Assassination of John F. Kennedy

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Assassination of John F. Kennedy

The assassination of the 35th American President John F. Kennedy occurred at Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, Texas at 12:30pm on 22 November 1963.


According to one account, the assassination was engineered by an agent of the Great Houses during the War in Heaven, overwriting a timeline in which Kennedy was infected by Enemy life-spores and killed years later. (PROSE: The Annotated Autopsy of Agent A) Although three Renegade Time Lords would be present at the assassination in the new timeline, their circumstances and motives varied between sources. (TV: Rose, PROSE: Untitled, Who Killed Kennedy)

Either Lee Harvey Oswald (PROSE: Untitled) or James Stevens was responsible for the killing blow, although Oswald was physically present in both accounts and whom history recorded as the assassin. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

The Seventh Doctor, who had used Nemesis once before, implied to Ace that the proximity of the statue to Earth had caused or influenced the assassination. (TV: Silver Nemesis)

Doctor Samantha Madigan cited the Curse of Tippecanoe to Clyde Langer as a famous Native American curse supposedly placed on Presidents of the United States. (TV: The Curse of Clyde Langer)


Berenyi, a Time Lord and designer of time, engineered an assassination "in a theatre in 1865". (PROSE: Untitled) President Abraham Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre on 14 April 1865. (AUDIO: Assassin in the Limelight) A German from the 22nd century was impressed with this work and subsequently requested that Berenyi engineer Kennedy's death for him. (PROSE: Untitled)

Kennedy was the sitting President during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, a confrontation between Cuba and the Soviet Union on one side and the United States on the other. (PROSE: Heart of TARDIS) In 2020, it was regarded as the closest the world had ever come to nuclear war (COMIC: The Piggybackers) and relations between the US and Cuba remained tense as late as 2015. (AUDIO: The Eight Truths) Berenyi made sure that Lee Harvey Oswald had ties to Cuba and Russia when designing the assassination (PROSE: Untitled) and the Master had Francis Cleary wear a Soviet uniform as part of his plot. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

George Ratcliffe was given foreknowledge of the assassination after he agreed to help the Renegade Daleks in the Shoreditch Incident. On 22 November, he told Mike Smith that there would be a new President by evening. (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks)

One of Kennedy's last official acts before his assassination was to order Moonbase Eisenhower to shoot down the US Rocket Lincoln, which had been stolen by the Sixth Doctor and Larisa Petrov. Although Kennedy did not rescind the order before his death, the moonbase's commanding officer General Paterson countermanded it when Petrov contacted him and proved that she was an American spy working in the Soviet Union. (AUDIO: 1963: The Space Race)

22 November[[edit]]

Kennedy visited Texas for the purposes of bolstering his popularity that would have been crucial for the following year's presidential election. It was the first time his wife, Jackie Kennedy, had accompanied him on a political visit anywhere within America since his own election in 1960.

It was a sultry day in Dallas and the blazing sun had turned the morning rain into stifling humidity. The presidential motorcade was led by two motorcycle policemen who made sure the road was clear ahead followed by the black open-top limousine containing the President which was then followed by several other similar vehicles. Several times Kennedy had snarled at Jackie to remove her sunglasses so that the thousands of American citizens in attendance could see her eyes.

The motorcade came down Main Street towards Dealey Plaza, turning right onto Houston Street past the Dallas County Criminal Courts Building with the inmates held in the cells having a grandstand view of the assassination. Once onto Houston Street, the motorcade braked to make a difficult left-hand turn into Elm Street in front of the Texas School Book Depository. The loss of speed dramatically extended the length of time necessary for the journey down the gently curving Elm Street towards the underpass. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

According to one account, Berenyi engineered the assassination by designing the biography of Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald wore a brown shirt with clear connotations, was the chairman of the Fair Play For Cuba committee, had a Russian wife and had defected a few years ago. (PROSE: Untitled) According to another, Oswald was an innocent employee of the Book Depository and it was the Master who attempted to prevent the assassination. He brought himself, the mentally programmed UNIT soldier Francis Cleary and James Stevens from 1971 to 1963 using Time Rings. Stevens found Cleary and Oswald fighting over an Italian-made rifle on the sixth floor of the Depository. Cleary knocked Oswald unconscious and proceeded to the sniper's nest. Stevens chased after him and incapacitated Cleary as well at which point the Master revealed his plan to prevent the assassination and enable the Cuban Missile Crisis to proceed in a way which would lead to nuclear war. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

Lee Harvey Oswald prepares to fire. (PROSE: Untitled)

