Doctor who idea
Season 1 – The Time Lords Return
Season 2 – The War in Heaven
Season 3 – Reality War
Season 4 – War of the future
Deals with a mysterious force which is destroying time travel races, more so than even the Time Lords did. This requires the Doctor to bring back the Time Lords
a. Grand round / Barbarians at the gate
The Doctor uncovers a mysterious virus called DARS (Depthnirk Acute Respiratory Syndrome) which has caused the Earth colony of New Haven to be isolated from the rest of the Earth Empire. The first episode of this occurred in the city of Depthnirk, hence the name.
The Doctor visits the hospital grand round which showcases evidence that DARS is a nano machine, which can reproduce, flow against bloodflow.
The Doctor points out that such a machine could simply block the coronary vessels causing heart attacks, or blocks cerebral arteries causing strokes or blocking pulmonary vessels causing pulmonary embolus. Thus the people deploying it don’t know how it works, or it has another purpose, almost like its searching for something.
Further investigations reveal that the people affected are those that have transplanted organs using a new “Shen” method of organ creation, which is cheaper then existing organ synthesis methods. Along the way he meets an interracial couple (Mr and Mrs Smith) who hold anti alien views including hanging up posters reminiscent of Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of blood” speech, but with aliens instead of Africans. Maximum irony points here.
It turns out that Mrs Smith is a Rutan who has replaced the original (but with the original’s memory), although her daughter Lydia from a previous marriage is human of course. DARS is created by the Sontarans to hunt down Rutans. The Shen method of course involves Rutan genetics (since they are shapeshifters, the technology involves shapeshifting a piece of Rutan tissue into the required organ). Losing their war with the Sontarans the Rutans have hidden on the colony of New Haven. The Shen method is just a way for them to gain resources via trade with the humans.
In the end one of the humans manages to use the Sontarans own nanomachines against them by causing them to block the blood flow to vital organs. Note the Sontarans have high tech armour like the ones which allow them to resist K-9’s blasts (“Invasion of time”) and gives them an edge against the humans.
At the end of the episode Mr Smith becomes less xenophobic. Meanwhile mysterious voices note that the Doctor has not detected them. They note that Lydia has promise and having glanced her future. They speculate that bringing her into the fold will rejuvenate us.
b. Murder on the salvage ship / The Armageddon ship
The Doctor receives a distress call in an area of the universe with predominant dark matter. Struggling to navigate through the dark matter, he comes across a giant Earth salvage ship. Due to sabotage the ship was only able to send out a distress signal before its running on auxiliary power.
It turns out that crew members have been murdered and the Doctor’s appearance gives them a scapegoat. However the theory “The Doctor did it” is proven false when more crew members are murdered while the Doctor is imprisoned. The Doctor offers to help, but the crew are very vague about what they are salvaging, especially once they let slip the size of the salvage ship (almost like it was carrying the cargo internally to prevent scans revealing the cargo, as opposed to using a tractor beam and dragging it along).
As one crew member Parsons turns out to the murderer, he himself is murdered. It looks like several crew members have been murdering each other and the Doctor suspects an alien presence that can possess humanoids, a presence he has felt before.
A confrontation with the alien entity reveals that he is known as anPsionivore, and that they were created as a psychic weapon for a war long ago, and functions the same way biological weapons do. Infected one person then spreading. The alien then proceeds to take over the Doctor. However having been possessed by one on the planet Midnight (New Series season 4 episode 10) and having 2 regenerations to work on how to fight this, the Doctor manages to expel the entity into the TARDIS telepathic circuits, which he promptly removes and vows to send into a black hole. Afterwards the remaining crew members work to restore power to the ship.
