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Eye of Harmony Appearances Talk

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The Eye of Harmony, also known as Rassilon's Star, the Eye of Time or the Great Eye, was an engineered star of utmost importance to the Time Lords. Although its origins and exact nature were shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, it was the singularity at the centre of the Web of Time and the power source which made all Gallifreyan time travel possible. It also had ties to the Time Lords' power of regeneration.

For most of Gallifreyan history, the Eye was kept under the floor of the Panopticon, although it had been lost by the end of the Last Great Time War. Additionally, many accounts showed that the Eye of Harmony somehow existed at the core of the Doctor's TARDIS, albeit disagreeing on how this was the case.


The Eye was created by suspending time around an exploding star in the act of becoming a black hole, harnessing the potential energy of a collapse that would never occur. According to the Eleventh Doctor, one would "rip the star from its orbit, [and] suspend it in a permanent state of decay." (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS) The power of the explosion of the black hole, and the elements thus set free, were channelled into a mast which was then buried within the Capitol's floor and worked into an "endlessly dynamic equation" via being balanced with the mass of Gallifrey itself: should the Eye be removed from Gallifrey, the whole planet's matter would turn to anti-matter. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) However, the Doctor once told Amy Pond that the Eye was instead believed by some to be the leftover "core" of the Big Bang, whose power of creation over the Universe had been harnessed by the Time Lords. (GAME: City of the Daleks)

It poured forth raw artron energy which powered all TARDISes and Time Scaphes via a link created with morphologically unstable living organic matter. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark) This link existed as a beam and acted as a point of reference both temporally and physically for all TARDISes to calibrate from. A TARDIS could not receive energy from the beam outside of the normal continuum. (PROSE: State of Change) When in flight, the link between the TARDIS and the Eye was at its most open, a state which left the Eye at its most vulnerable. All TARDISes accessed the Eye's power through their star chambers. (AUDIO: Eye of Harmony)

The Seventh Doctor once stated that the power to take control of a TARDIS in the Time Vortex, directing its flight and shutting down its systems, would have to be equal to the Eye of Harmony "at least." (PROSE: Falls the Shadow) Legends stated that the Eye of Harmony watched every Time Lord, wherever they went. (PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street)

According to the Eighth Doctor and Romana, the Eye was far more than a simple source of temporal energy. The singularity within served as the "hitching post" of chronology itself, making the Eye the central heart from which the Web of Time was constructed. (AUDIO: Neverland) Interestingly, however, The Book of the War implied that the Homeworld's power source, and "engineered sun," and the caldera, the singularity used as the node point of History, were two separate things. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

It was possible, though dangerous, for a Time Lord to jettison the Eye of Harmony from their TARDIS, but it was possible to replace the Eye with another power source. Missy did this after trapping a creature engineered by the Kyme Institute that radiated time energy in her TARDIS. (PROSE: Lords and Masters)

The Time Lords claimed, according to one story, that prolonged exposure to the Eye of Harmony would grant a being the ability to regenerate a maximum number of twelve times and this is what allowed the Gallifreyans to become Time Lords. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) Another version of the story states the Time Lords gained their regenerations from prolonged exposure to the Untempered Schism instead. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War) Still another account suggested that these were both ultimately just "noble creation myth[s]" invented by the Time Lord founders to cover the truth; that the power came from reverse-engineering the innate genetic ability of the Timeless Child, a mysterious being who had fallen into the world through a gap in reality. (TV: The Timeless Children)



Two different strands of accounts existed concerning the origins of the Eye of Harmony. According to some accounts, the Eye was found by Rassilon, while according to others, it was an artificial creation of Rassilon and Omega.

According to the Eleventh Doctor, the Eye of Time was originally the singularity at the heart of the Big Bang. (GAME: City of the Daleks) Possibly as a result of Voyager, a Lord of Life, having sailed his death-ship through the dreams of a young Rassilon, the Time Lords stole eldritch star-charts from Voyager, which were compiled into The Book of the Old Time (COMIC: Voyager) According to The Book of the Old Time, Rassilon, "with a great fleet" found the Eye of Harmony in a "black void" and returned it to Gallifrey, upon which "the people rejoiced". (TV: The Deadly Assassin) It was also said that Rassilon himself had reached into the life-giving explosion of the Big Bang and extracted the core, "stabilising its creative potential". (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)

However, according to many other accounts, the Eye of Harmony was an artificial creation of Rassilon and Omega, who used the Hand of Omega, a stellar manipulator, to detonate the star Qqaba and turn it into a black hole (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) whose power was channeled into an obelisk which Rassilon then brought back to Gallifrey (Omega having been lost in the process) and refined into the Eye of Harmony. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)

Role in the anchoring of the thread[]

