TARDIS Technical Index

Rassilon Imprimature

(aka Symbiotic Relationship Circuits)

The Seal of Rassilon

"Warning. It is useless to try operating this machine until the correct telepathic link has been established. This link is known only to the Owner of this Type 40. Attempts to tamper with the control console will be met with the strongest possible retaliation." - TARDIS Type 40 Master Control Console Operating and Repair Manual, Page 1

The Rassilon Imprimature is the legendary link that a Time Lord shares with his TARDIS. To achieve the full rank of Time Lord a Gallifreyan must be granted a TARDIS and form a symbiotic link with it. On their first day at the "TARDIS Academy" each TARDIS[/tv chooses their Time Lord operator from the ranks of Junior Time Lords at the Time Academy. It is also possible (in some situations) for a Gallifreyan with a symbiotic nuclei to purchase a TARDIS.

Once chosen, a TARDIS uses its Symbiotic Relationship Circuits to form a symbiotic bond of self-regenerating transcendent biomechanics with the Symbiotic Nuclei that is woven into the Time Lord's very being. This Rassilon Imprimature is based on irrational numbers and imaginary equations. Because of this shared artron field, a bonded Time Lord's artron energy levels are greatly elevated, and the Gallifreyan can now access the greatest of all Time Lord abilities - the Power of Creation. As part of this Imprimature, the TARDIS idiosynchronizes itself to the operator's metabolism giving the operator quasi-symbiotic control of a TARDIS. This ensures that the will of a Time Lord Operator always overrides the will of a TARDIS's Artron Center. The Telepathic Induction Circuits are an essential part of this system and their removal will sever the symbiotic link.

To initiate a link the following procedure is used.

  1. The operator will type "INFORM NEXT" after the "NEXT" prompt on the console's visual display unit (VDU). The VDU will read "NEXT = HELLO TARDIS."
  2. To run the program type "HELLO TARDIS." The program will respond with "HELLO <operator's name> + CHECKING." The VDU will then scroll through the dematerialization code as the Symbiotic Relationship Circuits checks the operator's Symbiotic Nuclei and forms the bond. The VDU will then read "CHECKING COMPLETE + <list Fault locator damage report> + OTHER FUNCTIONS GO + NEXT".
  3. The operator can then type "INFORM NEXT" which will result in the VDU displaying "3. ENTER DESTINATION + SPACE-TIME CO-ORDINATES". At this point the TARDIS is now ready for normal operations. See Dematerialization Procedures

Even though all full Time Lords have a TARDIS assigned to them they must still obtain authorization before using it on a mission. The Imprimature Signatures of all Time Lords/TARDIS unions are recorded in the Records section of the Berthing Bay Imprimatur Cortex. This Cortex is directly linked to each TARDIS's symbiotic Relationships Circuits. While the official owner of any TARDIS can be checked by cross referencing the TARDIS's Imprimature Signature against these Records, an illegally cloned TARDIS would have the same Imprimature Signature as other original TARDIS. It is possible to "rekey" a TARDIS by severing the symbiotic link but this requires hours of work by a certified TARDIS Systems Technician. Scrambling the Berthing Bay's Imprimatur Cortex would permanently disable the symbiotic relationship circuits of all the TARDISes on Gallifrey, preventing any of them from entering the Vortex. Only the Lord President of Gallifrey has the authority to initiate such an action.

A Sontaran scarred by the Time WindsNo substance can survive the time winds of the Vortex without a Molecular Stabilization System. For this reason, the Symbiotic Atomic Nuclei is needed to 'prime' a Time Travel Capsules, form a quasi-symbiotic link with the Capsule, and to prevent the Capsule from molecularly destabilizing in the Vortex. The symbiotic-link between a Time Lord and his TARDIS allows the TARDIS to access the Dematerialization Codes from his symbiotic nuclei. When the Rotor Control is activated the Briode-Nebuliser absorbs a symbiotic print of the Codes from the operator's Nuclei. This genetic link serves as a genetic key for the Dematerialization Circuit to access the Vortex and as programming code for the Molecular Stabilizers. The Nuclei serve a similar function with Time Rings and other trans-temporal technology.

