Rassilon was, alongside Omega and the Other, the founder of Time Lord civilisation. In their own time, Rassilon was chiefly an engineer and architect, but later Time Lord society would hail them as the first Time Lord and the single greatest figure of Gallifreyan history. However, some Time Lords contended that Rassilon was a corrupt megalomaniac who tried to murder their friend Omega and stole their invention.
After their physical death, Rassilon stayed active in the Matrix, ruling Gallifey from the shadows as the leader of the Matrix Lords. He manipulated the Doctor into performing many missions for him. During the Last Great Time War, he was resurrected from the Matrix to lead the Time Lords, becoming "Rassilon the Resurrected", and he tried to find ways to break the time lock and escape the war. After the Doctor saved Gallifrey, Rassilon was overthrown, banished, and converted into a Cyber-Leader.
Early life Edit
Rassilon was born the child of a suet shredder. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) A mere Gallifreyan, they had two hearts and other such organs which guaranteed them a lifetime of "300 years or so", but did not yet possess regeneration. Their original body had dark hair. According to one account, Rassilon was initially a boy, (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) however another account claimed that Rassilon's first incarnation was in fact a woman with dark skin. This incarnation would go on to meet the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler. (COMIC: Monstrous Beauty) Omega later claimed that a timeline where Rassilon was both a woman and in love with him was one of several possible timelines all culminating in Omega's unwilling sacrifice. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)
According to Coordinator Engin, Rassilon was initially chiefly regarded as an engineer and architect. (TV: The Deadly Assassin) The Scrolls of Gallifrey named him and Omega as solar engineers, one of a small number of Gallifreyans who continued to think of the future of their planet, rather than entirely surrender to the beguiling prospect of interstellar travel and of making themselves into gods for the later species. Rassilon lusted to see more than a mortal man could in a lifetime, with his first goal being the creation of immortality, until Omega convinced him that this was unachievable and that they should instead turn their minds to the creation of time travel. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) According to a secret account buried deep in the Matrix, immortality later came in the form of regeneration, extracted from the Timeless Child. (TV: The Timeless Children)
Creating the Eye of Harmony Edit
Rassilon and Omega created the living metal validium, (TV: Silver Nemesis) and, with the help of the Other, also created the Hand of Omega, a stellar manipulator. (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks) The Master, while posing as the Doctor, later claimed that Rassilon, as well as the "forefather of all Time Lords", had been his mentor; (PROSE: The Novel of the Film) the Doctor, by more than one account, was the reincarnation of the Other. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)
The Gallifreyan Council was initially reluctant to finance the project, in which they had little interesest, with Council Leader Tussan attempting to humiliate Rassilon by rhetorically asking his cat what the Council should do in the matter, but the cat answered that Gallifrey should back Rassilon and Omega's temporal experiments, and the Council reluctantly agreed. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
The creation of the Time Lords' time travel's power source caused the apparent death of Omega as he fell into the black hole, (TV: The Three Doctors) while Rassilon comfortably sat at the control console of the mast on Gallifrey, which would receive the power Omega helped channel. After Omega made the "ultimate sacrifice," it was Rassilon who received all of the credit, despite his comparatively minor role in the actual achievement. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
According to one account, Rassilon, jealous of Omega's popularity on Gallifrey, had prompted Omega's assistant, Vandekirian, to betray him at the last second. (AUDIO: Omega) Another account stated that Rassilon instead had personally deactivated Omega's protective forcefield remotely seconds before the star's detonation. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) This betrayal was hidden from the Gallifreyans, as the Fourth Doctor believed that Omega's death was caused by the interference of a Black Sun agent named Fenris the Hellbringer, (COMIC: Star Death) though the Eleventh Doctor mentioned a theory that opined that Rassilon had had Omega's assistant sabotage the experiment. (COMIC: The Lost Dimension) Rassilon publicly wept for the loss of Omega, (PROSE: Lungbarrow) and banished Fenris into the Zone of No Return to avenge Omega. (COMIC: Star Death)
Improving on Omega's mathematics to succeed in creating a supernova, (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) Rassilon had the mast renamed the Eye of Harmony and buried beneath he floor of the Capitol, locked away with a Great Key. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) There it lay, beneath the Panopticon, for untold eons. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)
Spinning the Web of Time Edit
Over the years, the Eye of Harmony's power grew on its own, and Rassilon eventually descended once again beneath the Capitol to study its new properties. Comprehending the elemental forces at play in the heart of the Eye, Rassilon managed to refine them, setting them in a "perpetually dynamic equation" with the mass of the planet itself. The Eye would act as a power source for all of Gallifrey, and as a cornerstone in Time. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
Rassilon used his new technology to map out all of creation, building the Web of Time and purging reality of all irrationality. This anchoring of the thread created history in Gallifrey's image, and with it, Rassilon and his people truly became lords of all time and space. (PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet, The Book of the War)
War against the Vampires Edit
During the anchoring of the thread, Rassilon accidentally unleashed the Great Vampires into the universe, (PROSE: Interference: Shock Tactic, The Book of the War) beginning the Eternal War. (PROSE: The Pit)
At one point during the war, Rassilon left the safety of the main fleet to investigate rumours of a vampire hive. His ship was attacked by the bird-like Ra'ra'vis, and he became their prisoner. Rassilon was asked to perform time experiments for them, in order to advance their technology. He was saved by Jorus, a Vogan. Rassilon gave Jorus his seal and told the Vogan the power of the Time Lords. The seal of Rassilon then became a key piece of iconography on Voga. (PROSE: Jorus and the Voganauts)
