The Gallifrey Chronicles (illustrated guide)
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Publisher's summary edit
The planet Gallifrey: cradle of the most ancient civilisation in our galaxy, source of the technology that mastered both space and time, home of the people who call themselves the Time Lords — and the origin of the mysterious, quirky, itinerant time-traveller known as the Doctor. When the British Broadcasting Corporation transmitted the first episode of Doctor Who in 1963, no one could have predicted that the programme's popularity would ensure its survival for twenty-eight record-breaking years.
In that first story we learnt only that the Doctor and his granddaughter Susan had left their home planet, under something of a cloud, in a remarkable time-travelling craft called the TARDIS that looked — at least on the outside — like a police telephone box.
The Doctor and the TARDIS have remained the constant elements in a television saga that has seen many changes over the decades. As the years passed we learnt more and more about the Doctor's background, about other Time Lords, and about Gallifrey.
John Peel has researched every Doctor Who story ever shown on television to bring together all the facts about Gallifrey and the Time Lords. The result — illustrated throughout with photographs from the BBC archives — is a comprehensive guide to the foundations of the entire Doctor Who universe, and a fascinating insight into the most comprehensive science fiction mythos that television has ever produced.
Subject matter edit
"Illustrated with photographs from the BBC television series. The Gallifrey Chronicles includes among its many chapters:
- a study of the planet Gallifrey
- a discussion of the physical nature of the Time Lords
other Gallifreyan seen on DOCTOR WHO
- The Scrolls of Rassilon, a work of fiction that speculates about the origin of the Time Lords.
- The Gallifrey Chronicles is the complete guide to the galaxy's oldest civilisation." (Taken from the inner cover blurb)
Notable features edit
- A full history of Gallifrey and select Time Lords written in-universe with references including through An Unearthly Child right through to Survival, does not include any references outside of those televised (which includes Shada).
- Chapters include: Gallifrey, The Physical Nature of the Time Lords, Temporal Engineering, The Matrix, Politics, The Doctor and the Time Lords, Susan, Romana, Rassilon, Omega, The Monk, The Master, Borusa, The Rani, The Valeyard, The Guardians, The Renegades, Other Time Lords.
- The Scrolls of Rassilon cover the final few 25 pages of the book and are primarily written in first person from Rassilon's point of view. It begins just after Rassilon's return from battling the Vampire Horde. (These scrolls are meant to be the Black Scrolls of Rassilon as seen in The Five Doctors.) It ends as Rassilon is forced into his eternal sleep.
- Several of the elements presented in the scrolls do not fit with established continuity, though it is possible to speculate that the scrolls are a diary and therefore show a biassed viewpoint.
- At the end of the chapter on Temporal Engineering, Peel has a section of 'Speculations which suggests that it is the telepathic circuits in the TARDIS which allow the Doctor and his companions to understand various languages.
- The Scrolls of Rassilon shows a detailed account of the Other, and his influence on the Dark Time.