At the end of the first episode he then realises that this entity is responsible for killing, but while mind linked he never got a sense that the creature was responsible for the sabotage. Meaning there is another one on board. As the power comes on he finally discovers what the humans were attempting to salvage. A Dalek saucer ship from the Time War
Demanding to know what is going on, the Doctor is surprised when the salvage ship distress call has also been answered by Lydia Smith (from Grand round / Barbarians at the gate). The humans are using an indigenous technology which allows them to navigate in dark matter due to technobabble subspace blah blah, and no one else has thought of this because subspace travel is more slower than hyperspace which most races use, yet alone the time travel the TL use. It turns out that Earth has abandoned some of their colonies, and New Haven is fighting a war against raids by the Sycorax. To counteract that, the humans launch counter raids hidden in areas which large amounts of dark matter, where the Sycorax cannot see them. Despite this, the technologically superior Sycorax has the advantage, but the salvaged Dalek ship will turn the tide.
The Doctor is horrified by this plan and even more shocked when Lydia’s engineers manage to repair the weapon system and they test it be blowing up a Jupiter size planet (just shows you how tough Gallifrey was).
Investigations of the Dalek ship revealed evidence that the Daleks killed each other, likely from the Psionivore. But who has such technology? The Time Lords never did, or at least none the Doctor was aware of.
There is a surviving Psionivore and this one can possess circuits and machinery and hide in architecture, not just humans. With the Dalek Saucer now more functional after Lydia’s engineers partially repair it, it moves the saucer to target a world which used to be a Dalek holding, but now is settled by <insert alien race here whose population outnumbers the humans of New Haven several times over>. The Doctor manages to stop the ship, but despite Lydia’s pleas refuses to simply eject the Psionivore, he destroys the Dalek Saucer.
Lydia cries that the Doctor has doomed her people.
At the end Lydia is approached by a mysterious masked figure who has disabled all her security. He informs her that he has observed how she has led her people against great odds to fight the Sycorax. He is impressed by some of their innovations including the dark matter scans and the multiple missile launching platforms (where the humans missile spam their inferior missiles against Sycorax ships).
Lydia can only mentioned with a bitter laugh that amateurs think tactics, professionals think strategy and masters think logistics, the things taught to human generals for all the good it did her. The figure asks Lydia to join them as her skills will be an asset. As a joke Lydia sarcastically agrees if the figure gives them the weapons to defeat the Sycorax.
To her surprise the figure mentions that “this is not our culture to share our technology, but we were created because some realise the old ways were not sufficient. We will consider it.”
c. Time Wave / The utilitarian dilemma
The TARDIS detects a time wave and seeks to investigate. He finds a planet just outside the waves wake and finds human refugees fleeing the Sycorax. Then the wave hits and suddenly it is humans celebrating the defeat of the Sycorax.
Investigating further he finds that a company Celestis Holdings, has manufactured technology which allows the humans to triumph over the Sycorax. Including Minyan “fission grenades” (those from Underworld which was rated at 1 GT for each hand held grenade), portable pacifiers (Underworld) and whole host of goodies built by human tech, but based on several different alien species weaponry.
The Doctor discovers that two Time Agents Ruha and Gulliver are also investigating. This time line should not have come to pass. History records a tragedy as the Sycorax wins. After some posturing the Time Agents agree to work with the Doctor but Gulliver is mysteriously recalled.
Pooling their resources they break into Celestis holdings and find that the CEO is none other than Lydia. Lydia explains that their archeologists discovered this “collection,” of alien artefacts.
Unconvinced the Doctor manages to uncover a paradox machine (made with human tech) which allows this alternate time line to continue. But what is the paradox it seeks to prevent? Is it just this timeline or another paradox? Suddenly Ruha points a weapon at the Doctor. However the Doctor points out he has deactivated the weapon with his MODIFIED sonic screwdriver, and then proceeds to deactivate her disguise revealing a humanoid figure but with hair which looks like scales. He explains that her chameleon technology is impressive. It uses Quantum Mnemonics which the Time Lords were researching before the outbreak of the Time War, which is more impressive than the TARDIS own block transfer computations. However since he is familiar with the concept he managed to rig a counter.
He then asks if Ruha did kill Gulliver, however she denies it. He really was recalled making her job easier. The Doctor wants to destroy the Paradox machine, however Ruha points out that if he does so, billions of humans who now live, will be killed by the Sycorax. That is several times more than the number of Sycorax killed before the Sycorax surrendered under the current time line.
