Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Valeyard
The Valeyard
The Valeyard
 Name: The Valeyard; originally known as The Doctor; once posed as Mr Popplewick; has also been known as ‘the Ripper’; another variation of him manifested itself as the ‘Dream Lord’

 Format: Television show, Book and Audio

 Time of Origin: Gallifrey, far future.

 Appearances: "The Trial of a Time Lord", "Trial of The Valeyard", "The Last Adventure" ("The End of the Line", " The Red House", "Stage Fright", "The Brink of Death"), "Bernice Summerfield: Every Dark Thought", "Matrix", "The Time War 3: The War Valeyard", and, in a sense, "Millennial Rites" and "Head Games"", a variation of him appeared in "Amy's Choice".

 Doctors: Sixth Doctor, Seventh Doctor, Eighth Doctor; the Eleventh Doctor confronted a new variation on him in the form of the Dream Lord.

 Companions: Melanie Bush, Flip Jackson, Henry Gordon Jago, Professor Litefoot, Ace and Bliss; Bernice Summerfield faced The Valeyard on her own without The Doctor; Barbara Wright, Ian Chesterton, Peri, Bernice Summerfield, Roslyn Forrester and Chris Cwej were involved in adventures featuring The Valeyard without confronting him directly; Charley Pollard and Constance Clarke encountered The Valeyard but were unaware of his true identity; Amy Pond and Rory Williams confronted the ‘Dream Lord’ variation of The Valeyard.

The Trial of a Time Lord
The Trial of a Time Lord
 History: The Valeyard literally gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'You are your own worst enemy.' The Valeyard is really none other than the darkest sides of The Doctor's nature, created by the rouge High Council that was set up after the Fifth Doctor's rapid departure as President ("The Five Doctors" and "Time in Office"). He originates from some unspecified point in The Doctor’s future, with the most popular fan theory being that he represents some transitional stage between The Doctor's last two lives, rather like the Watcher in "Logopolis". While The Valeyard often at least acts as though he considers himself The Doctor’s final incarnation having accepted the pointlessness of The Doctor’s heroics, he at least once described himself as having ‘splintered’ away from The Doctor rather than actually being The Doctor, reinforcing the idea of him as a kind of Watcher ("Logopolis").

 Although The Valeyard’s exact origin is unknown, it is clear that, as an opponent, The Valeyard is quite literally The Doctor's equal in intelligence and cunning, often using his knowledge of The Doctor’s lives to manipulate The Doctor’s enemies and allies as part of his own schemes. The Valeyard regards himself as representing The Doctor’s secret desire for power and resentment of his self-imposed responsibilities, possessing all of The Doctor’s skill and intelligence but none of his compassion. His real danger as an enemy lies in his detailed knowledge of The Doctor’s past and future, often allowing him to predict and manipulate The Doctor and his companions into indirectly assisting The Valeyard’s schemes due to his knowledge of how they will react. Regardless, having found himself in existence in his past, The Valeyard has resolved to kill The Doctor and claim his remaining lives for himself, apparently unconcerned about the potential paradox if he should succeed (if he killed The Doctor, The Valeyard will never exist to kill him, so The Valeyard will come into existence, so The Valeyard will kill The Doctor, and so on, and so on...).

The Trial of a Time Lord
The Trial of a Time Lord
 The Valeyard originally appeared in the show in the Sixth Doctor's trial in "The Trial of a Time Lord", as the prosecutor at The Doctor's trial, under charges of conduct unbecoming a Time Lord - in other words, meddling in the affairs of other species, a charge the Third Doctor already served time for during his exile to Earth. The trial doesn't go too well for The Doctor - when he managed to clear himself of the charge of meddling thanks to evidence from his own personal future, The Valeyard then accused him of violating article seven of the Time Lords by committing genocide and killing the Vervoids, an artificially-engineered intelligent plant life (A charge that the Eighth Doctor - who arrived just in time to rescue his past self from an attempted execution set up by The Valeyard - regarded as ridiculous due to the Vervoids’ artificial nature). Just before sentence was passed, The Master, not prepared to countenance a rival to kill The Doctor, sent Sabalom Glitz, a petty criminal The Doctor met when he visited the planet Ravalox (Really an Earth that had been moved away from its real location in time and space) and Mel, a companion from The Doctor's future.

