- "The oldest and most mighty race in the Universe, looking down on the galaxies below. Sworn never to interfere, only to watch."
- ―The Doctor on his species
The Time Lords (sometimes known as Lords of Time, or Gallifreyans) are a sapient humanoid race from the planet Gallifrey, so called because of their ability to manipulate time and space through technology more advanced than most other civilizations. They are an extremely ancient and advanced race, and are believed to be the creators of time travel. The main character of the British science fiction series Doctor Who is a member of this race.
- "Ten million years of absolute power. That's what it takes to be really corrupt!"
- ―The Doctor to a court of Time Lords.
Time Lords were the rulers of one of the oldest and most powerful civilizations in the Universe, wielding absolute power for over ten million years. They enforced the laws of time, keeping the course of history on track and preventing temporal paradoxes.
Eventually, the Time Lords waged a great war against the Dalek race, an event which later became known as the Last Great Time War. Little is known about it, but it is said that "the whole of Creation [was] at stake", and that "the entire Universe convulsed". While unseen by the "smaller" species, the War was devastating to the "higher", time-sensitive races. The war ended with the destruction of Skaro (the Dalek homeworld), the loss - but not destriction - of Gallifrey, and possibly many galaxies and planets. Most of the Dalek race was wiped out, abet temporarily, and all but two (known) Time Lords remain untraped within an other universe; a renegade named the Doctor, and the Master.
Time Lords outwardly appear human, but their internal biology is vastly different. Their life span can be counted in centuries, and they can heal from injuries fairly quickly. They have the ability to regenerate should they be mortally wounded. They have two hearts, which beat at approximately 170 beats per minute, and have an internal body temperature at 15 degrees Celsius. They also have a respiratory bypass system which allows them to survive strangulation, and are able to survive in a vacuum as long as they have an air supply.
Time Lords can communicate telepathically, though oftentimes this skill is boosted by their TARDIS, with which they share a symbiotic relationship. They can erase or block memories or information from an individual's mind through telepathic interaction. They also have a natural sensitivity to time, sensing the passage of time in a different fashion than humans, as well as being able to see most of time; that is, perceiving the past, present, and all possible futures simultaneously.
A Time Lord's most distinguishing trait is the ability to regenerate their bodies when their current body is mortally wounded. This process results in their body undergoing a transformation, gaining a new physical form and new personality, but the same memories. Time Lords have been shown to have varying levels of control over what their next incarnations will look like but the results are mostly random. A Time Lord can only regenerate twelve times before dying (thirteen incarnations in all.), though it was confirmed in a later interview that they can have more (it is unconfirmed which is canon). After the Regeneration the Time Lord is in a state of mental instability, confusion, and stress as he or she adjusts to a new body.
A Time Lord's consciousness is said to be "tied" to the Time Vortex, making them essentially clairvoyant. They can sense the passing of time, and are able to see alternate futures, as well as instinctively knowing which parts of time were "fixed" and which could be changed.
- The Doctor
- The Master
- The Rani