The Doctor is trapped by the Utilitarian dilemma. Given time the paradox machine will make the current time line the dominant one. Thus taking away the only other reason for stopping the current time line. History. If history is changed there will not be a consequence to time itself because the paradox machine can prevent a historical change of this size.
In the end the Doctor vows that this isn’t over and warns the Celestis there is a price to be paid for tampering with time. Out of earshot Ruha’s master mentions, “yes, we know all too well and we are willing to pay.”
Unbeknownst to Ruha, the Doctor has sabotage a lot of Celestis Holding’s temporal tech aside from the paradox machine and wiped their computers clean in the belief he will delay their mastery of such technology.
At the end of the episode we see Lydia having a romantic dinner with her partner, the last she will ever have. She then joins Ruha and another mysterious masked figure. They explain they will need to make genetic alternations to her to work their technology which Lydia agrees to without hesitation.
Thus the second paradox is revealed. If the humans were winning, Lydia would never join the Celestis in the first place, but if the Celestis changed history and made the humans win, Lydia would lose her original reason for joining the Celestis. The figure intones some ominous words.
“Rise Lydia of the House of Smith. Shed away your old life and become one of us. Become a Time Lord of Celestia.”
The Celestis was the Time Lord’s equivalent to the Cult of Skaro. They were tasked with thinking in ways unlike how Time Lords think to allow them to better win the war. Led by Drax (“The Armageddon Factor) a group of 50 Time Lords form the Celestis. However their numbers are greater due to the presence of servitor races.
While sharing common goals with the Time Lords such as “regulating” time travel, in many ways the Celestis are what the Time Lords are not.
The Time Lords dress in pomp, the Celestis wear battle armour. The Time Lords show their faces, the Celestis wear masks. Where the Time Lords have non aggression pacts but no allies, the Celestis have genetically uplifted a raceto be their servitors. The Time Lords tax the Navarinos (Delta and the Bannermen) to regulate time travel, the Celestis would prefer to destroy their capability altogether if not outright genocide. The Time Lords use wonder weapons, like deus ex machine. The Celestis use biological weapons or similar ilk and focus on “tactics, strategy and logistics,” as well as technology. The Time Lords keep their Homeworld in the same star system, the Celestis have mobile orbitals. The Time Lords recruit only from Gallifreyans, the Celestis are willing to recruit from other races.
A simplistic way of looking at it, is that the Time Lords would fight a war like the Indirans, the Celestis would fight it like the Culture.
As a result of their isolation from Gallifrey, they have developed some interesting technology.
As mentioned this psionic lifeform can possess mechanical and living structures, feed on their energy and compel them to perform actions against their will.
Was deployed as a test against a Dalek saucer. Inspired by Lawrence Miles Anarchitects, but since Miles holds the IP rights to those…
2. Cloaked time travel
TARDISes normally travel in the vortex, the Celestis TARDISes travel in Eternity. Eternity of course was the realm the Eternals live in. First mentioned in the classical story “Enlightenment” the Eternals live in the larger realm of Eternity, while we mere mortals or Ephemerals live in the smaller realm of time.
I have thus invented a new cosmology. Think of a tree branch and all smaller branches from it as time and alternate time lines. Imagine that branch floating on the ocean. The gap between the branches is the Great void (mentioned in the source books as the space between universe). Below the branch (ie the ocean) is Eternity.
Or to think of it another way, imagine a ship on the ocean. It can travel in two dimensions. That is time. However a submersible can travel also under the ocean. This larger area underneath is Eternity.
This way the Celestis time ships are undetectable via conventional means until they dematerialise. They travel outside of time (and the Vortex) and then reappear in time at the point they desire.
3. Mentalis weapon platforms
Fires a miniature TARDIS armed with bombs which dematerialises on or near a ship and then explodes. The weapons platform itself is located in Eternity, which makes it hard to actually detect, yet alone hit.
Given the range of TARDISes (eg the Doctor travelled from Earth to the edge of the universe in a few minutes in the classic episode “Planet of Evil”) the weapons range is wank.
The idea is a combination from Drax and Lydia (based on her own missile launchers).
