Wednesday, 18 December 2013


 “This is why we don’t go past that twelfth regeneration!” –Sixth Doctor

A quick recap if this is your first reading, the Valeyard is meant to be an evil future incarnation of the Doctor somewhere between his twelfth and final incarnation. This audio drama paints a very colorful picture of where the Valeyard came from. During his trial…actually, let’s rewind a bit.

The Doctor is drawn to the space station of his not-so-long-ago trial and told that he is the Valeyard’s defense council.


The Inquisitor is there to oversee the proceedings and we even have a mock-jury again. The Doc is left little choice but to play the game as it’s the only way to find out who the Valeyard truly is.

The Time Lords however, are up to their usually scheming tricks. Actually, they are especially devious in this story. They really got it out for the Valeyard, refusing to acknowledge the Ravalox incident and even deleting any mention of it, refusing to disclose the crime the Valeyard is put on trial for and even breaking their own laws by travelling back in time and rewriting their own legal system in order to guarantee the Valeyard a guilty verdict. This is done by rewriting the punishment for hacking into the Matrix…one of the lesser offenses the Valeyard is accused of doing. The punishment? You guessed it – Execution! How did we not know that was coming? Remind me again why the Doctor feels so attached to these people? The Time Lords are a bunch of spineless cowards who actually deserve to be destroyed in a Time War. The Tenth Doctor got it wrong, destroying Gallifrey wasn’t his biggest mistake, it was un-destroying it!

During the trial, the Valeyard reveals how he came into being. He was founded (at the age of twenty) on the planet Eta Rho and shipped off to the Shadow Houses by the Time Lords after it came out just who and what he was. The Shadow Houses is an especially sinister (and secret) group of houses on Gallifrey where all the monsters/freaks are contained. Time Lords who’s regenerations go badly – like regenerating inside-out (gruesome image) or mentally, but not physically or vice versa. The worst of these degenerates seems to be one of the Valeyard’s friends, a Time Lord who was in a constant state of paradox, a being who kept flickering between a version of himself from a possible future and another from a past that no longer existed thanks to the former re-writing it.

According to the Valeyard, the Doctor, nearing the end of his last life (where Matt Smith is now), would start doing illegal experiments on himself, trying to break the regeneration limit Rassilon imposed in an attempt to extend his life. Rassilon purposely sabotaged all Time Lords’ thirteenth regenerations so as to keep them from living past their thirteenth life. One of these experiments resulted in the Valeyard. We’ll get to what happened to the future Doctor later!

The Inquisitor demands proof of the Valeyard’s story and he supplies it in the form of his birth planet – Eta Rho – the Doctor’s future laboratory and a container that holds the secret for breaking the regeneration limit. After that, the Time Lords throw all form of legality out the window and execute the Valeyard, revealing that the formula was the only thing they wanted. The Doctor leaves and travels to Eta Rho and meets – himself! Well, himself from the future – his thirteenth regeneration, a mad, Gollum-like Doctor who has lost himself and just wanders the planet without aim. He managed to break the limit in the end, but at a really expensive cost. The Doctor finds the formula, before Darkel and her men arrive to take the container. The Thirteenth Regeneration Doctor is then killed after being pulled under by a mud pool and safocating. Darkel informs the Doctor that only his bio-data can open the container, but he is suspicious since this planet was where the Valeyard was arrested and that the container would’ve opened for him too since they are the same person. So, he calls the Valeyard out of his hiding place.


The formula is really a bomb designed to kill the Doctor and Darkel upon opening, the Gollum Doctor was really the Valeyard in disguise and the execution beam was really just a transporter capsule. The story about the Shadow Houses is meant to be believed to be a lie, but the Doctor suspects that it has some truth to it. The Valeyard, plot foiled, escapes and we are left wondering if what we’ve been told is true or a clever lie!

You might be finding yourself wondering why you even bothered listening when you reach the end and realize that the whole thing was just one big farce. True, we may only have been given a few clues as to how the Valeyard came to be and not the definite truth, but remember: A lie always has a shred of truth weaved into it, often being the root of the lie in the first place. Whatever the case, I found this story most entertaining. The actors are on fine form, the twists are enticing. The plot is a bit thin though, only keeping our attention because we want to know who the Valeyard is (which we still don’t). Whatever the case may be, whatever Moffat has said, the Valeyard is part of Doctor Who’s history whether he likes it or not and at some stage, it will have to be addressed directly. Is the Valeyard closer than we think? We’ll just have to see what The Time of the Doctor holds for us.

1 comment:

  1. Great Review Gustaff! Will have to buy this myself now. Seems very interesting and it'd be nice to learn more about the Valeyard. I especially must get more BF audios now that they're most definitely canon. If you post any more reviews about BF or other things post the link on Twitter so I know when to come back! Cheers, once again