President of the High Council

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The President of the Supreme Council of Gallifrey and All Her Dominions, Holder of the Wisdom of Rassilon, Preserver of the Matrix, Guardian of the Legacy of Omega, often simply Lord President or Lady President, or, in the case of a female holder, addressed as Madam President , governed the High Council of Time Lords, making them the holder of the most powerful office on Gallifrey. (AUDIO: The Inquiry) They were addressed with the honourific Excellency (TV: The Three Doctors, The Invasion of Time) and the Lord President could also be referred to as "His Supremacy". (TV: The Deadly Assassin [+]Loading...["The Deadly Assassin (TV story)"])

The powers of the Lord President, as well as ex-Presidents, were outlined in the Presidential Charter. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

According to The Book of the War, the term of "the Presidency", referring not to the President themselves but to them, their High Council, and all their assorted advisors, was more common in discussion of the Homeworld's politics. This was due to the static nature of the Great Houses and lack of individual initiative on the part of most presidents. Within this terminology, the Lord President was known as the Head of the Presidency, at least until the term gained another connotation during the War in Heaven. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

Alternative titles[[edit]]

Whilst most often known as Lord President, (AUDIO: Weapon of Choice, etc.) the office was also known as the "Lord High President of the Supreme Council of Time Lords", (AUDIO: Mindbomb) shortened to "High President of Gallifrey" (AUDIO: Appropriation) or simply "High President". (AUDIO: Weapon of Choice, Nevermore, Dark Universe)

Chancellor Goth and President Borusa called the office "President of the Council", (TV: The Deadly Assassin, The Five Doctors) or, on one occasion in Borusa's case, "Lord President of Gallifrey". (TV: The Five Doctors)

The Fourth Doctor claimed his right as "President of the Council of Time Lords". (TV: The Invasion of Time)

The Seventh Doctor once introduced himself as "President-elect of the High Council of Time Lords, Keeper of the Legacy of Rassilon, Defender of the Laws of Time, Protector of Gallifrey". (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)


Before the Lord President left their office, they had to name their successor. Failure to do so would cause a constitutional crisis, requiring an election to take place within forty-eight hours. (TV: The Deadly Assassin) This was a rare occurrence, happening due to death or impeachment. If the President had a High Chancellor, they would automatically become President. (AUDIO: Mindbomb) However, this was apparently not always the case. (TV: The Deadly Assassin) Candidates often belonged to a senior position in Time Lord society, such as Chancellor (TV: The Deadly Assassin) or Inquisitor Prime. (AUDIO: Mindbomb)

Per Article 17 of the Constitution of the Time Lords, no candidate for the office could be "debarred or restrained" from presenting their claim, granting them immunity. However, this guarantee of liberty did not extend to murderers (TV: The Deadly Assassin) or former Presidents who had been impeached. Candidates had the opportunity to debate in public prior to election to garner support. (AUDIO: Mindbomb) Following the results of the election, Article 17 could no longer be invoked. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

Former Presidents were barred from serving another term in the same incarnation. As such, when Romana II decided to run again for the Presidency during the first months of the Last Great Time War, she promised to promptly regenerate if she received the public vote. However, she was instead defeated by Valerian. (AUDIO: Desperate Measures)

The High Council had emergency powers which they could exercise to appoint a President. (TV: The Five Doctors)


Once a Lord President was appointed, politeness dictated that the acceptance of the Cardinals was required, although this was not legally necessary. Until the elected Time Lord was confirmed and inducted as President, their powers were limited.

The investiture of the President took place in the Panopticon, attended by the High Council, the Cardinals and other Time Lords. The Gold Usher asked if anybody contested the inductee's right to the Sash, Rod and Great Key of Rassilon respectively before striking three times. If there was no contest, the Usher gave them the Sash and Rod and told them to search for the Great Key. After promising to uphold the laws of Gallifrey, follow in the wisdom of Rassilon and swear to protect the law and wisdom, the President was invested and given access to the Matrix. (TV: The Invasion of Time)

Upon becoming President, tradition dictated that one should pardon all political prisoners. (TV: The Deadly Assassin, AUDIO: Mindbomb)


The ceremonial privileges of the President included access to the APC Net by means of the Matrix Crown (TV: The Invasion of Time) and the possession of the Sash and Rod of Rassilon. (TV: The Deadly Assassin) Donning the sash also affected a permanent change to the biodata of the Time Lord who wore it as President, providing the Doctor and others with access to secret biodata codes that would grant access to some of the Time Lords' greatest and most powerful secrets. (PROSE: Alien Bodies)

