The Inquisitor

The Mysterious Planet




Main Alias:

The Inquisitor

Place of Origin:


Affiliated With:

High Council

First Seen In:

The Mysterious Planet


Terror of the Vervoids
The Ultimate Foe
The Mysterious Planet
Terror of the Vervoids
The Ultimate Foe
Weapon of Choice
The Inquiry
Pandora Pandora
Trial of the Valeyard
Interstitial Insecurity
The Inquisitor
Prologue: The Sixth Doctor

Main Actor:

Lynda Bellingham


click on images to enlarge



Darkel belonged to the House of Jurisprudence. (Insurgency) Like all Time Lords, she was taken from her 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, Darkel was inspired by what she saw in the Schism. (A Brief History of Time Lords)

Pursuing a career in the Inquisition, Darkel became Inquisitor Prime of Gallifrey, (Weapon of Choice) making her the highest authority on Gallifreyan law. (The Inquiry)


The High Council appointed a judicial inquiry into the behaviourof the Sixth Doctor, to be independently conducted by Darkel as Inquisitor (The Mysterious Planet) aboard the Space Station Zenobia. (The Eight Doctors) Darkel presided over the proceedings, remaining fair and impartial throughout. (The Mysterious Planet, etc.) She believed that her role in such a high-profile case could earn her a seat on the High Council. (The Ultimate Foe)

Eventually, it was discovered that the inquiry was a show trial meant only to scapegoat The Doctor for the actions of the High Council. Whilst Darkel insisted that the trial continue regardless of the revelation that The Doctor and the Valeyard were the same person, she later cleared The Doctor of all charges. With political unrest demanding a new Lord President and The Doctor being unwilling to take the job himself, he gave a symbolic vote of confidence to Darkel before departing in his TARDIS. (The Ultimate Foe)

Darkel lateroversaw the trial of the Valeyard, bringing charges against him whilst the Sixth Doctor acted as his defence. After the Valeyard was seemingly executed, Darkel followed The Doctor to a satellite of Etarho, where she discovered that the Valeyard had survived. She witnessed the Valeyard escape from her grasp and left the satellite with The Doctor in his TARDIS. The Doctor warned Darkel that the Valeyard would try to assassinate her now that he was free. (Trial of the Valeyard)


Darkel opposed the reforms of President Romana, particularly her invitation to off-worlders to become students of the Time Lord Academy, due to her conservative views. She feared for her own power due to the reforms meaning that an increased number of things were determined by committees rather than the Inquisition. (Lies) Darkel was invited by Coordinator Narvin to undertake a judicial inquiry to impeach Romana due to her actions on Gryben. (Weapon of Choice)

Two weeks after the announcement of the inquiry, Darkel presided over the proceedings, looking to prove that the Timonic Fusion Device could not be made and, as a result, Romana’s actions on Gryben were unwarranted. She permitted Romana and Braxiatel to go back in time to stop the retro-crime and prevent the device’s theft. She then closed the proceedings as it was impossible to determine whetheror not there had been any real threat. (The Inquiry)

Following the inquiry, Darkel conspired with Narvin and Andred, who had been disgraced, to overthrow Romana through other means. She questioned Andred about his association with the Free Time movement and asked him to find information on Pandora, allowing him to escape his cell and later having Narvin frame him for the murderof the Archivist. (Lies)

At the Inquiry into the Pandora incident, she argued that Romana was now ineffectual as a President as she couldn’t interface with the Matrix. She noted that there was no legal reasoning for having Romana removed from office. (Spirit)

She continued to plot against Romana with anyone whom she thought to be useful. When she learned that Romana’s genetics had been shaped by Pandora, she tried to convince Cardinal Braxiatel it was too great a risk for her to be president. She wanted to Romana to appoint Braxiatel and Wynter to accidentally release Pandora. Darkel manoeuvred Braxiatel into exile when he absorbed aspects of Pandora into his mind. (Pandora) She used her public vidcasts to make the public weary of the academy and started to remove alien students from it. She informed Romana about the information she had interrogated out of Gillestes. She thought that Romana’s policy would cause the Free Time movement to take hold and warned her that a civil war would be imminent if the off-worlders weren’t taken off world. (Insurgency) During this period, Darkel received advice and guidance from a disembodied voice in the Vaults. Unbeknownst to her, it was actually the voice of Pandora. (Imperiatrix)


With Braxiatel out of the way, Darkel challenged Romana for the presidency. She also plotted with Commentator Antimon to plant bombs aimed at the alien students. Antimon, however, was a followerof the Free Time movement, using Darkel’s patronage to his own ends. He tried to kill Romana, Darkel, and the High Council when they met for the election. The plot foiled, Romana declared herself Imperiatrix, effectively dictator, denying Darkel the election. At that moment Pandora took physical form and also claimed the Imperiatrix title. Darkel realised too late that she had been duped by Pandora. (Imperiatrix)

Desperate for survival, Darkel sided with Pandora and prosecuted the civil war against Romana on her behalf. She often inspected the damage Romana caused. Valyes got her to visit Gerber to find out what Romana asked him to complete. She interrogated Gerber and got him to join her
on a visit to the outlands. She destroyed the facility and got Gerber to report a false story. (Fractures) She coordinated the attack on Academy once it found to be Romana’s base. She knew that Pandora was weak and hoped to claim the presidency off her. She planted a bug bomb on Romana. This failed as Matthias gave them to Hallan and he was the one infected. Matthias lured her away from Pandora so that Romana could execute her final plans. She proved to be a ruthless and determined warlord, but her arrogance led to her capture by the enemy and being on the losing side. (Warfare)


She was placed under arrest and under constant guard but she was pardoned. She informed Romana of the election which the High Council had instigated. With Romana incapacitated, she was appointed by Acting President Valyes as his successor. (Appropriation) She got Romana arrested for high treason and got all her decisions from the moment Pandora escaped annulled. She got Janartis to make sure that all conversions in Romana’s cell. She explained to Narvin why she annulled most of Romana’s presidency. The disputed presidency again had to be put to a vote, but again Darkel was thwarted, this time by the returning Braxiatel. Provoking him into releasing the Pandora entity, Darkel discovered that Pandora had been targeting her all along and that Brax had been protecting her. Darkel’s subsequent possession by Pandora destroyed her mind and killed her. (Mindbomb)


In an alternate timeline where the Cybermen invaded all of time and space, Darkel agreed with the Sixth Doctor that he and Mel Bush should follow the Valeyard into the Matrix. (Prologue: The Sixth Doctor)


Whilst she was a fair and impartial arbitrator, (The Mysterious Planet, etc.) Darkel’s priority was maintaining her own power. She held deeply conservative views and was opposed to any and all of Romana’s attempts at liberalising Gallifrey and was willing to support terrorism to try to stop her. (Lies, etc.) She was incredibly ambitious, hoping that presiding over the Sixth Doctor’s trial would earn her a seat on the High Council (The Ultimate Foe) and later working to become President. (Mindbomb, etc.)


Darkel was a small, imperious-looking woman. She wore an elaborate headdress and a white gown with a red sash, which represented her position. (The Mysterious Planet)


  • On-screen Darkel had no name given to her, other than “The Inquisitor”. The name Darkel was given to her in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio spin- off series Gallifrey.
  • The Inquisitor reappeared, once more as the inquisitor to the Valeyard’s prosecutor, in the parodical short story Not Guilty, printed in DWM 542 in 2019. Due to the satirical, fourth-wall-breaking nature of this story, it is not considered by this website to be a valid appearance of Darkel.

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