I've just watched The Day of the Doctor, but a few things don't add up so I'll post my queries as separate questions. OK, my first one:

In The End of Time, Part 2, didn't the 10th Doctor say that he destroyed Gallifrey because they planned to destroy all of time itself in what was known as the Ultimate Sanction- they referring to Rassilon and the Time Lords.

So in The Day of the Doctor- the 50th anniversary episode- where was Rassilon,

and also why did the Doctor spare Gallifrey second time round

when they were planning to destroy all of time?

After all, just because he trapped them into some pocket parallel universe in The Day of the Doctor doesn't mean they would be incapable of destroying time as they intended. Does that mean the events which transpired in The End of Time Part 2 must be non-canon?

  • 5
    “a few things don't add up” — I’m with you there. Commented Nov 23, 2013 at 22:29
  • 1
    they add up if you manage to separate "ended the war" and "time locked the war" into two separate events, which I think was never really done previously but has to be the case now...
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 1:00

10 Answers 10


By the end of Day of the Doctor, Rassilon had presumably already tried and failed to enact his plan w/ The Master.

The timeline here is a bit confusing because people tend to mix together the "time lock" with the event that ended the war, but they are distinct things.

In The End of Time, at least from Rassilon's perspective, the Time War was still going on. When we first see the High Council in that episode, all they know is that The Doctor has taken The Moment, and they know he's going to use it, but he hasn't done anything yet. He is still mulling his options and working up the will to destroy his own planet in the name of saving the universe.

The Time War itself seems to encompass years of battle between the two races. It's only at the very last minute of that sequence of events that Gallifrey is eliminated. What we aren't clearly told (even to this day) is how and when The Doctor time-locked the war. He must have done so after it was over, because is seems to encompass even those final events, but it also must have been a separate act from ending the war.

So, we have the rather unusual situation where Rassilon is inside a time-lock living through the events that happened before the time-lock was put in place. Since we don't know how Time Lord technology actually put a time lock in place, we are forced to assume Rassilon would somehow sense that this has/will/did/always had happened to The War and was reacting accordingly. What he attempts to do is break out of the Time Lock before The Doctor has the chance to use The Moment and end the war, but he fails and is sent back.

From there, the events of Day of the Doctor play out as we saw. In the beginning, we even see the Gallifreyan war room where they mention the "High Council having their own plans", which is a pretty clear call-back to The End of Time. My guess is that the entire events of that previous episode probably happened in during the first 2/3 of so of Day of the Doctor, in parallel.

Also, note that Rassilon never got the chance to actually implement the Ultimate Sanction. The Doctor knew the council was planning to to so, and that was his ultimate motivation for taking drastic action -- to prevent an even more drastic action. Rassilon wanted to escape the Time Lock because, again we must assume, being stuck in a locked-off timeline actually prevented him from ascending as he wanted to.

  • That seems speculative at best. End of Time has the 10th explicitly saying that the Master had broken the time lock on Gallifrey. Also, the description of the Time Lock seems to imply that all of the Time (past, present, and future) of said event had become locked an inaccessible.
    – ardent
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 11:02
  • 3
    He had broken through the Time Lock, something that has happened on three different occasions (at least), each time they ended up at a different point in the time-locked timeline. Daalek Caan returned to the first year of the war, The Master/Rassilon broke through to the High Council war meeting, and The Moment brought them to the final act of the war. The Time Lock is Time Lord tech, and obviously is not perfect, but going through it does not appear to actually destroy it.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 11:05
  • A time lock is something that happens when time travel is over-used in a particular place over a particular period of time, the timelines become entangled for a TARDIS to enter. It's not something put in place by The Doctor. Related are Fixed Points.
    – Gaius
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 22:10
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    @Gaius that description of a time lock is completely inconsistent with multiple statements by The Doctor(s), The Master, and River Song, and Ianto Jones at least. A time lock is "a mechanism whereby an event or series of events was rendered unreachable by time travel", though we have no actual explanation for how that mechanism works. The only race we know for sure than can use them are the Time Lords, and since only one was left alive, he was most likely the one to do it.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 23:49
  • 2
    Ianto and Toshiko activate a Time Lock in Journey's End. It acted like a Time Bubble. Bullets froze in mid air. How a time lock is created is separate from what it does. But at no point is it shown that the Doctor created the Time Lock in the war.
    – user16696
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 0:24

The events of "The End of Time" are canon and happen in parallel with those of "The Day of the Doctor". The General's assistant, Androgar, even references the High Council and their plan to carry out the Final Sanction. It is made clear in this episode, however, that the Final Sanction was entirely the work of the High Council alone - the Gallifreyan military and civilians were not involved in it, nor did the General seem to support it.

