Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Doctor Who Time Lords

Go To

Time Lords (First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, War, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2018_01_16_at_162132.png

Wilf: But I've heard you talk about your people like they're wonderful.
Tenth Doctor: That’s how I choose to remember them, the Time Lords of old. But then they went to war, an endless war. And it changed them, right to the core. You’ve seen my enemies, Wilf. The Time Lords are more dangerous than any of them.
Advertisement:

The Doctor's own people. They hail from the planet Gallifrey, and claim to be the universe's first civilization. Time Lords can travel through time and manipulate it to a huge degree. Though they generally operate under a policy of non-interference, they've also appointed themselves the guardians of the space-time continuum, and (at least in the Expanded Universe) look rather askance at attempts by the "lesser races" to develop time travel. The Doctor claims to have left Gallifrey in opposition to its xenophobia and stagnation.


    open/close all folders 

    In General 
  • 0% Approval Rating: Thanks to the Time War, the rest of the Universe went from treating them with bemused apathy to loathing them like they do Daleks. In "The Night of the Doctor", it's outright stated that there's no difference between them and the Daleks anymore. They're so hated that they have to hide at the end of time for their own safety; otherwise they'd have another Time War on their hands.
    Clara: You're monsters. Here you are, hiding away at the end of time. Do you even know why? Because you are hated. You are hated. By everybody.
  • Absolute Xenophobe: Nowhere near as bad as the Daleks, but the Time Lords don't like anyone visiting their planet, they don't like to leave home, and with the exception of the Space Amish ones, tend to live in a couple of giant cities encased in massive glass domes. A lot of tension in the Gallifrey spinoff is due to the reformist President Romana's desire to open the planet to outsiders, including letting them attend the Time Lord Academy, and the more conservative elements opposing it.
  • Abusive Alien Parents: Prospective Time Lords are taken to the Academy at the age of eight, and it starts with a glimpse of the raw Time Vortex that's been known to drive people insane. The only alternative seems to be the army, which scared the young Doctor even more.
    The Master: It began on Gallifrey, as children. Not that you'd call it childhood. More a life of duty.
  • Abusive Precursors:
    • They used to amuse themselves by snatching people out of time, dropping them in the Death Zone and watching them fight.
    • The Minyans of the former planet Minyos see them as gods, and they view their gods as evil.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: Officially, which is part of their dislike of renegades like the Doctor who get "involved". Unofficially, they are perfectly willing to send the Doctor (or even the Master) to fix their messes or perform tasks they don't want to get their hands dirty with. They justify this by saying the Doctor is a "special" case.
  • Always Someone Better: The Guardians, the Eternals, and arguably the Chronovores.
    Eternal: A lord of time. Are there lords in such a small domain?
  • Anti-Villain: Until "The Trial of a Time Lord", the Time Lords were often antagonists to the Doctor but were originally on the side of good. (Television Doctor Who, up until the present, has portrayed them very inconsistently, sometimes as good, sometimes as evil and often as something in-between.)
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: This is their ultimate plan in "The End of Time". Or Rassilon's, and no-one dared argue with him. The method they intended to use would have had devastating consequences for the rest of reality, letting the Time War loose if nothing else.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: They did this to the Daleks, and the Daleks did this in turn. The Time Lords had spent most of their existence not getting involved and not bothering other species, but for a race of shut-ins, they managed to fight the Daleks for hundreds of years. And then the war went temporal.
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe, their status before the Time War. With Rassilon locked away in his tomb, their was no strong leader to guide them, so they stagnated, which is one of the reasons the Doctor claimed he left as he couldn't stand the boredom. They took their immense power for granted, confident they were protected from any outside threats, and preferred to plod around dusty archives instead of using their TARDISes to explore the Universe. Rassilon's artifacts became regarded as mere historical trinkets, the massive power they contained forgotten. The only exception to this was the CIA, who dedicated themselves to protecting time and developing new tech like time rings.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: "The Deadly Assassin" reveals they have files on every Time Lord (except the Master — he destroyed his). Other stories show they can pop the Doctor anywhere in time and space they want.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Aside from the regeneration, Time Lords have a lot of interesting features, such as a respiratory bypass system, two hearts (and corresponding pulse to go with), low level immunity to certain varieties of radiation (Roentgen, specifically. Gallifreyan nurseries have building blocks made of the stuff) which they can funnel to specific parts of their bodies with the only major effect of that being an itch, and a general Made of Iron tendency.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: They do on some occasions express a view of life as something to be preserved, yet they obey their Alien Non-Interference Clause without hesitation.
  • Body Horror: Can apparently happen if regeneration goes wrong. In his final moments the Ninth Doctor mentions he might end up with two heads, or no head at all, and the Eleventh once mentioned he had a godmother with two heads (and bad breath, twice). And then there's what happens if they run out of regenerations.
  • Break the Haughty: The Time War brought a Higher-Tech Species to their knees.
  • Call to Agriculture: The revival and A Brief History of Time Lords reveals that plenty of Gallifreyans live outside the two cities on farms and homesteads.
  • Came Back Wrong: We've never seen it on screen but the regeneration process can go awry, which is apparently not uncommon. When this happens Time Lords usually take a trip to Karn, where the Sisterhood's Elixir can fix them up.
    Ninth Doctor: I might never make sense again! I might have two heads, or no head. Imagine me with no head, ha! And don't say that's an improvement... But it's a bit dodgy, this process. You never know what you're going to end up with.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: They're cleverer than you, more intelligent than you, and arguing with them is pointless. Even the Doctor thinks like this, and it is why he needs a Morality Chain in his companions. Four even stated this when Romana II begged him not to return her Gallifrey per the Time Lords' wishes, noting it would be futile to try to disobey them in the end.
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: The high society is loaded with arrogant and greedy officials who bend rules. It's why the Doctor doesn't like being associated with them.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: On the surface, with their gorgeous Citadel and fancy regalia. But scratch it and you find a Deadly Decadent Court, where "simple palace revolutions" are the norm.
  • Descriptively-Named Species: The Time Lords. Guess what their specialty is.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Are they a basically well-intentioned Higher-Tech Species devoid of sympathy for individual lesser beings ("The War Games"), uncomplicatedly good protectors of the universe ("The Three Doctors"), pompous but weak dotards who don't really understand their own role or technology any more ("The Deadly Assassin"), or a powerful but almost entirely self-serving Deadly Decadent Court ("The Invasion of Time" and all TV and expanded universe stories subsequently)? Depends what the scriptwriter thought. The official explanation by the BBC is that the CIA were responsible for the god-like displays of power seen in the Second and Third Doctor eras, while the pompous decadent court are the general population seen in the Fourth Doctor era onwards.
    • Are all Gallifreyans full Time Lords? It's a question that's kept the fanbase puzzled for eons.
  • The Dreaded: Before the Time War, the rest of the universe treated them with a mixture of vague respect, bemused apathy and in some cases, covetousness of their power. During and after the Time War, they were easily as feared as the Daleks, if not more so — a mere untranslated message during "The Time of the Doctor" made every single living creature that detected it feel fear and come to investigate with weapons hot; and they didn't even know who sent it. Once it's revealed that it's the Time Lords, waiting for the okay from the Doctor to let them back into the universe, the result is a mass Oh, Crap!, and the various alien races are willing to blow up the planet simply because the crack in reality that the transmission is coming through is on it. It gets to the point where, in the same episode, the Doctor threatens to "unleash the Time Lords" on the Daleks, who are absolutely terrified of the prospect. Considering that the Daleks are the Big Bad of the Whoniverse, this is saying something.
    • Once they return to the universe, they have to hide at the end of the universe because everyone's so scared of them.
  • Dying Race: Due to the Last Great Time War, the Time Lord race was rendered functionally extinct. In "The Day of the Doctor", the timeline is altered by the combined efforts of thirteen incarnations of the Doctor, but this led to the entire population of Gallifrey being shunted into a pocket universe and lost. The only Time Lords currently known in the universe are the Doctor, Jenny (who's currently MIA), River Song (who's sort of dead), and the Master, who's still as unkillable as ever. As for the Doctor's own family, he claims they are now all deceased, but we still don't know precisely what happened to Susan after Series 4 of the New Eighth Doctor Adventures.
    • As of "Hell Bent", they've returned to the main universe, but their reputation means they've had to hide Gallifrey at the end of time.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Before they went off the rails, they at least had enough decency in "Genesis of the Daleks" to recognize that the Daleks being the sole dominant life-force in the Universe would be a very bad idea.
    • In "School Reunion", the Krilitanes tried to crack the Skasis Paradigm and rebuild the universe in their own way. Even the Time Lords, as bad as they were, never actually tried to achieve this, probably because they knew it was a massive mistake.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Between "The Trial of a Time Lord" and the Time War scenes of "The End of Time", the Time Lords become Knights Templar in the Time War against the Daleks.
    • Zig-zagged. It's later shown that this extends only to the Time Lord Council, especially under the leadership of the revived Rassilon, and even then there are some Punch Clock Villains, who're only going along with it because Rassilon will vaporise them if they don't. The soldiers actually fighting the war and the civilians caught in the crossfire are a lot more sane.
  • Fantastic Caste System: The higher echelons of Time Lord Society appear to live in either the Capitol or Arcadia. Those who live in the Dry Lands, in Rassilon's words, "don't matter" — whether they're even full Time Lords or not is up for debate.
  • Gender Bender:
    • Missy — aka the Master — proves that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate.
    • The Corsair, an old friend of the Doctor's, was also said to have both male and female incarnations. In the novelisation of a never-completed Fourth Doctor TV story, "Shada", the Doctor causally switches between male and female pronouns when reminiscing about the Corsair.
    • Borusa is also implied to have had a female form at some point in his past in Engines of War. The general ease at which Time Lords adapt to differently sexed bodies (without any gender identity worries) seems to imply that they are all gender fluid, though with regeneration thrown into the mix it's not quite the same as human gender fluidity.
    • In "Hell Bent" the General regenerates into a woman and comments that it's good to be "Back to normal" after her only male incarnation, suggesting that there's some sense of gender identity present, if in a rather vaguer sense.
    • Thirteen sees the Doctor's first gender switch.
  • Good Is Not Nice: They are the most powerful and mighty race in the universe, self-appointed guardians of all time and space, billions of years old and unchallenged for ten million of them by the time of "The Trial of a Time Lord". With such credentials under their belt, they are naturally boastful, arrogant and extremely corrupt.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • If the Doctor hadn't ended the Time War the way he did, the Time Lord leadership would have destroyed all of reality so they could survive as pure energy. This makes them little different from the Omnicidal Maniac Daleks they had been fighting.
