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Gallifrey was the homeworld of the Time Lords. (TV: The Time Warrior) By one account, the planet was actually called Jewel, (COMIC: Return of the Daleks) and during several time wars it was utilitarianly referred to as the Homeworld. (PROSE: Damaged Goods, The Book of the War, et al) The literal translation of the name "Gallifrey" was "They that walk in the shadows". (PROSE: The Pit)
Gallifrey and all its cloneworlds were destroyed in the War in Heaven. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell, The Adventuress of Henrietta Street) It was believed to have been destroyed in the Last Great Time War, (TV: The End of the World) but was actually frozen in a pocket universe by the first thirteen incarnations of the Doctor (TV: The Day of the Doctor, The Time of the Doctor) and later discovered at the end of the universe. (TV: Hell Bent)
Gallifrey was located in the constellation of Kasterborous, at galactic coordinates 10-0-11-00:02 from Galactic Zero Centre. (TV: Pyramids of Mars, Full Circle, Death in Heaven) Several accounts placed it more or less at the centre of its galaxy. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune, Interference - Book Two, Human Nature) Indeed, I.M. Foreman once specified to the Eighth Doctor that it wasn't in "the exact dead centre, but it's as close as you can get without ending up in a black hole". (PROSE: Interference - Book One) According to another account, the Eighth Doctor explained to humans Grace Holloway and Chang Lee that Gallifrey was "[o]n the other side of your galaxy" and "250 million light-years away" from Earth. (TV: Doctor Who) A Time Lord who came to speak to the Third Doctor, who was on Earth, said that he had just travelled "29,000 light years". (TV: Terror of the Autons) Another account put Gallifrey 30,000 light-years from Earth. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune) It was described as "the Shining World of the Seven Systems". (TV: The Sound of Drums)
Besides its physical location, the Homeworld also occupied a unique place in the structure of history: during the anchoring of the thread, it was removed from the Spiral Politic and re-engineered into a biodata-enabled receiver and processor of information. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Shortly before the War in Heaven, Greyjan the Sane's plan for creating clones of Gallifrey was implemented. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) By the fiftieth year of the War, it was unclear if the original Homeworld was still located in its original place or if it had been moved elsewhere and replaced with a decoy; (PROSE: The Book of the War) not even the Lord President knew which Gallifrey was the original. (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5) All of the Gallifreys were destroyed by the end of the War. (PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street)
Near the end of the Last Great Time War, Gallifrey was removed from the time lock and relocated near to Earth with potentially devastating consequences for the latter planet. The Tenth Doctor returned it to the time lock by shooting and destroying the diamond which connected Gallifrey to Earth. (TV: The End of Time) At the end of the Time War, it was frozen in time in a pocket universe for its own protection by "all thirteen" incarnations of the Doctor. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
Missy later told the Doctor that Gallifrey had returned to its original position. The Doctor travelled to these coordinates and found only empty space, believing Missy to have lied. (TV: Death in Heaven) The truth was, Gallifrey had in fact returned to the universe as Missy said. However, it had been placed at the extreme end of the time continuum for protection. The General described Gallifrey's location as "the end of the universe, give or take a star system." (TV: Hell Bent)
Gallifrey was in a binary star system. The second star seemed to rise in the south in the morning, making the mountains glow. (TV: Gridlock) The main star was large and golden red. (AUDIO: The Forever Trap) The system contained five other planets (TV: The Invasion of Time), among them Karn (TV: The Brain of Morbius) and Polarfrey, and an asteroid named Kasterborous the Fibster. (PROSE: Lungbarrow) The Sixth Doctor claimed that Gallifrey was "just to the left" of Karn. (AUDIO: Vortex Ice)
Gallifrey had at least two large moons and a ring system, similar to Saturn in Earth's solar system. (COMIC: Agent Provocateur) One of the moons was the copper-coloured Pazithi Gallifreya, which shone so brightly it could be seen during the day. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, Lungbarrow) Gallifrey's moons perished with the Daleks when Gallifrey disappeared. (COMIC: Agent Provocateur, TV: The Day of the Doctor)
From orbit, the planet's surface appeared mostly barren, with only a few visible buildings. (COMIC: Return of the Daleks) Its landscape was rust-coloured, with brown lakes and grey clouds. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) Following the Last Great Time War, it was still rust and brown coloured but had a more volcanically-active appearance. (TV: The End of Time)
From the planet's surface, it boasted an orange sky at night, (TV: "A Desperate Venture") snow-capped mountains, fields of red grass, (TV: Gridlock) and trees with bright silver leaves. (TV: "A Desperate Venture", Gridlock) These reflected the morning sunlight, making it look like the forests were on fire. (TV: Gridlock) There were also green forests, golden fields, and red deserts (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible), but overall it was a much drier world than Earth. (PROSE: Lungbarrow) The Sixth Doctor once declared the climate to be "like the Serengeti all year round". (PROSE: Spiral Scratch) There was also a river called Lethe. (AUDIO: Master) The wastelands around the Capitol were referred to as "outer Gallifrey" by the Time Lords. (TV: The Invasion of Time) Rassilon later referred to the area that the barn in which the Doctor had slept as a child as the Drylands, claiming that no one of importance lived there. (TV: Hell Bent)
The sky during the day resembled that of Earth's blue sky. (TV: The Invasion of Time) As such, the shift from night to day (and vice versa) appeared to be half orange and half blue. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
Known geographic features
Regions of Gallifrey
