'Mark as Default' for 'Alternative' seasons to fix TMDB wrongheadedness

G’Day Guys,

I have a fundamental disagreement with how TMDB organises Doctor Who Specials, and so from my perspective the ‘real’ airing order for actual diegetic and canonically relevant episodes is reflected more accurately by the ‘BBC iPlayer’ Episode Group than the mess they’ve made of the ‘Specials’ folder, and I’d ideally like to permanently pretend that Episode Group is the ‘actual’ structure.

To that end, I would love to be able to indicate within Trakt that anything and everything pertaining to Doctor Who should automatically select that Alternative Season mapping and use it instead of the default so I don’t have to keep remembering to switch.

Watched episode counts, ‘Up Next’ and ‘Recently Aired’, the works.
It would be especially helpful if it would reflect that preference at the API level also, for those apps I use that don’t support Alternate Seasons.

I understand that they’re not ‘real’ seasons from the underlying data-set’s perspective, and that some features wouldn’t work properly like not being able to mark the whole season as watched, etc.
But the bread and butter interactions of “What episode am I up to?” or “Is the next episode out yet?” and that sort of thing seem like they’d work an absolute treat. I’d happily acknowledge a pop-up warning when making the change, and accept getting a weird error if I forget and try to do something ‘season’ related to a group in an app that doesn’t implement groups (or therefore detecting the season was remapped to a group and hide the invalid actions), in exchange for the convenience of not having to trawl through the hundreds of junk entries in the ‘Specials’ folder to find the handful of ‘actual’ episodes they’ve stuck in there.

Cheers for the consideration!

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This take I don’t necessarily agree with…
Though I absolutely get the frustration that feeds it lmao.

As a provider of a dataset of media, they’re actually fairly decent.
Imagine if they didn’t even offer Episode Grouping and it was their way or no way at all, or they were straight up missing a bunch of shows/movies, or they didn’t have any metadata like cast or ratings or cover art, or they charged for access, or they didn’t allow any community feedback or contributions, etc.

I wouldn’t say they’re always wrong or bad at everything, they could definitely be a lot worse.
My only major complaint thus far is that they don’t have a good approach to handling shows that air episodes outside of the easily quantifiable Hierarchical Season-Centric Structure that most shows tend to use.

That apps can hook into a feature they provide, as a means of working around this complaint, is a point to their credit actually.


Not in my Book, they couldnt be worse then they are. Not going Into it further. Best regards

Very good idea actually!
I don’t know if I’ll use it much but it seems very neat!

This is a good idea, but a challenging one to do. If we changed the data send from the API, that would require the apps to understand why the order was different. Not every app uses Trakt or TMDB for data, so it wouldn’t be possible to enforce that.

As a workaround, we have the “view progress” link on the alternative season screen. For example, https://trakt.tv/users/me/progress?alternate_seasons=1045 will load up your progress for the BBC ordering. You can also add multiple ids in the URL such as https://trakt.tv/users/me/progress?alternate_seasons=1045,13 to see several shows with custom orderings. Not perfect, but you could in theory build out a custom progress page and bookmark it to see all shows at once.

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I would also love if the idea was implemented if you find a way to make it happen despite those challenges, especially because of Doctor Who.

For now, I was looking into using your workaround and faced some bugs. I was experimenting with the alternative seasons “BBC iPlayer” (1045) and “Blu-ray” (5067) with the links you mentioned. I was about to build and bookmark a custom progress page for all the shows that I require a different episode ordering, as you suggested.

There seem to be some issues, as shown in the screenshots afterwards:

  1. All numbers before the season breakthrough are “wrong”. It seems that it takes into account all episodes of the show (standard seasons + specials) instead of the alternative seasons (episode group). So, all the stats get messed up. It should be as shown on the alternative seasons’ page.
  2. It should have the same behaviour as in the “normal” progress page, where I see the next episode to watch on the right. At this moment, it just shows me the show as complete, although it is not.
  3. I don’t even understand what happened, but the season names don’t make sense. It doesn’t follow a pattern; there are different names, different orders. It doesn’t follow any of the standard seasons listing, either. It links to the right season in their episode group, at least. Maybe it should simply follow their season names?
  4. To compare, I realized that the normal progress page only has the season ordering too (Season 1, Season 2, etc.). There are shows with named seasons already built in Trakt, like American Horror Story, for example. Couldn’t the progress page follow their season names too?

Thank you very much!

You caught some good bugs on this. I’m pushing some updates now and they should start fixing these issues in a few hours as your data re-caches.

  1. Should be fixed.
  2. Fixed and correctly calculates the next episode.
  3. Fixed season names in the normal progress + alternate views.
  4. Same fix for the season names.
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That was quick! Thank you so much!!!

I’ll be honest, I’m almost sure everything was fixed already when I watched this message for the first time… But now issue number 1 is back. Or I’m confused and never saw it fixed… I’m sorry, I’m doubting myself and can’t be sure which one it was…

Besides, I found another issue just now. In this episode group (Call the Midwife: DVD - Trakt) to shake things up a bit, the watch button displays a total of 115 episodes (the total number of episodes of the show), instead of the 113 this episode group actually has. And, when I try to open its progress page, I face a 500 error page instead (ABTH's profile - Trakt).

This bug was caused by TMDB having empty seasons in the DVD order. I just deployed a fix.