Celestial Intervention Agency

From Tardis Wiki, the free Doctor Who reference

The Celestial Intervention Agency (also known as the CIA or the Agency) was the secretive interventionist organization of the High Council of Time Lords that safeguarded the Web of Time. To achieve this, they often violated the non-interference policy, and therefore had to operate in secret in order to give plausible deniability.


Their motto was "the story changes, the ending stays the same": their operatives protected the Web of Time by ensuring, by whatever means, that the net result of history remained constant, even though details might change. (AUDIO: The Kingmaker) Because they often violated the Time Lords' non-interference policy, they had to operate in secret so as to give plausible deniability to the High Council; (PROSE: World Game) in truth, they ultimately took their orders from Rassilon and the other Matrix Lords, and the Lord Presidents were not aware of its existence until Pandad IV. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)



There existed various conflicting accounts of the Celestial Intervention Agency and other interventionist groups' origins. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey, The Whoniverse) Thessalia, writing around the time of the Imperator's Presidency (quite late in the history of the Great Houses), suspected that the intervention groups were legitimising themselves by planting new mythologies into the Homeworld's noosphere through the caldera. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

According to secret information found by the Spy Master in the Matrix, although a secretive interventionist group operating off the record was instituted in the lifetime of the Founders of Gallifrey, it was then known as the Division; (TV: The Timeless Children) according to The Book of the War, the interventionist espionage organisations from which the Celestis would eventually arise were created much later in the Homeworld's history, as a by-product of the Imperator Presidency. Following the Imperator's downfall, the idea of intervention divided Homeworld society. While some interventionist groups like House Paradox openly renounced the Protocols of the Great Houses, others used subterfuge, manipulation, conspiracy, and assassination to gain influence and further their agenda of reshaping the Spiral Politic to suit the Homeworld's needs. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Rollo, a lifelong interventionist who was a loose contemporary of the Doctor, was credited in one account as having been one of the "original founders" of the CIA. (GAME: The Iytean Menace [+]Loading...["The Iytean Menace (game)"])

However, various accounts credited the notion that the Celestial Intervention Agency had been born early in Gallifreyan history. Some believed, by the time of Romana II's early Presidency of Gallifrey, that the CIA had grown out of Rassilon's private retinue of guards and agents. (PROSE: Lungbarrow) A similar but distinct account stated that the CIA, to its fullest scale, was set up by Rassilon during the last century of the Eternal War to gather information on enemy movements. Agents were recruited covertly from the Academies and trained in every aspect of espionage and the gathering of data until the network of Gallifreyan spies was huge and difficult to dismantle, though Rassilon considered this "a problem for another day". (PROSE: The Multi-Faceted War)

According to yet another account, the nascent, secretive interventionist faction of Gallifrey was named "Celestial Intervention Agency" by Rassilon shortly after he died and was uploaded into the Matrix. Rassilon offered them the right to infringe upon the Laws of Time on occasion in exchange for acting as the Matrix Lords' executors and servants in the physical realm. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) Inside the Matrix, the Matrix Lords once claimed that their council was itself the Celestial Intervention Agency. (COMIC: The Tides of Time) Many of the lower-ranking C.I.A. operatives were never told the truth about their undying masters, instead being led to believe they were acting on orders from the Lord President. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)

One history book purported that after the Minyans, a species to whom the Time Lords had made overtures offering advanced technology, destroyed their own world in a nuclear war, the Time Lord High Council issued a decree that they would adhere to a new policy of non-interference. While many readily agreed with this new policy, others did not and the Celestial Intervention Agency was formed. Its agents were deployed on the rare occasions where action was considered necessary for the preservation of Time Lord society. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)

Still another account held that the Celestial Intervention Agency was formed as a direct response to the Doctor becoming a renegade. (PROSE: The Doctor Who Technical Manual)

The CIA's own files stated that the organisation had been created in response to the War Chief incident. (PROSE: CIA File Extracts)

Early history[[edit]]

