Time of Origin: Mesopotamia, 2700 B.C. (In a sense).
Appearances: “Timewyrm: Genesys”, “Timewyrm: Exodus”, “Timewyrm: Apocalypse”, “Timewyrm: Revelation” and “Happy Endings”.
Doctors: Seventh Doctor; hid briefly in the mind of the Second Doctor; The Doctor’s last confrontation with it required the aid of the mental manifestations of his First, Third, Fourth and Fifth incarnations.
Companions: Ace, Bernice Summerfield, Roslyn Forrester, Chris Cwej and The Brigadier.
The Timewyrm is a mythical terror among the Time Lords, being a living time machine that can not only alter history on its proverbial coffee break, but also capable of launching blasts of temporal energy that can do pretty much anything. According to legend, the Timeywrm’s feeding shall disrupt the laws of casualty and bring the Unvierse to a premature end. The Fourth Doctor originally discovered about the Timewyrm while he was connected to the Matrix on Gallifrey, during the Vardan/Sontaran invasion in “The Invasion of Time”, but safeguards in the Matrix erased his memory. However, just before the process was completed, The Doctor made a recorded message and planted it into the TARDIS, the warning programmed to activate when the time came for him to face the Timewyrm in his future so that he would be prepared to confront it.
The recording was eventually found by the Seventh Doctor, who was then taken by the TARDIS to a temporal anomaly that could conceivably end all of human history. Arriving in ancient Mesopotamia, The Doctor and Ace discovered the presence of a being claiming to be Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, who had developed a means of controlling others via cybernetic implants. While The Doctor confronted Ishtar directly, Ace – based on a song about Ishtar’s history – tracked down a spaceship that had crashed in the nearby mountains, learning from the inhabitants that Ishtar’s real name was Qataka, an insane cybernetics expert whose desire to escape death had driven her to steal the brain tissue of her people, culminating in her destroying her entire planet in revenge for her near-execution while she transferred herself into a cybernetic implant and escaped; the ship was crewed by the last survivors of her world, the ship’s captain Utnapishtim revealing that he had developed a computer virus that could infect Qataka’s systems.
Having learned that The Doctor was a Time Lord, Qataka attempted to use one of her implants to acquire the secrets of immortality from him, but Ace was able to rescue him while infecting Qataka with the virus. Unfortunately, Qataka had also developed a cobalt bomb wired to her brainwaves which would destroy Earth if she died, forcing The Doctor to use the TARDIS telepathic circuits to summon his third incarnation’s personality out to use his technical expertise to gain time to disarm the bomb by transferring the implant containing Qataka’s mind into the telepathic circuits. Although Qataka managed to fight off the virus and infect the TARDIS, The Doctor tricked her into going into the secondary control room and ejecting it, subsequently providing Utnapishtim’s people with the resources necessary to repair their ship and depart. Unfortunately, as he and Ace left, The Doctor learned the reason for his fourth self’s warning about the Timewyrm; Qataka had merged with the ejected control room to become the Timewyrm, and The Doctor had created this nightmare himself, leaving The Doctor resolved to find and destroy her.
Their first stop in their pursuit of the Timewyrm was in the Festival of Britain in 1951, in an alternate timeline where the Nazis won World War II, The Doctor eventually tracing the main divergence to 1940, where the Nazis annihilated the British at Dunkirk rather than let them escape. Having determined the point where history changed despite the efforts of the psychotic Nazi Lieutenant Hemmings, The Doctor and Ace travelled back to 1923, The Doctor encouraging a young Hitler not to give up his efforts before travelling onwards to 1939, thus establishing a contact within the Nazi party despite the suspicions of the mysterious deformed Doctor Kriegsleiter (Later revealed to be The Doctor’s old foe the War Chief, seeking to use the Nazis as new soldiers for the War Lords, although this plan was rapidly defeated). Noting Hitler’s unusually compelling speeches – although he talked about Germany being in danger, Hitler never identified any specific policies to deal with that danger, and yet his speeches were so compelling that even Ace was affected -, The Doctor realised that The Timewyrm had attempted to possess and use Hitler, only be caught up in Hitler’s madness and trapped within his mind. Hitler had managed to control the Timewyrm, using it to focus his strength of will, The Doctor managed to trick Hitler into driving it out of him by convincing him that it didn’t help him, subsequently using a psychic lantern to enhance the Timewyrm’s power to such an extent that she was blasted into the Time Vortex, disintegrating into a swarm of anger, although The Doctor knew that she would eventually put herself back together.
