I've typed out shorter versions of this in comment threads in various comms. I figgered I'd just put the whole gory thing here so I can just point back to it rather than typing out bits of it over and over again.
The Alt!Verse Manifesto; or why there could be Time Lords in Pete’s World.
Despite what certain arbiters of canon have said on this subject (Russell T. Davies, I’m looking at you!), a simple thought experiment suggests that the existence of Time Lords in other universes is not only plausible, it’s downright necessary.
- Time Lords exist in spacetime. It’s been suggested that the Time Lords somehow exist “outside of time and space.” However, Time Lords have a physical presence; ergo, they are part of space. They can make events happen; and likewise can be affected by events; ergo, they are part of time. Although they are able to move easily to different points in spacetime, their personal experience of time is linear and directional; and in the same direction as non-Time Lord objects and people. So humans (who don’t have access to a time machine) experience time like this: Birth---------------->death.
Time Lords experience time like this:
Birth----->Tardis Dematerilisation (TD) #1
TARDIS Rematerialisation (TR)#1----->TD#2
And so forth. The TARDIS moves them around, but they continue to experience time in a forward direction. They don’t experience time backwards or sideways, for instance. We’ve never seen causes follow effects in any of the Doctor’s adventures (c.f. Red Dwarf “Backwards” for an idea of what that would be like).
- In “Doomsday,” the Doctor clearly describes the “Many Worlds” quantum mechanical theory as an explanation for the existence of Pete’s World. “Many Worlds” is one solution to the Schrödinger’s Cat paradox. Instead of the two cat states—alive and dead—being superimposed and indeterminate, there is a separate parallel universe for each outcome. That is to say, a separate parallel universe for each possible quantum event or macroscopic decision.
- Because Time Lords exist in spacetime, “Many Worlds” must apply to them as well.
- Therefore every decision the Doctor has made should spawn a new universe with a version of him in it. Whether he chose to destroy his own planet or whether he chose to wear green socks one day instead of blue—there’s a whole universe for each and every possibility.
- Therefore universes parallel to this one should contain parallel Doctors, and by extension, parallel Time Lords.
There are a few possible objections to this theory:
Somehow the Daleks managed to erase the Time Lords from every possible universe. This is impossible. To demonstrate why, think about a simple case, in which the Time Lords exist in only one universe, ours. The Daleks wipe out the Time Lords in this universe. However, because they made a specific decision to kill the Time Lords, this spawns another universe—call it universe 2.0—in which the Daleks decide not to kill the Time Lords. Now the Time Lords are gone from our universe, but exist in another. If the Daleks then move on to universe 2.0 and kill the Time Lords, this will spawn the existence of universe 3.0. And so forth.
- Pauli Exclusion Principle. You can’t have two identical particles in the same universe, therefore you can’t have two copies of the same person in one universe. Except you can. Mickey and Rickey coexisted for a time, even touched one another, and the universe didn’t implode.
- If there had been Time Lords in the other universe, the Doctor would have been able to sense them somehow. Not necessarily. Recall that the vortex energy in Pete’s world was significantly different from the energy in our universe. The TARDIS couldn’t run on it. Perhaps the “telepathic energy” of Pete’s World Time Lords is different, too.
- If there were Time Lords in other universes, and they can cross over between parallel worlds easily, why haven’t any of them come to visit our universe yet? Maybe they have, but the Doctor just can’t sense them. Also, Time Lords are known for being dull and stodgy; perhaps they can travel across universes, but simply choose not to. An especially large deterrent to cross-dimensional travel would be the fact that TARDISes don’t seem to work in parallel universes.
- Time Lords might exist in other universes, but they don’t necessarily have to exist in Pete’s world. True—but where’s the fun in that? My point is that there’s no reason they can’t exist in Pete’s World.
- Pete’s World is one of the “Many Worlds” quantum parallel universes.
- Parallel Time Lords must exist
- Parallel Doctors must exist
- At present, there is no compelling reason to believe that a parallel Doctor, or even parallel Time Lords, couldn’t exist in Pete’s World.