For a general timeline of how these events line up:

  • Rassilon and the High Council enter into an emergency session (what we see in "The End of Time").
  • The War Doctor steals the Moment from the Omega Archives.
  • As the War Doctor wanders through the desert, the High Council discuss his actions ("He still possesses the Moment, and he'll use it to destroy Daleks and Time Lords alike") and further their plans.
  • The Moment sends the War Doctor into Elizabethan England.
  • Rassilon and the High Council escape to 2009 Earth where they are confronted and sent back into the Time War by the Doctor and the Master.
  • The War Doctor returns to the Time War from 2013 Earth after watching the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors hammer out a peace treaty between humans and Zygons, but the other two Doctors show up and decide to save Gallifrey instead of destroying it.
  • All thirteen incarnations of the Doctor work to preserve Gallifrey in a pocket universe using a mathematically-enhanced stasis cube.

As for whether or not they could still carry out the Final Sanction, they could, but only if Gallifrey is extracted from the pocket dimension in which it is currently being stored. At present, it is literally frozen in time. However, Rassilon was last seen being attacked by the Master, so he is probably either incapacitated or dead, and with Gallifrey no longer at risk of being destroyed, the rest of the High Council may come to their senses, as their whole reason for attempting the Final Sanction in the first place was to avoid being time-locked into the Time War and unable to avoid the death that awaited them on the final day at the hands of the Doctor.

  • Its my belief that Rassilon's attempt to pull Gallifrey out, which did momentarily take place considering the tremors on Earth, happened at the same exact time as the 13 Doctors pulling it into the pocket. In fact, without the former, the later would not have been possible.
    – user16696
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 0:30

There is mention of 'the high council' having something planned by the military types we see on Gallifrey; they are dismissive of this (which is understandable, since their world was burning outside after the High Council's previous plans must have failed). So Rassilon et. al. were all getting ready to explode the universe and ascend, but we were looking at a different set of characters instead.

At the end of the episode, Gallifrey is put into a form of suspended animation, and in a pocket universe. So Rassilon cannot enact his plan any more than he could 'before' (though of course the whole thing is a stable time loop of the kind that Moffat seems to love. It's like the Lake Silencia thing writ larger) -- unless his power glove lets him act from within a single, frozen moment.

Whether this thread will be picked up if Gallifrey ever returns properly is up to whoever is the showrunner at the time.


The events of End of Time part 2 and Day of the Doctor happen simultaneously. In the timeline of Gallifrey and the time war I believe it happened in this sequence:

End of Time part 1:

Doctor goes to Ood Sphere. (Will explain the 10th Doctor’s timeline a bit later on.) then to Earth, encounter the Master and his plans. The Master turns all the humans into himself.

The closing scene:


NARRATOR: This day was the day upon which the whole of creation would change forever. This was the day the Time Lords returned. For Gallifrey.

TIME LORDS: For Gallifrey!

NARRATOR: For victory!

TIME LORDS: For victory!

NARRATOR: For the end of time itself!

TIME LORDS: For the end of time itself!

I believe that Rasillon attempted the Ultimate Sanction after this.

Day of the Doctor:

[War room]

(Inside the Citadel.)

ANDROGAR: The High Council is in emergency session. They have plans of their own.

GENERAL: To hell with the High Council. Their plans have already failed. Gallifrey's still in the line of fire. So, he was there then?

ANDROGAR: He left a message, a written warning for the Daleks. He's a fool.

GENERAL: No, he's a madman.

ANDROGAR: As you can see, sir, all Dalek fleets surrounding the planet now converging on the capital, but the Sky Trenches are holding. (Boom! The building shakes.)

GENERAL: Where did he go next?

ANDROGAR: What does it matter? This is their biggest ever attack, sir. They're throwing everything at us

TIME LADY: Sir, we have a security breach to the Time Vaults.

GENERAL: The Omega Arsenal, where all the forbidden weapons are locked away.

ANDROGAR: They're not forbidden any more. We've used them all against the Daleks.

GENERAL: No. No we haven't.

I believe the General believes that the High Council has run out of time and he does not know about the prophesy of the Visionary that we will see now. The War Doctor is busy stealing the Moment.

The End of Time Part 2:

Opening scene with High Council.

[Black void]

(Gallifrey is in ruins. Only the Citadel stands inside its protective dome. The man we saw as the Narrator in part one strides across a bridge followed by two acolytes and takes his seat at the head of a table. Six time lords sit, three on each side, whilst a woman is at the far end, scribbling on parchments. The rest of the space is in darkness.)

