'I know who you are Doctor, I know of your secrets from the dark time...'- Rualmaldvoratrelundar
The Seers of Dronid is the second episode of season 33 and is written by Steven Moffat and Marc Platt. Template:Bluesilver Story
The identity of the Silence is revealed along with its connection with ancient Gallifrey.
The episode starts at Stormcage as we see River reading a book speculating on Time Lord history before a bolt of green energy rips through the air and kills the guard, as River jumps up Kovarian appears behind her and tells her not to bother, they can do anything to her now as emphasised by a stun blast hitting her from behind.
Jack, Amy and The Doctor are now sitting around a wooden table in Chronotis’ rooms as the old man himself with a tray of tea enters, they all start drinking when the Doctor asks the obvious ‘so you’re alive’, Chronotis starts to explain that he sensed the war, and when no one came to bring him back to Gallifrey he built psychic barriers around himself blocking most scans. The two start talking about the current situation and Chronotis both agree that even pooling both their TARDIS’ resources they still won’t be able to cover the whole of space-time in any human life span in relative time. Amy seems to hunch over her mug of tea and sniffles tears but the Doctor then says that he’s got an idea, it’s a long shot but with two Time Lords, it might just work the scene cuts as Chronotis asks the Doctor to elaborate.
The same cell that Rory was in now has another occupant; River lies unconscious on the floor with Rory at her side as she wakes up she calls Rory daddy and asks what has happened, Rory tells her he was on his way home when the creatures that made up the silence came and took him away, he then summarises what’s happened since then in the prison cell. River asks how long she’s been unconscious for Rory tells her not long, then he asks something, it’s similar to when he was on the TARDIS, but when Kovarian first entered the cell he saw that behind her the corridor was white and featureless, but when the door opened again he could swear there was a blue corridor in its place, River doesn’t seems to believe him, she says that architectural reconfiguration as part of the TARDIS internal systems seems to be a distinctly Time Lord technology and the ship they’re on isn’t, she says that as the child of the TARDIS she would be able to tell, although she doesn’t look to convinced.
Amy, Jack and the Doctor are back in the TARDIS, the Doctor once again wearing the glasses whirls around the six man console before opening a communications channel the Chronotis’ TARDIS and asks if he’s ready to begin. Chronotis’ response is less than inspiring but is a positive to the question, the Doctor then reaching the primary controls calls for them to start tandem dematerialisation. We hear two distinct TARDIS noises as both of the Time Lord time-ships plunge into the vortex as one. Amy and Jack seem to be bonding as they talk about their adventures with the Doctor as Amy laughs at Jack’s impression of the ninth Doctor’s ‘Bananas are good’ impression. Amy tells him of Vincent van Gogh, Starship UK and other adventures as Jack mentions the year that never was, the Medusa Cascade incident, he then starts saying that this version of the Doctor and Jack recently spent 30 years travelling together, well he corrects himself saying 30 years for him, Jack say’s there was an accident and the TARDIS fell into the vortex and the Doctor had to spend a decade fixing the systems. Chronotis’ voice suddenly booms over the comms saying that his TARDIS is being asked for an authentication code, the Doctor goes to one of the screens and types something in then turns back to the main console saying that he’s relaying the codes now, the TARDIS materialisation sound kicks in and the two wooden doors to Chronotis TARDIS seem to appear without anything to hold them up, the time rotor in the Doctor’s TARDIS stops and Chronotis walks to the console as the Doctor tells Amy and Jack that they’ve arrived. The Doctor takes a data crystal and leads them out of the TARDIS, they walk out into a ruined corridor, filled with damaged Time War era Daleks, all dead. The Doctor warns them not to touch the casings saying their systems may not be completely dead and that touching it could allow the Dalek to regenerate using the background arton energies picked up by travel through the time vortex. When Amy asks where they are the Doctor explains that they are on a Time Lord research station known as the cruciform, he further states that during the early days of the Time War the Daleks were able to overrun the place, eventually a Time Lord strike force came back and fire-stormed the place to stop the powers of the place coming under Dalek control. When asked to clarify he seems to avoid the subject and dam right says that it’s classified when pressed for information.
