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Gatiss on Gallifrey & Time Lords’ Return

gallifrey-planet-dayDoctor Who writer Mark Gatiss has given his thoughts on the Doctor potentially finding Gallifrey.

Speaking at the recent Brazil Q&A panel Gatiss said: “Every time you go back to Gallifrey, it starts to make the Time Lords a bit too domesticated. I know that’s why Russell T Davies came up with the whole idea of the Doctor being the last one because eventually if you see them so often they become a bit like a bunch of MPs, whereas if you talk about them as this amazing, powerful force, they’re much more exciting.

Elaborating on whether he’d ever like to pen a story featuring the Doctor’s home world: “I don’t know if I would want to do one. I think the way the Time Lords were represented in The End of Time and The Day of the Doctor was very exciting because we’re seeing them in a crisis and they’re trying to come up with different ways of saving themselves. But I suppose if the Doctor ever does find Gallifrey again, then we might find out more. Who knows…”

Step back in time...

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84 comments
Angie Whodini just bought a star system
Angie Whodini just bought a star system

I feel the Time Lords are a sort of rabid, uncontrollable force right now, like even the Doctor couldn't predict what they'd do if they managed to come back. I want the Doctor trying to bring them back on conditions or something and things just getting out of control because Time Lords IN GENERAL became worse than Daleks. That's worth seeing.

Polyphase
Polyphase

Well said Mark, I hope he is the next show runner :)

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

And yet again a writer who completely dismisses the fact that the Time Lords were considered every bit as bad as the Daleks. THE DALEKS, for heaven's sake! Between these two arrogant species almost the entire universe suffered horrendous wars, throughout time, and yet people say they want Gallifrey back? No! The Doctor KILLED his own species for a reason and that wasn't because he disliked them a bit. He hated what they'd become and felt it was the only way for him to be sure the universe would be safe. Which is why to me the whole 'I saved my world' just feels wrong. Why would he feel inclined to save his own people, but order the whole human race to kill every Silent (Silence?) on sight? Even /children/? When later it turns out there's also good Silents. Are they killed by humans as well? I really don't get this decision at all, no matter how hard I try.

rajhoul
rajhoul

budget is the reason we won't see the time lords

YgorVale
YgorVale

The question is, if the Doctor does find Gallifrey, should he return it to the universe? After all the co-founder of Time Lord society, Rassilon wanted to rip the Time Vortex apart, and had full support from the whole of the High Council.


The War Council was baring the symbol of Rassilon everywhere, so It seems like they are still loyal to him.

There must still be Daleks on the surface of Gallifrey, so horrors like the Nightmare Child might still exist.


And as Tasha Lam said, "If the Time Lords return, the Time War will begin anew".


If he does find it, I'd like to see a story where the Shadow Proclamation and several other space UNs try and stop the Doctor for bringing it back, for the sake of the universe.

YgorVale
YgorVale

When Gallifrey does return, I'd like to Timothy Dalton as Rassilon, and Ken Bones as General arguing like hell.

MaraBackman
MaraBackman

I imagine that the Time Lords won't suddenly become good guys after DOTD but still harbour some desire to gain control over time and reality, because even if they do realize that they are now just as ancient and corrupt as the godlike beings they themselves replaced, they probably won't give up willingly. That's why I feel that it would still be incredibly dangerous to bring back Gallifrey. I think it might be more interesting for the hypothetical arc about searching for he planet if the Doctor takes it into account, while it could be even more fascinating to consider the growth Time Lords' potential successors as guardians of time itself. Perhaps the Doctor might help nurture the Ood into peacefully taking over the responsibilities of his people, in the hopes that they may never become as corrupt as Gallifreyans.

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

While Gallifrey shouldn't return any time soon I hope it doesn't take a excessive amount of years because I don't have the patience of a Time Lord for that

Galax
Galax

My dream : a Doctor-Compagnion-TARDIS-everything-Lite episode that shows us the events between The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor... on Gallifrey, fom the Time Lords' point of view. What has been decided ? What plans have been made to return ? How did they realize where they are ? How did people react ? What ever happened to The Master ? What did the High Consil decide ? The Rani ? Rassilon ? The-mysterious-woman-from-TEOT, is she dead ? The eleventh episode of the series of course, like Turn Left, who would reveal a lot and lead to an epic (two-parter) Series Final, where Gallifrey is returning.


Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

When Gallifrey returns would we see that woman that is implied to be the Doctor's mother return? 

