Just a note, I have only seen the first season (as in, the FIRST season from 1963), and the reboot from Eccleston through the start of series 6, with Matt Smith.

My question focuses on the Doctor as a silly, almost comical character who is nonetheless very tech savvy. I've hear him reference stealing the TARDIS, but I wonder: What type of citizen is The Doctor, in relation to his people? Is he a genius? An average guy? A blue-collar Time Lord? White-collar? Is he artsy? A criminal?

All I know of the Time Lords is the episode or two with Timothy Dalton and that seemed to me to be played more for laughs than anything.

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    Well, he's a convicted criminal for one thing. See The War Games (sentence commuted). And he's also been the Lord President on multiple occasions (Deadly Assassin, The Five Doctors). Finally, he's a war hero; "the man that won the war". So, basically - he's infamous. Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 1:51
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    Depends how many spoilers you want. There's some VERY relevant stuff you've not seen yet
    – Machavity
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 1:52
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    How is he seen by his people? With their eyeballs! ;-) scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/153152/…
    – RichS
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 2:35
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    I think he's pretty much seen as a legendary rogue by the average Gallifreyian. A folk hero basically, something like Robin Hood. Pain in the side of the government, but they can't really do anything about him because his very name has become a symbol of power and respect.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 2:39
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    He's a mad genius, even by Timelord standards. Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 10:17

2 Answers 2


To summarize, a useful tool they can use and disavow if necessary.

At the beginning of the series he's a thief, having stolen a TARDIS. When they track him down (in The War Games) he's captured, forced to regenerate, and exiled to Earth. But even then they're placing him where they know he'll be needed - the time period they place him in is due to experience some major alien interaction, and they know he'll be able to help.

Almost immediately they begin calling for his help- letting him know The Master is headed for Earth, the occasional taking control of his TARDIS to place him where they need him, etc. Also, if you're a believer in the "Season 6B" theory, the Time Lords even used the Second Doctor as a glorified errand boy, as seen in The Two Doctors and arguably in the contemporary comics.

He's held the position of Lord President for an indeterminate period of time - he either abdicated or was stripped of the title, but possibly not - it tends to change from story to story. even in The Five Doctors his cooperation is somewhat begrudging on both sides.

By the time of Heaven Sent / Hell Bent, after the events of the Time War, he's seen as an absolute hero. The military literally and figuratively switch to his side, supporting him against the Lord President Rassilon.


The Doctor could perhaps best be thought of as a "useful maverick" - a tool that the Time Lords can use when they need or want plausible deniability. Bearing in mind that the series is not exactly noted for its strict adherence to continuity, the Doctor has at various times been put on trial, executed, and elected Lord High President of Gallifrey.

He has also been aimed at enemies of the Time Lords, notably the Daleks during the serial Genesis of the Daleks. They make use of his talents and his known rebellious nature to evade responsibility for such operations (though it should be noted that this particular operation was also seen later as the start of the Time War).

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