Cloister Bell

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The Cloister Bell was used in the most serious of emergencies, which saw either a TARDIS or its inhabitants in danger.

Its distinctive, sonorous, ringing sound resembled that of a large church bell. It could be answered by anyone inside the TARDIS. The Fourth Doctor told Adric that if he needed him, Adric could sound the Cloister Bell, indicating it could be manually activated. He claimed that the ringing of the bell heralded 'wild catastrophes and a sudden calls to man the battle stations'. (TV: Logopolis)

The Eighth Doctor said that the Cloister Bell was always "just that little bit too late to be of any real use". (AUDIO: Scenes From Her Life)

It had the physical appearance of a large, golden bell. (COMIC: Four Dimensions, A Rose by Any Other Name)

Cloister Bells were located in the Cloisters of Gallifrey and could be heard all over the planet when sounding. (TV: Hell Bent)

Instances of the Cloister Bell ringing[[edit]]

The Doctor's TARDIS[[edit]]

The Eighth Doctor explained that he had heard the Cloister Bells many times, and always managed to evade the danger. (AUDIO: One Life)

According to the War Doctor, the Cloister Bell occasionally rung for non-emergencies, like particularly tasty food being at risk of spoiling from him leaving the refrigerator door open. (AUDIO: In Name Only [+]Loading...["In Name Only (audio story)"])

Fourth Doctor[[edit]]

The Doctor's TARDIS rang the Cloister Bell when the Bah-Sokhar began to wake up. It also began to shrink its walls internally. (PROSE: The Drosten's Curse)

The TARDIS mistakenly believed it was being attacked by the Pus Creatures of Rakos as it materialised in Magnus Greel's bunker, while the Fourth Doctor was sleeping. Romana II apologised for the interruption that it had caused. (PROSE: Under Reykjavik)

As a harbinger of the Fourth Doctor's impending regeneration at the hands of the Tremas Master and as a warning of his actions nearly destroying the universe, the Cloister Bell sounded. (TV: Logopolis)

Fifth Doctor[[edit]]

During the Fifth Doctor's very early life, the Cloister Bell rang as the TARDIS was travelling back in time to Event One. (TV: Castrovalva)

Later, when an established time corridor, through which the TARDIS was travelling, began collapsing, the Cloister Bell also rang. (AUDIO: The Mutant Phase)

When the Vodyani escaped the reality engine the cloister bell rang after the engine couldn't be shut down. (AUDIO: Nightmare Country)

It sounded when the TARDIS was trapped in a Dalek time corridor, and under imminent threat of destruction. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks)

The Cloister Bell sounded when the Smoke took control of the TARDIS and causing the Fifth Doctor's regeneration into the Sixth Doctor. (AUDIO: The People Made of Smoke)

Sixth Doctor[[edit]]

The Cloister Bell sounded when the Ninexie attacked the TARDIS. (AUDIO: Absolute Power)

Seventh Doctor[[edit]]

As a harbinger of the Seventh Doctor's impending encounter with the Timewyrm and when the Doctor started to time ram her, the Cloister Bell sounded. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Genesys)

Later in the same adventure, the Cloister Bell rang as the Doctor took the TARDIS into his own mind. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation)

Later in the Seventh Doctor's travels, the Cloister Bell indicated the TARDIS' distress after a link to the Eye of Harmony was damaged. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark)

The Doctor's TARDIS telepathically sent the sound of the Cloister Bell ringing to Ace when a Time Soldier invaded, as it did not trust the Doctor. (PROSE: The Dimension Riders)

The Cloister Bell sounded when Nirvana was about to shift out of the universe. (AUDIO: World Apart)

It was also heard when the Seventh Doctor was being called by the Sirens of Time. (AUDIO: The Sirens of Time)

The Cloister Bell rang out near the end of the Master's scheme to capture the first seven incarnations of the Doctor, when it was revealed that they were never freed. (GAME: Destiny of the Doctors)

Just prior to the destruction of the TARDIS by the Selachians in an alternate timeline created by Elizabeth Klein, the Cloister Bell sounded. (AUDIO: The Architects of History)

