In the webisode The Night of the Doctor we meet the pilot Cass who is extremely fearful (or perhaps angry with) the Doctor once she realises he's a timelord (bonus points if you can tell me how she realises the the phone box is a Tardis as most Tardises have a functioning chameleon circuit).

Why does she fear Time Lords? Doesn't she realise they're fighting the Daleks who are much worse!?

1 Answer 1


For your secondary question, you can see Cass didn't realize it's a TARDIS until the Doctor mentioned it's bigger on the inside - a telltale sign you're dealing with Time Lord technology. That's what tipped her off.

As for your main question, Cass's reaction makes it quite clear that at that point in the war, both sides had committed such atrocities that any moral distinction was quite blurry, especially from the outside. By the end of the Time War, Rassilon, leader of the Time Lords, was willing to destroy time itself and all the universe to ensure the Time Lords' survival.

The old series, where the Time Lords were still occasionally encountered, made it clear that they're not particularly nice people, on the whole. Many of them are ruthless, amoral or downright vicious, and their dictum forbidding interfering with other species and their timeline was there mostly to protect those species from Time Lord meddling, not necessarily from some Prime Directive-like imperative to let time take its natural course.

  • Great answer! I'd missed the fact that she was oblivious until he'd mentioned that it was bigger on the inside!
    – Liath
    Commented Nov 19, 2013 at 13:56
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    "The Gallifreyans seemed to be innocent victims of a Dalek attack" -- the Time Lords started the war by attempting to wipe out the Daleks prior to their creation. I'd argue that after that particular maneouver, the Daleks are justified in virtually anything they try to do to the Time Lords...
    – Jules
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 9:39
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    @Shadur The fact that the Daleks were omnicidal maniacs first isn't particularly effective praise for the Time Lords. "They started it" is no justification. Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 7:51
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    @AvnerShahar-Kashtan No, the Time Lords are unmitigated assholes. Note that the debate between Davros and the Doctor in that episode can be boiled down to a central question: "Ultimately, would you?" -- and where Davros gleefully expounds on the glory of holding the death of everything in his hand and hell yes he'd push that button, ultimately the Doctor chooses not to. Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 7:58
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    You're both right here. The Time Lords are arrogant, they think of themselves as superior to others. The Daleks think the same of themselves. However, the Daleks use their superiority as justification to exterminate everyone else. The Time Lords use it as a justification why they get to make and break the rules (not meddling, but then meddling to kill the Daleks). Because of the Time War, the Time Lords have over time allowed themselves to commit a Dalek-sized atrocity by trying to destroy time itself to ensure their own survival. But this is a one-off, whereas Daleks are incorrigible.
    – Flater
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 9:37

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