Doctor Who © BBC

Homecoming and Exile


The Eight Doctors
"They call me The Doctor"

The Doctor's Return to Gallifrey

The Fourth Doctor with a bust of MorbiusWhile The Doctor was at The Academy, the Time Lord Morbius was in the midst of his rise to power (The Doctor is later able to recognize his telepathic trace: The Brain of Morbius). While The Doctor was off-planet, Morbius expanded his ambitions and tried to convince the High Council of Time Lords to use their powers for conquest. The resulting conflict ended with Morbius' apparent execution. Following this, the Council issued a recall of all Time Lords (the ability to recall a TARDIS has been used officially four times; we've seen three of these: The War Games, Arc of Infinity, and The Trial of a Time Lord, and The Doctor remembers the first use: The Deadly Assassin). Following the Morbius incident, the Council reiterated the decree that the Time Lords would be less involved in external affairs. Although The Doctor was upset by the decision, they felt unable to disobey. Having received their Doctorate, they began to put their knowledge to practical use. They invented the Time Path Indicator, a device which enables a TARDIS to track other time vehicles (The Chase), and became better acquainted with the operating systems of current time capsules (in addition to having used one during their doctoral studies, they are familiar enough with them to sabotage them: The Time Meddler, The Daleks' Master Plan, Terror of the Autons, and The Mark of The Rani). They worked on Gallifrey's defensive systems and can bypass them (The Invasion of Time). At some point during this period The Doctor became politically active and went on several diplomatic missions for the High Council. They acted as the Council's representative at the opening of Research Station J7, where they met and befriended scientist Joinson Dastari (The Two Doctors). On their way to the Third Inter-Galactic Peace Conference The Doctor was kidnapped by Medusoids, who attempted to use a mind probe on them (Frontier in Space). During another mission The Doctor saw miniscopes, which are used to keep miniaturized specimens. They were so appalled by them that after they returned to Gallifrey they persuaded the High Council, despite its policy of non-interference, to have them banned (Carnival of Monsters). This action brought them to the attention of the Celestial Intervention Agency, a covert organization whose members disagreed with the non-interference policy, and this would prove to be a turning point in their life. During this period The Doctor also made friends and enemies who would figure in later events, including Hedin, Damon, and Thalia (Arc of Infinity). Most importantly, they became a parent. We know nothing of the other parent of their child, or even whether the child was male or female. We know only that the child was the parent of a daughter named Susan.

The Doctor's Departure from Gallifrey

The most serious gap in our knowledge of The Doctor's life concerns the reasons for their departure from Gallifrey. On various occasions they have claimed to be an exile (An Unearthly Child) who can't go back to their own planet (The Massacre), but they've also suggested that they left their home because of boredom, and because the Time Lords refused to use their powers to help others (The War Games). They've claimed to have had a link with the Time Lord intelligentsia, but lost it "when they kicked me out" (The Invisible Enemy). Their wistful memories of their family (The Tomb of the Cybermen, Time and The Rani, Doctor Who TVM) and their statement that they don't know if they're alive (The Curse of Fenric) would seem to suggest that something may have happened to them, something so terrible that it, too, was a factor in The Doctor's departure. Following an adventure in which The Fifth Doctor and his first three incarnations defeat a menace to Gallifrey, Chancellor Flavia says that they've evaded their responsibilities for too long, and that "once again" she is offering them the Presidency of the High Council of Time Lords (The Five Doctors). This, coupled with their reluctance to take the office, suggests that they might have left for this reason. Although they are impeached for abandoning their duty some time before the trial of their sixth persona (The Trial of a Time Lord), The Seventh Doctor later claims the title "President-Elect of the High Council" (Remembrance of the Daleks). Since they're completing their first incarnation's "unfinished business" with the Hand of Omega, they may be using a title which that Doctor had the right to use. When companion Tegan Jovanka leaves them because of the carnage wrought by the Daleks and because her adventures with The Doctor have ceased to be fun, they tell Turlough that they left Gallifrey for similar reasons (Resurrection of the Daleks). The true reasons behind The Doctor's departure may be any, all, or none of these. All that we know for certain is that The Doctor, with their granddaughter Susan in tow, stole an antiquated Type 40 TARDIS which was in for repairs, and fled from Gallifrey.

Travels with Susan: The Early Journeys

Susan was a small child when she and The Doctor left Gallifrey. She once said that she'd had "many homes in many places" (Marco Polo). These are some of the adventures which The Doctor and Susan shared. While it's likely that the travelers visited other times together, the available records of this period are so fragmentary that we cannot be sure.

Beau Brummel Marie Antoinette Henry VIII Rassilon

The Doctor and Susan visited the planet Esto, where they encountered a "screaming jungle" with telepathic plants (The Keys of Marinus, The Sensorites)

The travelers met Beau Brummel, who told The Doctor that they looked better wearing a cloak (The Sensorites)

The Doctor and Susan arrived on Venus, a planet with metal seas (Marco Polo), and metal flowers (The Wheel in Space); The Doctor sang Susan to sleep with Venusian lullabies (The Curse of Peladon, The Monster of Peladon); they learned the old joke that you should never trust a Venusian shanghorn with your perigosto stick (The Green Death)

In Greece around 250 BC, The Doctor and Susan met Archimedes (The Two Doctors) and saw ships which dated back to the time of Pericles (Enlightenment); during this visit the TARDIS disguised itself as an Ionic column (An Unearthly Child)

In London in the late 19th century, The Doctor became friends with songwriters Gilbert and Sullivan, who gave them a coat (The Edge of Destruction)

During World War I, Susan and The Doctor witnessed a Zeppelin raid (Planet of Giants)

The Doctor and Susan nearly lost the TARDIS during a visit to the planet Quinnus (The Edge of Destruction)

Susan and The Doctor had an adventure during the French Revolution, which she later described as their favorite period in Earth's history (An Unearthly Child, The Reign of Terror); they met Marie Antoinette, who gave The Doctor a picklock (Pyramids of Mars); on this occasion, the TARDIS disguised itself as a sedan chair (An Unearthly Child), an early indication the ship's chameleon circuit was developing a fault, since by this time sedan chairs were no longer in common use

The TARDIS landed in the Tower of London, and in order to return to it The Doctor quarreled with Henry VIII, who threw a parson's nose at them and then sent them to the Tower (The Sensorites)

The TARDIS made an emergency landing on Gallifrey during the Old Time (Silver Nemesis), and The Doctor met Rassilon and Omega during their first experiments with time travel. The ship was without power, and to escape The Doctor was forced to help create the technology which enables him to travel in time. They had "trouble with the prototype" of the Hand of Omega, a stellar manipulator (Remembrance of the Daleks), but when the device was perfected, Omega used it to trigger a stellar explosion and was apparently killed in the process (The Three Doctors). Rassilon used the power released by Omega's sacrifice to create the Eye of Harmony, a perfectly-balanced black hole at the heart of Gallifrey which transmits temporal energy (The Deadly Assassin). Susan seems to have created a minor temporal paradox when she used the term TARDIS, an acronym of Time And Relative Dimension In Space, to describe the new time capsules (An Unearthly Child). Rassilon, who knew of the Hand's potential as a weapon, and who realized that The Doctor was from Gallifrey's future, entrusted them with the responsibility of safeguarding the device (Remembrance of the Daleks) and gave them a ring with mysterious powers. The energy from the Hand affected the TARDIS, causing system failures which forced it to land in London in the spring of 1963 (An Unearthly Child). Theoretically Speaking

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