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The Alt!Verse Manifesto or Why There Could be Time Lords in Pete's World 
5th-Mar-2007 05:59 pm
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. 


  1. 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).


  1. 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.   
  2. Because Time Lords exist in spacetime, “Many Worlds” must apply to them as well.  
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


In conclusion:


  1. Pete’s World is one of the “Many Worlds” quantum parallel universes.
  2. Parallel Time Lords must exist
  3. Parallel Doctors must exist
  4. 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.



6th-Mar-2007 02:30 am (UTC)
*saving this to memories*

But here's the ultimate question. It's fiction. Why can't there be Time Lords in an alternate universe when the whole thing is made up out of someone's imagination anyway?

I think that's the simplest answer whenever someone challenges you about your alt!Eight fics... but on the other hand, knowing fanwank, it never hurts to have a nice, scientific explanation that involves Schrödinger’s Cat.

6th-Mar-2007 02:38 am (UTC)
Oh, I've never been directly challenged about alt!Eight. But it peeves me a bit when people say definitively, "There can't be alt!Doctors in the alt!verse." It's fun for me to logically demonstrate that based on current information, there HAVE to be alt!Time Lords.

So yeah, it's just a bit of wank. But that's fandom, isn't it?
6th-Mar-2007 02:48 am (UTC)
Wank is wank. At least we haven't heard anything from the "McGann's Doctor Doesn't Count" camp lately. *G*
7th-Mar-2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, those people don't even merit a reply! I suppose if you wanted to condescend to answer them, you could point out how heavily influenced New Who is by the TVM and also Big Finish.
6th-Mar-2007 02:47 am (UTC)
Thinky thoughts! Unfortunately I don't have anything new to add to this but I really liked how you tackled this, my personal take on Parallel Earth -- or Pete's World as you call it is that there were Time Lords in that universe too but in that reality both Daleks and Time Lords died out during the Time War.

And, I'm currently fond of the theory if there was a last Time Lord in PE it won't be the Doctor, it would be Romana, which is strange because I've never seen classic Who much less an episode with her. And I do love the Doctor but there you go, in my personal canon, it's Romana who survives the Time War.
6th-Mar-2007 05:18 am (UTC)
That reading of events is perfectly valid. We have no information about Time Lords in Pete's World, nor whether the Time War happened.

For my part I thought it would be fun to imagine a world in which the Time War never happened, but another world with variant outcomes of the Time War is reasonable also.
6th-Mar-2007 02:56 am (UTC) - oh noes! fizziks!
Ur post brok mi brane.
6th-Mar-2007 05:19 am (UTC) - Re: oh noes! fizziks!
Go read some Brian Greene! :D
6th-Mar-2007 03:42 am (UTC)
Hmmm. Upon thought, here's what I think: :D

1) I don't think that Timelords exist in time as we know it. Yes, there's cause and effect, but the effect may then effect the original cause, or a time before the cause. Their OWN timelines are linear, but those exist outside the range of actual time-and-space.

2) If Timelords can travel between the universes, and their own decisions also cause new universes, it would stand to reason that they'd just bump into alternate versions of themselves all over the place. In my mind, the Timelords are outside of that whole creation of alternate universes thing; because they are outside of, and "in charge of", time, their decisions don't cause that same splitting off.

3) The Daleks, again in my mind, destroyed all the Timelords in all space and all time and all universes. I see the Daleks and the Timelords as the two races who are above those mundane laws, and can control them. Which was why the Time War was such an inconceivable disaster.
6th-Mar-2007 05:40 am (UTC)
1) All of the Doctors' adventures so far have occurred within normal spacetime. The only way in which Time Lords seem to be "Lords of Time" is that they can move to various points in spacetime. They seem to have a horror of paradoxes or other violations of causality (i.e. effects following causes and not the reverse). They can jump from point to point; but don't seem to be able to occupy several timelines at once, or speed up time, or slow it down, or move sideways or backwards in time (except in their ships--but even then, their non-Time Lord passengers are able to experience the EXACT same thing). Therefore it's reasonable to assume that they exist in spacetime the same way we do, just with a bit more mobility.

2) If Time Lords could merrily break the laws of quantum mechanics, then they could just as easily break the laws of gravity, momentum, etc. But we've seen in the show that the Doctor's feet stick to the ground of a planet, when an object of greater mass comes into contact with him, he falls down, etc. etc. He seems to obey all other physical laws, ergo he'd have to obey this one as well. "Many worlds" isn't magical, it's a mundane fact of quantum physics.

3) Again, if Daleks and Time Lords were above "mundane laws" of physics, they'd break all the other laws too, the ones that we see them obey in every episode. If Daleks could dance on quantum mechanics, they wouldn't be vulnerable to Ace and her baseball bat!

I'm flogging a dead wank here, obviously, but from my point of view, science fiction is most satisfying when it has some basis in science. Parallel worlds aren't a magical idea; they are one way of explaining the known universe in all its weirdness. Hard science is stranger than strange and outrageously wonderful.

6th-Mar-2007 05:56 am (UTC)
Yay, scientific explanations for fiction!
6th-Mar-2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
* chuckles *

I love your mind!

* snuggly huggles Dr. Beren *
6th-Mar-2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
Popping in from who_daily to say a big fat WORD.

This is something I've speculated about for a while, given that I've chosen to ignore what RTD has to say about Time Lords in other universes.

I'm not an expert but I'd have thought that if Time Lords were above that sort of thing (as in, they don't perceive time as linear so no alternate worlds created... etc) then surely a TARDIS shouldn't have such a problem just randomly moving between the universes.