    • "The Day of the Doctor" reveals that in the face of the Daleks' assault, the military had been forced to turn to the Doomsday Weapons kept in the Forbidden Vaults, designed during the Dark Times on Ancient Gallifrey. By the last day of the Time War, they'd used them all, save for the Moment.
  • Healing Factor: They heal pretty quickly anyway, shaking off gamma-infused lightning strikes in less than a minute. But it only really shows when a regeneration has started. Before the Time Lord changes completely, the body heals all injuries and may rejuvenate the individual. However, as shown in the both the Classic and New Series, regeneration isn't completely reliable as it possible for Time Lords to die or be killed before the regeneration process can be triggered: Time Lords drop like flies in "The Deadly Assassin" and "Arc of Infinity", and Ten died in the Bad Future of "Turn Left".
  • Higher-Tech Species: They are the higher tech species. A vehicle that can travel anywhere in time and space, be Bigger on the Inside and disguise itself as anything around it as well as generating food and drink for its whole crew... is laughably primitive by their standards.
  • Human Aliens:
    • Time Lords are visually indistinguishable from humans, though anyone who takes even a slightly closer look, or who has medical training, will notice some differences straight away.
      Amy: You look human.
      Eleventh Doctor: No, you look Time Lord. We came first.
    • According to the Expanded Universe, they're the reason so many Whoniverse species are human-looking.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The more dangerous ones, like Rassilon, the Master, even the Doctor, tend towards this, with their nigh-immortality, bizarre senses, vast intellects, often Blue and Orange Morality, and vast power. If they get warped the way Borusa was in the Time War, then they become even more so.
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: On the surface they (usually) look human, but underneath everything's different.
  • I Meant to Do That:
    • The Time Lords as a whole seem convinced they're "allowing" the Doctor freedom, ignoring the fact that he ran away from them, and constantly takes every chance he gets to stay away from them.
    • Subverted to an extent. Stories like "Genesis of the Daleks" and "The Trial of a Time Lord" prove they can move the Doctor and his TARDIS anywhere in time and space; they usually don't unless they need him for something.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: To the point you start wondering if it's genetic rather than cultural. Even the (very few) co-ordinated Time Lords will do a little something weird to throw the entire ensemble right into WTH, Costuming Department? territory. Most just skip the whole "spot the odd thing out" option and go straight to full-on eye-bleed.
  • Last of His Kind: The Doctor, due to having wiped the others out at the end of the Time War. Or so he believed.
  • Leitmotif: "This Is Gallifrey", which acts as the theme to both the planet Gallifrey and the Time Lords themselves.
  • Magic from Technology: The Time Lords, in particular Rassilon, love this trope. Much of their technology might as well be magical items for all practical intents and purposes.
  • Magic Versus Science: According to EU materials, Gallifrey used to be ruled by a cult of witches called the Pythia. Rassilon, Omega, and the Other overthrew them and turned Gallifrey into a more a scientifically-minded society. The Sisterhood of Karn, not happy at this development, left the planet to set up shop on Karn.
  • Made of Iron: Slightly tougher than squishy humans. A Time Lord can survive a twenty-foot fall with little more than a few bruises. The Tenth Doctor managed to survive leaping out of a moving spaceship, through a glass window and onto a marble floor from higher than that, and still managed to scrape himself up pretty quickly.
  • Mercy Invincibility: A non-video game example. While the aftermath of a regeneration can leave them mentally out-of-sorts, the energy lingering in their systems lets them re-grow whole limbs.
  • Move in the Frozen Time: Time Lords are less affected by slowed time or time loops than most beings. Even when Gallifrey was sealed away in a Pocket Dimension that supposedly had frozen time, they were still able to take actions.
  • Mystical High Collar:
    • Their formal robes have notoriously large collars.
    • Hilariously, a Freeze-Frame Bonus from John Smith's Journal of Impossible Things in "Human Nature" reveals that the Doctor, in his youth, "could never get the collar right".
  • Named After Their Planet: "Gallifreyan" has been used in addition to "Time Lord". Whether or not the two terms are completely synonymous is rather unclear.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead:
    • The revival Doctor is a lot fonder of Gallifrey than they ever were when it was still there. When it looks like the Time Lords are coming back, the nostalgia goes out the window and Ten grabs the nearest revolver — as he does so, he explains to Wilf that he prefers to remember them at their best, but he's under no illusions of what they actually ended up being like.
    • In "In the Forest of the Night", Twelve calls Earth "his world", perhaps exactly because this trope is no longer in play — now that Gallifrey's been saved, he no longer has to feel guilty about feeling more at home with the "pudding brains".
  • Nice Hat: In "The Deadly Assassin", we were shown Time Lords in their full ceremonial costumes, including their distinctive headgear. Though these were supposed to be "seldom-worn", they have become iconic; it's almost unheard-of to have a story where the Time Lords don't get to wear their Nice Hats. The Doctor has a dim view on Time Lord fashion sense.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: The abuse of their power in the past is why they developed their Alien Non-Interference Clause — officially. Subverted in that the High Council is more then willing to abuse their power when they see fit.
  • Noodle Incident: So how did they manage to get their planet out of the pocket universe and move it to the end of the universe with nobody noticing? Even the Doctor doesn't know, and he doesn't want to ask because it would make them feel clever.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Their plan in "The End of Time" involves the destruction of time itself.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: They tended to be this or the Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering, which is why RTD drop-kicked them out of the revived show.
  • Pet the Dog: In "The Time of the Doctor", the Time Lords used the cracks in the universe to grant Eleven a new cycle of regenerations, allowing him to regenerate into Twelve. A more cynical viewpoint is that they only did so because the Doctor is the only one able to bring them back into the universe, making this a little more self-serving on their part.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: Nominally, Gallifrey is a Parliamentary republic. In reality it's the opposite; when the Lord President ends his term he gets to name his successor and he is promptly brought into office via a non-contested election (there's nothing stopping another candidate entering the race — in fact the law specifically states no candidate can be barred from the race, but it's not considered traditional). Things slightly get better when Romana becomes President ... only for everything to go to hell thanks to the Time War and Rassilon is resurrected to be President again and quickly rules the planet with an iron fist.
  • The Philosopher King: The Time Lords' entire hierarchy is based on academia, with everyone belonging to a specific College. Training at the Academy begins as age 8.
  • Psychic Powers: Time Lords have a significantly higher degree of psychic potential than humans. In particular it is explicitly stated that they all have Telepathy to some degree. But, as per the Magic Versus Science trope (see above), they tend to focus on their technology rather than on Training the Gift of Magic. The Sisterhood of Karn and the renegade Time Lord K'anpo Rimpoche have gone in the opposite direction and eschew technology in favor of developing their mental powers.
  • Really 700 Years Old: A single Time Lord regeneration can, with proper care and attention, last for hundreds of years, sometimes more.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: While nominally they stick to their rules of time, they bend and break them whenever they feel the need (or even just feel like it), and they aren't shy about letting other races know this.
  • Smug Snake: The average Time Lord is very confident in themselves and their abilities. Some of it is admittedly justified, but still...
    Fourth Doctor: Who are you? Don't you realise how dangerous it is to intercept a transmat beam?
    Time Lord: [with indescribably smug air] Oh, come now, Doctor, not with our techniques. We Time Lords mastered such simple things when the universe was less than half its present size.
  • Snobs Vs Slobs: Gallifreyans who don't go to the Academy and become full Time Lords go into the army instead; the Academy is the more respected option — the Doctor did not want to go into the army at all. And then there are the Space Amish ones who live in the wilderness outside the cities.
  • Space Amish: "The Invasion of Time" reveals there are a handful of malcontents who reject Time Lord tech for a more simple life.
  • Space Elves: Ancient, scholarly, reclusive, frequently haughty, devious, powerful and usually robed.
  • Spare Body Parts: Their most obvious and widely-known alien trait is that they have two hearts. Though the Doctor shows that the second heart isn't just for show, being nearly incapacitated whenever one of his hearts stops. Later, it is stated that they have three brainstems.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: As a result of being the Higher-Tech Species. Even the Daleks, their most dangerous foe, never came close to matching the Time Lords' skill at time travel and transcendental technology; even the Doctor has a special contempt for less refined time travel tech, especially time vortex manipulators calling them "cheap and nasty time travel".
    Seventh Doctor: Oh yes, Daleks have got time corridor technology, but it's very crude and nasty. What they want is the power that Time Lords have.
  • That Man Is Dead: Most renegade Time Lords and Ladies who leave or are exiled from Gallifrey forfeit their names and take up "titles" instead, and are addressed as such by their fellow Time Lords. Examples include: the Doctor, the Monk, the War Chief, the Master, the Rani, and the Corsair. Why they do this has never been explained.
  • Training from Hell: At the age of eight, Time Lords attending the Academy are taken in front of the Untempered Schism, a gap in the fabric of reality in which the entire Time Vortex can be seen. According to the Doctor, "Some would be inspired, some would run away, and some would go mad." The Doctor was one of the ones who ran away (and never stopped) and he suspects the Master was one of those who went insane (though that was explicitly thanks to what the High Council did to him).
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Played With. The Doctor has saved their bacon multiple times throughout the series, and they repay that by alternating between treating him with outright contempt, letting him wander the Universe without a fuss, or trying to kill him, like when they struck a deal with the Valeyard so he would have all of the Sixth Doctor's remaining regenerations. However, it's eventually zig-zagged in "Hell Bent". While Rassilon and possibly the High Council are these, the rest of Gallifrey are certainly not.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: They really don't get involved in Universal affairs unless it's drastic: when they foresaw a future when the Daleks would be the dominant species in the Universe, they came to the conclusion that wiping them out from reality would be the best course of action. This led them down a very dark path.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The regeneration cycle is a built-in biological trait, but it is possible for new regeneration cycles to be given after the original one is used up as seen with the Master and the Doctor. However barring those cases, Time Lords will eventually die when their regenerations are used up. In "The Brain of Morbius", the Fourth Doctor states that the Time Lords believe that outright immortality causes stagnation and thus reject the chance to extend the regeneration cycle; unfortunately the millennia-long life span of Time Lords is enough for their culture to stagnate. The only Time Lord that has explicit immortality is Rassilon, the Time Lord founder, who is both insane and power-hungry.
  • Xeno Nucleic Acid: If "A Good Man Goes to War" is any indication, they have triple-stranded DNA.
Advertisement:

Related Groups

    The Sisterhood of Karn 

The Sisterhood of Karn (Fourth, Eighth, and Twelfth Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sisterhood_karn_doctor_who.png
The Eighth Doctor: The Sisterhood of Karn, Keepers of the Flame of Utter Boredom.
Ohila: Eternal Life!
The Eighth Doctor: That's the one.