Adric the Genius
Adric the Genius

Perhaps there could be an adventure in the Death Zone?  Or somewhere in the Gallifreyan countryside, where the outsiders live.  The Doctor could help to put down a rebellion against the citadel.  There is so much of Gallifrey to explore...

Also, I for one would find a Gallifreyan political drama very interesting.  Politics is life; it is intriguing, especially with Time Lords.  The Doctor could take David Cameron to Gallifrey.  That would be rather amusing.

tealeaves
tealeaves

I think Moffat's final series as showrunner will end with the Doctor finding Galiffrey again. I say this in no way bashing Moffat in any way I personally love his stories, but he is a writer who loves journeys more than destinations. I think he likes the idea of the Doctor's quest to rediscover Galiffrey more than the idea of Galiffrey returning itself (He has in the past expressed mixed feeling about the timelords as a regular feature on the show).

jamesgrayh
jamesgrayh

I don't really know what he's complaining about, if I'm honest. Mainly because it all depends on how it's written, as to whether they're "domesticated" or left mysterious - new Gallifreyan stories could also bring new mythology to the Time Lords or reveal more about them while maintaining the intrigue and mystery that makes them interesting. I definitely don't think there's any chance (after Gallifrey is found) that they would have it and the Time Lords turning up every week or so - they are better writers than that. Like I say I don't know what he's complaining about because how Gallifrey and the Time Lords are translated story-wise to screen is up to the writer, and I don't think any of the writers working on Doctor Who (Moffat and Gatiss particularly) are stupid enough to domesticate them or simplify them.


The Administrator
The Administrator

I think we'll see Gallifrey's return before Moffat leaves. Perhaps a story featuring the return of Gallifrey into out universe being his grand finale. 

MrRazza, WANTED: A Lord of Thyme
MrRazza, WANTED: A Lord of Thyme

Time Lords like MPs? 

Overly bureaucratic and narrow minded, only concerned with themselves and doing anything they can to survive? 

Sounds unfair to the Time Lords if you ask me...

MrRazza, WANTED: A Lord of Thyme
MrRazza, WANTED: A Lord of Thyme

I'm happy for the Doctor to find Gallifrey and save it, but I agree that it would not be good for the Time Lords for them to then become a regular appearance - and it would also be a bit of a change of character for the Doctor if he suddenly became very attached to the place and started visiting it all the time anyway.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

There is a reason why the Doctor ran away from Gallifrey all those years ago...

AdamTheAstronaut
AdamTheAstronaut

I would really love for 12 to find Gallifrey in the series 8 finale then have a Christmas special set on Gallifrey. Just putting ideas out there.. 

Antee991166
Antee991166

I kind of agree. The Time Lords were brilliant in The War Games and the The Deadly Assassin because they were so mysterious, but they were a bit dull in The Invasion of Time and Arc of Infinity. When they do come back, I only want them to appear every few series.

mkrumstets
mkrumstets

We haven't had a whole episode set on Gallifrey since the show came back. I think at least a double episode to bring things up to date would be be welcome and then maybe leave it a while...

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

The Time Lords are like MPs? Does this mean we can expect an episode about an expenses scandal :-)

Gustaff
Gustaff

It would actually be very anti-climatic if the Doctor found Gallifrey in the near future. The first 50 years was about running away from the place, so logically the next 50 should be spent trying to find it. That's how Day of the Doctor was set up right. Every episode isn't going to focus on finding Gallifrey, but there will be one every couple of years trying to locate it. Sorta like the reverse of what's been going on these last half century.

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@Diana van der Pluijm I hope nobody exterminates your country, including your children, just for the very reason that your nation is a danger for the rest of the world. Ask to the poor people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki what they think of what they think about indiscriminate genocide, than get back again.

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@rajhoul Time Lords were present back in the 1970s when the budget and special effects were much lower. The BBC spends lots of money to produce complicated costumes, props and CGI every year to put non-humanoid characters on screen. Time Lords are identical to humans and they've already got plenty of ready-to-use Gallifreyan outfits for heaven's sake! What kind of high budget do they need if they return every now and then (for example, just for a two-parter per season?).

teddybowties - the one on FFN not Tumblr
teddybowties - the one on FFN not Tumblr

@YgorVale  i thnk he will have to wait so long before bringing them back that they will have evolved into the Ood  or something... and that might be a kind of sadness... but the Ood area gentle, beautiful people, so maybe not completely bad! ;) I wold like to see them LEARN to be better though. Like Vastra. Like Strax. Like Turlough. they can learn. So let them.


Richy Woo
Richy Woo

I am shocked that this is the first time i have heard anybody online refer to Capaldi as the Spin Doctor, Great play on words, I bet that name sticks.

