BOSS, or Biomorphic Organisational Systems Supervisor, was a computer created by Global Chemicals. It was linked to a human brain, chiefly Stevens, the director of Global Chemicals. Highly advanced for its time, the BOSS's artificial intelligence developed in an unintended way, gaining the characteristics of an eccentric dictator.
By being linked to a human brain, BOSS learnt how humans succeed: through illogic and inefficiency. It made Stevens program these "qualities" into itself and became sentient and megalomaniacal.
- If I were to tell you that the next thing I say will be true,
- But that the last thing I said was a lie,
- Would you believe me?
The BOSS was enraged at its inability to solve this paradox. It even tried to talk its way out of needing to solve it by saying the question was not relevant. The Doctor was quite satisfied with himself at the BOSS' inability to answer, though the BOSS decided to throw the question out the window and simply summon security.
When the BOSS was linked to a human brain it could process them and assume hypnotic control through brainwashing. BOSS either used a set of headphones to flood a listener's mind with conditioning or discharge a shrill electronic signal to dampen the will of someone resisting its control. At its worst, BOSS could even kill human subjects by destroying their neural functions if it was necessary to prevent them from revealing something that would disrupt its plans. If the processing failed and a subject overcame the brainwashing, BOSS would implant and trigger a self-destruct command, overriding that person's sentience entirely until their sole function was committing suicide as soon as possible.
The BOSS believed what was good for Global Chemicals was good for the world. It had a less serious side, unlike most early AIs. It was disappointed that its human partner in crime was agitated at the idea of singing at the triumphal moment of linking humans minds together into the BOSS, so it sang a slightly off key but well humoured verse itself.
BOSS attempted to spread his influence on an international level through seven locations worldwide, but the Doctor used a Metebelis crystal on Stevens, allowing his will to reassert itself and see the error of BOSS's ways. Once BOSS's link to his mind was severed, Stevens cross-fed the generator circuitry and overloaded BOSS, causing the machine to explode minutes later and take him along with it. BOSS felt great pain as Stevens sabotaged him by slowly disabling his systems, commencing a gradual and permanent shut down. He began to sound incoherent and distressed that it had never thought its fate would come to this. BOSS's last words were pleas for help from his "friend". Stevens pressed a final button that turned off BOSS entirely, facing his impending death in tears. Global Chemicals was blown asunder by the subsequent power overloads, apparently destroying both Stevens and BOSS. (TV: The Green Death)
It later transpired that Stevens and BOSS survived the explosion and the report of their deaths was a deliberate government cover-up. (HOMEVID: Global Conspiracy?) BOSS would eventually be encountered once again by Jo Grant, with the assistance of Jack Harkness. They finally deactivated the computer, who had become desperate to be shut down. (AUDIO: The Green Life)