A mystic cult that originated on Gallifrey before they left and set up shop on Karn. They guard the Flame of Eternal Life which produces an Elixir that grants extended life; something Time Lords find handy if the regeneration process goes awry. They are currently led by the High Priestess Ohila.


  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not entirely clear how close the Sisterhood are to Gallifreyans, biologically. Since they use the Elixir, they have no need for regeneration; what we do know is that they have similar mental powers like telepathy, but their powers are stronger than the Time Lords'.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Their mysticism in the classic series makes them seem a touch ridiculous, especially since the Doctor solves their problem with the Eternal Flame by just dropping a fire-cracker down the chute to clear out the rubbish. However, they're more or less immortal, can bring back the dead within a limited timespan, they have stronger Psychic Powers than the Time Lords, and they can control the regeneration process.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: As a result of their immortality.
  • Good Is Not Nice: As the Eighth Doctor notes in "The Night of the Doctor" when wondering why they were helping him, they were never especially big on gratitude, and they tacitly admit that they're mainly getting involved out of self-preservation. Additionally, they might have been the ones to bring down the ship the Doctor was on, just to get him to Karn. Ohila's main interest in the Doctor's return to Gallifrey is not in trying to defuse the tensions, but to watch the fireworks — though she could just have been trolling Rassilon, as she did try to talk the Doctor down (her Blue and Orange Morality didn't help).
  • Healing Potion: Time Lords find their elixirs useful when the regeneration process goes awry, which is apparently not uncommon.
  • Human Aliens: One of many in the Whoniverse.
  • Lady in Red: All of them wear red robes and habits.
  • Lady Land: There are no male life-forms on Karn, save for the time the Twelfth Doctor temporarily took up residence.
  • Living Prop: In the revival, Ohila is the only member who speaks, the rest being literally props who just stand around.
  • Magic Versus Science: A Brief History Of Time Lords suggests this is the reason why they left Gallifrey, as the increasingly scientific-minded Time Lords were beginning to become dismissive of the Cult's mystic beliefs, in a nod to the magic vs science portrayal of the Time Lords' origins in the Doctor Who New Adventures. On the Cult's part, their Elixirs have the ability to give Time Lords a greater control over regeneration than normal, and they have stronger telepathic powers.
  • Pet the Dog: They let the Twelfth Doctor take up residence when he was hiding from the universe, Ohila warns him about going to face Davros, and delivers his Confession Dial.
  • Really 700 Years Old: All of them. Their Elixir grants immortality, but only within the vicinity of the Flame; try to drink it off Karn and it's useless.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: They used to live on Gallifrey before having a disagreement with the Time Lords. However, they can get back to Gallifrey if they want to, and aren't totally estranged.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: They don't appear nearly as often as their Time Lord cousins, but they were instrumental in convincing the Doctor to enter the Time War and end it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In "The Brain of Morbius", they came off as weak and self-important, especially since the Fourth Doctor was able to fix the Flame by throwing a firecracker down the vent to clean out the soot. By the later stages of the Time War, they've elevated their magic as they're able to refine the Elixir into multiple varieties that enable a Time Lord to choose the characteristics of his next regeneration. They're also one of the few groups to neither fear the Doctor, nor be intimidated by him.
  • We Used to Be Friends: The Time War really strained relations with their Time Lord cousins.

    Celestial Intervention Agency 

Celestial Intervention Agency

"CIA, Celestial Intervention Agency. They get their fingers into everything"
Castellan Spandrell, "The Deadly Assassin"

A shadowy organization on Gallifrey, whose primary mission is protecting the Time Lords and the Universe, no matter what. While the rest of Gallifrey stagnated, the CIA kept churning out new technology — like the Time Ring. They were the ones responsible for the Doctor's exile on Earth, seeing him as an ideal Rogue Agent.


  • Covert Group: Their mission is to protect the timeline and the Universe, ignoring the official Alien Non-Interference Clause. Amongst other things, this induced sending the Fourth Doctor to Skaro to stop the Daleks' creation before they eventually conquered the universe.
  • Fun with Acronyms: They appear to have been named after a certain real-life intelligence agency noted for shady interference in the affairs of other countries.
  • The Handler: What they were to the Third Doctor during his exile on Earth; particularly on the occasions when they decided he need to leave 20th Century Earth to go on missions elsewhere. Unfortunately for them, they underestimated how much the Doctor hated this arrangement and after he saved Gallifrey from Omega, gladly had his exile lifted.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Similar to Section 31 from Star Trek it's their mission to do whatever's necessary to protect the Time Lords specifically and the Universe in general no matter what. This includes stopping other races from developing time travel, and cleaning up the messes of those who abuse it, like the War Lord.

    Cloister Wraiths 

Cloister Wraiths (Twelfth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2018_01_16_at_094420.png

Also referred to by the name "Sliders", Cloister Wraiths are dead Time Lords, whose minds have been forcefully uploaded into the Matrix. They're found beneath the crypts of The Citadel, and guard the Matrix from intruders; acting as a sort of firewall, ensnaring their prey with fibre optic cables and reducing them to raw data.


  • And I Must Scream: Their faces are frozen in a perpetual rictus of horror.
  • Cobweb of Disuse: What happens to their prey. The Doctor and Clara find Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels that have been caught by them.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Becoming one of these things doesn't look very pleasant.
  • Frozen Face
  • Non-Human Undead: They're long dead-Time Lords, and appear almost akin to ghosts.
  • Threshold Guardian: The Cloister Wraiths guard the Matrix. Anybody caught in there eventually becomes a part of the firewall.
  • Virtual Ghost: They appear to be at least partially holographic, and they don't look happy about it.

Advertisement:

Individual Time Lords

Classic Series Debut

    The Monk 

The Monk (First Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/meddlingmonk_9402.jpg
Played by: Peter Butterworth (1965, 1966)

First Doctor: Yes, I regret that we do [both come from the same place], but I would say that I am fifty years earlier. Now when are you going to answer my questions?
Monk: Which questions?
First Doctor: The reason for this deliberate destruction.
Monk: I, I want to improve things.
First Doctor: Improve things? Improve things, yes, that's good. Very good. Improve what, for instance?
Monk: Well, for instance, Harold, King Harold, I know he'd be a good king. There wouldn't be all those wars in Europe, those claims over France went on for years and years. With peace the people'd be able to better themselves. With a few hints and tips from me they'd be able to have jet airliners by 1320! Shakespeare'd be able to put Hamlet on television.

In-Universe referred to as "the Monk", out-of-universe "the Meddling Monk". The first other member of the Doctor and Susan's (at that point, still-unnamed) species ever seen on-screen. In his first appearance, the Meddling Monk liked to "improve" history, or rather Earth's history with advanced technology. (He didn't ever mention altering any other planet's history.) In his second, he jointly wished for revenge against the Doctor and allied with the Daleks and a third, human villain, as self-preservation. He re-appeared in two Doctor Who Magazine comics and in the New Adventures novel No Future by Paul Cornell. Following that, he came back with a vengeance as a main antagonist in the New Eighth Doctor Adventures, played by Graeme Garden and later Rufus Hound — you can see his Big Finish-specific character tropes here.


  • Affably Evil: Closer to affably amoral, actually.
  • Ancient Astronauts: Helped the Ancient Britons build Stonehenge and talked with Leonardo da Vinci about flying machines.
  • Anti-Villain: Wants to help humanity... by bringing about technological developments centuries before humans are ready for them.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Inverted from the Monk's perspective; he considers himself a hero who is prevented from doing things the way he wants to because of the Doctor and those who enforce the Laws of Time.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Treated like crap onscreen by Mavic Chen, the Daleks and the Doctor. (The Doctor probably treated him worst of all.)
    • In No Future by Paul Cornell, he's abused and turned on by a pissed-off goddess.
    • Brought on even more by the Daleks in Big Finish.
  • Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit: His logbook includes an entry recording his use of this.
  • Evil Counterpart: To the Doctor, although the Monk doesn't consider himself evil at all. Thoroughly explored in Big Finish.
  • Evil Former Friend: Subverted. It is claimed that the Doctor and Monk haven't met before when he first appears.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He's rather adorkable. The "sympathy" really does start to build up in his later appearances in the audio dramas.
  • No Name Given: Expanded Universe novels given him the name of Mortimus, though.
  • Not So Different: He's a Time Lord who got bored with Gallifrey and decided to travel through space and time. The major difference from the Doctor is that the Monk decided to try to improve history. Later the Doctor starts acting more like him, but he knows when to stop.
  • Out-Gambitted: In each encounter with the Doctor in the TV series, he loses a component of his TARDIS.
  • Put on a Bus: Hasn't been seen in the main series since 1966, sadly. Probably because the Doctor stole the directional unit from his TARDIS, so he can't control where he goes. Also, Peter Butterworth sadly died just before the creators started making a big thing of bringing back famous one-shot villains. (In theory the Monk could just have regenerated and turned up played by a new actor.)
  • Revenge Before Reason: In the Doctor Who New Adventures "Alternative Universe" Story Arc, against the Doctor; also used in various audios, where he attempts elaborate plans against the Doctor even when he is the reason everything went wrong for himself.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Or at least he likes to think this is what he's doing.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means
  • We Will Meet Again: Well, he said they would, but he never seemed to get around to it onscreen. This is one of those reasons the Expanded Universe is so handy.
  • Wham Line: "It's a TARDIS! The Monk's got a TARDIS!"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: His role and fate (if any) in the Time War is generally unknown, although he has a confrontation with the Twelfth Doctor in the Christmas-themed short story "The Persistence of Memory".

    The War Chief 

The War Chief (Second Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/050_war_chief_4566.jpg
Played by: Edward Brayshaw (1969)

"Consider [mankind's] history. For a half a million years they have been systematically killing each other. Now we can turn this savagery to some purpose. We can bring peace to the galaxy, and you can help. You see, I'm not the cold-hearted villain you suppose me to be. My motives are purely peaceful."