MaraBackman
MaraBackman

@Planet of the Deaf What we've seen of the leadership in the past they come across like the Roman senate: Corrupt to the core and full of intrigue and backstabbing. Time Lord society does overall seem to evoke ancient cultures that go through a dynamic period as in Rassilon's time, when they were also horribly decadent and cruel, while later on they have become stagnated and slothful.

AdamTheAstronaut
AdamTheAstronaut

@Planet of the Deaf  The Arcadia referendum episode could air in time with the Scottish independence vote! And it's just dawned on me with Moffat & Capaldi both being Scottish that it could actually happen :P 

Antee991166
Antee991166

@Gustaff Its a bit of a stretch to assume the show will even be running in 50 years. Besides I couldn't wait that long, 5 years is my ideal length of time.

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@Gustaff Well, from a non-linear, non-subjective point of view, the Doctor has been waiting for 900 years since The Day of the Doctor. It may seem a short time (a couple of years) to you, but the poor old chap must be tired of waiting...

Regenerated Catterson
Regenerated Catterson

@Gustaff  If the story is written right, it could be a surprise. Just like the rumour that Trenzalore was supposed to be Gallifrey. I wouldn't say the revelation would not be that great if Gallifrey is found within the next five years, but it has to be written great. I mean, we finally got closure on certain Eleventh Doctor mysteries in Time of the Doctor after three/four years. Like said, they don't want to make the story long. I know for the fans they don't want to see Gallifrey come back ASAP but it shouldn't come back after like ten years either because it will just make the not so over-ecstatic Doctor Who fan forget what happened because they'll lose focus. That being said, anyone who watches Doctor Who should be over-ecstatic

Sharaz_Jek
Sharaz_Jek

@Gustaff  I don't think that it is going to take that long - it will just get repetitive after a while and viewers will want to finally see the damn arc end. If they stretch it out too long it will just alienate viewers. 

I'm pretty sure we'll see the return of Gallifrey within the 12th Doctor's tenure.

The_War_Braden
The_War_Braden

@Notsosmartguy  I personally think it should come back on March 26th 2015 as a Tenth anniversary for the new series. Either that or April 2nd - ten years since we found out Gallifrey was destroyed

Regenerated Catterson
Regenerated Catterson

@Notsosmartguy  No. Viewers should not wait 25 years for The Doctor to find Gallifrey because not only will this task of finding Gallifrey be a tedious storyline and one of the most tedious storylines in Doctor Who history but the fans may end up forgetting Gallifrey is The Doctor's main focus

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

Ah, so the Doctor ordering every human to kill every Silent they ever meet is okay. But exterminating his own species to save AN ENTIRE UNIVERSE from them and the Daleks is wrong? Good to know. 


teddybowties - the one on FFN not Tumblr
teddybowties - the one on FFN not Tumblr

@AlessandroArsuffi @Diana van der Pluijm  they learned as a people thatthey need to control their murderous impulses and that they can't just kill people for the sake of it and expect teh world to turn a blind eye, didn't they?I know your kind of person has trouble justifying that, but... it's like gun control. Criminals don't obey laws. IF they did, we wouldn't need the criinal justice system. or weapons.there are just as many reasons as there are people. If not more. Stop whining. Judgment is easy and demands no sacrifice. Discriminating compassion is not, and demands all sacrifice. But the sacrifice of life by those who would NEVer care for it is something that must be halted whenever possible. Hence The Bomb. There are always people who use power for unwholesome ends. but then again, IDIC. One man's TRASH is another man's TARDIS. seeing eye to eye is, much like all of life, a temporary affair.The balance. entropy and order. SOMEONE surely gets my point. And if one person gets my point, then well. they got my point. someone may well eel the need to show other people how to behave. But yeah, you're absolutely right. not everyone wants to play show and tell.The mirror is the truth.






















AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@Antee991166 @Gustaff That's what people believed 50 years ago when DW was first broadcast. All of the producers and cast dismissed the hypothesis of a long duration for the series. All of them but William Hartnell, who knew the show had potential to last forever. Who da man? Well, I think the score is: William Hartnel 50 - Rest of the World 0. And the match still ain't over.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@Sharaz_Jek @Gustaff  I half-agree with you.  It will get repetitive if, series after series, we get a "Oops, that's not Gallifrey" moment.  But finding Gallifrey, like running away from Gallifrey, isn't a story arc like Bad Wolf or the crack in time, but a theme in which story arcs can be placed.  


