Fall of Arcadia

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The Fall of Arcadia was a battle fought on the last day of the Last Great Time War. Part of the Daleks' final attack on Gallifrey, it was a last-ditch attempt to defeat the Time Lords and win the Time War.



The city of Arcadia was thought to be "the safest place on Gallifrey", because it was protected by 400 sky trenches. (TV: The Last Day)

Although the Dalek Empire had long since created a hypnoscape simulation of Gallifrey's second city, Arcadia, (AUDIO: The Shoreditch Intervention) ensuring they were ready to invade, (TV: The Last Day, et al.) Gallifrey remained at the furthest edge of the conflict for most of the War. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) By the end of the conflict, however, the Daleks had pushed the Time Lords back to their home planet, setting the stage for an invasion. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) The Daleks launched a successful attack into the constellation of Kasterborous (PROSE: Dalek) where Gallifrey was located, (TV: Pyramids of Mars, et al.) leaving Gallifrey open for invasion. (TV: The Last Day, et al.)

The Attack[[edit]]

Arcadia is assaulted by the Daleks. (PROSE: The Whoniverse)

While the Time Lords still had what one author called a "great battle fleet", (PROSE; A Brief History of Time Lords), the Daleks were able to begin an invasion of Gallifrey itself on what would become the final day of the War. (COMIC: Sky Jacks, TV: The Last Day, The Day of the Doctor) On this final day, after an invasion fleet made up of millions of Dalek flying saucers laid siege to it, a key battle came with the Fall of Arcadia (PROSE: The Whoniverse) during the "final moments" of the War. (PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters) Even though it was known a single Dalek drone could wipe out the second city, Arcadia was thought to be impenetrable thanks to its 400 sky trenches, which were supported by soldiers who manned turrets; (TV: The Last Day) these postings were seen as desirable postings for a trooper, (AUDIO: The Conscript) with the commander of operations, Hedigar, often giving an intimidating speech about how secure they apparently were.

On the last day, a new recruit was being guided through how to man a turret by a more experienced trooper when (TV: The Last Day) the Dalek assault on Gallifrey's second city began. (PROSE: The Whoniverse) As Dalek drones broke their way through all 400 sky trenches, the recruit froze up upon seeing them, failing to fire on them before being exterminated. The experienced soldier (TV: The Last Day) went onto fight on the ground of the city. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) Also involved in the combat was the "Metaltron" Dalek, which had never seen battle before the attack, and the rest of its squad, which were designated to be amongst the first casualties. Anticipating the battle to be a great victory that would end in Arcadia's conquest, the squad's current commander nonetheless warned them that the Doctor would be present; even though the Metaltron realised it contradicted Dalek nature to fear, the commander ordered the squad to fear their greatest enemy, claiming that any Time Lord soldier they found could be the Doctor. (PROSE: Dalek)

Arcadia was all but destroyed in the ensuing Dalek invasion; (PROSE: The Whoniverse) drones swarmed the ground to attack soldier and civilian alike, while attack Ships and flying saucers provided air support, with the former craft swooping down to fire upon ground troops and defense turrets. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) The battle at Arcadia became a horrific sight (TV: Doomsday) that was filled with carnage, with broken bodies and Dalek casings left littered across the ground; as the Metaltron Dalek saw, bodies and casings were left broken in the dirt, smashed under rubble, and cracked apart because of enemy fire. As such, dead Dalek mutants were visible through their shattered casings. The Metaltron's commander even was blasted apart by a staser blast, only for three Time Lords to be exterminated in retaliation, making the Dalek believe its officer's death had useful for the War effort. (PROSE: Dalek) As the Daleks continued to descend (TV: The Day of the Doctor) and overwhelmed Gallifrey's bowships, (PROSE: A Prologue) it was clear Arcadia had fallen to the exterminators. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Certain that the War needed to end, the War Doctor carved the English words "NO MORE" into the ruins of Arcadia. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Having travelled to the horrific battle, the Doctor was present at Arcadia, just as the Metaltron's commander had warned, and fought on the front lines. (TV: Doomsday, The Day of the Doctor, PROSE: Dalek) When the experienced soldier from the sky trenches (TV: The Last Day) tried to report a Priority Omega message that Arcadia had fallen, the Doctor appeared to him and borrowed his fusion blaster to write the English words "NO MORE" on the side of a wall. He was detected by a nearby Dalek squadron, which turned their sights away from a group of Time Lord civilians to attack the Doctor, only for the Warrior to crash through the wall between him and the Daleks with the TARDIS, wiping out the squad and only leaving one Dalek alive, which was then shot by the soldier whose blaster he had borrowed. (TV: The Day of the Doctor) The Doctor's simple message blasted into the wall became the most famous writing the Time Lord ever transcribed, (PROSE: The Time Lord Letters) even coming to the attention of Gallifrey High Command, which assumed the message was only for the Daleks. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

The Metaltron Dalek saw and killed a number of Time Lords during the battle. Despite the promise that it would be amongst the first killed, the drone found itself alive and alone amid a city consumed by death, making the mutant fear it was the last of its kind as it picked through the rubble of Arcadia for "eternal minutes". Unsure about whether the distant gunfire it heard was real or imaginary, the drone continued to feel fear until it sighted a Time Lord moving through the smoke, only for that Gallifreyan to spot it; it was in fact the Doctor, which the Dalek realised when it saw the Warrior was unarmed and staring with contempt. Staring at each other for both "forever" and "a few seconds", the Dalek was so overcome with fear it was unable to shoot its race's great foe, only for the Doctor, refusing to dignify the Dalek with so much as another glance, to vanish into the fog.

Completely consumed by terror, the Dalek was left to fire aimlessly into the chaos as it both tried to find and tried to hide from the Doctor in a contradictory quest to exterminate him and be killed by him. As such, the drone stayed in the wreckage of Arcadia, moving through the fallen city's darkness until "the ground gave away" and it fell for longer than was supposed to be possible, eventually crashing into the Ascension Islands of Earth (PROSE: Dalek) in 1961. (PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters) The Dalek later claimed it had fled the War in fear. (TV: Dalek) Nonetheless, after Arcadia fell, the Daleks began to attack (PROSE: The Whoniverse) and move towards the Capitol, (TV: The Day of the Doctor) ordering their fleet to completely surrounded Gallifrey (PROSE: The Whoniverse) and bombard it (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) from space. As the sky trenches defending the Capitol began to falter, High Command debated the Doctor's "NO MORE" message. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Aftermath and legacy[[edit]]

Main article: Fall of Gallifrey

When he mentioned being present at the battle to the Cult of Skaro in his tenth incarnation, the Doctor claimed he still hadn't mentally recovered. (TV: Doomsday)

The Fall of Arcadia was remembered to have occurred in the final moments of the Time War (PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters) and was depicted in the Time Lord painting Gallifrey Falls No More. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

Prior to The Day of the Doctor, Arcadia was presumed to be a planet that was devastated by the Time War. Specifically, Doctor Who: The Encyclopedia stated that the Doctor watched as the Daleks fled from the planet. A planet named "Arcadia" has also been featured in many pieces of Doctor Who media.