(time lords)
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The '''Time Lords''' (sometimes called the '''Lords of Time''' or, rarely, '''Chronarchs''') ([[COMIC]]: ''[[4-D War (comic story)|4-D War]]'') were the oligarchic rulers of the planet [[Gallifrey]], and thus also [[Gallifreyan]]. ([[TV]]: ''[[The Hand of Fear (TV story)|The Hand of Fear]]'', ''[[The Deadly Assassin (TV story)|The Deadly Assassin]]'', [[PROSE]]: ''[[Interference - Book Two (novel)|Interference - Book Two]]'') However, a small minority of Time Lords were not Gallifreyan. ([[PROSE]]: ''[[The Infinity Doctors (novel)|The Infinity Doctors]]'', [[AUDIO]]: ''[[Thin Ice (audio story)|Thin Ice]]'', ''[[Insurgency (audio story)|Insurgency]]'')
The '''Time Lords''' (sometimes called the '''Lords of Time''' or, rarely, '''Chronarchs''') ([[COMIC]]: ''[[4-D War (comic story)|4-D War]]'') were the oligarchic rulers of the planet [[Gallifrey]], and thus also [[Gallifreyan]]. ([[TV]]: ''[[The Hand of Fear (TV story)|The Hand of Fear]]'', ''[[The Deadly Assassin (TV story)|The Deadly Assassin]]'', [[PROSE]]: ''[[Interference - Book Two (novel)|Interference - Book Two]]'') However, a small minority of Time Lords were not Gallifreyan. ([[PROSE]]: ''[[The Infinity Doctors (novel)|The Infinity Doctors]]'', [[AUDIO]]: ''[[Thin Ice (audio story)|Thin Ice]]'', ''[[Insurgency (audio story)|Insurgency]]'')

Revision as of 15:21, February 25, 2017

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The Time Lords (sometimes called the Lords of Time or, rarely, Chronarchs) (COMIC: 4-D War) were the oligarchic rulers of the planet Gallifrey, and thus also Gallifreyan. (TV: The Hand of Fear, The Deadly Assassin, PROSE: Interference - Book Two) However, a small minority of Time Lords were not Gallifreyan. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors, AUDIO: Thin Ice, Insurgency)


Main article: Gallifreyan history

The Gallifreyans had one of the oldest and mightiest civilisations in the universe. As the Time Lords, they held absolute power for some ten million years. (TV: The Ultimate Foe) Finally, it appeared, and was assumed by the Doctor for a time, that the Last Great Time War all but wiped out the race. (TV: The End of the World, The End of Time) However, intervention by "all thirteen" incarnations of the Doctor placed the Time Lords into a pocket universe. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) They later attempted to get the Doctor to release them on Trenzalore and while he did not due to the threat of a new Time War, the Time Lords saved him from what would have been his thirteenth and final death by granting him a new cycle of regenerations. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) They eventually unfroze Gallifrey and moved it to the end of the universe for protection where under Rassilon, the Time Lords locked the Twelfth Doctor in his confession dial to learn about the Hybrid. The Doctor eventually escaped, overthrew Rassilon and used Time Lord technology to save Clara Oswald before fleeing Gallifrey once more in another stolen TARDIS. (TV: Hell Bent)

Life cycle

Main article: Gallifreyan physiology

The Eleventh Doctor once said to a group of humans, "We were all jelly once. Little jelly eggs, sitting in goop," indicating that Gallifreyans began as ovum similar to Earth mammals. (TV: The Rebel Flesh) Time Lords could also be born from individual Family Looms, machines that operated on genetic banks that would weave random patterns until forming a new person. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, Cold Fusion, Lungbarrow) This rendered traditional family unit redundant, by the time the Doctor and Susan left Gallifrey parental relations were viewed as a rare or shocking occurrence. (AUDIO: The Beginning)

Like humans, Gallifreyans could be male or female. Females were sometimes referred to as Time Ladies. (TV: City of Death, Dark Water) Their sex could change due to regeneration and at least one such Time Lord started calling themselves a Time Lady after such a change. (TV: The Doctor's Wife, Dark Water)

