The Citadel

Hell Bent




The Citadel





First Seen In:

The Deadly Assassin


The Invasion of Time
The Five Doctors
The Sound of Drums
The End of Time
The Name of the Doctor
The Day of the Doctor
Heaven Sent
Hell Bent
The Timeless Children
Doctor Who and the Deadly Assassin
Doctor Who and the Invasion of Time
The Five Doctors
The Infinity Doctors
The Ancestor Cell
The Adventuress of Henrietta Street
Newtons Sleep
Engines of War
Snow White and the Seven Keys to Doomsday
Enemy Lines
The Eleven
Songs of Love
Stop the Clock


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The Capitol was the home of the Time Lords on Gallifrey. (The Deadly Assassin) It was also known as the Citadel. (The Invasion of Time, The Sound of Drums) The Capitol was built on the remains of the original Capitol which was destroyed in the Gallifreyan Civil War. (Lies)


The Capitol stood in the mountains of Solace and Solitude on the continent of Wild Endeavour. (The Sound of Drums) It was enclosed in a “mighty glass dome”. (Gridlock) It rested on a large, vertical beam, with a wheel-like structure securing it while it overlooked other complexes on a lower level. (The Name of the Doctor, The Day of the Doctor)

At least two shanty towns existed just outside the Capitol’s dome, named Low Town (The Eight Doctors, The Infinity Doctors) and MidTown, (The Ancestor Cell) which were inhabited by Gallifrey’s poor and the Outsiders. (The Eight Doctors, The Infinity Doctors) Low Town led directly into the “Outlands” (The Eight Doctors) or drylands, (Hell Bent) while MidTown was on a mountainside overlooking the Capitol. (The Ancestor Cell)

Under the Capitol, according to the Third Doctor, there were structures or settlements called New Towns, inhabited by Gallifreyan “commoners.” (Verdigris)


The Panopticon was the main room of the Capitol, where the Eye of Harmony was secretly kept far below. (The Deadly Assassin)

The High Council met in the Capitol. There was a transmat system that linked the Council’s room to the Death Zone. (The Five Doctors) Also on Gallifrey was the Time Lord Academy. (The Sound of Drums)

The Towers of Canonicity and Likelihood lorded over the northern part of the Capitol. (The Blue Angel)

The Vaults were located underneath the Capitol. (Lies) The Vaults contained the ruins of the original Capitol, a graveyard for TARDISes (Engines of War) and the Cloisters, which housed the Matrix and Cloister Bells. (Hell Bent) Surrounding the Vaults were ducts and serviceways dating from the Old Time. (The Deadly Assassin) By the time of the Doctor, they were used by those who worshipped shrines dedicated to the cult of “Rassilon the Vampire”. (Goth Opera)

There was a repair shop in the Capitol; among the items there were TARDISes. (The Name of the Doctor) There were also at least two TARDISes parked along the hallways in the Capitol. (The Timeless Children)


The Capitol was built by the Shobogans, at some point after Tecteun’s discovery of the Timeless Child, and Time Lord society rose up among the Shobogan dwellers of the Citadel. (The Timeless Children)

The First Doctor, accompanied by his granddaughter, stole a faulty Type 40 TARDIS from the repair shop within the Capitol. Their departure was witnessed by two technicians, Andro and Fabian. (The Name of the Doctor)

The Imperatoroffered Thessalia the role of chatelaine of the citadel. (The Return of the King)

The Capitol was “flooded” by Quarks in an invasion attempt by the Dominators. The invaders were fought by Leela and K9 Mark I, who destroyed 39 between them. Though the invasion was thwarted, one of the Quarks was fitted with a bomb which damaged the Capitol heavily, necessitating the construction of a replacement building. (Time in Office)

By the Last Great Time War, the Capitol had expansive but minimalist spaces with metal walkways, a darkened conference room, and a huge council chamber with Time Lords standing on suspended platforms. By the final day of the War, the Citadel was severely damaged by Dalek Saucers. The crashed saucers remained on the surface next to the Citadel. (The End of Time) Following the Fall of Arcadia, the Capitol became at risk with Dalek forces converging towards it. This danger was detected in the War Room of the Capitol, where the General drew up stratagems with his associates. The Time Vaults contained the Omega Arsenal, where, on the final day of the War, the Moment was stolen from by the War Doctor. (The Day of the Doctor)