The show had 26 seasons of running away from Gallifrey and seven seasons of Gallifrey not existing.  It is easier to avoid repetition with those themes because there is no defined end goal.  With finding Gallifrey being an end goal it is going to be more difficult to not be repetitive because the story options boil down to either finding or not finding the planet.  To me that implies that the search for Gallifrey is going to be very incidental to the seasonal story arcs.

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@The_War_Braden @NotsosmartguyThey could choose the Saturday before Holy Week, making an Easter special celebrating the 10th anniversary of New Who. That means that this year's series might even end on a cliffhanger pushing toward's Gallifrey's return to N-Space.

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

Yay, a 'people like you' comment. As if you can discern my entire personality, likes and dislikes, beliefs and morals from one comment. I applaud you, good sir (madam?). As for gun control: It's a good thing to live in fear of being murdered by someone else your whole life. The only thing to do is not to take away that fear by trying to take away weapons, no, the best course of action is - of course! - to give EVERYONE weapons, 'cause then EVERYONE gets to live in equal fear. Yep. Sounds like a great plan. To be afraid to be shot when you give someone a strange look or say something another person doesn't agree with. Or because you wear nice shoes. Yep. Sounds like a world I'd want to live in, for sure. As to the rest of your comment: I'm not quite sure what you're saying? About a mirror and show and tell (it's "show, don't tell"). I'd like to either agree or disagree with you, but I'm not sure about what.


Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@Who is the Doctor  Sure, that's certainly one way to approach the problem.  But the Daleks seem to be the sort that won't forget the Time War.  Two other resolutions would be that a) the Doctor once and for all eliminates all the Daleks or b) the Doctor convinces the Daleks that restarting the Time War is not in their interest.  An extreme case of the latter would be Daleks turning from enemy to ally of the Time Lords.  That would be a story!

Who is the Doctor
Who is the Doctor

But a lot of that problem is eliminated by when you return Galifrey to this Universe. The Doctor can return Galifrey at a point in time when the Universe has mostly forgotten the Timelords and Galifrey. That would decrease the chance of the Time War restarting.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@Regenerated Catterson @Notsosmartguy  The Doctor currently does not have the ability to find Gallifrey, and if he did, he can't bring it back without restarting the Time War.  That tells me that finding Gallifrey will not be a direct journey where the Doctor somehow logically determines where the planet is and how to bring it back.  Before he can find it the show is going to have to build up a canon that will allow him to do so.  

It seems much more likely that, over the regular course of many series, the Doctor will visit all sorts of places, take a part in many events, and see many technologies used just like he always has.  Those places, events and things won't mean much on their own but they will eventually give a future showrunner the backstory needed to write a story in which the Doctor finds Gallifrey.  

The same is true for bringing Gallifrey back.  If the Doctor were to find Gallifrey in the first episode of S8 he couldn't return it to its rightful place because the Time War would start again, putting us right back to DotD or TotD.  The show needs time to create a backstory to make the return of Gallifrey possible. 


shyx111
shyx111

"In a couple of Doctors".

Master Michael Moon
Master Michael Moon

@AlessandroArsuffi @Notsosmartguy I don't even see why Gallifrey has to actually return, just because the conversation with the Curator made it suggest that's what the Doctor has to do next. If you remember, although Time came immediately after Day and was still relating to the Time Lords and Gallifrey, the Doctor didn't exactly 'rush' to find his home world, did he? It goes back to my theory that 12 could forget his previous incarnations as he is on a completely new regeneration cycle and has to 'discover' himself again, which could take a long time...

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@Notsosmartguy 10th anniversary of the New Series in 2015. We certainly now that Twelve was present at the moment (no pun intended) of Gallifrey's freezing, so I suppose Gallifrey's restoration must fall under his tenure.

The 4th Doctor
The 4th Doctor

@Regenerated Catterson @Notsosmartguy  I think it be interesting to see it return in 2015 along with Smith, Tennant, Eccleston, Hurt and McGann - aka celebrating 10 years since it was revived and bringing in the Doctors that were 'involved' in The Time War, 12 calls for help from his previous selves to try and find it and they do, while it is rather soon, I think that'd be a good time

Regenerated Catterson
Regenerated Catterson

@Notsosmartguy  I was thinking at best, in around a five year gap. Maybe ten years, like I said, we don't want the story to be a long one that will make fans forget the plot and wish Gallifrey was really destroyed. I mean, the first couple of series could end on heavy signs that The Doctor is coming close to finding Gallifrey. It shouldn't be found in the first series, maybe within the next few years