Non-interference policy

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The policy of non-interference, also known as the non-interventionist policy, (GAME: "Player Characters" [+]Part of The Iytean Menace, Loading...{"namedpart":"Player Characters","1":"The Iytean Menace (game)"}) was fundamental to Time Lord attitudes towards and dealings with the rest of the universe.


Early Minyans meeting their "Gods". (COMIC: Omega)

Following the Eternal War, (TV: State of Decay) the Time Lords abandoned the use of violence, but still continued to involve themselves in the affairs of the wider universe. This had catastrophic results for the people of the planet Minyos, who regarded the Time Lords as god-like beings. However, the Time Lords gave the Minyans technology they did not have the cultural maturity to use responsibly, and nuclear war broke out, nearly putting the Minyans to extinction. (TV: Underworld) Around the same time, Time Lord meddling on Klist accidentally reversed evolution for the inhabitants there, and the residents of Plastrodus 14 were all driven mad. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)

Horrified by the results of their meddling, the Time Lords adopted a strict policy whereby they would only observe the events of the wider universe, and never become involved personally. (TV: Underworld) Realising that this ran the risk of other races developing technology to rival Gallifrey, the Time Lords who penned it wrote several loopholes and work arounds into the policy which included the founding of the Celestial Intervention Agency to ensure Gallifrey's technological supremacy. (PROSE: A Brief History of Time Lords) By another account, Rassilon wrote down his principles of non-intervention following a nightmarish vision of a monstrous imperialistic Gallifrey. (COMIC: The Final Chapter)

This rule was ingrained into the brains of all Time Lords. Challenging this conditioning could result in memory loss, shutting down whole aspects of personality, and madness. (PROSE: Time and Relative)

While trapped on earth in 1976, the Time Lord Marnal wrote about the policy in his novel The Hand of Time. He explained that a Time Lord's influence in reality actually shaped it, freezing potential and possibility into certainty. He asserted the universe remained in perfect fluxing balance, any and all outcomes equally possible, as long as the Time Lords merely observed and never interfered. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)



Like many of their principles, the Time Lords' attitude to the non-interference policy was somewhat flexible, even to the point of hypocrisy. Individual attitudes to the policy varied. Rodan appeared to regard it as inviolable, (TV: The Invasion of Time) whereas Romana accepted being asked to leave Gallifrey and assist the Doctor. (TV: The Ribos Operation)

Among the first times the non-interference policy was broken was the Krikkit Wars. Only after a thousand years of the Krikkitmen's widespread carnage did the Time Lords decide to assist the rest of the universe, and their effort was able to end the war. They also devised the solution of trapping Krikkit in an envelope of Slow Time. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen)

During the Millennium War, Rassilon broke the policy and joined the fight against the Mad Mind of Bophemeral. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)

After the High Council foresaw a future where every planet in the universe was infected by God Seeds they decided to break the law of non-intervention to conduct a universe-wide purge. (AUDIO: Fiesta of the Damned)

After rising to power, Morbius pushed for the Time Lords to abandon non-interference in favour of conquest. He was exiled from Gallifrey, however began conquest with his army of mercenaries, the Cult of Morbius. (TV: The Brain of Morbius) Eventually the High Council decided to act against Morbius, recruiting the Fifth Doctor, who had travelled back in time from the future, to lead an alliance of species against him. Morbius' forces were finally defeated by the alliance on Karn. (PROSE: Warmonger)

Irving Braxiatel organised the Armageddon Convention, which led to the banning of many weapons of mass destruction amongst leading civilised species. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)

The Division[[edit]]

Main article: The Division

The Division was founded to operate outside of the non-interference policy due to their recognition of the fact that sometimes it had to be broken. Much of the information on the Division and their activities had been redacted from the Matrix along with other information about the Timeless Child beyond even the ability of the Spy Master to recover it. (TV: The Timeless Children)

The Division grew beyond the Time Lords, manipulating events across the universe, (TV: Survivors of the Flux) and recruited agents from "every species". (TV: Village of the Angels)

Celestial Intervention Agency[[edit]]

Main article: Celestial Intervention Agency

The Celestial Intervention Agency was 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) These interventionists were known to the Aubertides, with one family capturing an agent they sent to Apertsu as a security consultant. (PROSE: Human Nature)