After the end of the war, the Capitol was repaired with all signs and evidence of the Time War removed. (Heaven Sent)

At some point after the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald fled in a stolen TARDIS, (Hell Bent) The Master visited Gallifrey and, upon discovering the truth about the existence of Time Lords and the Timeless Child, ravaged the planet out of revenge. He persuaded the Thirteenth Doctor to take a look for herself, and she arrived at the Capitol to find it in ruins. (Spyfall)

When the Boundary opened to Gallifrey, the ruined Capitol could be seen. (Ascension of the Cybermen) The Master led The Doctor back to the ruined Capitol, reminiscing about their times there and the destruction he wrought. Having left the Matrix intact, The Master used it to show The Doctor the truth about the Timeless Child and Gallifrey’s past with the memories including the construction of the Capitol over time. Later, Ko Sharmus detonated the death particle to kill The Master and his army of CyberMasters and the ruined Capitol was consumed in the blast. The Doctor and her friends managed to escape in two separate TARDIS’ that remained in the Capitol even after its destruction. (The Timeless Children)


The Capitol was divided in eight “sectors”.

Sector 1’s main tower housed the Panopticon, a vast hexagonal chamber in which great events of state were held. Elsewhere in the tower was the Capitol Museum, where the symbols of presidential office were on display, along with examples of every kind of robe of state, from the President and the Gold Usher to the Chapter Cardinals.

Sector 2 was the political heart of the Capitol, housing an enormous assembly room for meetings of the full High Council, a conference room for the Inner Council and other small gatherings, and the President’s office.

Sector 3 was entirely dedicated to the Chancellor and the Chancellery Guard.

Sector 4 contained the Castellan’s office, the courtrooms, and the Security Compound, which itself comprised detention rooms, interrogation cells, and several execution rooms, most of which were officially disused.

Sector 5 comprised hundreds of libraries, records rooms and archive stores.

Sector 6, which housed the various Chapters of the Time Lord Academy and the main force-field control area for the transduction barrier that shielded Gallifrey, was the largest structure in the Capitol after the Panopticon.

Sector 7 was dominated by the Communications Tower, from which Space Traffic Control and Temporal Control monitored and logged every passing vessel in Gallifrey’s vicinity. It was also rumoured to be the site of Gallifrey High Command’s War Room, together with an extraction chamber — although the existence of such chambers was officially denied.

Finally, Sector 8 was home to the Time Travel Capsule landing bays and an array of repair shops. Below the repair shops was an area known as the TARDIS Graveyards, where TARDISes that reached the end of their lifespans were despatched. Somewhere in the citadel, a set of chambers were allocated to the Celestial Intervention Agency, but no one outside the Agency knew exactly where those chambers were. Deep beneath the Panopticon were the Panopticon Vaults, where the Eye of Harmony was kept.

Deeper still were the Cloisters, the physical location of the Matrix, guarded by the Cloister Wraiths. Finally, buried near the very core of Gallifrey were the Time Vaults, where all the forbidden weapons of the Omega Arsenal were locked away. (A Brief History of Time Lords)


Though this was not directly contradicted or affirmed by the Graham Williams-produced TVstory, the novelisation of the Invasion of Time describes the Capitol as covering “most of Gallifrey” and being surrounded by a sheer white wall.

A dome was first associated with Gallifrey in the header art for Doctor Who Magazine’s “Gallifrey Guardian” section; this was later shown to be covering the Capitol in DWM comics like The Tides of Time, and Peter McKinstry used it when designing the Capitol for the Sound of Drums. “With the citadel it was an opportunity to take elements of the very organic TARDIS interior and apply them on a much grander scale, ” he recalled. (ImageFX magazine, October 2008, p. 62) This image of the Capitol as a regular-sized city surrounded by a transparent dome was used in various episodes under showrunners Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, and Chris Chibnall, including a scene in The Name of the Doctor set before the First Doctor left Gallifrey.

No buildings or settlements were seen immediately outside the dome in pre-Time War flashbacks from the Davies-era story The Sound of Drums or the M offat-era story The Name of the Doctor; nor were they seen in the Davies-era story The End of Time, which was set during the Time War. Several tall constructions appeared beyond the dome and the wheel-shaped structure it sits on during and after the Time War in the M offat-era stories The Day of the Doctor, Heaven Sent, and Hell Bent, and the Chibnall-era story Spyfall.

Related Links

The Deadly Assassin

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