Jealous of his power over the Eye of Harmony, Tussan's all-Arcalian Gallifreyan Council attempted to force an aging Rassilon into retirement, offering him a pension and a honorary, but powerless, seat on the opposition council in exchange for the Great Key and Sash necessary to access the Eye. Outraged, Rassilon tore the Sash apart, putting the Eye out of anyone's direct reach but his own. Tussan ordered Rassilon taken away by the Chancellery Guard to be punished, but, before they could do so, Rassilon collapsed, dying from the temporal radiation of the Eye's elemental forces. However, his prolonged exposure to the Eye had granted him the gift of regeneration, and Rassilon awoke from death in a younger, fair-haired body. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
After regenerating into a body that was full-bearded, Rassilon was told by General Skellis that his tactic of using dispersal as a way of eliminating any Great Vampire they found actually caused the Vampires to spread across the universe, and told him that penetrating their heart was a much simpler way of killing them. Rassilon then employed Bowships to hunt them down. (PROSE: The Multi-Faceted War) The campaign was largely successful, but the King Vampire was not found. (TV: State of Decay, PROSE: Interference: Shock Tactic)
After the war, Rassilon wrote the Record of Rassilon, giving a history of the war and instructions to all Time Lords to kill the King Vampire if ever they came across him. (TV: State of Decay) The record was written into every TARDIS. (PROSE: The Multi-Faceted War)
According to Faction Paradox-influenced transmissions from Anathema, during the war, Rassilon had been exposed to vampire biodata in what he described as inoculation. (PROSE: Interference: Shock Tactic) The Cult of Rassilon the Vampire on Gallifrey believed that this caused him to become a vampire. (PROSE: Goth Opera)
Foundation of Time Lord society Edit
When Rassilon returned from the Eternal War, he seized control of Gallifrey, (PROSE: The Pit) overthrowing the matriarchal society of the Pythia (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) and deposing Tussan's Gallifreyan Council, using the fame and mystique his regeneration had awarded him among the Gallifreyans. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) According to a different account, the President at the time of the Vampire War was Pandak, who Rassilon overthrew in a coup; (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) the Eremites believed the first official Lord President had been Urizen. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
As the Time Lords banished the last fragment of impossibility from the universe, Rassilon said: "Now, see what we have created, we have built a world of reason triumphant. And it is good." (PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet ) With his Five Principles, Rassilon led Gallifrey into a more enlightened age, bringing about a new social order. Among these changes, slavery was abolished. (AUDIO: Forever)
According to the histories that Rassilon himself wrote, the Pythia retaliated by cursing Gallifreyans to be sterile. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) However, the sterility may have, in reality, been a result of the anchoring of the thread. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Rassilon solved the problem by creating the Great Houses and building the Looms that artificially birthed new Time Lords. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible)
After fleeing the Homeworld during the First Diaspora following the anchoring of the thread, the Eremites instead remembered the first President of the Time Lords, responsible for the sterility of Time Lord civilisation, as being Urizen the Architect, whom they would later caricature as a blind old man measuring his own dung with a set of dividers. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
As he ordered the new political system of Gallifrey, with himself as Lord President of a High Council, Rassilon decided to create a new, immortal aristocracy: a hundred men and women of each chapter were permitted to stand in front of the Eye of Harmony, granting them the gift of regeneration and properly making them into Time Lords. The cat who had helped authorise Rassilon's experiments betrayed Tussan and joined his side. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
According to other accounts, Rassilon worked with a biologist named Thremix, who had created a virus that he speculated would grant the Gallifreyans immortality. Rassilon ordered the release of the virus, which wiped out a large proportion of the Gallifreyan population, and gave the remainder the ability of full-bodily regeneration. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) The Valeyard claimed that Rassilon intentionally implemented a flaw in regeneration, meaning that Time Lords could only do so twelve times, so he alone could have true immortality, (AUDIO: Trial of the Valeyard) whereas the account which showed regeneration flowing from the Eye of Harmony also stated that Rassilon's original regeneration cycle was also limited to twelve renewals. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
A secret account buried deep in the Matrix was found by the Master however, which stated that these commonly-cited origins of regeneration were mere propaganda to conceal the fact that the secret had actually been extracted before the discovery of time travel and the foundation of Time Lord society, taken from an innocent child found on an off-world expedition by the Shobogan explorer Tecteun. It was in fact Tecteun who had proposed the idea of regeneration cycles, gene splicing the ability to regenerate into future generations of Shobogans, who would later become synonymous with Gallifreyans and rename themselves Time Lords. The truth was hidden under a visual filter, telling the story of an immortal Irish policeman called Brendan. (TV: The Timeless Children)
Rassilon's first presidency Edit
In the early days of his rule, Rassilon imposed higher taxes on the Gallifreyan people. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) He also created the transduction barrier that protected Gallifrey from outsiders at the dawn of the Rassilon Era. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon, A Brief History of Time Lords) Around this time, he was approached by the Stranger, who told him of Gallifrey's future and pleaded with him to change established events to make the Time Lords less powerful and selfish than they would become. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon)
At war with the universe Edit
