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Vampires were parasitic, long-lived creatures who inhabited countless worlds across the universe and beyond. They descended from the Great Vampires and reproduced by infecting other life forms. They subsisted on blood.
Vampirism was a phase that almost every inhabited planet went through. Because of this, there were several vampiric species who called themselves names other than "vampire". These included Necrobiologicals, (AUDIO: Zaltys) Mal'akh, (PROSE: The Book of the War) Haemovores, (TV: The Curse of Fenric et al.) Gelezen, (COMIC: Signs of Life) and Plasmavores. (TV: Smith and Jones)
The vampire "curse" had different strains. (PROSE: Vampire Science) The vampires encountered by the Fourth Doctor in E-Space, for instance, had pale skin and fangs, and aged rapidly to the point of death when their creator, the King Vampire, was destroyed. (TV: State of Decay) An equally alarming vampire attacked the Second Doctor while he was on a mission for the CIA. It was very tall, skeletal, with glowing red eyes in a dead-white face. (PROSE: World Game) The vampires created by Project Twilight appeared identical to normal humans, such that the Sixth Doctor failed to recognise them as vampires. (AUDIO: Project Twilight)
Infection of others
According to one account, to be infected, an individual had to be repeatedly fed upon. Those infected had only a small chance of living through the mutation process. (PROSE: Blood Harvest) Another account stated that it was very easy to become a vampire. If a victim was not completely drained of blood, they would become a vampire. (AUDIO: Litefoot and Sanders) Another account claimed that converting a new vampire required the initiate to drink a vampire's blood. (PROSE: Vampire Science) According to one account, if a vampire converted a new individual but was destroyed before the next full moon, the new vampire would revert to normal.(PROSE: Goth Opera)
The vampires created by Project Twilight using the Twilight virus lacked the ability to reproduce, due to human scientists being unable to identify the genetic element for reproduction. Amelia Doory was eventually able to perfect the Twilight virus to correct this. (AUDIO: Project: Twilight)
Those who turned into vampires became stronger. Their mutated selves developed a hunger for protein and so they compensated for this by drinking blood. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors, Blood Harvest) They preferred the blood of the living to that of the dead, (TV: State of Decay) and could not survive solely on animal blood without lapsing into a fugue state. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
Vampires were capable of rapidly healing injuries, such as broken fingers, (PROSE: Goth Opera, AUDIO: Project: Twilight) due to a highly advanced cardiovascular system and fast recuperative powers. A significant blow had to be made to kill one, such as puncturing the heart or decapitation. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
A group of vampires encountered by the Fifth Doctor had the ability to fly and could summon other vampires by exuding a bloody mist, carried on the wind. They could change their shape and turn into mist. The DNA of these vampires was so contagious that even flowers growing on a vampire's grave would be affected. Vampires were affected by the faith of others, as it affects the transition between the quantum and classical states of physics in the humanoid mind. It was therefore possible that Ice Warriors would be unable to perceive vampires. Faith or garlic could, in large-enough doses, make a vampire completely vanish. When attacked by a vampire in Paris, the Second Doctor wished for an axe, a stake, and a crucifix. (PROSE: World Game)
If two vampires drank each other's blood, a psychic connection would form between them, a process known as bloodfasting. Two vampires linked in this way would feel each other's pain. (PROSE: Vampire Science) Similarly the Project Twilight vampires were able to communicate with each other telepathically. (AUDIO: Project Twilight)