Eighth Doctor[[edit]]

During the beginning of the Eighth Doctor's life, the Master opened the Eye of Harmony in an attempt to take the Doctor's remaining regenerations. The Cloister Bell rang to signal the impending danger. (TV: Doctor Who)

During his travels with Sam Jones, the Cloister Bell rang when the unstable alternative timeline created by the Tractites began collapsing, taking the multiverse with it. (PROSE: Genocide)

It could also be heard by the Eighth Doctor and crew during Ed Hill's attempt at disrupting the Eye of Harmony. (PROSE: Revolution Man)

The Cloister Bell was also heard through the Eighth Doctor's regenerations, including his travels with Lucie Miller. When Vortisaurs attacked the TARDIS whilst in flight in the Vortex, it was heard. (AUDIO: No More Lies)

It rang in the Time Vortex when the TARDIS was close to colliding with a damaged antique TARDIS. (AUDIO: Scenes From Her Life)

It was heard by the Eighth Doctor when the TARDIS was hit by the temporal wave of the Dalek's Time Destructor during the Last Great Time War. (PROSE: Natural Regression)

War Doctor[[edit]]

During the Last Great Time War, the War Doctor voluntarily surrendered to a Dalek fleet near the Tantalus Eye. The bell rang and his companion Cinder construed it as the TARDIS herself disapproving the Doctor's plan. (PROSE: Engines of War)

Tenth Doctor[[edit]]

As the Tenth Doctor began to fly the TARDIS erratically and at ever-increasing speed, the TARDIS signalled danger by ringing the Cloister Bell. (TV: Born Again)

Also, when the Saxon Master cannibalised the Tenth Doctor's TARDIS, turning it into a paradox machine, the bell sounded as well. (TV: The Sound of Drums)

When the Tenth Doctor and Fifth Doctor's TARDISes crashed and merged together, the TARDIS rang the Cloister Bell. (TV: Time Crash)

The TARDIS also used it as a warning of the impending "end of the universe". (TV: Turn Left)

During his travels alone and following the destruction of Bowie Base One, the Tenth Doctor heard the Cloister Bell inside the TARDIS as his own demise loomed, this led to the projection of Ood Sigma as a warning of his inevitable fate (TV: The Waters of Mars) and was also heard when the TARDIS chicks appeared in the TARDIS. (COMIC: Terror in the TARDIS)

Eleventh Doctor[[edit]]

During the Eleventh Doctor's life, the Cloister Bell sounded as the TARDIS' engines were in danger of phasing out of existence after his regeneration energy had destroyed the console room. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)

In his later life, the Eleventh Doctor heard the Cloister Bell when the Entity was interfering with the TARDIS' systems. (GAME: TARDIS)

They also sounded when the Siren teleported the TARDIS aboard her home ship. (TV: The Curse of the Black Spot)

When the TARDIS was taken over by House, the TARDIS showed its distress by using the Bell. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)

The Eleventh Doctor heard the Cloister Bell when he opened the door to his "greatest fear", (TV: The God Complex) which turned out to be the cracks in the universe caused by the destruction of the TARDIS. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

The Cloister Bell was heard when the TARDIS crashed in London during the 2012 Olympics. (TV: Good as Gold)

When the TARDIS got caught up by the time storm created by an Eternity Clock, it was also heard. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)

The Bell also rang when the Eleventh Doctor was trapped in a pocket universe (TV: Hide) and when the Van Baalen Bros.' magnetic hobble-field locked onto and damaged the TARDIS. (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS)

It was heard as the Great Intelligence entered the Doctor's tomb and again when the Great Intelligence entered the Doctor's time stream. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)

The Cloister Bell rang right before the Eleventh Doctor, Alice Obiefune, John Jones, and ARC crashed and were separated in four dimensions. (COMIC: Four Dimensions)

Twelfth Doctor[[edit]]

During the beginning of his life, the Twelfth Doctor fainted after regenerating, causing the Cloister Bell to ring. (TV: Deep Breath)