Not long after Omega's death, Rassilon led the Time Lords against the Nestenes, managing to contain their forces in the Illia galaxy. He personally persuaded scientist Roppen to reconfigure the Eye of Discord into a new device, one which he dubbed the "Galaxy Eater". After the device's interface gave him a brief encounter with several of his future selves, Rassilon activated the device and destroyed the Nestenes in the Illia galaxy. He then placed the device in the Omega Arsenal for safe keeping. (PROSE: Pandoric's Box)
Rassilon led the Time Lords in the Millennium War, against the Mad Mind of Bophemeral. His memory of the event was erased, as happened to all others who took part in the war. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)
Rassilon created the Alliance of Races (COMIC: Gangland) in a war against the Hyperions. (COMIC: Terrorformer) After the Hyperions were defeated, Rassilon and the Alliance of Races embarked on another purge of races that were a threat to universal harmony. One such enemy was Count D'if and his Cybock Imperium. Rassilon challenged D'if to a game of Rassilon's roulette using the Time-Gun of Rassilon, which was programmed not to fire on him. D'if lost and he was wiped from existence. The Twelfth Doctor claimed that it was that moment that the Gallifreyans first began to fear their president. (COMIC: Gangland)
Temporal progress Edit
Rassilon invented TARDISes after a war with the Archons. (AUDIO: The Next Life; PROSE: The Nameless City) In developing the TARDISes, Rassilon had ordered all time sensitives brought to him. When he saw the Eleventh Doctor tame a Type 1 TARDIS, Rassilon ordered him brought to him. After talking with the Doctor, Rassilon, having some inexplicable familiarity with the Doctor, used him to fast track the development of the TARDISes, while surreptitiously barring him from getting the fluid links that he needed. When the Type 1s were taken on their test flights, the Doctor was assigned the vessel that he had initially calmed down, but, much to Rassilon's horror, the TARDIS had a leftover dimensional bubble and was considered lost after the dematerialisation. When the Doctor's companion, Alice Obiefune, came rushing in, Rassilon offered his personal apologies. (COMIC: The Lost Dimension)
Rassilon created a living weapon known as the Pariah, which he used for missions throughout time and space. Rassilon gave the Pariah independent thought, but this proved to be a mistake, as the Pariah developed a mind of its own and rebelled against him. Rassilon banished the Pariah from Gallifrey, then created Shayde, a more evolved version of the Pariah incapable of independent thought. The Pariah would cause the creation of the Threshold. (COMIC: Wormwood)
Using temporal technology, Rassilon studied the future. He learned of the Divergence, a race which would eclipse his within ten thousand millennia. Fearing this future, he created a self-replicating, biogenic molecule which he sent back in time to seed all habitable planets in Gallifrey's galaxy. This ensured all intelligent life evolved in the form of the Gallifreyans. He trapped the Divergence in their own timeline, which Rassilon sealed into a time loop. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
Confident in his power, Rassilon created the Death Zone, a region of Gallifrey devoted to "the Game of Rassilon" (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) which had previously been the site of bloody games involving mere Gallifreyans. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) The Dark Tower he had built in its centre had a link to the Eye of Harmony through which it could Time Scoop individuals from all over time and space, who would be made to fight to the death for the privilege of being returned home. Many tried to get him to stop the games, but only after a group of Cybermen nearly destroyed the Tower did Cardinal Pandad succeed in persuading him of the foolishness of his actions, as, had the Cybermen succeeded in destroying the Tower, they might have released the power of the Eye, and, through exposure to it, gained the same immortality and temporal abilities as the Time Lords.
After decreeing the three fundamental Laws of Time to prevent any of his successors failing as he had, Rassilon, now in his thirteenth incarnation, abdicated from the Presidency in favour of Pandad, further shaping the political system of Gallifrey by creating the positions of Chancellor and Castellan. The former individual would be told of the location of the Great Key to the Eye of Harmony, but on the condition that they never become Lord President. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
Supposed death and survival Edit
Rassilon died whilst in his thirteenth incarnation, (PROSE: Pandoric's Box) discovering to his dismay that the regeneration cycles granted by the Eye of Harmony only allowed for twelve renewals. Gaining the trust of Chancellor Azmeal, Rassilon, once more desperate to extend his life and power, created the Matrix, in which the minds and memories of dying Time Lords would be recorded. Though Azmeal presented the project to the High Council as a "psychic history book", the truth was that the disembodied Time Lords would remain conscious within the Matrix, with Rassilon first among them as the leader of the Matrix Lords. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) Before his death, Rassilon prepared his tomb to test those who sought the gift of immortality, (PROSE: Pandoric's Box) and copied his mind into the Matrix. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
Many rumours surrounded Rassilon's death (or lack thereof). One stated that the Time Lords had revolted and imprisoned him in the Dark Tower in the Death Zone. (TV: The Five Doctors) Over the millions of years after the end of Rassilon's Presidency, he came to be revered on Gallifrey. Time Lord history credited Rassilon with creating the traditions of their society; for instance, after Rassilon had a nightmarish vision of a dictatorial, imperialistic Gallifrey, he was said to have created the principles of non-intervention. (COMIC: The Final Chapter) Secret societies on Gallifrey worshipped Rassilon as a god. (AUDIO: Intervention Earth)
Within the Matrix Edit
Rule from the shadows Edit
Greatest and oldest of the Matrix Lords, Rassilon oversaw their use of the APC Net to boost their mental powers and continue to influence the outside universe. They also created the Celestial Intervention Agency to act on their behalf in the land of the living. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) CIA operatives were often unaware that they were working for Rassilon rather than for the Lord President or some other Time Lord superior. Hence, Rassilon continued to rule Gallifrey, subtly shaping its history as he saw fit, though not all of the Presidents were aware of this.