At any rate, the CIA became a covert arm of the High Council to safeguard the Time Lords' interests, (PROSE: Shada) functioning as spies; it was said that they often "[didn't] even know which side [they were] on". (AUDIO: Mindbomb) No President before Pandad IV was aware of the CIA, but many on the High Council did, even some who were not CIA agents themselves. (PROSE: Exodus, The Legacy of Gallifrey)

For example, around the time of the Prydonian Academy Revolution, (PROSE: CIA File Extracts) Cardinal Borusa persuaded the Celestial Intervention Agency to manufacture evidence of treason against a fellow Councillor, Magnus, whom he saw as a threat to his own position of power. Forced to flee Gallifrey in disgrace, he became a Renegade, eventually facing the Doctor as the War Chief. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) The CIA's internal files showed that they were actually unsure of the nature of the future War Chief's involvement, if any, in the Revolution, and indeed their information on his later activities was similarly tentative and sparse. They believed he may have some connection to the Master, (PROSE: CIA File Extracts) who, according to some accounts, may in fact have been the identity the War Chief himself eventually adopted. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons, Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon)

However, the CIA did keep tabs on another Time Lord who turned Renegade on the occasion of the Prydonian Academy Revolution: the Colonel, whose "retirement" in 20th century America on the planet Earth soon became a cover for his being a CIA spy. (PROSE: CIA File Extracts)

CIA's involvement with the Doctor[[edit]]

As the CIA's prominence within Gallifrey's political circles grew, Rassilon in the Matrix decided to find a less easily trackable agent. He settled on the Doctor, a Renegade Time Lord (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) who had also fled from Gallifrey in the aftermath of the Prydonian Academy Revolution, (PROSE: Birth of a Renegade, CIA File Extracts) and, according to some accounts, had been an agent of the Division in an earlier life. (TV: Fugitive of the Judoon, The Timeless Children) The Dalek Combat Training Manual, published during the Last Great Time War, suggested that the CIA had coerced the First Doctor into taking the Hand of Omega before he left Gallifrey, intending for it to be used against the Daleks. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual)

Rassilon began steering the course of the Second Doctor's travels through time and space from afar, notably using him to defeat the Great Intelligence. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) The Time Lord Goth kept tabs on the Doctor for the CIA, notably posing as the fictional character Lemuel Gulliver in the Land of Fiction to get close to him. (PROSE: Future Imperfect)

However, the Second Doctor eventually realised he had become a tool of powers he did not understand, and stopped responding to their mysterious summons. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) The Second Doctor was soon tried by three Time Lords. (TV: The War Games) Of these three, Socra was secretly a CIA agent, (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) as was Adelphi; (PROSE: Prisoners of the Sun) although the identity of the third was disputed, with some accounts claiming that he was the oblivious Lord President, (PROSE: The Three Doctors) Pandad IV, (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) others suggested that he was Goth, another CIA man. (PROSE: Future Imperfect)

After he was tried and condemned to exile for breaking the non-interference policy, however, the CIA officially extended an offer to the Doctor to become their agent in exchange for a reduced sentence. He reluctantly agreed to go on a mission with the Time Lady Serena against the Players. (According to one account, after they completed that mission, he was assigned to go with Jamie McCrimmon at his side to Space Station Camera to persuade Dastari to discontinue Kartz and Reimer's time travel experiments; (PROSE: World Game, TV: The Two Doctors) according to other accounts, this mission had actually been assigned to the Doctor much earlier in his timeline, either by the Monk, in the disguise of Chapter 9 Constable Pavo, (AUDIO: The Black Hole) or by Rassilon during his earlier period of manipulating the Doctor. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) Yet another account suggested that after he performed any one mission for the CIA, the Second Doctor had his mind wiped and was returned to his trial, where he was offered the bargain all over again, with the CIA's demands each time limited to a single, manageable mission. (PROSE: Save Yourself)

Rumour had it that the Doctor had been the best agent of the CIA. (AUDIO: Intervention Earth)

