A Biography of the Doctor

The First Doctor

Post-Academy Gallifrey

"I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous.
- The Doctor in Voyage of the Damned

This section of the biography covers the period after the Doctor was at the Academy. The novel Divided Loyalties establish that the Doctor was kicked out of the Academy, and had to re-do his studies in his spare time, which is why the first few entries relate to his studies.

It also covers events surrounding the Doctor's departure from Gallifrey. There have been multiple conflicting accounts of his departure. We cover all the accounts that refer to actual events, rather than just motivations.


The Doctor may have been awarded a certificate of Dimensional Engineering.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: The certificate is seen in the TARDIS in The Dimension Riders, though it's not certain that it belongs to the Doctor. Since his academic record was wiped in the Divided Loyalties flashback, he cannot have acquired it before then.


The Doctor fails to turn up for his time travel proficiency test. Without it he isn't qualified to operate a TARDIS.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Mentioned in Festival of Death.


The Doctor "scraped through with the barest minimum on the last permitted attempt and they knew it." And "[m]ost of [his] results were calculated to barely win you a pass". His final score was 51%

The Master's degree in Cosmic Science was of a higher degree than the Doctor's. He fails practical theology but is highly commended for his landscape gardening. He also failed his chapter certificates in officiating and legislating.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: The first quote is from the Doctor's brother Irving Braxiatel in Tears of the Oracle (page 167), the second from Quences in Lungbarrow (page 207), and the 51% figure is from Romana in The Ribos Operation episode 1.

The Master's grade in cosmic science is mentioned by the unnamed Time Lord in Terror of the Autons episode 1. Practical Theology and Landscape Gardening are from All-Consuming Fire. The chapter certificates in officiating and legislating are from Lungbarrow page 206, though it's possible the Doctor is being facetious with that one.


An old friend gives the Doctor a fob watch at his graduation. The friend in question would later sell fake TARDISes to the Andromedans.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Invasion of the Cat People. The friend is not identified. It is possible that this is the same fob watch seen in Human Nature (TV) / The Family of Blood


Nobody wants the Doctor for post-Doctoral work, so he takes up a post at the Prydonian Academy's Bureau of Possible Events

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: The post-Doctoral work is from The Infinity Doctors page 44, the Bureau of Possible Events role is from Lungbarrow page 199.

(First Doctor)

The Doictor's friend Magnus is attempting to extract energy from an artron sphere that has been found in the vortex. The Doctor arrives on the station shortly before the project begins and, when it turns out that the sphere is sentient, he intervenes to shut it down. He is highly commended by the Gallifreyan High Council for his actions, but his friendship with Magnus was over.

Duration: 1 day
Location: A Gallifreyan space station

Notes: The Doctor is wearing Time Lord robes, so it's after his graduation. He tells a guard that he is the guard's superior, but there's no other evidence about his rank. I suggest that the Doctor gets on board because of his (albeit strained) friendship with Magnus and is bluffing about his rank. This would mean that the Doctor gains a high status in Gallifreyan society as a result of his commendation.


The Doctor acts as an ambassador for the Time Lords. During this period of his life he carefully watches the technicians who pilot the TARDISes in which he travels.

Location: Gallifrey.

Notes: This was before Susan had been around (The Exiles (Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors) p. 5). The Doctor also mentions having joined a diplomatic corps in Pureblood (Doctor Who Magazine #196), and says that he didn't like the hours. This may have been one of the Doctor's roles at the Chapterhouse's Bureau of Possible Events (Lungbarrow).


The Doctor visits the planet Dido and learns that its native people are peaceful.

Location: Dido

Notes: As noted in The Rescue. Ian and Barbara haven't been to Dido, so it's before An Unearthly Child. Given that the story focuses on the Doctor's reaction to the loss of Susan it's slightly odd that there's no mention of her being present on this visit, so I've placed it in the Doctor's ambassadorial period.


The Doctor attends the inauguration of Space Station Chimera.

Location: Space Station Chimera

Notes: The Second Doctor says that this was "before I fell from favour" in The Two Doctors episode 1, and the dialogue implies that he was acting as a representative of the Time Lords at that point.


The Time Lords defeat the Crustacoids, who were waging a particularly bloody war, which included the destruction of suns. They imprison the leaders in a house in Sussex, and give the Doctor the task of programming the robot guardians.

Location: Gallifrey, Sussex

Notes: This is the Second Doctor's account in Fallen Angel (Decalog) (p.29-30, 39), so has to be during his time working for the Time Lords. It is also before Shada was constructed (p. 42).

From Eternity
(Short Trips: Monsters )

The Doctor interrogates a being responsible for deaths beyond counting, having eliminated entire species. It turns out that the entity has been travelling through time backwards and has been witnessing evolution and progress in reverse.

Location: Unknown

Notes: The Doctor is described as having an "angular face" and "thumb-tucked" arrogance. Since the cover of the anthology features the first Doctor, but no other story does so, it probably takes place during the first Doctor's ambassadorial period.

