because these are exceptions like no other: the actor appeared on the screen as the character in a new format, and was credited for it, but because of our ultra-strict system we need to ignore the template because it happened to be pre-recorded IU. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 06:52, May 26, 2011 (UTC)
My Kirk Baltz example had nothing to do with theories, or trying to guess why he was credited. It had to do with the fact he was credited for the episode (fact) and he appeared in non-live video, a flashback, in the episode. According to the rules you've laid out at the start of this post we should give him a credit. Same for Karine Arroyave in 4-5am.
Why restrict this to non-live video; can we also do it for pictures (videos are just a group of pictures played in sequence, after all). Therefore Martin Belkin appeared in many episodes after his death: Rudolf Martin was credited, and a pic of Martin Belkin "appeared" in the episode. We can't say for sure that's not why he was credited.
As for a "new format" - it's arnold vosloo giving the exact same performance, shot from a different angle! And we saw there was a camera sat in front of him when he was giving the speech. The Palmer footage of his breakfast speech may be from a different angle, or last a couple of frames longer than in the original episode- does this qualify him for some extra appearances on his template?
I think these points show they're not exceptions like no other. You seem to be second guessing why someone was credited--Acer4666 07:48, May 26, 2011 (UTC)
You're extrapolating things all over the place, whereas I'm being 100% specific. It's hard to manage a discussion when you're spraying points like a shotgun that don't pertain to the original point anymore. But here goes...
I laughed out loud when you brought up the Previously segments! (They are an OOU component of the show and unrelated to IU appearances... did you really need me to state this?)
Looking into this Rudolf Martin topic, I'm certain you're mistaken. The actor was credited for Belkin in 12am, and for Jonathan in all the other instances where he was credited. You did know that the same actor portrayed both characters?
Regarding Marwan, yes I know it's the same footage seen on the IU screen as viewed by the characters. And it seems to be from the actual camera, no problem there. But that's exactly the point: that was filmed to be seen (and prominently) by the characters in the next episode. Heck it was even the next big lead for CTU, this recording. The whole thing was just a vehicle to get Vosloo on the screen, albeit not live.
Last time about Palmer: Hasybert wasn't credited. Any more references to Palmer and I'll know you're trying not to be constructive anymore :)
Blue Rook  talk  contribs 08:43, May 26, 2011 (UTC)
You first put this change forward as a change in the rules, ie if someone is credited and appears non-live then their appearance should go on the template. I am disputing using the credits as a judge of this, as it is an arbitrary guide to appearances, and yes I am allowed to use non-credited examples to prove my point (showing just how arbitrary the credits are). However when I do this, you're saying that you're not so much wanting to change the rules, just 4 articles and forget anything else this change would normally affect.
Would you support me if I said I wanted to add the appearance template to just the Troy Gilbert article - no hard-to-maintain mass changes to articles, just one change to the Troy Gilbert article. And if you don't agree, you are not allowed to refer to anything else, not allowed to bring up consistency with other articles, because I'm only talking about the Troy Gilbert one. That doesn't make sense! I'm questioning why you're using the credits as a guide, and using uncredited examples is not unconstructive, it's showing how arbitrary credits are!
Examples in your above paragraph of you speculating:
  1. "The actor was credited for Belkin in 12am, and Jonathan in all other instances" - according to what? The opening credits only list actor names and not characters.
  2. "That was filmed to be seen by the characters in the next episode" - I'm afraid that's you guessing the show creator's intent.
Here's me spraying another point out like or shotgun (or, as I like to think of it, showing that credits as a guide for appearances is arbitrary) - we use the appearances template for things that aren't characters. These things never get credited, but are just as much part of the "new footage" as the characters. So how come Jamey Farrell "appeared" in 11pm-12am, but the ITS room didn't? How come Marwan appeared in 2am-3am, but The Hub didn't? Based on credits, which are "an OOU component of the show and unrelated to IU appearances", to quote yourself--Acer4666 09:50, May 26, 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I've watched and confirmed that the Palmer footage does not differ from the Marwan stuff (the same performance, shot from a different angle). This is perfectly valid for me to bring this up in this debate; if you're still gonna complain about it perhaps you need me to paraphrase the debate so for:
You: I think we should list Marwan's appearance in the template and not Palmer's.
Me: But that's arbitrary; credits can't be trusted. How do the appearances differ?
You: Palmer's was recycled footage and Marwan's was new footage.
Me: No; Palmer's footage was also shot from a different angle, so the appearances are the same.
You: Stop talking about Palmer it's irrelevant! This is your last warning...
Do you see how this is unreasonable?--Acer4666 13:29, May 26, 2011 (UTC)
And you've still avoided my question, Rook. Changing the color or italicizing the text, unlinking it or using Wingdings, my point is that you want to include a visually altered appearance on the template rather than a BGIN, and yet you don't seem to have explained why a BGIN just doesn't cut it for you. You merely say it's an "exception like no other," which is a redundant statement anyway since, by definition, exceptions are like no other. Is the very purpose of the BGIN section not to point out rare examples of things such as these exact character "appearances"? --proudhug 21:22, May 26, 2011 (UTC)

