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This page is for discussing the ways in which The Deadly Assassin doesn't fit well with other DWU narratives. You can also talk about the plot holes that render its own, internal narrative confusing.

Remember, this is a forum, so civil discussion is encouraged. However, please do not sign your posts. Also, keep all posts about the same continuity error under the same bullet point. You can add a new point by typing:

* This is point one.
::This is a counter-argument to point one.
:::This is a counter-argument to the counter-argument above
* This is point two.
::Explanation of point two.
::Further discussion and query of point two.

... and so on. 
  • If the Time Lords summoned the Doctor back to Gallifrey, why does no one know who he is?
They didn't. The Master and Goth did.
  • Why don't the Time Lords who the Master kills regenerate?
The Staser weapons used by the Time Lords are designed to inhibit regeneration.
It's because Time Lords have to be alive to regenerate. Regeneration occurs when a Time Lord is in a near death state on the brink of life and death, but when sudden death occurs there is no time for the process to be triggered. As the Doctor asserts in The Tomb of the Cybermen he can live forever barring accidents i.e. sudden death.
  • Surely the high-ranking Time Lords are already aware of the Master since the high-council have both warned the Doctor regarding (See Terror of the Autons), and sent the Doctor after (See Colony in Space) him in previous stories. In fact Borusa should know him personally since he must have encountered him while teaching the Doctor, with whom he was also at school.
The Master's biographical data had been purged, he was in control of the Matrix, and he had the Chancellor working on his side. Removing most official records of his existence would not have been difficult. Some individual members of the High Council may or may not have known of him, but it's doubtful that the Castellan would have questioned all of them in the time allotted.
  • The technology on Gallifrey seems somewhat low-tech for such a powerful race. The capitol has comparable surveillance, security and forensic facilities to Earth in the 1970's.
The Time Lord's policy of isolationism has led to some forms of technological stagnation. Even the Doctor remarks, when discussing the APC, that it would be disregarded as "junk" in some parts of the universe.
  • It is not explained how the Master discovered the truth about the real uses of the Rod and Sash of Rassilon, etc. when no-one else seems to know.
He did have access to the forgotten depths of the Matrix records when he was stealing the plans for the doomsday weapon. See TV: Colony in Space.
  • How could all the power of the Time Lords devolve from the Eye of Harmony, and none of them be aware of it?
When the Doctor said that, he didn't mean that Gallifrey is still powered by the Eye, only that it had been the initial source of power the first Time Lords had used and had since been forgotten.
Then why is the TARDIS linked to the Eye of Harmony as its primary source of power (until the rift of course)
The TARDIS contains an Eye of Harmony. It's pure fan speculation that this is, via some interpretation of the phenomenon of Singularity, the same Eye of Harmony as the one on Gallifrey. As Remembrance of the Daleks (TV story) asserts, the Eye brought back by Rassilon from Omega's accident was the "initial power source for Gallifreyan time travel experiments". Subsequently, TARDISes were engineered using the same principle technique- a collapsing star as the power source at the core; a detail of engineering which is highly feasible to be classified and only known to qualified technical personnel and politically senior Time Lords - nobody would want the Monk, for instance, to get drunk and give chapter and verse on it to the Daleks over a drink in a bar somewhere, for instance. "Qualified technical personnel and politically senior Time Lords" is not a description which encompasses Spandrell, Engin, or the Doctor at this point in his career.
Most Time Lords don't use TARDISes.
Some of them were aware, but that doesn't mean that the general populus was.
  • Considering Runcible was only stabbed, and with no extra wound to indicate being stabbed in both hearts, shouldn't he have regenerated?
The Master clearly did not want Runcible left alive, so obviously killed him in such a way that regeneration would not have been an option. He may have inhibited regeneration using something like a staser, or Runcible may simply not have been able to regenerate.
Runcible clearly shouldn't have died that easily, at the very least without making a comment about his inability to regenerate. The argument above reduces to "Runcible's death makes no sense, because the Master isn't that stupid and Runcible had ample time to do something (assuming his wound was fatal, which it didn't seem to be). Since everything must make sense, we must have missed something." The problem with that style of argument is that it can be used to forgive really flagrant story problems.