The End
(Short Trips:Life Science; first Doctor)

The Doctor dreams of founding the Institute of Time, a place for time travellers to meet and share their experiences. He chooses the place, and meets one of his future incarnations there.

Duration: 1 day
Location: Unknown

Notes: The first Doctor is clearly still a member of Time Lord society at this point.


The Doctor successfully petitions the High Council of the Time Lords to ban miniscopes.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Carnival of Monsters episode 3; The Empire of Glass page 137.


The Doctor leaves the Chapterhouse's Bureau of Possible Events after "disagreements about his overzealous political involvements". He keeps an official Prydonian seal from his time working for this organisation.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: Lungbarrow page 199

(pages 194-202)

The Doctor is refused a promotion from his post as Scrutationary Archivist. At the same time, the Doctor is sent an invitation to Quences' deathday and first encountered the Hand of Omega. Its reappearance set off numerous alarms all over the capitol. The Hand intervenes in a fight between the Doctor and his cousin Glospin.

These events finally prompted the Doctor to leave Gallifrey. He slipped into the TT embarkation port on Under-Level 15 of the Citadel, despite agency guards. He had to join in a procession of Time Lords in the last leg of his journey. He slipped into an obsolete type 40, and was soon joined by the Hand, which powered it up and allowed it to breach the Backtime Field Buffers.

Location: Gallifrey.

Notes: The bit about the procession of Time Lords is from Nightshade pages 1-2. This is 673 years before Lungbarrow. In The Pirate Planet, Romana says that the Doctor has been piloting the TARDIS for 523 years.


The Doctor is a member of the High Council, and angrily argues with his fellow council members. Whilst he is still angry, he goes to a vault deep beneath the capitol and opens the door of a type 40 TARDIS. At this point, Susan comes running behind him and tells him that she is coming with him.

Duration: 1 day
Location: The Capitol, Gallifrey

Notes: This is one of the memories the eighth Doctor regains on page 35 of The Eight Doctors and doesn't fit with any of the other depictions of the Doctor leaving Gallifrey. It also contradicts Lungbarrow, where the Doctor was never a Cardinal.

There are two plausible ways to fit this around the others. One is that the Doctor and Susan returned to modern Gallifrey at some point, and the Doctor left twice. The other is that this is a change to the Doctor's timeline. In Unnatural History (pages 168-171) an agent of Faction Paradox claims that The Eight Doctors rewrites both the Doctor's personal history and Gallifrey's history, making that my preferred explanation.

The Name of the Doctor
(leaving Gallifrey scene)

The Great Intelligence interferes with the Doctor's personal timeline, changing the way in which he left Gallifrey. Clara steps into the timeline and puts things back on the right track, making sure he steals the right TARDIS.

Location: Gallifrey

Notes: The Doctor is with a female character who is presumably supposed to be Susan. If it is then this is either a result of changes to the Doctor's timeline since Lungbarrow, or the "return to Gallifrey" theory is correct.

(pages 279-280)

The Doctor arrived in the Old Time, herded by the Hand of Omega. He encountered Susan, who recognised him as her Grandfather. The two left the Old Time and the Doctor came to accept Susan as his own granddaughter.

Duration: 1 day
Location: Ancient Gallifrey

Notes: Follows on from the previous Lungbarrow flashback.

Time & Time Again
(Gallifrey flashback)

The Doctor and Susan leave Gallifrey with the Hand of Omega. Susan is worried that leaving is forbidden. At this point, there is chaos on Gallifrey, including at least one explosion.

Location: Gallifrey.

Notes: This fits quite neatly with the Lungbarrow account of the Doctor and Susan's departure from ancient Gallifrey (except, perhaps for the fact that they are wearing the clothes from An Unearthly Child). The Hand of Omega is referred to but not seen, so I suggest it is floating around just off-panel. It should probably be noted that this is the coda to a story where both the Black and White Guardians have changed the Doctor's personal timeline.


The Doctor puts mental blocks in his mind, possibly assisted by the Hand of Omega. He may also have done so for Susan. These mental blocks may have hidden the Doctor's knowledge of his connections with the Gallifreyan Old Time and affected his ability to pilot the TARDIS. Supporting evidence is found in The Three Doctors, where the Time Lords lifting mental blocks imposed after The War Games allow the Doctor to pilot the TARDIS in a way he was never able to before. This also explains why, in Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, the Doctor knows he's never been to the Old Time, even though Lungbarrow clearly establishes that he has.

Location: Unknown

Notes: This is mentioned a couple of times in Time and Relative

Feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions about the site, or any technical problems with it. You may also want to check out our Privacy Policy. There is also an About Us page, if you really want to read one.


The doctor said in his 2nd incarnation that he was bored that's why he left Gallifrey.

Hi Greg,

The Doctor's said about half a dozen contradictory things about why he left Gallifrey over the years. This timeline gives one of those a bit more prominence than the others simply because it's tied into the plot of a story rather than being a throwaway line. Thanks for the feedback, though.

Add new comment


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.