Young Gallifreyans were known as Time Tots. (PROSE: Big Bang Generation, AUDIO: Trial of the Valeyard, COMIC: Weapons of Past Destruction, WC: Shada) Their life cycle seemed to include a phase similar to human childhood. Like human children, Gallifreyan children slept in cribs. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War) Children were entertained with nursery rhymes (TV: The Five Doctors, AUDIO: Zagreus) and stories such as Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday. (TV: Night Terrors, PROSE: Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday) There were specialised books for Gallifreyan children, including Every Gallifreyan Child's Pop-Up Book of Nasty Creatures From Other Dimensions. (AUDIO: Shada, WC: Shada, PROSE: Shada) They were once physically children and that at least some live in homes with others of their own gender before going off to join the Academy or the army. (TV: The Sound of Drums, Listen)

A Gallifreyan ninety years old might still be considered a "kid" (TV: The Stolen Earth), but after the age of two hundred years they wouldn't be seen as young. (TV: The Time Warrior) They could live for hundreds of years before regenerating. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen) Handrel claimed that Time Lords could live around ten thousand years before regenerating. (PROSE: The Time Lord's Story) The Eleventh Doctor physically lived for at least 1,200 years before having to regenerate, resulting in an advanced physical age. However, this was partially due to the fact that he could no longer regenerate and so his incarnation continued past the point where age would've required him to regenerate. Notably, by the end of that incarnation, he was dying of old age and when he was granted the ability to regenerate once more, he immediately started to do so. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

The Time Lords had a rite called Soul Catching, which was done to dying Time Lords before they were assimilated into the Matrix. This allowed them to assimilate their memories before they died. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune)

Time Lords, once they had reached old age, were allowed to leave Gallifrey and retire on another planet. This was very rarely done; Chronotis was the only person known to take up the offer. (PROSE: Shada)

When a Time Lord eventually died, either through the exhaustion of their regenerations or through circumventing the regeneration process, it was considered necessary to destroy their corpse soon afterwards. (TV: Last of the Time Lords, The Impossible Astronaut)

According to Missy, a Time Lord was supposed to face death by meditation: repentance, acceptance and contemplation of the absolute. (TV: The Magician's Apprentice)

Time Lords had some control over their own deaths, some would elect a specific "Death-Day," which would allow them time to read their will to their family in their ancestral home, to die after a time of contemplation and acceptance, and then to have their mind transferred to the Matrix. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)



Time Lords appreciated music, as indicated by such artefacts as the Harp of Rassilon. (TV: The Five Doctors) They also appreciated art, although painting on Gallifrey was done by computer. (TV: City of Death) Time Lord art, known as stasis cubes, were unique in that they were in 3D, as they acted as snapshots of a single moment in time. This meant that they could be used as rudimentary time travel, by freezing a person inside a painting and then letting them out at the required point in time. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

By the time of the Doctor the Patrexes Chapter specialised in art and aesthetics. (PROSE: Damaged Goods)


One of the major institutions of the Time Lords was the Time Lord Academy. It was split up into Chapters, each of which was identified by its distinctive colours. (TV: The Deadly Assassin) The subjects at the academy ranged from the study of cosmic science (TV: Terror of the Autons) to Veteran and Vintage Vehicles (TV: The Pirate Planet) to Gallifreyan flutterwings (TV: The Pirate Planet).

Children began instruction at the Time Lord Academy, at the age of 8, in a special ceremony. The Gallifreyans would be forced to look into the Untempered Schism, which showed the entirety of the Time Vortex and the power that the Time Lords had. The Gallifreyans subjected to its terrifying effects would react differently: "Some would be inspired, some would run away, and some would go mad." (TV: The Sound of Drums) They would then spend "centuries" studying at the Academy. (COMIC: Mortal Beloved)

Time Lords took a variety of classes at the Time Lord Academy of which one was recreational mathematics, which included the study of Happy prime numbers. (TV: 42)

For reasons unknown to Time Lords, a mammoth that fell on and killed a Cro-Magnon became a fixed point. Videos of the event were played for young Time Lords "as a sort of learning experience." (PROSE: Keeping up with the Joneses)

