TARDIS Index File

The Valeyard

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The Valeyard
The Valeyard
Main aliases:
The Doctor
J.J. Chambers
Mr Popplewick
Jack the Ripper
Species: Time Lord
Place of origin: Gallifrey
First seen in: The Mysterious Planet
Appearances: TV: Mindwarp, Terror of the Vervoids, The Ultimate Foe, PROSE: Mission: Impractical, Millennial Rites, Matrix, The Tomorrow Windows, AUDIO: Trial of the Valeyard
Main actor: Michael Jayston
Other TV actors: Geoffrey Hughes
Memorable moment
The Original Matrix - Doctor Who - The Trial of a Timelord - BBC03:24

The Original Matrix - Doctor Who - The Trial of a Timelord - BBC

Incarnations of the Doctor
1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • War • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12
The WatcherThe ValeyardMeta-CrisisDream Lord
You may be looking for the BFDWU Valeyard.

The Valeyard was, according to the Master, "an amalgamation of the darker side of the Doctor's nature", taken from somewhere between his "twelfth and final incarnations". (TV: The Ultimate Foe) He sought to take the Sixth Doctor's remaining regenerations and have them for himself, eliminating his "other self" to be free of his influence, as well as murdering the Time Lords present at the trial. He was stopped by the Doctor, but escaped being captured. (TV: The Ultimate Foe)

Biography Edit

Origin Edit

The Valeyard claimed that he was created during a period when the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor was experimenting with ways to break the twelve-regeneration limit imposed on Time Lords by Rassilon. The Valeyard was created as a Time Tot on a mud planet orbiting Etarho. At the age of twenty the Valeyard was found wandering the mud swamps of the planet by a group of scavengers, who gave him something to eat. When they learned what race the Valeyard belonged to, the scavengers sent him to Gallifrey.

The Time Lords examined the Valeyard's biodata and found that it was an exact match for that of the Doctor's. Knowing that this meant that the Valeyard was a temporal anomaly, they sent the Valeyard to a Shadow House. In the Shadow House the Valeyard met a Time Lord who had been damaged due to temporal interventions by his future self and therefore had his regeneration permanently stuck in a paradox. The man told the Valeyard to study the science of regeneration, in order to gain revenge on the Time Lords for what they had done to every member of the Shadow House.

The Sixth Doctor believed that the Valeyard could have been lying about most of his story, but admitted that there had to have been some truth to it somewhere. (AUDIO: Trial of the Valeyard)

First meeting with the Doctor Edit

On behalf of the corrupt High Council, seeking to cover up the Ravolox affair that the Sixth Doctor had accidentally uncovered, the Valeyard acted as the prosecutor in the Doctor's trial in exchange for his seven remaining regenerations. (TV: The Ultimate Foe) Keeping his end of the bargain, the Valeyard presented extracts from the Matrix depicting recent past events in the Doctor's life as evidence of the Doctor violating the Time Lords' non-interference policy. (TV: The Mysterious Planet, TV: Mindwarp)

Unbeknownst to the Time Lord jury present at the trial, the Valeyard had tampered with the Matrix extracts to show the Doctor in the worst possible light and steer the trial to a guilty verdict. He created the impression the Doctor had betrayed his companion, Peri Brown, to save himself. (TV: Mindwarp) He also added the charge of Genocide of the Vervoids despite their artificial nature, and the fact this was from the Doctor's future. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids)

However, the Master eventually stepped in after taking delight in seeing the Doctor's plight, and revealed the Valeyard's motives. The Valeyard escaped into the Matrix via the Seventh Door, which he opened with a copy of the Key of Rassilon. He was pursued and finally defeated by the Sixth Doctor when he tried to use a particle disseminator to destroy the court at the Doctor's trial. The Doctor programmed the disseminator to feed back into the Matrix and escaped before the resulting blast apparently destroyed the Valeyard. The Inquisitor dismissed the trial. However, as the Sixth Doctor and his companion Melanie Bush departed, the Valeyard was secretly still present – having somehow escaped under the guise of the Keeper of the Matrix. (TV: The Ultimate Foe)

The Eighth Doctor – visiting his sixth incarnation to regain his lost memories after an attack by the Master – instigated a Commission of Inquiry into his past self's trial that resulted in the dismissal of the renegade High Council responsible. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

On trial Edit

The Valeyard was found by the Time Lords on Etarho, and was placed on trial. He asked for the Sixth Doctor to be his defence. The Valeyard supposedly told the Doctor and Inquisitor Darkel of his origins, before escaping execution by escaping through a Matrix door onto the surface of Etarho.