4. Celestis battle armour
Inside one, a Celestis can take out several Daleks, armed with their portable D-mat guns. The armour produces force fields capable of resisting quite high energy output.
Their masks give them advance sensors. Portable Time Rings (Genesis of the Daleks) allows the Celestis to make quite far time jumps.
Modern day TARDISes have an “organic” aspect (thanks RTD). They seem to be grown. However older TARDISes appear to be mechanical, and the Celestis focus on building their TARDISEs like this, using Quantum Mechanics than Block Transfer computations. As a general rule their TARDISes are hardier and resistant to the tech that the Daleks use to render the Doctor’s TARDIS like “Wood.”
The Celestis TARDIS are sentient. They communicate with their pilots via holographic projection, think Andromeda Ascendant. They however are autonomous and can communicate with each other and carry out instruction. This was created because the Celestis realised they will never have the numbers to pilot all those TARDISes and they were not willing to clone themselves.
Divided into battle TARDISes and the more powerful war TARDISes.
6. Darkmatter extractor
Taking the logistics and industry argument to the extreme.
4.9% of the universe is normal matter, while 26.8% is dark matter.
Using Lydia’s technology to navigate through dark matter clusters, the Celestishide inside areas of dark matter. The extractor uses a black hole, consumes dark matter and then using technology known since Omega the energy consumed is converted into baryonic matter (Castrovalva reveals the TARDIS can convert its rooms into energy if required). For every few TARDISes produced, the extractor tends to produce another one of itself, so the process increases exponentially.
Combine with the ability to time travel, the Celestis literally parked the extractor sometime in the past so it starts work early. By the time of the Fourth Time War the Celestis have literally created tens of billions of TARDISes via this method. This outnumbers the 10 million Dalek ships left over at the start of their final assault on Gallifrey.
The idea is purely Lydia’s.
The Celestis choose not to alter the results of the Time Lord Dalek war because it would be too large a change despite having the resources to make a difference.
7. Servitors race
Ruha belongs to this group. The Celestis prefer not to risk themselves due to their low numbers.
8. Necromancy via nano machines
Think of Chula nanogenes (The Empty Child) on steroids.
d. Attack of the Celestis / The Fourth Time war
The Church of the Mainframe and the Time agents manage to track down the Doctor and request his help. Someone is killing their agents, while time ships have disappeared without trace. Research centres into time travel have been destroyed, the published research has been scoured from computer records. Moreover a mysterious force (Celestis servitor races) is attacking the world of Terserus system. The Alliance is holding out for now.
At this stage the Doctor has no proof of the Celestis involvement, although he does let it slip that he is familiar with them and that Ruha had infiltrated the time agents.
The Doctor is chosen to help not just for his skills, but because the enemy appears to be using Time Lord technology. Fearing that the Celestis have somehow salvaged Time Lord tech (at this point he doesn’t know the Celestis are Time Lord descendents), he agrees to investigate. Gulliver makes a reappearance having been promoted since the Doctor last saw him in Time Wave. Gulliver is in charge of the investigation.
Their investigations lead to the planet Dronid where there is evidence of some left over Time Lord tech. He is soon joined by the combined fleets of the Church, the Time agents, and the Shadow Proclamation joins him despite his attempt to elude them. They start landing troops. Note the new “clone army” of the Church.
The end of the episode shows a flashback of Ruha killing Gulliver, thus we know that the Gulliver we see is an imposter.
Suddenly the fleet is attacked by Mentalis weapons platform. Explosives are dematerialised within the ships themselves and detonated creating a temporal lock which not only destroys the ship, but prevents time travel around the area.
The Fleet counters by using the same technology in “Day of the Doctor” which prevents the explosives from dematerialising. The Celestis attempt to compensate but Lydia who is commanding mentions that its pointless as the fleet would have escaped by then. She instead orders the missiles to fly at relativistic speeds and dematerialise just at the edge of their “anti dematerialisation field”. The impact still destroys ships due to the intense kinetic energy of the missiles.