Sometime later in a large room on the same installation a large double door opens with the figure of eight seal of Rassilon is above the doors, the Doctor, Chronotis, Amy and Jack walk in with the Doctor at the lead, he walks up to a crystal stalactite, places the crystal from the TARDIS onto the summit, before placing both hands onto the smooth crystal and closing his eyes in concentration. Jack reaches out to touch a Dalek but Amy slaps his hand back reminding him what the Doctor said about using their artron energy to regenerate, they don’t need a Dalek running around on top of their problems even with two Time Lords. Chronotis then moves to the opposite side of the crystal to the Doctor, then places his hands on it in a similar way the two start to mutter old high Gallifreyan under their breath before pulling back as circular Gallifreyan symbols appear as a hologram in the air, the Doctor clearly excited says the cruciform’s downloading the relevant information to the TARDIS NAVCOM unit for a direct trip. The symbols briefly flash green and at the Doctor’s nod the four start their walk back to the TARDIS.
Back on the Doctor’s TARDIS both Time Lords exit the wooden double doors of Chronotis’ TARDIS and head to the console, both moving in tandem taking three panels each, making the trip much smoother than any usual trip. After a while the Doctor calls to Amy and Jack that they’re nearly there, the two of them having dozed off on the two armchairs in the console room, both rush to the console to see the overhead holographic display showing the red glow of the vortex and the large bulk of a black time-ship in front of them. Chronotis says that TARDIS scans show that it’s an old model Nekkestani time cruiser; the Doctor adds that it’s pre-time war era ship. Chronotis adds that they’ve adjusted both their TARDIS’ power curves to be undetectable to such an old ship. Jack then asks how they’re getting Rory out of their Chronotis snorts and asks what the Doctor’s planning, to which the Doctor replies that ‘maybe we’ve found a use for that dammed Jabberwock . Which seems to confuse the others to which the Doctor gives a brief description of the anti-time crisis (Audio: Zagreus), Chronotis adds that in the redraft of history when his fourth self was snatched into the Death Zone (TV: The Five Doctors) it was this eighth incarnation who took care of Skagra and the sphere (Audio: Shada). The Doctor smiles nostalgically to which he says his misses Romana, Narvin, Brax and Leela, after this Jack gently pats the Doctor’s shoulder which he reaches up to touch and thanks him before moving to another sector of the console then adjusting the overhead hologram to show the interior showing a large hanger bay, the Doctor says that they can drop of the Jabberwock in there as a distraction while they will go to the that just started to glow red on the overhead map. As he heads towards the double doors he glances to the side where a cupboard rests next to the doors, he takes a deep breath and walks over to it. Inside we can see the larger Time Lord staser rifles standing up at a slant in a crystal alcoves, the Doctor takes one of them shows Jack the trigger and tells him that it’s set to stun with a physic target system, so as long as you picture which person you want to shoot and are facing them. He then hands Chronotis and Amy to small hand guns saying that they are called masers and use microwaves to stimulate emotions, the ones he’s giving are set to serious indifference, so anyone hit won’t care about what’s going on, they might notice, but they won’t care.