Ultimately, however, the Second Doctor was allowed to complete his regeneration into his next incarnation and began his official exile on Earth, (TV: Spearhead from Space) albeit with the CIA still watching over him. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) To keep the Doctor "busy", the CIA arranged for the Master to be released from Shada, (PROSE: Prisoners of the Sun) with a Time Lord messenger instead telling the Doctor that the Time Lords had failed to capture the Master at all. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons) This ploy backfired as the Master grew to be a formidable threat that even some elements within the CIA, such as Lord Melistar, acknowledged as one of the greatest dangers to Gallifrey. (PROSE: CIA File Extracts)

Some accounts suggested that the Time Lord messenger who attempted to change history through by sending the Fourth Doctor back to ancient Skaro to prevent the creation of the Daleks by Davros (TV: Genesis of the Daleks) was a CIA Director, either Ferain (PROSE: Lungbarrow) or Deliavatsud. (PROSE: The Dalek Problem) A third account suggested that although the messenger, Valyes, was not himself a CIA man, he had acted on behalf of Narvin, the CIA Coordinator. (AUDIO: Ascension) This gambit, too, backfired, as it became the first shot in the protracted Last Great Time War, (WC: Monster File: Daleks, COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone) which would eventually end with the Time Lord race either dead (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Time War) or cowering at the end of the universe, their power broken. (TV: Hell Bent)

In the meantime, the CIA had another, much less mutually beneficial interaction with the Doctor, by then in his sixth incarnation. Coordinator Vansell of the CIA saw that the Doctor's actions had allowed the Nestene Consciousness to escape destruction and saw to it that a trial for him would take place on Space Station Zenobia. (PROSE: Synthespians™) After the transportation of the Doctor's TARDIS to the space station, (TV: The Mysterious Planet) and the presentation of evidence, (TV: The Mysterious Planet, Mindwarp, Terror of the Vervoids) the trial concluded with the Doctor's prosecutor, the Valeyard, being exposed as the Doctor's own corrupt future self, exonerating the Doctor and causing political unrest on Gallifrey. (TV: The Ultimate Foe)

Other projects and missions[[edit]]

Narvin. (AUDIO: Extermination)

During their "golden age", secret interventionist groups committed more than one retro-genocide. They came to see themselves as elites among the Great Houses and gods among the lesser species. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

The CIA sent a Time Lord to Jamie McCrimmon in order to correct a fluctuation in the timeline caused when Jamie tried to help King James II of England. (AUDIO: The Glorious Revolution) Whilst working for the CIA, Straxus attempted to erase the Master from existence by time ramming his TARDIS. However, the Master survived. (AUDIO: The Threshold) As a junior coordinator Narvin was dispatched on an intervention to Bellascon to halt the development of time travel there, encountering the Fourth Doctor there as well. (AUDIO: Erasure) The CIA began to fear the number of temporally active races, so they began experimenting with various temporal technologies, including TARDISes, in an attempt to plant the minds of newly-created TARDISes within the bodies of aliens on over 50 planets. Time Lady Professor Klyst oversaw this experiment. (AUDIO: Unregenerate!)

The CIA sent a Time Lord as their agent to Apertsu to serve as a security consultant; however, he was captured by Aubertides who wanted the secret of regeneration. (PROSE: Human Nature) After retrieving a dangerous artefact from the Tremas Master while on a routine visit to Earth, young operative Alistanathcalebiviteth was promoted to a full-time field agent. His first mission took him to "a piddling little place in the Greater Magellanic Cloud" to recover another artefact. (PROSE: Tabby Cats And Time Lords) The CIA once had control of a TARDIS data file on the Master. (WC: Who Is The Master?, PROSE: CIA File Extracts)

During Romana II's presidency, Gallifreyan students started to reject the Great Curriculum to study new fields and share what they had learned with other Temporal Powers. Vansell claimed that the CIA was helping in the effort. (AUDIO: Neverland)

Becoming the Celestis[[edit]]

Lord Smoking Mirror of the Celestis. (PROSE: The Book of the War)
Main article: Celestis

Around twenty years before the start of the War in Heaven, (PROSE: The Book of the War) the CIA foresaw the upcoming war between the Time Lords and the Enemy. Worried that they might be erased from history, they preemptively removed themselves from the timeline in a way that allowed them to continue existing as ideas. (PROSE: Alien Bodies, The Book of the War)

