If all Timelords can travel back and forth through time, despite being wiped out of civilization, shouldn't the doctor and gang have bumped into one or two at this point? Pre Time War Timelords traveling pre Time War.

And IF they have been wiped out of time and space, why then are they remembered?

  • yes, they do sir.
    – ruckus
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 15:57
  • The master and about a half dozen others. Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 19:52

5 Answers 5


Apart from the Master in the classic series there was the Meddling Monk who the first Doctor met a couple of times on Earth, the fourth Doctor met Drax, the sixth and seventh Doctors met the Rani.


Gallifrey is/was an isolationist society, and external time travel is culturally taboo.

The celestial intervention agency only intervenes in events that might have hugely catastrophic consequences, and usually manipulate the few rogue timelords (who do travel, violating taboo) into doing their dirty work for them.

  • 1
    Also important to note that for New Who, the Time War involves a time lock, so there's no "pre Time War". Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 6:20
  • 1
    Sorry, I have not watched Who since Colin Baker. I cannot comment on the new developments.
    – Lighthart
    Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 19:09
  • 1
    @Lighthart OMG. How old are you?
    – user931
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 17:15
  • 2
    With your comment, suddenly much older, it seems.
    – Lighthart
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 22:15

As @Lighthart noted, not that many Time Lords left Gallifrey as a matter of course to begin with, so there wouldn't be that many of them swanning about anyway. And with the whole of spacetime to romp around in, that's a lot of wherewhens to contend with, so the chances of running into another Time Lord purely by chance would be extremely slim.

But more central to that, I think, is that Gallifrey tends to be internally consistent, time-wise. That is to say that the "clock in San Dimas is always running," as it were. It's impossible, for instance, for the Doctor to go back to Gallifrey at a point in time before the Time War, for instance, because it's crossing his own timeline. (Yes, I know, it happens in Listen. But that wasn't the Doctor, and Clara is -- sigh -- the Impossible Girl.)

This would keep Time Lords from meeting each other out of order, except under very exceptional circumstances. The possibility of paradox becomes too great otherwise. Imagine if the Eleventh Doctor he were to meet, say, the Third Romana, and warn her about the Time War. That could radically alter what would, presumably, be a fixed point. And we've seen what can come with mucking about with fixed points. (There's an Eighth Doctor novel where he receives a distress call from Susan and, rather than responding, tries to track it back temporally to rescue her before she sends the call. He encounters the Master at an earlier point in his timeline and winds up creating the very circumstances he was trying to prevent -- effect precedes cause.)

So, since all the Time Lords are moving forward in time at the same rate relative to Gallifrey (or, possibly, relative to the Eye of Harmony, if I may speculate a little), then no matter where the Doctor goes, the Laws of Time will prevent him from landing in a wherewhen that would bring him into contact with an earlier version of a Time Lord.

  • If the Valeyard is "an amalgamation of the Doctor's darker sides from between his twelfth and final incarnations," then how did he apparently go back in time to prosecute himself as the 6th doctor? Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 21:30
  • @PaulJ.Lucas The Laws of Time can be broken, as we've seen, and the Valeyard is clearly unscrupulous enough and uncaring enough of the consequences to try it. That's why I said "tends to be" and "except under exceptional circumstances". Additionally, it's possible that the Valeyard can be considered a separate entity from the Doctor, something that broke off from him rather than a later regeneration (akin to the Metacrisis Doctor, maybe), so he's not directly crossing his own timestream since he didn't actually exist at that time. All speculation, of course, WWTW, YMMV, etc.
    – Roger
    Commented Jan 5, 2015 at 0:44

Gallyfrey is in the Time War, in a Time Lock. It means that it has a past, because it has existed, but it is excluded from normal time.They substract thenselves from Time and Space, into another dimension?, world?, space? I don't know... But the point is that they only stay as a legend , like when the Doctor was ereased form time and Space, he stay as a story in Amy's head. Also I think that Gallifrey must have some kind of protection against Time Travelers, to prevent travelling from another Time Zone, or from Gallifrey's future.

Another important point is that the Doctor have bumped with 1 or 2, like the Monk, but the Doctor is a exilled Time Lord from Gallifrey because of something that he have done. It kind of explains why the Doctor try to avoid other Time-Lords. EDIT: This is the Classic Doctor Who, in the actual he is the opposite.


It is forbiden to meddle the doctor breaks that rule a lot it is possible they had constantly but were unaware because they were just another face in the crowed, but when the time war startend one can asdume it was like a draft and all timelords werecalled in sealing their tmelines in the quantam lock the doctor being of the race that can precieve all events in time he can remember them like when rory was erased from time

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