So the four explorers exit into the ships corridor, which is flashing red, the Doctor jokes that they must have noticed the jabberwock and he hopes it causes them as much trouble as it did him(Audio: Zagreus). They make their way through the abandoned corridors before coming to a junction where two guards stand guard of a circular bulkhead, the Doctor whispers that that’s the room used as the prison cell, he says on the count of three and after the countdown has finished they leap out firing the masers, while Jack raises the Staser rifle just to be sure, but the guards true enough seem to be acting with no concern for their surroundings, the maser worked. The Doctor goes towards a comm panel as Chronotis mentions they don’t have much time left, the Doctor glances back and calls Amy forward to the station he’s at as he opens the com link. Amy starts calming down Rory, just as Rory’s about to mention River the Doctor grunts in exasperation saying the cells got a deadlock seal, the sonic can’t open it, he turns to Jack and askes for the Staser rifle, after taking it he adjustes the setting and asks Amy to tell Rory to get back, he then fires the rifle, interestingly the door doesn’t explode, it seems to get darker and darker till it’s just a shadow of the door before disappearing completely. As Rory and Amy reunite the Doctor hands the rifle back to Jack as River grabs him and pulls him into a bone crushing hug. Jack then interrupts saying that they’ve got company, as the Silence close in…
It’s just before the four leave the TARDIS when Amy asks if they’ve got any eye drives in case they run into the Silence, the Doctor turns smiles and says they’ve got better then asks Jack to explain, basically the eye drives act as external memory storage unaffected by the hypnosis, but the TARDIS telepathy circuits act in a similar way to translate languages so it’s a simple modification to act as memory storage.
Back to the Present
As they’re surrounded by overwhelming numbers they swing their guns around while Chronotis just pockets his Staser pistol and closes his eyes, just as the Silence are about to strike they all suddenly freeze. Jack, Amy, Rory and River seem confused but immediate understanding flashes in the Doctor’s eyes as he turns to Chronotis and says ‘I thought you didn’t do that sort of thing anymore’. To this he just smiles wryly and heads towards the TARDIS asking the Doctor if they need to pick up the Jabberwock. The Doctor nods and starts to head back with Jack then Amy then River and Rory following.
When they get the others start to ask the Doctor and Chronotis about what happened on the ship, both Time Lords ignore them and the Doctor asks Chronotis if he’s still linked to them, to which he nods. The Doctor then says that they need to know why they’re fighting them; he then asks his old friend if he has his permission to which Chronotis replies an affirmative. They both say contact as their eyes shut, Jack notes that this could be neutral mental contact, in other words the Doctor’s inside Chronotis’ mind, through which he can see into the collective consciousness of the Silence followers on the ship, both Time Lords suddenly spasm and the TARDIS lights flicker as the time rotor starts moving with a more grating noise than usual and through the Doctor’s eyes we can see parts of a city on fire, but the view is too small to identify the architecture, we then see another planet which seems to darken we then see a fire as a symbol overlays the images, a figure of eight symbol like the ouroboros, however the Doctor recognises it, it’s the Seal of Rassilon! The Seal of the Time Lords with flames behind it over what we now see is the citadel of the Time Lords except in in flames with ruins, however the scene isn’t the Time War since the fires are from the inside!
Later on with the Professor and Jack kneeling over him the Doctor wakes up they both asks what he saw, the Doctor says just three words, ‘the civil war’, after which understanding flares in Chronotis’ eyes when pressed they both talk about the Time Lord civil war a few generations before the Doctor’s time on Gallifrey fought in order to remove Morbius from power. After which a group of Time Lord academicians lead by a particularly fanatical Time Lord called Rualmaldvoratrelundar from the House of Paralax, who in a rather pomp and circumstance proclaimed that Morbius’ travesty of a presidency proved that Gallifrey wasn’t fir to govern the Web of Time, so they went to the planet Dronid to set up a rival Presidency, they were eventually brought back by simply ignoring them, except only the leader of the academicians didn’t return, Rualmaldvoratrelundar himself didn’t come back, the official story was that he was killed trying to stop the others returning. The Doctor then heads to the console and says after looking at the location displays that it’s just as he thought, they’re on Dronid, a scant few hours before the planet’s engulfed in a Time Lock for the final part of the Time War, wherein the planet was destroyed, the Doctor explains that they’re in a tiny part of real time of around 2.5 million years after the first devastating battle of the war between the Daleks and the Time Lords over the planet. He tells everyone to be alert as he opens the doors and fishes out a device from his toolbox at the others questioning glance the Doctor says it’s a short range temporal disturbance meter, which can be used to locate a TARDIS.
