- Due to the use of time travel by the Time Lords and the lack of other points of reference, some historical events can be hard to date accurately, if at all.
The Dark Time
The Dark Time (also known as the Old Times or the Age of the Pythias, no relation to the Dark Times) was the earliest known period in the history of Gallifrey. It consisted of two eras, the Time of Empires and the Time of Chaos. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible)
The Time of Empire
The Gallifreyans were an ancient species. They evolved before the Dark Times of the Universe (COMIC: Agent Provocateur), and were one of the first humanoid species to evolve. (PROSE: Lucifer Rising, TV: The Beast Below) They were known as the Shadow People in this era, caught between the warm darkness of magic and the cold light of science. Magic dominated Gallifreyan culture for a long time. (PROSE: So Vile a Sin) A Time Lord said that they had perfected the transmat beam when the universe was less than half its present size. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) Before the Sol system formed, the Gallifreyans led the Fledgling Empires in an interstellar war against the Racnoss Empire. (TV: The Runaway Bride)
Their early empire was huge, with colonies across the galaxy. Slave trading was common, though some protested. Gallifrey was ruled by the Pythia, a line of female seers. They predicted the future and controlled all power on Gallifrey. They also perpetuated mysticism on Gallifrey, and were against the use of reason. After the Intuitive Revelation, telepathy was used instead of speech. All communication was telepathic and few individuals kept their own personality or secrets. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) The Game was a deadly spectator sport played in the Death Zone on Gallifrey, a time-fractured nightmare realm, for which beings were kidnapped out of time using Time Scoops and forced to fight. (TV: The Five Doctors)
Many Gallifreyans worshipped the Menti Celesti during this time. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) Gallifreyan religious classes, including priests, monks and wardens of the church, had a high place in Gallifreyan society until after the rise of the Time Lords. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two)
Early research into time travel was performed. The first time machine, the Time Scaphe, was powered psychically rather than technologically. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible) The Archons claimed that the Time Lords didn't discover time travel for themselves, but developed it after declared war on the Archons and stole their technology. (PROSE: The Nameless City)
The Time of Chaos
The power of the Pythia declined in the Time of Chaos. The Neo-Technologists, led by Rassilon, rose to power. The last Pythia lost her power of prediction, cursed Gallifrey with sterility and killed herself. Surviving members of the Pythian order fled to Karn, where they became the Sisterhood. After the collapse of the Pythia, war and chaos threatened the empire. An ice age began and Gallifrey's colonies demanded their freedom. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible)
The early days of the Time Lords
The Time Lords had two main founders: Rassilon and Omega. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks) and four other founders; the Other, Apeiron, Pandak, and possibly Eutenoyar. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors, PROSE: The Ancestor Cell)
The Age of Rassilon
Rassilon instituted changes to deal with the problems of the Empire. He ordered the creation of genetic looms to permit the Gallifreyan race to reproduce. The Great Houses were formed to stabilise society. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible)
The Time Lords began research into black holes, the first race to do so. (TV: The Satan Pit) One of Rassilon's early attempts to create a black hole accidentally punched a hole into the Yssgaroth's Universe. The Yssgaroth escaped and caused mass destruction. The Time Lords, led by Kopyion Liall a Mahajetsu, tried to stop them, leading to the thousand year Eternal War. They eventually pushed the Yssgaroth back into their own universe. Kopyion Liall a Mahajetsu guarded the final opening. (PROSE: The Pit)
Omega used two stellar manipulators, the 'hands' of Omega, to detonate a star (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) known as Qqaba, to create a black hole from which the Time Lords drew the power for time travel. Omega was himself cast through the black hole into an anti-matter universe and was presumed dead. (TV: The Three Doctors, COMIC: Star Death, AUDIO: Omega) Rassilon eventually retrieved the Eye of Harmony and stored it in a vault beneath the Time Lord capitol as a source of power. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)
- The Eye of Harmony may have been a different black hole than the one created by Omega.
Rassilon's rule saw the war with the Great Vampires (TV: State of Decay) and the end of the games in the Death Zone. (TV: The Five Doctors) During the Millennium War 150 million years BC, Rassilon defied the non-interference policy and led the Time Lords against the Mad Mind of Bophemeral. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)
- The following events may have occurred before the First Doctor left Gallifrey, though their specific order is unknown.
