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The Web of Time was the orderly co-existence of events within Time.
It was not a necessary fundamental aspect of the universe, but rather a meta-structure created and imposed on history by the Time Lords. It could not exist until Rassilon built the Eye of Harmony and used it as what has been described as "the hitching post of chronology." (AUDIO: Neverland) This probably allowed Rassilon to choose what species developed, as he did when he imprisoned the Divergence, a possible rival to the Time Lords. (AUDIO: Zagreus) While not a fundamental universal aspect, the Web maintained a balance which reflected the holistic nature of Time. (TV: The Two Doctors)
This balance could be upset, as the Web was not invulnerable; for example, the Sixth Doctor once explained that to destroy the planet Earth in 1985 would disrupt the Web of Time. Additionally, Lytton spoke of the destruction of Mondas in 1986 as "now" being a part of the Web, implying its destruction wasn't necessarily fixed. (TV: Attack of the Cybermen) As a part of the Web, Mondas had always been destroyed and always will be. For it to not happen would wreck the Web and cause disastrous repercussions in every corner of the universe. Billions would die, major civilisations would instantly disappear, and even the Doctor wasn't certain the fabric of the universe could withstand such upheaval. (PROSE: Attack of the Cybermen) Mondas may very well have been added to the Web, as Charley Pollard was later when she saved it, not having died in the crash of the R101 as had been recorded. (AUDIO: Storm Warning, Neverland)
Handling the Web of TimeEdit
When encountering people who knew them because of their personal future, which happened in the past, the Fifth Doctor told Tegan they shouldn't upset the Web of Time by not going along, during which they discovered a mummified Nyssa. The Doctor later explained that they probably couldn't prevent what happened to her, as time was already set in its course, crystallized along a particular web-way; since Nyssa had been mummified before they travelled back in time to prevent it, the Web of Time had already crystallized at that node, meaning "it might as well [have been] set in stone." He followed this by commenting that Blinovitch was right. (PROSE: The Sands of Time)
Additionally, preventing disasters could cause others to take their place. Because of the Titanic sinking, all later ships would have round-the-clock radio surveillance, enough lifeboats, and the International Ice Patrol would be formed. Saving the Titanic would condemn the other ships to follow. (PROSE: The Left-Handed Hummingbird) If Adolf Hitler was prevented from rising to power, a more competent man would have taken control of the Nazi party and World War II would've ended differently. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)
The Doctor would interfere with the Web in different situations. When his friend Remnex was murdered by a dagger through the eye, the Seventh Doctor rewrote history so that he died peacefully in his sleep instead and was never possessed by Vilus Krull. (AUDIO: The Dark Flame)
Events in the Web of TimeEdit
Events the Doctor stated as being part of the Web included the destruction of Mondas, (TV: Attack of the Cybermen) the sinking of the Titanic, (PROSE: The Left-Handed Hummingbird), the destruction of the Halcyon race through the Ice Warriors creating an atmosphere on Halcyon more suited to them, (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars), Deimos becoming an artificial sun that heated Mars, (AUDIO: The Resurrection of Mars) the burning of Joan of Arc, (AUDIO: Cobwebs) the assassination of Francis Ferdinand, (AUDIO: Cobwebs) the Manussan Empire overthrown in Manussan year 2326, (AUDIO: The Cradle of the Snake) Magnus Greel dying in the 1800s, (AUDIO: The Butcher of Brisbane) and Humanity's 50-year war with the Eminence. (AUDIO: The Death of Hope)
Events in the Web that were explicitly recorded in the Matrix included the R101 crashing and all passengers dying, Adolf Hitler becoming Chancellor of Germany (and being alive to continue World War II), Edward VIII abdicating the British throne, German forces invading Poland, the evacuation of Dunkirk, Peladon entering the Galactic Federation, Zephon overthrowing the Embodiment of Gris, Mavic Chen being elected Guardian of the Solar System, Dalek forces assembling on Kembel and being engaged with the Movellans in 4-X-Alpha-4 in 4949, the Cult of Morbius being established, plans for the Doomsday Weapon being stolen by the Master, Chancellor Goth visiting Tersurus, President Romana and Etra Prime being taken by the Daleks and the subsequent Dalek invasion of Gallifrey being repelled by Romana, a Dalek time fleet being captured in the Time Vortex, and the paradox of Charley Pollard surviving the R101 leading to anti-time infecting the Universe, thereby allowing Charley to save the Web of Time. (AUDIO: Neverland)