Name: The Tzun
Time of Origin: Originally from the planet S’Arl; the exact time frame is unspecified, but they have a galactic empire extending far enough to reach Earth in the 20th century, although they were apparently rendered virtually extinct around the twenty-second century.
An ancient, warlike race with a long history, the Tzun originated from the planet S’Arl, beginning their universal expansion by going to war with a fungal race called the Darklings from the planet Yuggoth, their victory leaving them with corrupted DNA and a fragile genome. In order to survive, they developed elaborate genetic engineering techniques, combining their own DNA with other species as they brought them into the Tzun Confederacy. As a result, the Tzun were divided into three sub-species; the S’Raph – small grey humanoids with big heads and black eyes, altered to react to infra-red and ultra-violet frequencies -, the Ph’Sor- created by combining Tzun DNA with that of the race whose planet they are colonising – and the pure bloods – genetically unaltered Tzun-, traditional Tzun operations featuring three pure bloods.
The Doctor had a particularly significant confrontation with the Tzun in his seventh incarnation, when The Master hi-jacked the first real Soviet satellite launch to use it to send a distress signal to the Tzun Canton on Zeta Reticuli Four, offering to help the Tzun integrate Earth into the Tzun Confederacy in exchange for them using their genetic engineering skills to repair the damage done to his body by his time on the Cheetah planet (“Survival”). As a result, The Master regained the ability to regenerate – although later evidence suggests that it was only temporary, given that he returned to his old attempts to acquire a new body in “Happy Endings” – subsequently regenerating into a new incarnation (Said by the writers to be based on Basil Rathborne in physical appearance) after Ace shot him. In return of the Tzuns’ aid, The Master – posing as American Major Kreer – had helped them to steal nuclear bombs from an American military base, the Tzuns’ plan being to trigger a nuclear war and subsequently arrive in public to offer Earth assistance after America and Russia had wiped each other out, believing that humanity would welcome their ‘saviours’ in the aftermath of the conflict.
However, the Tzun were unaware that the Master had sabotaged their initial efforts to make contact with a message of universal brotherhood by discrediting the humans they’d spoken to so far, thus meaning that their arrival on Earth would only be met with xenophobic hatred, The Master’s long-term goal being to make it appear that the Tzun had been directly responsible for causing the conflict they were planning to stop. Although The Doctor was able to convince the Tzun to depart Earth in peace after revealing The Master’s plan, The Master used one of the stolen nuclear warheads to destroy the Tzun ship, sending the warhead up to the main Tzun fleet in an escape skiff while the Tzun sensors were damaged before departing himself, The Doctor forced to leave his enemy alone to stop the other nuclear missile destroying Earth with a modified Tzun disruptor.
At some point in the twenty-fifth century, the Tzun were rendered virtually extinct in a prolonged war with the Veltrochni, leaving only a few scattered Tzun hybrids still alive by that point in history; the only large-scale remnants of their existence as a society were the Ph’sor Tzun colonies, and these were mere half-breeds rather than true Tzun. The only pure Tzun left – Sha’ol, the last true Tzun – had developed a surprising partnership with a Veltrochni Karthakh – Karthakh had allow Sha’ol’s ship to land when it came to his home for assistance, Veltrochi laws of hospital preventing him from killing Sha’ol despite the hostility between the two races and thus allowing him to become friends with Sha’ol -, the two becoming the most lethal bounty hunters alive in their time period, particularly known for their code of honour preventing them from simply accepting a larger amount of money to stop hunting their current target. As a result of their reputation, they were hired by the mysterious Mr Zimmerman – who, based on the available evidence, may have been The Doctor’s dark future self, The Valeyard (“The Trial of a Time Lord”) – to eliminate the Sixth Doctor, who was currently working with his current companion Frobisher and criminal acquaintance Sabalom Glitz to steal a Tzun data core from a top-secret government facility to return it to the Veltrochi, who had salvaged it from a previous conflict with the Tzun before it was stolen (The current government being unable to return the core as they were unaware of the previous administration’s acquisition of it in the first place and those government employees who did know about it were unwilling to jeopardise their careers by admitting to the theft).