To keep the balance of the universe, Rassilon created two projections of absolute good and absolute evil and gave them the Key to Time, allowing them to stop the universe and put things right if the balance between chaos and order was upset; (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) these Guardians of Time were known to the Time Lords and respected by them. (TV: The Ribos Operation)
Within the Matrix, Rassilon also sat as the representative of the Matrix Lords, with other advanced beings who collectively called themselves High Evolutionaries and who had some involvement in the affairs of the universe. The High Evolutionaries sometimes used the Gallifreyan construct known as Shayde on their behalf. (COMIC: The Tides of Time)
Use of living agents Edit
Besides the CIA, Rassilon wished to have a free agent in the outside universe, and decreed that it should be a minor renegade known as the Doctor. Using his influence, Rassilon began manipulating the Doctor's life in his second incarnation, though it was not until he faced the Great Intelligence in the London Underground that he began to suspect he was being used. The CIA eventually contacted him an official basis, and sent him on a mission to prevent the Sontarans from gaining mastery of time travel. In the process, the Second Doctor accidentally broke the First Law of Time (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) by meeting the Sixth Doctor. (TV: The Two Doctors)
Terrified of the consequences of this transgression, the Doctor continued running, but eventually required the Time Lords' help to put right the machinations of the War Lords. The Doctor was put on trial, but one of those who judged him was Socra, secretly one of Rassilon's CIA agents, who was instructed to keep tabs on the Doctor during his exile on Earth. It was Socra who persuaded the president, Pandad IV, to let a member of the High Council warn the Doctor about the Master. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) This Time Lord messenger allowed the Third Doctor to anticipate the Master's attack of Earth with the help of the Nestene Consciousness. (TV: Terror of the Autons)
The Matrix Lords had been unable to predict Omega's return because he was trapped in an anti-matter universe, thus inimical to Gallifrey's very nature. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) After the Doctor proved instrumental in ending the threat of Omega, (TV: The Three Doctors) Rassilon authorised Socra to reveal the CIA's existence to President Pandad IV, and make it public, if it was necessary to convince the President to free the Doctor from his exile. However, while the Doctor's exile was lifted, Pandad IV declined the offer to go public, feeling that widespread knowledge of the CIA would risk lessening the population's faith in the Presidency. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
Chancellor Borusa, who had known the secrets of the Great Key and the Sash, (TV: The Deadly Assassin) eventually became Lord President of the High Council. This outraged Rassilon, as it broke the regulations he had put in place to avoid all powers being concentrated in any other individual but himself. Claiming to his fellow Matrix Lords that he foresaw a time when Borusa's presidency would lead Gallifrey to destruction, (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) even though his government had succeeded in saving Gallifrey from Omega a second time, (TV: Arc of Infinity) Rassilon reactivated the Death Zone for the first time since his physical death, and beguiled Borusa with the promise of immortality to be dispensed in the Dark Tower.
Borusa first sent two of his own High Counil into the Death Zone, Thalia and Zorac, but they were struck down by bursts of psychic energy converted into elemental weaponry that resembled lightning bolts , fired by Rassilon himself from the astral plane of the Matrix. After Borusa finalised his scheme by sending the five first incarnations of the Doctor to serve as his scouts, (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) he confronted a projection of Rassilon hovering above Rassilon's ancient body, who cursed him with the immortality of a living statue in punishment for his hubris. The Doctors were returned to their travels, (TV: The Five Doctors) and, with Rassilon's blessing, Flavia became the new President of the High Council, returning to the old traditions by obtaining an intelligent cat to act as her advisor, whom she decided to name "Doctor". (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) Rassilon also granted the First Doctor the ability to pilot the TARDIS effectively in gratitude for stopping Borusa, allowing tie up some of the loose ends he had left while he was approaching his first regeneration. (PROSE: The Witch Hunters)
Meddling with the Doctor's timeline Edit
After President Romana reconciled Gallifrey with the Sisterhood of Karn, lifting the Curse of Pythia, (PROSE: Lungbarrow) the Book of Lies said that, from within his tomb, the "Great Grey Eminence" made a deal with Faction Paradox to fold the Doctor's timeline back on itself and return Gallifreyan history to passionless sterility. (PROSE: Unnatural History)
When the Master's last trap left the Eighth Doctor suffering from amnesia, Rassilon's spirit guided the Doctor to various locations where his past selves were about to face crucial dangers or defining moments. In the process, the Doctor made "improvements to the pattern of history" for Rassilon. At the end, Rassilon guided the Doctor to Sam Jones, (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) who he knew would never dare to "screw" the Doctor. After Gallifreyan history was rewritten, (PROSE: Unnatural History) Flavia was the current President, (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) and the "Eminence" had been taught the ways of paradox. However, these changes to Gallifrey's history were unstable, and the Doctor wasn't sure if Flavia or Romana was President, (PROSE: Unnatural History) or if he had parents or been born of a Loom. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon)
Rassilon and the other Evolutionaries once hired the Threshold to stop a Dalek attempt to invade other realities. (COMIC: Fire and Brimstone) They sent Shayde to help the Eighth Doctor destroy the Threshold base at Wormwood located on Earth's Moon. (COMIC: The Final Chapter)
The Divergent Universe Edit
From within the Matrix, Rassilon began to manipulate the Doctor into destroying the Divergence, arranging for him to be possessed by the essence of anti-time and appearing to him before this happened as well as saving him, so that he could become the destructive Zagreus and be used against Gallifrey's enemies. Rassilon possessed the body of Leela – the only body on Gallifrey that he could influence without setting off mental alarms – and used Romana II to teleport them past the barriers in the Death Zone which was her presidential right. He did this to obtain the Ring of Rassilon and unlock his Foundry. He then tried to force Romana to resign in favour of Zagreus, believing that this would ensure the destruction of the Divergence. Rassilon formed an alliance with the Doctor's TARDIS, which had also been infected with anti-time, promising to release its consciousness from the infection while using its body to create a sword of anti-time, with which he hoped Zagreus would kill the Divergence.