What The Doctor didn’t know was that after that battle with the Timewyrm he left it in a weakened state, in which it could be easily defeated, and it thus broke the laws of Time and travelled into The Doctor’s past, before their “first” meeting, to shelter in the mind of the Second Doctor while he was still disoriented by his first regeneration. Without realising what he was doing, the Second Doctor passed on the infection to the innocent young telepath Lilith, who has since grown up to become the Grand Matriarch of the Panjistri At The end of Time itself. Seeking to avert the upcoming Big Crunch – the end of the universe -, the Panjistri had collected DNA samples from all of the surviving races in the universe, subsequently combining them on the distant planet Kirith to create the genetically perfect Kirithons, subsequently taking particularly skilled members of the race and combining their genetic material to create the God Machine. Using Ace to provide the aggression that was the only quality the Kirith lacked, the Panjistri believed that The God Machine would achieve the Omega Point, having experienced everything about everything, and thus become a god with the power to save creation… unaware that The Timewyrm, in Lilith’s body, intended to use that power for herself. At the last minute, however, Raphael, a Kirithon whom Ace had befriended, merged with the gestalt in Ace’s place, expelling the Timewyrm from Lilith and allowing her to die as the innocent child she had been, although Raphael’s reluctance to kill meant that The Timewyrm escaped destruction.
The final battle against the Timewyrm took place in a very unlikely setting – The Doctor’s own mind, the Timewyrm having planted a seed of itself within The Doctor when he called on the Third Doctor for assistance. Using a psychic probe to send Ace into The Doctor’s mind to break down the walls that The Timewyrm couldn’t access, the Timewyrm trapped The Doctor and Ace inside his mind, sowing discord between them by confronting them with illusions of The Doctor’s deceased companions Katarina, Sara Kingdom and Adric. Further exploration of the mind revealed that The Timewyrm had also recruited Lieutenant Hemmings – an officer of the Britischer Friekorps who had given The Doctor and Ace trouble in the alternate 1951 in “Timewyrm: Exodus” – as one of its agents, sending him to take control of the part of The Doctor’s mind ‘inhabited’ by his memories of his third incarnation, the Third Doctor having been overcome in a moment of shock after learning that, in the alternate timeline he visited in “Inferno”, the fascist dictator of that reality was his own alternate self. Joining forces, the Third and Seventh Doctors were able to banish Hemmings from their mind – although they were forced to encourage him to torture Ace to give them time to act -, the Fourth Doctor subsequently taking the Seventh further into the Mind to confront the Timewyrm.
Having made contact with the Timewyrm, The Doctor learned its true plot; to crash the Moon into Earth by channelling the psychic power of his death, annihilating billions of alternate timelines and giving it even more power. Although The Doctor managed to retreat back into the real world, he was left with a dilemma; while the Timewyrm was now trapped in his mind behind his psychic defences, he could not destroy it without killing Ace. As The Doctor paused, paralysed by his own guilt and fear of failure, Ace was encouraged by the ‘ghosts’ to free The Doctor’s conscience, personified in the form of the Fifth Doctor, thus allowing The Doctor to make peace with his dead acknowledge his guilt (Simultaneously learning that The Doctor’s original plan would have caused him to resurrect the Timewyrm from his own guilt over killing Ace). Deciding that he would instead risk it all to find another way to defeat The Timewyrm, The Doctor piloted the TARDIS to the interface between imagination and reality, and faced the Timewyrm in an arena set up within his own mind. With the Timewyrm now unable to harm him – it had only been able to injure The Doctor earlier because he allowed it to do so to convince it that it was winning -, The Doctor reached past the archetypal nightmare of the Timewyrm to unlock the human essence of Qataka, who was now tired of the fight and simply sought to go home. As the Timewyrm settled back into dormancy within the universe, The Doctor used its power to undo the death it had caused before transferring Qataka’s life essence into the body of a genetically-engineered blank infant from the future – the baby one of many that were genetically engineered as blank slates for experimentation purposes -, subsequently giving the baby to a couple who had aided him in the struggle, suggesting that They name her Ishtar.
The Timewyrm’s last appearance took place in “Happy Endings”, when The Doctor had set up the wedding of his companion Benny in Cheldon Bonniface, Ishtar actually dating The Doctor’s other companion Chris, although the relationship was at least partly ‘prompted’ along by The Master, who hypnotised Chris not to pay any attention to odd goings-on in the village while he attempted to create a new body for himself using the stolen Loom of Rassilon’s Mouse. Unfortunately, The Master’s equipment reacted poorly with the holographic devices The Doctor was using to generate the disguises for the alien guests, delaying The Master’s plans for so long that The biomass he had used to create various clones while testing the Loom erupted in violent bursts, the resulting ‘blob’ of biomass consuming The Doctor’s old friend the Brigadier. With no other option, The Doctor encouraged Ishtar to tap into her repressed memories of being the Timewyrm, and she was thus able to release a blast of temporal energy that destroyed the creature and restored the Brigadier to life and youth, The Master being subsequently captured. After the wedding’s conclusion and The Doctor’s subsequent departure, Ishtar later revealed that she pregnant with Chris’s child – and that child would have a very positive attitude on future history (Although the full detail of this was never revealed)