Hailing from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous, the Time Lords began life as a simple people not to dissimilar to humans.
While the rest of the beings of the universe were still evolving, Gallifreyans were making vast advances in science and technology, one such scientist Omega began experimentations into time travel by harnessing the power of a nearby star inadvertently turning it into a black hole. When Omega was thought to have been killed by his new creation, the Gallifreyan known as Rassilon harnessed the power of the black hole and became the first Lord President of the planet and in doing so became the first Lord of Time.
Time Lords appreciated music, as indicated by such artefacts as the Harp of Rassilon. They also appreciated art, although painting on Gallifrey was done by computer.
Academy students sometimes played a dangerous game called "Eighth Man Bound". The multidimensional game of Perigosto, played with a ball and a specialised Perigosto stick, was also a favourite, as was a complicated board game called Sepulchasm.
During a darker, more barbarous time in the planet's past, Time Lords enjoyed watching time-displaced individuals fight to the death in a dedicated area called the Death Zone, but that practice had been entirely abandoned by the Doctor's day.
One of the major institutions of the Time Lords was the Time Lord Academy. It was split up into Chapters, each of which was identified by its distinctive colours. The subjects at the academy ranged from the study of Cosmic Science to Vintage Vehicles to Gallifreyan flutterwings
Children began instruction at the Time Lord Academy, at the age of 8, in a special ceremony. The Gallifreyans would be forced to look into the Untempered Schism, which showed the entirety of the Time Vortex and the power that the Time Lords had. The Gallifreyans subjected to its terrifying effects would react differently: "Some would be inspired, some would run away, and some would go mad." They would then spend "centuries" studying at the Academy.
The Time Lords ruled from the planet Gallifrey, where they would watch the workings of the universe. Though they once had a mighty empire during the Dark Time, the empire collapsed after the fall of the Pythia.
The Time Lords were said to have control over much of the structure of the universe. They had set up the Web of Time, they controlled and fixed paradoxes and they allowed travel between parallel universes. After the near-extinction of the Time Lords during the Last Great Time War, these processes were in flux.
The Time Lords were led by the High Council. The Council consisted of the Lord or Lady President, the Lord or Lady Chancellor, the Castellan and Lord Cardinals.
The Inner Council consisted of the three most powerful members of the High Council. The Lord President was the most powerful member of the Council and had near absolute authority, and used a link to the Matrix, a vast computer network containing the knowledge and experiences of all past generations of Time Lords, to set Time Lord policy and remain alert to potential threats from lesser civilisations. The Lord or Lady Chancellor was next in power, and handled many of the government functions. The Castellan controlled the Chancellery Guard and therefore the safety of Gallifrey.
The rest of the High Council was made up of the Lord Cardinals, which represented the various Gallifreyan Chapters
During the Last Great Time War, the Visionary was also a member of the council. She acted as a prophet, recording the future, but only with vague predictions written on paper.
The protection of the Time Lords was carried out by the Chancellery Guard. They protected the Capitol, investigated crimes and captured criminals. More secretive or questionable matters were handled by the Celestial Intervention Agency, which was created to be a covert arm of the High Council to safeguard the Time Lords' interests. Much of what they did went against the non-interference policy, leading them to use agents (like the Doctor) to protect their secrets.
There were two forms of illegal intervention, both punishable by vaporisation. A Class One was affecting the material properties of a planet, such as axial rotation. A Class Two was when a Time Lord claimed themselves to be a god on a planet.
The punishments used for crimes varied in severity.
- For his breaking of the non-interference policy, the Second Doctor was forced to regenerate and was exiled to Earth with a non-functioning TARDIS.
- For the genocide of the Vervoids, the Sixth Doctor would lose all of his remaining regenerations.
- For the various crimes the Master committed, his punishment would have been the reversal of his time stream, such that he had never existed. ) A similar punishment was carried out on the War Lord for his interference in human history which led to the deaths of thousands; he (and several of his guards) were dematerialised out of existence. The War Lord world was then placed in a time loop.
- The Time Lords also used imprisonment for criminals, such as the prison planet Shada
Science and Technology
The Time Lords were superlatively advanced in mathematics, biology, xenobiology, chemistry, physics and technology. Their weapons and defence technology, however, lagged behind some other races and species.
The most characteristic technology used by the Time Lords was their time travel technology of the TARDISes. The TARDIS was derived from the early Gallifreyan technology of the Time Scaphe. The TARDISes were one of the few types of technology that was updated, from the obsolete Type 40 (from Mark I to Mark IV) , the more advanced Type 57 and the humanoid Type 102 . As well, Battle TARDISes and War TARDISes also existed.
One of the newer technology developed within the Doctor's lifetime was the Time Rings. These Time Rings were small device attached around the wrist, allowing a person to travel through time without being in a time machine. They could also be made as small as finger rings that could be touched together to enable time travel.
Apart from the TARDISes, the Time Lords had little interest in creating other forms of transport. As such, they relied on them instead of other methods of travel.
The Time Lords had the capability to control and use the power of stars. The Tenth Doctor went so far as to claim that the Time Lords "invented" black holes.
Using the Hand of Omega, the Time Lords could speed up the development of stars. One such star had been turned into a black hole and was kept under the Panopticon as the Eye of Harmony to power the civilisation of the Time Lords.
