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Psychic paper

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Psychic paper
Psychic paper DW Shakespeare Code
Type: Identification papers
Place of origin: Celestial Intervention Agency
Used by:
First seen in: The End of the World
Appearances: see list
Psychic paper was a blank, white card that had special properties. When shown to a person, it could usually induce them to see whatever the user wished them to see printed on it. However, it proved useless on geniuses such as William Shakespeare. (TV: The Shakespeare Code) It was often used by the Doctor in his later incarnations.

Users Edit

The Second Doctor was given psychic paper while employed as an agent by the Time Lords' covert organisation, the Celestial Intervention Agency. The CIA had developed the technology. (PROSE: World Game)

The Doctor, in his ninth, tenth and eleventh incarnations, habitually carried it, as did Captain Jack Harkness during his rogue days. (TV: The End of the World, The Empty Child, New Earth, The Eleventh Hour) Jack said that the paper was a new technology put into use by the Time Agency which had employed him. (TV: The Empty Child)

At least some Weeping Angels had access to psychic paper, which according to the Eleventh Doctor, was "child's play" for them. (PROSE: Touched by an Angel)

Properties Edit

Usually, it showed what the holder of the paper wanted the person reading the paper to see, (TV: The End of the World) or vice-versa. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern) Messages on psychic paper appeared in the reader's handwriting. (PROSE: Touched by an Angel) The message could also be signed with a kiss, something Donna found ridiculous. However, the Tenth Doctor explained, "We've all done that", implying it was a function he tried before. (TV: Silence in the Library) It could even be used to open doors in place of a keycard (TV: Army of Ghosts) and the Tenth Doctor once used it in lieu of an oyster card to pay before boarding a bus in London. (TV: Planet of the Dead) It could also be used like a credit card; Amy told the Eleventh Doctor to hand her the psychic paper when they landed in New York so she could go shopping. (PROSE: The Forgotten Army)

Psychicpaper

Receiving a message via psychic paper. (TV: New Earth)

Psychic paper could receive messages from beings with sufficient psychic ability, no matter where the Doctor was in time and space, such as the Face of Boe, (TV: New Earth) Atraxi, (TV: The Eleventh Hour) Tenzas, (TV: Night Terrors) and, to his initial surprise, River Song. (TV: Silence in the Library, GAME: The Eternity Clock) The Doctor explained this function to Amelia Pond as taking "a dandy little message" when the Atraxi sent him a message, warning about Prisoner Zero's escape. (TV: The Eleventh Hour) Oddly, Kate Stewart, a human with no psychic ability, managed to contact the Doctor through the psychic paper. (TV: The Power of Three)

Time Lords like the Doctor could psychically connect with the paper. He did this to lead Amy to where he was being held captive by Vykoids. However, the link was faulty and lingered even after the Doctor didn't need it. (PROSE: The Forgotten Army) When used by an individual with psychic powers, the psychic paper would sometimes bounce the individual's powers back on them. When used by Waechter, it allowed him to see his own future. (PROSE: The Story of Martha: The Weeping)

The Tenth Doctor also once used the psychic paper as a truth telling device by having Constantine Ethelred Gurney hold the blank paper and then reading off who he was, where he was from, his crimes, and his Volag-Noc release date. (TV: The Infinite Quest)

Limitations Edit

In the hands of untrained users, the paper was prone to displaying facts they subconsciously wanted the reader to be aware of. This could be quite embarrassing, such as in Rose Tyler's case. (TV: The Empty Child)

When the intended thought was too unbelievable, the psychic paper would only display squiggly lines. The Eleventh Doctor explained that such a lie — in his case, that he was universally recognised as a mature and responsible adult — shorted it out because it was "too big". (TV: A Christmas Carol)

The paper did not work on people of genius, such as William Shakespeare, making him the first person the Doctor met who was naturally immune to it. (TV: The Shakespeare Code) It also didn't seem to work on some species, such as Saturnynians. (TV: The Vampires of Venice)

The "basic psychic training" that was standard at Torchwood One was enough to distinguish psychic paper from real. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

When wet, the psychic paper acted rather differently and was unable to translate the Tenth Doctor's thoughts properly. (PROSE: Wetworld)

When a parking inspector signed the Eleventh Doctor's psychic paper, he believed it wouldn't work, until Amy Pond turned it around the other way, causing messages to appear back to front. (PROSE: Apollo 23)

One could distinguish psychic paper from real paper by looking for "fractal lines" on the former. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)

Resistance Edit

Not everyone was affected by the psychic paper. People, or groups, known to be immune to its illusions included:

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