The Time Lords

The End of Time Part Two
The Timelords and Rassilon as in End of Time



The Time Lords

Main Aliases:

Lord of Time
Time Lady
Dominus temporis
Lord Temporal
Sun Builder
Shadow People
Lords of Jewel
Race of Temporal Supremacy

Biological Type:


Affiliated With:

Fledgling Empires
Temporal Powers
Free Time

Place of Origin:


Notable Individuals:

The Doctor
The Master
Irving Braxiatel
The Monk

First Seen In:

The War Games


The Time Lords (sometimes called the Lords of Time or, rarely, Chronarchs) (4-D War) were the oligarchic rulers of the planet Gallifrey, and thus also Gallifreyan. (The Hand of Fear, The Deadly Assassin, Interference – Book Two)


The Gallifreyans had one of the oldest and mightiest civilisations in the universe. As the Time Lords, they held absolute power for some ten million years. (The Ultimate Foe) Finally, it appeared, and was assumed by The Doctor for a time, that the Last Great Time War all but wiped out the race. (The End of the World, The End of Time) However, intervention by “all thirteen” incarnations of the Doctor placed the Time Lords in a parallel dimension. (The Day of the Doctor) they later attempted to get The Doctor to release them on Trenzalore and while he did not due to the threat of a new Time War, the Time Lords saved him from what would have been his thirteenth and final death by granting him a new cycle of regenerations. (The Time of the Doctor)


The Gallifreyan life cycle has not been well-defined. However, the Eleventh Doctor once said to a group of humans, “We were all jelly once. Little jelly eggs, sitting in goop, ” indicating that Gallifreyans began as ovum similar to Earth mammals. (The Rebel Flesh)

Like humans, Gallifreyans could be male or female. Females were sometimes referred to as Time Ladies. (City of Death, Dark Water) Their sex could change due to regeneration. (The Doctor’s Wife)

Their life cycle seemed to include a phase similar to human childhood. Like human children, Gallifreyan children slept in cribs. (A Good Man Goes To War) Children were entertained with nursery rhymes (The Five Doctors, Zagreus) and stories such as Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday. (Night Terrors, Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday) There were specialised books for Gallifreyan children, including Every Gallifreyan Child’s Pop-Up Book of Nasty Creatures From Other Dimensions. Very young Gallifreyan children were sometimes called “Time Tots.” (Shada, Shada)

A Gallifreyan ninety years old might still be considered a “kid” (The Stolen Earth), but after the age of two hundred years they wouldn’t be seen as young. (The Time Warrior) they could live for hundreds of years before regenerating. (The Tomb of the Cybermen) Handrel claimed that Time Lords could live around ten thousand years before regenerating. (The Time Lord’s Story)

The Time Lords had a rite called Soul Catching, which was done to dying Time Lords before they were assimilated into the Matrix. This allowed them to assimilate their memories before they died. (The Devil Goblins from Neptune)

Time Lords, once they had reached old age, were allowed to leave Gallifrey and retire on another planet. This was very rarely done, Chronotis was the only person known to take up the offer. (Shada)

When a Time Lord eventually died, either through the exhaustion of their regenerations or through circumventing the regeneration process, it was considered necessary to destroy their corpse soon afterwards. (Last of the Time Lords, The Impossible Astronaut) In at least one case, the death of a Time Lord eventually left behind no body, but a dangerous index of their time stream. This could be entered into by anyone, scattering them along the Time Lord’s timeline, with potentially disastrous results. (The Name of the Doctor)



Time Lords appreciated music, as indicated by such artefacts as the Harp of Rassilon. (The Five Doctors) they were appreciated art, although painting on Gallifrey was done by computer. (City of Death) Gallifreyan art, known as stasis cubes, were unique in that they were in 3D, as they acted as snapshots of a single moment in time. This meant that they could be used as rudimentary time travel, by freezing a person inside a painting and then letting them out at the required point in time. (The Day of the Doctor)


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 Deadly Assassin) The subjects at the academy ranged from the study of Cosmic Science (Terror of the Autons) to Veteran and Vintage Vehicles (The Pirate Planet) to Gallifreyan flutterwings (The Pirate Planet).