The Trial of a Time Lord
The Trial of a Time Lord
 Glitz revealed that Earth was moved by the High Council itself, to cover up the fact that secrets were stolen from the Matrix by a criminal gang operating from Earth, The Doctor’s trip to Ravalox creating the possibility that the truth about the High Council’s failures would be discovered. The Valeyard had thus been created by the High Council by methods unknown and had made a deal with them to fake evidence against The Doctor after his arrival on Ravalox risked discovery of the Councils actions in exchange for The Doctor's remaining seven lives. With Mel's help, The Doctor faced The Valeyard, The Master, and a bribed Glitz in the Matrix, managing to trap The Master and Glitz in The Master's TARDIS and turn a particle disseminator The Valeyard had intended to use against him, apparently killing him. However, being in the Matrix, The Valeyard managed to enter the body of the Keeper of the Matrix when his own physical form had been destroyed, and was not killed at all.

Audio - Trial of The Valeyard
Trial of The Valeyard
(Alan Barnes and Mike Maddox)
After the Time Lords recaptured The Valeyard, they attempted to put him on trial, The Valeyard deliberately requesting that The Doctor serve as his defence so that he could mock his other self by taunting him with the possibility of learning how The Valeyard came to be ("Trial of The Valeyard"). During the trial, The Valeyard claimed that he was created when the Thirteenth Doctor carried out unspecified experiments to allow him to regenerate more than twelve times, The Valeyard coming into existence as a child on the planet Etarho before being discovered by the Time Lords and sent to the Shadow Houses - houses where Time Lords were kept after suffering boched regenerations - when his biodata was identified as a match for The Doctor, another Time Lord convincing The Valeyard to seek revenge on Gallifrey when he was selected to prosecute The Doctor by the renegade High Council. Although The Valeyard escaped to Etarho when the trial turned against him, attempting to kill The Doctor by posing as the Thirteenth Doctor and giving him a bomb disguised as the Black Scrolls of the Thirteenth Doctor which allegedly detailed the experiments that created The Valeyard, The Doctor saw through the deception, expressing doubts about The Valeyard’s entire story, but was unable to stop his foe escaping once again.

Book - Millennial Rites
Millennial Rites
(Craig Hinton)
 Following this, for The Doctor at least, The Valeyard returned in "Millennial Rites", during a complex incident at New Years Eve, 1999. At that point, The Doctor met his second incarnation's old friend, Dame Anne Travers, who believed that a man she knew, millionaire Ashley Chapel, was trying to summon The Great Intelligence, or Yog-Sothoth, a being from the previous Universe, to Earth. He was actually attempting to summon Saraquazel, a being from the next universe, and when Anne tried to counter his apparent summoning of Yog-Sothoth while he tried to summon Saraquazel, the three competing laws of physics that were called upon formed a three-sided Great Kingdom, each corner ruled by a different group. The Ziggarut is ruled by the Technomancer Melaphyre (Really Mel altered by the destabilisation of reality) and her cybrid army, the Labyrinth is ruled by the Hierophant Anastasia (Anne) and her thaumaturges, and the Tower of Abraxas is the home of Archmage Ashmel (Chapel) and his auriks. Their god, due to the summoning going wrong, was Saraquazel and Yog-Sothoth fused together into one insane entity, and due to the instabilities of the competing laws of physics, the Kingdom caused The Doctor’s fears of becoming The Valeyard to manifest enough for The Valeyard’s dormant potential within The Doctor to combine the Kingdom’s unique physical properties with The Doctor’s ability to regenerate, reshaping his body to turn him into The Valeyard. Initially The Valeyard aided Ashmel in his attempts to rule the Kingdom, but fortunately, thanks to both the TARDIS and his nearly murdering an innocent child, The Doctor managed to hold back The Valeyard long enough to get to the heart of the Kingdom, participating in a plan that would restore the original world and separate Yog-Sothoth and Saraquazel, The Doctor informing his Valeyard aspect that he acknowledged the need to make the hard decisions that the Valeyard said would be necessary but refused to accept the idea that he had to enjoy such actions to commit them. Although Saraquazel, really a benevolent entity that only wanted to go home, altered things so that only a few people remained dead when London returned to normal, The Doctor was left uncomfortable at The Valeyard’s comments that his current incarnation’s innate hubris left him more susceptible to becoming his dark future self.