The Doctor counters when he finds out that the ships have dual shielding (ie it has two layers). So he suggests the outer shield be extended to the edge of the “anti dematerialisation field” in the direction of the missiles. Once the missiles impact on the shield they will explode and destroy the first shield, however due to the inverse square rule (ie the blasts weaken by the inverse of the distance to target squared) the blasts should weaken by the time they hit the second shield and the ships will survive.
Lydia then counters by ordering the missiles to appear from multiple directions.
The fleet manages to escape licking its wounds, with the ground troops abandoned. Both Lydia and the Doctor feel that they have “lost,” the encounter.The Doctor remarks that the solution to the “anti dematerialisation field” was relatively “low tech.”
The Doctor explains to the fleet he suspected Gulliver was an imposter so that’s why he didn’t want the fleet to follow him in case it turns out to be a trap. It turns out that while Gulliver’s ship was one of the surviving vessels, Gulliver is nowhere to be found.
The Doctor manages to capture one of the missiles using the TARDIS tractor beam before the fleet withdrew, and from that manages to track the energy signature to the Celestis, since he is familiar with Time Lord technology.
Finding the Celestis, his TARDIS is tractor beamed (“Trial of a Time Lord”) into their secret base located in an area of dark matter. He is surprised that the Celestis want him to join their organisation and they explain their origin as Time Lords who were tasked with finding a way to win the war and to think outside the box. They escaped into the Great Void and then discovered how to travel in Eternity as well as the Vortex. They literally invented cloaked time travel, where the TARDIS can only be detected at the point of materialisation. However to their dismay they find the Time Lords vanished when they return, and various “upstart” races trying to prevent the Time Lords returning “The Time of the Doctor.” On reflection they decided it would be better if they were in charge.
The conversation however is partially a feint so that he is away while the Celestis spring their next move.
During the conversation the Doctor finds out that while there is Time Lord tech on Dronid, the Celestis planted it. No more than children’s toys. He also finds out that the attack of Terserus is to bleed out the alliance, similar to what the Germans did in Verdun. While the Alliance avoided total disaster at Dronid, at Terserus the Celestis will make their move, as the Alliance expends more and more resources to defend Terserus convinced its important to the enemy.
The Doctor then meets the first and only other non Gallifreyan member of the Celestis. A Gallifreyan / Carrionite hybrid named Rodan.
She explains that the Celestis encountered her mother’s people when they fled into the Great Void. Rodan is connected to a device that enhances the range of her power. Via a wormhole and a severed arm of one of the clone troopers she activates her powers killing all the troopers on Terserus. Then with Celestis nanomachines she reanimates the arm which translates into all the troopers being reanimated and under the Celestis control. They make short work of the other ground forces and hack into their computers, allowing the Celestis to know the location of the all the Alliance’s secret base. Using the Mentalis platform they take out the bases.
The Celestis once again offer the Doctor a chance to join them. He however materialises the TARDIS despite the Celestis attempt to hold it. He has repaired the shields it carried in the Time War “Engines of War,” and this allows him to break the tractor beam. There is an impasse while the Celestis bring weapons to breach the TARDIS including a demat gun.
At the end of the episode the Celestis reveal their ultimate resource. The Dark Matter extractor. We then zoom out the Doctor’s location and see thousands of TARDISes being constructed from the dark matter. Then zoom out again and we find this area is just a part of a larger whole (just one of thousands). Zoom out again and ad nauseum until we get the picture that the Celestis have lots of ships. The war has only begun.
e. The Time Lords Return
The Doctor dematerialises before the Celestis can bring the Demat gun to bear on the TARDIS. A few TARDISes are sent after him, however he manages to elude some of them by travelling through time reminiscent of his attempts to elude the Time Lords in War Games. In an attempt to elude the others he travels sideways in time, even though without the Time Lords its now dangerous. This allows him to escape those that follow him as they cannot navigate so well sideways in time. Only one war TARDIS remains and that tries to Time Ram him (“The Time Monster.”) However the TARDIS comes alive and engages it in telepathic combat “The Doctor’s wife.” The TARDIS wins and the Doctor traps the enemy TARDISes AI inside the telepathic circuits.
