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This topic might have a better name.

The Black Guardian to fit in with The War Chief, The Ancient One (The Curse of Fenric), The Cheshire Cat and the like

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Black Guardian Appearances Talk

The Black Guardian, also known as the Guardian of Darkness and Chaos, was an anthropomorphic personification of the forces opposed to the powers of light, as embodied by the White Guardian. With the White Guardian and four others, he was part of the Six-Fold God known as the Guardians of Time. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel) In the Tharils' myth of the creation of E-Space, he was known as the Night Hunter. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)

An infinitely powerful universal force of chaos, (AUDIO: The Trouble with Drax) he was the representative of all that was evil and chaotic in the universe, balanced only against the White Guardian, (AUDIO: The Dalek Contract) although another "interface" stated he was not evil but merely the opposite of law, representing both chaos and freedom. (AUDIO: The Destroyer of Delights)


The Black Guardian was the embodiment of chaos in time. Like all Guardians, he was only as powerful as his element in the universe. He was able to change his appearance at will, enter the Doctor's TARDIS, and channel his power of destruction to his follower Wrack. He appreciated creatures with random flaws and perfections, such as vampires.

While he was powerful, theoretically, he could do much more damage with the Key to Time. In addition, he was unable to enter the Doctor's TARDIS when its defences were activated (TV: The Armageddon Factor) and was additionally dispersed by time differential, the Key to Time being broken, and Enlightenment. (TV: Mawdryn Undead, The Armageddon Factor, Enlightenment)

The Black Guardian was the most powerful at the end of the universe where his counterpart could interfere the least, and he was able to follow the Doctor through time and space, seeing his adventures against the Wizard of Avalon, the Animus, Ruath, and the Timewyrm. He could only contact lower primates (like humans and Trions) when their minds were knocked into altered states. (PROSE: The Well-Mannered War) He seemed able to hypnotise people and appear in their dreams like Eternals, but unlike them he could not telepathically read minds. Additionally he possessed mechanical knowledge of the TARDIS and Terminus, instructing Turlough how to operate controls and to sabotage the TARDIS console. (TV: Mawdryn Undead, Terminus)



The Scrolls of Gallifrey claimed that the White and Black Guardian were created by Rassilon from within the Matrix shortly after his official "death" and resurrection as a Matrix Lord. Creating the two so that they could help him maintain cosmic balance, Rassilon entrusted them with the Key to Time. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) In a similar but different account, the Sixth Doctor knew that the two Guardians were of "the same species" as God. During an encounter with God which was later erased from his and Peri's minds, God claimed that he had originally created a single Guardian, a being of the same nature as Himself whom he sealed inside the universe when He created it, entrusting him with the Key to Time so that he could replace the univere's "heart", the central power-source keeping it running, when the time was right. However, God had not anticipated that upon entering the universe, the Guardian would splinter into two halves, one good White Guardian and one bad Black Guardian, who would waste their energies fighting one another. (PROSE: Power to the People)

In another account, the Celestial Toymaker claimed that there were actually six guardians, not two, with himself being another Guardian, and also that all six of them were in actuality Great Old Ones from the pre-universe, who had found new roles and new powers after surviving into the history of N-Space. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties) Accordingly, one account claimed the Guardians of Time were all in attendance for the creation of the universe — (PROSE: The Whoniverse) although yet another account suggested that the sentient principle of "evil" who had witnessed the beginning of the cosmos was Fenric. (TV: The Curse of Fenric)

Early activities[]

The Fifth Doctor theorised that the Black Guardian played some part in the concept of vampires, seeing their potential as creatures of chaos, and somehow being responsible for the law of vampires not becoming "true" vampires until a full moon. (PROSE: Goth Opera) Other accounts placed the infestation of the universe by the first and greatest of vampires at an early point in Gallifreyan history. (TV: State of Decay, PROSE: The Book of the War, etc.)