Food and sustenance

Gallifreyan physiology provided for a diet similar to the human one (TV: The Keys of Marinus, Boom Town, The Eleventh Hour), including fruit and flesh, but the Time Lords had long lost the habit of feeding with raw or complex food by the time of the presidency of the Fourth Doctor. Freeze-dried pills were employed instead. (TV: The Invasion of Time) Fruit and meat would be eaten on formal occasions, such as holidays, Name Days of Family and Death Days. Such food included fish, Trumpberries, Magenta Fruits and Pig Rats. (PROSE: Lungbarrow) A Time Lord's tastes - similar to their appearance and mannerisms - were greatly influenced by their regeneration, altering which food and drink they preferred and even which ones they could no longer tolerate. (TV: The Eleventh Hour, The Impossible Astronaut) With an enhanced sense of one's internal state and advanced knowledge of chemistry, a Time Lord could - via smell and taste - identify chemical substances and even what chemicals were needed in the body to alter a physical condition. (TV: The Christmas Invasion, The Unicorn and the Wasp)


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At events like the resignation of a Lord President, Time Lords who attended wore long robes in bright colours. The different colours signified where on Gallifrey each Time Lord had come from: for example, Prydonians wore robes of scarlet and orange, Arcalians wore green, Patrexes wore heliotrope, Scendles wore dull tan colours, Dromiens wore grey, black and silver, and Ceruleans wore subdued blue colours. (TV: The Deadly Assassin, PROSE: Lungbarrow, PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) In addition, most high-ranking Time Lords donned a decorative headdress and crest, complete with a scarlet cap. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

In the Time War, Gallifreyan residents of the Capitol and Arcadia, including children and the military, wore red clothes. This was mimicked in the scarlet dress of military and government officers. (TV: The Day of the Doctor, The End of Time)

The Doctor repeatedly stated that he disliked Time Lords' hats, calling them "funny" (TV: Time Crash) and "dreadful". He also said that Time Lords had "no dress sense" (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS) and considered them a "stiff necked lot" (AUDIO: Living Legend)

Of those Time Lords seen repeatedly visiting other worlds, such as the Doctor and Romana, they tended to adopt local dress of their preferred destination - in the Doctor's case, that of Earth - that mixed well with the locals, though Romana adopted the same largely to mimic him. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)



The Time Lords ruled from the planet Gallifrey, where they would watch the workings of the universe. (TV: The Sound of Drums) Though they once had a mighty empire during the Dark Time, the empire collapsed after the fall of the Pythia. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible)

Time Lords were originally flexible about manipulating the outcome of certain moments in history. However, they eventually came to fear the consequences of their meddling, noticing how dangerously a change to time could backfire. It became clear that the race had been too reckless when the Time Lords helped the Minyans evolve faster, but found the results disastrous; this led to their non-interference policy. (TV: Underworld)

The Time Lords were said to have control over much of the structure of the universe. They had set up the Web of Time, (AUDIO: Neverland) they controlled and fixed paradoxes (TV: Father's Day) and they allowed travel between parallel universes. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) After the near-extinction of the Time Lords during the Last Great Time War, these processes were in flux. (TV: Father's Day, Rise of the Cybermen)



Members of the High Council. (TV: The End of Time)

The Time Lords were led by the High Council. The Council consisted of the Lord or Lady President, the Lord or Lady Chancellor, the Castellan and Lords Cardinal. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

The Inner Council consisted of the three most powerful members of the High Council. The Lord President was the most powerful member of the Council and had near absolute authority, and used a link to the Matrix, a vast computer network containing the knowledge and experiences of all past generations of Time Lords, to set Time Lord policy and remain alert to potential threats from lesser civilisations. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) The Lord or Lady Chancellor was next in power, and handled many of the government functions. The Castellan controlled the Chancellery Guard and therefore the safety of Gallifrey. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

The rest of the High Council was made up of the Lords Cardinal, which represented the various Gallifreyan Chapters. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

During the Last Great Time War, the Visionary was also a member of the council. She acted as a prophet, recording the future, but only with vague predictions written on paper. (TV: The End of Time)