The Celestis continued to hold court in the extra-dimensional realm of Mictlan, which they created using flux theory, (PROSE: The Book of the War) Block Transfer Computation, (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5) and the Matrix. (PROSE: Alien Bodies)

However, as ideas, the Celestis required real people to think of them in order for them to continue to exist. To achieve this, the Lords and Ladies Celestial would manifest themselves to lesser species in "god-form", performing favours like resurrection in exchange for the Mark of Indenture. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Bearers of the Mark would then serve in Mictlan eternally after their death. (PROSE: Alien Bodies) The Celestis also needed physical agents to represent them and act on their behalf in the outside universe, so they created the Investigators. (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5)

During the War in Heaven, the Celestis fought internally about whether to support the Time Lords or the enemy, (PROSE: Alien Bodies) and individual members often interfered on behalf of one side or the other as if the whole conflict was a game. Notable Celestis involvements in the War included Lord Foaming Sky's attempted invasion of the City of the Saved; Lord Halved Birth's encounter with Vlad Tepes at the Forest of the Impaled; (PROSE: The Book of the War) Lord Dervishage's sabotage of the The Brakespeare; (PROSE: The Brakespeare Voyage) and Trask's attempted recovery of the Relic at Qixotl's auction. (PROSE: Alien Bodies)

Ultimately, the Celestis were destroyed by a plot orchestrated by two of their own members, Investigator One and the hermit. A flotilla of War TARDISes sealed off and severed Mictlan from the Spiral Politic just in time for it and its inhabitants to be devoured by the Memeovore. (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5)

On other Gallifreys, the CIA did not become the Celestis and remained in service to the President through the start of the War in Heaven. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon, The Ancestor Cell) President Romana sent CIA agents Cavis and Gandar from her Gallifrey to find the first Type 102 TARDIS, knowing that it would be a vital piece of technology in the upcoming War. Cavis and Gandar witnessed the Remote agent Compassion complete a transition to a sentient TARDIS, but the Catuvellauni prevented them from capturing Compassion before she escaped with the Eighth Doctor. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon)

During the Last Great Time War[[edit]]

Braxiatel changed history by preventing Romana’s second regeneration and guiding her to resign the presidency, which she did. However, she used her last act as President to name herself Coordinator of the CIA, relegating Narvin to her Deputy. (AUDIO: Enemy Lines) Narvin realised that a war against the Daleks would soon begin. (AUDIO: Sins of the Father)

Prior to the outbreak of Last Great Time War, Narvin went on numerous clandestine missions to try to prevent the conflict as "Coordinator In Extremis", which Romana was actually aware of. (AUDIO: Desperate Measures) He recruited the Master to use the Eminence against the Daleks, however the Master went rogue. Narvin was forced to work with the Eighth Doctor to stop the Master using the Eminence to takeover Earth. (AUDIO: Eyes of the Master, The Death of Hope, The Reviled, Masterplan, Rule of the Eminence) Narvin recruited the Master again in a later incarnation to obtain swenyo for use in the construction of Time Lord battleships. He paid the Master with a Chameleon Arch and other technology. (AUDIO: Sins of the Father)

At the start of the Last Great Time War, Romana was still Coordinator but the power of the agency in Time Lord politics was decreasing as the power of the War Council increased. After lobbying President Livia, Romana negotiated a information sharing procedure between the CIA and the War Council. By the time the Daleks attacked Phaidon the Agency still had enough power to potentially veto an asylum vote. Romana agreed to the asylum but was furious the War Council only gave support in return for complete secrecy from then on, even from the CIA. (AUDIO: Celestial Intervention)

Early in the War, the CIA sponsored Lord Vibax, giving him a laboratory in the Capitol. (AUDIO: Assets of War)

In the early stages of the War, the CIA sent Braxiatel and Ace to the Obscura, where Braxiatel destroyed a Dalek fleet at the cost of the Time Lord station in the dimensional rift and then fled the War. In the aftermath Romana ordered Narvin to bring her the Master. (AUDIO: Soldier Obscura)