Before the TV series introduced the Master, there was the War Chief: a renegade Time Lord with facial hair, a dark Nehru jacket, an alliance with a malevolent alien race (which he plans to betray), and powers of hypnotism, who has some type of history with the Doctor from before leaving Gallifrey.

A popular fan theory is that, due to the many similarities between the two characters, the War Chief is an earlier incarnation of the Master. Word of God, however, says that they are different characters.


  • Affably Evil: Very polite, even when plotting to built a galaxy-conquering army.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Camp: He sets a nice precedent for the Master.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's a Time Lord scientist who stole a TARDIS and is serving as scientific adviser to a military program, and is trying to keep things at the base steady while hostile aliens surround it and attempt to penetrate its defenses.
  • Humans Are Warriors: The War Chief firmly believes this, so he and the War Lords try to create a mighty army out of various warriors and soldiers from human history.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Would you trust a guy who calls himself "War Chief"?
  • No Name Given: Like all renegade Time Lords, he has no name, only a title. The expanded universe reveals his name as Magnus.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: In regard to the Doctor.
  • Not So Different: He is very insistent of this.
    War Chief: Stealing a TARDIS? Oh, I'm not criticizing you. We are two of a kind.
    The Doctor: We most certainly are not!
    War Chief: We were both Time Lords and we both decided to leave our race.
    The Doctor: I had reasons of my own.
    War Chief: Just as I had.
    The Doctor: Your reasons are only too obvious. Power!
  • Really 700 Years Old: He has some type of history with the Doctor from before leaving Gallifrey, so he must be at least a few hundred years old.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Much like the Master, he's someone the Doctor knew back on Gallifrey who's since turned evil.
  • The Starscream: He plans to overthrow the War Lord. He is Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: He does this every now and then.
  • We Can Rule Together: Offers this to the Doctor.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He tries to come across as one, claiming if the Galaxy is conquered there can be peace.
  • Worthy Opponent: Views the Doctor as this.

    Chancellor Goth 

Chancellor Goth (Second and Fourth Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gothtimelord_28.jpg
Played by: Bernard Horsfall (1969, 1976)

"You're finished, Doctor! You're finished!"

A ruthless Time Lord politician who organized the Doctor's banishment to Earth and later teamed up with the Master to seize control of Gallifrey. Same actor as the one playing a high-up Time Lord who's part of the Doctor's trial at the end of "The War Games", so it's generally assumed it's the same character both times.


    Omega 

Omega (Third and Fifth Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/omega_5.jpg
Played by: Stephen Thorne (1973, pictured left); Ian Collier (and briefly Peter Davison) (1983, pictured right)

"A hero?! I should have been a god!"

Omega was, together with Rassilon, a founder of Gallifreyan society. (The Doctor Who Expanded Universe makes him one of three or one out of six.) Believed to have been killed after being sucked into a black hole while performing an experiment to provide the Time Lords with time travel. Like with other Time Lords, this didn't stick. Instead, he wound up in an anti-matter universe, and tried to return to our own universe twice, once in "The Three Doctors", and again in "Arc of Infinity". The "bad" part is that he believes his fellow Gallifreyans forgot and abandoned him, and he is obsessed with getting revenge. The Expanded Universe has given him a few more visits, including one where he just wants to return to the anti-matter universe. He appears in the Past Doctor Adventures novel The Infinity Doctors by Lance Parkin and in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio "Omega", and has minor appearances in a few other works during Gallifrey's past.


  • And I Must Scream: Was trapped in an empty anti-matter universe for millions of years, causing him to go insane.
  • Anti-Villain: When he has the Doctor's body, he... just goes around enjoying having a body again and smiling at people. Okay, the smile is creepy, but the guy's only company for the past million years have been monsters made of red bubble wrap in an anti-matter dimension... he's a bit out of practice with social interaction.
  • Body Horror: The slow degeneration of his body.
  • Broken Pedestal: This guy was the Doctor's childhood hero. It hurt to discover that he had gone nuts and become obsessed with destroying his own race, after having helped them progress so far.
  • Cool Mask: His masks in both appearances, while very different, were really ornate.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Has two, one in "The Three Doctors" where he reveals his true face to himself and to the Doctors. (Except that by now, Omega literally has no face or physical body.) In the second, to reveal that he has assumed the form of the Doctor.
  • Driven to Villainy: He became insane, and a villain, after being trapped in an empty anti-matter universe for millions of years.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: He's not happy at being forgotten in spite of all of his achievements.
  • Emperor Scientist: He was one of the founders of Gallifreyan society alongside Rassilon, and together gave the Time Lords their time-related tecnology.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Doctor seems to have a lot of these... Originally Omega would have had the name Ohm: "Who" upside down and backwards.
  • Evil Is Hammy: With each new actor trying to out-ham the others.
  • Fallen Hero: In hindsight, the first of a trend of Gallifreyan idols turning out to be not so great.
  • A God Am I: See the quote above.
  • Grand Theft Me: ... Does it still count when a copy of the body is made?
  • Heroic Sacrifice: What started him down the road to villainy, supposedly.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: In his rare moments of lucidity, he genuinely appears to regret his actions. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much to unsettle him again.
  • Meaningful Name: Explained in his titular audio play, Omega was a nickname he received after a professor gave him the lowest possible grade (omega) as punishment for challenging orthodoxy. While Omega later proved correct across the board, the nickname stuck, to Omega's chagrin.
  • Mirror Match: Played absolutely straight during "Arc of Infinity". Downright creepy, to boot.
  • No Face Under the Mask: Or, for that matter, a body — by the time the Doctors met him, he existed solely through willpower.
  • No Indoor Voice: One of the hammiest Doctor Who villains, and that's saying something.
  • Not Even Human: Or, in his case, Not Even Human Alien. His time in the anti-matter universe left him with no body, existing solely through willpower.
  • Not Quite Dead: Twice in the main series, several more in the Expanded Universe.
  • Psychic Powers: Considering he has an entire universe under his command...
  • The Scream: Lets out a disturbingly heartbreaking, raw, primal scream in "The Three Doctors".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can
  • Villainous Breakdown: Suffers from this twice. First in "The Three Doctors" when Omega realizes that he no longer exists outside his force of will, and again in "Arc of Infinity" when he realizes that his copy of the Doctor's body is falling apart. Both times result in the typical "blow it all up" behaviour.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He pretty much rolls around in the trope. His confusion when running around in Amsterdam, while wearing the Doctor's body, is nothing short of adorable. The Third Doctor even feels upset about destroying him, saying he gave him the only freedom he could.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Some Expanded Universe sources imply that Rassilon deliberately sabotaged his ship so he would be sucked into the black hole, and Rassilon could rule the newly time-travel capable Gallifrey alone.

    K'anpo Rimpoche 

K'anpo Rimpoche (Third Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kanpo.jpg
Played by: George Cormack and Kevin Lindsay (1974)


  • Enlightenment Superpowers: Displays abilities no other Time Lords have shown, including teleportation without technology and the very existence of Cho Je, who appears to be a tulpa.
  • Hermit Guru: Pretty much a stock example, except the distant, remote area he moved to is Earth.
  • The Mentor: To the Doctor — it's heavily implied that K'anpo is the mysterious hermit who taught him the value of life when he was young.
  • Proverbial Wisdom: Tends to specialize in this.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: He can seemingly appear and disappear at will.
  • Time Master: K'anpo chides the Doctor for stealing a TARDIS to flee from Gallifrey. The Doctor's rebuttal is that, unlike K'anpo, he actually needed one to do so.
  • Tulpa: Cho Je vanishes when Rimpoche "dies", and then the latter regenerates into him, and finishes the sentence he'd started. Some stories have theorised he's a more sophisticated form of the Watcher thanks to Rimpoche's Enlightenment Superpowers.
  • Yellowface: Kevin Lindsay wore makeup and affected a slight, generic accent as Cho Je, as the character is (allegedly) Tibetan. Since he retains this look as K'anpo's regeneration, it's clearly meant to be his diegetic ethnicity. (Which would, in a rather technical and roundabout way, make this the first regeneration to change the Earth-ethnicity of the character.)

    Morbius 

Morbius (Fourth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/morbius_8141.jpg
Played by: Michael Spice (voice) and Stuart Fell (body) (1976)

Morbius was a high-ranking Time Lord. His career was the first in millennia to dramatically alter Gallifrey's relations with the wider universe. He briefly moved Gallifrey's policy away from observation and manipulation and towards a brutal restructuring of the universe to suit Gallifrey's interests. His career ended in ignominy and destruction. He escaped a death sentence only by a secret brain transplant, subsequent to which he encountered the fourth incarnation of the Doctor. Comes back with a vengeance in Big Finish Doctor Who.


  • And I Must Scream: Being a brain in a jar means he can't see or feel anything. Gaining a body did little to help him on his front.
  • Brain in a Jar: Only his brain survived his execution.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Very very hammy.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: His final body is created out of various alien corpses.
  • Large Ham: For a guy who's nothing but a brain and vocal chords, he hams it up.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: The body his servant Solon builds for him is a Frankenstein-like mishmash of various alien races that have crash landed on Karn.
  • My Brain Is Big: His brain would have a hard time fitting in a chest cavity, never mind a human (or Time Lord) braincase.
  • Was Once a Man: Or in his case, a Time Lord.

    Castellan Spandrell 

Castellan Spandrell (Fourth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2018_10_21_at_225009.png
Played by: George Pravda (1976)

The Castellan when the Master tried to use the Eye of Harmony to restore his body.


  • Aliens of London: Subverted, unlike the other Time Lords he doesn't speak with a British accent. Instead he shares his actor's native Czech accent, and he stands out all the more because of it.
  • Book Dumb: He's not as tech savvy as the other Time Lords and this works in his favour; he doesn't have blind faith in Time Lord technology and rightly deduces that so can somebody who knows what he's doing — i.e., the Master can hack it and change records.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Unscrupulously honest, but is still forced to be part of a coverup if the High Council sees fit.
  • Da Chief: Often seen barking orders to the Chancellery Guard and offering stinging criticisms when they screw up.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The only Time Lord in "The Deadly Assassin" with any pull who insists on a thorough investigation, and believes in the Doctor's innocence.
  • Spanner in the Works: For Goth and the Master's plan to frame the Doctor for the President's assassination, because of how competent at his job he is and his willingness to listen to the Doctor.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: His opinion of his subordinates, and to be fair he has a point.
    "Well done, Hilred! An antiquated capsule, for which you get adequate early warning, transducts on the very steps of the Capitol. You are warned that the occupant is a known criminal, therefore you allow him to escape and conceal himself in a building a mere 53 stories high. A clever stratagem, Hilred. You're trying to confuse him, I take it?"
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He isn't seen or mentioned in any of the Gallifrey stories of the Classic Series post-"The Deadly Assassin". The Castellans that followed were either corrupt or incompetent.