The President also had the formal responsibility, not attempted in reality except by the Fourth Doctor, to seek the Great Key of Rassilon — a separate artefact from the Rod of Rassilon, which was also sometimes referred to as the Key of Rassilon. (TV: The Invasion of Time)

The Lord President could not be put on trial, (TV: The Mysterious Planet) but they could certainly be called to give evidence in a judicial investigation. (AUDIO: The Inquiry)

When Romana II's presidency was impeached and she was nearly deposed, in her present incarnation she wasn't permitted to contest the presidency against Inquisitor Darkel and Lord Cardinal Matthias, but she said she would go under voluntary regeneration and contest it in her next incarnation. This didn't happen, as she wasn't deposed. (AUDIO: Appropriation)

In a custom inherited from the Council Leader of the Gallifreyan Council from the days before Rassilon, Presidents traditionally owned an intelligent cat as a pet and (if push came to shove) advisor. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey, TV: The Mark of the Rani)

Despite the great powers of the office, there were certain actions for which the President required a majority vote from the High Council. (TV: The End of Time)

Holders of the office of President[[edit]]

Early history[[edit]]

Urizen was remembered by the Eremites as the first official holder of the Presidency. (PROSE: The Book of the War) By Rassilon's own admission in his writings, he took over the office of Lord President after ousting Pandak at the close of the Eternal War with the Great Vampires. (PROSE: The Scrolls of Rassilon)

Lord President Rassilon. (TV: Hell Bent)

According to more than one account, however, Rassilon was the first President as well as the founder of modern Time Lord society. (TV: The Five Doctors) Before his coup, the Gallifreyans had been governed by the all-Arcalian Gallifreyan Council, whose last head before Rassilon came had been Tussan. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) According to some accounts, the true leader of Gallifrey had, in the days before Rassilon's takeover, been the mystical Pythia. (PROSE: Christmas on a Rational Planet) One account suggested that Omega had briefly ruled the newly-minted Time Lords as Emperor until he was ousted and exiled to a bubble universe of frozen time. (PROSE: K9 and the Time Trap)

Rassilon's Cardinal Pandad succeeded him as Lord President after he stepped down. Some time into his Presidency, the Patrex Councillor and radical reformist Morbius tried to seize power, causing the Time Lords' first great Civil War, between the supporters of President Morbius and those of the "legitimate" Lord President, Pandad. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) The Book of the War recorded similar events as the "Imperator presidency", referring to the interventionist, populist leader as the Imperator. (PROSE: The Book of the War) Morbius was defeated on Karn and condemned to death, (TV: The Brain of Morbius) but on the verge of declaring Morbius's life forfeit, the victorious Pandad tripped over one of Karn's treacherous cliffs and fell to his death. In the ensuing confusion, Cardinal Helron was the one to complete Morbius's disintegration, and declared himself the new and legitimate Lord President. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) A rival account claimed that Saran, Morbius' Vice President, became President in his stead after his expulsion from Gallifrey. (PROSE: Warmonger)

Helron and his Council would later be murdered by Azmeal, the first Renegade Time Lord, and succeeded by a meeker High Council who let Azmeal escape from Gallifrey unscathed. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)

Pandak was one of the early Time Lord Presidents and one of the founders of Time Lord society. (PROSE: Lungbarrow, The Ancestor Cell) Several later Presidents were named after him, (PROSE: Lungbarrow) including Pandak III, who at one point ruled for over 900 years. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

Pandora was the first female President. She was overthrown by her High Council after claiming the title of Imperiatrix. (AUDIO: Lies)

The Doctor's early life[[edit]]

According to a nightmare the Fifth Doctor had under the influence of the Celestial Toymaker, Drall was President during the First Doctor's time at the Academy. (PROSE: Divided Loyalties)

A male President changed the Constitution of the Time Lords to enable the President to name his own successor. That President's grandson, Pundat the Third, himself became a corrupt President, and was succeeded by Slann, who was President at the time of the Doctor's departure from Gallifrey, and was assassinated by the Master. (PROSE: Birth of a Renegade)

According to another source, President Pandad VII ordered Irving Braxiatel, then Lord Burner, to burn "an old man" and "his granddaughter" from history. Braxiatel disobeyed this order, and the intended victims stole a TARDIS and fled Gallifrey. The very same day, President Pandad supposedly died when a power relay in his office overloaded; an official inquiry headed by Braxiatel found that this was an accident. (AUDIO: Disassembled)