However, his plan failed when the Doctor refused to kill, proclaiming his status as the Doctor. Rassilon then used the anti-time sword to kill Matthew Townsend, Tepesh, and Walton Winkle, who had seen the Divergence and been re-constituted in the Matrix with parts of the Doctor. Although Rassilon had hoped that the deaths of his other selves would further break the Doctor, this failed when, at the Doctor's behest, Charley Pollard used the anti-time blade on him. However, he gave into his Zagreus persona to survive with the help of the aspects of himself released when the three were killed, recognising that Rassilon was the real threat. Armed with the anti-time blade, Zagreus refused to be Rassilon's puppet and cast him into the Divergent Universe to end his actions. (AUDIO: Neverland, Zagreus)
In the Divergent universe, Rassilon planned to steal the Doctor's TARDIS and escape, but the Doctor stopped Rassilon and left him behind. Rassilon's temporal senses broke down as the universe's time-looped nature left him trapped in a repeating pattern, while the Doctor and his companions returned to the main universe. (AUDIO: The Next Life)
The Last Great Time War Edit
The start of the war Edit
In the early days of the Last Great Time War, Rassilon was resurrected from his tomb in the Dark Tower in the Death Zone to lead the Time Lords to battle. (PROSE: Engines of War) To resurrect him, the High Council used the body of Admiral Valerian of the House of Rassilon and imprinted Rassilon's Matrix projection onto him, killing Valerian in the process. (AUDIO: Desperate Measures)
Rassilon's early actions involved replacing the office of High Chancellor with a Prime Minister, dissolving the Chancellery Guard and using the Drylands Precedent to create an Interior Defence Unit without the need of the support of the Joint Council. (AUDIO: Havoc) He later shut down the Celestial Intervention Agency and absorbed it into the IDU. (AUDIO: Assassins)
Wartime actions Edit
After Susan Foreman's successes with the Sensorites, the Orrovix, and with the capture of a Dalek agent, Rassilon became interested in her. On Susan's return to Gallifrey from 1963 Shoreditch, Rasmus informed Susan that Rassilon wished to meet with her. (AUDIO: The Shoreditch Intervention)
Having lost many of his disdains for corruption and immortality with his resurrection, (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) Rassilon wiped out the Tharils, the Porfue and the Krajonnu in the first year of the Time War so that they didn't threaten the Time Lord's supremacy. (PROSE: Lords and Masters) He also retro-evolved dozens of Time Lords to become a possibility engine to aid him in victories throughout the War, creating the discarded race of the Interstitials and succeeding with Borusa. (PROSE: Engines of War)
During the War, Rassilon was taken to the Death Zone by Pandoric to offer advice to his former self in whether to use the Galaxy Eater to destroy the Nestenes. He warned his former self that he would live past his death and that there would be even greater conflicts in his future. (PROSE: Pandoric's Box)
When the Time Lords feared that the Compassionate would side with the Daleks in the War, Rassilon sealed them in a rift at the heart of the planet Galen and told the War Doctor that the Daleks had done this. (AUDIO: The Bleeding Heart)
Last days of the Time War Edit
Four-hundred-years into the War, Rassilon planned to detonate the Tear of Isha in the Tantalus Eye to stop a Dalek plan to wipe Gallifrey and the Time Lords from history. He consulted Borusa on his plan, who told him it would succeed. Rassilon's plan was foiled by the Doctor, who stole Borusa and the Tear of Isha, using Borusa to wipe the Daleks from the Tantalus Eye without killing all life around it. Rassilon condemned the Doctor's actions and made him an enemy of the Time Lords because of it, (PROSE: Engines of War) exiling him from Gallifrey. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)
On the last day of the Time War, Rassilon intended to spare Gallifrey from destruction by using the Ultimate Sanction to turn the Time Lords into beings of pure consciousness to escape the end of creation. The Woman opposed Rassilon's plan to destroy time itself, (TV: The End of Time) along with the Patriarch of the House of Stillhaven. (PROSE: Lords and Masters) Rassilon condemned them to stand behind him in the Panopticon and cover their faces "as monuments of their shame, like the Weeping Angels of old", (TV: The End of Time) and had their names erased from time as further punishment. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)
Knowing that the Doctor intended to destroy both Time Lords and Daleks by using the Moment, Rassilon contrived to break Gallifrey out of the time-lock that blocked the Last Great Time War from temporal manipulation, and then follow through on his plan. He succeeded. For a brief time, Gallifrey broke free of the time lock and appeared in the skies above Earth. However, Rassilon was opposed by the Tenth Doctor, one of only two Time Lord survivors of the war. Rassilon was badly hurt by one last attack by the Master, the other survivor, out of vengeance once he realised that Rassilon had deliberately driven him mad and destroyed his life. The time-lock resumed and Rassilon, the Time Lords, and Gallifrey itself were all flung back to the Time War. (TV: The End of Time)
After the Time War Edit
Rassilon's battle with the Master caused him to regenerate, (PROSE: Pandoric's Box) reportedly because the Master "shoved White Point Stars down his throat". Rassilon screamed all the way through the regeneration, so much that Ohila had to make him "a special draft of potion" to help. (PROSE: Lords and Masters) Despite Rassilon's previous intention to kill the "diseased" Master, (TV: The End of Time) the Time Lords instead cured the Master's "condition" (TV: The Doctor Falls) and locked him up in Gomer's Asylum, which he later escaped from. (PROSE: Lords and Masters)
After the Doctors united to place Gallifrey in a stasis cube to prevent its destruction, (TV: The Day of the Doctor) Rassilon began work to place it back in the main universe. When the Matrix detected a tear in the fabric of a nearby reality, Rassilon, keen to avoid another Time War, broadcasted a signal from the planet Trenzalore, calling to the Doctor to see if it was safe to return. When the signal led to the Siege of Trenzalore, Rassilon continued to wait for the Doctor's signal until Clara Oswald alerted him and the Time Lords to the Doctor's inability to regenerate and that the Daleks were preparing to kill him. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) Using research gathered from Ophiuchus's experience with regeneration, (COMIC: Ophiuchus) Rassilon granted the Doctor a new regeneration cycle, but the Doctor left Trenzalore without freeing Gallifrey. Nonetheless, Rassilon had confirmed that he'd found the right universe and was quick to return Gallifrey to it. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)
The Time Lords later returned Gallifrey to its original point in space but were forced to hide it near the end of the universe for their own safety. (TV: Hell Bent) At some point afterwards, Rassilon was taken to the Death Zone by Pandoric to offer advice to his former self in whether to use the Galaxy Eater to destroy the Nestenes. He told his former self that Gallifrey would stand past all its conflicts. (PROSE: Pandoric's Box)
Rassilon took members of the House of Stillhaven to be experimented on, but he spared Yayani to a mind wipe for unknown reasons. After Yayani was able to regain her memories, she tried to assassinate Rassilon, but failed, and was then forced into acting out secret missions for the High Council as punishment. (PROSE: Lords and Masters)