    Runcible 

Runcible (Fourth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/runcible_prv_0.jpg
Played by: Hugh Walters (1976)

"Oh no, it's Runcible. Runcible the Fatuous!"
The Fourth Doctor, "The Deadly Assassin"

"Runcible, you had ample opportunity to ask me questions during your misspent years at the Academy. You failed to avail yourself of the opportunity then and it is too late now."
Cardinal Borusa, "The Deadly Assassin"

An old schoolmate of the Doctor from the Academy, who works as a commentator for the Public Video Registry.


  • Butt-Monkey: Gets no respect from anybody on Gallifrey.
  • Forgot About His Powers: He's killed off by a knife in the back courtesy of Chancellor Goth, quick enough that he couldn't regenerate.
  • He Knows Too Much: Goth killed him for the video disc that would have proven the Doctor innocent of the Lord President's murder.
  • Kent Brockman News: He desperately wants to be an Intrepid Reporter, but he's actually this — getting no respect from his old teacher and is generally seen as a joke. It's implied he flunked out of the Academy and this was the only job he could get.
  • Old Friend: Well more like acquaintance, but he and the Doctor were at the Academy together, and they knew each other well enough to recognize each other by sight — though it takes Runcible a few seconds.

    Borusa 

Borusa (Fourth, Fifth and War Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/borusa_46701.jpg
Played by: Angus MacKay (1976, pictured top left); John Arnatt (1978, pictured top right); Leonard Sachs (1983, pictured bottom left); Philip Latham (1983, pictured bottom right)

"To lose is to win, and he who wins shall lose."

One of the Doctor's oldest friends, and a beloved mentor, originally a teacher at the Academy, he eventually retired and went into politics — Cardinal, Chancellor, and then Lord President. Borusa was a major recurring character throughout the franchise in the 1970s and 1980s. Each time with a different face. While he was obviously on the Doctor's side during his first two appearances, Borusa appeared to be a little shady during "Arc of Infinity" and turned out to be outright evil in "The Five Doctors". While he certainly survived until the end of the Time War, he didn't do much beyond his last appearance.


  • And I Must Scream: Gained the immortality he searched after... by being fused into an immobile stone slab.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: He pays the ultimate price for true immortality.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Doctor admitted that he never showed him much respect as a student, but clearly admired him personally.
  • The Chessmaster: Borusa is shown to even have little chess figurines of the Doctors, companions, and the Master made so he can mess around with them at the beginning of "The Five Doctors".
  • Drunk with Power: He's a bit of a cynical pragmatist when we first meet him, but he's ultimately on the side of good. When he reaches the presidency, however, he begins to change for the worse until he'll do anything to hold on to his power forever.
  • Eldritch Abomination: How the Time Lords view him, as the Possibility Engine.
  • Fallen Hero: Was once the closest thing the Doctor had to a true Time Lord ally, then turned on him to obtain immortality. He gets a Heel–Face Turn in the Expanded Universe.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Becomes a stone slab in Rassilon's Tomb. During the events of the Time War, Rassilion turned him into the Possibility Engine.
  • Foreshadowing: His idea of "adjusting the truth" in "The Deadly Assassin" so Goth would be the hero who died trying to kill the Master and ignoring the Doctor's heroics was a good indication of where his shady politics would eventually take him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He searched for immortality, but never counted on Rassilon's flavour of immortality being turning someone into a stone slab.
  • It's All About Me: “Time in Office” makes it clear that Borusa had become far too defined by his own ego; he apparently created a complex and twisted political system that was totally dependent on the idea that he would rule Gallifrey forever, leading to the Time Lords appointing the Doctor as Lord President in his place as the only one with the necessary strength of will to undo Borusa’s current system without Gallifrey collapsing on itself in the process
  • Jerkass: The fact that he's willing to throw the Doctor under the bus cements him as this.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Once he became Lord President and went through another regeneration, he became very power-hungry, determined to hold the office at all costs, not just for the rest of his life but as President Eternal to rule Gallifrey forever!
  • Karmic Death: More a Karmic Fate: getting immortality by becoming a statue.
  • Large Ham: Depends upon the actor, actually...
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Having manipulated the Doctors into granting him access to Rassilon's tomb, he claims the reward of immortality promised to the winner of the game of death. Rassilon grants it, which, unfortunately for Borusa, takes the form of being turned into a living statue.
  • More Than Mind Control: Borusa really likes the coronet of Rassilon, which he uses to control the Fifth Doctor in his last story.
  • The Nth Doctor: As seen above, he's played by a number of actors. Goes with being a Time Lord.
  • President Evil: He served as Lord President of Gallifrey once after the Fourth Doctor left the office vacant, and Borusa's last story has him pulling a Face–Heel Turn.
  • Rank Up: From Cardinal to Chancellor and finally to Lord President.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Serves as one in his first three appearances, especially "The Invasion of Time", before becoming evil.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It is not known what happened to him and his bas-relief mates when Rassilon emerged. The Expanded Universe gives various stories featuring him. Borusa plays a major part in the War Doctor story Engines of War, in which he dies while destroying a Dalek force.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: This seems to happen a lot with evil Time Lords.
  • You Are in Command Now: Although he was only a Cardinal in "The Deadly Assassin", since the President and Chancellor Goth ended up dead, he ended up as Gallifrey's leader — the High Council made him Chancellor to lead the planet ... until the Doctor showed up to claim the office of the Presidency (since he technically won the election by virtue of being not dead); Borusa was later elected as Lord President, but that's when he began to go wrong.

    Coordinator Engin 

Coordinator Engin (Fourth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/engin.jpg
Played by: Erik Chitty (1976)

The first Keeper of the Matrix seen on the show. A bit of pompous gent, but quite friendly.


  • Everyone Has Standards: He's outraged when Borusa wants to cover up Goth's treachery by making him a hero and downplaying the Doctor's involvement.
  • Nice Guy: Smugness aside, he's really a nice guy, outraged at Borusa's coverup, and is very friendly to the Doctor to the point of asking him to stay on Gallifrey.
  • Old Master: In The Eight Doctors, the Sixth and Eighth Doctors recruit him to their commission of inquiry into the Sixth Doctor's trial as an honest Time Lord who is an acknowledged expert on the Matrix.
  • Smug Super: He's really convinced of the superiority of Time Lord tech, refusing to believe it could be hacked or the records erased. He's in a for a rude shock when the Master does just that and the Doctor informs him that the Matrix would be seen as "primitive" on other words.

    Drax 

Drax (Fourth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/who_armageddon06.jpg
Played by: Barry Jackson (1979)

An old friend of the Doctor's from his days at the Prydonian Academy, Drax is a shifty con-man renegade Time Lord, who spent ten years in an Earth prison before he ended up captured and imprisoned on Zeos by agents of the Black Guardian.


  • Con Man: Demonstrates this trait to varying degrees of skill.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: He's an old schoolfriend of the Doctor's, to the point that he calls the Doctor "Thete".
  • Going Native: Speaks with a cockney accent as a result of spending time in a Brixton prison.
  • London Gangster: Not native to London, but developed a cockney accent after he spent ten years in a London prison.
  • Lovable Rogue: He's technically a criminal, but he's friendly enough.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: "The Trouble with Drax" depicts Drax basically doing this to steal a Blinovitch Limitation Effect Limiter and then return it once he's finished using it, but this particular trope is downplayed as multiple incarnations of him are involved in the plot, so he's had literally centuries to plan his "next" move to ensure success.

    Professor Chronotis 

Professor Chronotis (Fourth and Eighth Doctors) note 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chronotis.jpg
Played by: Denis Carey
Voiced by: James Fox

A kindly old Time Lord renegade whom the Doctor knows of old, Chronotis has disguised his TARDIS as his college living room and retired to live on Earth as a Cambridge professor. However, it turns out that he is actually Salyavin, a Time Lord criminal, who has apparently reformed and forgotten all about his past.


  • Absent-Minded Professor: He's getting a little dotty in his old age.
  • Actually, I Am Him: Chronotis is actually the former Time Lord criminal Salyavin.
  • Canon Immigrant: Eventually appears in the Douglas Adams book Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (since many plot elements from Shada were recycled for the novel), although no mention is made of him being a Time Lord.
  • Continuity Snarl: So did the events of "Shada" happen with the Fourth or Eighth Doctors? The BBC has never made an official stance, while the book A Brief History Of Time Lords takes the view that both versions happened.
  • Cursed with Awesome: How he views his mental powers, since they made a pariah amongst the power-hungry paranoid Time Lords.
  • Expy: Professor Chronotis is something of an Expy of the retired Fourth Doctor Douglas Adams originally wanted to write this serial about.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Salyavin was a feared criminal with extraordinary mental powers — at least, that's the official record; in reality his exploits were exaggerated — as in completely fabricated by the other Time Lords, who feared that he would use his mental powers to take control of the planet; in reality Salyavin just wanted a quiet life.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Cambridge has so many old professors who had been around for as long as anyone could remember because of tenure that nobody noticed that Chronotis had been in their number for 300 years.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Contrary to what the Time Lords thought, he never had any ambitions to rise to power, he just wanted a quiet life.
  • Refuge in Audacity: He's been living as a Cambridge professor in rooms that are actually his TARDIS (which is actually older than the Doctor's) for centuries; Cambridge is a very discreet place.
  • Retired Badass: He's been living quietly in Cambridge now for eons, using his powers only when necessary to maintain his disguise.

    Rassilon 

Rassilon (Fifth, War, Tenth and Twelfth Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rassilon.jpg
Played by: Richard Matthews (1983); Timothy Dalton (2009–10); Donald Sumpter (2015)

"This day was the day upon which the whole of creation would change forever."

You know that guy everything in Time Lord society (and we do mean everything) is named after? Yeah, this is him. Rassilon, like Omega, is one of the triumvirate who founded all of Time Lord society. As this was in the distant past, even for Time Lords, he's mostly not in the franchise, despite his name showing up everywhere in the old show and showing up at times in the revived series. He gets along rather well with the Doctor in the classic series, though he showed his Evilutionary Biologist side in Big Finish; after the Last Great Time War, the series gave him plenty of reasons to become the Doctor's enemy.