Discussing this is becoming a nightmare. Acer the bit you're saying about Rudolf Martin which essentially amounts to "hey maybe Martin wasn't being credited for portraying Jonathan in the episodes where Jonathan appeared" is too mad to reply to. It doesn't even qualify as sophistry. I'm surprised Proudhug didn't call you out on it even though he's supporting the same side of an argument. And now you're saying that "I'm afraid that's you guessing the show creator's intent" concerning major footage prominently shown for critical plot arcs. It's barely possible to reply without frustration coming through here: if something was specifically filmed, and it appeared prominently in an episode and became CTU's next lead, the Justice Department's major evidence, Cheng Zhi's ace up his sleeve, or proof of a mole's betrayal, then the creators intended it to go in the episode. Whatever you're talking about, whatever it is you're trying to say, is either perfectly unclear to me or you don't understand it yourself, because it sounds like you're saying these things may not have been intended to actually go into the episode and could conceivably have just appeared "by accident" or some other reason other than explicit creator intent.

To answer Proudhug's question: those actors' credits appeared on the screen. Those characters appeared on the screen. Those actors appeared on the screen. And, there is a strongly compelling and historically supported argument to make note of these occurrences inside a thing that is called the "appearances template" (I'm not being sarcastic there, when I put those two words in quotes, I'm merely stating the obvious because sometimes the obvious is overlooked). In other words, the thing is an "appearances template" and the characters, actors, and actor-credits quite prominently appeared, unlike all other instances of pre-recorded content. Please, read that last group of sentences and respond to it as an issue directly without hypotheticals. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 02:13, May 27, 2011 (UTC)

You still didn't address your issue with BGINs not cutting it, but whatever. The actors' credits, characters and actors all appeared on screen, yes. Since you yourself have argued that the template should only apply to character pages, not actors, we can definitely exclude the relevance of the latter. And since the credits have been proven time and time again to be unreliable and arbitrary, that only leaves the Appearances template to pertain to the characters themselves. And since you don't currently seem to be suggesting a policy change here, our current rules for inclusion are quite clear about whether or not these appearances are eligible for the template, and they're clear-cut for good reasons. I realize what you're arguing for here is an exception to these clear-cut rules, but it appears Acer and I don't agree with you that these cases warrant special treatment, despite the reasons you've given. --proudhug 02:44, May 27, 2011 (UTC)

I did address this, a few times actually just "not to proudhug's satisfaction". Since there is no way to know what will meet your criteria for satisfying it, how can you expect me to keep trying? What else can I say but when people see "appearances" and a nice template, that's where they look for "appearances". No new visitor looks in BGIN. Therefore, since the actors, characters, and the actor-credits appeared, this is the place which screams for special attention.

Also, you and Acer are starting to come off sounding like madmen when you say, over and over, "credits are unreliable" and sit back in your chairs. That means nothing. Remember to look at these 4 instances specifically. This discussion requires no broad strokes about "credits in general" whatsoever. We're looking at four cases and that's it. I mean what's the point of saying "credits are not reliable"? Want me to start saying "dossiers are not reliable" because of the misspellings and random jabber that appears in certain IU computer screens, and then use that as a criteria for AFDing the entire Character profiles page because they are all IU computer screens? and deleting all the background information in them from the wiki? simply because a few instances have random text in them?