RASSILON: What news of the Doctor?

CHANCELLOR: Disappeared, my Lord President.

PARTISAN: (a woman) But we know his intention. He still possesses the Moment, and he'll use it to destroy Daleks and Time Lords alike.

CHANCELLOR: The Visionary confirms it. (The Visionary is the woman at the end of the table. She has henna tattoos on her face and hands.)

VISIONARY: Ending, burning, falling. All of it falling. The black and pitch and screaming fire, so burning.

CHANCELLOR: All of her prophecies say the same. That this is the last day of the Time War. That Gallifrey falls. That we die, today.

VISIONARY: Ending. Ending. Ending. Ending!

PARTISAN: Perhaps it's time. This is only the furthest edge of the Time War. But at its heart, millions die every second, lost in bloodlust and insanity. With time itself resurrecting them, to find new ways of dying over and over again. A travesty of life. Isn't it better to end it, at last?

RASSILON: Thank you for your opinion. (The Lord President stands and aims his blue metal gauntlet at the Partisan. Energy strikes her, she screams and is atomised.)

RASSILON: I will not die! Do you hear me? A billion years of Time Lord history riding on our backs. I will not let this perish. I will not!

CHANCELLOR: There is, er, there is one part of the prophecy, my Lord. (The Chancellor brings a paper to the Lord President.)

CHANCELLOR: Forgive me, I'm sorry. It's rather difficult to decipher, but it talks of two survivors beyond the Final Day. Two children of Gallifrey.

RASSILON: Does it name them? CHANCELLOR: It foresees them locked in their final confrontation, The Enmity of Ages, which would suggest

RASSILON: The Doctor! And the Master.

CHANCELLOR: One word keeps being repeated, my Lord. One constant word. Earth.

VISIONARY: Earth. Earth. Earth. Earth. Earth. Earth.

CHANCELLOR: Planet Earth. Indigenous species, the human race. (A projection of the planet appears above the table.)

VISIONARY: Earth. Earth. Earth.

RASSILON: Maybe that's where the answer lies. Our salvation. On Earth.

Here we see that the War Doctor stole the moment and is missing. Also the visionary informs them of the prophesy of Earth, The Doctor and the Master.

Rassilon and co goes through the gate bringing Gallifrey with them.

[Gate room]

DOCTOR: Listen to me. You can't!

RASSILON: It is a fitting paradox that our salvation comes at the hands of our most infamous child.

Proposed by Lord President Rassilon as the last resort to winning the Last Great Time War, the Ultimate Sanction involved the creation of a paradox so severe that the resulting spatial-temporal rupture would rip the Time Vortex apart. They tried to do this before and failed, which is why The General thinks the high Council Members have failed. (This is the only part that seems really shaky to me. When the War council meets in Day of the Doctor the War Doctor is busy steeling the Moment, but the General says that the High Council’s plans have already failed. ) I think they might have tried several things before this day.

Moving on in the timeline of Gallifrey and the time war:

Day of the Doctor:

The rest of the events occur and the Doctors save Gallifrey.


In chronological order and not in episode order:

After Journey’s End 10th leaves Donna with her family and Says goodbye to Rose and his ‘human’ self. He is now left with no companions and either goes through the extra episodes first and then appears in Day of the Doctor or the other way around.

Day of the Doctor:

He finds himself in the 1550’s to 1560’s with Queen Elizabeth I and a Zaigon before the time portal is opened and 11th steps through. At the end of the Episode we hear that he will forget that he saved Gallifrey.

The End of Time part 1:

The Doctor goes from saving Gallifrey first and then his other adventures alone after Journey’s End or the other way round. He forgets everything we assume.

[Ood Sphere]

(The Tardis materialises in the snowy landscape, and the Doctor steps out wearing a stetson and a lei. Ood Sigma is waiting for him.)

DOCTOR: Ah! Now, sorry. There you are. So, where were we? I was summoned, wasn't I? An Ood in the snow, calling to me. Well, I didn't exactly come straight here. Had a bit of fun, you know. Travelled about, did this and that. Got into trouble. You know me. It was brilliant. I saw the Phosphorous Carousel of the Great Magellan Gestadt, saved a planet from the Red Carnivorous Maw, named a galaxy Alison. Got married. That was a mistake. Good Queen Bess. And let me tell you, her nickname is no longer. Ahem. Anyway, what do you want?

