A Biography of the Doctor

The First Doctor

The Prydonian Academy

"Do I know you, young man?"
"Believe it or not, we were at the Academy together."
- The Doctor and the Master in The Five Doctors

The children of Gallifrey are taken from their families at the age of eight to enter the Academy (The Sound of Drums) and the Doctor attended the Academy. As the vast majority of information we have about the Doctor's time at the Academy is in the form of short references the order of these events is mostly speculative. Since many of them are the Doctor's reminiscences they may not be entirely reliable.

The words used to refer to the Academy differ. They include "the Academy", the "Time Academy" (Shada), the "Academy of Time" (Heart of TARDIS), and the "Prydonian Academy" (Timewyrm: Revelation). We have assumed that these terms all refer to the same institution, presuming that the Doctor attended the part of the Academy that teaches members of the Prydonian Chapter. It could be that this is a two stage education (future Time Lords attend a general academy before moving on to one for their specific chapter, or vice versa).

However the Academy is structured, the educational program lasts for "many decades" (Divided Loyalties p.151), presumably this is the same period of his life when the Doctor was "a spotty teenager for fifty years" (The Time Witch, DWM #38).


The following Time Lords have been confirmed to have been students at the Academy at the same time as the Doctor: An asterisk denotes that the Time Lord has been confirmed to be in the Doctor's year.

  • Koschei / the Master
  • Magnus* / the War Chief (Goth Opera, Divided Loyalties)
  • Drax (Divided Loyalties)
  • Mortimus* / the monk (Goth Opera, Divided Loyalties)
  • Ushas / the Rani* (Time and the Rani, Goth Opera, Divided Loyalties)
  • Vansell (Divided Loyalties)
  • Rallon (Divided Loyalties)
  • Millennia (Divided Loyalties)
  • Jelpax (Divided Loyalties)
  • Runcible (Divided Loyalties)
  • Ruath (Goth Opera - in the year below him)
  • Anzor (Mission to Magnus)
  • Torvic (Master)
  • Galah (Strange England - they weren't close)
  • Tebediatroculozan (Envy - Short Trips: Seven Deadly Sins)


The following Time Lords have been confirmed as being teachers at the Academy whilst the Doctor was there:

  • Borusa
  • Azmael (The Twin Dilemma)
  • Sendok (Divided Loyalties, teaches stellar cartography)
  • Franilla (Divided Loyalties)
  • Chancellor Delox (Divided Loyalties)
  • Lady Genniploritrelundar (Original Sin, teaches stellar engineering)
  • The only person who understood Artron energy {Four to Doomsday)


The Doctor becomes friends with Koschei and Magnus on their first day at the Academy. This is the Class of the Fourth Millennium.

Duration: 1 day.
Location: The Academy, Gallifrey.

Notes: Divided Loyalties p.98. Class of the fourth millennium is from Mission to Magnus p.9


During his first year at the Academy the Doctor keeps a pet flubble under his bed so that he will have someone to talk to.

Duration: 1 year
Location: The Academy, Gallifrey

Notes: Island of Death p.112.


The Doctor and Koschei are best friends at school and are being tormented by a bully named Torvic. One day Torvic pushes Koschei’s head under the water and holds it there – until the Doctor grabs a rock and smashes it into Torvic’s head, killing him. The boys burn Torvic’s body and vow never to speak of the incident again.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Master episode 3. The Doctor and the Master were "young boys".


The Time Lord Savar knew the Doctor when he was young. They played chess, and the Doctor almost cried because Savar was the first person who had ever beaten him. Whilst they played, the adults (including the Doctor's father) discussed astronomy and the Doctor showed his knowledge of the Chandrasekhar Limit, as he had been studying black holes just that morning.

Duration: 1 day.
Location: The Panopticon, Gallifrey.

Notes: The Infinity Doctors p.157.


The Doctor plays lead perigosto stick for the Gallifrey Academy Hot Five. The Master is on drums.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Deadly Reunion p.130


The Doctor plays truant on a number of occasions. In some cases he went drinking with the Shobogans. He makes many trips to Low Town, sometimes with Koschei.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: The Eight Doctors p.35 and p.238.


In addition to his studies at the academy, the Doctor takes lessons with an old hermit, who lives on a misty mountain (Mount Cadon). At least some of these lessons were whilst he was playing truant from the Academy. He taught the Doctor a number of things, including learning to look into his own mind, and ghost stories that included vampires [and quite likely the Fendahl. It is also quite likely that this is where the Doctor learnt both Tibetan and High Gallifreyan.]

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Mount Cadon is named in Timewyrm:Revelation (p.1). The Three Paths (Short Trips: Farewells) establishes that it is another name for Mount Lung (Lungbarrow), so presumably it is the same hermit the Doctor visited before the Academy. Truanting is mentioned in The Eight Doctors (p.35). The hermit is also mentioned in The Time Monster episode 5 and some of the lessons in Planet of the Spiders episode 2 and State of Decay episode 3.