Pre-War Presidencies[[edit]]

Pandad IV was the President when Omega tried to return by draining power from Gallifrey (TV: The Three Doctors) and had already been the President of the High Council three of which members had condemned the Second Doctor to exile, (PROSE: The Three Doctors, The Legacy of Gallifrey) following the incident with the War Lords. (TV: The War Games)

The same Lord President Pandad IV (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) regenerated in office after being nearly torn to shreds by giant mice produced by the Rani's biological experiments, who also ate his pet cat (TV: The Mark of the Rani) and his Chancellor. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) In his last incarnation, the same Pandad IV resigned from the position after a term of office that was short in comparison with the 900-year precedent set by Pandak III. However, before he could name his successor, he was assassinated by Chancellor Goth, who was plotting with the Master to frame the Fourth Doctor and take power uncontested. The Doctor ran against Goth in the election to buy himself time to investigate the death; he succeeded in unravelling the scheme, but in the process, the Master killed Goth, leaving the Doctor as the next President. Because the Doctor didn't want this responsibility, he left in his TARDIS. (TV: The Deadly Assassin)

Following the assassination, (PROSE: Crimes Against History) despite his total lack of intent to seriously become President, Greyjan the Sane was left in charge after the two other candidates unexpectedly withdrew from the race. His Presidency lasted for only three years before he killed himself. During those three years, Faction Paradox purchased the eleven days between the 2nd and 14th September 1752. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) By one account, Greyjan was the 406th President. (PROSE: Crimes Against History)

When the Fourth Doctor returned to Gallifrey, finding the planet without a President and led by Lord Chancellor Borusa, he claimed his right to the Presidency from the old election, and he briefly became the 407th President (TV: The Invasion of Time, PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) before surrendering the title and leaving again. (TV: The Invasion of Time) The Fifth Doctor later discovered that this short term had been officially stricken from the record, (AUDIO: Time in Office) though it was known to students on Gallifrey shortly before the outbreak of the War in Heaven (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) and recorded in the Scrolls of Gallifrey by Postar the Perfidious. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey) The President Kodachrome, a Lord President Emeritus infamous for his conspicuous fashion sense including a cat pin, (PROSE: The Bloodletters) matching the description of the Sixth Doctor, (TV: The Twin Dilemma, etc.) was nicknamed "the President-Who-Would-Not-Serve". (PROSE: The Bloodletters)

Borusa served as President after the Doctor resigned from his role, (TV: The Invasion of Time, Arc of Infinity) but he eventually fell from grace when the stress of his new position drove him insane, causing him to seek the secret of immortality from Rassilon. This ended when Rassilon turned Borusa into living stone. (TV: The Five Doctors) At some point after K9 Mark I came to live on Gallifrey, an event concurrent with the Fourth Doctor's brief time in office and resignation, (TV: The Invasion of Time) he received a security briefing from the leader of the Time Lords who was a tall, green-skinned, "grim-faced" man with a drooping black moustache. (PROSE: K9 and the Zeta Rescue)

After Borusa's apparent disappearance, the High Council appointed the Fifth Doctor to be his successor. (TV: The Five Doctors) According to one account, for all that he tried to evade his role as President, he was eventually forced to take on the responsibilities, and he enacted several political reforms before appointing Lowri as his acting successor and leaving again to travel. (AUDIO: Time in Office) In other accounts, Flavia, the only surviving member of Borusa's High Council, was made Acting President, (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) with the blessing of Rassilon in the Matrix. She enacted some reforms and returned to the old tradition of the President owning a cat, which had been abandoned since the Rani incident with Pandad IV. (PROSE: The Legacy of Gallifrey)

President Romana II. (WC: Shada)

Flavia was overthrown in favour of Niroc, a puppet of the Celestial Intervention Agency who oversaw Operation Ravolox and the Sixth Doctor's trial. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) Flavia was again President for a period, then was challenged and beaten for presidency by Romana II, (PROSE: The Eight Doctors, Happy Endings) the 411th President. (PROSE: Crimes Against History)

A male President served as interim president during Romana II's imprisonment by the Daleks during the Etra Prime incident (AUDIO: The Apocalypse Element) and was involved in the affair of the Sirens of Time before it was erased from history. (AUDIO: The Sirens of Time) Another male President ruled for a time, sending Straxus on a mission to World War I. (AUDIO: X and the Daleks)