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.” (The Sound of Drums) they would then spend”centuries” studying at the academy. (Mortal Beloved)

Time Lords took a variety of classes at the time Lord Academy of which one was recreational mathematics, which included the study of Happy prime numbers. (42)

For reasons unknown to Time Lords, a mammoth that fell on and killed a Cro-Magnon became a fixed point. Videos of the event were played for young Time Lords “as a sort of learning experience.” (Keeping up with the Joneses)


Gallifreyan physiology provided for a diet similar to the human one (The Keys of Marinus, Boom Town, The Eleventh Hour), including fruit and flesh, but the Time Lords had long lost the habit of feeding with raw or complex food by the time of the presidency of the Fourth Doctor. Freeze-dried pills were employed instead. (The Invasion of Time)


At events like the resignation of a Lord President, Time Lords who attended wore long robes in bright colours. The different colours signified where on Gallifrey each Time Lord had come from: for example, Prydonians wore robes of scarlet and orange, Arcalians wore green, and Patrexes wore heliotrope. In addition, most high-ranking Time Lords donned a decorative headdress and crest, complete with a scarlet cap. (The Deadly Assassin)

In the Time War, most Gallifreyans, including children and the military, wore red clothes. (The Day of the Doctor)

The Doctor repeatedly stated that he disliked Time Lords’  hats, calling them “funny” (Time Crash) and “dreadful”. He also said that Time Lords had “no dress sense”. (Journey To The Centre of the TARDIS)



The Time Lords ruled from the planet Gallifrey, where they would watch the workings of the universe. (The Sound of Drums) Though they once had a mighty empire during the Dark Time, the empire collapsed after the fall of the Pythia. (Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible)

Time Lords were originally flexible about manipulating the outcome of certain moments in history. However, they eventually came to fear the consequences of their meddling, noticing how dangerously a change to time could backfire. It became clear that the race had been too reckless when the Time Lords helped the Minyans evolve faster, but found the results disastrous, this led to their non-interference policy. (Underworld)

The Time Lords were said to have control over much of the structure of the universe. They had set up the Web of Time, (Neverland) they controlled and fixed paradoxes (Father’s Day) and they allowed travel between parallel universes. (Rise of the Cybermen) After the near-extinction of the Time Lords during the Last Great Time War, these processes were in flux. (Father’s Day, Rise of the Cybermen)


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 Lords Cardinal. (The Deadly Assassin)

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 Infinity Doctors) 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 Deadly Assassin)

The rest of the High Council was made up of the Lords Cardinal, which represented the various Gallifreyan Chapters. (The Deadly Assassin)

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 End of Time)

Gallifreyan civil servants were all equipped with a psychic tripwire to prevent them from revealing confidential information. Should any of this information be revealed, the tripwire was triggered leading to the civil servant suffering psychic seizure leading to eventual death. (Alien Bodies)


The protection of the Time Lords was carried out by the Chancellery Guard. They protected the Capitol, investigated crimes and captured criminals. (The Deadly Assassin) 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. (Shada) Much of what they did went against the non-interference policy, leading them to use agents they could easily deny sending (like The Doctor) to protect their secrets.

Tens of thousands of years before The Doctor’s time, criminals were trapped in Shada, with the intent being that they would be kept there until a suitable punishment could be decided. By The Doctor’s time, this method had been phased out and replaced with disintegration. (Shada) Morbius was executed this way, but managed to survive as just a brain. (The Brain of Morbius)

There were two forms of illegal intervention, both punishable by vaporisatedition. 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. (False Gods)

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. (The War Games)

Committing genocide would lead to the removal of any remaining regenerations a Time Lord had, artificial species were not considered alive, thus genocide was impossible. (The Trial of a Time Lord)

For the various crimes The Master committed, his punishment would have been the reversal of his time stream, such that he had never existed. (Terror of the Autons) 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 War Games)

When The Doctor was framed for assassinating the Time Lord President, he would have been vaporised if found guilty. (The Deadly Assassin)


