Fixed point in time

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Fixed points in time, (TV: The Fires of Pompeii) also temporal nexuses, (AUDIO: Forever Fallen) fixed time, (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) or node points, were lynchpins of the structure of ordered history. (PROSE: The Book of the War) As the name implied, they could not be altered by time travellers; (TV: The Fires of Pompeii) attempts to do so anyway would result in the unraveling of linear time itself. (TV: The Wedding of River Song) Although select powerful groups had the means to alter fixed points, most people did not. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) As a byproduct, tampering with fixed points could result in the end of the universe.

The opposite of fixed points were still points in time (TV: The Wedding of River Song) and parts of history subject to the Flux of Potentialities, which made up the majority of the Ocean of Time. (COMIC: Vortex Butterflies, The Good Companion, The Jazz Monster)

Nature[[edit] | [edit source]]

Time Lords could feel which points in time were "fixed". This was called the "burden of the Time Lords" by the Tenth Doctor when he attempted to explain to Donna why he couldn't prevent Vesuvius from erupting or save the people of Pompeii. On this occasion, the Doctor learned that they could save at least some people, (TV: The Fires of Pompeii) a thought which they kept close to heart, into their life as the Twelfth Doctor. (TV: The Girl Who Died) When asked about how he knew what moments were fixed, therefore not able to change, and what moments were not fixed, therefore leaving them open to change, the Twelfth Doctor merely said "I know when I can [change history], I know when I can't." (TV: Dark Water) Having made themselves into a time-sensitive species, (PROSE: The Last Message) Daleks also seemed able to detect fixed points; they understood the danger of tampering with them, well enough to temper their infamous bloodlust (TV: The Waters of Mars) if damaging a specific fixed point hampered their current plans. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual)

Time Lords could also create fixed points via direct intervention, using their abilities to freeze a probability into a certainty. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles) Fixed points were easier to create around still points in time. (TV: The Wedding of River Song) "Fixed time" could be created as a result of time travel, for example if someone were to observe their own future in detail, (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan, AUDIO: The Vardan Invasion of Mirth) as the probability waveform collapsed. (AUDIO: Daybreak, The Vardan Invasion of Mirth) It was at this point dangerous to tamper. (AUDIO: Daybreak)

The Time Lords at full power had the means to alter fixed history, though the Doctor on their own did not. When he resigned himself to his final death occurring on Trenzalore due to having seen his future grave there with Clara Oswald, the Eleventh Doctor admitted that he did not have the power to change that future, but could do so with the Time Lords' help. This idle thought was ultimately fulfilled, with Clara convincing the Time Lords to "change the future". (TV: The Time of the Doctor) Even so, even the Time Lords appeared to have a limit to their ability to do this, as the General admitted that changing Clara's death was impossible without fracturing time. (TV: Hell Bent)

Though meddlers in fixed time could become trapped in a paradox forever, (AUDIO: The Vardan Invasion of Mirth) some cases showed that history could safely resume as it had before, as long as a different cause, one sufficiently similar to the original, could bring about the same consequence. (AUDIO: Daybreak; TV: Father's Day, The Waters of Mars) As the First Doctor explained, one change could start unravelling the fabric of time, but given the right circumstances, time "[could] often knit itself back together again, until that change might never have occurred". He claimed it generally took aeons for this process to reach completion. (AUDIO: Daybreak)

When River Song interfered with a fixed point, it caused time and space to collapse, creating around her an unstable world with time in disarray, housed within a bubble of time. (TV: The Wedding of River Song, COMIC: The Doctor and the Nurse) Conversely, in some cases, a betrayal might come from someone different, (AUDIO: Daybreak) or a fixed death might take place at around the same time but in a new setting, (TV: The Waters of Mars, Father's Day) without ultimately damaging the fabric of time (TV: Father's Day) or altering the course of history. (TV: The Waters of Mars, AUDIO: Daybreak)

Definition[[edit] | [edit source]]

Fixed points were events and/or individuals who had such long-standing impacts on the timeline that no one, not even Time Lords, dared interfere with their natural progression. The Doctor, free to interfere in alien invasions and save planets in most cases, could neither interfere nor interact with these fixed points, out of fear of damaging reality. Fixed points could be flexible and did not have to happen exactly the way they had in the original timeline but meddling with one could potentially result in reality falling apart. Were a fixed point to be interfered with, time would often find a way to make the timeline continue with minimal changes.

