As we prepare to enjoy The Doctor’s homecoming in tomorrow’s Series 9 finale Hell Bent, we thought it timely to look back on previous adventures which brought The Doctor into contact with his people (usually with explosive results) 5for5 charts the Best Time Lord Appearances….
GENESIS OF THE DALEKS
Even though it features only one Time Lord in a cameo, the episode provides interesting insight into the Gallifreyans; they remain detached from galactic affairs as the Doctor describes in previous stories; yet thanks to his example they are becoming more involved in the fate of the Universe, and are suddenly worried about the Dalek threat.
Genesis also reinforced their manipulative streak in dealings with the Doctor, who for all his bravado is shown to be somewhat powerless when dealing with his people. And it’s fascinating to reinterpret this opening scene in light of NuWho episodes like End Of Time and Heaven Sent, as the Time Lords “foreseeing a time when the Daleks have destroyed all other life forms” was in fact a prophecy of the Time War.
THE END OF TIME
No list of Time Lord appearances is complete without Timothy Dalton’s Tour de Spittle as Lord Rassilon leading a battle hardened Gallifrey into oblivion. Seeing the Time Lords on the verge of defeat, mad with power and willing to wipe out everything to carry on their legacy was a shocking departure from previous depictions. Although they had always been aloof and stoic we never got a hint of malevolence, yet when Rassilon urges the Time Lords to battle with calls of “Gallifreay Rises!” our view of them changed forever.
THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR.
In some ways the 50th anniversary story played as an alternative history of The End Of Time, as Rassilon and the Council’s Final Sanction was shown to be just one front in the Time War. In Day of The Doctor, we witnessed the Time Lord’s War council doing battle on the front lines, and the toll the war had on Gallifrey’s families. Time Lords aren’t that different from the citizens of any country whose government plunges them into war; vulnerable, scared and at the mercy of the armed forces.
THE DEADLY ASSASSIN
The first story to be entirely set on Gallifrey (although a few previous episodes featured scenes on the planet) the Fourth Doctor’s return to his home world was a fascinating insight into how Time Lord society was organized, and fleshed out a bit more of the Doctor’s history. We were also introduced to the Matrix, waaayyyy before Keanu Reeves was even born, so take that Wachowski brothers.
INVASION OF TIME
Building on elements introduced in Deadly Assassin, the 4th Doctor’s second visit to Gallifrey downloaded a wealth of Time Lord culture and new locations; we were introduced to the Outsiders, the Citadel and the powers that are invested to the Lord President upon his election. At six parts, this story dragged on at times and fell victim to fluffing, but on balance the new revelations about the Time Lords were intriguing.
What say you? What were your favourite Time Lord-centric episodes? Let us know in the comments below!