The Doctor[[edit]]

On occasion, the Doctor was used by the Time Lords to do their bidding for them. As the Doctor was a renegade, the Time Lords could deny they had any influence on the Doctor's actions. (TV: The Two Doctors)

Earlier incarnations of the Doctor were among the operatives of the secret Division, though the memory of this was erased. (TV: The Timeless Children)

Before the Doctor's departure, he was able to make the Time Lords implement a ban on miniscopes, an act which earned him great respect in the wider universe. (TV: Carnival of Monsters)

It was partly the non-interference policy which led to the First Doctor leaving Gallifrey. He felt that there were evils which should be fought, and positive ways of interfering. Additionally, he claimed he was bored at home and wanted to experience the universe first hand. When the Time Lords eventually located him in his second incarnation, he was put on trial for breaching the policy.

In defending his actions, the Doctor managed to convince the Time Lords that there was some merit to his argument of justifiable interference. An ironic result of this was that the Time Lords punished the Doctor for repeatedly involving himself in the affairs of less-advanced planets by involving him in the affairs of a less-advanced planet for an extended period of time: they exiled him to Earth in the 20th century with his TARDIS rendered inoperative. (TV: The War Games) Following the sentencing, the CIA interceded and used the Second Doctor as their agent for a time. (PROSE: World Game, Save Yourself)

During his exile, the Time Lords would occasionally use the Third Doctor as an unofficial and often unwilling agent. These included sending him to Uxarieus to stop the Master gaining control of the Doomsday Weapon, (TV: Colony in Space) to Solos to help the natives complete their natural metamorphosis, (TV: The Mutants) and to retrieve the Amulet of the Wastelands from 1943 on behalf of the Conclave of Grails and Antiquities. (AUDIO: Operation: Hellfire) The Time Lords turned to the Doctor's aid, and two of his past incarnations, during the First Omega Crisis, after which they restored his freedom. (TV: The Three Doctors) Resuming his travels the Third Doctor discovered the Master plotting with the Daleks in 2540 and turned to the Time Lords for aid. (TV: Frontier in Space) They directed his TARDIS to Spiridon, where he aided a Thal campaign in preventing the awakening of 10,000 strong Dalek army. (TV: Planet of the Daleks)

At some point the Time Lords installed a remote operation module in the Doctor's TARDIS, allowing them to surreptitiously control where the TARDIS went. They found the Doctor would make the right decision when he believed he was there by choice. (AUDIO: No Place Like Home)

A Time Lord appeared to the Fourth Doctor in person at the start of his mission to Skaro to avert the creation of the Daleks. (TV: Genesis of the Daleks)

The Time Lords repeatedly directed the Fourth Doctor's TARDIS, sending him and Sarah Jane Smith to the Dalek-occupied world of Ercos, (COMIC: The Dalek Revenge) to a Bendriggan space station, (COMIC: Virus) to Italy in 1944, (COMIC: Treasure Trail) and to Karn. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

During the Fifth Doctor's presidency, Chancellor Vorena and her political allies took over the building of a new Capitol building, making it a giant TARDIS. She offered this to the Doctor, believing he'd been right at his trial to argue for the Time Lords to use their power for good and he should lead them into the wider cosmos. The Doctor rejected the offer, having come to the belief his people should not impose their will on the universe. (AUDIO: Time in Office)

The Sixth Doctor believed his involvement in the Cybermen's attempt to destroy Earth in 1985 was a result of Time Lord machinations. (TV: Attack of the Cybermen)

The Sixth Doctor unknowingly uncovered a major breach of the policy when he discovered Ravolox. (TV: The Mysterious Planet) After beings from the constellation of Andromeda were able to infiltrate the Matrix and steal its secrets, the High Council had traced them to Earth and moved the planet light-years across space to conceal what they had done and prevent the secrets reaching Andromeda, devastating Earth which became known as Ravolox. To cover it up the High Council made a deal with the Valeyard to put the Doctor on trial for his life, the initial pretext being his repeated breaches of the policy. (TV: The Ultimate Foe) The Time Lords captured Sixth Doctor on Thoros Beta, during which they also manipulated events to prevent Crozier from discovering an effective means of immortality resulting in the death of the Doctor's companion Peri Brown. (TV: Mindwarp) The Tremas Master exposed the extent of the plot during the Doctor's trial, causing a revolution on Gallifrey. (TV: The Ultimate Foe) During the turmoil multiple Time Lord factions rewrote the fate of Peri, resulting in five alternate versions of her co-existing. (AUDIO: Peri and the Piscon Paradox) After the formation of the Council of Administration, Borusa oversaw the return of Earth to its natural position. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

