Perhaps I forgot, but, what was the point of having a truth field in Trenzalore?

The premise was that Gallifrey wants to find the right universe: the one that has the Doctor in it. To find it, they used the cracks in time to ask something that only the Doctor can answer, hence guaranteeing they found the right universe.

Well, if it is a question that only the Doctor can answer, then why even bother having a truth field? Even if some bad guy wanted to trick Gallifrey into entering the wrong universe, it wouldn't work because he wouldn't know the answer to the question anyway.

  • I think Moffatt may have forgotten it too ;) So many great story ideas with poor resolutions Aug 30, 2015 at 13:56
  • Nevermind, I forgot the question was the title Dec 16, 2017 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


The Doctor: A question only I could answer. A truth field to make sure I'm not lying. If I give my name, they'll know they've found the right place, and that it's safe to come through.

The Time Lords weren't only seeking the all-clear, they were looking for the correct universe. We've seen parallel universes in Doctor Who, where individuals from "our" Doctor's and his Galifrey's universe have counterparts. If one takes the licensed novels, comics, and audio plays as cannon, Galifrey itself has counterparts in the multiverse. The Time Lords were looking to return to their original universe, but didn't know if that was the one they were broadcasting to. If they got the wrong universe, and it had a Doctor who would come to investigate the question, the only way they could be sure that it was "their" Doctor is by his name. If The Doctor were free to lie, he might give a false name, sending Galifrey searching the vast multiverse for a destination they'd already passed by. The Time Lords were not in The Doctor's best graces when last they were in contact; they couldn't be sure that, given a free hand, he might not send them wandering into infinity.

This is, of course, partially conjecture, as we don't have a solid answer as to why a parallel Doctor couldn't have "our" Doctor's name. It does, however, fit with the mythos that they have built up around the Doctor's name. It seems reasonable that a Time Lord's name may represent a unique identifier down to the universe they hail from.

  • How is the doctors name secret if all the time lords know it?
    – user46509
    Aug 30, 2015 at 16:25
  • We don't know that they all do. We can be pretty sure that The Matrix does, though.
    – Politank-Z
    Aug 30, 2015 at 19:50
  • While this sounds convincing at first, it doesn't make any sense. Let's assume only the Doctor is able to answer them his name to identify the right universe. How does this work? After all, the other universes might have their own Doctor who's still alive and obviously has the same name? Characters don't have different names just because they're in another universe, as shown in the Pete's Universe episodes of the first two series.
    – Mario
    Sep 15, 2015 at 18:05
  • We didn't, as far as I know, meet any Galifreyan natives of Pete's universe. There is something special about Time Lord names, my last paragraph is my guess as to what that is.
    – Politank-Z
    Sep 15, 2015 at 18:09

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