Still fearing the Visionary's prophecy, Rassilon began to fear that the fall she had foreseen would be brought about by the Hybrid and began researching the creature. Possibly due to being influenced by Missy, Rassilon came to believe that the Twelfth Doctor held the information he desired. Ordering the death of Clara Oswald, Rassilon trapped the Doctor in his confession dial to get information out of him. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) To this end, Rassilon contacted Ashildr to have her assistance in the kidnapping of the Doctor, (TV: Face the Raven, Hell Bent) and trap him within his own confession dial in an attempt to learn everything that he knew about the Hybrid. The Doctor's refusal to relent led to his being trapped inside the dial for four and a half billion years, constantly dying and recreating himself to breach the dial's barriers rather than confess his secrets. (TV: Heaven Sent, Hell Bent) On his escape, the Doctor finally returned to Gallifrey. (TV: Heaven Sent)
Threatened by the Doctor's presence and still desperate for information on the Hybrid, Rassilon ordered first troops and then the High Council to make contact with the Doctor. However, the Doctor was only willing to speak directly to Rassilon himself. Eventually, Rassilon was forced out into the Drylands to confront him. There, the Doctor held him alone responsible for the crimes of the Last Great Time War, and for his treatment in his confession dial. Rassilon tried to have a firing squad execute the unarmed Doctor, who ordered him to "get off my planet." However, the squad purposefully missed due to their great respect for the Doctor. Military reinforcements arrived but had been summoned by the Doctor instead. When Rassilon tried to use his gauntlet to kill the Doctor himself, the General reinforced the Doctor's order. Rassilon was overthrown and replaced by the Doctor, before being banished from Gallifrey. (TV: Hell Bent)
Alliance with the Cybermen Edit
Barely concerned by his exile, Rassilon quickly sought out the remnants of the Cybermen, who were clinging to life at the end of the universe. Marvelling at their determination, Rassilon convinced them to ally with him, promising them a new empire built on a Time Lord/Cyberman union, and was plugged into the Cyberiad as the Cyber-President. Leading the Gallifreyan Cyber Fleet back to his home planet, Rassilon's new army overran the Time Lord militia with Rassilon personally executing his successor as he reclaimed his gauntlet.
To Rassilon's dismay however, the near-death state of the universe did not lend itself to conquest. Conspiring to start again, Rassilon ordered the capture of several Time Lords, wiring them into looms to harvest their regeneration energy into the Eye of Harmony, through which he would mould a new reality in his own likeness. Needing to throw the Doctor off the trail, Rassilon created several scenarios throughout history to distract him from the true plan.
Despite Rassilon's best efforts, the Twelfth Doctor managed to return to Gallifrey where he confronted the Cyber-President. Once the Doctor and the General had been taken prisoner, Rassilon wired the latter into a loom before he explained his plan to a horrified Doctor. It was then that, just as the Doctor predicted, that the Cybermen betrayed Rassilon, intending to rewrite reality to their design.
Shoved inside a loom, Rassilon realised his mistakes and follies. Feigning brain death, Rassilon created a simulation of the Doctor's boyhood barn within the Cyberiad so he could speak to his fellow Time Lord privately. When, as Rassilon predicted, the Cybermen plugged the Doctor in as a substitute for him, Rassilon greeted him and finally conceded that the Doctor was the better man, humbly asking for his help. When both their physical forms were fully upgraded, the two used their mental powers to sabotage the Eye of Harmony and send all the regeneration energy backwards through time, undoing the Cybermen's changes to history and destroying the Cyber-Controller.
Rassilon was once again left in his Bowship at the end of the universe. Reflecting on these events, the Twelfth Doctor wondered if Rassilon had retained his memory of what never was, but expressed hope that he had. (COMIC: Supremacy of the Cybermen)
Alternate timelines Edit
In a parallel universe where the Sixth Doctor led the Time Lords in the War, the flagship of the First Imperial Gallifreyan Fleet was a time dreadnought named the Righteous Fist of Rassilon. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)
Skills and abilities Edit
By the time of the foundation of the Time Lords' civilisation, Rassilon already proved to be able to stop a Gallifreyan fleet from falling into a black hole; moreover, he could spring bolts of power arc from his fingertips, a power called electro-direction. (COMIC: Star Death)
During the final days of the Last Great Time War, with the apparent help of the Gauntlet of Rassilon, he was able to provoke the molecular dispersal of another Time Lord and to revert the effects of an Immortality Gate on a planetary scale, just with a gesture ending the Master's control and was also capable of developing various scenarios and outcomes and his scheme was only foiled by the Doctor's timely intervention. (TV: The End of Time)
These included the Sash of Rassilon, the Rod of Rassilon, (TV: The Deadly Assassin) the Coronet of Rassilon, the Harp of Rassilon, (TV: The Five Doctors) the Crown of Rassilon, (TV: The Invasion of Time) and the Seal of Rassilon, a symbol used as a mark of Time Lord authority which appeared as a motif in many Time Lord designs. (TV: The Deadly Assassin, The Five Doctors) These were stored in the Capitol and, save for the supremely powerful Great Key, which at one stage found its way into the hand of Cardinal Borusa, were made available to the Lord President of the Time Lords. (TV: The Invasion of Time)
The Black Scrolls of Rassilon, also later obtained by Borusa, contained forbidden, arcane secrets. The fabled Ring of Rassilon, however, capable of conferring a form of immortality upon the wearer, resided in the Tomb of Rassilon in the Dark Tower located in the Death Zone. (TV: The Five Doctors)
These artifacts, like many institutions in Time Lord society, were named "of Rassilon", in such number and with such unfailing consistency that the Eighth Doctor once reflected that Joanna Harris "couldn't imagine how much [he'd] had it in here with the This, That and the Other of Rassilon". (PROSE: Vampire Science)
Rassilon was a charismatic leader who was capable of inspiring their people. The General himself stated that, while Rassilon eventually became corrupt, they were once "a good man". (TV: Hell Bent) Indeed, Rassilon was initially a man who hated corruption and was good at detecting it, (TV: The Five Doctors) but became corrupt himself following his resurrection for the Last Great Time War. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)