The Death Zone was an area used as a battleground in which Time Lords would watch other species fight to the death. Although these battles were stopped by Rassilon, the Death Zone remained and later became home to the Tomb of Rassilon. (TV: The Five Doctors)
Rivers, lakes, and oceans
- Main article: Gallifreyan history
In preparation for war, Gallifrey was duplicated in the Nine Gallifreys project. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon) The enemy destroyed the original Gallifrey during the War in Heaven, though the Time Lords continued fighting from the other Gallifreys. (PROSE: Alien Bodies) One Gallifrey was destroyed by the Eighth Doctor. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell)
On the final day of the Time War, the Time Lords, led by Rassilon, broke the time lock to materialise Gallifrey in Earth's skies in 2009, thinking the War Doctor would precipitate their ultimate demise on that final day through the Moment. However, the Tenth Doctor sent the planet, Time Lords included, back to its doomed fate, by breaking the link that brought the Time Lords to Earth. (TV: The End of Time)
Gallifrey was thought to have been destroyed by the Doctor in the Time War (TV: The End of the World, Dalek) but was frozen in time in a pocket dimension by the first thirteen incarnations of the Doctor, "like a painting" as the War Doctor put it. The vast majority of the Daleks died in the crossfire when Gallifrey disappeared. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
The Eleventh Doctor would subsequently spend 900 years (PROSE: Tales of Trenzalore: The Eleventh Doctor's Last Stand) defending a crack in time linking Gallifrey with the planet Trenzalore. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) The Twelfth Doctor unsuccessfully attempted to find the planet after Missy told him untruthfully that it had returned to its original position in time and space (TV: Death in Heaven), and finally spent 4.5 billion years (TV: Hell Bent) trapped inside a confession dial, gradually beating his way through a wall of solid azbantium, until he finally broke through, revealing a portal back to Gallifrey. (TV: Heaven Sent) The Doctor learned that at some point, Gallifrey was unfrozen and moved to "the end of the universe give or take a star system" for its own protection. Clara Oswald suggested that the Time Lords moved Gallifrey there to hide as "everybody" hated them. After returning, the Doctor overthrew Rassilon and used an extraction chamber to save Clara's life before fleeing once more in a stolen TARDIS. Gallifrey continued to exist at the exact end of the universe with part of the Cloisters still being intact and used by Me to watch the end of everything, preserved by a reality bubble. After Me discussed The Hybrid with the Doctor, the two left in the TARDIS he had acquired, after which the reality bubble gave out and the universe finally ended. (TV: Hell Bent)
A major city on Gallifrey was known as the Citadel (TV: The Invasion of Time, The Sound of Drums) or sometimes, the Capitol. [source needed]Arcadia, Gallifrey's "second city", was protected by a large number of sky trenches. These defences failed on the last day of the Time War, and the city was ravaged by the Daleks. The War Doctor was present at the Fall of Arcadia, and it was there that he left his warning of "No More" for the combatants. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
Gallifrey had a wide variety of plant life, ranging in colour from silver to green and golden. Known plant species included the Schlenk Blossom, (PROSE: Island of Death) ulanda, (PROSE: Blind Fury) and the Madevinia aridosa. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) The Master's father's estate was lush with red grass. (TV: The End of Time) The Third Doctor also once said that there were daisies on Gallifrey. (TV: The Time Monster). There was also a red flower that resembled a cross between a rose and a daisy, known to Gallifreyans as a Sarlain. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation) The Flower of Remembrance was a six-petaled yellow flower, (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors, The Ancestor Cell) and one of the few symbols of death on the planet. (PROSE: Dead Time, The Ancestor Cell) Another flower grown on Gallifrey was a moonlight bloom, which, according to the Eighth Doctor, was symbolic for peace and meditation, until it became a symbol of cowardice among Time Lord soldiers during the Time War. (AUDIO: The Conscript)
Animals native to Gallifrey included flutterwings (TV: The Pirate Planet), flies (TV: Heaven Sent), Woprats (PROSE: Heart of TARDIS), trunkikes, yaddlefish (PROSE: Blind Fury), flubbles (PROSE: Island of Death), tafelshrews (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible), plungbolls (AUDIO: The Ghosts of N-Space), rabbits (AUDIO: Caerdroia), rovies (AUDIO: No Place Like Home), mice, cats (TV: The Mark of the Rani, PROSE: Human Nature) pig-rats, (AUDIO: Panacea) cobblemice, (PROSE: Unnatural History, The Gallifrey Chronicles) and, of course, the Gallifreyans themselves. In the past, the dinosaur-like Gargantosaurs lived on the planet. (COMIC: The Stolen TARDIS) According to one account, no animal had gone extinct from the planet. (PROSE: The Last Dodo) However, according to another account, a large lizard-like creature that had been placed out of its time in the Death Zone was described by the War Doctor as a "a long-extinct species from before the Time Lords ever walked the planet". (PROSE: Engines of War)
Behind the scenes
- Although the planet was referenced numerous times earlier, and even seen on occasion (TV: The War Games and The Three Doctors for instance), the name Gallifrey was not uttered on screen until Jon Pertwee did so in The Time Warrior. In the revived series, the name Gallifrey was mentioned for the first time in The Runaway Bride.
- In the original script of The Time Warrior, Gallifrey was scripted as "Galfrey", but was later changed.
- Even though the first on-screen mention of Gallifrey was in The Time Warrior, broadcast in December 1973, the word appeared in TV Action #126, put out for the week ending 14 July 1973. There, in the letters column, the editors responded to a question from Simon Still of Kent who asked where the Master came from. The answer? "The Master's home planet was called 'Gallifrey'." This probably doesn't mean, however, that Polystyle gets the credit for "Gallifrey". Since shooting on The Time Warrior wrapped on 12 June 1973, and the scripts had been completed earlier that spring, the likelihood is not that the TV Action originated the name, but that they were given it by the Doctor Who production office.