The Valeyard impersonated the Thirteenth Doctor on Etarho, and tricked the Doctor into taking a bomb from him. The Doctor discovered his ruse, and the Valeyard escaped by entering a Matrix door. The Doctor assumed that the Valeyard would now try to kill both himself and Darkel. (AUDIO: Trial of the Valeyard)

Return Edit

The Valeyard subsequently devised the identity of a man called Zimmerman to send assassins after the Sixth Doctor and sell various Time Lord secrets. However, both plans failed when the Doctor's investigation into the assassins' activities revealed Zimmerman's actions (Although not his identity) while his link to the Matrix would ensure that the Time Lords learned about them as well. The Doctor later managed to get the assassins off his trail by using a stolen temporal circuit to put himself in temporal stasis, frozen between heartbeats and thus legally dead, resulting in the assassins being forced to accept that they had technically killed him even if he was alive later (PROSE: Mission: Impractical).

The Valeyard later tangled with the Doctor in his seventh incarnation, revealing his mastery of the Dark Matrix, a counterpart of the original. He assumed the identity of Jack the Ripper and used the Ripper murders to 'feed' the Matrix. He tried to use its power to give himself a true body, unconcerned with the dangers his actions posed to history. While he committed the Ripper murders, he used the Dark Matrix to reach into his past to corrupt the Doctor's other selves to do his work. He also used the Dark Matrix to corrupt the past Doctors, such as driving the Doctor to destroy other Time Lords as he left Gallifrey in his first incarnation, his fourth incarnation into destroying the Daleks at their beginning, and his fifth incarnation into drinking the bat's milk himself while Peri died in his place. These corrupted incarnations became wraiths in the Valeyard's TARDIS, resembled cloaked, twisted versions of themselves, which he could subsequently use to animate golems to act as his agents.

After the Seventh Doctor was attacked by one of the Valeyard's golems, he attempted to leave Ace with the First Doctor for safety, only to arrive in the alternate 1963 that would result from the Valeyard's presence in London. He learned the full details of the new timeline from that world's versions of Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. He travelled back to 1888 to investigate the Ripper murders after identifying them as the divergent point with Barbara's help, but nearly fell under the Valeyard's influence before he sealed his conscious mind in the TARDIS' telepathic circuits. After wandering London as an amnesic cardsharp by the name 'Johnny', he reunited with the circuits in time to save Ace from being the Ripper's sixth victim.

The Doctor provoked the Matrix into rebellion against the Valeyard's control, informing it that it was still as trapped now as it had been on Gallifrey, resulting in it lashing out from its prison in The Valeyard's TARDIS. He fought the Valeyard, who now called himself the Ripper, atop the church where the Valeyard had hidden his TARDIS. The destruction of the Valeyard's TARDIS and the subsequent release of energy caused by the 'rebellion' of the Dark Matrix seemingly killed the Valeyard and restored history to normal. (PROSE: Matrix)

Once on Trenzalore, the Great Intelligence stated that the Valeyard would be one of the Doctor's future aliases. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)

False Valeyards Edit

The Sixth Doctor found himself in an alternate version of London created by Ashley Chapel's use of the Millennium Codex. He manifested magical powers suitable to the new, unstable universe's laws of physics. Using these powers began to transform him into a variant of the Valeyard. The Doctor's fears of becoming the Valeyard allowed his potential in the Doctor to combine with the Great Kingdom’s unique physical properties and the Doctor’s ability to regenerate. This temporarily made him the Valeyard. The Doctor's true self was able to re-manifest with the aid of the TARDIS. (PROSE: Millennial Rites)

Years later, Es'Cartrss of the Tactire assumed the form of the meta-crisis Doctor to steal the Tenth Doctor's memories from within the TARDIS matrix. Unlike the real meta-crisis Doctor, this illusionary form had a malevolent appearance, sporting a beard and primarily black outfit that mirrored the Doctor's clothes. Before revealing his true identity, Es'Cartrss suggested to the Doctor that he was in fact the Valeyard. The Doctor dismissed this suggestion, leading to the revelation of Es'Cartrss identity. In the form of the Valeyard, Es'Cartrss also wielded the Master's tissue compression eliminator, which the Tenth Doctor chided him for doing, since the Master had moved on to using a laser screwdriver. The Tenth Doctor eventually used Es'Cartrss's decision to impersonate the Valeyard against him. Es'Cartrss had assumed a Time Lord body, which no longer existed beyond the Doctor himself. The Doctor reminded the Matrix of this knowledge and purged the system of the erroneous data creating an additional Time Lord, which was Es'Cartrss itself. This nearly killed the parasite and allowed the Doctor to reclaim his mind, who then booted the incapacitated creature out of his TARDIS. (COMIC: The Forgotten)