Despite the security around the core – it was located on an asteroid base in a room protected by time dams shifting the room an hour into the future and the safe itself was behind dams that shifted it a day into the past, making it difficult to break into somewhere that wasn’t there yet and then ensuring that any thieves would be caught even if they acquired the core as the security staff would have known about the theft since yesterday – The Doctor was able to acquire the core by manipulating the dams to cause the core to materialise in the present while taking advantage of the asteroid base being out of phase to send the core to materialise in the location where the asteroid had been an hour ago, allowing them to easily recover it in Glitz’s ship. However, the gang were forced to flee to the Veltrochni when Nicolo Mandell – the head of security and intelligence and the man who had hired them – attempted to steal the core for himself to use the information on Tzun technology to set himself up as an arms dealer, only just escaping when Sha’ol and Karthakh attacked again and distracted Mandrell’s forces. The Doctor was able to free Sha’ol and Karthakh from their contract by using a stolen time generator to temporarily put himself in temporal stasis long enough for them to scan him – thus confirming that he was legally dead, lacking a heartsbeat or brain activity while temporarily immobilised – allowing them to end their contract and aid The Doctor and the gang in returning the core to the Veltrochi, the Veltrochi keeping the now-wiped data core in memory of what they did to the Tzun.
Even without encountering the Tzun directly, their influence was such that they have made an impact on several other races. On one occasion in 2731, while visiting a human colony located on the edge of the former Tzun empire that was suffering from a mysterious illness (“Lords of the Storm”), the Fifth Doctor and Turlough discovered that the illness was caused by the Sontarans secretly installing genetic markers in the human population. As a result of the markers, the humans would register as Sontarans on the Rutan sensors, thus convincing the Rutans to avoid that sector of space and granting the Sontarans unrestricted access to the Tzun technology that remained there. Fortunately, The Doctor was able to deduce what the Sontarans were up to after a confrontation with the Sontaran commander, subsequently making contact with an approaching Rutan ship and – after receiving their word that they wouldn’t harm the humans while avoiding to mention the Tzun technology – revealing the truth to them, allowing the Rutans to destroy the Sontaran fleet before they could complete their plans and leaving the existence of the Tzun technology a secret.
One of The Doctor’s most difficult encounters with the Tzun – they were never expressly identified but the available evidence makes their identities almost certain – paradoxically came about when he was trying to help them, a Tzun ship having been accidentally shot down by a Chinese destroyer (“Bullet Time”) while trying to recover equipment left behind during their previous invasion, and the Tzun now seeking to depart Earth (Fortunately recognising that their ship hadn’t been shot down out of malice and thus not interested in retaliation). Attempting to help the Tzun to depart Earth, The Doctor created an alias as Pendragon, head of both Pimms Shipping and the Chinese Triad the Tao Te Lung (Really an organisation created by the Chinese government to trap up-and-coming Triad godfathers before Hong Kong became Chinese territory), using the contacts this new identity provided to provide the Tzun with the technology they needed to repair their ship and depart. Unfortunately, his actions were complicated by the presence of the Cortez Project, a rogue branch of UNIT who automatically regarded all aliens as a threat to Earth due to the risk of cultural contamination, with matters being made unintentionally worse due to the presence of his old companion Sarah Jane Smith, who had been in Hong Kong reporting on the upcoming handover to China and subsequently encountered the Cortez Project, who revealed his presence to her before he could explain the situation himself.
Although The Doctor had brought Sarah in because he needed someone he could trust to expose the fanatical elements now active within UNIT, her subsequent investigations forced The Doctor to discredit her as a journalist to prevent the Tzun from killing her after she saw them working with the Tao Te Lung, although the organisation was subsequently disbanded after the Chinese government managed to gather the would-be Triad godfathers together and capture them. The Cortez Project attempted to recruit Sarah – believing that the Doctor’s recent actions had ‘proved’ their beliefs about aliens accurate -, but Sarah refused to collaborate with a death squad, joining The Doctor as he explained the situation to her… as well as revealing that a Tzun fleet were now approaching Earth, and would destroy the planet if they believed the initial attack had been hostile. Despite the efforts of one of the Cortez agents to use Sarah as a hostage against The Doctor to stop him moving a battleship that was preventing the Tzun from leaving, Sarah allowed herself to be shot to prevent herself being used against The Doctor, The Doctor subsequently taking control of the ship’s nuclear missiles after moving it out of the way, claiming that he would destroy Tehran unless the Project backed off. As the Project’s commanding officer committed suicide rather than risk being ‘brainwashed’ by The Doctor’s alien allies, The Doctor simply sat back and allowed the Tzun to depart, revealing that he had never intended to use the warheads; as he coldly informed the Cortez soldiers as he departed, the greatest power any weapon gave the wielder was the power to not use it.
(After the Tzun escaped it was implied that Sarah died of her injuries, but this was later revealed to have been at least partly the responsible of the mysterious ‘Council of Eight’, enemies of the Eighth Doctor who sought to eliminate his past companions as contact with The Doctor turned them into ‘Rogue Elements’, who defied the Council’s predictions about the future and threatened their power, with the Council’s defeat apparently undoing their actions against The Doctor’s old friends (“Sometime Never…”)).