Also Proudhug unless I'm mistaken : there is no policy on this, so I don't know what you're referring to when you say that I "don't currently seem to be suggesting a policy change here". This is merely a change in the accepted precedent for another, historically marginalized precedent. And yes, there is strong precedent for these changes being made. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 19:46, May 27, 2011 (UTC)

Ok I'll explain points again, you've misinterpreted some and ignored others:
1) I wasn't saying he wasn't credited for his work as Jonathan - you were stating that he was NOT credited for his appearance as Belkin, which isn't supported by any evidence. I think he was credited for all his contributions to the episode, including his live appearance as Jonathan and his non-live appearance as Belkin. As you put it for the examples you want to include, the character appeared, the actor appeared, and the actor was credited - but somehow you're deciding exactly what Rudolf Martin was credited for (for his work as Jonathan, but not Belkin, which is speculation).
2) You were saying the difference between Marwan's and Palmer's appearances was because Marwan's was recorded specifically to be shown in a future episode, implying Palmer's wasn't. That's likely, but we don't know that the Season 1 team didn't say "get some extra shots of Palmer walking into grant street elementary in case we kill him off and need news footage". Again, speculation by guessing the show creator's intent
3) You have ignored my points about inconsistency with Palmer (I have explained very clearly how this does pertain to this discussion because you're choosing to exclude him for arbitrary reasons)
4) You have ignored my points about inconsistency with the template on non-character articles--Acer4666 10:02, May 27, 2011 (UTC)
1) What you think about Martin being credited is unsupported by evidence, because nowhere else in the run of the entire series does someone get credited for being in a photograph. The burden of proof is on your side to establish any credence to something so outlandish. So as it stands, and until you provide proof otherwise, the simplest explanation is the accurate one: he was being credited for Jonathan in those later episodes.
2) That was just a detail. To claim that any of the footage in these four scenes wasn't filmed specifically for those scenes is mouth-breathing insanity.
3) There is nothing arbitrary about the credits. They appeared, and those actors appeared in these episodes. Therefore I didn't ignore that. And when you say "credits aren't valid", you have yet to make a single valid example that pertains to these four credits. Everything has certain examples of being invalid, and I do mean everything.
4) There's nothing to ignore there because that's a wholly different topic with different criteria and discussions all its own. The only thing in common is that the appearances template is involved. This discussion has editors historically trying to make this change; that discussion is your idea. Besides, didn't you cede the point elsewhere, earlier? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 19:46, May 27, 2011 (UTC)
1) Just like with the Max status discussion, you have the "burden of proof" completely wrong. I do not have to prove my theory, I'm not stating it is definitely the case. I'm using it as an example to show your theory could be wrong. You are saying "Rudolf Martin was definitely not credited for his appearance in a photograph" - you have to prove that. I came up with an aslternative to your view - I'm saying neither are right, because we cannot prove anything. Therefore - nobody knows what he was being credited for, so he could have been credited for his photo appearance. You cannot disprove that, therefore it is a possibility. And accordingv to the rules laid out by yourself for the other examples, that means Belkin needs his template changing.
2&3) The credits are inconsistent. Tell me one difference between Palmer's appearance and Marwan's appearance (you have already tried to do this, and got it wrong). Then explain why one was crdited and one wasn't (and ignoring uncredited examples in a discussion about the consistency of creddits is like measuring sea level while denying the existence of the sea).
4&more) Read your first post on this forum topics. Consensus is not a poll. Your myriad of unnamed supporters from the annals of history don't mean anything unless a good solid argument for the changing of these templates is put forward (so far it hasn't been). All your arguments about where visitors will look etc is completely undercut by the fact your using credits as a guide for this. "visitors would naturally look in the appearances template, so long as the actor is credited, but if they were uncredited, and appeared in non-live footage, they would naturally look in the BGIN, I mean simple stuff! Only the seasoned editors would expect the inclusion criteria to be consistent"--Acer4666 21:35, May 27, 2011 (UTC)
The credits aren't my guide to this. This is a three-prong argument, and it involves both the characters and the characters' actors appearing extremely prominently on the screen in those episodes too, as well as the credits.
