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The Other had a mysterious connection to the Time Lord known as the Doctor. According to some accounts, the Other was reincarnated through the Looms into the Doctor. (PROSE: Lungbarrow) The Eleventh Doctor briefly used "the Other" as an alias when confronting a younger Rassilon on ancient Gallifrey, having travelled back in time to aid in the start of Time Lord civilisation. (COMIC: The Lost Dimension)
Biography[edit | edit source]
Origins[edit | edit source]
"The Old Man and the Police Box"[edit | edit source]
One of John Smith's repressed memories inspired him to write down the story of a peculiar human he simply referred to as the "Old Man" in the title of the tale. The Old Man was a silver-haired inventor during the reign of Queen Victoria who built a TARDIS, having initially invented the concept of the police box to help the police, only to make more and more improvements to it until it was the familiar dimensionally-transcendental timeship.
Being a very lonely old man, he realised that his invention could take him anywhere he wished and used his TARDIS to go explore the universe. He soon got lost on a jungle planet called Gallifrey, where he taught the natives and elevated their society into a mighty civilisation, rooted in time travel and embracing the ideals of law-abiding and peace the Old Man had stood for in his home time.
Finding his protégés dreadfully boring after a while, the Old Man invented a way for them to begin life anew, and implanted them with a second heart in the hope that it "would make them happier", but these measures only served to make them live longer, not more interestingly.
Still according to Smith's tale, the Old Man "eventually" grew so bored that he stole a time machine and returned to Earth, breaking one of the laws he had created in the process. These memories were the Doctor's subconscious awareness of his life before his birth, in his first incarnation, protected from John Smith's human mind by Verity. (PROSE: Human Nature)
A stranger from the future[edit | edit source]
One account stated that a Time Lord calling himself the Stranger originated from a time long after Rassilon's life. Though Rassilon feared that the Stranger was planning to erase his people from history in revenge for being shunned, the Stranger was intent on guiding Time Lord civilisation away from tyranny. He travelled back in time to seven days after Rassilon had returned from the Eternal War and took power. With a pass signed by Rassilon himself, the Stranger gained access to the restricted areas of the Citadel and for the next few months offered advice to Rassilon without providing any detailed information. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon)
The Eleventh Doctor briefly referred to himself as "the Other" during his intervention into the creation of the Type 1 TARDIS. Rassilon noted that he was acting just like the "chrono-scrollwriters of old" by refusing to give his real name. During his prolonged, time lock-defying stay on Ancient Gallifrey, the Eleventh Doctor also advised Rassilon in technological matters, with Rassilon admiring the man's unorthodox genius but remaining wary of him, noticing a familiarity within the Doctor. (COMIC: The Lost Dimension)
Shaping the history of Gallifrey[edit | edit source]
Soon after the Pythia's curse and death of Rassilon's unborn child, the Other presented Rassilon with a gift, an onion, upon peeling away the layers of the onion Rassilon witnessed how the onion continued to get larger, the more layers were peeled away; thus the Other introduced Rassilon to the concept of Dimensional Transcendentalism. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible)
According to The Thousand and Second Night, someone who was neither an "angel" nor a "djinn" advised "Allah" to hide the caldera inside Earth. The Shift later claimed to have been this person. (PROSE: Head of State, Interference)
When Omega's plans to detonate the Q star were close to fruition, the Stranger explained his origins to Rassilon. The Stranger pleaded with Rassilon to make the Time Lords less powerful and less stuck in their ways, believing that in doing so the Time Lords of the future he came from would be open to new ideas. Rassilon refused to abandon his philosophies, intending for Gallifrey to become the powerful society that he had always planned.
The Stranger visited Rassilon's quarters angry about the release of the virus that gave the Gallifreyans the ability to regenerate, as it wiped out a large proportion of the population upon its release.