Romana II and Pandora (inhabiting the body of Romana's first incarnation) both claimed the title of Imperiatrix when Darkel invoked a "right of challenge" for the Presidency. (AUDIO: Imperiatrix) After Pandora's defeat, Valyes became acting President while Romana was incapacitated; upon his resignation, Darkel, Matthias, and Romana each claimed the Presidency. (AUDIO: Appropriation) Despite this, the title went to Irving Braxiatel, who extremely quickly named Matthias his successor and resigned. (AUDIO: Mindbomb) Matthias saw Gallifrey almost destroyed by the Free Time Dogma Virus, (AUDIO: Mindbomb, Panacea) and after his efforts forced him to resign, Romana II returned to office. (AUDIO: Ascension)


War in Heaven[[edit]]

Romana II regenerated while trying to stabilise the engines of the Moros, (AUDIO: Enemy Lines) and Romana III was President during the rise of the Adherents of Ohm. (AUDIO: Intervention Earth) In preparation for the subsequent war, (AUDIO: Enemy Lines) she declared herself War Queen and constructed nine decoy Gallifreys to distract the enemy. (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon) By one account, she subsequently vanished onto one of these decoys, perhaps without her knowledge. (PROSE: Crimes Against History)

During an invasion of Romana's Gallifrey by a far-future sect of Faction Paradox, Greyjan the Sane was resurrected to challenge her rule, and the Eighth Doctor destroyed the planet. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) Many other decoy Gallifreys were destroyed during the War in Heaven. (PROSE: Alien Bodies, The Taking of Planet 5, The Brakespeare Voyage)

On another Gallifrey, perhaps the original, (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5) an obstructionist President took charge following the future War Queen's disappearance, becoming the 412th President. (PROSE: Crimes Against History) This President was killed while trying to prove the nonexistence of the enemy, leaving his useless assistant Umbaste in charge. (PROSE: The Book of the War) At one point, this Lord President was briefly incapacitated and appointed Voran to be Acting President in his stead. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) Finally, Umbaste committed apparent suicide and was replaced by the reformed renegade who had first warned the Great Houses about the enemy. This renegade declared himself the War King and led the Homeworld through the first fifty years of the War in Heaven. (PROSE: The Book of the War)

Sometime after the War's fiftieth year, (PROSE: The Book of the War) the War King started losing his power over the War Council, and ultimately he was deposed when the 101-form timeship Lolita gained popular support and swallowed him into her interior dimensions. (AUDIO: Body Politic) However, Lolita's rule ended shortly afterwards when Horus led an army of Osirians to invade the Capitol and kill her. (AUDIO: The Judgment of Sutekh)

Following the conclusion of the War, an unnamed High President of the Superiors was murdered in a room on the Base of Operations by Donacho Munchausen, who drowned them until they ran out of regen energy; this was part of Munchausen's complicated plan to steal the plans for the Futura Visor before it could be put into production. (PROSE: The PsyCon Prediction) Seven years later, the next High President was shot by Chris Cwej after refusing to reveal information about the Evil Renegade; this President regenerated, and later had an underling contact Cwej to negotiate an arrangement where he would take responsibility for the survivors of the Cwejen Uprising. The President exacted his revenge by assigning Agent Larles to superintend Cwej. (PROSE: Rebel Rebel)

Last Great Time War[[edit]]

As the Doom Coalition began to put their plans into actions in destroying the future an unnamed President immediately preceded Padrac before the Coalition's plans were stopped by the Eighth Doctor, Liv Chenka and Helen Sinclair. (AUDIO: Songs of Love, Stop the Clock)

Before her death, Romana III sent Irving Braxiatel into her past to undo her regeneration on the Moros. After he rescued Romana II, he persuaded her to prevent the war by stepping down from the Presidency and appointing her political opponent Livia as her successor. (AUDIO: Enemy Lines) However, this did not stop war from coming: at the start of the Last Great Time War, Livia stepped down and orchestrated Valerian's rise to power, despite Romana II's candidacy in the election. When a video of Romana making a deal with the Dalek Emperor was uncovered, Valerian was elected Lord President, and in fulfillment of Livia's plans, Rassilon was resurrected into his body and proclaimed Lord President Eternal. (AUDIO: Desperate Measures)

End of the Last Great Time War and beyond[[edit]]

Rassilon was still President through the end of the Time War, (TV: The End of Time, PROSE: Engines of War) and he led Gallifrey's return to the end of the universe, but, upon the Twelfth Doctor's arrival on the planet, he was overthrown and banished, along with the rest of the High Council, due to his role in Clara Oswald's death.