As they walk across the barren landscape the Doctor is clearly avoiding further questions about Time Lord history as he follows the detector. The finally arrive at a large circular wall going out about 10 metres in diameter the door opens without effort and they enter a large hexagonal room with a hexagonal console in the centre, the console includes a time rotor which has stopped glowing, a circular stone sphere with six crystal sheets extending at diagonals as controls from the cylindrical rotor, and like the Doctor’s TARDIS primary control room there are girders and supports rising to the floor to the top of the rotor, but unlike the Doctor’s they are pure blue crystal. The Doctor exclaims that this must have been the original lead TARDIS when they tried to set up a rival presidency, as he walks to the powerless console he adds that it’s a Type 52 mark IV model base-TARDIS designed to act as a mobile Time Station, though with limited offensive capabilities when compared to the Doctor’s modified Type 40 mark I model, the others give him a questioning look when the Doctor suddenly grunts and hits his head and starts a rant somewhere along the lines of ‘look at me I’m old and thick! Head’s too full of stuff I need a bigger head,’ after the others calm him down they ask what got him so riffled, he seems to ignore them and challenges Chronotis to tell him what happened to the leader of the renegade academicians, what happened to Rualmaldvoratrelundar? Chronotis then starts the tale that the Time Lord blocked off Dronid’s history from the fabric of history, this caused the random probabilities to tear the planet’s history apart, the story goes that after Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s TARDIS was caught and destroyed in time distortion the academicians agreed to return to Gallifrey…
The Professor then realises what the Doctor’s getting at, this is Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s TARDIS intact, the Doctor then starts by saying that what he saw in the silence consciousness was the Time Lord civil war and what happened to Dronid, the Doctor then theorises that the academicians rebelled against Rualmaldvoratrelundar when Dronid’s timelines started to fall apart, that instead of following him they trapped him, using the power of his own TARDIS they sealed him in a microsecond of space-time inside his own TARDIS, and then removing the main space-time element to freeze the controls in place so he could never be freed from his imprisonment. Then when they returned to Gallifrey they falsified the story because they were ashamed of what they had done, when Amy asks about how Rualmaldvoratrelundar could be free if his imprisonment was so perfect the Doctor freezes and starts to shake he looks at Chronotis and mumbles ‘the time war’. Chronotis understands and starts to explain that when the Time Lords and Daleks fought over the planet they twisted and changed the planet’s history so much that this TARDIS was badly damaged then all the events of the war were sealed in the Time-lock pulling the events into essentially in a separate self-contained universe analogous to the rest of history, but the damage to the timelines was still there, so the TARDIS had no choice without an operator to overwrite the protocols and try to seal the rifts and breaches in time further straining an old damaged ship without full power probably sitting quietly for a few million years without any maintenance the temporal stasis would have decayed, where he then used any technology he could find and modified the human-like populations on the planet into the creature that control the silence. Based on current evidence he was able to reverse engineer the basic surface technology for the capsules the Silence use. River, Amy and Rory then ask about the hypnosis abilities, why would this Time Lord create a species that would be able to circumvent his own will and his mind? The Doctor answers this one by saying he must have introduced a biological variant of the components of the TARDIS telepathy circuits into the minds acting as s telepathic scramble, scrambling the short term memory engrams and allowing suggestions to root in the subconscious mind, he probably used a similar rig with a telepathic circuit with his own mind to counteract the effects.