For example, when the Tenth Doctor saved Adelaide Brooke and two of her crew, Brooke (to whom the Doctor had confided the nature of fixed points, and more specifically, why her death was one) committed suicide to preserve the timeline with minimal changes. Because of the survival of the other two crew members, the events that occurred on Bowie Base One were revealed to the public. Adelaide was hailed as a hero for stopping the viral menace, which did not happen in the original timeline, but this and her death ensured that she would be an inspiration to her descendants. On this occasion, the Doctor had been able to bend a fixed point. However, he risked the safety of the whole of reality in the process even though he had not truly broken it because of Adelaide's sacrifice. Adelaide was confronted by a Dalek as a child, but it recognised her as a fixed point in time and left instead of killing her, inspiring her to pursue it into space and become that fixed point. (TV: The Waters of Mars)

The Eleventh Doctor was fated to die at Lake Silencio, meaning he had to die there, or more precisely, that the universe needed to believe that he had died there. That didn't stop others from attempting to kill him, however, as when Gantok prepared to kill him in revenge for being beaten at live chess, the Doctor was saved from being shot by his non-destined killer by a trap hole that fed Gantok to the ravenous skulls of the Headless Monks.

However if one actually broke a fixed point in time, as when River Song refused to kill the Doctor, time would freeze and collapse; reality would "die". If this happened, whoever had broken the fixed point had to make physical contact with the person who was also a main part of it. In other words, when River shot the Doctor at Lake Silencio, the fixed point in time was focused entirely on just the two of them and time was still in flux all around them, explaining why the Doctor couldn't get time started again by touching either Amy Pond or Rory Williams, who had also been at Lake Silencio. If the Doctor and River touched each other - or kissed as they did at their wedding - time would start moving again. River is the only known person to change a fixed point to such a degree that the whole of reality was put in danger.

With a "still point in time" such as Lake Silencio, it was easier to create a fixed point in time. (TV: The Wedding of River Song) One known way to actually create a fixed point in time was by writing events down after they had occurred. If someone read about events that were going to happen to them in the future, then the events had to happen the way they had been written (or at least happen in a manner that would eventually lead to someone writing about them as they had been read), because a fixed point would have been be created. Time was still in flux as long as the reader had not read about their own future. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)

At the same time, once someone became aware of their future history by reading about it, such a future was guaranteed to happen while the subjects did nothing to actively avoid that future; when the Fifth Doctor learned that he and Turlough were destined to meet the British Imperial Spacefleet on the Moon in 1878 after reading a diary about the expedition written after the fact, he noted that so long as he and Turlough walked towards the expedition's ships once they reached the park they could basically leave it up to chance when they met the expedition as such an encounter was predicted. (PROSE: Imperial Moon)

Although such events had to play out as they were read, the original author's interpretations of such events were not always true. The Doctor had seen records of his "death" at Lake Silencio, but as it turned out, the Silence simply assumed that the fixed point at Lake Silencio meant that the Doctor would die, never realising that he could actually fake his death instead. The Doctor did turn up for his "death", just as he was destined to do, but he had "dressed for the occasion" and was safely inside the Teselecta at the time. This allowed him to survive his encounter with River at Lake Silencio, thus outwitting the Silence, (TV: The Wedding of River Song) and fooling almost the whole universe into thinking he was dead. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)

