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Tardis
Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey

The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey, its cover emblazoned with the Seal (WC: Shada [+]Douglas Adams and Gary Russell, adapted from Shada (Douglas Adams), BBCi animations (2003).)

The Seal of Rassilon, also called the Prydonian Seal or the omniscate, was a symbol used by the Time Lords.

Use by the Time Lords[]

The omniscate was a symbol of power created by Rassilon during the Vampire Wars. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two [+]Lawrence Miles, BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 1999).) It was designed to ward off evil, (PROSE: The Pit [+]Neil Penswick, adapted from Hostage, Virgin New Adventures (Virgin Books, 1993).) and it was specifically repulsive to creatures from outside the universe, like the Great Vampires. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two [+]Lawrence Miles, BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 1999).)

The Seal was also used as a symbol of identification, and was viewed with deep reverence. (TV: The Five Doctors [+]Terrance Dicks, Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special (Public Broadcasting Service, 1983)., Doctor Who [+]Matthew Jacobs, Doctor Who Television Movie (Fox Broadcasting Company, 1996).) Time Lords displayed the Seal of Rassilon in places of great power, like the Eye of Harmony. (PROSE: The Novel of the Film [+]Gary Russell, adapted from Doctor Who (Matthew Jacobs), BBC Books novelisations (BBC Books, 1996).) Each Time Ring was stamped with a swirling emblem that resembled a twisted ouroboros. (PROSE: Warlords of Utopia [+]Lance Parkin, Faction Paradox novels (Mad Norwegian Press, 2004).)

As Lord President of the High Council, (TV: The Invasion of Time [+]David Agnew, Doctor Who season 15 (BBC1, 1978).) the Fourth Doctor had in his possession an ornate seal, which he once used to prove his rank. (AUDIO: The False Guardian [+]Guy Adams, The Fourth Doctor Adventures: Series 8: Volume 1 (The Fourth Doctor Adventures, Big Finish Productions, 2019).)

When he sent the Tremas Master into the Death Zone to rescue the Doctor, Lord President Borusa gave the Master the "Seal of the High Council", a round metallic object emblazoned with the Seal of Rassilon, hoping it would convince the Third Doctor of the Master's good intentions. The Doctor promised to return it at the first opportunity; however, he never did so. (TV: The Five Doctors [+]Terrance Dicks, Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special (Public Broadcasting Service, 1983).) The Eleventh Doctor later attached this same seal to Handles to use an algorithm in the seal's atomic structure to decode a message from the Time Lords. (TV: The Time of the Doctor [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2013 (BBC One, 2013).)

At some point, the Time Lords also used a different seal, bearing Gallifreyan markings. (TV: The Sound of Drums [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 3 (BBC One, 2007).) During the War in Heaven, the House Military used a version of the sigil that had a sharp-edged, aggressive shape imposed upon it. (PROSE: Warlords of Utopia [+]Lance Parkin, Faction Paradox novels (Mad Norwegian Press, 2004).)

Use by other cultures[]

The symbol was also taken up by other cultures whom the Time Lords visited early in their explorations of space and time, (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible [+]Marc Platt, adapted from Cat's Cradle, Virgin New Adventures (Virgin Books, 1992).) such as the inhabitants of Voga. (TV: Revenge of the Cybermen [+]Gerry Davis, Doctor Who season 12 (BBC1, 1975).) The Order of the Garter's garter symbol resembled the ouroboros at the centre of the Great Houses' sigil. (PROSE: The Book of the War [+]Lawrence Miles, et al., Faction Paradox novels (Mad Norwegian Press, 2002).)

Dana MacLeish had a tattoo of the symbol on her back. (COMIC: World Without End [+]John Barrowman and Carole E. Barrowman, Titan Comics' Torchwood comic series (Titan Publishing Group, 2016).)

Occurrences[]

736px-Eyeofharmony

The Eye of Harmony in the Eighth Doctor's TARDIS, decorated with the Seal. (TV: Doctor Who [+]Matthew Jacobs, Doctor Who Television Movie (Fox Broadcasting Company, 1996).)

Known objects to be marked with the Seal of Rassilon included: badges or embroidery on Time Lord collars or robes, usually worn in pairs; (TV: The Deadly Assassin [+]Robert Holmes, Doctor Who season 14 (BBC1, 1976). et al) the Fourth Doctor's signature to a letter written in Gallifreyan; (TV: The Deadly Assassin [+]Robert Holmes, Doctor Who season 14 (BBC1, 1976).) the Seal of the High Council; (TV: The Five Doctors [+]Terrance Dicks, Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special (Public Broadcasting Service, 1983)., The Time of the Doctor [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2013 (BBC One, 2013).) the Seventh Doctor's TARDIS key; (TV: Ghost Light [+]Marc Platt, Doctor Who season 26 (BBC1, 1989).) various areas throughout the Eighth Doctor's TARDIS, most notably embossed on the Eye of Harmony itself; (TV: Doctor Who [+]Matthew Jacobs, Doctor Who Television Movie (Fox Broadcasting Company, 1996).) the warship containing The Cold; (PROSE: Interference - Book Two [+]Lawrence Miles, BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 1999).) the payment box for the Threshold; (COMIC: Fire and Brimstone [+]Alan Barnes, DWM Comics (Marvel Comics UK, 1997).) The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey and Shada; (WC: Shada [+]Douglas Adams and Gary Russell, adapted from Shada (Douglas Adams), BBCi animations (2003).) the Untempered Schism; (TV: The Sound of Drums [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 3 (BBC One, 2007).) the notes scrawled by the Visionary; (TV: The End of Time [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2009 and New Year Special 2010 (BBC One, 2009-2010).) the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS-blue diary of his meetings with River Song; (TV: The Impossible Astronaut [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 6 (BBC One, 2011).) various areas of the Eleventh Doctor's second TARDIS interior; (TV: The Snowmen [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012 (BBC One, 2012)., et al.) the front cover of the book The History of the Time War; (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS [+]Steve Thompson, Doctor Who series 7 (BBC One, 2013).) and the armour of the Time Lord soldier (TV: The Last Day [+]Steven Moffat, 50th Anniversary arc 50th Anniversary Prequel 2 (2013)., The Day of the Doctor [+]Steven Moffat, 50th Anniversary Specials (BBC One, 2013)., Hell Bent [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 9 (BBC One, 2015).) and the General. (TV: The Day of the Doctor [+]Steven Moffat, 50th Anniversary Specials (BBC One, 2013).) The Doctor's daughter, Jenny, also wore a body suit emblazoned with multiple Seals of Rassilon. (COMIC: The Lost Dimension [+]George Mann, et al., Titan summer events (Titan Comics, 2017).)

Behind the scenes[]

Footnotes[]

  1. The Deadly Assassin Archive Feature, DWM 187
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