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Doctor's Dilemma

By Jon Preddle

In the last issue (TSV15) I gave my theories on the multi-Doctor stories. The next obvious question to this is: who is the Valeyard and where does he come from?

But before we begin, Roger Nicholl has a few questions keeping him awake at night:

"In Terminus, how did the Doctor and Tegan get back into the TARDIS after the door connected to the spaceship was closed by Turlough and had vanished?"

The obvious answer to this is that they opened it, but Roger then goes on to say "And please don't say they opened it." so I will have to use another solution.

The door is the strange portal adorned with a skull that materialised in the wall of the TARDIS, which over the course of the story, fades and reappears. At the end of Part Three however, Turlough rips open the bypass panel under the flooring, and removes several wires as instructed by the Black Guardian. The result of this is the stabilisation of the door (and more disastrously, the ignition of the Terminus engines). Thereby Turlough made the doorway stay open permanently.

Roger's second question concerns the recently screened The Two Doctors.

"What does it mean by Chessene O' the Franzine Grig and Shockeye O' the Qwancing Grig?"

These funny sounding names were called Karm names. In other words these are like the equivalent of surnames to the Androgums, or maybe even a clan title. In Scotland, the clans are all named after the chieftain, e.g. MacGregor, MacDonald. 'Mac' means 'son of...'. Shockeye accused Chessene of disowning her bloodline, to which she replies that she will never forget the noble history of her blood. Therefore, we can assume that Franzine Grig members are of royal birth, and that Qwancing Grig are an 'inferior' family.

I hope that answers your questions, Roger.

And now, the moment that you have been waiting for!

Who is the Valeyard? Yes, that's right, he is! The Valeyard is unveiled to be a future incarnation of the Doctor. A shadow of all the evil in the Doctor's nature, somewhere between his twelfth and final regeneration. This is all meaningless gibberish, but it is the explanation given by the Master during the trial. So, by using the same format as last issue, here is one origin for the Valeyard.

To do this we use two timelines - the Valeyard's (numbers) and the Doctor's (letters).



  1. The Doctor travels in time and space and regenerates.
  2. When he reaches his final form, he becomes obsessed with survival and plans to obtain a new cycle of regenerations.
  3. With the help of the Master, he travels back in time to Gallifrey. (The Master does, after all, know who the Valeyard is.) The timeslip causes a temporal shift, which I will get to later.
  4. On Gallifrey, the Doctor sets himself up as a lawyer keeping his true identity a secret from the other Time Lords. Secretly he is planning to seize a fellow Time Lord's life cycle (eg. bonding as in Arc of Infinity) but this fails. The only solution is to take the life cycle of a Time Lord that he is compatible with - himself! So, under the ruse of a trial, he plans to kill the Doctor at an earlier phase in his time stream, and also kill the High Councillors so they will not reveal this.
  5. The Valeyard and court officials move to the trial ship, which is located outside of time and space.
  6. The Valeyard knows where the Doctor will be and thus scoops him away from Thoros Beta. The trial takes place.
  7. The Valeyard seizes the body of the Keeper of the Matrix and... well, who knows? With unlimited access to the Matrix now, anything could happen...


  1. The Doctor travels in time and space. On Thoros Beta, he is scooped to the trial Ship.
  2. The Doctor is physically removed from time and space and therefore the events from x to y do not occur. (The Valeyard is protected from this anomaly of his own existence due to being out of space and time himself inside the trial ship!)
  3. The trial takes place. Seen are images from two past adventures, and one from the future - a future that will never happen - e.g. x to y. (The Vervoid story might now never take place.)
  4. The Doctor is acquitted when the true identity of the Valeyard is revealed and leaves with Mel, who has also been brought to the trial. She would have met the Doctor in the x to y future. It was the Master who brought her, using his own TARDIS to travel the time field - the same path as in b. Eventually the Doctor regenerates again...

Okay, so this is all pretty technical and does require some guesswork towards the nature of time and time travel, but it seems to be the only solution unless someone out there can provide an alternative solution.

Jon comments: The origins of the Valeyard and the paradoxes created by the trial are discussed in more depth in Timelink. (June 2003)

This item appeared in TSV 16 (December 1989).

Index nodes: Doctor's Dilemma, Terminus, The Two Doctors, Trial of a Time Lord