"Now, how does it go? The Web of Time could not exist until the great Rassilon built the Eye of Harmony, the hitching post of chronology. That which does not flux nor wither nor change its state."The Eighth Doctor [src]
Gallifrey Year Zero

Rassilon prepares to make his people Lords of Time using the Eye and the Great Key. (COMIC: The Final Chapter)

The Eye of Harmony played an important role in "anchoring" the Time Vortex, serving as the "hitching post of chronology" and making possible the creation of the Web of Time. With the Eye active, Rassilon was able to make the universe into one of positive-time, with Gallifrey "anchoring the continuity of the universe" into a system where time was finite. (AUDIO: Neverland)

On the day of the ceremony during which the system was locked in place and the Gallifreyans officially became Time Lords, Rassilon gathered in the middle of an open plain with a few other Gallifreyans, (COMIC: The Final Chapter) "elite representatives" of the Ruling Houses, in the centre of the "machine-heart" of a network of proto-timeships spread out across time and space at "strategic points". (PROSE: The Book of the War) He then used the Great Key of Rassilon to activate the Eye through the obelisk. (COMIC: The Final Chapter)

However, in that moment, the first of the Yssgaroth burst through into the continuum. It wrecked the "machinery", turning the site into the caldera, (PROSE: The Book of the War) whose heart was the Untempered Schism. (PROSE: Tempered)

In the Panopticon[]

In later eras, the caldera, originally out in the open, was built over, becoming a "womb" facility under the citadel which was the only place on the planet in which timeships could be made. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Indeed the time of the Fourth Doctor, the Eye of Harmony lay secretly under the floor in the centre of the Panopticon, (TV: The Deadly Assassin) in the Panopticon Vaults. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) The Time Lords had forgotten its location; some believed it to be mythical or no longer in existence. The Eye was controlled by a crystal-shaped access system (TV: The Deadly Assassin) called the Obelisk of Rassilon. (AUDIO: Renaissance)

The ancient artefacts ceremonially given to the Lord Presidents had a practical function to do with the Eye. The Rod of Rassilon opened the floor of the Panopticon like a key, allowing a black hexagonal obelisk to rise from the floor. This contained the Eye of Harmony. The Sash of Rassilon, also given to the President, supposedly served as means of protecting the wearer against the forces of a black hole. The practical functions of the Rod and the Sash and the true nature of the Eye of Harmony remained unknown to most on Gallifrey. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

Attempt to open the Eye[]

The Fourth Doctor deduced the true use of the artefacts by interpreting enigmatic passages in The Book of the Old Time. He also realised that the name, the Eye of Harmony, symbolically described a black hole contained and balanced against the mass of the planet Gallifrey by Rassilon's engineering. The Decayed Master had also separately come to the same conclusion. He deduced that the Sash of Rassilon would give him immunity to the forces unleashed by the Eye if opened (it didn't, due to being damaged by the time he used it). If it had opened, the Eye of Harmony would have functioned as a normal black hole and destroyed Gallifrey and also the Master, who had hoped it would trigger a new cycle of regenerations for him. The Doctor was able to stop the Master before the Eye could be fully opened, but not before a massive earthquake rocked Gallifrey and destroyed entire areas of the Citadel. (TV: The Deadly Assassin) This event would later be referred to as "the worldquake" that predated "the goblin infestation" by Larissa and other members of House Ixion. (PROSE: Newtons Sleep)

Dalek invasion[]

When the Daleks unleashed the Apocalypse Element on the Seriphia Galaxy‎, the Sixth Doctor and Romana II attempted to use the power of the Eye to contain it, but it was insufficient. The Daleks on Gallifrey added their own mental energy to the Eye, which did contain the Element and created a new galaxy for them to transform into their new empire. During this incident, the Doctor reprogrammed Gallifrey's security systems so that the Eye could only be opened by a human retina pattern. (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element)


The Eye of Harmony was used to hold the Web of Time. The Neverpeople claimed a casket contained Rassilon's remains so it would be taken to Gallifrey when really it contained Anti-Time. If it had infected the Eye of Harmony the Web of Time would have been destroyed. (AUDIO: Neverland)

Fixing the Eye and the transduction barrier[]

After Romana, Narvin and Leela returned to Gallifrey from an alternative Gallifrey, and Lady Trey transplanted a future Capitol on the destroyed one, Romana had to balance the forces between the Eye and the transduction barrier. Romana had to perform extremely delicate calculations and if these weren't done correctly the imbalance could destroy Gallifrey. Due to extreme fatigue, and mistiming the barrier and eye became misaligned causing the death of Kolspen of Unvoss when he was leaving the planet. She went to the Eye to fix this mistake but due to the energies released by the unstable Eye, she started to regenerate. (AUDIO: Renaissance)

However, this was later revealed to have been an artificial projection created by Lady Trey in the Matrix. (AUDIO: Ascension)