We then hear a voice boom over the comms congratulating both Time Lords, the Doctor asks what his opponent wants, the Time Lords reply is simple, ‘I know who you are, Doctor of the Prydonian House of Lungbarrow, I know of you secrets in the Dark time and the Pythia,’ to this the Doctor turns as pale as a sheet and his eyes burn with anger, ‘that’s not possible, how could you know!’ he roars back at the mocking voice. The others physically back away and Rory backs into Jack who winks and starts to flirt with him. Rualmaldvoratrelundar doesn’t reply but merely says ‘enjoy your imprisonment Doctor,’ the Doctor’s eyes then widen with realisation and he dashes for the doors and heads into the barren wasteland then shoots off towards the Doctor’s TARDIS as the others follow him we zoom out to see that Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s TARDIS has taken on the shape of a giant seal of Rassilon.
As they get back to the Doctor’s TARDIS they see the doors just close, the voice of Rualmaldvoratrelundar is heard over the TARDIS’ external comms, and we then go inside the TARDIS where we see the renegade Time Lord flicking at the controls and starts to gloat about how working out his past was the perfect diversion so he could crack this TARDIS’ code lock on the cipher indet key to get in. He carries on by saying that his TARDIS is the only thing holding the timelines in place now, and the only thing sustaining his TARDIS is the Time Lord-TARDIS symbiotic bond, so once he leaves odds are it’ll give up and the timelines will shatter irradiating the planet making it suitable only for the Celestial Intervention Agency’s anomaly vaults, he then dematerialises. We then see that the Professor’s TARDIS was left behind, the doors appear burnet and Chronotis rushes to the doors and barges them open with his shoulder we see that his TARDIS has seemingly attempted to reconfigure its internal layout to match that of the Doctor’s TARDIS but failed, a shell the mahogany wood console has partially formed in the centre of the room. The Doctor explains that Chronotis’ TARDIS is old and is probably close to death, maybe a few centuries, but he believes that this TARDIS tried to time-link to the Doctor’s to extend its life. They look outside to see a disorienting mass of the planet’s history all occurring at, River asks if the Doctor’s TARDIS can escape the temporal implosion, why the Professor’s TARDIS can’t do the same. Both Time Lord answer it by saying that the Professor’s TARDIS is even older than the Doctor’s, it won’t muster the energy to escape, the ships he made based on TARDIS tech didn’t have enough thrust to break away, and neither does this old TARDIS.
Amy then asks if the Professor’s TARDIS can do the same thing Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s TARDIS was doing, holding the timelines together, the Doctor responds dejectedly by saying that this TARDIS is just too old and doesn’t have the range to project the field across the whole planet. The Professor suddenly interrupts, they don’t need to cover the whole planet, they just need a path of real time back to Rualmaldvoratrelundars’ TARDIS, the Doctor counters by saying that that TARDIS doesn’t work, but Chronotis points out that the controls are locked because the space-time element has been removed, he then pulls his TARDIS’ element from the console, he adds that it won’t last long in a Type 52, but they should be able to get a few short hops.
The team then get back to Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s TARDIS where the Doctor inputs the element, the lights and TARDIS console then boots up and the lights raise and the ships starts humming, the Doctor examines the controls and starts the dematerialisation sequence saying that the power won’t last long. The room is then replaced by a holographic projection of the vortex where we can see the police box of the Doctor’s type 40 speed off.
On board the Doctor’s TARDIS Rualmaldvoratrelundar is using the overhead holographic display and sees his TARDIS approaching through the vortex tunnel. He moves to another panel and inputs a series of instructions, and then by the door a brass leaver or spike emerges with a spring of concentric circles forming around it for a targeting array.