- The High Council dissolved the monasteries and churches of Gallifrey. (PROSE: Interference - Book Two) This may have been during or shortly after the time of Rassilon.
- Mawdryn and a group of scientists tried to steal the secrets of Regeneration from Gallifrey, stealing a metamorphic symbiosis regenerator, but they were unsuccessful and they became stuck in a cycle of never-ending mutated regeneration. (TV: Mawdryn Undead)
- The Doctor attempted to ban the Miniscope as a cruel practice. The Time Lords set aside their non-interference policy to have the Miniscopes recalled. (TV: Carnival of Monsters)
- The Time Lords developed a chemical that could turn vertebrate blood into acid, but the Doctor successfully campaigned for it to be banned. (PROSE: The Age of Ambition)
- The Time Lords tried to prevent human researches centred on the USS Eldridge, which was tearing a hole in space. Though they succeeded, the ship was believed to be lost. (AUDIO: The Macros, GAME: Shadows of the Vashta Nerada)
The Doctor's Era
During the lifetime of the Doctor, several crises occurred which brought to light the vulnerabilities of the once-omnipotent Time Lords. Testimony at the Second Doctor's malfeasance tribunal revealed many marauding races had emerged in the Universe after the Time Lords adopted their isolationist policies. (TV: The War Games)
When the Doctor was very young his father, Ulysses, was told by Larna, a Time Lady from the future, that the fate of Gallifrey was mixed with that of the Doctor and that the Doctor would have a part to play in its downfall. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)
The ease with which the Master was able to alter records in the Archives and manipulate the Matrix was due largely to the fact that the technology behind the Matrix's APC Net had been surpassed on other worlds. On those worlds the technology would, according to the Doctor, be considered "prehistoric junk".
The Time Lords faced "the most dangerous crisis in their long history" when the Master arranged the President's assassination as part of a plan to take control of the Eye of Harmony. The Eye was thought mythical, but in reality it resided underneath the Panopticon and continued to power all of Gallifrey's technology. The Fourth Doctor saved Gallifrey and left. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)
The Doctor's departure left Gallifrey in the midst of a constitutional crisis. Due to a legal technicality exploited by the Doctor, he was now technically President, the only other candidate, Goth, having been killed. For a time, Gallifrey seemed to have no President. The Doctor eventually returned to claim the title as part of a plot to defeat a Vardan invasion. This invasion was a front, however, for a Sontaran invasion of Gallifrey. Although defeated, these invasions exposed weaknesses in Gallifrey's defences. (TV: The Invasion of Time)
Destruction of Gallifrey
- See also Second War in Heaven.
In a now defunct future, the Time Lords went to war with a foe known only as the Enemy. The war was temporal in nature and cracks appeared throughout the Web of Time. They ran backwards through time, affecting the past. (PROSE: Alien Bodies) The war with the Enemy raged for an undefinable time, but eventually temporal events reached a critical level. The Eighth Doctor attacked openly, destroying Gallifrey, and averting the war ever happening. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell)
- At some point after this, Gallifrey was restored. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles, The Tomorrow Windows)
- Main article: Last Great Time War
During the Last Great Time War, the Time Lords grew mad, and sought to end time itself to free themselves from physical bodies.
To avert their destruction, the Time Lords sent a four-beat signal into the Master's mind and then sent a White-Point Star diamond to 2009 Earth. With the drumming as a signal and the diamond as a connection, the Master, who had survived the war, broke the Time lock at the end of the war and pulled a group of Time Lords through to Earth, and also pulled Gallifrey through. However, Gallifrey was returned to the last day of the Time War inside the Time lock when the Tenth Doctor destroyed the White-Point Star within the Nuclear Bolt that was generating the signal.
The Time Lords were then destroyed at the end of the war by a younger incarnation of the Doctor holding the Moment who knew of the Time Lords' plot. It also locked the war in a Time lock. (TV: The End of Time) The guilt and trauma resulting from this haunted the Doctor throughout his ninth incarnation. (TV: The End of the World, Dalek)
- RASSILON, OMEGA and that OTHER Guy -a very well-researched and detailed history of the Time Lords and Gallifrey which includes both canonical and non-canonical sources