  • 0% Approval Rating: By "Hell Bent", the Time Lords refuse to submit to his tyranny anymore (again) and he's banished by the Doctor along with the High Council. It says something when the Master, who lives purely to fuck up all the shit in the universe, hates this man so much that he saves the Doctor and chokes Rassilon to death by shoving white star diamonds down his throat after hitting him with many beams of electricity.
  • Artifact of Doom: If it has this man's name on it, the artefact is going to be 1) powerful and 2) evil. Some representative examples include the Key of Rassilon, the Great Key of Rassilon (which isn't the same thing), the Coronet of Rassilon, the Sash of Rassilon, the Ring of Rassilon, the Tower of Rassilon, the Harp of Rassilon, the Black Scrolls of Rassilon, and Rassilon knows what else.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Why he's Lord President of Gallifrey.
  • Bad Boss: Question Rassilon? Nice knowing you...
  • Badass Decay: In-Universe. By "Hell Bent", he's just a ranting feeble old man desperate to hold on to power, a far cry from the imposing presence of his previous incarnations. The Time Lords finally rebel against him and the Doctor banishes him from Gallifrey as a result.
  • Big Bad: Of "The End of Time", manipulating the Master into summoning him to avert the destruction of the Time Lords. Also the closest thing to a main antagonist in the Series 9 three-part finale, though he is deposed quickly in the last episode.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: In "Hell Bent", the Time Lords are no longer afraid of his gauntlet any more, reducing him to just a ranting old man.
  • Break the Haughty: Despite his immense power, he was unable to stop the Time War. As a result, the Time Lords refuse to recognize his authority anymore — and the Doctor banishes him.
  • Came Back Strong: Inverted; in every reappearance after "The Five Doctors" he seems to come back weaker. When he reappers in "The End of Time", while still very powerful thanks to his gauntlet, he's vastly depowered in comparison to his previous portrayal, a Physical God who transformed a villain into a living statue with a thought while unconscious (and only technically not dead). When we see him again in "Hell Bent", he's just a feeble old man; it's implied he regenerated after his tussle with the Master in "The End of Time" and he got the short end of the regeneration lottery.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Is inordinately fond of turning his bling into Magic from Technology.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: An EU anthology reveals that after the Time Lords were sent back to the Time War in "The End of Time", the Master proceeded to stuff white star diamonds down Rassilon's throat, which triggered a regeneration that was so excruciatingly painful that Ohila had to give him a special potion to cope. And to add insult to injury, the resulting regeneration resulted in the least threatening incarnation of Rassilon yet.
  • Delayed Narrator Introduction: In "The End of Time", when he's revealed at the end of Part 1 to be the narrator.
  • Deus ex Machina: He solves both villain-related problems in his first two appearances with literally a wave of his hand or a nod of his floating head.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
    • Rebukes the Doctor for trying to threaten him.
    • The Master gloatingly states his intent to repeat his Grand Theft Me trick on the Time Lords in "The End of Time", thinking that Rassilon can't stop him. He does, with a literal, and effortless, flick of his wrist, before pulling a Kneel Before Zod, quickly establishing him as Eviler Than Thou.
  • The Dreaded: Originally in the Classic series, the Doctor was terrified of him and his mass power. But come the Time War with for all his power even Rassilon can't stop, the Doctor fears him no longer to the point in two different incarnations he tells him to go to Hell and get off Gallifrey.
  • Driven by Envy: It's hinted in "Hell Bent" he harbours a great deal of resentment over the fact that the Doctor — a disgraced renegade — was able to end the Time War and save the Time Lords, something that he — Rassilon, Lord President, the Founder of Time Lord Society, and possibly the most powerful Time Lord ever — was not able to do.
  • Emperor Scientist: Revered by present-day Time Lords. Well, he was. Then they brought him back to life to be their Lord President and he revealed himself to be the petty tyrant he truly is.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Rassilon disintegrating a member of his own Council for daring to suggest that their time is over, then shouting "I WILL NOT DIE!" establishes straight away that Rassilon isn't a leader desperate to save his people, but a dictator desperate to save himself.
  • Evil Is Petty: In the Series 9 finale he imprisons Twelve in his confession dial to get him to reveal information about the Hybrid — on the pretext of trying to protect Gallifrey, but in reality to get revenge for his humiliation in "The End of Time". It backfires spectacularly; the Doctor, furious over Clara's death, does not give him anything, spending billions of years in there until he's able to finally escape.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Quickly establishes himself as a far bigger fish than the Master in "The End of Time" by casually undoing the Master's Grand Theft Me of humanity with a flick of his wrist, then stating his intent to destroy the universe.
  • The Exile: The Doctor unceremoniously boots him off Gallifrey in "Hell Bent".
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Post-"The Day of the Doctor", he tries to take credit for Gallifrey's survival, deeming himself "Rassilon the Redeemer", but everybody on Gallifrey knows this is a lie.
    Rassilon: Who does [the Doctor] think he is!?
    The General: The man who won the Time War, sir.
  • Fallen Hero: From a revered founder of Time Lord society to an omnicidal asshat trying to destroy existence. The Time Lord General even stated that he was a good man. Pity that the operative word is was.
  • False Friend: Expanded Universe materials suggest that he was this to Omega. At best, he misled Omega that he would survive the journey into the black hole and the experiment that ultimately created the Eye of Harmony. At worst, he deliberately sabotaged it so he could take all the glory and get a rival to his own power out of the way.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He is initially quite pleasant to the Doctor and Master, addressing them formally as "my Lord Doctor" and "my Lord Master". That affable façade vanishes very quickly, even if you aren't against him... Also his Bad Boss tendencies.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: One of the founders of Time Lord society, alongside Omega, and the Other.
  • Foreshadowing: In "The Five Doctors", Two gets very nervous in the shadow of the Dark Tower, telling the Brig that despite official Time Lord history proclaiming Rassilon a hero, there are plenty of rumours and legends saying he was a vicious tyrant. In the end, the rumours turned out to be true, as the Time War revealed his true colours to his fellow Time Lords.
    The Brigadier: Didn't you say he was supposed to be rather a good type?
    Second Doctor: So the official history says, but there are many rumours and legends to the contrary. Some say his fellow Time Lords rebelled against his cruelty and locked him in the Tower in eternal sleep.
  • Gambit Roulette: He makes this kind of plan.
  • Glory Hound: Time Lord society was founded by a trio — Rassilon, Omega, and the Other. Out of all of them, Rassilon gets the credit for nearly everything... Omega isn't happy about it, while no one's quite sure what happened to the Other (the prevailing theory is that he was technologically reincarnated as the Doctor). There are only two significant Time Lord artifacts that don't bear Rassilon's name or seal: the Eye of Harmony and the Hand of Omega.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In "The End of Time", he turns out to be the bigger threat behind the Master, as well as the source of the Master's drumming.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: He started as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, trying to improve and protect his race. He ended as an Omnicidal Maniac, trying to save himself and his race at the cost of the universe. The Expanded Universe explains that his fall occurred a long time ago, the Time War just finished it.
  • Humiliation Conga: Oh boy. After his confrontation with the Master he regenerates into a feeble old man. Then when the Doctor comes back to Gallifrey, he's disposed and exiled.
  • It's All About Me: He would sacrifice all of creation to stave off his death, and the death of the Time Lords, as he sees them as extensions of hiself.
    Rassilon: I will NOT! DIE! DO! YOU HEAR ME? A billion years of Time Lord history riding on our backs... I will not let this perish. I. Will. Not.
  • King in the Mountain: Spent most of the Classic Era asleep in his tower/tomb. Then the Time Lords woke him up during the Time War. Big mistake.
  • Kneel Before Zod: "On your knees, mankind." Scarily, they do.
  • Knight Templar: Before, he destroyed or imprisoned entire species which might ovecome or destroy Time Lords. Now he wants to destroy the entire universe to save himself and his race.
  • Large Ham: "FOR GALLIFREY! FOR VICTORY! FOR THE END OF TIME ITSELF!"
  • The Magnificent: During the Time War he dubbed himself "Rassilon the Resurrected". After Gallifrey managed to survive the Time War he dubbed himself "Rassilon the Redeemer", even though the Doctor was the one responsible for saving the planet.
  • Not Quite Dead: In "The Five Doctors", the Second Doctor says that even though Rassilon is in his tomb, it's uncertain if he's actually dead. Turns out he's not dead, he's merely resting.
  • Not So Different:
  • The Nth Doctor: Standard for a Time Lord.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: As of "The End of Time" — he's the one trying to bring about the eponymous cataclysm.
  • One Steve Limit: Due to some fandom confusion, Davies had to confirm that the Lord President from "The End of Time" is the same guy in The Writer's Tale. He's played by a different actor in the quarter-century since "The Five Doctors".
  • Physical God: In "The Five Doctors", he's asleep in his tomb, yet he's able to manifest his consciousness as a disembodied head and when all is said and done is able to put all of the past Doctors and their companions back to their proper place in time. It's as awe-inspiring and frightening as it sounds. His subsequent incarnations don't show any of the same display of power.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Looks down on the Master as "diseased" (though he admits that he's responsible for the Master being evil and insane).
  • Power Fist: Sass him, and expect him to age you to nothing with it.
  • President Evil: He is Lord President of the Time Lords. And an egomaniac Knight Templar.
  • Resurrected for a Job: He was brought back from his "death" to guide the Time Lords through the Time War as their Lord President. Given his position in "The End of Time", he hasn't done a very good job of it.
  • Running Gag: Everything is named after him. Gets a Lampshade Hanging in Big Finish, when the Doctor is tired of Rassilon's games:
    The Doctor: So what have you got squirrelled away [here]? The Hairdryer of Rassilon? The Hoover of Rassilon? The Rassilon Patent Trouser Press? "These creases last forever!"
  • Sigil Spam: The Seal of Rassilon is found everywhere in Time Lord society. Heck, even the Doctor's TARDIS was at one time liberally decorated with it during his Seventh and Eighth incarnations.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: As part of his Badass Decay, as of "Hell Bent", he can't even rest on his laurels anymore, with his attempts at intimidating the soldiers he commanded to execute the Doctor when they chose to side with the latter.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He wants to kill the Doctor despite the fact that he ended the Time War. Lucky for the Doctor, the rest of the Time Lords appreciate the man who saved them...
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Though long thought to be a benign leader, he was shown to be a ruthless tyrant. The stories told about him through the series imply that he was Good Is Not Nice at first, so he was a hero, though a long time ago.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Started as one and presents himself as such. He is not in the modern series.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: He's the only Time Lord that is explicitly immortal and doesn't have to worry about a limited regeneration cycle. Heck, when he was put in his tomb, he wasn't even dead, he was just sleeping. However, he believes it to be a curse, and he recognized that any other Time Lord who would want to be immortal would be crazy, so his tomb is one big Schmuck Bait to anyone who seeks to become immortal; they are turned into living statues on Rassilon's plinth. Unfortunately, he ultimately forgot his own lesson when it became clear the Time Lords were losing the War, and sought to destroy the Universe using its energy to make himself and the Time Lords "beings of pure consciousness".
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Only generally hinted at in the Expanded Universe, but outright shown in his second appearance, although the fact that everything in Time Lord society is named after him is a good clue that there's a pretty monstrous ego at work here.