Gallifreyan civil servants were all equipped with a psychic tripwire to prevent them from revealing confidential information. Should any of this information be revealed, the tripwire was triggered leading to the civil servant suffering psychic seizure leading to eventual death. (PROSE: Alien Bodies)

Its indicated by the Master that if the Tenth Doctor killed Rassilon, the Lord President at the time, he would become Lord President himself. (TV: The End of Time) When the Twelfth Doctor later overthrew Rassilon with the help of Gallifrey's military, he did indeed become Lord President. As Lord President, he had the power to banish both Rassilon and the High Council despite the High Council's status on Gallifrey. (TV: Hell Bent)

During the Last Great Time War, there existed a War Council, also known as Gallifrey High Command. They seemed to lead the war effort and may have been a separate entity from the High Council as the General ignored the High Council's plans to save Gallifrey. They also possessed the ability to give "all thirteen" Doctors the go-ahead to freeze Gallifrey in a pocket universe. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)


The protection of the Time Lords was carried out by the Chancellery Guard. They protected the Capitol, investigated crimes and captured criminals. (TV: The Deadly Assassin) More secretive or questionable matters were handled by the Celestial Intervention Agency, which was created to be a covert arm of the High Council to safeguard the Time Lords' interests. (HOMEVID: Shada) Much of what they did went against the non-interference policy, leading them to use agents they could easily deny sending (like the Doctor) to protect their secrets. [source needed]

Tens of thousands of years before the Doctor's time, criminals were trapped in Shada, with the intent being that they would be kept there until a suitable punishment could be decided. By the Doctor's time, this method had been phased out and replaced with disintegration. (PROSE: Shada) Morbius was executed this way, but managed to survive as just a brain. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

There were two forms of illegal intervention, both punishable by vaporisation. A Class One was affecting the material properties of a planet, such as axial rotation. A Class Two was when a Time Lord claimed themselves to be a god on a planet. (AUDIO: False Gods)

The punishments used for crimes varied in severity.


Young Time Tots were known to keep rovies as pets. (AUDIO: No Place Like Home) Stories of the Shakri were told to the young ones to keep them fearful of doing anything that might get their species eliminated. (TV: The Power of Three) They were also told fairy tales involving a mythical race known as the Toclafane. (TV: The Sound of Drums)

Academy students sometimes played a dangerous game called "Eighth Man Bound". The multidimensional game of Perigosto, played with a ball and a specialised Perigosto stick, was also a favourite, as was a complicated board game called Sepulchasm. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)

During a darker, more barbarous time in the planet's past, Time Lords enjoyed watching time-displaced individuals fight to the death in a dedicated area called the Death Zone, but that practice had been entirely abandoned by the Doctor's day. (TV: The Five Doctors)

Science and technology

The Time Lords were superlatively advanced in many fields of science, including mathematics, biology, xenobiology, chemistry, and physics.


The most characteristic technology used by the Time Lords was their time travel technology of the TARDISes. The TARDIS was derived from the early Gallifreyan technology of the Time Scaphe. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) The TARDISes were one of the few types of technology that was updated, from the obsolete Type 40 (from Mark I to Mark IV) (TV: The Ribos Operation), the more advanced Type 57 (TV: Warriors of the Deep) and the humanoid Type 102. (PROSE: Alien Bodies) As well, Battle TARDISes and War TARDISes also existed. (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5, AUDIO: Neverland)

One of the newer technology developed within the Doctor's lifetime was the Time Rings. (PROSE: Legacy) These Time Rings were small device attached around the wrist, allowing a person to travel through time without being in a time machine. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) They could also be made as small as finger rings that could be touched together to enable time travel. (PROSE: Happy Endings, AUDIO: The Grel Escape)

Stellar manipulation

Hand of Omega

The Hand of Omega, a stellar manipulator. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)

The Time Lords had the capability to control and use the power of stars. The Tenth Doctor went so far as to claim that the Time Lords "invented" black holes. (TV: The Satan Pit)

