The Word Lord

Facts

 

Name: The Word Lord

Format: Audio.

Time of Origin: Unclear; he came from another dimension.

Appearances: “45: The Word Lord” and “A Death in the Family”

Doctors: Seventh Doctor

Companions: Ace, Hex and Evelyn Smythe

Biography

Nobody No-One is a renegade Word Lord, much like a Time Lord, from a reality 45 billion dimensions to the left of ours. In his dimension, language (rather than matter and energy) is the principal form of physics, although apart from Nobody himself little is known for certain about the Word Lords as a species. What is known is that their founder was called All, said to have created something called The Hand of All, similar to the Hand of Omega created by Rassilon and Omega, the Hand of All being a synthetic universe made of constantly spoken words taken from all known languages. Rather than a TARDIS, the Word Lord travelled in a CORDIS – a Conveyance Of Repeating Dialogue In Space/Time -, which didn’t turn into a physical disguise via a chameleon circuit, but used a chameleon meme function to disguise it as a phrase that comes up in casual conversations when it was near; the CORDIS once hid for years in the secret installation of the Forge (“Project: Twilight”) by ‘disguising’ itself as the Forge’s catchphrase ‘For King and Country’. The CORDIS’s mere presence can influence people to speak whatever word, phrase or number it has been ‘disguised’ as, and even serves as the source of the Word Lord’s powers, allowing him to either create weapons and a body for himself or use the words spoken by others to define his limits.

Much of Nobody No-One’s powers derive from the words spoken by the people in his vicinity. For example, if a person says ‘Nobody can get into the TARDIS’ or ‘No-one can turn off the Sun’ in his presence, then he suddenly can get into the TARDIS or turn off the Sun. He is a ruthless, even flippant murderer and occasionally a raving maniac, driven by a warped loathing for our ‘limited’ universe, but always very clever. He has a great interest in The Doctor, and has met his seventh incarnation several times, although not in the same chronological order. He even stated that the Doctor was a relative, possibly meaning that he’s The Doctor’s equivalent in his dimension. Nobody initially hoped to kill The Doctor to collect one or more of the many bounty rewards issued by many alien races, including Daleks and Cybermen.

Nobody first appeared in “45: The Word Lord”, where he chased The Doctor through several times and places, always missing him (To the point that it is unclear if he and The Doctor had met before now) until he regenerated in 1945 for unspecified reasons. While he recovered, he hid at alien research facility the Forge, disguising his ship as their catch phrase ‘For King and Country’, until he finally made contact with The Doctor in the Antarctic a hundred years later. With his ship now hidden as a joke, he infiltrated a top secret bunker holding an important peace summit, killing the delegates with impunity as the head of bunker security said ‘nobody can get inside this bunker without our knowledge’. Fortunately, the Word Lord’s power was limited as the bunker was in the middle of a security black-out, with no phones, books or even writing material, thus limiting the extent of his influence. Confronting Nobody directly, The Doctor was able to shut off the translation circuits to his TARDIS, setting it into reverse and thus translating all language in the bunker into languages that even the speakers couldn’t understand. After The Doctor reset the bunker’s computer system to erase all recorded words, Nobody was forced to flee into the only coherent example of language available, in the form of a protocol guide for the bunker. The Doctor had intended to dispose of the book so that the Word Lord wouldn’t be a threat again, but his enemy was able to escape when a group of soldiers arrived in response to an earlier distress call and the lead soldier said ‘Nobody move’, leading to several unchronicled run-ins with the Seventh Doctor, throughout their long lives.

At some point, someone (possibly The Doctor), tripped the CORDIS over a lost letter in the English alphabet, resulting in a crash that forced Nobody to regenerate again. This new No-One (sporting a long scarf as a homage to the Fourth Doctor) returned to action, with him and The Doctor engaging in a prolonged struggle across the universe that eventually came to an end when The Doctor found the planet Pelacham, a world in the distant past of the universe populated by displaced time-travellers after their ship crashed long ago. Under unspecified circumstances, the Hand of All had come to be regarded by the civilisation of this world as a kind of afterlife, where they could speak stories of the dead to the Story-Speaker, a person chosen to be linked to the Hand, and thus keep the dead ‘alive’ in some form. Taking the Hand into his own mind, The Doctor trapped Nobody within it (“A Death in the Family”), before placing himself within a Time Lord casket, falling into a mumbling trance to keep the Hand functioning. The casket fell into the possession of the Forge and was placed deep within their underground archival vaults, somewhere near London.

