I spent a bit of time last night doing some research on the Last Great Time War, because I’ve got this idea for a fanfic set during the war and needed to iron out some details. I found it absolutely fascinating that I spend far more time researching Doctor Who history, both the lore as well as what we see in the episodes, than I ever did for papers and projects during school. The same activity can be considered work or play, depending on the context.
I wanted to get a good feel for the history of the Time War, how events progressed, and it was completely fascinating – there’s so much that’s been established that’s not in the TV show (and I haven’t gotten to yet in all the audios). Here is a little bit of the history.
- The first event is the Daleks creating a virus that would corrupt Time Lord DNA to wipe them out.
- The Daleks then hack into the Matrix so that they can use it to invade Gallifrey. Romana traps them in the Matrix and shuts it down, to trap the Daleks in a time loop.
- Narvin (from the CIA), unaware that Romana’s fixed the situation, gets the Fourth Doctor to attempt to stop the Daleks from being created or delay their development.
- In retaliation, the Daleks try to create a clone of the Fifth Doctor to send him to assassinate the High Council.
- The Daleks then attempt to get the Hand of Omega, to gain mastery over time. They are stopped by the Seventh Doctor.
- At this point, the Daleks start the Last Great Time War.
In case you haven’t noticed, point 3 is “Genesis of the Daleks,” point 4 is “Resurrection of the Daleks,” and point 5 is “Remembrance of the Daleks.” Basically, while creating the history of the Time War, the showrunners went backwards and worked classic episodes into the timeline of the war. They’re no longer just random encounters the Doctor had with Daleks; there are now reasons for what happened, all part of the Time War’s history. The way they did this is just so cool, fitting this all in. It’s also wonderful to see the pre-Eighth Doctors having some hand in the Time War (it’s always bothered me a little that the Time War lasted for hundreds, probably thousands of years, but the classic Doctors were not involved in it at all [not that they could be, mind you, from a beyond-the-fourth-wall point of view]). I suppose this is one of the advantages of a show with a long history that deals with time travel: you can manipulate the history into loops, creating an even richer backstory than you originally intended.