Audio - Every Dark Thought
Every Dark Thought
(Eddie Robson)
 However, although The Doctor was initially unaware of his adversary's efforts, The Valeyard was already making plans to achieve his own identity separate from The Doctor. At one point, while chased by the genetically engineered Caragot, The Valeyard escaped to the planet Ogoychao, posing as The Doctor to manipulate the Seventh Doctor’s archaeologist companion Bernice Summerfield into helping him find a supposed tomb that he claimed contained a secret that would help him stop the Caragot. In reality, this tomb was the point of entrance for the pan-dimensional Riculi, a worm-like race whose secretions could be used as a healing elixir. The Valeyard wanted to use the control interface in the ‘tomb’ to influence the Riculi to create a serum that would not only restore his ability to regenerate, but allow him to actually control the regeneration to ensure that he wouldn’t ‘revert’ to a more Doctor-ish psychology in any future incarnations. Benny eventually saw through his claim to be The Doctor when The Valeyard constantly tried to send Benny’s colleague Professor Liyi Chen into dangerous situations first (although he initially claimed that this was because they were being chased by the Caragot and sending her on ahead was safer), finally concluding that he could never be The Doctor when The Valeyard revealed he was carrying a gun and shot a man who had been living in the caves. The Valeyard was able to create the serum he was after, but when the Caragot caught up with them, Benny claimed that the serum was actually the Caragot’s weakness, prompting the Caragot to destroy the phial and trigger an explosion to stop the tunnels being used to create further weapons against them. The Valeyard was left trapped in the tunnel when he tried to retrieve more serum while Benny and Professor Chen escaped, but Benny reflected that if The Doctor could survive such impossible situations The Valeyard would likely do the same.

 While that particular plan apparently failed, The Valeyard went on to carry out a particularly complex scheme aimed at achieving his revenge and restoration. Retreating to the Dimensional Nexus of the Parallel Sect, The Valeyard used its energies to restore himself and overcome his current weakness. He even discreetly assisted The Doctor in thwarting The Master's attempt to take control of the Nexus so that his own plan could continue by giving The Doctor's companion Constance Clarke a jacket containing just the equipment The Doctor needed to repair The Master's damage ("The End of the Line"). Using a Psychic Extractor from the 31st century - after using his knowledge of The Doctor's future to trick temporally-displaced companion Charley Pollard into providing a distraction - The Valeyard then 'infected' the TARDIS's symbiotic nuclei with the microscopic entities known as the Nathemus, their telepathic abilities allowing them to feed on The Doctor's psyche while feeding' their memories of the Valeyard into the Matrix via the TARDIS's symbiotic link to The Doctor ("The Red House" and "The Brink of Death").

Audio - The Last Adventure
The Last Adventure
(Matt Fitton, Paul Morris, Simon Barnard, Alan Barnes and Nicholas Briggs)

 Having established his link to the TARDIS and The Doctor, The Valeyard then set himself up in Victorian London as costume-shop-owner and amateur playwright Timothy Yardvale. In this role, he staged various theatrical recreations of The Doctor's past regenerations, providing the actors with copies of the clothes used by The Doctor’s companions, draining energy from the actors and leaving their bodies as deliberate taunts for The Doctor ("Stage Fright"). Although he was able to achieve his goal of drawing emotions from The Doctor when he used The Doctor's current companion Flip to present a distorted recreation of the Second Doctor's last conversation with Jamie and Zoe before his trial and exile ("The War Games"), Flip managed to distract The Doctor from his anger at the Valeyard long enough for help to arrive, forcing the Valeyard to flee before he could do further damage.