Weaponry and Defences
Despite being one of the most powerful species in the universe, the Time Lords had little in the way of defences and their offensive technology was lagging behind many other civilisations. This may be due in part to the transduction barrier, which covered the planet and which was almost completely impenetrable by outside forces or their general policy of non-interference. As such, when they were invaded by the Sontarans, they were unable to defend themselves with their regular stasers and the Fourth Doctor needed to use an ancient Time Lord weapon called the De-mat Gun. Few Time Lords, even Chancellery Guards, had any real combat experience. During the Last Great Time War the Capitol was protected by a set of Dual Turrets set around it, they were used to destroy attacking ships.
Some other Time Lord technology includes the Matrix , Validium, the Genesis Ark and the Chameleon Arch.
The Lord President Rassilon had a metallic glove which was capable of destroying a person by shooting out electricity and it reverted the Master Race to its human form.
The Time Lord developed a chemical that could turn vertebrate blood into acid, but the Doctor successfully campaigned it to be banned.
The Dark Time
The history of Rassilon’s rule is sketchy; some claim him to have been a wise and just leader while others records depict him as a malevolent tyrant. The age of Time Lord history is referred the Dark Time, when the first Time Lords abused there powers by using a time scoop to snatch various races from different times to participate in gladiatorial games for there amusement, however even with there reckless nature the Time Lords would never allow races such as the Cybermen and the Daleks to participate due to there unmatched skills in killing. The area in which these games took place was called the Death Zone and eventual it would become home to the Tomb of Rassilon after his eventual death or imprisonment by the Time Lords.
After the passing of the more barbaric era, the Time Lords evolved to become a more aloft race that seldom interfered with matters of the universe, deciding to take a vow never to become involved and only to watch amounting vast knowledge about the most important events in history and becoming gate keepers to parallel worlds and different dimensions.
Occasionally there would be a Time Lord who would go rogue and venture out into the universe, the most prominent of these would be known as The Doctor. Given the strict non intervention policy enforced on all Time Lords, the Doctor (now in his second incarnation) would be brought back to Gallifrey and made to account for his ‘crimes’ the punishment of which would be a forced regeneration and exile to the planet that he had defended on numerous occasions; Earth. Even though the high council were seen to enforce such violations such as the Doctor’s they would eventually use him to carry out missions that they could not been seen to be a part of such as sending the fourth Doctor to avert the creation of the Daleks on Skaro due to the Time Lords foreseeing a time when the Daleks would be the most powerful beings in all of creation.
The Time War
These acts would not go unnoticed for long as eventually the Daleks learned of the Time Lords plot and engaged them in a full on war that would encompass time itself.
The war would go unseen to smaller races but was devastating to higher species such as the Eternals, who fled the five-dimensional universe in horror and The Master who had been resurrected by the Time Lords who saw him as the “Perfect warrior for a Time War” escaped to the end of the universe where he would make himself human so nether side could find him.
Eventually the Doctor would be pulled into the conflict and would see the Daleks creator Davros killed in the first year of the war. With the Time Lords having restored Rassilon and him leading the High Council in the final days the Time Lords began to plan for the end. As events escalated the Doctor was forced into action, stealing the Moment from Gallifrey and preparing to activate it.
However, the Moment's sentient interface showed the Doctor his future, the man he would come, and as a result, a plan was formed. The Doctor, all thirteen of himself, traveled over Gallifrey thanks to the Moment and froze Gallifrey in a single instant, sparing it from destruction. The resulting crossfire from the Daleks annihilated their remaining fleet.
After the Last Great Time War.
With the war contained within a Time Lock the Doctor was now the last of his people and would spend the entirety of his Ninth incarnation believing that. Some time later while now in his Tenth incarnation the Doctor was warned by the Face of Boe that he was not alone, the meaning behind this would become clear when a chance encounter at the end of the universe unleashed the Master once more. After a battle that would end with a year being reversed, the Doctor would once again be alone as the Master was seemingly shot dead but towards the end of this Doctor's life it would be revealed that ‘Something is returning’. Again this would be another return of the Master but all was not as it seemed as within the time lock the Time Lords led by Rassilon were plotting to escape their inevitable fate. Using the noise in the Masters head as a signal, Rassilon would drag the Time Lords and Gallifrey itself, which was now an all but ruined ball of flame out from the time lock to complete the ‘Final Sanction’ The once noble and mighty race was now revealed to have evolved beyond madness as their plan was to end reality itself in order ascend to become a being of consciousness alone. Only the combined might of the Doctor and the Master would end their scheme and send them back into the Time Lock to their deaths.
The Time Lords possess a binary vascular system and the ability to regenerate their bodies after they become worn down by age or mortally wounded. A Time Lord who remained on Gallifrey and was not exposed to the danger such as the Doctor has the potential to live for many centuries. They each have the capability to do this twelve times giving them thirteen ‘lives’. Each time a Time Lord would be left with a new face and personality. Some Time Lords showed the power to control the process and determine their own new body such as Romana where as others like the Doctor appeared to be at the mercy of chance.
Notable Time Lords
- The Doctor
- The Master
- The Rani
- The War Chief
- The Monk
- Susan Foreman