Fixed points in time only became such when they were fully recorded, which caused concern for the Eighth Doctor when he learned of the destruction of a hospital ship named after the home planet of its head, as the destroyed ship could have been the Traken, belonging to his old companion Nyssa. However, because he hadn't definitively learned that the lost ship was the Traken, the Doctor was able to go back in time by a few months and go undercover on the Traken as Nyssa's assistant, Doctor Foster, preventing a Time Lord agent from destroying the Traken while able to affirm that he hadn't changed anything he knew for a fact. (AUDIO: A Heart on Both Sides) For the same reason, the Doctor was able to save Bruno Werner from his apparent suicide because Werner had written a note describing his intention to throw himself into a river but nobody had actually found his body, the Doctor instead finding Werner as he prepared to drown himself and taking him forward in time a few days to a point after his apparent death. (AUDIO: Fairytale of Salzburg)

The Time Lords had records of all — or at least a good number of — fixed points in time and space. They were even aware of the fixed point at Lake Silencio as far back as the time of the Eighth Doctor, despite this event taking place only after Gallifrey's destruction, which allowed River Song to infiltrate a conspiracy led by Padrac that was intending to destroy the universe to ensure Gallifrey's survival, as their records included River's apparent assassination of a future Doctor. (AUDIO: Songs of Love)

Jack Harkness was a unique fixed point in time and space who was made immortal by the Bad Wolf. The Ninth Doctor sensed that Jack was a fixed point immediately after his first resurrection and fled before Jack could catch up to them. The Tenth Doctor described Jack as "wrong" and, as such, even the TARDIS reacted to his presence; when Jack clung onto the outside of it, it tried to shake him off by travelling to the end of the universe. (TV: Utopia)

It should be noted that the First Doctor held to a much stricter definition of fixed points, once telling his companion Barbara Wright that "not one line" of history could ever be tampered with, (TV: The Aztecs) although he had recently had extensive interaction with historical figures such as Marco Polo. (TV: Marco Polo) Indeed, Barbara herself noted that, despite those warnings, "We've made a difference everywhere we've gone." The Doctor explained this inconsistency by clarifying that only once a waveform had collapsed did it become risky to interfere. In other words, not all events were yet set in stone; much else remained unknown. (AUDIO: Daybreak)

When he was later given a chance to alter a timeline where human society was virtually falling apart in 2006 due to the actions of the Machine in 1966, the First Doctor once again admitted to Barbara that they actually changed history every time they left the TARDIS. This helped Barbara understand that he preferred to avoid bigger changes to history due to the risk of making things too complicated, while also inspiring the Doctor to change key events now and defeat the Machine later in his own lifetime. (TV: The War Machines, PROSE: The Time Travellers)

Ianto Jones diagnosed the effects of shrinking points between time dilation in a time loop as eventually creating a fixed point. (PROSE: They Keep Killing Andy)

History[[edit] | [edit source]]

When the Great Houses created the structure of history via the anchoring of the thread, while the machine-heart was located on the Homeworld itself, field agents in proto-timeships positioned themselves at the "strategic points" which would become anchors of the whole structure of time. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

In The Dalek Problem, Qualen lamented that the unauthorised Deliavatsud Intervention, in which the Fourth Doctor had unsatisfactorily interfered with the creation of the Daleks at the end of the Thousand Year War, had forever closed off an opportunity for the Time Lords to definitively eliminate the Dalek threat at that crucial point in the history of Skaro. (PROSE: The Dalek Problem)

For reasons unknown to Time Lords, a mammoth that fell on and killed a Cro-Magnon became a fixed point. Videos of the event were played for young Time Lords "as a sort of learning experience". (PROSE: Keeping up with the Joneses)

During the Last Great Time War, the planet Arcking was itself a fixed point in time. (AUDIO: The Good Master)

Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon with his troops was a fixed point in history, (COMIC: Crossing the Rubicon) as was his assassination on 15 March in 44 BC. (PROSE: Time Traveller's Diary)

As claimed by a projection of the Second Doctor within the T'keyn Nexus, (COMIC: Dead Man's Hand) the Great Fire of Rome, which the First Doctor was partially responsible for, was a fixed point in time. (TV: The Romans)

Vesuvius erupts. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)