Back on the pursuing ship the image of the TARDIS is overlaid by old high Gallifreyan, the Doctor examines the readings and begins diverting power to the defence shields saying that he’s charging the TARDIS weapons array he seems to have relocated enough power as possible before a blast of white energy slams into Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s TARDIS, it sways backwards and the console sparks and the hologram fails the room seems to fall apart, in open space an asteroid belt seems to fade in and out of existence, we then cut to a shot of the Doctor slamming his right wrist on the console. The TARDIS’ engines then pitch up and the room reconstitutes its self, the Doctor is cradling a broken wrist, says that by breaking his wrist it activated the emergency secondary systems the rebuild the TARDIS, he then gestures for Chronotis’ to take over the controls, but before he moves away he presses a button and a similar brass spike emerges and he starts tell in Chronotis a string of numbers and greek letters after he finishes Chronotis looks up and asks if he’s sure, to which the Doctor nods, the others ask exactly what he means. Chronotis explains that by imputing his TARDIS’ shield frequencies it will ensure total destruction, the blast from the weapon will pass straight through the outer shell and all of the defences and completely destroy the TARDIS. Chronotis then keys in the targeting data and presses the button to open fire, the arton energy starts to coalesce at the base of the spike before it sparks and fizzes out, the two Time Lords remark that that was a massive waste of power.
Rualmaldvoratrelundar starts changing the TARDIS’ direction when the materialisation sound picks up and a dull metal box appears in the middle of the control room, the box opens and the Doctor, Chronotis, Amy, Captain Jack, Rory and River emerge and draw their stasers/masers and point them at Rualmaldvoratrelundar, who laughs and taunts the Doctor about knowing who he is. Chronotis then interjects asking if he knows who he is, Rualmaldvoratrelundar just laughs and says that he is just another minor Time Lord, Chronotis respond by saying that he knows Chronotis’ Time Lord name from legend, Salyavin. At this Rualmaldvoratrelundar freezes and pulls out a dagger and raises it but he then stops moving and falls to the ground, Chronotis then apologises saying that he had to wipe his mind of everything since his academy days.
Later on both of the other TARDIS’ are inside the Doctor’s ship Rualmaldvoratrelundar wakes up on the seat he looks around and asks where he is, the Doctor walks over and starts explaining that he is an academy student whose TARDIS was damaged and telepathy circuits whipped his mind, he also adds that his TARDIS is now critically damaged and has to kill it by flying it into a star…
The ceiling now shows an overhead view of Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s TARDIS, the Doctor tells him to synchronise co-ordinates and activates compensates, Rualmaldvoratrelundar then asks what they’ll do to him back on Gallifrey, he says that his memories may be fragmented but he recalls enough to know that he set himself up as a god, that’s a class 2 intervention, the Doctor responds by countering with ‘you were only a student’ , he responds by saying that the penalty is vaporisation-even students know that. Rory then points out the scanner is filling with static and Jack asks if a red light is supposed to be flashing, the Doctor responds by saying that Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s temporal stabiliser is slipping. Rualmaldvoratrelundar simple says that he’s sorry, the scanner then goes mute, Amy exclaims that he must be running away, the Doctor starts saying that it’s not like it was in the old days, the cloister bell then starts to ring. We cut to space were we can see the clear bubble of the TARDIS shell light up by the glow of the star and the TARDIS starts to rock from side to side while spinning on its axis.
Back in the console room the panels start to spark and pipe lines start to leak over the top of the console, the Doctor cries out that Rualmaldvoratrelundar’s jumping time tracks faster than he can keep up back on the overhead scanner Rualmaldvoratrelundar says goodbye and his TARDIS explodes overhead and is replaced by the white hot glow of the sun seen through the orange tints of the failing TARDIS shields, Jack tells the Doctor that he’s gone and they need to go, the Doctor merely responds by saying that he has to save him as he reaches toward a console it sparks and the Doctor pulls back having singed his fingertips, Chronotis tells Jack to press the green switch, the Doctor bellows not to, but Jack pushes it anyway. The glow of the star dissolves into the time vortex.
After the damage has been repaired Chronotis’ TARDIS leaves and they then drop River off at stormcage, the Doctor asks if Jack wants to return to Earth for a while to which Jack nods and asks to be taken to Washington DC, he then goes to get his stuff. Amy then walks up to the Doctor and asks if she and Rory and resume travelling with him, judging from Rory’s face the two haven’t discussed it the Doctor seems thoughtful and says that says that he’ll be stopping over in Washington to run extensive repairs, so the couple can have time in the city while the Doctor works.