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Forum: The Situation Room > Unknown actors

We all love Perry Tanaka and Irv. But at this time, they and many other characters lack identified actors. Most of them probably never will be found. However I'd like to start a small project, going through their articles and tagging their actor slot in the info boxes with (unknown), (unspecified), [undetermined], or something like that (just note that we can't use "uncredited"). I'd like some input on the following questions:

  1. Is this a good idea,
  2. if it is, what's the best word to put there,
  3. do we want to use a category, a template, some combination of both, or avoid all them and opt for a simple article like Performers with multiple roles?

I want to get the details down perfectly before I go and start this. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 18:20, August 10, 2010 (UTC)

I like the idea of something like a "Unknown performers" page. I believe Memory Alpha has something like that. I'm not sure of your reason for wanting to add a comment in the actor slot, though. Is a BGIN comment not sufficient? --proudhug 20:26, August 10, 2010 (UTC)
It wouldn't be a "comment", just a link.
At the moment, there aren't any BGINs for these characters. And it's not that I believe BGINs wouldn't be sufficient; the problem is, that would be the completely wrong spot. Everybody turns to the info box of named characters to see who the actor is. Why would we throw a twist in everything for the unnamed characters and make people have to look down at a note. The other issue with it is this fact doesn't regard the character, so why have a note on the character's page about it. We wouldn't put notes on Jack's page for stuff about Kiefer unless it directly concerned the character too. Thirdly many of these characters don't have notes to begin with, so creating a whole section just for a note about the lack of an actor (and then suppressing the resultant TOC for all these tiny pages) is a waste of effort. I love the convenience and consistence of linking this in the actor= field. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 21:17, August 10, 2010 (UTC)
I see your point. I think linking "unknown" to an unknown performers page is a good idea. --proudhug 21:29, August 10, 2010 (UTC)
I hope you don't mind, that I wanna help to. I've seen a few people (and then I mean really a few people), who I aren't listed here. But I will take my time. I can help a little bit.--Station7 21:56, August 10, 2010 (UTC)
To start with Steve Dargan.--Station7 21:58, August 10, 2010 (UTC)
Station7 you're on to something different, namely... "finding actors for whom the characters are undetermined". What I'm doing, is "finding known characters whose actors are not known". What you're doing is very good, though, so keep looking through IMDB and you might compile a list of actors we should keep an eye out for. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 19:02, August 11, 2010 (UTC)

The hidden-category option Edit

What do you guys think of using a hidden cat for these characters with unknown actors, like Perry Tanaka and Irv? This new category shouldn't be placed among the other categories (like "Day 1 characters" and "Deceased characters", etc.) because it really has nothing remotely to do with the iu character. Agreed? So it should be separated. People will be able to view the contents of the category, however, from a link in the unknown performers page which would be linked over in the sidebar field "actor=". Blue Rook  talk  contribs 19:02, August 11, 2010 (UTC)