The destruction of Pompeii by the Vesuvius volcano was a fixed point in time. Initially the Tenth Doctor refused to interfere because Pompeii's destruction was fixed in time, explaining to Donna Noble that fixed points must always happen and can't be changed even if they are caused by aliens such as the Pyroviles as the two had believed. To his horror, the Doctor eventually realised that he created the fixed point by causing Vesuvius to erupt to destroy the Pyroviles. With a terrible choice before him, Pompeii or the world, the Doctor hesitated despite knowing it was fixed as he'd kill 20,000 people, but Donna took part of the burden upon herself by helping him push the lever that created the event. The Doctor refused to interfere further, believing that with history back on track they had done "enough". However, Donna convinced him to save "someone" and he saved the family that had aided them in discovering the alien plot. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii) This would later inspire the Twelfth Doctor to always look for a way to bypass time, as well as discovering why he took the form of Caecilius. (TV: The Girl Who Died)

In Nicaea in 325, the Fifth Doctor alluded to a fixed point when he warned Erimem against interfering in Arius' clash with the Council of Nicaea which would decide the future of the Catholic Church, stating:

History is tough and most changes we can make are swallowed up in the vastness of the whole but there are certain moments, certain events that shape history to such an extent that if they're changed everything that follows must change. This is one of those moments.The Fifth Doctor [The Council of Nicaea (audio story) [src]]

The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains was a fixed point in time, although the Thirteenth Doctor was forced to get involved in the battle to ensure that the Tenctrama would not make the battle worse. (PROSE: Combat Magicks)

The works of Michelangelo, Raphael and Caravaggio were fixed points. (AUDIO: Fallen Angels)

The Thirteenth Doctor explained that the Gunpowder Plot was a fixed point. (PROSE: Black Powder)

The Sixth Doctor later claimed the Mary Celeste was a fixed point. (AUDIO: The First Sontarans)

The London Beer Flood on 17 October 1814 was a fixed point. (COMIC: The Doctor and the Nurse)

The Fifth Doctor was unable to stop the Peterloo Massacre on 16 August 1819 because it was a fixed point in time. (AUDIO: The Peterloo Massacre)

While the First Doctor did not explicitly identify the execution of the Romanovs as a fixed point in time, his words make it clear that it was such a moment, even as he expressed his dissatisfaction that he was unable to help the Tsar and his family. (AUDIO: Last of the Romanovs)

The Tenth Doctor also interfered with a fixed point in time shortly before or after the previous event, by saving the life of Emily Winter, a film actress in 1920s-era Hollywood. He was put on trial by the Shadow Proclamation for this. (COMIC: Fugitive)

While the Doctor was not against assisting friendly forces in a limited capacity, or dealing with isolated incidents, (TV: The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances, et al.) the overall events of the Second World War were considered fixed points to the extent that the Doctor could not support Winston Churchill's use of Daleks to accelerate Allied victory (TV: Victory of the Daleks) or Mels' attempt to go back to a point prior to the war and kill Adolf Hitler (although a brief encounter with the dictator was unavoidable). (TV: Let's Kill Hitler) When Ace attempted to kill Hitler during an encounter in 1923, the Seventh Doctor interrupted her efforts, explaining that Hitler's removal could create a power vacuum where a more competent commander took control of the Nazis, preferring the known element of Hitler to the risk that some more dangerous leader could take over in his absence. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus)

Winston Churchill losing the 1945 election to Clement Attlee was a fixed point. (AUDIO: Subterfuge)

When the Tenth Doctor and Donna visited 1952 and became caught up in the Great Smog of London, the Doctor's talk with Donna suggested that the Great Smog was another fixed point, the Doctor assuring Donna that he would do what he could to save lives as much as history would allow him. (AUDIO: The Creeping Death)

While fixed points could not be altered, some details could be 'tweaked' if handled carefully. An example of this was Doctor Sean Calvin, who was destined to be discredited and essentially exiled for his failed plan to create an army of androids and a mind-control system to take over his home colony. Even after the Seventh Doctor convinced Calvin not to go through with the plan to take over the world, Calvin was eventually forced to use his equipment to save his planet from an alien invasion, resulting in a journalist learning about his original scheme and forcing Calvin to go into unofficial exile. However, the Doctor mused that his real goal was to ensure that Calvin's daughter, Odessa, was left with a positive example to follow, the Doctor departing with faith that Calvin's final words to his daughter would help her strive to be better and inspire others to do the same, her father's example helping her to recognise that people could not be defined by their mistakes no matter how great those mistakes were. (AUDIO: Forever Fallen)