After the final destruction of the Forge in 2026 (“Project: Destiny”), the Seventh Doctor found the sarcophagus with his older self inside, the disruption to the older Doctor’s concentration allowing Nobody No-One to escape, confronting the younger Seventh Doctor. London was mostly evacuated at this time, but there were still many people and forms of communication for Nobody to utilize. He quickly amassed power over the Earth and even The Doctor’s very existence, forcing a UNIT soldier to say ‘Nobody can stop The Doctor from regenerating’ and ‘No-one has the power of life and death over The Doctor’. Realizing the imminent danger, the younger Doctor sacrificed his own life fighting No-one, using a tablet linked to the Trans-Galactic net to hit Nobody with the full force of the stories collected about himself at the cost of frying his own mind. With the older Seventh Doctor’s existence only temporary due to the paradox of his younger self dying, he nevertheless had enough time to come up with an elaborate plan in which the Hand of All could be used by his companions, Ace and Hex, to bring him back to life, essentially erasing his death by undoing all reference to it. While Hex was taken to Pelacham at a point before The Doctor collected the Hand of All- as well as meeting The Doctor’s old companion Evelyn Smythe, who had arrived there by accident after finding a damaged time machine on her new home colony- Ace travelled back to Earth a year after The Doctor’s death, where she fell in love with Henry Noone, the first man she met after she left the TARDIS. However, when Ace realised that the CORDIS was still active in the present, she speculated that the CORDIS was the true source of the Word Lord’s power, and, having learned about the Hand of All, came up with a plan to send a message to Hex. After Henry created a fictional version of Ace by writing about Professor Dorothy Noone, the Ace he pictured after a decade of marriage to him, Ace sent this description back to Hex via a temporal stamp The Doctor had acquired earlier. This allowed Hex to arrange for the history of Dorothy Noone to spoken into the Hand of All before it was acquired by the future Seventh Doctor, who sent its ‘population’ into a conceptual dimension.

As a result of the Hand of All’s ‘population’ now able to manifest themselves, Dorothy Noone was able to take control of the CORDIS and project a physical body for herself. Due to her new surname and access to the CORDIS, Professor Noone also had the power of life and death over The Doctor, allowing her to restore The Doctor to life at the cost of everything Ace could have had with Henry. The Word Lord took control of the CORDIS and killed Professor Noone, but with her dying words Professor Noone revealed that she had uploaded the CORDIS into a Moebius chip that trapped it in a loop if she was attacked, locking the flight controls so that the Word Lord was trapped in the chip with the CORDIS. With The Doctor restored, he returned to Ace and the TARDIS, Ace claiming that the Time Lords were responsible for The Doctor’s restoration to avoid acknowledging what she had done, allowing The Doctor to follow his future self’s plan and take action.

As Evelyn suffered a heart attack during a lecture on Pelacham’s true history, The Doctor and Ace returned for Hex and Evelyn, The Doctor assuring Hex that he was safe before settling in to talk with Evelyn. The Word Lord was able to escape the data chip Ace had trapped him in, but as he followed The Doctor to his conversation with Evelyn, proclaiming that he would wipe out all living matter in the universe just because he found it ‘messy’, Evelyn apparently unintentionally gave him that power when she told him ‘Nobody has that sort of power’. For a moment, it appeared as though the Word Lord killed the rest of the universe, saving only The Doctor and Evelyn for last, but it was soon revealed that this was just a trick as he was trapped in the Hand of All, Evelyn only giving him the illusion of victory to see if he’d actually do it. The Moebius chip story had just been a trick to lure him into the Hand of All, now trapped in the UNIT captain who’d helped the future Doctor out of the Forge before falling into a coma. Having deliberately visited Pelacham on the day of Evelyn’s death, The Doctor transferred the Hand into Evelyn just as she had her final, fatal heart attack, the Hand ‘dying’ with Evelyn while the Word Lord was trapped in it. As everyone said ‘No-One really dies on Pelacham’, the Word Lord could truly die on this planet, leaving him trapped in a shrinking room that was the last remnants of the Hand of All, while Evelyn died content with her life and her friendship with The Doctor.

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