    The Rani 

The Rani (Sixth and Seventh Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cs24ep1c.jpg
Played by: Kate O'Mara (1985–87, 1993)

"Oh, what's [the Master] up to now? It'll be something devious and overcomplicated ... he'd get dizzy if he tried to walk in a straight line."

An evil Time Lady and contemporary of both the Doctor and the Master at the Academy. Would dearly love to rule her planet and experiment on various other species (including humans) in peace and quiet, but the Doctor and the Master keep getting in the way. She only appears in two serials and the "Dimensions in Time" special, but is notable for being one of the few Time Ladies shown in the classic series.


  • '80s Hair: Kate O'Mara's appearance in "The Mark of the Rani" actually got her a stint on Dynasty, in fact!
  • The Baroness
  • Berserk Button: Do not mention her exile from Gallifrey. She isn't over it. And as the Master learns, keep your hands off her TARDIS.
  • The Collector: This is what she is portrayed as in "Dimensions in Time", collecting a specimen of every race in the universe. Actually, this wouldn't be out of character for her.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: A rare female example.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To the Master, more or less.
  • Emperor Scientist: The Rani rules Miasimia Goria and experiments on her subjects. Her accidental elimination of their ability to sleep is what kick-starts the plot of "The Mark of the Rani".
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Her giant pet mice ate the Lord President's cat, and got her exiled from Gallifrey. She's a bit pissed about that. She also starts kidnapping geniuses to power a giant brain. She views humans as lower life forms and has no qualms about experimenting on them.
  • Evil Laugh: Played straight in "Time and the Rani", but in the mine shaft scene with the Master and Peri in "The Mark of the Rani", she starts choking and knocks Peri out with her poison gas capsules.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Tends to leave her human subjects in terrible states, such as driven mad from sleeplessness or living out prolonged lives as trees.
  • For Science!: Unlike the Master, the Rani's schemes are purely to advance her scientific research. Even when she does enslave people, it is only because she has need of them to support her experiments and not because she is particularly interested in ruling anybody.
  • Groin Attack: Remains the only person in the Whoniverse to have the sense to knee the Master in the groin.
  • Have We Met Yet?: Used to great extent in the Big Finish audios, which introduce a new incarnation of her (portrayed by Siobhan Redmond) who has already witnessed the Sixth Doctor's regeneration, but has no qualms about trying to kill the Sixth Doctor in her current encounters with him.
  • Mad Scientist: Well, a mad chemist and biologist.
  • Master of Disguise: She disguises herself as an old crone.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: Inverted. Much like Romana and Chancellor Flavia, she's arguably more rational and linear than her male counterparts.
  • No Name Given: Though the Expanded Universe novels give her Gallifreyan name (the first few syllables, at least) as Ushas, which is also used by Big Finish Doctor Who from 2014 onwards.
  • Rival Turned Evil: With both the Doctor and the Master. She teams up with the Master, but only because he's Blackmailing her.
  • The Sociopath: Depicted as being neutral to dismissive about the suffering she causes rather than relishing it. Either she can't understand the pain of others or can't bring herself to care.
  • Übermensch: The Rani may be an amoral scientist, but even the Doctor admits she's a genius — shame he can't stand her.
  • Unwilling Suspension: In "Time and the Rani".
  • The Vamp: She appears to be as asexual as the Doctor, but seems to have a taste for loud, tight fashion and flashy makeup.
  • Villains Blend in Better: Like the Master, she has far less problems with making herself inconspicuous on Earth than a certain other Time Lord...
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Like the Monk, what part she played in the Time War has yet to be discussed in the series proper. She hasn't even been given a passing mention in the revival series and it's become somewhat of a Running Gag in the fandom to speculate that any female character (Rose, Donna, River, Clara, Missy etc) might turn out to be the Rani.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: In "Time and the Rani", she's able to impersonate Mel and fool the Doctor with nothing more than a wig! Granted, the Doctor was suffering from regeneration sickness at the time. In general, the Rani just likes disguises.

    The Inquisitor 

The Inquisitor (Sixth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_inquisitor11.jpg
Played by: Lynda Bellingham (1986)

"Your puerile attempts at flippancy are not appreciated in this court, Doctor."

The presiding officer at the Doctor's second trial. A stern, no-nonsense Time Lady, she firmly kept order during proceedings. Given that this involved controlling both the Doctor and the Valeyard, this was no mean feat. At the end of the trial, the Doctor suggested that she stand for the vacant Presidency.


    The Valeyard 

The Valeyard (Sixth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_valeyard.jpg
Played by: Michael Jayston (1986)

"There is nothing you can do to prevent the catharsis of spurious morality."

The Valeyard was a particularly antagonistic Time Lord, who first appeared in "The Trial of a Time Lord". It was eventually revealed in Part 13 the Valeyard is really the Doctor. Or, rather, a future aspect of all the Doctor's evil and malice born from his 12th and final regenerations (except that information came from the Master and which regenerations he's referring to exactly is a bit muddled at this point). Though the Valeyard only showed up in the TV series for that one story, presumed dead and alive at the same time, he will happen someday...


  • Aborted Arc: Steven Moffat ultimately decided to ignore the matter of the Valeyard's existence when writing "The Name of the Doctor" and "The Time of the Doctor", stories which concerned the future fate of the Doctor and his gaining of a new regeneration cycle, respectively (however, the Valeyard does receive a brief shout-out as one of the many names the Doctor will take before his death). The Valeyard was mentioned again in "Twice Upon a Time", suggesting that he's just been pushed back.
  • Ambulance Chaser: He seems to be this at first.
  • Big Bad: Of the Trial of a Time Lord arc.
  • The Bully: An unfortunate trait that exceedingly parallels the Sixth Doctor’s own abrasive, condescending personality. When Glitz appears in the Matrix, the Valeyard takes the time to immaturely call him names (“Oaf! Microbe!”), before moving back to mock the Doctor some more.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Once it's revealed that he's the main villain of the Trial of a Time Lord arc in "The Ultimate Foe", he starts to nonchalantly reaffirm that yes, he's a villain.
  • Character Tics: As he notes during "The Ultimate Foe", he still displays some of the Doctor's habits and eccentricities.
  • Continuity Nod: In "The Name of the Doctor", it's stated the Doctor will come to be known as the Valeyard.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To the entire Time Lord High Council. At least until the Master pulls the lid on his ultimate game plan. Then he makes the transition into full Big Bad.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: The Master believed that he worked for him, but the Valeyard's plan all along was to obtain the Sixth Doctor's remaining regenerations for himself.
  • The Dreaded: By both the Master and the Doctor.
  • Driving Question: Exactly who are the twelfth and final (at the time implied to be thirteen) incarnations of the Doctor the Master spoke of? Meta-Crisis Ten, born as an offshoot from aborted regeneration number twelve? Eleven, who is his twelfth life born from his final regeneration in the original cycle? Twelve, his first life in the new cycle and thirteenth overall? The actual Thirteenth Doctor? The Dream Lord? Or some other incarnation in the future considered to be the last one?
  • Enemy Within: The Master's ambiguous wording when describing him infers that he's either the Doctor himself, after all his evil took over him in a potential future, or...
  • Enemy Without: The Doctor's evil split from him.
  • Evil Counterpart: Played literally straight for this one. He's either the Doctor after all his evil took over him, or straight up the Doctor's evil split from him. Either way, he's an evil counterpart of the Doctor.
  • Evil Feels Good: He has no qualms about preferring being evil.
  • Evil Gloating
  • Evil Is Hammy: And revelling in it. Not that anyone's complaining...
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: As the High Council and the Master found out to their cost..
  • Evil Knockoff: Of the Doctor, intentionally.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: The Doctor's reaction to the Valeyard's true nature is one of abject horror. It's been argued that the Doctor is petrified of him returning in any form. The Expanded Universe went further on this, to the point that in the New Adventures the Seventh Doctor temporarily sealed away the Sixth Doctor's personality for fear he'd become him. Hell, even the Master fears him.
  • Expanded Universe: He was brought back, and apparently killed off, in the BBC Seventh Doctor novel Matrix. Big Finish also brought him back in Trial of the Valeyard, which also has him telling his backstory (though said backstory turned out to be bait for his attempt to lure the Doctor into a trap; however, the Doctor says there might have been some truth to this story).
  • Face–Heel Turn: One possibility for his conception is that he's the Doctor after all his evil took over him.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Part of the issue with the Valeyard is that, previously, the Doctor always had the option of self-sacrifice if a cause was worthy enough. From the 12th Doctor onward, he likely doesn't have this option, as his death could unleash the Valeyard, who helped kill billions just to set up a Grand Theft Me gambit to steal the Doctor's remaining lives.
  • A God Am I: Shows signs of this when bragging to the Doctor about his mastery of the Matrix.
  • Hanging Judge: While admittedly he's the prosecutor in the Doctor's trial, it's clear that he wants the Doctor executed. If the trial was run on Earth laws he would have soon run into Artistic License – Law.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the novel Millennial Rites, when debating with a manifestation of the Valeyard in his mind, the Sixth Doctor concedes to the Valeyard's point that sometimes the more ruthless course of action is sometimes necessary, but the Doctor nevertheless rejects the idea that he has to enjoy such actions to commit them.
  • Master of Illusion: When he escapes into the Matrix.
  • Meaningful Name: The name Valeyard is said to mean "Doctor of Law" in Gallifreyan (so good luck finding it in any dictionary).
  • Mugged for Disguise: If the final moments of "The Ultimate Foe" are anything to go by, he seems to have robbed the Keeper of the Matrix of his robes.
  • Noodle Incident: His apparent history with the Ainley Master.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: How the Valeyard even came into existence is unknown.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: At first he seems to be just another stuffy bureaucrat that's merely doing his job. Then the Master shows up and reveals what he's really in it for.
  • Not So Above It All: There is a golden moment where he's lecturing the Doctor in his typical dour manner, even explicitly stating that he "wishes not to be contaminated by [the Doctor's] whims and idiosyncracies." ...then when Glitz tries to participate in the conversation, the Valeyard teleports directly behind him for the explicit purpose of insulting him in a rather comedic way. Then again, his compulsion to out-cool adult male companions and recurring characters was always one of the Doctor's character flaws...
  • The Plan: The Valeyard's plan revolves around setting up a trial to frame the Doctor for the illegal actions of the Time Lord High Council, which he uses to try and steal the Sixth Doctor's remaining regenerations for himself — so that he can become a full being once again. However, on top of this, the Valeyard also uses the setup of the trial to jack into the computer that records all of time, warp the records, and setup a death trap to kill off the entire Time Lord leadership in one blow! Oh, and this was all set up to begin a coup d'état of the entire Time Lord society! Yeah, he's good. All of that, while pretending to be The Dragon for everyone but the Doctor, and everyone but the Doctor being powerless to stop him once they realize his intent.
  • Psycho for Hire: He seems to be this, before becoming the Dragon-in-Chief.
  • Purple Prose: Prone to overly-verbose language in "The Ultimate Foe", because his dialogue was penned by Pip & Jane Baker. His page quote is a fancy way of saying it's impossible to keep an evil nature hidden beneath the guise of a good one.
  • Put on a Bus: It's been over 30 years since the Valeyard last appeared in his "am I dead or not" ending.
    • The Dream Lord from "Amy's Choice" is another manifestation of the Doctor's dark side, suggesting the Valeyard part of the Doctor is not entirely dead.
    • The Valeyard is name-checked by the Great Intelligence in "The Name of the Doctor", as one of the names the Doctor supposedly will take before the end.
    • In "Twice Upon a Time", the Testimony also namechecks the Valeyard as one of the Doctor's many names.
  • Shadow Archetype: To the Doctor.
  • The Spook
  • Unreliable Narrator: In "The Mysterious Planet", he's tampered with the evidence in the Matrix, though not to as great an effect as he has in following stories.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: At least until the Master reveals what his true nature is.
  • Wham Line:
    The Master: They made a deal with the Valeyard — or, as I've always known him, the Doctor — to adjust the evidence! In return for which, he was promised the remainder of the Doctor's regenerations!
    The Valeyard: My lady, this-!
    The Doctor: Just a minute! Did you call him... The Doctor!?
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Ties in directly with his Large Ham status. And, wow, it's fun to watch.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: For the Doctor.