Implied by the Ninth Doctor to be a fixed point was the death of Pete Tyler on 7 November 1987. Rose Tyler saved his life and the paradox allowed the invasion of Reapers. The timeline returned to normal with the Reapers gone when Pete realised what had happened and ran out in front of the car that should have killed him. The only thing changed in the new timeline was where he died, that the driver of the car which struck him stopped and someone (Rose) was with him when he died. (TV: Father's Day)

When Mark Whitaker was manipulated by the Weeping Angels into attempting to save his wife, Rebecca Whitaker, from the accident that killed her, the Doctor stated that her death had to remain, although he referred to it as a complex event in time and space rather than a fixed one. This was because Mark and Rebecca's relationship had been facilitated by Mark going back in time in the first place: teenage Mark wouldn't have even met Rebecca had he not (literally) bumped into the Doctor, who was taking an older Mark back to his true time, for example. By preventing Rebecca's death, Mark would risk erasing their whole relationship, as erasing her death would eliminate his need to go back in time and thus create a complex tangle of space-time. (PROSE: Touched by an Angel)

The Eleventh Doctor appearing to die at Lake Silencio, on 22 April 2011, was a notable fixed point in time. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)

The Doctor's apparent death in his eleventh incarnation was a fixed point in time arranged by the Silence. The Kovarian Chapter arranged for the event to occur in Utah, at Lake Silencio, on 22 April 2011 at 5:02 pm, a still point in time. When River Song tried to prevent this, an alternate timeline was created where all of time occurred at the same time and it was always 22 April 2011, at 5:02 pm. The Doctor set things right by kissing River, shorting out the time differential between them and making events revert to the moment when she was supposed to kill him. It was later shown that the fixed point was actually not his death and the Doctor who had "died" was actually the Teselecta - with the Doctor himself safely inside. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut, The Wedding of River Song)

The Doctor warned Amy Pond about creating fixed time by reading a book which chronicled their adventures; they attempted to get around this by using the chapter titles when needing to use the book to obtain Rory Williams' whereabouts, only for the Doctor to read the last chapter title, "Amelia's Last Farewell", resulting in Amy's departure becoming a fixed point. The Doctor immediately became fixated in changing history to prevent this from happening, such as demanding that River Song get her hand free from a Weeping Angel's grip without breaking her wrist, but was ultimately unsuccessful. As Amy prepared to allow a Weeping Angel to send her back in time to be with her husband, he warned her that in doing so she'd be creating a fixed point in time and he could never see her again. Wanting to be with Rory more than the Doctor, Amy didn't listen and let the Angel send her back. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)

Amy once encountered an agent of the Sentinels of History who caused the London Beer Flood, since it was part of destiny and a fixed point that was meant to happen. When Amy saved a woman who had originally drowned in the flood, she realised that the flood itself was fixed, but not the resulting deaths, since time and space did not begin collapsing. (COMIC: The Doctor and the Nurse)

According to the General, the death of Clara Oswald was an established historical event and could not be altered. Due to this, despite being extracted from her time stream the moment before her death, Clara had to eventually return to Gallifrey and die. (TV: Hell Bent)

Indeed, on 11 June 2022, the reader of a guide for time travellers dropped their breakfast and the toast landed butter-side down. The author noted this as a fixed point in time and warned the reader to not attempt to avert it or they could destroy the universe. (PROSE: Time Traveller's Diary [+]Loading...["Time Traveller's Diary (novel)"])

The death of explorer Adelaide Brooke was one of the few times the Doctor, then in his tenth incarnation, intentionally interfered with a fixed point. His rationale was that, as the last surviving Time Lord, the Laws of Time were his to command. In the end, Brooke committed suicide, allowing the timeline to unfold with only minor changes. (TV: The Waters of Mars)