Besides, it both makes it more interesting and it makes sense! :-)
7th-Mar-2007 12:10 pm (UTC)

We also know that RTD tends to fib about things Who-related in interviews, so alt!Time Lords might well show up.
6th-Mar-2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Even though I prefer the "no alt!Time Lords" thing - not for any scientific reasoning, I just prefer it - I have to say your theory is interesting.

That said, there being alternate Time Lords doesn't ncessarily mean there's an alternate Doctor.
6th-Mar-2007 09:59 pm (UTC)
If "Many Worlds" is an accurate solution to the Schrodinger's Cat paradox - and Doomsday certainly suggests it is - there is an alt!doctor for every decision he's ever made in his life.

Whether there's an alt!Doctor in Pete's World is a matter of speculation, however.
(Deleted comment)
7th-Mar-2007 03:38 am (UTC)
It's possible that Pete's World is an Inflationary Multiverse parallel universe, with different laws of physics and so forth. However, one would expect that creatures in an inflationary multiverse would be VERY different from us, not just a slightly different version with added Zepplins.

Again, if the Time Lords have that kind of control over the Laws of Physics, they should be able to dance on every other law of physics and causality, etc. etc. However, as far as we've seen on TV, they obey pretty much the same laws that we poor human sods do. They're able to move about in time, via their ships - and that's it in terms of bending laws of physics. Otherwise, as I've said, when you hit them, they fall down.
(Deleted comment)
8th-Mar-2007 01:10 am (UTC)
Oh Jeebus, I glanced at your LJ and it looks like yer a real, live fizzicist!

I'm naught but a dilettante.

And your journal title references an Out of Cheese error. I must friend you now.
9th-Mar-2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
*delighted sigh* If only Russell T Davies could read that!!!
Yes, I'm a romantic, and yes, I wish Rose could find another Doctor in her new world.
Come on, it's the perfect world! It's a republic (as you know Davies doesn't like very much the royal family), Pete is alive and rich, Mickey is a hero ... and they even got zepplins!!! lol.
They must have a Doctor!
Jackie has her Pete, Mickey has Jake(^^)... and Rose would be all alone without the love of her life??? This would be too sad!!!
And then, just imagine! Rose/ Bad wolf on Gallifrey!!! (yes, tinuvielberen, I'm one of you fans!!! lol) or facing the Master (that, I would like to see!)
Wouldn'it be just FANTASTIC?????
9th-Mar-2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Bonjour Sunny!

Hee! I have fans! :D

How I wish, how I WISH RTD would film alt!Eight, if only to see Paul McGann as the Doctor again...

* sigh *
10th-Mar-2007 11:01 am (UTC)
*saves to memories* THANK YOU. Every time I have tried to explain the same for those people who insist Time Lords can't exist in Pete's 'verse, I only end up angry and frustrated. I'm so glad you have taken the time to explain this so clearly and concisely and far better than I could have ever done. Well done.
10th-Mar-2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yes, this is definitely a salvo against the "Time Lords can't possibly exist in Pete's World" camp, who can often come across as more than a little condescending...
10th-Mar-2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
Seriously. And more often than not, these are the same people who are determined that Rose should never be reunited with the Doctor in any way, shape, or form evar. Which is rather upsetting, to say the least.
11th-Mar-2007 12:03 am (UTC)
Regrettably, we probably won't see Rose reunited with the Doctor onscreen, unless everybody hates Martha and Billie's career tanks.

Or unless there's a movie
11th-Mar-2007 12:20 am (UTC)
You know, I would have been perfectly happy to have some kind of reunion with the Doctor and Rose where we know they get to spend the rest of her life together off camera, and then have the Doctor come back on screen for a new season after the fact. That way we know that hey, at least they had their time together and they were happy, without having to take up too much of Billie's time for filming. And then they could just leave it to the books to fill in the spaces.

Why do they HAVE to rip out our hearts like this and then stomp on it be declaring that NO, they shall NEVER be together and Rose will die alone and heartbroken on the other side. Because seriously, that's the only kind of emotions they had given us in Doomsday, with nothing to hint that maybe she could find contentment in that world. Who can blame us for wanting to see her back with the Doctor and happy, if that's the only time we have ever seen her fulfilled?

And there seriously needs to be a movie. Be it a reunion movie or even a Time War movie, because damn it, we need a film with the 8th that doesn't have crappy writing. Eight deserves that much.
22nd-Jul-2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
Well I like your theories about Time Lords being in the alternate universe and I for one want to say that there were. Because if there were not then everything that was changed in the course of Season 2 on Pete's world would have caused paradoxes and probably rips in the space/time continuum. The simple fact of the matter is, I think, is that the Time Lords are needed there to keep all that from happening and we know they once did that in this universe too because the Doctor has said so more than once on several occassions.
8th-May-2008 12:10 pm (UTC)
Hi there, I know you posted this about a year ago, but I wanted to say how wonderful you are to figure all this out. It's great to point people to who say there's only Time Lords in our universe, and I wish I found it earlier.

I've always had the idea that Rose may have met up with REG!Nine in her universe or something :)

Besides, didn't the Unbound series practically make alt!Doctors canon?
13th-Jul-2009 03:48 am (UTC) - Timelords and Alternate Universes
I think that there is other timelords and galifreys I mean I completely agree that there is parallel doctors because ya know even if the timelords died the doctors would still be alive I mean how could they not be alive? I love your fanfic universe it rules!
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