During the early history of the Time Lords, Rassilon led the revolution against the last Pythia, (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) overthrew President Pandak, (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) and instituted changes to deal with the problems of the Empire, such as ordering the creation of genetic looms to permit the Gallifreyan race to reproduce, (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) creating the transduction barrier, (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) and completely ended "the Games" in the Death Zone (TV: The Five Doctors) after a period of using alien warriors instead of Gallifreyans. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) Rassilon and the Time Lords also created the Web of Time to purge the universe of irrationality. (PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet) During the development of the Type 1 TARDISes, Rassilon projected an air of affability, asking to be called "Rass" by his closest friends and openly complementing the Eleventh Doctor's genius while eagerly pushing his species to venture beyond new horizons. Despite this, Alice Obiefune noted that Rassilon remained cunning enough to prevent the Doctor from leaving the Capitol, suspecting that Rassilon knew that the Doctor was from the future. When the Doctor was thought lost however, Rassilon appeared genuinely horrified and offered Alice his personal apologies for the tragedy. (COMIC: The Lost Dimension)
Controversially, Rassilon ordered the release of a virus that wiped out a large proportion of the Gallifreyan population, while allowing the survivors to regenerate. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon) He also discovered how to become immortal without having to use regenerations to survive, but believed that the secret was too dangerous to share, and thus kept it to himself, (TV: The Five Doctors) and instituted the non-interference policy after dreaming of a future Time Lord empire that used its power to suppress the weak of the universe. (COMIC: The Final Chapter)
Rassilon was intimidating and unforgiving, but was also a hero to many Gallifreyans, (AUDIO: Zagreus) with the Second Doctor calling him "the greatest single figure in Time Lord history", (TV: The Five Doctors) though the Twelfth Doctor recalled how the Gallifreyans began to fear Rassilon after he beat Count D'if at Rassilon's roulette. (COMIC: Gangland) However, Rassilon's wisdom in recognising the curse of immortality and their opposition to the corrupting influence of power (TV: The Five Doctors) did not prevent them from becoming corrupted by power themselves, such as with their prejudice against Vampires, (AUDIO: Zagreus) and becoming increasingly obsessed with avoiding death during the Last Great Time War against the Daleks, (TV: The End of Time) a desire they'd harboured in one way or another their childhood. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)
After the loss of Omega, Rassilon wept for him, with the Other musing that Rassilon's later actions were born out of love. (PROSE: Lungbarrow) However, some believed Rassilon to actually be behind the plot to murder Omega, (AUDIO: Omega) despite the evidence against the assassin Fenris, whom Rassilon banished into the Zone of No Return to avenge Omega, (COMIC: Star Death) while another account had it that Rassilon had been responsible for Omega's protective forcefield failing. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon)
After punishing Borusa for attempting to claim immortality, Rassilon offered immortality to the First, Second, Third and Fifth Doctors, and admitted that they had "chosen wisely" after they declined, and sent them back to where they belonged afterwards, (TV: The Five Doctors) even giving the First Doctor complete control of his TARDIS to allow him to attend to unfinished business before his regeneration as a show of gratitude. (PROSE: The Witch Hunters)
Rassilon was also manipulative, trying to trick the Eighth Doctor into destroying the Divergence in the belief that they were too different to live, (AUDIO: Neverland, Zagreus) and using the Master as a link between Gallifrey and the rest of the Universe which allowed him to temporarily free Gallifrey from the time lock. (TV: The End of Time)
By the end of the Time War, Rassilon had become ruthless, power-hungry and insane, being willing to destroy the whole of creation rather than accept the end of the Time Lords. He planned to change himself and the Time Lords into beings of pure consciousness, free of physical bodies and the ravages of time, in his Ultimate Sanction. Rassilon had also grown in his pettiness, vaporising the Partisan for speaking against his desire to continue the Time War, and taunting the Tenth Doctor with how "the final act of [his] life [would be] murder" after a failed attempt to fool the Doctor into an alliance with him. Even as he was dragged back into the war, Rassilon made one last hateful attempt to kill the Doctor. (TV: The End of Time)
Following the end of the Time War, Rassilon retained his arrogance, believing himself superior to others simply for being Lord President, and showed no remorse for locking the Twelfth Doctor in his confession dial to get the information he wanted. He also showed his sadistic side by gloating how he could remove the Doctor's regenerations one at a time. (TV: Hell Bent) After his banishment, Rassilon was driven to teaming up with the Cybermen to survive and reclaim Gallifrey, unhinged to the point of casting off the "Time Lord purity" he'd championed throughout his reign. His ego grew ever more, so much so that he redecorated the Panopticon with statues of his former incarnations, openly proclaiming that the Time Lords "[belonged] to [him]". After being betrayed his by his allies however, Rassilon gained a sense of shame and humility, horrified at how he'd given the Cybermen so much power and finally making peace with the Doctor. Once these events were undone, the Doctor hoped that Rassilon would retain this development. (COMIC: Supremacy of the Cybermen)
Appearance and clothing Edit
Rassilon's first incarnation had pale eyes. (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks) According to one account, Rassilon's first incarnation was a woman with dark skin; (COMIC: Monstrous Beauty) according to other accounts, their first incarnation was a male with brown hair (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) and bushy eyebrows. (COMIC: Star Death)
At the time of the Eternal War against the Great Vampires, a later incarnation was young and beardless. This incarnation regenerated into an older one that was strong and athletic and had a full beard. (PROSE: The Multi-Faceted War, The Scrolls of Rassilon)
During a war against the Nestene Consciousness with TARDISes being used, they had another bearded, male incarnation. This incarnation once again regenerated into a younger body with no beard; he was handsome and jocular. (PROSE: Pandoric's Box)
Their thirteenth incarnation had a bushy moustache that connected to mutton-chop sideburns as well as long, arched eyebrows. (PROSE: Pandoric's Box) Unable to regenerate a thirteenth time, this incarnation was uploaded to the Matrix. (PROSE: Pandoric's Box, The Legacy of Gallifrey)
While in the Matrix, Rassilon took on different appearances. As a member on the council of the Higher Evolutionaries, they had the appearance of his old incarnation with a bushy beard when meeting the Fifth (COMIC: The Tides of Time, The Stockbridge Horror) and Eighth Doctors. (COMIC: The Final Chapter)
While in the Matrix, Rassilon tried to manipulate the Eighth Doctor into destroying the Divergence. The Doctor refused and cast him into the Divergent Universe. This version of Rassilon had the appearance of a dark-skinned man with a broad face. (AUDIO: Neverland, Zagreus, The Next Life)
After being resurrected in the body of his descendant Valerian near the beginning of the Last Great Time War, Rassilon had the appearance of a thin old man with short, white hair. (AUDIO: Desperate Measures, Havoc)
Behind the scenes Edit
People with major involvement in the DWU and in Doctor Who Magazine, when asked in TEDW 7, were divided over whether the Rassilon seen in the television story The Five Doctors is actually alive or an artificial intelligence or if he had ever died prior to The Five Doctors.