The destruction of Ockora in 2204 by use of the G-bomb was a fixed point. When the Second Doctor became involved in these events, he delayed the destruction of Ockara by several hours to try and rescue his companion Zoe Heriot from a Selachian prison and convince Commander Wayne Redfern of the Triumph to negotiate for peace, hoping that convincing the Selachian Supreme Leader to withdraw and the Selachians choosing to remain isolated from the rest of the universe would result in the same consequences for the rest of the universe as would have unfolded if Ockora had been destroyed. However, after the Selachians learned of the G-bomb, it was launched when the Supreme Leader and forty Selachian soldiers tried to take the ship. This platoon escaped the planet's destruction and boarded the Triumph, killing everyone on the ship with the goal of taking it back to Earth, before the other G-bomb was set off by the sacrifice of Professor Laura Mulholland, leading to the formation of another black hole. The Doctor considered the formation of another black hole an acceptably small change. (PROSE: The Final Sanction)

In a parallel universe, the Eleventh Doctor noted that the Battle of Wolf 359 was a fixed point in time. (COMIC: Assimilation²)

Jack Harkness became a fixed point in time after his resurrection by Rose Tyler, which caused him to become immortal. (TV: Utopia) Jack temporarily lost his immortality due to Miracle Day, but regained it alongside Rex Matheson when mortality was restored to the rest of the world. (TV: The New World, The Blood Line) Jack remained a fixed point when John Hart used distilled rift energy to rob Jack of his immortality and transfer it to himself. This ultimately resulted in the negation of the alternate timeline John had created as the universe died when Jack did. John became aware of this beforehand as stars appeared closer than they should have as a result of time and space contracting. Once Jack ultimately expired, John found that everyone in his reality bar himself had vanished. (AUDIO: The Death of Captain Jack)

The death of Danny Pink by being hit by a car became a fixed point in time. His girlfriend, Clara Oswald, tried to blackmail the Twelfth Doctor into going back and saving Danny, but the Doctor warned that doing so would create a paradox. (TV: Dark Water)

When the Tenth Doctor first met River Song, in order to save everyone in the Library the Tenth Doctor was initially going to sacrifice himself, only for River to knock him out and restrain him so she could sacrifice herself in his place, telling him that if he died there all of their other meetings would never have happened. When he claimed time could be rewritten, she told him that that couldn't be; though no mention of fixed points was made, it was implied that, because of River's interaction with his future selves, his survival during this encounter was a fixed point. (TV: Forest of the Dead)

Time in flux[[edit] | [edit source]]

The opposite of fixed points was time in flux. At these points time could change completely.

The Time Lord Marnal explained that, despite the Time Lords' web of time giving the universe structure, most events were in constant flux with other possibilities. It was for this reason the Time Lords established their non-interference policy, merely projecting their observations of reality on the universe instead of creating fixed-points by interacting with the different probabilities. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

Flux points were relatively insignificant (on a universal scale) events that could be altered with relatively little to no consequence. The Doctor often meddled at these moments. (TV: The Christmas Invasion, PROSE: I Am a Dalek) When the Tenth Doctor first met Martha Jones, he told her that "crossing into established events [was] strictly forbidden... except for cheap tricks". (TV: Smith and Jones)

The Fourteenth Doctor claimed that the Daleks could not substantially change history by merely interfering in the 1966 World Cup Final. (COMIC: Liberation of the Daleks)

After seeing the end of humanity on Ember, Vislor Turlough asked the Fifth Doctor why he bothered to "stop and get involved" if fate was cast in stone, the Doctor explained:

Only the broad strokes have been laid down. Its in the moments between the ticks of the clock where life truly thrives, where we can make a difference.The Fifth Doctor [Singularity (audio story) [src]]

The Fifth Doctor noted that bifurcation points, where history could continue on its original course or an alternate timeline could be created, could result in new timelines or erase the old ones if handled improperly, with Time Lords and similar races having the ability to influence whether a new worldline should come into being or history simply continue as it was. When faced with the prospect of creating a new timeline where the British Empire expanded into space in 1878, however, the Doctor chose to preserve the status quo with the aid of Kamelion, feeling that Victorian Britain wasn't socially ready for space travel. (PROSE: Imperial Moon)