If you believe the following statement: "it is possible that Rudolf Martin was credited in his later episodes after the Season 1 premiere strictly because he was seen in photos as Martin Belkin, without any regard to his role as Jonathan" then I can't discuss that point any further because there's only room in a straightjacket for one person :)
Here is a challenge: I'll concede this entire argument if someone can prove the idea that any 1 of those 4 credits was an accident. Otherwise, I'm going to delete all the character dossiers/bios because a few on-screen profiles have a bunch of gibberish in them, which invalidates them all and makes all of them unreliable, according to your arguments. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 22:50, May 27, 2011 (UTC)
I'm really trying to understand your rationale here, Rook (especially since you find it essential enough to vehemently argue about it to the death), but it's just not happening. And if you can't get across your reasoning for this to us, how can you expect any new editors to understand why we've made these four seemingly random exceptions?
What else can I say but when people see "appearances" and a nice template, that's where they look for "appearances". No new visitor looks in BGIN.
So this seems to imply that a big reason for you wanting to do this is to avoid confusing new visitors. Aside from the fact that one could ream off literally hundreds of examples of well-reasoned policies and precedents that would never seem obvious to a new editor who hasn't read every Talk and Forum page before editing, I don't see why we need to sacrifice the satisfaction of seasoned editors for the satisfaction of n00bs, especially when it's only these four rare cases. So perhaps the solution here is to add the current Appearances template usage into the policy, so as to clarify for new editors why we don't include pre-recorded footage in the template, even if the actor filmed especially for that episode and was credited for the appearance.
And for the record, the unreliability of the credits and the unreliability of dossiers are not comparable, as one's OOU and one's IU. If IU facts don't jibe, we either make it work or note the discrepancy in BGIN (such as the unreliability of the show's geography), but if OOU facts are inconsistent, that means we should take it with a grain of salt, or less. --proudhug 23:32, May 27, 2011 (UTC)
Blue Rook I cannot continue the discussion if you're going to continually twist my words and then ridicule me for it. I explained very clearly above that's not what I was saying about Rudolf Martin; the first time I put it down to innocent misinterpretation but now it seems that you're resorting to this out of an inability to actually address the point I'm raising. Again, I'm not saying "he's strictly credited because of his appearance as a photo", I'm saying "he could have been credited for both things". If he didn't appear as a photo, he'd still be credited because of his Jonathan stuff, if he didn't appear as Jonathan, he'd still be credited for his photo, there's nothing outlandish or straight-jacket worthy about it (PS in case you still don't get it, I don't need to prove this, I'm just saying it's a possibility).
No-one can prove any credit was a mistake, neither can anyone prove a credit was not a mistake. However I can prove the credits follow no consistent rules, given your inability to tell me one objective different between someone's credited appearance (Marwan) and someone's uncredited appearance (Palmer).
And about codifying the rules on what constitutes an "appearance" - I should point out that it doesn't only affect the contents of the appearances template, it also defines the difference between Category:Day 1 characters and Category:Mentioned characters (Day 1), whether we have "appearedin" or "mentionedin" in the sidebar, the rules at character appearances, and the numbers used at recurring characters.--Acer4666 09:27, May 28, 2011 (UTC)
Acer I'm not belittling you, it's just hard to get through good natured jesting in text. If we were speaking in person you'd probably laugh. Also Proudhug I'm not doing this for the sake of new visitors, more about that below.
Regarding Rudolph, let's say for the sake of this discussion "Acer is correct, that actor was credited for Jonathan and the photograph of the other character". I don't believe this makes sense but let's roll with it. Where does this leave us regarding the Marwan credit? .... ? ....? I'm trying to find a connection there, and there is none. Saying that "credits are sometimes wrong! and here's a possible example!" does absolutely nothing about a different situation in an episode where Arnold Vosloo receives a credit, Arnold Vosloo appears on screen, and Arnold Vosloo appears on screen as the same character he's been portraying for almost 3/4 of a whole season. As such, whether I agree with you or not about Belkin/Jonathan credit stuff, it does not prove that the Vosloo credit was a mistake.
Until there's proof otherwise: an actor was credited for the only role he appeared on screen for. That is not an assumption, it is bare deductive fact. You can't assume such a credit was a mistake if the actor actually appeared; you need proof for such an assumption. It doesn't matter that other credits in other episodes have been "credit only" situations or Ray Hale situations. Since Arnold Vosloo appeared on screen as Habib Marwan, then the credit Arnold Vosloo received at the start of the episode is for his appearance as Habib Marwan.