Later in his life, as the Doctor was unconscious in the TARDIS while it was seemingly TARDIS under attack, the Bell again sounded. Clara recognised the sound as a signal of danger. (TV: Listen)

The Cloister Bell sounded when the TARDIS, in a weakened state, fell into the path of an oncoming train. (TV: Flatline)

Whilst in a dream-like reality, Clara threw a TARDIS key into an active volcano. As the key was melting, the TARDIS Cloister Bell could be heard. (TV: Dark Water)

The Cloister Bell rang again when the TARDIS arrived on the Drum (TV: Under the Lake) and again when the TARDIS time-travelled to thirty minutes earlier in 1980 then it had previously been. (TV: Before the Flood)

It rang one more time when Clara Oswald was lost in space. (TV: The Girl Who Died)

The Cloister Bell rang when the TARDIS's engines failed and it began to collapse to contain the incoming explosion. (COMIC: Supremacy of the Cybermen)

During his reluctance to regenerate, the bell rang once again when the Twelfth Doctor exited the TARDIS after taking him to the location of the First Doctor. (TV: The Doctor Falls)

After the Twelfth Doctor decided to regenerate, the Cloister Bell began ringing as the Doctor made a speech where he left some final advice for his successor. The Cloister Bell continued to ring through the Doctor's explosive regeneration into the female Thirteenth Doctor and then afterwards as the damage from the regeneration destroyed the control room and caused the TARDIS to dematerialise without the Doctor. (TV: Twice Upon a Time)

Thirteenth Doctor[[edit]]

The Thirteenth Doctor, Yaz and Dan heard the Cloister Bell ring as the Flux began to destroy the universe. (TV: The Halloween Apocalypse)

The Cloister Bell rang persistently after the TARDIS crash-landed in the Crimean War after its encounter with the Flux. (TV: War of the Sontarans)

The Cloister Bell tolled repeatedly whilst the TARDIS was hijacked by a Weeping Angel. (TV: Village of the Angels)

The bell rang at the start of each iteration of a decaying time loop the TARDIS created in order to save the Thirteenth Doctor from Executioner Daleks. (TV: Eve of the Daleks)

After awakening following the defeat of the Master's Dalek Plan, the Thirteenth Doctor was confused by the Cloister Bell ringing until Yaz drew her attention to the fact that the Doctor was starting to regenerate. (TV: The Power of the Doctor)

Fourteenth Doctor[[edit]]

When the TARDIS was heavily damaged by Donna Noble accidentally spilling coffee on the TARDIS console, the Cloister Bell rang. (TV: The Star Beast) It rang again as the Fourteenth Doctor looked inside. (TV: Wild Blue Yonder)

Other TARDISes[[edit]]

The Cloister Bell rang in Irving Braxiatel's TARDIS when the Daleks directed it into a time corridor. (AUDIO: Death and the Daleks)

Ace's TARDIS's Cloister Bell rang to warn Ace and Rexx when the Earth was about to fall in a Black Hole. Romana's Type 160' cloister bell rang during the pursuit of Omega back into N-Space. (AUDIO: Intervention Earth)

The Master's TARDIS's Cloister Bell rang when the Eminence was controlling it and after Sally Armstrong jettisoned it into the Time Vortex. (AUDIO: Eyes of the Master)

A TARDIS used by the Valeyard rang the Cloister Bell often as he attempted to make it work for him, irritating him enough that he intended to disconnect it. (AUDIO: Every Dark Thought)

Other Cloister Bells[[edit]]

All of the Cloister Bells within the Cloisters underneath the Capitol rang for an extended period (to the annoyance of some locals, while causing fear within the government) upon the Twelfth Doctor's return to Gallifrey which also activated the Cloister Wraiths. (TV: Hell Bent)

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

  • The sound of the original Cloister Bell was made by striking a gong and dipping it into water to deaden the reverberations, then treating it electronically to deepen and hollow the sound.[1]
  • The bell was not heard on-screen until towards the end of the Fourth Doctor's life. Indeed, it was only heard on-screen during the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Doctors' eras during the classic series.

Footnotes[[edit]]

  1. Doctor Who In-Vision 52: Logopolis (1994).