During the Time War[]

During the Last Great Time War access to the Eye of Harmony's control system was restricted to the War Council. (AUDIO: Eye of Harmony) When Susan Foreman was drafted in the conflict's early days, the TARDIS that was sent to collect her was seized by the Daleks who used it to drain power from the Eye of Harmony. After calling on the telepathic powers of the Sensorites, the Time Lords were able to destroy the TARDIS and restore power to the Eye. (AUDIO: Sphere of Influence)

Later in the war, Heleyna used Vassarian's Battle TARDIS to bring an injured War Ollistra to the Eye of Harmony chamber's. Manipulated by the Dalek Time Strategist, Heleyna sought to use the Eye to stop the Time War as revenge for her grandfather's death in the first years of the war. When the link was opened, the Strategist revealed that his true plan was to destroy the Eye, collapsing it into a black hole and wipe out the Time Lords entirely. The War Doctor managed to sever the TARDIS connection with the Eye and prevented its destruction. (AUDIO: Eye of Harmony)

When the Enigma used its power to briefly turn Gallifrey into a Dalek colony, the Eye was briefly wiped from existence. (AUDIO: The Enigma Dimension)

The Eye was believed to have been "lost" in the Fall of Gallifrey, (GAME: City of the Daleks) during the Fall of Arcadia. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe) It would eventually be located by the New Dalek Paradigm only for the Eleventh Doctor to negate the alternate timeline they'd created, with the Eye's location becoming mysterious once more. (GAME: City of the Daleks)

Human historians following the Siege of Trenzalore acknowledged the Eye of Time within a string of defeats, followed by the Eternity Clock and the Total Collapse Event Incident, the Doctor inflicted on the New Paradigm following their establishment which led to their organisational restructure into the Parliament of the Daleks preceding the Asylum Incident. (PROSE: Dalek: The Astounding Untold History of the Greatest Enemies of the Universe)

Inside the Doctor's TARDIS[]

Eye of Harmony opens Doctor Who

The Eye of Harmony inside the Doctor's TARDIS. (TV: Doctor Who)

An Eye of Harmony appeared to have existed in the Doctor's TARDIS at least seven hundred years before the beginning of the Eighth Doctor's life. The Eighth Doctor claimed to the Bruce Master that "in seven hundred years, no-one has managed to open the Eye." (TV: Doctor Who) According to one account, all TARDISes built after a certain point, including the Type 40 the Doctor used, had a mathematically modelled duplicate of the Eye with all its attendant features. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel) Narvin similarly described all TARDISes as having a "fraction" of the Eye. (AUDIO: Forever) Another account, however, saw the Bruce Master explaining that the Eye of Harmony inside the Doctor's TARDIS was merely "named after" the Gallifreyan power source. (PROSE: The Novel of the Film)

In this form, the Eye was a stone structure shaped like a hemisphere which appeared to open outwards like an eyelid. While inside the Cloister Room of the TARDIS, the Master described the Eye as "the heart of this structure". The Doctor said it was "[t]he power source of the heart of the TARDIS." Both the Doctor and the Master claimed to Chang Lee that it belonged to the Doctor; the Doctor referring to it as "my Eye" and the Master saying that "now it belongs to him". The Eye responded to a physical linking device. The particular structure of a human eye had the effect of opening it. (TV: Doctor Who)

If opened partially, the Eye gave visions of the past. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) Opening the Eye allowed the Master and Lee to see a visual projection of the Doctor's past and present forms and let them see what the Doctor saw so that they could find him. It also assisted in returning the amnesiac Doctor's memories. The Doctor claimed that if he looked into the Eye, his "soul" would be destroyed, and the Master would be able to take over his body. Leaving the TARDIS' Eye open for too long would result in space-time distortion, and any nearby planets would be "sucked through it". (TV: Doctor Who)

Eye of Harmony JourneyCentreTARDIS

The Eye of Harmony within the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS. (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS)

While in Caliburn House in 1974, the Eleventh Doctor was able to utilise a "subset of the Eye of Harmony" to enter a pocket universe by running cables from the TARDIS. (TV: Hide)

In an aborted timeline, the Eleventh Doctor, Clara Oswald, Tricky and Gregor Van Baalen once came across the Eye of Harmony when trapped inside the TARDIS. At that point, the Eye had the appearance of a star, one that was constantly on the verge of becoming a black hole. (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS)

Dalek Eye of Harmony[]

After accumulating information from the Library on Kar-Charrat (AUDIO: The Genocide Machine) and their previous invasion of Gallifrey, (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element) the Dalek Empire developed the use of harmonic energy derived from their own Eye of Harmony, based on that of the Time Lords. Several adjustments were made through the use of temporal barrier technology used on Kar-Charrat. (AUDIO: The Time of the Daleks)

Alternate timelines[]