Prometheus and the Millennium War[]

The Black Guardian, collectively with the other Guardians, removed Prometheus from existence and imprisoned Kronos, then known as Avatar, in the crystal of Kronos and threw it into the Time Vortex. They later answered the call of the survivors of the Millennium War and granted their request to erase their memory of the war. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)

The first quest for the Key to Time[]

The White Guardian sent the Fourth Doctor and Romana I on a quest to find the six segments of the Key to Time, transmuted into a variety of forms and scattered across time and space. He warned them of the Black Guardian who would try to prevent the assembly of the Key. (TV: The Ribos Operation)

Circa 1778, the Black Guardian saved the Captain when his ship crashed on Zanak. Two hundred years later, he served Queen Xanxia and pirated dozens of planets, including the second segment of the Key to Time, disguised as Calufrax. (TV: The Pirate Planet, PROSE: The Pirate Planet)

The sixth and final segment took the form of a living being, Princess Astra of Atrios. The Black Guardian used the Shadow to try to prevent the Doctor and Romana from re-assembling the Key. After the Doctor defeated the Shadow and re-assembled the Key, the Black Guardian posed as the White Guardian and asked for the Key. Observing the Black Guardian's casual indifference to the life of Princess Astra, the Doctor saw through this ruse and scattered the Key through time instead. The Black Guardian swore revenge on the Doctor. (TV: The Armageddon Factor)

The revenge[]

To evade the Black Guardian's revenge, the Doctor fitted the TARDIS with a randomiser to prevent the Guardian from knowing where they would materialise next. (TV: The Armageddon Factor) While he and Romana took up residence in a London townhouse in 1929, K9 programmed the TARDIS to visit approximately 1,000 planets, which took about a month, in order to lead the Guardian on a false chase, (AUDIO: The Auntie Matter) although the Black Guardian later claimed this was a failed endeavour.

He posed as an aide for Neville Sanders and helped him to get an emergency bunker. (AUDIO: The Pursuit of History)

The Black Guardian created the construct known as Cuthbert, a "self-made" man because his timeline was a temporal paradox, whereby he created his own existence. As such, his company the Conglomerate was so entwined with history that to destroy it would cause chaos throughout the universe. Using the alias "Mr. Edge" and believing the Doctor must follow a moral code, he tried to trick the Doctor into shooting Cuthbert and killing him, preventing him from influencing history. However, he Doctor realised the truth because Edge couldn't kill Cuthbert himself, and refused to stop Cuthbert from firing on a Salonu ship. Although he missed, the ship still crashed on 6th century Earth, and history continued, foiling the Guardian. (AUDIO: Casualties of Time)

A second attempt at revenge occurred when he lured the Doctor and Romana to Barclow. He engineered the war between the humans and the Chelonians as well as manipulating Galatea to create the concept of consular privilege to allow K9 to become a presidential candidate. Menlove Stokes was used in the plans to destroy the femdroids' controls and set the TARDIS' controls to take them to Dellah in the 26th century. He bargained on the Doctor's rash decisions to set the Darkness on the universe when the Doctor dematerialised the TARDIS, planning to send them into deep space. The Doctor foiled his plans again by using the emergency unit to take himself out of time and space, managing to escape the Guardian in the process. (PROSE: The Well-Mannered War)

A different method[]

Eventually, the Doctor grew sick of running from the Guardian and removed the randomiser, the Guardian's wrath no longer worrying him. (TV: The Leisure Hive)

Later, however, the Fifth Doctor would pilot the TARDIS to more enjoyable and relaxing destinations, worrying that the Black Guardian would track him down more easily. Incidentally, the Guardian had some part in organising Ruath and Yarven's scheme to restore Gallifrey to power in an era after it had ceased to exist, turning humanity into vampires and spreading out across the universe. When they were defeated by the Doctor, he met with the White Guardian on Gallifrey and confided that he would need a different method to defeat the Doctor. (PROSE: Goth Opera)

Turlough's assistance[]

White Guardian and black guardian

The Black and White Guardians appear with Enlightenment. (TV: Enlightenment)

The Black Guardian appeared to Turlough, a young Trion exiled to Earth. He promised Turlough that, if he killed the Fifth Doctor, he would return Turlough to his home. He gave Turlough a small crystal to communicate with him. Turlough ended up joining the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa in the TARDIS, still at least partly determined to carry out his mission. (TV: Mawdryn Undead) As he grew fonder of the Doctor, Turlough began to rebel against the Black Guardian, wishing to back out of the bargain. The Black Guardian still convinced Turlough to sabotage the TARDIS. (TV: Terminus)

Up in flames

The Black Guardian bursts into flames. (TV: Enlightenment)