Because, as in Time Lords, the bioplasmic fields were centred on their brain stem, decapitation caused vampires to crumble into dust. The stomach of a vampire was bigger on the inside. They were unable to cross running water and instinctively slept during the daylight hours. (PROSE: Goth Opera)
A group of vampires encountered by the Eighth Doctor in San Francisco would crumble into red ash if staked through the heart, could be destroyed by sunlight, and had reflections. These vampires also suffered from malnutrition if they tried to live on animal blood, such as that of cows. (PROSE: Vampire Science)
The vampires created by Project Twilight had a range of potentially fatal weaknesses, differing from individual to individual. Some were highly vulnerable to sunlight, others exposure to river water. (AUDIO: Project Twilight)
War with Gallifrey
- Main article: Eternal War
During the Dark Times, the Time Lords of Gallifrey, under the command of Rassilon, came into conflict with a race known as the Great Vampires (TV: State of Decay) or the Yssgaroth. (PROSE: The Pit) They were accidentally unleashed into the universe by a Time Lord experiment. (PROSE: The Pit) The Time Lords used bowships, which fired huge bolts of steel into the vampire's heart. (TV: State of Decay, Interference - Book One)
At a time when they were still called the "Space Lords", the Gallifreyans fought the vampires over the mineral thorocite, which they both needed. The vampires used slave labour in coffin ships to mine for it while allied with the Cucurbites. Eventually, the Space Lords upgraded their bowships to fire thorocite arrows and make them a more potent threat, with Rassilon in particular securing early victories. (COMIC: Monstrous Beauty)
During the war with Gallifrey, the Ninth Doctor helped some enslaved undead rebel against their masters and take control of a coffin ship. ( COMIC: Monstrous Beauty) Led by minor royal Ikalla, these vampires established the Free Undead and assisted the Ninth Doctor in the Kotturuh crisis. They eventually settled on Birinji, with Ikalla becoming their scion and thus liberating them from the fates of their original masters. (PROSE: All Flesh is Grass)
Eventually, the Great Vampires were all slain, with the exception of the King Vampire, who escaped into E-Space. (TV: State of Decay) The war destroyed dozens of inhabited planets. After this time, every Time Lord had a duty to deal with any vampires they encountered. (PROSE: Vampire Science)
According to a "half-true" projection created by the TARDIS, the Great Vampires lived only on the blood of self-bred mindless animals, and had done nothing to offend the Time Lords, but Rassilon chose to purge them from the universe. The Vampires disguised themselves as humans in an attempt to escape attack, but Rassilon continued to slaughter them. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
Legacy of war
A Time Lord story showed an owl, symbolising Rassilon, being overcome by a bat. It was claimed that the Great Vampire bit Rassilon and that Rassilon became a vampire himself. (PROSE: Goth Opera) In the ducts and serviceways of the Capitol there were vampire shrines still used in the Doctor's time. Small groups of heretics followed the Cult of Rassilon the Vampire. (COMIC: Blood Invocation, PROSE: Goth Opera) Ruath claimed that Rassilon deliberately became a vampire, knowing that the Time Lords had reached an evolutionary dead end and faced certain extinction. Ruath claimed that he knew vampires would become the dominant life in the universe, and lay undead in his tomb awaiting that moment. (PROSE: Goth Opera)
Vampires were one of the few things that could still frighten a Time Lord. The Second Doctor had to break free from this conditioning in order to fight the vampire sent to kill him, while his companion Serena was unable to move at all. The Doctor contemplated that the legends of the wars against the Great Vampires and bowships had remained as an atavistic fear. He found it difficult to battle the creature, for it was already mostly dead and felt almost no pain, but it smelled the garlic on his breath and was repulsed. He killed it with a makeshift stake.