As the motorcade approached, Berenyi gave Oswald the rifle, who then loaded it in preperation. (PROSE: Untitled) Stevens, told by the Master he could either save Kennedy or history, chose to save Kennedy and shoot at the Master who was holding a black umbrella but as the sights in the rifle had been misaligned he missed and the bullet smashed into the pavement and up into the air harmlessly. Many onlookers mistook this first shot to be a firecracker. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) Then, either by Oswald from the Book Depository (PROSE: Untitled) or an older version of Stevens from 1996 with his own rifle who had gone back in time to preserve history from behind the tall wooden fence behind the grassy knoll, a second and third shot was fired which hit their target and Kennedy's head exploded with a spray of blood, bone and brain matter flying up into the air. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) Johnnie, also in the presidential limousine, fell down with Jackie being covered in her husband's blood. (PROSE: Untitled) Immediately after, Jessica Willamy recalled seeing "Jackie scrambling to the back of the car to recover a piece of blood and brain-stained skull". (PROSE: Wonderland) A Secret Service agent threw himself on the back of the vehicle and pushed her down into her seat, at the same time slamming his fist into the boot lid in apparent rage and frustration. The limousine began to speed away from the site of the shooting, down towards the underpass. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

The Ninth Doctor watches the motorcade pass in Dealey Plaza. (TV: Rose)

The Zapruder footage depicted the assassination (AUDIO: The Conspiracy) and was recorded by Mr Zapruder. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) Soon after his regeneration, the Ninth Doctor witnessed the assassination, with his attendance being photographed. (TV: Rose)

Kennedy was rushed to the Parkland Memorial Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy, Shroud of Sorrow)

In the immediate aftermath, Stevens hid the rifle behind two boxes for the police to find. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) He roused Oswald from unconsciousness or, according to another account, Oswald continued to obey Berenyi and stumbled down the stairs. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy, Untitled) According to both accounts, the true perpetrators left before the police could find them. Stevens and Francis Cleary used the Time Ring (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) and Berenyi used her TARDIS which was disguised as a filing cabinet. From there, Oswald was seen by a policeman and then would go to a cinema where he would be caught. (PROSE: Untitled)

Jackie refused to take off her blood-soaked clothes for hours after the assassination. Lyndon Johnson was quickly sworn in as Kennedy's successor. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

Stevens later wrote that America lost much of its innocence that day in Dallas. The assassination occurred on his eighteenth birthday, which he was unable to celebrate as a result. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) Jessica Willamy considered it the end of her childhood. (PROSE: Wonderland) Peri Brown once commented that everyone remembered where they were when Kennedy was killed. (AUDIO: 1963: The Space Race)

Aftermath and legacy[[edit]]

The Daily Standard in London reported the capture of Oswald by law enforcement on 23 November. (TV: The Cambridge Spy) The case never made it to trial (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) as Oswald was shot and killed soon after by Jack Ruby who was working for the Central Intelligence Agency. (PROSE: Untitled)

On 23 November, Parkland Memorial Hospital was a prime source of grief and suffering for the Shroud, and it was one of the first locations to succumb to it. FBI agent, Warren Skeet was employed to investigate the premises where the assassin had been spotted. Simultaneously, newspaper Dallas Morning News published a series of articles on the assassination, written by journalists Mae Callon and Jim. (PROSE: Shroud of Sorrow)

Ian Chesterton had pondered the possibility of a Russian invasion during the turmoil after Kennedy's death. (AUDIO: 1963)

President Johnson set up the Warren Commission to investigate the matter. The tribunal eventually found that Oswald had acted alone.

After the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968 and Edward Kennedy's involvement in the Chappaquiddick incident of 1969, the series of tragedies that had befallen the Kennedy family was in the news again.

Adam tells of his "life without meaning" after he left the TARDIS. (COMIC: Mystery Date)

Adam Mitchell included the photograph of the Ninth Doctor at the assassination as an example of how he repeatedly found him and Rose Tyler in history books after he was left behind on Earth for attempting to change the future. (COMIC: Mystery Date)

Stevens co-wrote a book with David Bishop called Who Killed Kennedy that revealed the truth behind the assassination but doubted anyone would believe him. The final part of the book was written in January 1996 just before he used the Time Ring to return to 1963 and kill Kennedy. He used the section to look back on his life, believing that Kennedy's own words - "A man does what he must, in spite of personal consequence, in spite of dangers - and that is the basis of all human morality" - could give him some hope of redemption. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

An enhanced version of the photograph of the Ninth Doctor at the assassination. (PROSE: Have You Seen This Man?)