Personality Edit

The Valeyard was similar to several of the Doctor's incarnations, cunning and verbal, with a knack for manipulation. He had a bit of a temper, and was prone to outbursts, but generally calm and collected, traits of several incarnations of the Doctor. However, his actions were constantly defined by his egotism. The Valeyard would risk or sacrifice anything to ensure his own existence, even break the Laws of Time and kill his own past self and try to control the Dark Matrix despite the dangers its presence would pose to established history. (TV: The Mysterious Planet, The Ultimate Foe, PROSE: Matrix)

Appearance Edit

The Valeyard appeared as a middle-aged man, with light grey eyes and short hair and blacks. In full courtly dress, the Valeyard wore long black robes with a stiff black collar edged in white, and a black skullcap. After the trial of the Doctor, the Valeyard at least temporarily became the Keeper of the Matrix; this time he wore an orange version of his previous outfit with a stiff collar. (TV: Mindwarp, TV: The Ultimate Foe)

Inside the Matrix, he disguised himself as Mr Popplewick, a slightly overweight man with curly blond hair. In this capacity, he wore human clothes typical of the 19th / early 20th century that included a white shirt and a vest under a large blue jacket. He also wore a bow tie and a pair of glasses. (TV: The Ultimate Foe)

While in London 1888, he was typically shown wearing a long dark robe that concealed most of his features (PROSE: Matrix).

Behind the scenes Edit

  • Some of the background for the Valeyard was lost due to creative differences between John Nathan-Turner, Doctor Who's producer, and script editor Eric Saward. An earlier draft of The Ultimate Foe made it clear that the Doctor would definitely, at some stage, turn into the Valeyard, desperate to extend his life after his remaining regenerations had run out — a situation not dissimilar to the one earlier faced by the Master. Nathan-Turner did not favour the dark nature of these and other developments in the script, and felt this plot point would allow cancellation of the series for bookending the Doctor's future destiny. This fear was justified by the then-recent hiatus placed on the show by BBC controller Michael Grade. Saward, who with Robert Holmes wrote the original script for The Ultimate Foe, refused to allow any elements of it into the final product. Pip and Jane Baker ended up patching up the continuity — without reference to the scripts, for legal reasons.
  • With the events of Journey's End, some fans [who?] speculated that the meta-crisis Doctor would eventually become the Valeyard. [source needed] The events of the comic story The Forgotten lent credence to this. All of this credibility was lost, however, when this entity was revealed to be a Cranial Parasite attached to the Doctor. (COMIC: The Forgotten)
  • Writer's guidelines for the Virgin New Adventures specifically asked writers not to discuss the continuity issues created by the Valeyard or the Doctor's trial in The Trial of a Time Lord ("Anything featuring the Valeyard is out — he's a continuity nightmare, and a rather dull villain") and took the official line that those events had taken place in the Doctor's personal future. Some novels, however (Love and War by Paul Cornell, among others), did not do so.
  • The Valeyard appeared in the unauthorised fan novel charity publication Time's Champion begun by Craig Hinton and completed by Chris McKeon.
  • The character of the Dream Lord shared aspects of the Valeyard, as he also was created from the dark side of the Doctor, in a dream induced by psychic pollen. (TV: Amy's Choice)
  • Contrary to popular belief, "Valeyard" is not a genuine legal title meaning doctor of law. The word was entirely made-up by writer Robert Holmes. The title does bear some similarity to the French word "vieillard", meaning "old man".
  • The Time Traveller's Companion, a supplement for the Doctor Who – Adventures in Time and Space: The Roleplaying Game, implies that the Valeyard is a rogue Watcher, similar to the one produced in Logopolis, generated during the regeneration of the Twelfth Doctor into the Thirteenth. This Watcher, presumed to possess all the most negative traits of the Doctor's darker nature, refused to rejoin with the Time Lord and escaped into the wider universe to eventually put the Doctor on trial. However, this is considered non-canon by this wiki.[source needed]
  • The reference book The Doctor: His Lives and Times implies that the High Council of Time Lords "plucked" the Valeyard from within the Doctor's time stream as shown in The Name of the Doctor.

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