It's more the point that the Master (and indeed, the writers) clearly knew about regeneration. There are always a lot of "X factors" (unknowns) involved in any story concerning Time Lords - including a fair amount of "how did they do that". So in-universe: Assuming the Master wants to kill Runcible, which he obviously does, then it's reasonable that one Time Lord plotting to kill another would plan for the possibility of regeneration.
Regenerating would presumably only save his life if he could first extract the weapon sticking out of his back. Perhaps having tried and failed to remove it himself, he staggers down to the Panopticon looking for help, only for the trauma and internal bleeding to become irreversible before he can find any.
Maybe Runcible had already had his full cycle of twelve regenerations.
  • Just before the "train attack" in the APC Net, the Doctor's enemy is seen within three different trains, all of which are of too wide a gauge to even fit on the tracks. Indeed, the train that actually runs the Doctor down turns out to be a far smaller vehicle than any of those three, making their (lack of) purpose in the plot very obscure.
The landscape of The Matrix was a perceived reality and thus was subject to a battle of wills. The Doctor and Goth were mentally fighting over the size of the 'train'.
To expound on the above - everything that happens in the Matrix is more or less like a dream sequence. Things change from one moment to the next, and in this case it's very clear that it's the intentions of the production team to do so.
  • Why didn't the Time Lords simply use their time scanning technology to see what really happened at the assassination?
Perhaps, like the inability to travel to Gallifrey's past, the time lords are also unable to scan it
  • All that time fighting the Doctor and UNIT, and plotting against Gallifrey, and the Master was still on his 1st incarnation. He goes away for a few years, and he's suddenly barely hanging on to 13th incarnation. Is everyone else in the universe just much better at defeating him than the Doctor and other Time Lords?
There is no evidence that states that the Master during the Jon Pertwee era is actually the first incarnation.
In fact in Terror of the Autons it is shown that while the Doctor and the Master know each other, neither has encountered the other resembling Delgado or Pertwee before. In Legacy of the Daleks we find out that the Delgado incarnation is actually the thirteenth.
  • It's vaguely implied here that the Tersurus Master is the Delgado Master, and in Legacy of the Daleks that's confirmed as a fact: Susan blasts the Delgado Master and steals his TARDIS, he falls, Goth rescues him… Maybe there's room for 1 botched regeneration as a result of Susan's attack, but 12?
The Delgado Master is the thirteenth incarnation, so he's on his last legs. The "Tersurus Master" is the Delgado Master, there is no difference except an aesthetic one.
The original concept for the Master was that he was in fact the Doctor's 'id', split off from him during his post-trial regeneration (whether this has any bearing on the Doctor appearing to separate into multiple potential images of himself when he appears on screen at the end of The War Games (TV story) is unclear), hence "You might almost say we were at school together", rather than "We were actually really at school together" in The Sea Devils (TV story). Perhaps he's not out of regenerations because he used them up- that's only Engin's inference from Goth's statement that the Master was a decaying corpse because "already dying ... no more regeneration possible...", an assumption that the Master later runs with in The Keeper of Traken (TV story) et al. Perhaps he never had regenerations at all, in his own natural form, because he was only part of the Third Doctor. Thus, the Third Doctor's death in Planet of the Spiders is what eventually reduced him to this state?
  • The Doctor and Goth were the only candidates for presidency, and Goth was killed. So why was The Doctor not made president under Time Lord law?

See The Invasion of Time


  • How can the Eye of Harmony be the ultimate means of the Time Lords' power when it was previously stated that the black hole created by Omega in The Three Doctors was what enabled their mastery over time?
According to the tape the Doctor listens to, Rassilon created the Eye of Harmony from an unknown power source he found while travelling inside a black hole. Seeing as how the new series is hinting towards the fact that Rassilon actually caused Omega's "death" and is taking all the credit for Omega's work, it's quite possible the Eye of Harmony is actually the compressed sun core created by the Hand of Omega.
In fact, given how recent The Three Doctors was to this story, and given that both identify a black hole's creation as being responsible for Time Lord power, it seems very likely that was the original idea that the authors were hinting at. Quite consistent.
  • Are they talking Gallifreyan throughout the story?
Most likely yes, since every character in the story is Gallifreyan and it takes place entirely on Gallifrey. We hear it as English of course, but that's pretty standard in TV and movies to translate into a language your audience can understand.
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