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The Chelonians were a race of large, bulky, turtle-like humanoids.


Chelonians were turtle-like in physique. Though only coming up to a human's waist, they were far wider and more heavily built. They had four limbs, each with opposable digits and blunt claws. They had a sharp beak and a hard cranial plate in front of their brains. They were long-lived creatures, usually living for more than a hundred years. They smelled of leather. (PROSE: The Well-Mannered War) Chelonians were hermaphrodites and all members could lay eggs. Despite this, Chelonians were referred to as males. (PROSE: The Crystal Bucephalus) Chelonians were herbivores and ate flowers and seeds, and tried to live on verdant planets where such plants could grow. (PROSE: The Well-Mannered War) Chelonians apparently didn't taste very good and were very tough to eat. (PROSE: Mean Streets) They were rather unintelligent creatures as a species. (PROSE: The Body Bank) Like chickens on Earth, Chelonians usually had no teeth. (AUDIO: The Witch from the Well)

Strands of their DNA were found in the DNA of the chicken-like animals encountered by Bernice Summerfield. (PROSE: Cuckoo)


The Chelonians were organised into an Empire. This Empire was led by the God-Mother, who was nevertheless referred to as "he". Chelonians were well known for their bragging, especially about their military rank. Chelonian criminals were marked with a sigil on their shell, consisting of a red cross and three green dots. (PROSE: Fegovy)

Chelonians had a concept of floral culture, which was a topic for discussion amongst other species. (PROSE: Beige Planet Mars)

The Chelonian anthem had 185 verses. (PROSE: Zamper) Chelonians had their own literature, much of it bragging about defeating the Grel. (PROSE: Oh No It Isn't!)

Mif's Ruin was a Chelonian spirit. (PROSE: Dear Friend) Richard Blair spent most of his income on Chelonian rummy. (PROSE: Adorable Illusion)


Most Chelonians were cybernetically enhanced for war. (PROSE: The Well-Mannered War, The Body Bank) This included improved senses (PROSE: The Well-Mannered War) and hydraulic limbs. (PROSE: Fegovy) Some also used jet-packs, Gigga-kill lasers (PROSE: The Body Bank) and matter-disrupters. (PROSE: Heart of TARDIS)

Chelonian technology was made from blocks, which could be reconfigured into spaceships or buildings. (PROSE: The Well-Mannered War) Their ships were squat, black and multi-faceted like crystals. (PROSE: Fegovy) The Chelonians had weapons capable of poisoning seas. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)


In 102, the Chelonians were among the races who joined the Alliance. They came to Stonehenge and helped imprison the Eleventh Doctor in the Pandorica in order to save the universe. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)

At some point before 1609, the Chelonians poisoned the seas of an Ice Warrior planet. In 1609, the Chelonians were present at the Armageddon Convention. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)

In the early 21st century the Kulan attacked a Chelonian colony, but were repelled. (PROSE: Escape Velocity)

In 2136, the Hotel Galaxian had an effigy of a Chelonian. (PROSE: The Murder Game)

A Chelonian battles the Tenth Doctor. (PROSE: The Body Bank)

When Sam Jones went missing in the 22nd century, the Eighth Doctor lodged a missing person report with the Chelonian authorities. (PROSE: Dreamstone Moon)

In the 26th century, the Chelonians were known to and studied by St Oscar's University. There was a Faculty of Chelonian Literature, headed by Professor Epstein. (PROSE: Oh No It Isn't!) Hamilton Smith, professor of alien-human interaction and integration, also had theories about them. (PROSE: Dry Pilgrimage)

In 2573, a Chelonian slave camp was discovered on Apollox 4. (PROSE: Beyond the Sun)

Around 2595, a Chelonian pilot was confronted by security officer Jeff Mett for smuggling drugs for genetic disorders on Mars. The Chelonian shot Jeff and made his escape. (PROSE: Beige Planet Mars)

At some point before the 27th century, the Chelonian Empire was starting to fail. The Chelonian criminals Varzald the Pitted and Jerlot tried to purchase The Face of Humanity from Fegovy, planning to use the phizlomium for the empire. (PROSE: Fegovy)

In the 30th century, the Chelonians posed a threat to the Earth Empire. (PROSE: Original Sin)

In 3174, Chelonians were housed inside the Habitat. (PROSE: Burning Heart)

During the Galactic Federation, the Chelonians were known to the Foamasi. Green Fingers had worked with Chelonians, and the Dark Peaks Lodge used the voices of mid-35th century Chelonian politicians for their voice synthesisers. (PROSE: Placebo Effect)

In the 41st century, there was a television program called I'm a Chelonian... Get me out of here!. (PROSE: Uranus)

Chelonians in the 57th century. (COMIC: The Last Word)

In the 57th century, Ace fought a group of Chelonians in a frontier war. (COMIC: The Last Word)

The Doctor and Sarah encounter Chelonians on Florana. (PROSE: The Hungry Bomb)

The Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith arrived on Florana in 5968, just as the Chelonian Empire was to sign a treaty with humanity. The Doctor was mistaken as one of the delegates, and Sarah went to go sunbathing. There, she overheard two Chelonians discussing how one had poisoned the emperor's drink. Sarah went to warn the delegates, but the guards would not let her pass. The Doctor noticed the emperor's strange actions, and poured a bucket of water down the emperor's throat, thus removing the poison (PROSE: The Hungry Bomb)

In the 60th century, the Chelonian Empire continued to fall. The last of its warriors were sent to Zamper in 5995, attempting to restore the glory of the Empire. (PROSE: Zamper)

In the 101st century, the Chelonians were part of (or friendly with) the Union. (PROSE: The Crystal Bucephalus)

Circa 5,000,000,000, the Chelonians controlled several breeding planets. One was destroyed by Natalie Sharrocks when she was possessed by an incorporeal entity. A Chelonian followed her to Fraxinos to get revenge. The Tenth Doctor and Martha were able to convince it of the truth of the matter and it left peacefully. (PROSE: The Body Bank)

A platoon of Chelonians were brought from the past to around 10,000,000,000, where they discovered Barclow and claimed it for the Chelonian Empire. The humans later found the planet and tried to claim it for themselves. Though neither side wanted a fight, they warred for a hundred and twenty years. (PROSE: The Well-Mannered War)

Undated events[]

The Avanonions fostered some Chelonians as though they were their own race. Mabe found Chelonian DNA in an Avanonian egg. (PROSE: Cuckoo)

The Tenth Doctor once recounted an anecdote of him going over Niagra Falls with a Chelonian. (COMIC: Silver Scream)

While at a party, the Eighth Doctor saw a Chelonian. (COMIC: The Glorious Dead) He once saw a Chelonian production of Cinderella. (PROSE: The Scarlet Empress)

The Monk had access to Chelonian technology. (PROSE: No Future)

Romana failed to attend the reception which the Time Lords held for the Chelonian envoy to Gallifrey. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)

Behind the scenes[]