 However, his true agenda was revealed when the Nathemus were able to literally plant The Valeyard in The Doctor's body using the telepathic circuits and the TARDIS’s link to the Matrix. This transfer was so complete that even Mel’s memories were essentially rewritten so that The Valeyard's appearance still seemed to be The Doctor while the true Doctor was trapped as a 'glitch' in the Matrix that would eventually be erased ("The Brink of Death"). Although The Doctor was able to learn that The Valeyard intended to spread out from the Matrix to infect all other Time Lords, this discovery seemed to be nothing more than The Valeyard taunting him. Even The Doctor's temporary companion Janesta, a Time Lord technician attending night classes on the Matrix - was revealed to apparently be a deception of The Valeyard's to encourage The Doctor's hope until he realised the truth at the last minute, although The Doctor chose to believe that there had been a ‘real’ Janesta as he rejected the idea that The Valeyard could be capable of posing as such a warm personality. Fortunately, The Valeyard's ego caused him to underestimate the lengths The Doctor would go to in order to stop him, with The Doctor in the Matrix using the last moments of his existence to send a telepathic 'prompt' to his past self to fly towards Lakertya ("Spiral Scratch" and "Time and The Rani"). The radiation around the planet caused the past Doctor to regenerate before The Valeyard's influence could take effect, the regeneration throwing off the Nathemus infection and allowing The Doctor to continue as himself while leaving The Valeyard trapped in The Matrix.
 Eventually managing to escape The Matrix by taking the body of The Keeper once again, The Valeyard continued his insane schemes, uncovering the secret existence of the Dark Matrix, where the most twisted, evil, perverse thoughts of all dead Time Lords was stored. Taking it to Earth in his own twisted TARDIS, The Valeyard arrived in London in 1888, where he became Jack the Ripper, killing young women and feeding them to the Dark Matrix to satisfy its own dark urges in the belief that he could ‘tame’ it. And, in an even more twisted move, he had created golems - men of clay - and, to power them, he had tracked down all thirteen Doctors, and had reverted them to their basic, evil natures. Some, like the Fifth Doctor, had managed to resist The Valeyard’s influence for some time, the Fifth Doctor only surrendering at the moment of regeneration when he drank the bat’s milk that he had originally given to Peri to save her life ("The Caves of Androzani"), while others had succumbed fairly quickly, the Fourth Doctor destroying the Daleks at their beginning ("Genesis of the Daleks") and the First murdering other Time Lords in order to leave Gallifrey in the first place. Once he had acquired all The Doctors, proving once and for all that the darkness was superior to The Doctors’ goodness, The Valeyard was going to control the energies of the Dark Matrix to give his own existence true form and substance beyond the shade that was all he was at present before leaving Earth in his distorted TARDIS - now disguised as The Doctor’s own tomb; it is unclear whether this meant he had repaired the chameleon circuit or if he had simply forcibly reprogrammed it into this disguise - unaware or unconcerned that his actions would corrupt human history to a nightmarish degree as the Dark Matrix continued to haunt the planet.

 However, there was still one fragile hope for reality; the Seventh Doctor, attempting to get Ace to safety, had discovered about the crisis when he arrived in the alternate 1963 that The Valeyard’s actions would create - a London stalked by life-draining zombies, the First Doctor being absent from Foreman’s Yard and Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright showing no knowledge of The Doctor or Susan, Barbara helping the Seventh Doctor isolate the point where history diverged from what he knew - and, having arrived in 1888, had sealed away his conscious mind in the telepathic circuits to keep himself free from the influence of the Dark Matrix when it tried to drive him to kill Ace. While Ace was forced to work as a kitchen maid (And then was imprisoned in a freak show by a man called Malacroix after the Dark Matrix triggered her transformation into a Cheetah person), the amnesic Doctor earned a reputation as a card trickster called Johnny, while the telepathic circuits and the TARDIS remained in the possession of Malacroix. However, Johnny eventually managed to regain the telepathic circuits after he was briefly suspected of being the Ripper himself, tracking The Valeyard to the nearby church where he had made his base… and where Ace was being held captive, The Valeyard - now calling himself ‘the Ripper’ as he felt it more appropriate - intending for her to be the final murder to activate the Dark Matrix. While the circus freaks held off the wraiths of the other twelve Doctors, the Seventh confronted the Dark Matrix with the truth about The Valeyard’s imprisonment of it, provoking it to try and escape its confinement within the Ripper’s TARDIS. As the Dark Matrix’s attempts to escape pushed the already-corrupted TARDIS to breaking point, the ship began to collapse in on itself, forcing The Doctor and the Ripper to flee to the church roof to continue their battle. As the TARDIS collapsed, the Ripper was struck by lightning from the ship, reflecting as he died that maybe he and the Dark Matrix would now finally find freedom from their own darkness. With the destruction of the Dark Matrix and the death of the Ripper, history was restored, although The Doctor and Ace were left haunted at the vision of their own dark natures that they had experienced during this adventure.

