Why is the doctor at every point he visits, the last and only timelord?

Shouldn't he be able to travel to the Gallifrey from before the timewar? Or meet some timelords for who the timewar has not happened yet?

  • 2
    It's a TIME war. Gallifrey was locked out of all of time and space.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Dec 7, 2015 at 19:50

2 Answers 2


First, the Doctor is not the only Time Lord. The Master, for instance, keeps appearing to still be alive in different faces.

Second, most other Time Lords, from a linear perspective of time, never existed. This is because of timey wimey effects that are more like a rug really but, oh, never mind.

The majority of Time Lords are no longer in our reality because they have been effectively erased (well removed) from time during the Time War. The Darleks too seem to have suffered this fate. Nevertheless, both appear regularly as writers create new ways for them to appear. There is no point in time when these Time Lords were still alive. However, the existence of time travel is itself paradoxical and seems to lead to weird aberrations. For ease, we can imagine that there is a metastable state of reality in which Time Lords and Darleks fought in the Time War. As both could time travel, this state is not truly stable and destroys itself.

Imagine a box exists that says it may create a time traveling remote and an immortal cat in year 2000, has a cancel creation button on the top, and may or may not contain that remote and an immortal cat. I find the box tomorrow and decide without opening it that it should not exist. I decide, therefore, that if it is empty I go about by business and if it is not, I leave the cat in the box, go back in time to 1999, and press that button. In the only stable timeline (assuming I am infallible), I go about my business because there never was a cat or remote. In the less stable reality, there is no self-destruct mechanism to remove me, my memories, or the remote from the universe after I destroy the future where I found the box full. In Dr. Who, the other Time Lords, like the cat, never existed. The TARDIS and Doctor, however, still exist as artifacts of the erasing process despite having no logical reason for how they appeared in a conventional understanding of time.

  • My poor mind that last paragraph broke it.
    – Spaceman
    Dec 8, 2015 at 5:19
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    So, in other words, @Spaceman, kaine should be hired by Moffatt to be a writer for the new Who - it made as much sense as seasons 8 & 9 put together.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 14, 2015 at 19:54
  • 1
    @FreeMan DEAL: Moffat is the man. Watch "Coupling". It is my absolute favorite show ever (though not scifi).
    – kaine
    Dec 14, 2015 at 19:58

Except for those who experienced them directly, when a time lord is killed, he is removed from the timeline, not his past, but his continued existence. they just simply are no longer within the continuum. That doesn't mean they didn't exist, just that they don't anymore.

  • 2
    How does this answer the question? You might want to clarify and elaborate on what you mean.
    – RedCaio
    Dec 7, 2015 at 20:11
  • I think it's a matter of understanding time. I think my answer is pretty clear. Just because a time traveler did exist, it doesn't mean they still do, no matter when.
    – Escoce
    Dec 7, 2015 at 20:12
  • 1
    Even though River, a time traveller, died the first time he met her, the Doctor is still able to travel back to visit her earlier in her timeline quite frequently. So he should be able to meet other time lords in the same way, if they're not time locked.
    – RedCaio
    Dec 7, 2015 at 20:24

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