There have been Gallifrey sightings the same way there have been Elvis sightings. In desperation the Doctor tracks them down until he finds a weakness in space time. There he finds the Time Lords. Of course since I had this idea he did find the Time Lords until in a subsequent episode. I will just have the Time Lords moved elsewhere after the Doctor’s last encounter for protection.
The Time Lords in the time of their exile have also developed some interesting technology.
1. Self replicating Reality mines – taken from the novel Sky Pirates (which called it a reality bomb, which in turn is the same name as Davros wonder weapon), reality mines essentially send out a false distress signal and lures a time ship “nearby” where it promptly explodes. The Time Lords have made some changes to this which allows the mines to lock onto an enemy ship.
Not quite the wonder weapon, but a simplistic one to help offset Dalek numerical superiority. Works well when combine with sky trenches.
If one is destroyed its neighbours draws energy from the Eye of Harmony or whatever source is available and creates another one.
2. Cloaked time travel
During their exile from the main universe, the Time Lords explored numerous time lines. As a result they can avoid detection by travelling to an alternate time line, finding the right point and then travelling sideways back to our time line. The weakness is that they could be detected by a foe in that alternate time line.
3. Probability engine
Based on the same device in the novel “Engines of war,” it imposes an alternate time line onto reality. However these are weaker versions and can only cover a smaller area.
Since RTD mentioned that TARDISes can be grown, the Time Lords have focussed on the “organic” or growing TARDIS technology, using block transfer computations.
Divided into battle TARDISes and the more powerful war TARDISes.
5. Space collapse
Isolates an sector in an miniature universe and then collapses it. Essentially traps it into a giant TARDIS and then collapses it since the inside of a TARDIS is another universe. Can destroy TARDISes, entire fleets with this device.
Meanwhile the Celestis through a combination of numbers and superior technology have demolished most of the alliances fleet. Their robotic agents are tasked with rendering the time active powers unable to be temporal powers ever again, although they can still transverse space.
To the Doctor’s surprise the Celestis propose an alliance with the Time Lords to regulate time, with House Celestia being added to the Great Houses of the Time Lords, and that as Time Lords they should return to Gallifreyan society. Things are further complicated when the High Council agrees. Romana leads a faction which seeks to exert control on the Celestis, but even she recognises the advantages of having the Celestis join with Gallifrey. The compromise will lead to the Time Lords agreeing with the Celestis plan for regulating time travel.
This leads to an ill advise assault on the Time Lords by the other temporal powers in a bid to stop them joining forces, which fails.
All seems lost however the Doctor manages to convince the AI of the enemy TARDIS. It agrees to speak of the other TARDISes, because having communicated with the Doctor’s TARDIS he now admires the fact the Doctor is a champion of life.
The AI manages to convince most of the TARDISes to not destroy the other time active races. Faced with a rebellion of their own creations, the Celestis relent and sign a treaty ending the war. However there will be changes.
This essential deals with the fallout of the Fourth Time War.
The story centres on the Doctor trying to convince the Sisterhood on Karn to rejoin Gallifreyan society. It’s a sort of an information dump where he outlines that Gallifrey needs more voices to balance out the influence of the Celestis. To make his argument he recaps the current political situation. We should see images of the Celestis TARDISes making short work of the alliances ships.
The current political situation is such - The Celestis have rejoined the Time Lords as one of the Great Houses. The Time Lords will act as the police, while the Celestis acts as the military. Time travel is once again restricted. No other race but those that are currently time active can be allowed to gain it (sort of like how the world’s nuclear powers don’t like other nations developing that capability).
Given the devastation the Celestis have wrecked on the others, Gallifreyan hegemony is all but assured. The only race at the present that could potentially oppose them are the Daleks, and even then, even with the Sephiroth galaxy they can’t match the Celestis industrial capabilities. Especially since with Time Lord help, the Celestis can now plant a dark matter extractor in alternate time lines as well.
The “twist” is that there will be two endings filmed. One where the Sisterhood agrees to join, and the other where they do not. Viewers will get to vote on the outcome. The alternative ending will only be available as an extra on the DVDs.