I don't see the need to make it hidden. (Nor did I know you could even do that.) What's wrong with "Characters performed by unknown actors" or something? --proudhug 16:38, August 12, 2010 (UTC)
The reason for it being hidden, related to my statement earlier, is that this categ doesn't regard the character so much as it does the fact of a missing performer. It's more of an OOU thing, but since there isn't an actor page, we're limited to using the characters' articles. Almost all the other categs are IU or strongly IU-related. This one would be the odd duck among the others. Even odder than the Featured categ.
Another thing, less important but still on my mind, is the matter of consistency in category organization. I'm almost certainly the biggest nerd here when it comes to that. The order of the categs for a standard TV series character goes: Characters, then however many Day # characters are needed, followed by Organization/Occupation categories like CTU/Dawn Brigade/Medical/Flight, then the Status category, followed if necessary by Mentioned and/or Featured. Nowhere in that order is there a place where I'm comfortable sticking this random OOU category. (Proudhug a neat thing you can do is "show hidden categories" in Preferences under the Misc tab.) Blue Rook  talk  contribs 16:59, August 12, 2010 (UTC)
Oops, I didn't realize you'd created the category when I wrote that.
This new category has to do with the connection between the character and its actor, so it seems perfectly relevant to me. How can we justify putting "actor" and "status" columns on the sidebar, if this category isn't warranted to be seen on the page, then? There are clearly defined area where OOU information is permitted on an IU page; the sidebar, the BGIN section, and the categories.
And what on Earth are you talking about character categories being IU, anyway? The fact that they all contain the word "characters" clearly makes them OOU. But even if they weren't OOU, what does that matter? The point is to pertain to the article, not to pertain to IU/OOU. As you mentioned, FA is a perfectly good example of a category that has nothing to do with IU. Even if you were to suggest that the FA category should also be hidden, I'd say why? It's a category, so it's useful for users to see. Do you really think that alleviating this perceived confusion is more important than adding the usefulness of the category to the page?
As for its placement, I'd place it immediately before the FA category. --proudhug 17:14, August 12, 2010 (UTC)
The category is added to the page, it's just not with the rest. It's in the actor=field. And of course I know that the other categories are inevitably tainted with OOU, it's just this new one is sooo far left-field OOU that it doesn't seem right with the rest. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 17:25, August 12, 2010 (UTC)
It's a very simple matter to transform this into a normal category, but I'd like to see where the discussion ends. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 20:04, August 12, 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree with Rook on this one. I don't know how better to say it than he already has, but it seems so very oou to say that they have unknown actors that there's no need to show it. And if users are curious enough to see said category, they can click on the "unknown actor" link. They won't even have thought of there being a category up until that point, when it becomes moot because they are already there. --SignorSimon (talk/contribs/email) 21:05, August 12, 2010 (UTC)
Haha, in all my years at Wiki 24, I don't think I've ever been so baffled! Maybe I'm just a total dunce, but can you walk me through a few things?
How exactly is the category different from other categories? As far as I can tell, all other categories are blatantly OOU, so this seems to fit right in.
Secondly, why this so-called difference a reason to actually hide the category from readers? Categories are meant to group pages together based on a common attribute. End of story. The idea isn't to group the categories themselves together on the page, based on similarity or aesthetic. As stated earlier, Featured Article exemplifies this. How can you want to hide one but not the other?
And thirdly, how exactly could hiding a category ever be beneficial? Even if it is different, which I clearly don't comprehend at all, why does that mean that the information should actually be difficult to find? I understand the category is there, and can be found by clicking on the "unknown actor" link, but how does putting up all these hoops to jump through to find the category listing help anything? --proudhug 00:21, August 13, 2010 (UTC)
Of course. I can't change your mind if you don't have a clue what I'm talking about :)
All categories are themselves OOU, but what they're talking about may or may not also have an extension into the universe of the show. Take Benjamin Juma, as of this writing he has 8 categs. The first one, "Characters", is a word we use to say he existed in the show. Appropriately it's the first categ since it's the most general. The next one states that he was in Redemption. This is an oou fact, obviously, but it also holds true iu: if you were in the show, and laid down the time frame and locations/rooms that spanned the oou filming us viewers were familiar with, it would be a matter of simple fact that Juma was there and he was actively involved. The "Redempt antagonist" shows that he was working against the common good at that time. Juma actually wound up sacrificing himself to disprove this notion, but so would many madmen. Most people in the show would agree he is a highly dangerous person. Same thing with "Day 7"; the fictional entity was in that season (oou), but additionally it is true that in the reality of the show, the individual was present at those locations/times as well (iu). And "Day 7 antagonists" simply states that he was a bastard again. Next is "Killed by Jack" which is a category that has even more iu extension- the character on screen ceased doing stuff when Kiefer's character shot him down, and it is also true that Juma was killed by Bauer. "Deceased" speaks for itself. Finally there is "Featured article", which explicitly states no connection to the character whatsoever, and therefore has no iu extension. I included an FA to demonstrate that it is fine to have a categ like that. It's essential to have an FA categ and it has been a part of our wiki since just about 2 months after it was created. Now, here comes along a new category that has no extension into the iu world: "Unknown performers". One of them, Henderson, wouldn't have a clue what the hell I'd be talking about if I was in her world and stated that she was portrayed by an unknown performer (and might rightly punch me across the face). The key point here is that the category reveals nothing about the entity of the show. Not a thing. All it does is reveal an oou aspect that viewers can know about. No other category does that, not even FA, which is about the character's article and is fine where it currently is. I was relieved when I remembered that there was a place to alternatively put this new category: up in the info box.
On your second question, the category simply is not hidden in this case. It is true I'm utilizing the Hidden Categ feature, but I've linked it elsewhere; it's not hidden, it has been moved up to the info box. What I ideally want is a separate grouping of categories, but this doesn't exist in the software (yet?).
The last question is based on an incorrect premise: the information isn't difficult to find, it's linked exactly where it should be linked: in the actor= field. The visitors would only know that the character has an unknown actor by looking there anyway. Probably nobody would go down to categories for a thing like that. And, a new visitor doesn't know that this category exists (you can't have difficulty finding something you are not looking for) and he doesn't know what he's clicking: he probably expects to be brought to an article or something. But surprise! there is a fully loaded category.
Making it visible is an option, but it would be linked in 2 places, but wouldn't you feel a bit funny with that long-ass and weirdly non-iu category down there? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 15:44, August 13, 2010 (UTC)
So your reason for not putting it at the bottom is because it's long and not IU? You still haven't demonstrated where you got the notion that categories aren't merely groupings of like articles, but rather have to actually pertain to the article in an IU sense as well. Based this explanation, we should also remove the "played by" field in the sidebar for all of the exact same reasons. Everything else in the sidebar pertains to an IU aspect of the character, but the actor's name has nothing to do with the IU world, and therefore it stands out like a sore thumb among the other fields in the box. Your Henderson example applies here as well.
And yes, I too would expect to find a proper article when I clicked on the link in the sidebar. Then I'd be disappointed to just find a blanket alphabetical list of all the characters, rather than sorted by season and episode, like they should be. I'd probably then recommend that such a page be created, or create one myself, and recommend that the category be placed at the bottom of the article with all of the other categories, where it belongs. --proudhug 17:52, August 13, 2010 (UTC)

