The heart was an organ in many lifeforms. Humans had a single heart while Time Lords had a second heart. Some accounts indicated that a Time Lord would grow his or her second heart after the first regeneration (PROSE: The Man in the Velvet Mask) while others indicated Time Lords had two hearts even in their first incarnation. (AUDIO: Frostfire) If anything made contact with the heart, it could kill a human. Rex Matheson survived this due to Miracle Day. (TV: The New World)
The Great Vampire, lesser vampires and Haemovores could only be killed by a stake through the heart. The more powerful Great Vampires would not be killed unless their heart were completely destroyed, commonly with a bolt of steel. The Time Lord's developed Bowships to destroy the hearts of great vampires. (TV: State of Decay, The Curse of Fenric)
A wave of cubes sent by the Shakri, after being dormant for a year, induced heart failure in a third of Earth's population, including the Eleventh Doctor, though he was able to survive with only one heart working. The Doctor was able to make the cubes reverse the process and save the humans. (TV: The Power of Three)
Alternative definitions Edit
Heart could be used figuratively to refer to the physical or ideological centre of a location. Looms were the heart of the Great Houses, (PROSE: Lungbarrow) or the Kandy Man's kitchen which was at the heart of Terra Alpha's governance system. (TV: The Happiness Patrol)
Heart can also refer to the change in emotional standing in an individual ie them having a "change of heart" such as Maldak saving the Governor and Peri Brown from execution on Varos (TV: Vengeance on Varos) or Alan Jackson changing his mind to move away from Sarah Jane Smith. (TV: The Lost Boy)
Behind the scenes Edit
The Man in the Velvet Mask attempted to retroactively explain why the First Doctor appears to only have one heart in TV: The Edge of Destruction. However, the same omission also appears in the Second Doctor story TV: The Wheel in Space. It is not concretely mentioned that the Doctor has a binary vascular system until the Third Doctor story TV: Spearhead from Space.