The Infinity Doctors

Roots: Marvel's What If? comics. The Doctor hums a John Lennon song. He mentions Arrakis (Dune). There is a reference to Rupert the Bear. The Librarinth contains the complete works of Milton, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Time Ships, and Slaughterhouse-Five. Omega quotes Mephistopheles.

Future threats to Gallifrey mentioned here include Catavolcus, who first appeared in the Doctor Who comic strip The Neutron Knights, and Varnax, who first appeared in Mark Ezra's unused Doctor Who movie script 'The Return of Varnax' (see The Nth Doctor). Omega's ancient name is "Ohm", the name originally given to the character by Bob Baker and Dave Martin in the first draft of 'The Three Doctors', since it is "Who" upside down. The Doctor's father is called Ulysses, which is a reference to the "Leekey Bible".

Technobabble: The Doctor hasn't seen interspatial protractors since he was at school.

Dialogue Triumphs: "Time and space are elephantly inflated. That's what the Doctor says."

"It's quantum mechanics. Of course it's ludicrous."

Sontar tells the baffled Doctor, "You tricked us into thinking you were a fool, with nothing to say. All the time, you had your plot."

Continuity: The Doctor has a long oval face, an aristocratic nose, and a full mouth. He wears his hair close-cropped. He wears glasses, a battered cashmere jacket, a pressed silk shirt, and tailored tan trousers. He wears his old college scarf when greeting the Sontarans and Rutans on Gallifrey. He is a member of the High Council of Gallifrey: he and the Magistrate are the only two members of the Council less than two thousand years old. He is also the most senior member of the Prydon Chapter aside from the Magistrate. He is a vegetarian. Unlike most councillors, he doesn't have a servant. He has a cat called Wycliff. His room is lined with books and objects from various periods of Earth's history. He is reading The Iliad for the first time but gives it to Captain Raimor before he's finished it. He has travelled more than any Time Lord except possibly Savar (Seeing I). He knows that he is a son of the Loom from the Noble House of Lungbarrow (see Lungbarrow) but also recalls his parents: his mother is called Penelope (see The TV Movie) and his father was the greatest explorer of his age, whose name isn't Ulysses and who teaches at Berkeley University (see Unnatural History). He has visited Earth and seems familiar with England. He barely scraped his PhD and none of the colleges wanted him for post-doctoral work. General Sontar breaks his neck in the TARDIS, but the state of temporal grace restores him to life. The Doctor has been married and had children and at least one grandchild [Susan and possibly John and Gillian from the TV comic strips]. He owns what he thinks are the only copies of Borges' lost novel O Time Your Pyramids. When he visits the Needle his pockets contain a ball of string, his sonic screwdriver, the transmat bracelet, his copy of Four Quartets, a bag of Monster Munch, a bottle of iodine, and the Rutan converter. Omega's wife is his former lover.

The Magistrate is apparently the Master. He is one of the Doctor's best and oldest friends. His job is to enforce all of Gallifrey's laws and he has a forbidding reputation. Due to his workload, he never lectures at the Academy. It isn't clear whether Omega destroys him or banishes him somewhere.

Omega's wife is two million years old. She was shot in the back of the head: Omega rescued her from the matter universe at the point of death and repaired the damage to her body when he converted her to anti-matter. [She is Patience - see Cold Fusion]. The breach in spacetime caused by the destruction of Savar's TARDIS/the creation of the Needle provides Omega with a window on the universe of matter. Omega escapes the anti-matter universe by forcing the Doctor to take his place and then stealing a duplicate of his body in the matter universe, but is forced to return after Savar cuts his throat: the Doctor uses an anti-singularity to stop him destroying the universe, but since the Doctor notes that anti-singularities don't exist, he isn't sure what actually happens to Omega afterwards.

Hedin is a member of the High Council, as was his father before him. He is currently compiling the bibliography for his life's work, the three-hundred volume Life of Omega (see Arc of Infinity): he finishes it here after four centuries of work. The Doctor helped him write it.

Larna is one of the Doctor's best students [he teaches at the Academy] and recently became a Time Lord. She commits suicide with a knife to try and stop the Doctor leaving for the Station. Omega resurrects her at the Doctor's request.