I've said all that I can say about how categories either do or do not state anything about the fictional personalities the articles represent, having spent most of my prior post trying to explain it. Since we're not talking about the sidebar at all, I haven't the remotest clue how removing the "played by" field has connection with this discussion.

I don't know how an article with these characters "sorted by season and episode" connects to this discussion either. We only do that for one group, performers with multiple roles, and since that's the only example of such a page on the entire wiki, your claim that people would "expect" to find another one of these is strikingly silly! Additionally, you make it sound like a category at the bottom and a page like the multi-role performer article would be standard procedure. This isn't even consistent with the multi-role performer situation since that article exists in lieu of a category. Blue Rook  talk  contribs 04:34, August 16, 2010 (UTC)

In regards to the sidebar argument, my whole point is that the sidebar is completely analogous to the categories, in that your exact argument can be applied to either (and still not make sense), especially now that you've actually added a category link in the sidebar! To use mostly your own words:
All sidebars are themselves OOU, but what they're talking about may or may not also have an extension into the universe of the show. Take Benjamin Juma, as of this writing he has 5 sidebar fields. The first one, "Status", is a word we use to describe whether or not he's survived in the show to the most recent known point in time. "Season(s)" states that he was in Season 7. This is an oou fact, obviously, but it also holds true iu: if you were in the show, and laid down the time frame and locations/rooms that spanned the oou filming us viewers were familiar with, it would be a matter of simple fact that Juma was there and he was actively involved. "First episode" and "Last episode" shows when he was first involved, within the context of the moments and locations us viewers were shown. Now, here comes along a sidebar field that has no extension into the iu world: "Played by." Juma wouldn't have a clue what the hell I'd be talking about if I was in his world and stated that she was portrayed by Tony Todd (and might rightly punch me across the face). The key point here is that the field reveals nothing about the entity of the show. Not a thing. All it does is reveal an oou aspect that viewers can know about. No other sidebar field does that.
And I don't think it's that silly for someone to expect to be taken to an article rather than a category listing when they click on a link. The only other place I can think of where we do that is Wiki 24:People, a page that's not even on the main namespace.
But it seems to me you've hit on the solution, anyway. Why not have an article which lists the unknown performers instead of an inexplicably hidden and misleadingly linked category? This is what Memory Alpha does, and it's much more useful than a simple category. This removes your bizarre dislike for the category's appearance within the article, it removes my dislike for the blatant inconsistency with established procedure, and most importantly, it retains all of the exact same information, but adds more specifics. --proudhug 12:00, August 16, 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't proposing to use the same mindset when looking at the sidebar as I have been when looking at the categories. Since this isn't really worth the trouble, I'll just make the category visible so that it appears at the bottom with the rest, and also links to the category from the actor= slot as it does now. It won't be "misleadingly linked and inexplicably hidden" then. Because the one thing that doesn't make sense is making an article for these guys. This is just the sort of thing that categories exist to put together. An article along the style of multi-role performers would be a weeks-long project to create and for what benefit? A bunch of episode guide links that you find when you click the characters anyway? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 17:22, August 16, 2010 (UTC)
I guess my biggest problem with having the category hidden is the fact that it's basically a PNA category. Characters like Peters and Hunter have these categories visible and no one's ever complained, to my recollection. They're as OOU as you can get, yet you never proposed hiding these.
I don't see the problem with having an article and a category for this information. They're totally different ways of organizing the information. I'm not sure what you were thinking when you said creating the article would be a weeks-long project, as I did it in a couple hours. I personally find it way more useful and visually interesting than the category listing, too. --proudhug 05:30, August 17, 2010 (UTC)
This wasn't my point at all making this category. The purpose of the category, whether it would be visible with the other categs or not, would be to avoid another beast of a page like multi-role actors. But you went ahead and made it anyway. We should just categorize these and be done with it. I really have no idea what benefit is introduced by arranging these characters like that in an article, by season, hair color, what-have-you... and then putting the episodes in it. Additionally, it doesn't help that pages like that are very annoying to edit and maintain whenever a change is made elsewhere. It's a monster to maintain and I don't see any benefit, especially when the episodes are reproduced on the page for whatever reason. Don't you realize the work a page like this requires, coupled with the fact that the benefit is almost nonexistent? Blue Rook  talk  contribs 07:05, August 17, 2010 (UTC)
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