After the Agency detected the presence of two TARDISes on Kurnos 5, Narvin captured the War Master there, only to discover the Master had swapped bodies with the Eighth Doctor. The Doctor persuaded Narvin to let him pursue the Master in his body, (AUDIO: The Castle of Kurnos 5) so Narvin gave him financial backing to travel to the Lehar system. (AUDIO: The Edge of Redemption)

After unwittingly helping the Master to obtain the Anti-Genesis codes, (AUDIO: From the Flames) Narvin worked with Livia to try to counter the Master’s changes to Dalek history. They were unsuccessful. (AUDIO: The Master’s Dalek Plan) The Master’s Anti-Genesis scheme was later erased from history by the interference of the Dalek Time Strategist and a parallel Master. (AUDIO: He Who Wins)

After the Master responded to the Agency's summons, Romana dispatched him with Leela to interrogate Finnian Valentine, a freedom fighter who had deployed a temporal weapon, to gain information on a temporal power source. They learnt it was on Arcking however the Master went rogue, throwing Leela into the Time Vortex, and went to Arcking to claim the power for himself. (AUDIO: The Devil You Know)

Two months into the Time War, the Agency was trusted by Livia to find a way that she could resign on a constitutional technicality, unaware this was part of a plot to resurrect and install Rassilon in her place. At this time Coordinator Romana began secret negotiations with the Dalek Emperor however failed to make any progress. The Agency had to stop the War Council’s Project Revenant from falling into the hands of the Daleks, destroying the facility. Agent Karla went rogue, seizing the facility’s power core and taking into the Matrix and abandoning Narvin there. He was rescued by Braxiatel. Karla used the power core to retrieve Rassilon's mind from the Matrix and imprint it over President Valerian upon his inauguration, resurrecting Rassilon. (AUDIO: Desperate Measures) Romana was subsequently arrested and tried for treason for her negotiations with the Emperor, with Narvin assuming the role of Coordinator, until she was pardoned by Rassilon. The CIA subsequently investigated the arrival of a dangerous stranger in the Capitol, eventually identified as General Trave's future self. (AUDIO: Havoc)

The CIA and War Council launched rival interventions on Ysalus to tip the balance of the planet’s civil war to ensure the planet wouldn’t fall to the Daleks in the future. This resulted in the war escalating, forcing the CIA to put Ysalus in a time freeze to avert its devastation. (AUDIO: Partisans) General Helia later notified the CIA that the time freeze had been breached and a signal from a local Kynla asking for help had been received on Gallifrey. He worked with them to evacuate the planet as the War Council had decided to erase it from history to stop the Sythes delivering its minerals to the Daleks. Agent Eris worked with Knyla for a year to prepare the evacuation however only a few hundred were saved before the War Council erased the planet from history, with Knyla among the casualties. Romana discovered Eris had helped Knyla send a signal across time calling for a resistance against the Time Lords, which she had preserved from erasure, so helped him flee Gallifrey. (AUDIO: Collateral)

During the War, the CIA helped Quarren develop his telepathic powers to the point he was able to alter reality. He refused to be a weapon however and used his powers to erase all trace of his existence and used a Chameleon Arch to become a human. (AUDIO: One Life)

CIA activities were recorded in the Dalek Combat Training Manual. A specialist team from the CIA looked into recruiting undercover operatives to infiltrate the Daleks' secondary command structure. CIA operatives were sent to destroy or disable the Daleks' Progenitor devices in order to prevent from perpetuating throughout the universe. Knowing that River Song was involved with post-war events foreseen in the Matrix, the CIA restricted information regarding her species. Information on the background to the Moment was restricted to senior CIA operatives only (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual)

After Romana attempted to have him assassinated by the Sicari, President Rassilon dissolved the CIA, with its jurisdiction and resources being redirected to the Interior Defence Unit. (AUDIO: Assassins) Both Susan and the Eighth Doctor did not believe the CIA had truly been dismantled. (AUDIO: The Shoreditch Intervention)