The photograph of the Ninth Doctor was recovered from the Washington public archive in 2004 by Clive Finch, who showed it to Rose Tyler when she visited on 5 March 2005. (TV: Rose) Clive also put a computer enhanced version of the photograph on his website, (PROSE: Have You Seen This Man?)


The Third Doctor mentioned to James Stevens in a telephone call that the prevention of the assassination would cause an historical embolism, which would result in the Doctor himself being erased from existence. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) However, the crew of the Teselecta stated that the Kennedy assassination was an example of how time could be rewritten. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler)

The Eighth Doctor told Zagreus that he was once accused of assassinating JFK but was "fairly certain" that all of his other selves had been elsewhere. (AUDIO: Zagreus)

Pauline Fowler could remember where she was when the assassination occurred by 1973. (TV: Dimensions in Time)

Conspiracy theorist George Wilson suggested the assassination was carried out by aliens. He joked to Jack Harkness that he could say something as ridiculous as that, but if he referenced the wrong frame of the Zapruder footage, he would never hear the end of it. (AUDIO: The Conspiracy)

In the far future, radio and television broadcasts concerning the assassination could be accessed via the Gogglebox inside the Moon. (AUDIO: The Reaping, The Gathering)

Alternate timelines[[edit]]

According to one account, Kennedy originally lived past 1963 and became a very inspirational figure of the 1960s. Enemy life-spores infected Kennedy during his second term in office and almost used the psychic energy surrounding him to rewrite Earth's history, but he died of a heart attack in 1967 before that could happen. Despite this, an agent of the Great Houses realised that the Enemy would still be able to fester in Kennedy's timeline and so arranged for him to be assassinated before he could be infected. (PROSE: The Annotated Autopsy of Agent A)

In an alternate timeline caused by the Valeyard's use of the Dark Matrix, Kennedy was killed by zombies some time prior to 1963. (PROSE: Matrix)

In an alternate timeline envisioned by James Stevens, Kennedy survived the assassination while his wife died instead. His survival led to a nuclear war. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

Comparison between the original photograph and that seen in Rose.

In Rose, the photograph of the motorcade on Main Street was edited to include the Ninth Doctor as a spectator, necessitating the replacement of one of those who were originally present. The background was also changed as to make the scene appear more crowded with a car being replaced with more people. These extra people, although their faces are not seen, are clearly taken from individuals elsewhere in the original photograph. For example, the man on the left is used again but with the buttons on his shirt less visible and the child on the right is duplicated twice. On one occasion, the pattern on his jacket is recoloured from blue to red with the pattern on the more obscured body remaining blue. The version of the picture featured in the comic story Mystery Date was not detailed enough for these topics to be of concern.

For its twentieth anniversary, author David Bishop wrote a new ending to Who Killed Kennedy. Instead of James Stevens using the last energy in the Time Ring to return to 1963 to shoot Kennedy, he had help from the Twelfth Doctor to return to 1971 to prevent Dodo Chaplet from being murdered by Francis Cleary. The older Stevens and Cleary both died in the incident. This changed time so that he and Dodo had a happy life together, leaving the real question of who killed Kennedy unknown.

The premiere of Doctor Who on 23 November 1963 happened just one day after the Kennedy assassination, a fact frequently mentioned in media overviews and non-fiction literature on Doctor Who.

The Kennedy assassination happened during the recording of an episode of The Daleks, interrupting shooting as the cast and crews learned of the news.

Other connections[[edit]]

  • The charity special TV: Dimensions in Time, which took place on 23 November in 1973, 1993 and 2013, includes a 1973 mention of the assassination having occurred ten years earlier.
  • In Doctor Who and the Crusaders, a philosophical discussion at the beginning of the book makes note of the Kennedy assassination.
  • Chapter 6 of the novelisation of The Evil of the Daleks is titled 'Kennedy's Assassination', referring to the Kennedy from that story and his death at the hands of the Daleks.
  • Kennedy's assassination was mentioned in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, and contrasted with Sydney Newman's reading of the script for The Daleks, with the gunman shooting Kennedy to the words "exterminate... exterminate". This was a creation for the film; while early Doctor Who did indeed have rapid turnaround times (to the point where stories would frequently still be recording as they were broadcast, that is to say, recording their latter episodes as the earlier ones were being aired), in reality, the story had already been commissioned and begun filming over a month before the date Kennedy was shot, so Sydney Newman could not have been reading the script for the first time on that date.