A number of vampires remained in the Death Zone after the games were closed. One was the vampire Luco sent to murder the Second Doctor in Paris. The Doctor realised the trick when the staked vampire slowly dissolved (de-materialised) instead of crumbling to dust. He recognised the work of a Time Scoop and found it even more terrifying than fighting a vampire. (PROSE: World Game)
One member of the Vampire Cult on Gallifrey, Cardinal Hemal, stole an ancient strand of vampire DNA and used it to turn himself into a vampire. He lured the Fifth Doctor back to Gallifrey, planning to use his TARDIS to travel to Earth to spread vampirism. Hemal was foiled when the Doctor’s companion Nyssa altered the timing of the TARDIS’ arrival, resulting in it arriving in broad daylight which destroyed Hemal when he opened the doors. (COMIC: Blood Invocation)
Vampires on Earth
In the 19th century, the vampire Gabriel Sanders killed and converted numerous victims in London. He posed as an investigator and worked with George Litefoot to throw him off his scent. He attacked Ellie Higson, turning her, and was eventually confronted by Litefoot and Henry Jago who tried to kill him in a fire. (AUDIO: Litefoot and Sanders) Sanders survived, which he revealed to Ellie who was struggling to control her vampiric tendencies. (AUDIO: The Necropolis Express) Using the Ruthven family, who he’d cultivated for decades as the perfect hunters, Sanders attempted to enact revenge on Jago and Litefoot but was killed by them. As she had not fed on anyone, his death seemingly returned Ellie to normal, (AUDIO: The Ruthven Inheritance) however her vampiric nature was later restored by the Decayed Master. (AUDIO: Masterpiece)
In 1911, the Forge harvested vampire DNA in South America. During World War I, they initiated Project: Twilight, a program to create a vampire super-soldier. On 4 October 1915, 57 vampires escaped from the Forge Alpha Facility. William Abberton, the scientist in charge of the project, injected himself with the vampire DNA and vowed to kill all of the escaped test subjects. (AUDIO: Project: Twilight, PROSE: Project: Valhalla)
In 1999, the Eighth Doctor and Charley visited Highgate in London. They worked together to stop another rogue vampire, Dwayne Pherber, and afterwards Highgate chose to face the sunrise, gifting the Doctor a medallion he’d been given by Gostak. (AUDIO: The End of the Beginning)
By 2001, a number of Project: Twilight escapees, led by Reggie Mead and Amelia Doory, were running a club in south London, living off a blood bank of imprisoned humans. Whilst Amelia continued work perfecting the Twilight virus, Reggie established himself as a gangster and had an arrangement for delivery of DNA samples from another group of vampires in Bristol. As William Abberton, now going by Nimrod, began attacking them the vampires encountered the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn Smythe who intially helped them until realising their true nature. Amelia successfully infected Cassandra Schofield, a waitress at their club, with the perfected Twilight virus, before Nimrod destroyed the club and all the vampires bar Amelia and Cassie. The Doctor stopped Amelia unleashing the virus in the Thames, with her falling into the river and perishing. He and Evelyn took Cassie away to Norway, promising to create a cure for the Twilight virus. Nimrod meanwhile began looking for Cassie. (AUDIO: Project: Twilight)
By the end of November 2001, William Abberton had killed all of the Project: Twilight vampires, with William Moore being the final one. (PROSE: Project: Valhalla) The Forge found and recruited Cassie, brainwashing her into becoming one of their agents. (PROSE: Project: Valhalla, AUDIO: Project Lazarus)
Vampires in E-Space
From within E-Space, the King Vampire drew the Hydrax, a human exploration vessel from the 22nd century, through a Charged Vaccum Embotiment. It turned the three crew members into vampires and they became his servants, the Three Who Rule, on the planet where the King lay dormant. For a thousand years the Three ruled over local villages, preparing for the Time of Arising when the King would awake.
At the Time of Arising, the Fourth Doctor, Romana, K9 and Adric arrived on the planet. They led the overthrow of the Three Who Rule and destroyed the King Vampire by flying a scout ship into its heart. (TV: State of Decay) However, the Three had infected many of the humans who lived on the planet. The Doctor and Romana were attacked by a group from the House of Zarn, however were saved by the locals they’d liberated and the Eighth Doctor who gave his past self a blood transfusion. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
Agonal attempted to resurrect the King Vampire and his servants on their planet in E-Space but was foiled by the Seventh Doctor. During the incident one surviving vampire lord, Yarven, hid aboard the Doctor’s TARDIS and escaped to Earth when it landed in Chicago. (PROSE: Blood Harvest) Yarven was sought out by Ruath, who believed him to be the Vampire Messiah foretold by the Cult of Rassilon the Vampire. She became his consort and he turned her into a vampire, however their plans were foiled by the Fifth Doctor. (PROSE: Goth Opera)
Creatures mistaken for vampires
The people of Saturnyne passed themselves off as vampires in 1580 Venice. (TV: The Vampires of Venice) One account suggested the Saturnyns had been turned by the Great Vampires after being caught in the crossfire of their war with the Time Lords. (PROSE: The Multi-Faceted War)
Vampires sometimes came together in covens. The traditional number for a coven was fourteen, one more than the number of lives allotted to a Time Lord. (PROSE: Vampire Science) The Second Doctor knew it was possible a "colony of vampires" existed somewhere in Paris. (PROSE: World Game)