Shortly before the detonation of the Q star, the Stranger materialised his TT capsule on Rassilon's ship, and once again pleaded with him to alter the course of established history. Finally understanding that Rassilon would not change his mind, the Stranger left in his ship. However, respecting the Stranger's audacity, Rassilon decided to ensure Gallifreyan society would never tolerate tyranny. It also led him to write the first Law of Time. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon)
According to an account, years after Omega's death, the Other watched from the Omega Memorial as Rassilon's rule moved closer to despotism and Gallifrey's borders were sealed. Sickened and weary of the violence, and blaming himself for what was happening to Gallifrey, he intended to put an end to these games and fling himself back into the Universe, as a piece on the board rather than as a player. Knowing that Rassilon would try to use his family as a hostage to force him to remain, he bided goodbye to his granddaughter Susan, telling her to go to safety on the planet Tersurus. He then hurled himself into the Prime Distributor of the Looms, his entire DNA and Genetic Code being torn apart and unravelled to await his eventual reconstitution millions of years later. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)
Re-Loomed[edit | edit source]
After the Other threw himself into the Prime Distributor, he was re-Loomed some ten million years later to the House of Lungbarrow as the Time Lord who became known as the Doctor. (PROSE: Lungbarrow) That entire generation was affected by anomalies in the Looms, resulting in several other renegades. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Before initially fleeing Gallifrey for the first time, the First Doctor was rescued by the Hand of Omega, which had sensed him as the reincarnated Other. The Doctor, along with the Hand of Omega, boarded a stolen Type 40 TARDIS, which the Hand of Omega hacked, allowing for the Doctor to be transported millions of years into Gallifrey's past, something that Time Lord law forbade. While on Ancient Gallifrey the First Doctor encountered Susan, who recognised him as her Grandfather. While initially hesitant, the Doctor came to accept that he was Susan's grandfather. The Doctor rescued Susan from away from ancient Gallifrey, (PROSE: Lungbarrow) possibly briefly settling on modern Gallifrey before being apprehended by the President's Guards. (PROSE: The Longest Story in the World)
It was a chance encounter with the Book of the Old Time that first pushed the Doctor's mind back to his role in his people's ancient past, leading him to think that before Regeneration there had been Reincarnation. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) While in the Tomb of Rassilon with three of his future selves, the First Doctor instantly recognised "the voice of Rassilon". (TV: The Five Doctors)
During regenerations, the Doctor was able to gain skills from the Other. The Third Doctor once theorised that his incarnation's newfound skill in martial arts was his body remembering abilities from a previous life. (PROSE: Country of the Blind) The Other had regularly communicated with a Tersuron servant, (PROSE: Lungbarrow) and an alternate Ninth Doctor was later able to speak perfect Tersuran. (TV: The Curse of Fatal Death)
By the Doctor's seventh incarnation, he had apparently realised his earlier identity. Lady Peinforte threatened to reveal it, (TV: Silver Nemesis) and Cavis and Gandar hinted at it in their conversations. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon)
When the Seventh Doctor transformed himself into a human named John Smith, he removed almost all of his memories, but he was unable to remove the ones from before he was born. "Verity" kept these memories out of John Smith's head. (PROSE: Human Nature)
Legacy[edit | edit source]
In a parallel universe where the Sixth Doctor led Gallifrey in the War, the Master commanded a time dreadnought named the Arcane Mystery of the Other. When he defected to the enemy, the ship was thought lost; in reality, it was being dissected in an enemy shipyard. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- The first intentional and direct mention of the Other appeared in Ben Aaronovitch's Target Books Remembrance of the Daleks, in the form of a brief flashback to the time of Rassilon. Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch had already worked out a backstory to the Doctor into which the Other figured.
- According to PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon, the Stranger had a detailed knowledge of Gallifreyan history and imparted some of that knowledge to Rassilon. The Stranger first became known to Rassilon in the weeks before Omega destroyed the star Qqaba to bring Gallifrey its power over time. The clear implication was that the Stranger was the Doctor, gone back in time in an attempt to make Gallifrey more open-minded.
- The Cartmel Masterplan allegedly included a revelation that the Other was an incarnation of the Doctor. When the show was cancelled in 1989, these plans were scrapped, though they continued in the New Adventures novel line. (DWM 341)
- Marc Platt stated that Leela's half-Gallifreyan and half-human child with Andred in Lungbarrow was intended to become the Other and that the Seventh Doctor asking her to name their offspring after him created a paradox loop. (DWM 305)
- When asked if the Other could be Nyarlathotep, Andrew Cartmel admitted not knowing anything about a "Nyarlathotep", the idea comes from some hinted links between him and the Doctor, notably in PROSE: The Death of Art
- When asked if Kopyion Liall a Mahajetsu from The Pit was intended to be the Other, author Neil Penswick stated that he was not.
- John Smith's account of the "Old Man" superficially resembles the story of Dr. Who from the Dalek movies, although Dr. Who, despite dressing in what might broadly be termed Victorian garb, did not hail from the actual Victorian era but rather the 1960s. In the acknowledgements, Paul Cornell states that this section of Human Nature was plotted by Steven Moffat.
- 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". This suggests that Chris Chibnall intended for Tecteun to be the Other.
Footnotes[edit | edit source]