The Master destroys Gallifrey because of a lie about The Timeless Child

; Date: Mon Jan 06 2020

Tags: Doctor Who »»»» Doctor Who Season 12

Skyfall, the season opener for Season 12, got us a new Master, and a huge twist to the Lore of Doctor Who. But we don't know what that twist is, yet, other than The Master claims there was a massive lie told to all Time Lords from the beginning of the Time Lord race.

Source - BBC

In Skyfall 2, The Doctor and The Master met at the top of the Eiffel Tower in 1943 France (during WWII) to have a little chat. During the chat The Master said the whole plan was in part to get the attention of The Doctor. And then this dialog occurred:

The Master: When did you last go home?

The Doctor: What do you mean?

The Master: I took a trip home .. to Gallifrey .. hiding in its little bubble universe. Not sure how to describe what I found. Pulverized, burned, nuked, all of the above. Someone destroyed it ... our home. Razed to the ground. Everyone killed. Everything burned.

The Doctor: You're lying (scoffing)

The Master: You should really take a look.

The last time The Doctor took a "trip home" to Gallifrey was when The Doctor had a show-down with Rassilon that ended with Rassilon being expelled from Gallifrey. Then the Doctor rescued Clara from a stupid death she utterly deserved. And he stole a TARDIS and they left Gallifrey behind.

Basically - in the recent appearances of Gallifrey, we had a rewriting of The Time War. Instead of the Time War culminating when The Doctor destroyed Gallifrey and The Daleks all at once, there was a subterfuge where Gallifrey was pushed off into a bubble universe and somehow in the mix many of the Daleks destroyed other Daleks.

It was that bubble universe where The Doctor faced down Rassilon etc.

So... to answer The Master's question, when The Doctor last visited Gallifrey the result was the exile of Rassilon that should have resulted in a large scale reformation of Time Lord society. And Gallifrey was left in the bubble universe for safety.

Source: BBC, Gallifrey Destroyed

Then - at the end of the episode, after The Doctor sets up the mechanism by which the Companions are rescued from the crashing airplane, and after The Doctor returns Lady Ada Lovelace and Noor Inayat Khan back to their respective times, The Doctor heads to Gallifrey. At which she finds the above scene.

That's one of the cities of Gallifrey, utterly destroyed.

Source: BBC, The Master's confession dial

Back inside the TARDIS, The Doctor receives this gizmo from The Master. That leads to a holographic projection message from The Master explaining:

The Master: Geo Activated

Source: BBC, The Master's holographic projection

The Master: If you're seeing this you've been to Gallifrey.

The Master: When I said someone did that, obviously I meant 'I did it'.

The Master: I had to make them pay for what I discovered.

The Master: They lied to us. The Founding Fathers of Gallifrey. Everything we were told is a lie. We are not who we - you or I - the whole existence of our species was built on the lie of The Timeless Child.

At which The Doctor groans apparently triggering a memory recall event.

Source: BBC, The Timeless Child vision 1

Source: BBC, The Timeless Child vision 2

Source: BBC, The Timeless Child vision 3

Source: BBC, The Timeless Child vision 4

The Master: Do you see it? It's buried deep in all our memories. In our identity.

The Master: I'd tell you more, but why would I make it easy for you. It wasn't for me.

Yeah - okay - that's a way to tease us for some episode in the distant where some more of this will be revealed, right?

But we wouldn't be Doctor Who fans if we didn't obsess over this. Especially since it indicates a major kerflop in the Lore of the Time Lords.

Going by the images seen in the vision sequence, we have:

  1. The current incarnation of The Doctor leading a group of people in a large landscape.
  2. A young prince-princess-figure in a stone city
  3. Behind the prince/princess is a large building made of two oddly shaped towers.
  4. The sky is rather odd isn't it, kind of reminiscent of the Eye of Harmony.

The Timeless Child is a reference to a passing comment in The Ghost Monument. The creatures known as The Remnants taunted The Doctor about her lack of knowledge about The Timeless Child.

What we previously knew about the founding of The Time Lords had to do with some geo-engineering by Omega and Rassilon. That resulted in The Eternal Schism, the Eye of Harmony, as energy sources through which The Time Lords had the energy to reshape time and galaxies and to build amazing machines that could travel throughout the universe and all kinds of other things.

While telling The Doctor about this lie - it seemed The Master was portraying a seriously deep sense of betrayal. As I noted at the end of Skyfall 2 tries to have us forget The Redemption of Missy thanks to The Master's violence, The Master has a story of betrayal by the Time Lords.

First was his personal betrayal, referenced by the "personal code" that The Doctor used to contact The Master. Namely - in The End of Time we were told that The Time Lords injected a pattern of four drumbeats into The Masters consciousness that haunted him his entire life. This pattern was supposedly a large part of why The Master was so insane - and The Master clearly saw that as a betrayal by the Time Lords.

But this - the Lie of the Timeless Child - appears to be a betrayal of all Time Lords. But... what?

It's likely that Season 12 will end with an adventure meant to explore this? Maybe?

About the Author(s)

( David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.