Following this coup, the Twelfth Doctor became Lord President of Gallifrey himself. However, this coup was a ruse in order to gain access to a Time Lord extraction chamber to save Clara's life, and he quickly fled Gallifrey in a stolen TARDIS, abandoning the title yet again. (TV: Hell Bent) A female President succeeded the Doctor, inheriting Rassilon's gauntlet, but her reign was cut short when Gallifrey was invaded by Cybermen led by Rassilon, who killed her with a staser before reclaiming his gauntlet and title of Lord President. Due to the Doctor and Rassilon reversing these events, this President was restored to life. (COMIC: Supremacy of the Cybermen)

Other realities[[edit]]

Alternate timelines[[edit]]

In an alternate timeline created by the Quantum Archangel, the Sixth Doctor was Lord President Admiral of Gallifrey in the War in Heaven against the Enemy, who were being aided and abetted by the Master. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)

In an alternate timeline in which the Daleks were peace-loving academics and friends of the Time Lords, a Lord President was cured by Dalek surgeons who removed a microaneurysm from his brainstem. (PROSE: The Ripple Effect)

Timelines within the Axis[[edit]]

In a timeline in which it was standard policy for the Time Lords to sell their temporal technology to the highest bidder and regenerations could be extracted and sold, Leela and K9 Mark I accompanied the Fourth Doctor on his search for the Key to Time. She was the only human to hold the Key to Time in her hands. Consequently, when Leela's counterpart from the proper timeline visited this alternative Gallifrey, she was appointed Lady President. (AUDIO: Reborn)

In a timeline in which the Time Lords regularly altered history through the Temporal Intervention Agency, Romana became Lady President as in the proper timeline but was considerably more ruthless than her counterpart. Her Interrogator General was Leela, who murdered her predecessor Narvin to achieve the position, while the Doctor served as Lord Burner, the President's personal temporal assassin who "burned" people from history. Vansell served as Castellan. (AUDIO: Disassembled)

In a timeline in which Rassilon failed to finish the Eye of Harmony before his death, Romana reigned as Lady President over a Gallifrey which never achieved time travel and where slavery still existed. She was assassinated on the orders of Lord Chancellor Narvin but was immediately replaced by her counterpart from the proper timeline, who claimed that the victim of the assassination was a decoy. After the alternative Narvin was killed by the Krilig, the Narvin from the proper timeline assumed his identity. (AUDIO: Forever)

Parallel universes[[edit]]

In a parallel universe in which the Doctor was delayed from leaving Gallifrey, his granddaughter Susan became President of the Time Lords. (AUDIO: Auld Mortality) In this position she covered up her grandfather's meddling with history from the High Council, eventually assigning agent Zeuro to stop him. After the Council discovered his actions, she personally went to meet the Doctor and found he was travelling with a possibility engine duplicate of herself. As the duplicate was dying, the pair made a deal to switch places, with Susan joining her grandfather whilst the duplicate went to Gallifrey to assume the Presidency until her death. (AUDIO: A Storm of Angels)

In one of the infinite parallel universes of "possible space", (COMIC: Fire and Brimstone) the Presidential office was hereditary. As such, it was naturally assumed that Barusa's successor as President when he neared the end of his final incarnation would be his grandson, the Master. Barusa broke with custom by naming the Doctor as his successor instead. Although he was officially an orphan, the Doctor was secretly the Master's half-brother, and thus also a direct descendant of Barusa, although the Master was still his elder. At any rate, the Time Lords initially rejected Barusa's nomination due to the Doctor's vocal denunciation of their society as corrupt, leading to the Master indeed assuming the office of President. The Doctor would only take the Presidential Sash after many years of adventures across the universe, when he returned to Gallifrey with his long-lost father Ulysses, Barusa's son, who verified the Doctor's noble birth. (PROSE: The Chronicles of Doctor Who?)

In the Warrior's universe, the Warrior became President during the Time War. He instituted a ruthless policy of executing Time Lords caught attempting to alter history to undo atrocities they'd committed in the war and thwarted a coup orchestrated by the Kraals. (AUDIO: The Difference Office)