As in Seeing I, the I removed Savar's eyes when they found his escape capsule after his TARDIS was destroyed. The destruction of his TARDIS occurred when he went in search of, and found, Omega. Not only Savar's eyes were removed, but also his optic nerves and the lobes of his brain dealing with sight: new eyes were spun for him when he was found and brought back to Gallifrey, but the experience left him insane. Savar was a friend of the Doctor's father and a friend of the Doctor prior to leaving Gallifrey.

Gallifrey's sun has no name. Not all Gallifreyans are Time Lords and not all Time Lords are Gallifreyan, although the majority are. Gallifrey once went through a period of galactic conquest and warfare (see Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, The Five Doctors, Underworld). In the time of Omega and Rassilon, the Fragment was the only surviving remnant of the Books of Prophecy that the Gallifreyans previously used to explore and exploit the future. Omega believed that Rassilon fabricated the Fragment, which tells of the future that he wants to create. Prior to becoming Time Lords, the Gallifreyans were immortal barring accidents (The War Games). Since the days of Rassilon and Omega, Gallifrey has fought wars with Rigel, Gosolus and a dozen other worlds. Qqaba was the last Population III star in the universe and was detonated by Omega using the Hands of Omega (see Remembrance of the Daleks): Rassilon tamed the singularity unleashed by force of will alone (see The Deadly Assassin) but was unable to save Omega.

The Archives contain, amongst other things, armour belonging to someone called Tegorak. Gallifrey's moon Pazithi Gallifreya is mentioned (Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible). Olyesti is one of the Three Minute Cities in the East on Gallifrey. The Time Lords monitored the conjunction of the planets Tarva and Alambil from the Main Temporal Monitoring Chamber on Gallifrey. The Capitol is located in Gallifrey's northern hemisphere. Gallifrey's sun has been re-engineered to keep it in the main sequence. The system contains five planets including Gallifrey [and Karn and Polarfrey - see Lungbarrow]. The Time Lords are forbidden from visiting their own past and unable to visit their future, but are aware of some future threats including Varnax, Faction Paradox (Alien Bodies), Catavolcus, the Timewyrm (Timewyrm: Genesys, Timewyrm: Exodus, Timewyrm: Apocalypse, Timewyrm: Revelation), and another, uncertain enemy (see Alien Bodies, Interference, The Ancestor Cell).

Time Lords have genitals, parents and brothels, as well as Houses, Looms, and Cousins (Lungbarrow, The TV Movie) [We never learn exactly how all of this works, although it would explain how Braxiatel could be the Doctor's brother but not one of the cousins seen in Lungbarrow. It is noted that not all Womb-Born Gallifreyans died at the time of the Pythia's Curse, and those that survived remained hidden amongst the general population]. Time Lord Chapters include the Dromeians. It is impossible to become a Time Lord without working as a Technician for a while. All members of the Chancellery Watch are trained to resist the mind probe (The Five Doctors). They are trained to kill a Time Lord with a sword by slicing through both hearts. The Feast of Rassilon the Lamp is a Gallifreyan festival. Castellan Fordfarding held the office around the time of Rassilon and is considered the greatest holder of the office largely because of his almost total lack of imagination. "Time moves in circles" is an old Gallifreyan proverb.

The storerooms of the Endless Library on Gallifrey are searched every night to ensure that there will never be another Biblioclasm. The chambers of the High and Supreme Council are ritually sterilised before each session as a hangover from the Blank Plague, which was eradicated a quarter of a million years ago. Low Town is a shanty town that sprang up around the columns that keep the Capitol Dome level. The Time Lords tolerate it because it allows them to monitor lawlessness. Roast grockleroots are eaten in Low Town. Parts of Low Town include the restored ruins of villas not enclosed by the Dome when the Capitol was erected by the generation after Rassilon's. Time Lords occasionally visit the bars and brothels of Low Town. The Tomb of the Uncertain Soldier contains the body of a Gallifreyan retrieved from an alternate reality, who erased his own timeline for the greater good. There is an Omega Memorial.