Given this logic, all these claims that "credits suck therefore your proposal is no good" are too general and don't serve to undo my proposal by any means at all. Unless you're able to prove that the Vosloo credit was an actual mistake, please focus on other arguments because I'll need proof to accept that an actor mistakenly received a credit even though he appeared prominently on the screen.
Also, look at the claim you're making when you say "credits don't follow consistent rules". Sometimes they have mistakes in them... yes of course. But I don't care for a second about whatever rules or lack thereof that creators were thinking about. It doesn't matter the slightest! These actors appeared on screen portraying their characters, and they were given credits! Who cares about the other instances like Teri and Palmer when they appeared but weren't credited? I'm not discussing those instances, and nobody else has ever discussed it either.
The true problem here is that you both are trying to force our local, provincial mindset for the word "appearance" onto the credit process used by the creators. Here, we have ultra-anal rules about what can go into a thing called the Appearances template. The show creators have on 4 occasions given prominent actors credits for appearances that happened to be pre-recorded. These cases are so unusual that I'm arguing we accommodate them with a small effort in the appearances template. That's all. There's no danger of slippery slope, and there is support for the idea. And no, I'm not doing this simply because "some new editors want to do it". I'm doing this because I see we're being too inflexible and terrified about a slight alteration that is so obvious, it is the first edit that some of our new visitors reach out to make. It isn't obvious to you guys because you're steeped in the opposite mindset.
Regarding Category:Day 1 characters and Category:Mentioned characters (Day 1), whether we have "appearedin" or "mentionedin"... remember Acer that I'm one of the architects of making all that stuff consistent. Before I took that stuff seriously, the character pages were nowhere near consistent. And this proposal of mine doesn't affect such things at all.
Lastly, proudhug it doesn't matter what we put or refuse to put into written policy about this, regardless which side comes out in this discussion. It's all about either maintaining an older precedent or tweaking that same older precedent. Policy is just precedent that's written down. When you say that perhaps "solution here is to [write a policy]" then, sure, we can consider it after the discussion is closed. Otherwise we just keep enforcing the precedent we're currently working with.
How about this. Instead of linking the episode, there is an asterisk that links to the episode. (The text of the episode is itself unlinked, to prevent people from feeling the need to change sidebars, recurring characters, and other stuff.) I think this is a perfect solution for this: it's unobtrusive and clearly defined. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 16:32, May 29, 2011 (UTC)
Usually actors appear in an episode and are credited for it. But sometimes actors are credited but don't appear. Sometimes actors appear but aren't credited. Sometimes an appearing actor is uncredited for contractual reasons. Sometimes an absent actor is credited for contractual reasons. Sometimes either of these are an oversight. Sometimes it's because the actor's scenes have been deleted from the show. All we can assume about the acting credits is that they are an often unreliable guide to who was and wasn't in a given episode, and that they really pertain more to the behind-the-scenes goings on than the actual on-screen appearances of the actor. Using the results of these behind-the-scenes legal contracts as a significant factor in a non-BTS template seems like a gigantic non-sequitur to me.
Out of curiosity, would you still be advocating these "exceptions" if there were only two of them? Or only one? What if there were forty? I'm just still trying to comprehend your reasoning that these four need to be in the template instead of a BGIN. Yes, people may see an appearances template and expect every appearance to be there (or maybe just the prominent, aka "credited," ones, as you suggest) and they may be confused about why it seems to be incomplete... until they come to understand that we don't include pre-recorded footage there. Similarly, when people see a character "Status" field they may think that means they can be specific about the character's status, such as "in a coma" or "arrested"... until they come to understand that we only include three possible words there. All of our rules and precedents here exist for very good reasons (or at least I like to think all of them do), even if some of those very good reasons aren't always readily apparent. Fortunately, in the case of the Appearances template, we're able to help out our readers by including a BGIN about the pre-recorded appearances in lieu of violating our consistency, keeping our information as complete as possible. --proudhug 18:52, May 29, 2011 (UTC)