During the final segment of the war, Rassilon sent a group of agents of the CIA along with Karlax, who had the mission to kill the War Doctor because of his opposition to the plans of the High Council. Before they could accomplish it, the agents died when their Battle TARDISes were all destroyed by the sudden attack of Dalek stealth ships. (PROSE: Engines of War)

Known CIA personnel[[edit]]


Sentris was the 217th Coordinator of the CIA. Her term ended when, upon discovering how many people she had sent to the Oubliette of Eternity, she threw herself into it. (AUDIO: Neverland)

Rigan was Coordinator early in the Doctor's seventh incarnation. (AUDIO: Unregenerate!)

Vansell was Coordinator (AUDIO: The Sirens of Time) until his death aboard the Time Station during the anti-time crisis, following which he was succeeded by Narvin. (AUDIO: Weapon of Choice, Neverland)

A version of Straxus became Coordinator. (AUDIO: The Death of Hope)

Lord Ferain was Director of Allegiance for the CIA. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)

Niroc was Lord President of the Time Lords after the Doctor was deposed during his long absence. The Celestial Intervention Agency removed Acting President Flavia from office and instated Niroc, a much more controllable President, in her place. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

Ortan (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) and Ratisbon (PROSE: Warmonger) were Councillors involved with the CIA.

Farina was Coordinator when the Eleven escaped. (AUDIO: The Eleven)

Other Coordinators included Harom, (AUDIO: Urban Myths) Bulek, (AUDIO: Sisters of the Flame, The Vengeance of Morbius) and Sardon. (PROSE: World Game)

Romana II became the Coordinator after resigning from the Presidency in an attempt to stop the wars that her third incarnation would start. (AUDIO: Enemy Lines)


Agents of the CIA included Verika, (GAME: The Iytean Menace [+]Loading...["The Iytean Menace (game)"]) Commander Torvald, (AUDIO: A Blind Eye) Gandar, Cavis, (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon) Glospin, (PROSE: Lungbarrow) Mortimus, (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel) Serena, (PROSE: World Game) Kurst, Levith, (AUDIO: Neverland) the Doctor, the Master, (AUDIO: Eyes of the Master) Landa, Dita, Shimona (AUDIO: The Eleven) and Ace. (AUDIO: Enemy Lines) Rowella, who had retired from active duty by some point postdating the Sontaran invasion of Gallifrey, was considered the Agency's foremost expert on Earth. (GAME: The Iytean Menace [+]Loading...["The Iytean Menace (game)"])

A set of accounts suggested that in addition to formal full-time agents, a number of CIA operatives were semi-Renegades. They were allowed to go about their own business in thier TARDISes most of the time, but were required to stay available for urgent assignments at any time. Such agents included Rollo, for all that he had been one of the Agency's founders in its early days, his companion Volusa, (GAME: The Iytean Menace [+]Loading...["The Iytean Menace (game)"]) as well as Kelly (PROSE: Tabby Cats And Time Lords) and the Colonel (PROSE: CIA File Extracts)

Other personnel[[edit]]

During the early days of the Last Great Time War, Leela acted as the CIA's liaison with the War Council. (AUDIO: Celestial Intervention)

CIA assets[[edit]]

The CIA developed psychic paper technology. (PROSE: World Game)

Space Station Zenobia was the property of the CIA. It was the site of the Sixth Doctor's trial; (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) it was demolished during the Sixth Doctor's last days. (AUDIO: The Brink of Death)

The CIA possessed the Oubliette of Eternity, a device which was supposed to remove people from history, but instead made them Neverpeople. (AUDIO: Neverland)

The CIA possessed a Vortex Ops unit which scanned the Time Vortex for any anomalies. (AUDIO: Weapon of Choice)

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

In his notes for The Quantum Archangel, Craig Hinton elaborated on his concept of the wider cosmology of the Doctor Who universe, including the idea of the Great Old Ones as the survivors of an earlier race of Time Lords from the previous universe. Therein, he identifed Shub-Niggurath as having been "that universe’s equivalent of the head of the CIA".