- According to DWM editor Tom Spilsbury, it hadn't occurred to him before that he was anything other than being alive, and that "it might come down to semantics over what being alive means."
- Doctor Who scriptwriter Gareth Roberts believed that Rassilon is dead and the face that appears is "a clever AI."
- Head writer and executive producer Russell T Davies believed that Rassilon is "clearly alive", with his big face in the story being "A projection from the Matrix. A mental life extending beyond the body's death."
- Novelist, audio writer and comic writer George Mann believed that Rassilon was dead, but the Time Lords had figured out a way of "resurrecting dead people in extreme circumstances," doing "something horrible and timey wimey".
- Novelist, audio writer, comic writer and DWM columnist Jacqueline Rayner described his condition as "a permanent sleep which is pretty much indistinguishable from death", and that "He's immortal, but he has no awareness," and when the trap inside the Tomb of Rassilon is triggered, "he becomes semi-aware so he can oversee or judge what's going on, before going back into his eternal sleep again".
- DWM deputy editor Peter Ware believed that Rassilon is dead by the time of The Five Doctors, and his dead mind is speaking from the Matrix to the Doctors and Borusa. He mentions the line from the television story Hell Bent — "Rassilon the resurrected," as further proof that he had died.
- Doctor Who scriptwriter Mark Gatiss quipped that Rassilon is "biding his time until he regenerates into [actor] Daniel Craig."
- Head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, who also wrote Hell Bent, understood that Rassilon was "alive, but in 'eternal sleep'," having got up from his eternal sleep to participate in the Time War, "And got killed. And resurrected. Because that happened a lot in the Time War."
- According to scriptwriter Terrance Dicks, who wrote The Five Doctors, Rassilon has "gone to a higher plane where he's a benevolent being who can, if he feels it's a big enough crisis, intervene".
Other matters Edit
- Rassilon was first mentioned in The Deadly Assassin. Prior to this, evidence pointed to Omega (who had appeared in The Three Doctors) as the founder of Time Lord society. A Doctor Who Weekly comic story, Star Death, attempted to reconcile this by having Rassilon and Omega working together. A few subsequent televised Doctor Who stories, such as Remembrance of the Daleks and Silver Nemesis, also took this approach. Remembrance's novelisation by Ben Aaronovitch, dipping into the "Cartmel Masterplan", explained that Omega, Rassilon, and another historical figure worked together in enabling the Gallifreyans to have time travel. In the novel The Infinity Doctors' universe, Omega states that the Time Lords had not three but six important central figures. These include Rassilon, Omega, the Other, Apeiron, and two others whose names went unmentioned in that source. The novel The Ancestor Cell also describes Apeiron as a founder of Time Lord society, confirming Pandak as another founder and mentioning, in addition, the name Eutenoyar.
- In Interference - Book One, Sam Jones experiences a "transmission" from the Remote which depicts key moments in the Eternal War. Some details of the transmission are historically inaccurate, in part due to propaganda from Faction Paradox. Other details are filtered through Sam's cultural perceptions; for example, she sees Rassilon as being played by Brian Blessed.
- Rassilon led a campaign to eliminate the Great Vampires, fighting on the front lines of the conflict for several hundred years. (REF: The Book of Lists)
- DWM 299 contained a "Gallifreyan panorama" illustrated by Robin Smith. It featured images of Pythia, Richard Mathews' Rassilon, and Omega in the foreground with Bowships, Great Vampires, and a domed city in the background.
- Rassilon actor Timothy Dalton was credited in The End of Time part one as "The Narrator," as the character's true identity would not be revealed until part two. The Character Options action figure of Rassilon was also packaged and marketed as "The Narrator".
- His depictions in Supremacy of the Cybermen, especially the Don Warrington outfit, seem to be based off a work of fan art.
- In the scene corresponding to the point in The Timeless Children where Tecteun's male incarnation stands alongside two other Time Lords in full high-collared regalia, the Timeless Children script release mentions that "we can assume [the other two] are Rassilon and Omega". A promotional photograph of the three actors in costume, released in late 2020 by the official Doctor Who facebook page, shows the Time Lord standing to the left of Tecteun in that shot to be depicted in the exact same costume used for Rassilon in TV: Hell Bent, although this is hard to make out in the televised visuals. The performer playing this "secret" televised incarnation of Rassilon has not, however, been officially credited anywhere.