The Doctor and his companions received a warning from the White Guardian about the Black Guardian. They then found themselves in the midst of a contest for Enlightenment, symbolised by a crystal of unknown powers and great value. It was much sought after by the amoral Eternals, who vied for it by racing sailing ships across the Solar System. The Black Guardian hoped that, with such a prize, the Eternals might wreak havoc throughout the universe. Instead, the Doctor and Turlough won the race. The Doctor refused Enlightenment, offering it instead to Turlough. The Black Guardian told Turlough that, to get the crystal, he must kill the Doctor. Turlough refused and threw the crystal at the Black Guardian, who vanished in a burst of flames. However, the White Guardian said the Black Guardian would exist as long as he did, until neither were needed any longer. (TV: Enlightenment)

The second quest for the Key to Time[]

The Black Guardian rescued the Fifth Doctor and Amy from an Ice Warrior ship which was plunging into a sun. According to Amy, he was not meant to get involved in their search as the Grace told her. (AUDIO: The Judgement of Isskar)

After that encounter, the Guardian took them to many places but they could not find the fifth segment. The Doctor realised the Guardian was being methodical in his search; they could find the fifth segment by being heedless of order, their destination controlled by chaos. The Guardian sent the Doctor and Amy on their way and followed them. In 9th century Sudan, he inserted himself into the time stream and became part of the events. As Lord Cassim Alibaba, he evaded taxes to fix the Djinni's warp manifold, which needed gold, (although platinum or plutonium would have been quicker) to create the orium needed. This was the fifth segment of the Key to Time. This evasion brought the Legate of the Caliph, the embodiment of law in the region, to collect the tax. In the confusing welter of events, the Doctor and Amy were able to escape with the Key. (AUDIO: The Destroyer of Delights)

Stranded in 9th century Sudan, the Black Guardian was a shadow of his former self, unable to become what he once was. When the Doctor became trapped on the Teuthoidian ship, he sent a telepathic communication to Romana and she used the Doctor's TARDIS to visit some of its recent destinations in order to find him. While visiting Sudan, she encountered the Black Guardian, who led her to believe that he knew where the Doctor was. By the time she realised this wasn't true it was too late. He had rejuvenated with the power of the sixth segment: Romana herself. Trying to achieve his final goal, the Black Guardian used the gathered freedom fighters to stop the White Guardian's Teuthoidian horde from getting the Key, locking the two Guardians in opposing balance once again. At that moment the Grace reappeared and sent the two of them back to howling void, to continue their eternal struggle. (AUDIO: The Chaos Pool)

The third quest for the Key to Time[]

Black Guardian

The Black Guardian in this timeline. (COMIC: Time & Time Again)

The Black Guardian created an alternate timeline in which the First Doctor had never left Gallifrey, and was now Lord President. However, it also meant that countless aliens had invaded Earth in absence of the Doctor stopping them. The White Guardian sent the Doctor on a quest once more for the Key to Time, which would restore the natural timeline. (COMIC: Time & Time Again)

Other references[]

In the video game Happy Deathday, played by Izzy Sinclair on the Time-Space Visualiser, the Beige Guardian, noting that his peers mocked him for not being assigned a "cool" colour, recalled that Black and Green would not stop laughing at him. (COMIC: Happy Deathday)

Behind the scenes[]

The idea, echoed in Divided Loyalties, that the Guardians of Time should be counted among the Great Old Ones and originated as the "upper echelons" of the earlier race of Time Lords who ruled the previous universe, was based on a cosmology outlined by Craig Hinton. Notes explaining his view of the matter were written as part of the preparatory work for The Quantum Archangel, and later printed in the charity anthology Shelf Life. Therein, Hinton explained that in his theory:

The High Council of the Old Time Lords were all linked to the Matrix when the universe ended. They became the Guardians – sentient life forms that acted as the vessels or conduits through which the fundamental essence of the Universe could act.Craig Hinton

In particular, the President of the High Council became the Black Guardian, "the Guardian of Dark in Time, the Guardian of Chaos, the Guardian of Entropy, He Who Walks in Darkness" while his Chancellor became the White Guardian, "the Guardian of Light in Time, the Guardian of Structure, He Who Walks In Light". The War which destroyed the old universe is described as roughly equivalent to the War in Heaven, suggesting the Black Guardian was originally his universe's equivalent of the War King, alias the Master. Also on the High Council on that fateful day was "the Renegade", this universe's equivalent of the Doctor; becoming the Red Guardian, this entity, "the Guardian of Justice and Morality in Time, the Guardian of Right, He Who Walks in Judgement", is incarnate in the present-day Doctor, who is fated to become the Red Guardian again upon reaching his final regeneration — implicitly making the Red Guardian the Other, who is referenced elsewhere in Hinton's notes.