Fluxing points[[edit] | [edit source]]

1966 was in flux, as discovered by the First Doctor when it was revealed that WOTAN was supposed to conquer Earth (PROSE: The Time Travellers) instead of being defeated by the Doctor. (TV: The War Machines)

The Third Doctor noted that some locations in space and time were temporal probability nexuses, where multiple strands of causality were exposed and weak, with the result that the smallest alteration to events in these locations could produce aberrant loops of existence or even new alternate timelines, where time would normally be able to resist and absorb minor changes. Events on the island of Salutua occurred on such a nexus point, made weaker by the Doctor's time bridge, resulting in an alternate timeline being created where Nancy Norton worked with Brokk to conquer the world, until the Doctor and UNIT were able to travel back and undo her rise to power. (PROSE: The Eye of the Giant)

The destruction of Sir Reginald Styles's house as he was preparing for a vital peace conference in 1972 created a new timeline where the Daleks conquered Earth ahead of their previous invasion. However, realising that this timeline was a temporal paradox caused by the resistance from the Daleks' future travelling into the past and setting off a bomb to try and prevent the conference taking place without realising that it was already happening, the Third Doctor and Jo Grant were able to prevent it from happening. (TV: Day of the Daleks)

Sarah Jane Smith was shown an alternative timeline where the Earth of 1980 was a barren wasteland by the Fourth Doctor, who explained 1911 was in flux because of the threat of Sutekh, noting that history could be altered on that kind of scale when dealing with a being of Sutekh's immense power. (TV: Pyramids of Mars)

"From start to finish", the year 1961 was noted by the War Doctor to be in flux. This was partly the reason the Time Lords installed a quantum shield to protect Earth against potential Dalek incursions during the Last Great Time War. Nevertheless, the Dalek Time Strategist enacted a plot to break through the shield using a human agent whom was sent to East Berlin with a Shadow Vortex, proceeding to exterminate all life in a bid to disrupt and ultimately wipe out the Doctor's existence through the elimination of his Earth allies. The resulting invasion was averted by the War Doctor, who shifted its events to an alternate timeline where Lara was banished. (AUDIO: The Shadow Vortex)

The Ninth Doctor explained to Rose Tyler when she said that he couldn't give dead human corpses to the Gelth, as she knew for a fact that dead bodies weren't walking around in 1869, that time was in flux, changing every second and that her "cosy little world can be rewritten like that". (TV: The Unquiet Dead)

The Tenth Doctor indicated to Martha Jones that the impending Carrionite invasion in 1599 was a flux point when she asked how she can exist if the Carrionites do. He explained that she and all humanity would fade if they themselves didn't stop the invasion. (TV: The Shakespeare Code)

When the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald encountered the Ice Warrior Skaldak onboard the submarine Firebird in 1983, he threatened to launch missiles that would break the stalemate caused by the Cold War, and end the world. Clara lamented that her very existence was proof that the world did not end in 1983, however the Doctor reminded her that this particular point in time was in flux, and could change at any second. However, the Doctor was able to get Skaldak to leave Earth in peace after an Ice Warrior ship arrived to rescue him. (TV: Cold War)

The year 200,000 was supposed to be the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire, but due to first the Jagrafess and then Daleks that had fallen through time from the Last Great Time War, it was stunted and then fell apart. Instead of it being a great empire with great advances, technology was backwards due to the Jagrafess. The Ninth Doctor believed he had fixed it by getting rid of the Jagrafess, but the Daleks took over from behind the scenes, causing civilisation to get even worse while they rebuilt. Eventually, when the Doctor returned in the year 200,100, the Daleks attacked, devastating the Earth before they were destroyed by Rose Tyler as the Bad Wolf. (TV: The Long Game, Bad Wolf, The Parting of the Ways)