    The Other 

The Other

"Of those three Gallifreyans who would reshape their world, two would become great legends; the other would vanish altogether from history."

The mysterious third member of the triumvirate in Gallifrey's past, who founded Time Lord Society along with Rassilon and Omega. Very little is known about him, save that he might be connected to the Doctor in some way. While barely mentioned in the show proper, he gets considerable more acknowledgment in the EU materials.


  • All There in the Manual: Outside of EU materials, his only allusion in the series was the original script for "Silver Nemesis", where it's more explicit there was another founder besides Omega and Rassilon which for some reason the Doctor is being coy about.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: His first appearance proper is in a flashback in the novelization of "Remembrance of the Daleks".
  • Founder of the Kingdom: Along with Rassilon and Omega.
  • Discontinuity: The Virgin NA novel Lungbarrow revealed that the Doctor was a reincarnation of him. The revival promptly ignored this, along with everything else about Time Lord culture from the NA novels, especially the infamous Looms.
  • No Name Given: In the novelization of "Remembrance of the Daleks" he's merely described as "the other who would vanish altogether from history". The Virgin New Adventures novels capitalized the pronoun to make it into his title — the Other.
  • Only Sane Man: In the novelization of "Remembrance of the Daleks", he's the only one who's pessimistic about the time travel experiments and Omega and Rassilon's ambitions to turn their race into Lords of Time, reminding his colleagues of what happened to the Minyans, incredulous at his colleagues' hubris.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Out of the founding triumvirate, the Other is regarded more as legend than a historical figure. Heck, we don't even know his name.

New Series Debut

    The Woman 

The Woman (Tenth Doctor)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_woman_the_end_of_time.jpg
Played by: Claire Bloom

One of two Time Lords who opposed Rassilon's insane plan to save the Time Lords at the expense of reality. She appears to Wilfred Mott, in the final days of Ten's life. She and the Doctor know each other, but her identity is a mystery.


  • Ambiguous Situation: Russell T. Davies suggested that she might be the Doctor's mother, which may explain his reaction when he saw her, but this is not confirmed explicitly in the episode.
  • Make an Example of Them: She and another Time Lord voted against Rassilon's plan to bring about the End of Time. Rassilon has them "stand as monuments to their shame like the Weeping Angels of old."
  • No Name Given: Rassilon had her name erased from history for voting against his plan.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Is she really the Doctor's mother, or not?
  • Woman in White: She wears white when she appears to Wilf.

    Ohila 

Ohila (Eighth and Twelfth Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screen_shot_2017_07_06_at_220138.png
Played by: Clare Higgins (2013, 2015)

Current High Priestess of the Sisterhood of Karn, who assisted the Eighth Doctor's regeneration and apparently is entrusted with the Twelfth Doctor's confession dial (i.e. his testament).


  • Blue and Orange Morality: As with all the Sisterhood, due to her status as a detached immortal. This makes her possibly the worst person to try and be The Conscience for the Doctor.
  • The Conscience: Tries to be one for the Doctor in the absence of his companions, with variable success. Part of the reason she fails at this in "Hell Bent" is that while her reasoning is pragmatic, she's chewing him out for 1) getting back at Rassilon and co. for trapping and torturing him, and 2) trying to save a companion, and having No Sympathy for how much he's suffered of late.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Has one with Twelve in the prologue to Series 9, about an enemy of his that he's running from, after which he gives her his Confession Dial. It's not until "The Magician's Apprentice" that it's revealed the enemy in question is Davros.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In "Hell Bent", she's disgusted that the Doctor chooses to overthrow and exile Rassilon and the High Council upon returning to Gallifrey instead of just coming to terms with them about the Time War and his recent imprisonment in the confession dial (calling him a Dirty Coward), and later running away from Gallifrey rather than facing her and the Time Lords over his desperate efforts to save Clara.
    Ohila: He's running away.
    The General: Where is he running to?
    Ohila: Same place he always does: Away. Just... away.
  • Fire Is Red: As keeper of the sacred flame, she's always seen in a red robe.
  • Internal Homage: Named after one of the classic series' Karn priestesses, Ohica.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: She may be a jerk about it, but her point about the Doctor giving Clara false hope is spot-on. And in the comics, her point about how exiling Rassilon was a bad idea also turns out to be spot-on, as he returns having taken over the Cybermen to conquer Gallifrey.
  • No Sympathy: As a detached immortal she does not understand Twelve's deep love for Clara, how much he has suffered from the Time Lords' betrayal, and how much torment he ultimately willingly went through in the confession dial — all in hopes of saving her. Thus, her and their What the Hell, Hero? speeches have no effect on him in "Hell Bent"; they condemn his actions as cruel and cowardly, yet offer no compassion or alternative ways of handling his pain.
  • Really 700 Years Old: It's unknown how old she is, but she's older than the Doctor. ("Come out and face me, boy!")
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In "Hell Bent", she berates Twelve for breaking "every vow [he's] ever lived by" in trying to save Clara despite knowing he's risking the entire universe on a ploy that just won't work.
  • Time Abyss: She's still around to drop in on Gallifrey four-and-a-half billion years in the future.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Her relationship with the Doctor was a semi-friendly one — Twelve trusted her enough to leave his confession dial with her, but the events of "Hell Bent" have undoubtedly soured it, as she seems to think that the Doctor bloodlessly overthrowing and exiling Rassilon and company once he escaped the confession dial was the act of a Dirty Coward who was too scared of them to try and deal with them in other ways — apparently seeing his torture, which was possibly solely to get information about the Hybrid out of him because they were scared of it, as understandable if not justified. She also doesn't seem to care that they are unrepentant war criminals. (Though an alternate interpretation suggests she thinks he's not being hard enough on them, given her scenes with Rassilon, and her anger is based on the fact that he's just made them someone else's problem — and considering that in the comics, Rassilon returned with an army of Cybermen who took over Gallifrey, she had a point.)
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "Hell Bent", she accuses Twelve of being a Dirty Coward by exiling Rassilon and co., and later berating him for breaking "every vow [he's] ever lived by" in trying to save Clara despite knowing he's risking the entire universe on a ploy that just won't work. They have no effect on him because she clearly doesn't understand how much he's suffered to get to that point nor how much he cares for/loves Clara. Also, given what she did to Eight, she's one to talk about him tossing his principles out the window as being a bad thing! Though in that case, the Doctor casting aside his principles was a key part of saving the universe, while his current actions risk destroying it, so there is some difference.
  • Wild Card: Sometimes she'll side with the Doctor, sometimes not — it depends if she thinks he's being an idiot.

    The General 

General Kenossium (War, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_general.jpg
Played by: Ken Bones (2013, 2015) (tenth incarnation), T'Nia Miller (2015) (eleventh incarnation)

"All my worst nightmares at once."

A General of the Time Lord army during and after the Last Great Time War. Normally female, she also has one male incarnation.


  • All There in the Script: Their name, Kenossium, was only revealed in the comic book story The Clockwise War.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Did not like the Time Lord High Council during the war because of their plans to destroy the universe. By the end of the war he seems to able to work with them and defend Rassilon to the Doctor, but turns on him again the second Rassilon tries to fire on innocent civilians.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When the Doctor shoots him; likely because the Doctor was not in a mood to be reasoned with. Besides, he had a couple more regenerations left.
  • Gender Bender: Was female up until her tenth incarnation, then went back to female in her eleventh.
  • Race Lift: Goes from a white male to a black female.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Might not like the Doctor much but is willing to let them try to engage their plan to save Gallifrey. The General also generally tries to reason with the Doctor during the events of "Hell Bent", up to and including letting the Doctor shoot him.
  • Tuckerization: The name "Kenossium" is derived from the name "Ken" and "ossium", Latin for "bone", making it a reference to their tenth incarnation's actor Ken Bones.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report