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A timeline was a method of ordering chronology, creating a history for an individual, place, event, etc.


The term "timeline" was sometimes used interchangeably with other temporal terminology like "time stream." (AUDIO: Reborn) On two occasions, the Seventh Doctor pondered that Daleks would think twice before doing something to alter the timeline (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) and the timestream. (PROSE: Transit) The Eighth Doctor later stated that Time Roaches couldn't be let out of the time vortex into the timeline. (AUDIO: Foreshadowing)

The Ninth Doctor explained to Rose Tyler that he could not go back and warn humanity of a Dalek invasion because once the TARDIS landed he became part of events, "stuck in the timeline". Soon after, he apparently realised that he could indeed "cross [his] old timeline", however, this was but a ruse to get Rose into the TARDIS to safety. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)

Sometimes reference would be made to "the timelines," multiple rather than singular. The Master and the Daleks manipulated and shifted the timelines to conquer Earth in 1921 (AUDIO: Master of the Daleks) and the Sanukuma described the Last Great Time War as being raged across the timelines, (AUDIO: The Rulers of the Universe) the effects of the war affecting the timelines. (AUDIO: The Starship of Theseus, One Life) During the war, the Daleks developed the annihilator weapon which could erase a whole species without affecting the timelines, meaning they would still be remembered even though they'd never existed. (AUDIO: Legion of the Lost)

Revealing to the Tenth Doctor that he had went to see Rose at the Powell Estate before she had met him, Jack Harkness cited "timelines and all that" as he clarified that he did not approach her. (TV: Utopia)

Owen Harper told Rhys Williams that the Cardiff Space-Time Rift connected to not only other planets, but other timelines. (TV: Meat)

The dimension cannon was capable of measuring timelines, and Rose saw that they all converged on Donna Noble. (TV: Journey's End)

The Eleventh Doctor found that the timelines were "too scrambled" for him to return to New York, preventing him from recovering Amy Pond and Rory Williams after they were displaced in time by a Weeping Angel. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)

Missy explained to the Saxon Master that the two of them coming into contact put the timelines out of sync. As a result, the Master would not retain his memory of the event and so Missy would not remember having met herself. However, Missy did evidently remember enough to keep a spare dematerialisation circuit, (TV: The Doctor Falls) and her theory was disputed by yet other accounts. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors, TV: Time Crash)

The Thirteenth Doctor sent a message from the TARDIS "through the timelines" into the Time Vortex, purposefully drawing the attention of a Dalek ship which lay in wait there. (TV: Revolution of the Daleks)

When dealing with the interference of the Star Men, the Fifth Doctor mentioned that they were damaging the "timeline," the "timelines," and that they had inserted themselves into "this reality's timestream." (AUDIO: The Star Men)


Centring on what the Time Lords called the "primary timeline," (AUDIO: Reborn) alternate timelines could diverge, which if left unchecked, would end the real universe millions of years before it was meant to due to there being only a finite amount of matter and energy in the uni-verse. (PROSE: Blood Heat)

Personal timelines[]

When Rhys Williams expressed shock at the sight of a pterodactyl, which he knew to be extinct, Jack Harkness clarified that pterodactyls were extinct in "[his] timeline". (TV: Meat)

Captain Carter explained to the Eleventh Doctor that the Justice Department's Teselecta extracted criminals near the end of their established timelines before they punished them. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler)

As Tasha Lem explained to the Eleventh Doctor, the Kovarian Chapter travelled back along his timeline in an ultimately vain attempt to prevent him from reaching Trenzalore. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

Missy told the Twelfth Doctor that she had been up and down his timeline, meeting people who had died for him. (TV: Death in Heaven)

Universal history[]

The timeline of the universe spanned billions of years. However, most of the Doctor's involvement seemed to be in what was sometimes called the Humanian Era, that part of history which encompassed human existence. As a result, the Doctor's TARDIS was most often seen between the time humans first evolved through to about the 82nd century. Occasionally, the Doctor went further than the 100th century, into what might be called the "far future".

The Doctor was known to have visited, or at least been affected by, people and places in the following broad divisions of time as measured by at least one human dating system:

However, their travels were usually known to have occurred at much more specific times. The Doctor and their companions were active in the following Earth centuries: