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Professor Salyavin, dubbed the Great Mind Outlaw by Gallifreyan historians, was an infamous Time Lord criminal. Condemned by his fellow Gallifreyans for his unethical use of the uniquely powerful mind-control abilities he possessed, he escaped Shada, created himself a new identity as Professor Chronotis, and eventually retired to Earth, taking with him the The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey. Despite his raucous past, Chronotis gave everyone who met him the strange feeling that “he seemed like such a nice old man”.
Like all Time Lords, Salyavin was taken from his family at the age of eight for the selection process in the Drylands. Staring into the Untempered Schism as part of a Time Lord initiation rite, Salyavin was said to have been driven mad by what he saw in the Schism by one Time Lord historian’s account. (A Brief History of Time Lords)
He had great mental powers, being able to move his mind into another being’s. (
According to another account, The Master, in his first incarnation, gained the trust of Salyavin, one of his Professors at the Time Lord Academy, in an effort to gain access to the restricted libraries of Gallifrey and find a very dangerous book. The Master never found the book, but the affair left Salyavin implicated. Condemned to imprisonment on a certain prison planet, and bitter at the false accusation, he decided to actually steal the book, just to spite the High Council, and took it away with him as he was carried away to Shada, though with every intention of escaping. (The Legacy of Gallifrey)
Salyavin instead took control of his guardians, planting into their mind the idea that they had already locked him up before sending them on their way. Although he had arrived to Shada in his guardians’ TARDIS, he had brought his own, disguised by its chameleon circuits as a bookmark, allowing him to escape the prison planet. Fearful that his escape might be noticed, Salyavin committed what he later described as the least moral use of his powers he had ever dared, linking himself to his own TARDIS’s telepathic circuits to be able to broadcast his mind all over Gallifrey. From this position of unparalleled psychic power, he was able to erase all memory of Shada from The Time Lords, thus ensuring no one would ever return there and witness that Salyavin’s cell was empty. The physical stress of this feat nearly killed Salyavin, forcing him to regenerate into a new body.
Taking advantage of the transformation, he returned to Gallifrey with the brand-new alias of Professor Chronotis, a harmless archivist — a persona he retconned into all relevant officials’ memories with one more use of his mind powers. As curatorof the Panopticon Library, he kept a close eye on the book The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey, one of the Artefacts of Rassilon and nothing less than the key to Shada, and thus the ruse that Salyavian was gone and Chronotis innocent was complete. (
Chronotis lived a quiet life, acting as a librarian for nearly 12, 000 years. Eventually, for his years of service, the Time Lords allowed him to retire to another planet. After taking The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey with him from the archives and leaving a harmless decoy in its place, he elected to move to St Cedd’s College in Cambridge around the 17th century (
Chronotis met the The Doctor in 1955 while he was in his fourth body and travelling with Sarah Jane Smith. A few years later, the First Doctor met Chronotis for the first time. (Cambridge Previsited) The Doctor grew to know him as a friend, though he did not know of the connection between Salyavin and Chronotis. (
When Salyavin began approaching his thirteenth incarnation, and thus the end of his cycle of regenerations, he sent a message to the Fourth Doctor to come and see him so he could return The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey, which he had stolen. (
At the same time, Skagra was looking for a way into Shada and access to Salyavin. Combining a mind stealing sphere and Salyavin’s ability to implant his mind, Skagra planned to merge minds with everyone in the universe. (
In 1889, the Tenth Doctor mentioned Professor Chronotis to Jonathan Smith, asking if Smith, a man supposedly from Cambridge, knew Chronotis. (The Time Machination)
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