In an alternate timeline, Rassilon failed to finish the Eye of Harmony before his death and Gallifrey never achieved time travel. (AUDIO: Forever)

A timeline was created when Rassilon allied with the Cybermen and altered the Eye of Harmony to harvest regenerative energy from Time Lords that were trapped in a perpetual state of regeneration inside looms. The stored energy was intended to be used at the end of the universe to create a new one shaped by Rassilon. This timeline was negated by the Twelfth Doctor and Rassilon, who used the stored energy to restore the universe as if the Cybermen invasion never happened. (COMIC: Supremacy of the Cybermen)

In an aborted timeline, a version of the Master from a parallel universe seized control of Gallifrey and ordered all 2,000 Battle TARDISes to be deployed against an entropy wave that was consuming the universe, armed with dimension inverters. Once they were in position over Gallifrey as the wave approached, the Master activated the inverters whilst they were still onboard the Battle TARDISes, destroying all of them, Gallifrey and the Eye of Harmony. This failed to stop the entropy wave. (AUDIO: Masterful)

Behind the scenes[]

Relationship to Omega's supernova and the caldera[]

In The Three Doctors, the Time Lords were said to derive all their power from a supernova detonated by Omega. It had, in the process, collapsed into a "black hole of antimatter" into which Omega was lost. At the end of the story, the Time Lords learned to draw power directly from the black hole after a vengeful Omega drained away the stored power from the supernova.

The Deadly Assassin, though visibly inspired by the loose framework of The Three Doctors, considerably rewrote the story of early Gallifreyan history, replacing Omega with the figure of Rassilon who journeyed to "retrieve" the singularity of an apparently preexisting black hole to Gallifrey in ancient times, and placed it beneath the Panopticon. Although also the source of the Time Lords' power, this Eye of Harmony was presented as having more mythic significance than the Eye, with the Decayed Master believing it could give him a new regeneration cycle and absolute power over the universe.

Most subsequent accounts conflated the Eye of Harmony with Omega's supernova power source. Star Death depicted Omega and Rassilon as contemporaries who had worked together on detonating a star, an idea later followed by many other sources from The Legacy of Gallifrey to The Infinity Doctors; indeed, such stories as Remembrance of the Daleks acknowledged the idea of Rassilon and Omega as contemporaries in the context of the Cartmel Masterplan, and a flashback in The Timeless Children featured them briefly on-screen together.

In the 1996 TV Movie, the Bruce Master was able to use the Eye not only to try and steal more regenerations but also to scry into the timelines, keeping tabs on the Doctor remotely. Multiple stories including Neverland and The Adventuress of Henrietta Street treated the Eye as not just a power source but the hitching point of the Web of Time itself. Faction Paradox media starting with The Book of the War used the term "caldera" to refer to the singularity on the Homeworld which was buried beneath the Great Houses' own city in the modern era, served as the hitching point of history, and could be used to scry into the future. However, the Book also separately mentioned the "engineered sun" used as a power source by the Great Houses, making no connection between it and the caldera.

After Doctor Who returned to television, The Sound of Drums serendipitously put forward an alternative identity for the caldera by introducing the Untempered Schism, a "gap in the fabric of reality" on Gallifrey, into which characters sometimes looked, or even walked, becoming able to stare at the whole of Time and Space, despite the experience driving some insane. After remaining the subject of theories, a connection between the caldera and the Schism was confirmed in the Doctor Who short story Tempered, although this did not account for the plot point of the caldera having become literally covered up in the modern era.

The Eleventh Doctor video game City of the Daleks took at face value the idea that the early Time Lords had found and retrieved the singularity of the Eye rather than created it, claiming that the Eye was originally the singularity at the heart of the Big Bang. In contrast, the later TV episode Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS used the name of "Eye of Harmony" for what was simply a supernova frozen in the moments before collapse, used as a mere source of energy.

Other matters[]

  • Neither the television story The Invasion of Time nor its novelisation, Doctor Who and the Invasion of Time, names the Eye of Harmony. However, according to the novelisation, the Sontaran Stor's attempted act of setting off a grenade in the Panopticon chamber when he couldn't conquer Gallifrey would destroy the planet due to there being "the power of a black hole" trapped directly beneath the Panopticon.
  • Most TV stories presented the Eye of Harmony as little more than a power source. The Adventuress of Henrietta Street implied the Eye was part of the structure of time itself. The audio story Neverland asserted that the Eye was believed to be the Web of Time's central point and the reason it existed at all. The interpretation of the Eye seen in Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS seems to contradict this, portraying the Eye merely as a collapsing star and putting more emphasis on its use for energy production. In contrast, The Book of the War's caldera matches The Adventuress of Henrietta Street and Neverland's description of the Eye very closely, while also implying that the "engineered sun" used as a power source was a separate creation.