So here he mentions that he married queen beth (Queen Elizabeth I), known as the virgin queen.

We know that in Day of the Doctor he married her, but he is supposed to have forgotten it. So my theory is either he just remembers that bit (Which is highly unlikely) or he went back to the moment before the time portal opened in Day of the Doctor. The Queen was still besotted with him so he probably married her again, because he asked her before the portal opened. He mentions her last in his sentence so I believe his adventures after Journey’s End happened first and then the Day of the Doctor. But it’s all just speculation really and not very relevant.

The whole of End of Time part 1 and 2 happen and he regenerates into the 11th Doctor.

I hope I didn’t bore anyone. Also if you have other suggestions let me know or if you noticed I got something completely wrong.

  • Wow this is a very thought out and thorough answer! :)
    – Obsidia
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 19:44
  • Haha thanks.. I am a little obsessed... Commented Jul 14, 2017 at 13:57

Amy's timeline makes sense if you watch 'The End of Time' followed immediately by 'The Day of the Doctor'. It's much easier to see how all three Doctors interact. In addition, I would add that it also shows a continuity between the 10th Doctor's return to the Ood planet and Elizabeth I's appearance in 'The Day of the Doctor'.

Just goes to show how masterful Steven Moffat is. He managed to take all the little openings left by Russell T. Davies and explain them in way that makes sense and teases us into watching the episodes again to see if we missed anything.

I do believe though that even though Amy's interpretation of what happened to Rassilon, the Master and the other four Time Lords is plausible Steven Moffat left left room to wiggle out of it. If he chooses to follow up on the thread then maybe we'll find out how the lady that talks to Wilf is related to the Doctor.


Please note something implied though not stated explicitly in The Day of the Doctor, which explains why the Doctor regretted using the Moment to destroy both sides.

The Moment keeps asking the War Doctor how many children would die. That specific question implies the more general issue about destroying Gallifrey: Surely, not everyone on Gallifrey is evil nor responsible for Rassilon's planned Ultimate Sanction.

While a select few like the High Council would be guilty enough to be destroyed, most of Gallifrey is innocent, and surely the children cannot be punished for the sins of their parents. It's why the Eleventh Doctor finally decided after 400 years that he's changed his mind.


The ultimate sanction was stopped by the 10th Doctor after (linear doctor time) the events of the day of the doctor. The doctor was not the one to time lock the war, that was a combination of the time lords and Daleks that did that.

The War doctor thought he was stopping the ultimate sanction by using the moment the first time, but had 10 not stopped Rassilon and the Master, the moment would have been a futile genocide of Galifrey by the doctor.

Based on the transcript, and/or timey whimey, after the second event of the day of the doctor, where 11th caused the moment not to be used, 11 already knew 10 was going to have been defeated Rassilon attempt at the ultimate sanction. That same change in time erased War/9/10 memory of the day of the doctor and restored it to 11, to ensure nothing else changed.

If you look at it from a non changeable pov timeline, Galifrey was never destroyed, 9/10/11 always forgot, and Rassilon never succeeded.

  • Time travel, hurts my head just thinking about it.
    – user16696
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 20:32

I recall in "The Day of the Doctor" we saw the War Council rather than the High Council, and when they enter the General himself said, "The High Council has plans of their own".

This could imply both events happen at the very same moment. Few moments later, they stated that all the weapons failed already, which places Day of the Doctor right after End of Time, which could explain why Rassilon wasn't seen: He wasn't in charge any longer, due to endangering 2 races to save his own life, assuming the entire Council went that way, it puts the 2nd in command in charge, which looks to be the General.

What are the odds of having a white point star in your walking cane? Besides, Rassilon didn't need a cane(wasn't using it all the time), and it is not a symbol of the President (lack of the seal, and the presidential items are known), which leads me to believe it was one of the forbidden weapons(sounds credible looking at how it was used, and the way it was used) and in Day of the Doctor, all the weapons were already used. (Sorry for any mistakas against language, I am not a native English speaker nor writer, and I refuse to use stuff like "Google Translate" So I learn it instead of doing it the lazy way.)


I'm thinking two things: 1.) Rassilon needed the Master in order for him and the Time Lords to break through into the Universe 2.) The Doctor timelocking Gallifrey and the Time War might have made it so he was unable to activate the Sanction


I think they both happend at the same time the Tenneth Doctor did go back to see Ood, my guess the moment is still controlling the events at the end of time so the Doctor can change into 11th to keep Galifery on his mind.

Lets face it, the moment is behind most of it anyway, who is to say it was still behind the events that took place in the end of time.

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