File:Vortex back.jpg

The Time Vortex, also simply known as The Vortex, was the place through which all Time travellers passed. Space-time machines were able to pass through the vortex, including TARDISes and vortex manipulators.


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Native life in the time vortex included the Reapers (DW: Father's Day) and the Chronovores. (DW: The Time Monster)

The Bad Wolf entity also seemed to be linked to the time vortex. When Rose Tyler became the Bad Wolf, she was infused with the time vortex, and the entity was able to spread the Bad Wolf meme through time and space, look at all of space and time, destroy the Dalek fleet and resurrect Jack Harkness. This suggested some power over time. (DW: The Parting of the Ways)

Traveling through the vortex without a capsule of some kind could prove harmful to Humans and Gallifreyans alike. (DW: Utopia / The Sound of Drums) The energies in the vortex were capable of reducing a number of cirque posters attached to the Doctor's TARDIS to burnt cinders. (DW: Vincent and the Doctor)

Other information


Mrs Wormwood detected artron energy in a body scan of Sarah Jane Smith, using it to conclude that she had traveled in the Vortex. (SJA: Invasion of the Bane)

When Rose Tyler became the Bad Wolf, she and the Doctor absorbed vortex energy into their bodies. Rose looked into the Heart of the TARDIS to obtain it, then the Doctor absorbed it from Rose. In both cases, the energy, which resembled bright white-gold wispy light, threatened to destroy their cellular structure, much like radiation. The Doctor had to regenerate in order to survive. (DW: The Parting of the Ways, DW: Children in Need Special)

The Eye of Harmony

All TARDISes had a direct link to the vortex through the Eye of Harmony. (DW: Doctor Who) The Eye gave off a similar light to the Heart of the TARDIS.


From inside, the vortex seemed to be a long tunnel that spiraled and twisted off in many directions. It is unknown why the Vortex's appearance changed, though it had done several times. (DW: Utopia, The Pandorica Opens)

The vortex generally had two different colours, red and blue. Red generally indicated forward time travel and blue indicated travel to the past.

There were were also bolts of lighting which also hit the TARDIS whilst it was traveling through it. (DW: The Pandorica Opens)

Behind the scenes

  • The Time Vortex in Season 5 looks very similar to an energy vortex that appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation episode 13 of Season two, Time Squared.
  • In the CBBC series Horrible Histories, the opening credits are very similar to that of the Time Vortex present in Doctor Who. This is a possibility, as the series does look up upon historic events, through a time tunnel.
  • The same Time Vortex was seen in the opening and closing credits from Series 1 to the 2009 Specials. The opening credits and closing credits for Series 5 onwards used another version of the Vortex.
  • Before the broadcast of The Eleventh Hour, promo pictures and a trailer showed the Doctor and Amy falling through a blue fluid-like vortex. Some people presumed this was the new vortex.[1] When The Eleventh Hour broadcast, the new opening titles showed another vortex, which was a gaseous version of the old vortex.
  • Strangely The TARDIS seems to spin slower in the Blue Vortex than in the Red Vortex, where it spins as if it is out of control. The TARDIS in the blue vortex is spinning as if in a blueshift where it progress backward through time slowly or at a level speed. The red vortex represents the redshift in which the TARDIS has to be at a certain place in time really quickly as shown in The Lazarus Experiment, the following story 42 and in Utopia.
    Time vortex 2

    Current "Red" Vortex

  • It is unknown if the mysterious time-sequence in the title sequence of the 1960s is meant to be the Vortex or not. When the TARDIS leaves Earth for the first time in An Unearthly Child, the time-sequence graphic is overlaid on the faces of the Doctor and Susan, and seems to indicate that the graphics in the title sequence and the Time Vortex are one and the same.

See also

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