The Doctor is bullied by Anzor, the son of a council leader

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Mission to Magnus p.9


The Doctor gains an 'O' Level in starship weaponry

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: He says this in The Star Beast. Assuming he's not being facetious, this has to have been during his time at the academy.


The Doctor and his friends ride vortisaurs bareback at the Academy

Location: Unknown

Notes: Storm Warning episode 4.


The Doctor joins the Prydonian Chapter Debating Forum, which issues him with a membership card.

Location: Gallfrey

Notes: We see the card in The Dimension Riders (p.39).


(The Doctor is in his early 90s. )

The Doctor finally admits that he still likes to play with his perigosto stick. The other students rib him mercilessly for at least a half-century.

Duration: At least a half century
Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Beltempest p.92


The Doctor takes his first trip off Gallifrey, taking a short hop across the Constellation to his parents' summer house. He looked into the sky and saw moving points of light that his mother told him were ships travelling in space and time. He decides to find out who was in them and where they were going. After asking his tutors and looking in the books and Public Record Video to find out about other worlds he decides that, if he wants the answers, he'll have to leave Gallifrey.

Location: The Doctor's parents' summer house.

Notes: The Infinity Doctors p.280.


The Doctor meets Ruath, who was in the class of '92, the year above the Doctor. She was the first to lead the Doctor astray. They used to break into time capsules together. They also introduced cats to the Gallifreyan ecosystem, altered the local gravity in the Panopticon so that a graduation ceremony took place in mid-air, and even electrified Borusa's perigosto stick.

Location: Gallifrey.

Notes: Goth Opera p.195, p.207


Whilst at the academy, the Doctor specialises in thermodynamics.

Location: The Academy, Gallifrey

Notes: According to the Rani in Time and the Rani (ep. 1). Though she calls it "university".


The Doctor plays the game "Eighth Man Bound". The game forces the "initiate's" body to go into a state of flux as if it is preparing to regenerate. The initiate will then see a glimpse of his or her biological future, seeing snatches of his future incarnations. The Doctor is rumoured to have played this game and equalled the record of seeing as far as his seventh incarnation.

Location: The Academy, Gallifrey.

Notes: Christmas on a Rational Planet p.213-216


The Doctor attends a tech course with Drax.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Mentioned in The Armageddon Factor episode 5. clearly referencing Gallfirey. Drax says that this "Must be what, four hundred and fifty years?". If Drax and the Doctor (who's somewhere around 750 in this era) are in synch and Drax has the figure right then this would be when the Doctor is somewhere around 300. Which is almost certainly too late to be referring to the Academy.

Divided Loyalties page 154 establishes that Drax left Gallifrey when the Doctor was expelled from the academy, and Goth Opera page 157 establishes that Drax mentioning the Class of '92 is referring to the Academy. These references strongly suggest that Drax's figures should not be taken literally.

(Argument with Quences)

Cousins Quences and Satthralope are disappointed that the Doctor only wishes to become "a mere Doctor", rather than a Time Lord, sat in a room studying the galaxy. Because of the Doctor's lack of ambition and sense of familial duty Quences tells the Doctor that he must quit the House of Lungbarrow immediately and never cross its threshold again.

Duration: One day.
Location: The House of Lungbarrow, Southern Gallifrey.

Notes: Lungbarrow p.171-172. One year before Divided Loyalties p.104. The Doctor will reach his majority on his next nameday.

Timewyrm: Revelation

The Doctor visits the Hermit, who is living on Mount Cadon, near the Prydonian Academy as part of his studies. He has fasted for three days and nights and made supplication to certain powers.

Duration: 1 day.
Location: Mount Cadon, Gallifrey

Notes: During the Doctor's time at the Academy. It is quite likely that this takes place during the Divided Loyalties flashback. If so, it is the "daisiest daisy" event mentioned in The Time Monster episode 5.

Divided Loyalties

At this point, the Doctor was part of a group of high-flying students known as the Deca. The Deca debated the profound wisdoms, questioned the Ancient Covenants, and extended their belief systems. Quences, Kithriarch of Lungbarrow, sends Badger to demand that the Doctor return to Lungbarrow for Otherstide, which is also the nameday on which he will obtain his majority. The Doctor refuses to go.

The next day, he is suspended from the Academy for his disdain for Tradition. He then decides to steal a TARDIS and go on a trip to prove to the Time Lords that there is a Universe out there that needs to be explored. He is accompanied by two members of the Deca - Rallon and Millennia, and ventures into the realm of a celestial being known as the Toymaker. Rallon dies and Millennia is trapped as one of the Toymaker's dolls.

On his return, the Doctor is the first student ever expelled from the Academy, and is sentenced to spend 500 years in the records area and traffic control. His achievements at the academy are wiped out, but he is allowed to pursue his studies in his spare time.

Duration: At least two days.
Location: Gallifrey, the Toymaker's Realm

Notes: Divided Loyalties p.95-155. One year after the argument with Quences, "many decades" after starting at the Academy. Some additional details from The Quantum Archangel p.99. Type 35 TARDISes are new.

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