The Corsair was a Time Lord adventurer and an old friend of the Doctor, described by the Eleventh Doctor as "one of the good ones." The Corsair changed gender throughout their many incarnations. The Doctor noted that when the Corsair was female, "she was a bad girl." (TV: The Doctor's Wife)

Biography Edit

Like all Time Lords, the Corsair was taken from their 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, the Corsair reacted by running away from what they saw in the Schism. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords)

Each one of the Corsair's incarnations had the symbol of the Ouroboros tattooed somewhere on their body. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)

At least one of the Corsair's incarnations was female. (PROSE: Keeping up with the Joneses) The Fourth Doctor once said to Romana II that he should meet up with the Corsair sometime, referring to the Corsair as both a man and woman when he did so. (PROSE: Shada) According to the Eleventh Doctor, the Corsair was a woman a couple of times, saying she was "a bad girl" each time. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)

According to the Ninth Doctor, the Corsair kept a sub-dimensional void in a hatbox in 23rd century Swindon. (COMIC: Weapons of Past Destruction)

Final incarnation and death Edit


The Eleventh Doctor receives the Corsair's hypercube. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)

The final incarnation of the Corsair was described by Auntie, a composite humanoid servant of House, as "a strapping big bloke". She was a good authority on the matter; after all, she had the Corsair's left arm stitched onto her torso in place of her own, while the other composite humanoid slave, "Uncle", received "the spine and the kidneys". The loss of these organs was presumably lethal, and the Corsair went the way of House's numerous other Time Lord victims who had fallen into House's bubble universe and was marooned when his TARDIS was drained of energy.

The Eleventh Doctor discovered the Corsair's fate after being contacted by a hypercube with their peculiar Ouroboros symbol and following its psychically encoded distress message to House. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)

Later references Edit

During one adventure, while pushing a heavy crate, the Eleventh Doctor said that if he kept up this habit, he would develop big arms like the Corsair. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)

Behind the scenes Edit

The Brilliant Book 2012 Edit

According to The Brilliant Book 2012, a book that contains non-narrative information, the Ouroboros tattoo trademark of the Corsair — a snake eating its own tail, symbolising eternity — moved around the Corsair's body with each regeneration.

Amongst their secret missions for the Time Lords, the Corsair stole the Callisto Pulse from the Callistan Kleptocracy.

They visited Earth several times and was worshipped as a god by the Assyrians.

The Doctor and Corsair had many adventures together, getting drunk in the Corsair's fourth, fifth, and eighth incarnations.

The Corsair was formally censured by the Time Lords after they may have been linked to the theft of the Portrait of Rassilon. This was overturned by Lady President Flavia, perhaps due to the Corsair's smile.

The Corsair's final adventure was when he was working on the Time Lords' Fourth Universal Survey. He was in his ninth incarnation when House killed him.[1]

Other matters Edit

  • The Corsair was not the only Time Lord to bear a snake tattoo on their arm. Whereas the Corsair tattooed an ouroboros on each of their new bodies, the Third Doctor had a tattoo of a snake in the shape of a question mark on his right arm. (TV: Spearhead From Space)
  • On his blog, The Doctor's Wife scriptwriter Neil Gaiman stated that before he began writing the first draft, he wanted to make sure the idea of the Corsair was okay with series show runner Steven Moffat before he became fixed in the story, so he sent him an email with a piece of dialogue between the Doctor and Amy Pond in which the Doctor discussed the Corsair. In this draft, the Doctor explained that the Corsair did not have a name and used to travel, exploring the limits of time and space. The Doctor said that when he was twelve he had asked the Corsair if he could travel with him and act as his "assistant", but the Corsair had just laughed. Moffat replied that he wanted the Corsair to be less like the Doctor because the Doctor "does what he does for reasons too vast and terrible to relate." [2]
  • According to Neil Gaiman, Russell T Davies liked the idea that the Shopkeeper from Sarah Jane Adventures episode Lost in Time was actually the Time Lord known as the Corsair, although no in-scene references have been made.
  • The Corsair, being the first confirmed example of a Time Lord changing genders on regeneration, was frequently cited in media and online discussions in 2013 as to whether any future incarnation of the Doctor could be played by a woman. The Doctor would not get a female incarnation until 2017, with Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor.
  • The Corsair's hypercube, with Ouroboros motif, was among the variants of toy hypercube produced by Character Options.

Footnotes Edit