The Citadel is hourglass shaped. The six corners of the Panopticon contain statues of the six legendary Founders of Gallifrey, including Omega wearing the hydraulic armour he wore at Qqaba, Rassilon, the Other, and Apeiron. Rassilon is always depicted wearing leather sandals. The Panopticon is so large that it takes an hour to cross it on foot. The Oldharbour Clock has never been built and is a relic from the Time Wars, which simply appeared one day. Thee clockwork figurines on the Clock were imbued with sentience and the capacity for development by the alternate Time Lords who built them, and they are now the most intelligent beings on Gallifrey. The Time Wars lasted for thirty thousand years and involved a thousand worlds, before "certain higher powers" [probably the Guardians] put a stop to them and stabilised time. After the Time Wars, the Time Lords were forced to seal off whole areas of space and time that were damaged beyond repair. The Time Lords cannot usually travel beyond the point at which the universe begins to collapse, because time starts to work differently at that point.

The Station is a secret Time Lord base on the edge of Gallifrey's Constellation, in orbit around a red supergiant and surrounded by the remains of wrecked spaceships [see Trial of a Time Lord]. The control deck resembles a multi-level TARDIS console the size of a house. TARDISes require refuelling after travelling a few billion years.

The planetoid Hindmost is the most distant significant piece of baryonic matter known to the Time Lords. It is so far from Gallifrey that a TARDIS would have to be specifically re-engineered to make the journey. Hindmost is barely big enough for a man to stand on.

A force knife crates a blade using force field technology and can be anything from a quark to a metre in length: in the right hands, it can split an atom. Drolminathol is a chemical relaxant designed to weaken telepathic defences and has the street name "intermace". Blackstars are Gallifreyan weapons developed to crack Dyson Spheres (see The Also People). Z-caps stop the flow of time over a limited area.

In the early years of the Sontaran-Rutan war (The Time Warrior, Horror of Fang Rock), both sides took prisoners for intelligence purposes, until both began routinely using self-destruct systems to avoid this. The Sontarans and Rutans have been fighting since at least the time of Rassilon and Omega (Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible). They agree to send delegations to Gallifrey to let the Doctor try and broker a peace treaty between them. According to the Rutans, the war started when an eight-hundred ship Sontaran armada invaded Rutan space and destroyed all evidence of Rutan colonisation in the Constellation of Zyt. The Sontarans claim that the attack was in response to a Rutan attack on the Sontaran colony of Holfractur. Other notable conflicts during the war include Mancastovon and the Battle of Hwyx. Planets caught up in the war include Halran II, Gwel, and Kalla. The star system of Huwyma was a Sontaran colony destroyed by an anti-matter explosion engineered by the Rutans. When Sontar and a Rutan are trapped in the Doctor's TARDIS for an age, unable to kill each other or escape, they eventually start discussing what they have in common and finally come to a peaceful accommodation.

Sontaran hatchlings are fully-grown and ready for combat in six days. The natural Sontaran lifespan is fifty years. According to one version of Sontaran history, at around the time that war was first declared against the Rutans, the urSontaran Warburg realised the military advantage of cloning their finest warriors. General Sontar was the mastermind in the victory in the two-thousand year war against the Isari and was a such a perfect warrior that soon all new soldiers were clones of him. A purge followed, eradicating all non-Sontarans in the population. General Sontar still rules the Sontarans, and has his consciousness downloaded into a new clone whenever his previous body grows old and dies. Protected as he is, he's the only Sontaran that ever grows old. Sontaran clones were refined to make them easier to duplicate and maintain, giving them only three digits and easily synthesised mineral solutions instead of blood, and removing features deemed unnecessary, including eyelids, toes, digestive systems and sex organs. They store energy in bioelectrical cells in their abdominal cavities. The Sontarans claim to control entire galaxies [an exaggeration]. A Rutan year is three times the length of a Sontaran year.

Skaro is located in the seventh galaxy and is the twelfth planet of its solar system.

The Schlangi build and sell spaceships. The planet known to the Time Lords as Procyon is called New Quentar by the Sontarans and Sisswurgplok by the Rutans. Baxterium can kill a star by inhibiting fusion. Potential threats to Gallifrey mentioned here include the Klade (see Father Time), the Tractites (Genocide) and the Ongoing.

