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You may be looking for the card game "patience" or Zoe Heriot.

"Patience" (named for the quality) was the name given by Tegan Jovanka to the Gallifreyan wife of Omega and the Doctor — both the Doctor as he existed prior to being the First Doctor, and the bespectacled Doctor who resided on Gallifrey at a much later point in his life in an anomalous timeline.


Patience was born in the House of Blyledge on Gallifrey during the reign of the Pythia (PROSE: Cold Fusion) and was a young woman during Pythia's Curse, (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) when "time was but a tributary" by Mount Perdition. (AUDIO: Patience) Like all Gallifreyans, she was "immortal, barring accidents." (PROSE: Cold Fusion) She was married to Omega and became widowed when he disappeared after causing Qqaba to go supernova. She became some version of the Doctor's nurse and tutor, as she had been his father's and grandfather's. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)

Despite Pythia's Curse, Patience wanted to have a child. She sought out experts all around the Capitol, but none could help her except the Stranger on Mount Perdition, who handed her an empty sack to fill with water, instructing her to draw from the Sea of Life. According to the Eighth Doctor, she emptied all the Sea of Life in her attempt, though the sack bore a hole. When all of time had soaked up on the shore, she found a child there. She broke the Curse. (AUDIO: Patience)

Her husband, one of the first to explore the Time Vortex, married her upon his return to Gallifrey. Together they had thirteen children. Their eldest child together would become Susan Foreman's father.

When Susan was soon to be born, their family was targeted by the Lord President's guards, as the child was being born from a womb and only the Loom-born could inherit the Legacy of Rassilon. The First Doctor helped Patience escape in the Machine and assured her that her daughter-in-law had given birth and the baby would be kept safely away from Gallifrey. (PROSE: Cold Fusion)

The Machine crashed on an ice planet, where it was eventually found in the 26th century by human colonists and the Fifth Doctor. The Doctor realised that she was a Gallifreyan, although medical scans indicated that she was not a Time Lord. Before she could complete her first regeneration, Provost-General Tertullian Medford shot her in the head and destroyed her brain, believing the Time Lords were hostile aliens who planned to conquer the Earth Empire.

Patience's body vanished (PROSE: Cold Fusion) as Omega used his control of history to take her into his anti-matter universe and restore her ability to regenerate. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) The Ferutu told the Doctor that "it's not the first time you've met her, nor will it be the last." (PROSE: Cold Fusion)

At one point, Patience gifted the Paradoxica to the Doctor. The Eighth Doctor later recounted her story whilst using the cards. (AUDIO: Patience)

In the alternate timeline, after travelling to the Needle to investigate the Effect, the Infinity Doctor entered the anti-matter universe and was reunited with Patience. However, in "paradise", he began to doubt whether his memories with Patience were real. When the Doctor wondered if that his memories, life and love with Patience had been fabricated by Omega to convince the Doctor to take his place as anti-matter, the anti-matter universe shifted into a broiling thunderstorm and Patience suddenly shifted. Seeing that the Doctor was struggling with the choice between eternal happiness with his wife in a fictional world or returning to stop Omega, Patience encouraged him to leave and help others. His departure from Omega's universe caused the world to collapse, taking Patience with it. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)


When the First Doctor fled from Gallifrey, Maris was hired to look into the renegade but found many contradictory accounts of the man's life up to that point. "Sometimes" the accounts said the Doctor had been married to "a wife". (PROSE: Celestial Intervention - A Gallifreyan Noir)

Before meeting Patience on the ice planet, (PROSE: Cold Fusion) the Fifth Doctor briefly interacted with an illusory young woman inside Melanicus' temporal aberration, "the Maelstrom", (COMIC: The Tides of Time) who resembled the incarnation of Patience who lived on Gallifrey. (PROSE: Cold Fusion) The Doctor recognised her face but could not quite put his finger on who she was. He tried to speak to her, but she darted out of sight. (COMIC: The Tides of Time)

The Eighth Doctor thought only of Patience while he made use of the Paradoxica, which she had given him. (AUDIO: Patience)

In the alternate timeline, the Infinity Doctor kept a picture of her on the wall of his rooms on Gallifrey. The caption read, "Death is but a door." (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)

Physical appearance[]

In the incarnation glimpsed by the Fifth Doctor in Melanicus' Maelstrom, who greatly resembled the Doctor's companion Zoe Heriot, (TV: The Wheel in Space) Patience was slender with short black hair and vivid green eyes. (COMIC: The Tides of Time) She had freckled shoulders and a birthmark on her ankle, and in the Doctor's picture she had cat-like eyes and wore an archaic Gallifreyan golden gown. After regenerating in Omega's world, she had long blonde hair and blue eyes. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)

Behind the scenes[]

The mysterious woman (REF: The Tides of Time)

  • "Patience" being the name of the Doctor's wife is a pun based on the word "patient".
  • The woman glimpsed in The Tides of Time, whom Lance Parkin used as a reference when establishing the appearance of the early incarnation of Patience who lived on Gallifrey, was likely originally intended to be, and is often interpreted as, Zoe Heriot. In AHistory's entry on The Tides of Time, Parkin acknowledged the common assumption but reasserted that the woman better resembled Patience's first incarnation from the flashbacks in Cold Fusion.
  • A DWM Jamie Lenman illustration of Patience appeared in DWM 509.