The credit is on the screen in each of these four instances: fact. The actors appeared in important scenes as their usual characters: fact. We can't guess if it was a mistake or whatever in the Vosloo/Marwan case: fact (so guessing about it is pointless). It certainly wasn't a mistake in the other three instances: fact. Therefore, given the appearance of the credits, the actors, and the characters in each of these four cases, we should loosen up only in each of these four cases.

To answer the question in the 2nd paragraph, I went with these 4 exceptions because they have the complete set of three-level criteria of actors, characters, and credits in all of them, and additionally because there have been numerous edits in support of a change of some kind on this very matter. (And regarding whether I would do this if the number happened to be different, well since the show is off the air, I won't need to address any hypotheticals that are put to me about stuff that did not happen and which cannot happen.)

Worrying about consistency isn't necessary. If you only used thumb drives for external data storage because you have some kind of fascination for them, and refused everything else for consistency, then you'd exclude stuff like external hard drives and CDs. Then one day you decide to also burn CDs for data storage, in addition to the beloved thumb drives. But you still have a phobia about external drives so they remain out of the picture. Well you wouldn't have to worry about "inconsistency" because you're just changing what you're being consistent about. What's the difficulty with changing the precedent from "live appearances only" to "live appearances, and asterisks for credited pre-recorded footage"? Is it that much of an earth shattering alteration. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 21:03, May 29, 2011 (UTC)

Hmm...the thing about Belkin I wasn't bringing up to talk about how it affects the Marwan credit, I was saying it would affect the Belkin article (for consistency, if the 4 changes you proposed go ahead). As you say for your 4 examples - plainly and simply, the character appeared, the actor appeared, and the actor was credited. But when I bring up another example of this happening, you say "no that's different because of X, Y and Z", showing that it's not as plain and simple as all that.
I agree the rules about what an "appearance" are ultra-anal - but really they have to be. We have to be pedantic about these rules or they're open to all sorts of things happening, they have to be completely non-ambiguous. However, in your above paragraph you've mixed up definitions of the word "appearance". Our current definition of "appearance" is someone that appears in live footage or on-screen live. You're not suggesting we change that definition - therefore when you say "Marwan appeared on-screen", that's not true according to the definition we have agreed upon.

If you mean "Marwan appeared" in the common usage, as in, "come on, look, he's there on the screen!", then really you should be arguing for a change in our definition of "appearance". I mean if this change happens, I could say "come on, look, Palmer appears, he's there on screen!" with exactly the same argument you're putting forward for listing these guys.

But you're saying that credits should be used as the judge for this...my main question is why? Their consistency aside, why pick it as a rule for appearances? It makes the rules more complicated. Also, what correlation do they have between on-screen appearances (you say yourself, you "don't care for a second about whatever rules or lack thereof that creators were thinking about" - why are you then trying to state that they have a bearing on what went on in the episode?). What if I said, "we should list those few examples of non-live appearances where the character has lines". So Marwan, Reed Pollock, Bern, but not Jamey. Then I said "I don't care what correlation having lines has to do with appearances - I refuse to discuss that, it doesn't affect the 3 articles I'm talking about". I think you'd find it very hard to argue against such a rule, if I put up the same fight you are - but it's an arbitrary judge of what an appearance is!
I re-visited this forum thread out of a desire to list deleted appearances in the template. But proudhug said, "what's wrong with sticking it the BGIN"? I honestly couldn't think of a reason to further complicate the rule structure we have for the template for the sake of a few articles, where those limited instances could go in a BGIN, along with false credits and non-live video. I'm wondering why this change is any different.
I agree the asterisks would be non-intrusive, but cannot agree with the criteria for applying them. I could start to see where you were coming from if you were wanting all non-live appearances listed, or all credited-but-didn't-appear listed, but I can't agree with this.
And the reminder of what the rules affected was just in response to proudhug saying we should codify the rules about what constitutes an appearance, I wasn't saying your proposal affected it.--Acer4666 19:17, May 29, 2011 (UTC)

I never said "credits should be used as the judge for this", I said they are point of a three-level set of criteria. Complaints that sometimes there are mistakes in credits or that they are there for varying reasons is a different discussion. The credits are present, plain and simple, in each of these four cases, and so are the 4 actors. We don't need to change anything about Martin Belkin because it's a different topic, which has no support from anyone, and because it's a photograph, for which there is no precedent whatsoever for actors receiving credits.

