Bring back the Time Lords! [Doctor Who]

Warning: This post contains spoilers concerning the Doctor Who Christmas and New Year specials – if you haven’t seen them and don’t want to know anything about them, STOP READING!

Christmas Day usually brings an extra treat here in the UK (aside from the usual presents, I mean). For a few years now there’s been a Doctor Who Christmas special to look forward to, but this year we also got a New Year’s Day one.

The Christmas Day one was pretty strange, with my dad and I sitting there wondering what on earth was going on. Part two, on New Year’s Day, was much better and introduced us to the new Doctor, played by Matt Smith. Something else really excited me about the story, though, the return of Gallifrey and the Time Lords!

If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about here’s the summary: The Time Lords are a race of people from the planet Gallifrey. They harnessed the power of a black hole (the Eye of Harmony) and used the energy from that to develop time travel technology. The Doctor is a Time Lord, dotting around the universe in a stolen TARDIS. The Time Lords are no more, however, after a devastating war that left them sealed within a time bubble… only the Doctor and the Master survived.

The Time Lords make a return in this Christmas and New Year’s specials, but the Doctor is horrified by the thought. While Doctor Who fans might remember them as benevolent overseers of time, avoiding interference in the affairs of other species and trying to track down renegade members of their species (the Doctor included) they’ve changed into warmongering people, determined to destroy everything that has ever existed simply to win their war. So… they don’t get to stay around very long.

I had really hoped they’d come back though, because they were among the only people the Doctor couldn’t just wow with his tricks: they knew most of them.

Psychic paper? “Yeh, you probably just nicked that from stores.” TARDIS bigger on the inside than outside? “They’re all like that – we designed them that way, and don’t think of running off ‘cos we’ve changed your TARDIS’ locks.”

Ok, so I’m being a bit silly, but I loved the idea of the Doctor being on the run, a hero to many but a renegade to his own people. I loved there being someone genuinely more powerful than the Doctor, and I loved the idea that another Time Lord could come along in any story and we’d discover a bit more about the race’s background. But it looks like that’s all behind us now.

I have to say, the new series’ of Doctor Who have been fantastic… I’ve just never really liked the “last Time Lord” thing and thought this year’s specials were a great chance to bring them back. It’s a shame that didn’t happen.

Am I the only one to think that? What did you think of the episodes, if you saw them? And what of the Time Lords? Have your say in the comments!

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  1. Simon Douglas says:

    I totally agree with your sentiments. Being a little cynical about RTD leaving the series, he threw in the whole kitchen sink – Captain Jack ('Barrowman!!'), Rose Tyler, Martha & Mickey – as well as the Galifreyan's in a kind of 'top that!' attitude. He (or DT?) has brought some interesting ambivalence to the nature of the Dr, he's not so self-assured and that always makes for a more dynamic heroism, but as you say, he has firmly closed the door on the Time Lords returning at any future point.

    Bring on the 11th Doctor & Stephen Moffatt, let's see where you can take the franchise!

  2. Thanks for dropping in Simon – I've added your site to my feed reader (looks like just the kind of thing I'd be interested in).

    I hadn't thought about RTD going for one last big hurrah but you might be right! As you say, bring on Matt Smith & Stephen Moffatt. If Moffat's episodes under RTD are anything to go by, we could be in for a treat!

  3. I am in total agreement. One of the redeeming features of these two episodes were the Time Lords, I thought that they worked very well, and they stayed true to the originals (more or less). However failing to bring back the Time Lords and the Master vanishing at the end of the episode (seriously where did he go?) was a major error.

    In general though I was very disappointed with the Christmas episodes and Waters on Mars… I've put more of my thoughts on the Christmas episode on my blog:

  4. Older than Dust says:

    Wife and I can't stomach David Tennant as the Doctor, nor this Matt Smith bloke. Both are a bit too wet behind the ears for our liking. As such we purposefully avoided the entire series until the Christmas special (to see who the new Doctor was.)

    Perhaps that is why we tuned in and thought “What the heck is this rubbish!?”

    All I can say is that all this nonsense of Russell T Davis being the “Shakespeare” of the 21st century is utter nonsense. He may appeal to a large segment of the British tv audience, but he does not appeal to the majority of English speakers, period. Pratchett, now he's a 21st century Shakespeare.

  5. I read your post and left a comment, James. I assumed that the Master just ran off – it never occurred to me that he might have been sucked back into the time lock with the rest of Gallifrey.

    I have to admit I quite liked Waters of Mars – I thought it was a good mix of creepy and clever… and just a bit cheesy too!

  6. I'd have to agree with you about RTD not being the Shakespeare of the 21st Century! He's had a fair share of duff episodes under his belt but I'd say on the whole I've enjoyed his series' far more than I've loathed them. Still, I'm really looking forward to the new series. Not quite sure about such a young Doctor but we'll see what happens.

    Now Terry Pratchett… THERE'S a man deserving of a knighthood! Oh wait, he already got it. Good thing too :)

  7. penderdax says:

    after watching the end of the first ep. a thought for sure they'de have the timlords coming and STAYING back so as to really kick-off the new doctor…they really left the new guy coming in with a bag of expletive.

  8. “they really left the new guy coming in with a bag of expletive” <- I really did laugh at that; that's a great way to describe it :)

    Yeh, I had thought the Time Lords would be staying too. I still think they missed a great opportunity there.

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