After eight incarnations of the Doctor found their TARDISes malfunctioning, the Sixth Doctor found a secret Time Lord delegation at a Vess weapons factory in violation of the non-interference policy. He discovered they were acquiring weapons for the Time Lords, which the Decayed Master had discovered and subsequently blackmailed them into letting him take a Vess conceptual bomb that he'd used on the Doctor's TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Light at the End)

The CIA altered the life of Karen Coltraine, to prevent her becoming a dictator. After she attended interviews at Hulbert Logistics, at the centre of another CIA plan using Quantum crystallisers against the Cybermen on Lonsis, the Time Lords realised she could become temporally unstable so tried to extract her, but got her mixed up with another interviewee, Lucie Miller. (AUDIO: Human Resources) Lucie was placed with the Eighth Doctor, much to both's annoyance, in what the Time Lords claimed was a witness protection scheme. (AUDIO: Blood of the Daleks) Eventually they learnt the truth from Straxus, an agent of the High Council, after the Headhunter brought Lucie back to Hulbert. (AUDIO: Human Resources)

Another incarnation of Straxus later embroiled the Eighth Doctor as part of his plan to take advantage of his own future self's and the Dalek Time Controller's scheme against the Time Lords, planning to turn it against the Daleks. (AUDIO: X and the Daleks) He had the Doctor keep Molly O'Sullivan, who was carrying retrogenitor particles, safe. (AUDIO: The Great War, Fugitives)

As the CIA's "Coordinator in Extremis" Narvin recruited the Eighth Doctor to stop the Reborn Master's exploitation of the Eminence which the Master had intially started on the Time Lords' behalf until going rogue. (AUDIO: The Death of Hope) After the Doctor overthrew the Master's takeover of Earth using the Eminence, Narvin planned to have CIA airbrush away his changes to history. (AUDIO: Rule of the Eminence)

Last Great Time War[[edit]]

The Time Lords set aside the policy to wage the Last Great Time War against the rising threat of the Daleks, (AUDIO: All Hands on Deck) following their extermination of various Temporal Powers. (AUDIO: Desperate Measures)

During a period of peace caused by the Valeyard erasing the Daleks from existence, the General believed the Time Lords would return to non-interference, (AUDIO: Dreadshade) however after the Dalek Time Strategist restored the Dalek Empire with dimensional engineering, the Time War resumed. (AUDIO: Restoration of the Daleks)

In the last days of the war President Rassilon decided to make the biggest break of the policy: the Ultimate Sanction, destroying the universe in order for the Time Lords to survive as beings of pure consciousness. The Tenth Doctor stopped them with the help of his companion Wilfred Mott and the Saxon Master. In this instance, the Doctor banished the Time Lords back into the War to die and also prevented numerous other threats from coming through that would have turned the universe into hell, as the Time War was. (TV: The End of Time) However, Gallifrey was never destroyed, only frozen in a moment and placed in another dimension. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

The Time Lords' attempt to return to the universe via a crack in time at Trenzalore instigated the Siege of Trenzalore. The Time Lords finally intervened centuries into the siege to save the Eleventh Doctor from his imminent death by gifting him a new regeneration cycle. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) Following this, the Time Lords stayed in hiding from the wider universe. (TV: Hell Bent, Spyfall) At one point the General did oversee an intervention, however recruited Missy so it could not be traced back to the Time Lords. (PROSE: Lords and Masters)

Other non-interference policies[[edit]]

Graham O'Brien asked the Thirteenth Doctor if she had a rule against meddling in other civilisations, which he thought was called the Prime Directive. Ryan Sinclair told him that he was thinking of Star Trek. (PROSE: The Secret in Vault 13)