In your second paragraph, you're talking about my plain-English usage of the term "appearance" as if it is a bad thing. It isn't bad. I'm using the plain-English word "appearance" because I want the "appearances template" to remain largely unchanged but to reflect some sanity regarding these four screaming exceptions to our made-up, wiki-only definition of the word. If you guys insist that we never accept asterisks or any other reasonable compromise, then we should talk about changing the template heading to "Live appearances" and just leaving the notes in the BGINs, because at the moment we're using a completely fictional definition of that word. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 21:03, May 29, 2011 (UTC)

Okay, so if I'm understanding this situation correctly, you're saying that any character that appears live in an episode gets a template listing, and any character that appeared only in pre-recorded footage, but had the same actor playing the same role in the footage and was credited on-screen for it and the footage had an important part of the plot, should have a specially-marked template listing instead of merely being mentioned in the BGIN. In every other instance, the appearance of the credits and the appearance of the actor are completely irrelevant to the template, but you're now advocating that in these four cases, they are essential. Yet Acer and I are failing to see the significance of singling out these specific criteria. Since the show is over and as a result you're unwilling to provide insight into your rationale by humoring hypothetical examples, Acer and I are forced out of being allowed to understand why you want to do this. It seems to me that if your reasoning here was sound, it would stand up to all hypothetical situations, so it's clear you're required to ignore all of them or else your idea crumbles.
Even hypothetically granting you that those three things are necessary for an appearance to be worthy of mention on the template, you're missing the fact that your four examples don't actually meet those criteria. Yes, the actor appears on-screen, and so does their credit. But the character doesn't appear. Instead, a pre-recorded video appears. Much like with a photo or a painting, this is an inanimate object, not a person. If someone created an article for "Video file of Jamey Farrell's death", we could give it an appearance on the template for D1:11pm-12am, but the character herself doesn't appear. The purpose of the template is to illustrate whether or not the audience gets to tangibly experience some of what the character is doing during that specific hour. Since Jamey was lying on a gurney during that episode, and not being murdered again, she doesn't "appear."
But all of this doesn't really matter because you've finally come up with the solution here! Hilariously, I came up with the same solution, seconds before I read your last sentence. It's clear that the issue isn't with the template not living up to its name, but rather that the name is inaccurate and prone to misinterpretation. So I guess we should change it to "Live appearances" or "Real-time appearances" or something to solve this entire dilemma, then we can all go home and eat pizza! I don't know how the hell none of us saw this sooner! --proudhug 22:43, May 29, 2011 (UTC)

It may not be necessary to change it to "Live appearances" if we can come to an agreement on the original topic. As I said in the earlier post, made simultaneously as the above one, "Is it that much of an earth shattering alteration"? And if I'm going to be forced to entertain dozens of hypotheticals about stuff that is absolutely impossible: I'd still support this change regardless of how many instances there might be, in a different universe where say 24 has 40 such instances. It's just that it is super-unobtrusive since there are only 4 as it turns out. Proudhug your middle paragraph is probably the soundest argument against this alteration proposal. It's just that given the prominence and significance of these, and that they meet the 3 criteria, there might as well be an exception here.

Okay and maybe it's more than a little creepy that I finished eating pizza tonight right before coming to read your post :\ Blue Rook  talk  contribs 04:19, May 30, 2011 (UTC)

I guess nobody is budging about doing these 4 exceptions. So do we agree that the best thing to do is to change it to "Live appearances" then, on every character page? I'll recruit someone with a bot to swing over and do the work if that is the case. (That's what bots are for, to prevent these kind of edits from flooding the Latest Intel.) Let me know Proudhug/Acer if this is settled. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 22:13, June 5, 2011 (UTC)
I don't see it as strictly necessary but I'm not against getting it done. I kind of stopped debating this in case we were just going round in circles and debating it to death, I could respond to your latest post if you want but are you happy enough with us not including the 4 in the template?--Acer4666 22:43, June 5, 2011 (UTC)
You guys aren't convinced by what I'm saying, and neither am I convinced otherwise, so the only way I see this being resolved is changing it all from Appearances to Live appearances. Proudhug agrees that it's more accurate, anyway, so I figure it's the best possible outcome? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 19:00, June 6, 2011 (UTC)
Yup sounds good to me if we can get a bot done--Acer4666 19:03, June 6, 2011 (UTC)
If you guys get a moment, be sure to thank User:Charitwo for all his help! It seems to be going perfectly.
I'm glad this is settled. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 20:42, June 7, 2011 (UTC)

Wow awesome. That was quick and easy! Eventually. --proudhug 22:29, June 7, 2011 (UTC)

I don't know if this is linked, but I'm seeing the "Day x" heading that's at the top of the appearances template as off centre (it's to the right). Maybe this was like this before - are you guys seeing it like this as well?--Acer4666 10:54, June 8, 2011 (UTC)

They all seem to be centred for me. --proudhug 14:44, June 8, 2011 (UTC)

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