Using the Hand of Omega, the Time Lords could speed up the development of stars. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) One such star had been exploded but its development into a black hole had been frozen, trapped in a permanent state of decay and was kept either under the Panopticon as the Eye of Harmony to power the civilisation of the Time Lords, or in TARDISes to use as their power source. [disputed statement] (TV: The Deadly Assassin, Journey of the Centre of the TARDIS)

Weaponry and defences

Despite being one of the most powerful species in the universe, the Time Lords had little in the way of defences and their conventional warfare technology was lagging behind many other civilisations. This may be due in part to the transduction barrier, which covered the planet and which was almost completely impenetrable by outside forces or their general policy of non-interference. As such, when they were invaded by the Sontarans, they were unable to defend themselves with their regular stasers and the Fourth Doctor needed to use an ancient Time Lord weapon called the De-mat Gun. (TV: The Invasion of Time) Few Time Lords, even Chancellery Guards, had any real combat experience. (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element) During the Last Great Time War, the Capitol was protected by a set of dual turrets set around it. They were used to destroy attacking ships. (TV: The End of Time)

On the other hand, the weapons of the Time Lords were considered "legendary" as they had built defensive arrays the size of star systems and created armaments that took apart entire galaxies. (PROSE: Alien Bodies) The operating system of the "galaxy eater" weapon the Moment was so advanced that it had a conscience. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Miscellaneous technology

Some other Time Lord technology included the Matrix (TV: The Deadly Assassin), Validium (TV: Silver Nemesis), the Genesis Ark (TV: Doomsday) and the Chameleon Arch. (TV: Human Nature)

The Lord President Rassilon had a metallic glove which was capable of destroying a person by shooting out electricity and it reverted the Master Race to its human form. (TV: The End of Time)

The Time Lords developed a chemical that could turn vertebrate blood into acid, but the Doctor successfully campaigned it to be banned. (PROSE: The Age of Ambition)

Rassilon also invented Gallifrey's Genetic Looms, the devices used to birth new Gallifreyans after the Pythia's curse. Looms were no longer used after the Curse was lifted following President Romana's negotiations with the Sisterhood of Karn. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)

Partial Time Lords

In the post-war era, four individuals were created who were at least partially Time Lord.

A "generated anomaly", Jenny, the artificially created daughter of the Tenth Doctor, had two hearts but was not a full Time Lady, and Martha Jones suspected she was unable to regenerate. She was shot, and was believed by the Doctor to be dead. However, soon after her death, she came back to life with an energy release in a process which appeared similar to regeneration, but without the change of appearance. (TV: The Doctor's Daughter)

The Meta-Crisis Doctor, a single-hearted, non-regenerating Time Lord/human hybrid, created by a biological meta-crisis in which Donna Noble and the Tenth Doctor's DNA merged. He was born from the Doctor's eleventh regeneration. After committing genocide against Davros' new Daleks, he was left on an alternate Earth where he began a life with Rose Tyler. (TV: Journey's End)

The same process that created the Meta-Crisis Doctor also made the Doctor's human companion Donna Noble into a half-Time Lord - the DoctorDonna. Donna's human brain was unable to process the Time Lord influence beyond a few hours, at which point the Doctor was forced to wipe her memory of her adventures with him; she returned to her original life in London. (TV: Journey's End) She later proved immune to the Master's use of the Immortality Gate to transform humans into "the Master Race". (TV: The End of Time)

River Song was conceived on board the Doctor's TARDIS while it was travelling through the Time Vortex and therefore possessed certain genetic characteristics of a Time Lady, which were brought to the fore by experimentation by the Church. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War) This enabled Melody to regenerate at least twice, into Mels and River Song, before sacrificing her remaining regenerations to revive the Doctor. (TV: Day of the Moon, Let's Kill Hitler) She retained her respiratory bypass system. (AUDIO: I Went to a Marvellous Party)

Behind the scenes

According to the non-narrative source, REF: Doctor Who: Starships and Spacestations, which this wiki does not count as valid, the Time Lords had little interest in creating forms of transport other than TARDISes. As such, they relied on them instead of other methods of travel.

External links

Template:Time Lords

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