Young Time Tots were known to keep rovies as pets. (No Place Like Home) Stories of the Shakri were told to the young ones to keep them fearful of doing anything that might get their species eliminated. (The Power of Three) they were also told fairy tales involving a mythical race known as the Toclafane. (The Sound of Drums)

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. (Lungbarrow)

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. (The Five Doctors)


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. (Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible) 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 Ribos Operation), the more advanced Type 57 (Warriors of the Deep) and the humanoid Type 102. (Alien Bodies) As well, Battle TARDISes and War TARDISes also existed. (The Taking of Planet 5, Neverland)

One of the newer technology developed within The Doctor’s lifetime was the Time Rings. (Legacy) These Time Rings were small device attached around the wrist, allowing a person to travel through time without being in a time machine. (Genesis of the Daleks) they could also be made as small as finger rings that could be touched together to enable time travel. (Happy Endings, The Grel Escape)


The Time Lords had the capability to control and use the powerof stars. The Tenth Doctor went so far as to claim that the Time Lords “invented” black holes. (The Satan Pit)

Using the Hand of Omega, the Time Lords could speed up the development of stars. (Remembrance of the Daleks) One such star had been exploded but its development into a black hole had been frozen, trapped in a permanent state of decay and was kept either under the Panopticon as the Eye of Harmony to power the civilisation of the Time Lords, or in TARDISes to use as their power source. (The Deadly Assassin, Journey of the Centre of the TARDIS)


Despite being one of the most powerful species in the universe, the Time Lords had little in the way of defences and their conventional warfare 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. (The Invasion of Time) Few Time Lords, even Chancellery Guards, had any real combat experience. (The Apocalypse Element) 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. (The End of Time)

On the other hand, the weapons of the Time Lords were considered “legendary” as they had built defensive arrays the size of star systems and created armaments that took apart entire galaxies. (Alien Bodies) The operating system of the “galaxy eater” weapon the Moment was so advanced that it had a conscience. (The Day of the Doctor)


Some other Time Lord technology included the Matrix (The Deadly Assassin), Validium (Silver Nemesis), the Genesis Ark (Doomsday) and the Chameleon Arch. (Human Nature)

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 End of Time)

The Time Lords developed a chemical that could turn vertebrate blood into acid, but The Doctor successfully campaigned it to be banned. (The Age of Ambition)


In the post-war era, four individuals were created who were at least partially Time Lord.

A “generated anomaly”, Jenny, the artificially created daughterof the Tenth Doctor, had two hearts but was not a full Time Lady, and Martha Jonessuspected she was unable to regenerate. She was shot, and was believed by The Doctor to be dead. However, soon after her death, she came back to life with an energy release in a process which appeared similar to regeneration, but without the change of appearance. (The Doctor’s Daughter)

The Meta-Crisis Doctor, a single-hearted, non-regenerating Time Lord/human hybrid, created by a biological meta-crisis in which Donna and the Tenth Doctor’s DNA merged. After committing genocide against Davros‘ new Daleks, he was left on an alternate Earth where he began a life with Rose. (Journey’s End)

The same process that created the Meta-Crisis Doctor also made The Doctor’s human companion Donna into a half-Time Lord – The DoctorDonna. Donna’s human brain was unable to process the Time Lord influence beyond a few hours, at which point The Doctor was forced to wipe her memory of her adventures with him, she returned to heroriginal life in London. (Journey’s End) She later proved immune toThe Master’s use of the Immortality Gate to transform humans into “The Master Race”. (The End of Time)

River Song was conceived on board The Doctor’s TARDIS While it was travelling through the Time Vortex and therefore possessed certain genetic characteristics of a Time Lady, which were brought to the fore by experimentation by the Church. (A Good Man Goes To War) This enabled Melody to regenerate at least twice, into Mels and River Song, before sacrificing her remaining regenerations to revive The Doctor. (Day of the Moon, Let’s Kill Hitler)


  • According to the non-narrative source, Doctor Who: Starships and Spacestations, which this website does not count as valid, the Time Lords had little interest in creating forms of transport other than TARDISes. As such, they relied on them instead of other methods of travel.

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