Matthew Townsend was a member of the clergy with an interest in scientific advancement. To this end, he had himself posted to Cardington airbase in the 1950s. He would have gotten there earlier but he forced to look after his niece Mary Elson following the deaths of her parents in a car crash. He was interested in how many of the creatures on Earth followed the same design: two eyes, two lungs, one brain etc., but others like spiders did not. Consequently, he became involved in the Dionysus Project in 1951.
After its creator Professor Stone activated the Dionysus, Townsend overloaded it, tore a rip in the fabric of reality and saw the Divergence. Shortly thereafter, he was killed by a bomb placed by the Cuban spy Miss Foster, as were Mary, Stone, Captain Neil McDonnell and Foster herself. He was succeeded as the base's chaplain by Simon Murchford. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
While dealing with the aftermath of the explosion of anti-time, the TARDIS created a series of holographic projections, taken partly from reality and partly from the memories of the Eighth Doctor, Charley Pollard and the TARDIS itself. One such projection was the event at Cardington, looking for information on the Divergence. Inside this projection, it placed Charley in the role of a ministry driver and itself in the role the Minister for Defence. The projection of Townsend was created using the image of the Fifth Doctor.
Soon after, the TARDIS was drawn into a special corner of the Matrix and reduced to scrap by Rassilon and Zagreus. Before being destroyed, though, it recreated projections of Lord Provost Tepesh and Walton Winkle in the Matrix to help return fragments of the Doctor's mind to him. The projection of Townsend could read equations in Old High Gallifreyan, though he thought it was Greek. He was killed with a dagger forged from the essence of the TARDIS. (AUDIO: Zagreus)