Morbius was a notorious and malevolent renegade Time Lord. His career was the first in millennia to dramatically alter Gallifrey's relations with the wider universe. He attempted to overturn Gallifrey's non-interference policy in favour of military conquest. He failed, was exiled and eventually executed, only to survive, saved by his followers.
Like all Time Lords, Morbius was taken from his family at the age of eight for the selection process in the Drylands. Staring into the Untempered Schism as part of a Time Lord initiation rite, Morbius was driven mad by what he saw in the Schism. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)
Reign, conquest and fall Edit
Morbius's ambition led him to become the head of the High Council of Time Lords. His warlike nature led him to urge the Time Lords toward a policy of conquest. While based on Gallifrey, Morbius formed a personal army of mercenaries, bought by his promises of time travel and immortality. His following came to be known as the Cult of Morbius. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)
When the Time Lords finally denounced him, he and his followers abandoned Gallifrey and attacked the cultures of the outside universe. (TV: The Brain of Morbius, PROSE: Warmonger) Gallifreyan society struggled to deal with these inconceivable events. The long-term cultural changes brought about included the increased influence of the Celestial Intervention Agency. (PROSE: Warmonger)
War with the Alliance Edit
Uncomfortable with being seen to act directly in the universe, the Time Lord High Council eventually chose to fight the war by proxy. The Fifth Doctor, who had travelled into Gallifrey's past, was appointed "Supreme Coordinator of the Alliance Battle Fleet" and directed an unlikely army of humans, Draconians, Cybermen, Ogrons, Ice Warriors and Sontarans against Morbius, with the Time Lords providing the Doctor with financial support and a flagship. Planets involved in the conflict included Fangoria, Romark, Darkeen, Martak and Freedonia, which provided troops for Morbius, and Sylvana, Zandir, Tanith and Electra, which fell to him. (PROSE: Warmonger)
With the help of the Sisterhood of Karn, (PROSE: Warmonger) who had originated on Gallifrey itself, (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) the Alliance at long last defeated Morbius on the Sisterhood's planet Karn.
Although the verdict had been decided in advance, the Sisterhood still put Morbius on trial. (PROSE: Warmonger) The sentence of death by public and ceremonial disintegration was in part a panicked attempt by the Time Lords to caution the universe at large against ever opposing them. (PROSE: The Book of the War) The Sisterhood's leader Maren attended the execution where Morbius was placed in a dispersal chamber and atomised to the nine corners of the universe. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)
Morbius escaped death when one of his followers, the human surgeon Mehendri Solon, secretly removed Morbius' brain prior to his disintegration. Solon was secretly aided by the Fifth Doctor, who knew that Morbius's brain had to survive in order to keep history on track. (PROSE: Warmonger) Solon went into hiding on Karn, where he began planning to build a new body for Morbius. The Sisterhood began to defend the Elixir of Life by causing nearby spacecraft to crash. These space travellers provided a regular supply of corpses from which Solon scavenged body parts for his project. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)
Morbius' brain Edit
Over the years, Solon acquired a great many body parts, which he used to create Morbius's new body. These included lungs from a Birastrop, a left arm from Solon's unknowing assistant Condo, and a claw for his right arm. During this time, Morbius hid his presence from the Sisterhood by placing a barrier around his mind, and his hatred for them had increased. This plan to create a new body for Morbius and wreck vengeance was nearing completion when the Fourth Doctor and his companion Sarah Jane arrived at his castle on Karn.
By this point, Morbius had become increasingly antagonistic towards Solon, frustrated by the scientist's never-ending promises. He didn't care about what he looked like in his new body, he only wished to walk, to feel and to see again. He likened himself to "a sponge beneath the sea" though he noted that a sponge had more life than what he was going through. He also pitied himself, saying that when he led the High Council on Gallifrey, he "dreamed the greatest dreams of history".
The haphazardly-assembled body lacked a head to hold the brain of Morbius, so Solon planned to use the Doctor's head. After Morbius's brain was damaged during a fall when Condo fought with Solon on discovering his arm was being used, Solon was forced to use a plastic braincase. He had not used this before as there was the danger of a static electricity build-up which would probably damage the brain. Morbius was unable to speak for some time due to the damage sustained. Eventually, Solon was able to repair this but was killed soon afterwards when the Doctor poisoned him with cyanide gas. As Morbius proclaimed his return to power, he was challenged to a mindbending contest by the Doctor, who informed him that he doubted Morbius's power after his brain had spent so long trapped in the tank, and agreed.
Morbius was apparently winning the contest, but the static build-up left him in a dazed, animalistic state. He didn't speak again, only groaning in agony. Upon leaving Solon's castle, he was chased by the Sisterhood of Karn, surrounded and forced over the edge of a high cliff, apparently falling to his death. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)
After the Doctor left Karn, the Sisterhood went to the bottom of the cliff and recovered what was left of Morbius' "not entirely destroyed" brain. Ohica led the wounded Morbius to the Death Zone to use the remains of Rassilon to give Morbius immortality. Ohica discovered that Iris Wildthyme had infiltrated the Sisterhood and used the Time Scoop to bring seven of Iris' incarnations to Death Zone. The Irises were able to get past the Ice Warriors, Ogrons, Sea Devils, Zarbi, Mechanoids, and Quarks that Ohica time scooped to the Death Zone and defeated Morbius before he gained immortality. (PROSE: Verdigris)
Cristophe Zarodnix later became the leader of the Cult of Morbius and bought the planet Karn, forcing the Sisterhood off-world. On Karn, he found a fragment of Morbius' brain and began to look for a Time Lord, so he could extract DNA to fuse with what was left of Morbius, in order to effect his resurrection. Zarodnix used DNA from the Time Lord agent Straxus to effect a new regeneration for Morbius. In his new form, Morbius used a stellar manipulator to suck the power of the Eye of Harmony, making the Time Lords powerless to stop his conquest. Morbius rebuilt his military forces, including mind-controlled Trell, and spent a decade conquering over ten thousand worlds, but his body was unstable and required frequent gene-splicings (called "feedings") from Straxus.
The Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller, who had barely escaped from Gallifrey before Morbius used the stellar manipulator, arrived and worked with Straxus and the cybernetically augmented Trell policeman Rosto to steal the remote control for Morbius' stellar manipulator. The Doctor succeeded in taking the control and releasing the Time Lords, who promptly broke the Laws of Time to prevent Zarodnix's purchase of Karn and Morbius' resurrection; however, at the moment before the Timeline was rewritten, Morbius and the Doctor fell from the balcony of Morbius' palace. The Time Lords believed the Doctor to be dead, but he was actually transported by the Sisterhood to the planet Orbis. The timeline in which Morbius had been brought back to life was unmade, with only Lucie Miller and Straxus remembering it. (AUDIO: The Vengeance of Morbius)
Behind the scenes Edit
- The Imperator is the name used for Morbius in the Faction Paradox series.
- Morbius was named after Dr Edward Morbius from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet. (INFO: The Brain of Morbius)
- Morbius was referenced in Craig Hinton and Chris McKeon's Time's Champion, a sequel to Hinton's Millennial Rites and The Quantum Archangel. It was revealed Morbius fathered twin children, the Children of Contempt, with an unknown renegade Time Lady.