The Maltraffi are lion-like creatures with red manes and coal-black eyes that inhabit the surface of the Needle.

Centro and the "Canonicity" of The Infinity Doctors

Attentive readers will notice the reference to Centro in The Infinity Doctors. According to an interview with Lance Parkin that appeared on the BBC Doctor Who website in 2004, The Infinity Doctors arose out of a proposed two-novel story arc with Kate Orman and Jon Blum, who were originally to write the other novel, provisionally entitled Mentor. For his half, Parkin drafted a Fourth Doctor and Romana novel in which they fought a monster called Centro, who could bend time and space and bent it so that the Doctor never left Gallifrey. When the planned two-book story arc fell through, Parkin expanded the idea to an entire novel, but decided not to bother with the reset switch that restored the "normal" Doctor Who universe.

All of which means that, for anyone who wants to try and fit The Infinity Doctors into the Doctor's continuity, it all hinges on the unrecorded adventure with Centro, who only gets a brief mention in the novel. Presumably, another unrecorded adventure includes the reset button. It also isn't clear which Doctor actually features in The Infinity Doctors (possibly none of the ones we're familiar with), although personally he reads like the Eighth Doctor to me for most of the novel. Which means that, with hindsight, this might fit best after The Gallifrey Chronicles, which features Marnal, who is also briefly mentioned here.

Links: The Three Doctors (Omega), The Deadly Assassin. The first two pages recount the old days of Gallifrey and owe a great deal to Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible (the prophecies and seers), The Pit (the last heroes dying blind and alone) and Lungbarrow (Houses, Cousins and Looms). Low Town was first mentioned in The Eight Doctors. Tyler's Folly is described as a major temporal nexus point (Down). The Outsiders were first seen in The Invasion of Time. There are references to Vegans (The Monster of Peladon), Cybermen, Daleks, Faction Paradox, Morbius (The Brain of Morbius), Marnal (The Gallifrey Chronicles), the Vampire Wars (State of Decay), the Demat Gun (The Invasion of Time), the Magnetron (Trial of a Time Lord), . The Doctor notes that the TARDIS exists in a state of temporal grace (The Hand of Fear). The Doctor's use of the TARDIS to show possible futures recalls Pyramids of Mars. The massive disc shaped weapon briefly seen orbiting an ice planet is presumably the same seen in Interference. The Needle People suggest that they might be descended from the People (The Also People) or the Thals.

Location: Gallifrey, two million years after the time of Rassilon and Omega.

Future History: The Sontaran and Rutan fleets seen here come from three hundred thousand years before the Last of Man.

The Needle exists decades before Event Two (the Big Crunch - see Castrovalva) and is a light-year long, but only fifty thousand kilometres in diameter. One end of it is stuck in a black hole. It was formed out of the remains of Savar's TARDIS, when that TARDIS tried to escape from the Black Hole when Savar tried to locate Omega. The Librarinth is found on the surface of the Needle and contains artefacts from various planets including Earth. Artefacts include Borges' lost novel O Time Your Pyramids, the Gallifreyan prophecies the Other Scrolls, a battered segment of the Key to Time, and the much-coveted Crown of the Fifth Galaxy.

It is implied that the People of the WorldSphere depart the universe prior to Event Two.

Unrecorded Adventures: The first time that the Doctor left Gallifrey, he took a short hop across the Constellation to visit his parents' summer house. The Doctor once attended a celebration or party of some kind at which other attendees included Mr Saldaamir and a pair from Althrace.

The Doctor once faced an entity called Centro, who apparently resembles a metal skull with camera eyes, and who created spacewarps which apparently threatened the universe. The Doctor trapped him somewhere, where he currently remains. Centro apparently had enormous persistence.

The Bottom Line: "I'm two hundred and twenty-nine pages in, with only another fifty-one to go. It started slow, but it's building to a climax." It starts out as non-gratuitous fanwank, before turning into a rewrite of The Three Doctors that is vastly superior to the ghastly original, and thus makes for a perfect celebration. Theories abound as to where it fits into continuity, but frankly it doesn't matter - just sit back and enjoy a hugely witty romp through the series' lore.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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I think that the eight doctor's timeline is so full of so many flipping time paradoxes!

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