The multi-platform story Time Lord Victorious takes the Doctor to the darkest origins of the universe… but what did we know of the Dark Times beforehand?
Often referenced in many stories, and with a myriad of monsters coming from there, the new Blu-ray release combines classic and new television stories in the Road to the Dark Times.
Also found in this Blu-ray release, the coda of information below guides you through each story, and why they build to Time Lord Victorious.
"We have been delayed, not defeated. The Daleks are never defeated!" The Dalek Supreme
At its height, the Dalek Empire spanned galaxies of cruelty. On the planet Spiridon, the Dalek Supreme was preparing a mighty Dalek army, ready to conquer and destroy all who came in their way.
Spiridon is a powerful moment in Dalek history. Here we see the Dalek Empire in action – ruthless, cruel and cunning, manipulating and experimenting on lesser races and preparing to sweep aside all opposition. This is also the first time that the Doctor calls on the help of his own people, the Time Lords, to thwart the Daleks’ terrible ambitions.
We will emerge and take our rightful place as the supreme power of the universe!" Dalek
The Time Lords of Gallifrey watched the Daleks, at first with the same detachment they reserved for other species, and then with what even they admitted was fear. They realised the Dalek conquest of space and time was inevitable and so began to interfere, seeking to delay this terrible outcome.
The opening of the Time War was when the Doctor was sent to stop the creation of the Daleks. It was the first time the Doctor was ordered to break the laws of time, to change history. It was also the first time the Doctor asked himself if he was right.
What no-one could have foreseen was that one day, the Daleks would fight back.
"The Time Lords of Gallifrey led a life of peace and ordered calm, protected from all threats from lesser civilsations by their great power. But this was to change." The official history of Rassilon
Having defeated the last Kastrian survivor of the Dark Times, the Doctor was summoned back to Gallifrey. Sarah Jane Smith was delighted – she’d always wanted to visit the Doctor’s home. But, he told her, outsiders were forbidden to go there. Why?
Was it because the Time Lords were outsiders perfect in isolated eternity? Was it because they were august and stately wanderers in eternity? Or was it because they didn’t want anyone to find out what they were really like?
"I like a ghost story. Do you want to hear one? It's about a race of giant vampires. They swarmed all over the universe... in the misty dawn of history, when even Rassilon was young." The Doctor
It is during the Dark Times that the people of Gallifrey pulled themselves out of cruel savagery and became gifted temporal engineers. But, before they became the Time Lords of legend, they fought a long and terrible war against the Great Vampires, beings so mighty that one could drain the life from a planet.
This was the last war of the people of Gallifrey. And, in the final battle, when the bodies were counted, Rassilon discovered to his horror that one vampire, the mightiest of them all, had escaped. This is the story of what happened to it.
"We play the contest again, Time Lord." Fenric
The rules of creation were different during the Dark Times. Immortal races strode across the heavens, shaping worlds as they found them – the Daemons, the Exxilons and the Osirans all delighted in being worshipped as gods, but Fenric, one of the darkest of the old gods, had a different plan.
Fenric saw all of eternity as a game, with each move spanning the rise and fall of a civilisation. Only one creature dared pit himself against Fenric. That creature was called the Doctor. And he played eternity to win.
"The Racnoss come from the Dark Times, billions of years ago. Billons. They were carnivores, omnivores. They devoured whole planets." The Doctor.
The Racnoss were one of the most terrible races of the Dark Times – they were born hungry and they ate their way through the universe. They were a quirk of the early days of the universe when evolution was still finding its feet – a race that existed simply to devour.
The Dark Times were not kind to the Racnoss, and the Fledgling Empires rose up against them and wiped them out. But the Empress of the Racnoss hid herself in the shadows, and waited a long time for the rebirth of her species and a new age of cruelty.
"For a long time now, I thought I was just a survivor, but I'm not. I'm the winner. That's who I am. The Time Lord Victorious." The Doctor
The Laws of Time are set, they are immutable and no Time Lord breaks them. But what happens when the last of the Time Lords realises that there’s no-one around to stop him?
On Mars the Tenth Doctor decides to break a fixed point in time, when the astronauts of Bowie Base One encounter an ancient force. History says they all die, but the Time Lord Victorious decides that history is wrong. He takes on death and his actions have terrible consequences.
On a London street a time fracture has been created, and the Doctor is about to learn a lesson about death.