Although the Ninth Doctor told Rose that Harriet Jones would serve three successive terms as British Prime Minister, (TV: World War Three) he himself would, in his next incarnation, cause her political downfall after she took extreme measures against alien threats, (TV: The Christmas Invasion) leading to her losing the title of Prime Minister to Harold Saxon. (TV: The Sound of Drums) She died the following year at the hands of the Daleks during their invasion of Earth. (TV: The Stolen Earth)

When Edward VII, along with Balmoral Castle, vanished into thin air, the Tenth Doctor explained that with him gone, the whole future of the royal family was threatened and there would be no George V, George VI, Elizabeth II, Charles III and Camilla, William V and so on. (PROSE: Revenge of the Judoon)

When the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble were chasing Reverend Golightly to save Agatha Christie, the Doctor explained that Agatha could die and any books past her sixth would disappear. The Doctor specifically told Donna that "time is in flux; for all we know, this is the night Agatha Christie loses her life and history gets changed." (TV: The Unicorn and the Wasp)

After they saw Frank Openshaw exterminated by a Dalek, Rose Tyler and the Tenth Doctor meddled in history for him so that he met his wife Sandra years earlier than in the original timeline. (PROSE: I Am a Dalek)

In 2020, when a drilling operation in Cwmtaff disturbed a Silurian civilisation, the Eleventh Doctor told Amy Pond, Nasreen Chaudhry and Eldane that this encounter could lead to either a peaceful relationship or a devastating war. The Doctor called the event an opportunity. (TV: Cold Blood)

At one point, the Korven altered the history of Earth (which they had previously invaded in 2480), causing part of it to be controlled by the corrupt, totalitarian Department. (TV: The Eclipse of the Korven)

The Trickster created an alternate timeline where Sarah Jane Smith died as a child. (TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?)

When robotic Knights crashed in 1190, Sherwood Forest, they accidentally began altering the course of history. The Knights allied with and modified the Sheriff into a cyborg, promising him the use of their numbers and skyship to take over England. Clara warned Robin Hood against going to an archery contest being held by the Sheriff, but was ignored: however, the Doctor didn't warn her against this as he didn't believe what was occurring to be real. (TV: Robot of Sherwood)

When it was discovered that Earth's moon was actually a giant alien egg about to hatch, it was left to humanity to decide whether to let the unborn creature live or detonate explosives to destroy it. Having confirmed that he was dealing with a moment in time that was in flux where anything could happen, the Twelfth Doctor took a more aggressive measure than his predecessor; in making humans choose, he left Clara behind until she made the decision. Had the explosives gone off, the replacement moon that the creature laid after hatching would not have existed in the future. (TV: Kill the Moon)

When the Earth of Clara Oswald's present day seemingly faced destruction at the hands of a solar flare, Clara noted to the Doctor that they had visited various future time periods of Earth and humanity. The Doctor explained that those futures would be erased if the Earth was destroyed at that point. (TV: In the Forest of the Night)

The Thirteenth Doctor identified the existence of Orphan 55 as a flux point, though not by name, stating that it was a future for Earth that could still be avoided. (TV: Orphan 55)

References in other media[[edit] | [edit source]]

Although the concept of fixed points, along with the consequences of altering said points have been featured in many science fiction stories, films and TV productions over the years (examples: the TV series Quantum Leap and The Time Tunnel, plus the Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever"), a notable recent example in which the term "fixed point in time" is actually used was during Season 7 of DC's Legends of Tomorrow which aired during 2021-22, in which the protagonists find themselves intentionally trying to alter several fixed points (including the assassination that sparked the First World War in order to defeat a villain); these actions put them into conflict with a Time Lords-esque group who are tasked with protecting fixed points. A basic concept of the series (which in early seasons starred Arthur Darvill as "Time Master" Rip Hunter - a character that predated the Doctor in the DC comic books) sees the Legends - a ragtag group of superheroes - travelling through time to correct timeline "aberrations" that usually involve also protecting or restoring fixed points. One example is an episode where they prevent a supervillain from killing future U.S. President Barack Obama while he was still a university student.