The nuclei are essential to initiate and survive long term travel in the Vortex. Most attempts to use a TARDIS without a symbiotic nucleus result in severe wounds and eventually death for the operator. The Capsule itself will be destroyed by the Vortex after several hundred years. The safest way for someone without a symbiotic nuclei to perform any sort of space-time jump is to use the Emergency Manual Override of the Hostile Action Displacement System A TARDIS can also use its temporal drift function without a Time Lord being on board. However it will only be able to travel 1,382 years back in time before beginning to lose structural integrity.

It is possible for a Time Lord to leave a thin membrane of symbiotic print by paring the nebuliser's interface. This membrane will allow a TARDIS to enter and exit the Vortex once without the presence of a Time Lord. If the coordinates have been pre-set then the Remote Control Facility allows a TARDIS to make a space-time jump without having an operator on-board Using the Manual Symbiotic Bypass Controls it is possible to permanently bypass the nebuliser and operate a TARDIS without a Rassilon Imprimature.

A TARDIS generates a low intensity telepathic field of Artron Energy. This telepathic field leaves a "thumb print" of the Time Lord's Symbiotic Nuclei and can be used by others to identify the operator of a TARDIS even after it departs. These prints get even more noticeable if a TARDIS makes a bunch of short hops. However this trail can be distorted by bypassing the Symbiotic Relationship Circuits.

Through the Rassilon Imprimature a Time Lord becomes able to detect his TARDIS's location from several dozen meters away, and predict when materialization is imminent. A Time Lord who is very close to their TARDIS can probably send a telepathic message which will cause its Eye of Harmony to detonate in a massive explosion that would destroy everything for miles. The link even allows the Time Lord to detect a badly wounded TARDIS's "cry" of pain and feel when his TARDIS has been destroyed. This exchange works both ways. If the operator suffers a serious mental trauma it can disable many of the TARDIS's systems including the telepathic circuits.

The Rassilon Imprimature makes a TARDIS more then just a vehicle or even a beast of burden to a Time Lord, they are essential parts of Time Lord technology and culture. The semi-instinctual neural-link between a TARDIS and its operator is almost sexual in its intimacy. Some believe a TARDIS provides a sense of companionship for its Time Lord operator in much the same way that a husband or wife does for their spouse. While the option exists for a TARDIS to form a link with all six of its Time Lord crew, it is impossible (or at least unethical) for a Time Lord to own more then one TARDIS. This is, at least in part, due to the fact that a TARDIS becomes terribly jealous when an operator is bonded to more then one. A TARDIS dims its lights when attempting to communicate with its operator.

There is at least one known case of a Time Lady linking herself to her TARDIS's Protyon Core at the exact moment of her regeneration. The artron energy was channelled into the TARDIS causing the two of them to become, in essence, one being, with the TARDIS functioning as her body.

If a TARDIS is abandoned by its operator it will deactivate most of its systems, and alter its appearance as necessary to avoid attracting attention. In theory, the death of a TARDIS's Operator causes the Capsule to automatically return to Gallifrey. However in many cases, the death of the Time Lord Operator can cause a grieving TARDIS to lose power, and shut down. Sometimes it even collapses the interior. The Exo-Plasmic shell will suffer isomorphic mass degeneration. If someone forms a new symbiotic link by idiosynchronizing a TARDIS to respond to a different metabolism, a TARDIS will revive. Some TARDISes in such a state will grieve for millennia, whilst others will die if no Time Lord forms another symbiotic link after a few decades. After the death of an operator with which the TARDIS was particularly close some TARDISes travel to a secret TARDIS graveyard located in an impacted pocket dimension outside of normal space and time. Very few Time Lords have seen this graveyard, but one such visitor reported seeing hundreds of decaying TARDISes.

Color Key

The following color code is used:

  • Black: For information from the TV Series, including Dimensions in Time, and 1996 TV Movie.
  • Blue: For information from the Novels and Audios including Target, Virgin, BCC, and Big Finish.
  • Green: For information from 'licensed' reference sources such as the Technical Manual, Doctor Who Magazine, and the Role Playing Games.
  • Red: For information from unofficial sources -The Faction Paradox series, behind the scenes interviews, author's speculation, and popular fan belief.
  • The TARDIS Technical Index is copyright Will B Swift.

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