Book - Head Games
Head Games
(Steve Lyons)
While the 'original' Valeyard has not returned since, The Doctor encountered a manifestation of his own mind that appeared to represent the potential that would become The Valeyard in the future. While attempting to seal a power source drawing energy from the Land of Fiction ("The Mind Robber"), the Seventh Doctor confronted a manifestation of his guilt in the form of his sixth incarnation. The mental ghost of the Sixth Doctor, resenting the Seventh Doctor for essentially cutting his life short, had gathered all the darker aspects of The Doctor's mind to him, essentially turning his personality into the template of the future Valeyard (Ironically an outcome The Doctor had subconsciously sought to prevent by triggering his regeneration, concerned that the Sixth Doctor's nature made him particularly 'susceptible' to becoming The Valeyard). The Doctor was forced to battle his prior self for a time, but eventually managed to destroy the energy source and halt the flow of the fictional energy. However, he was forced to seal off the memory of the Sixth Doctor in his mind, knowing that he had to continue to resist the temptation to regenerate into his eighth incarnation; that moment of weakness could have given The Valeyard the chance he needed to break free.

 For a time, The Doctor, fearful of what he would become, walled up the sixth Doctor's mental ghost with the aid of his other five selves, but all the time gradually starting to blame himself for the actions he had been forced to commit in this incarnation, such as destroying the Silurian Earth created by The Meddling Monk ("Blood Heat") or tricking The Ferutu, beings from an alternate timeline where Gallifrey had been destroyed, into erasing their own universe from existence to preserve his own timeline ("Cold Fusion"). Although he acknowledged that he had done what he had to do, The Doctor still came to hate himself for his actions, and believed that, when he died, his seventh self, like his sixth, must be walled up in a metaphorical 'room with no doors' in his mind, like his previous self. Because of this, and his knowledge that his next regeneration would be an accident, he intended that Chris, his current companion, would take over as Time's Champion when he died, as he would not allow himself to regenerate. However, when he was hit by an arrow while saving a child, and awoke in his grave after entering into a death-like coma, The Doctor realised that nobody deserved to be locked away in solitude for eternity, not even his sixth self. For all his fears and attempts to disassociate himself from his past and future, he was the same person in all his incarnations, and he now acknowledged this and forgave himself his sins, thus removing the guilt that would have led to the creation of The Valeyard originally; if he hadn't forgiven his sixth self, his memory of that incarnation would eventually have become so twisted that, by his twelfth regeneration, that memory would have been used to create The Valeyard.

Audio - Time War 3: The War Valeyard
Time War 3: The War Valeyard
(John Dorney)
 However, just because that means of creating The Valeyard has been eliminated, doesn't mean that there aren't other possibilities. During the Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks, with the Eighth Doctor refusing to be a soldier for his people in favour of simply protecting other worlds that became caught in the crossfire, the Time Lords took advantage of a new opportunity when The Doctor used a transmat while carrying a genetic deconstruction device, which resulted in the essence of The Valeyard manifesting from The Doctor after he left the facility ("Time War 3: Fugitive in Time"). While this version of The Valeyard was older and wearing the same clothes that the Eighth Doctor had been wearing when he used the transmat, the Time Lord High Council, although apprehensive considering his prior attempt to assassinate them, eventually concluded that The Valeyard represented a useful asset in the War, possessing The Doctor's intelligence and guile without his concern for collateral damage. The Time Lords apparently dispatched him on various other assignments until they sent him to the planet Grahv to investigate rumours of a Dalek weapon that would erase the Time Lords from existence, using a temporal fracture on the planet ("Time War 3: The War Valeyard"). It is suggested that The Valeyard intended to use the weapon to erase the Time Lords from existence once he had eradicated the Dales, but when he activated the weapon, which operated by erasing the universal memory of the target and then altering reality accordingly, the Dalek Time Strategist escaped into another dimension and The Valeyard's own memory was altered while the Daleks were apparently erased from history and the Time War abruptly ended.

 With reality on Grahv warped by The Valeyard's distorted memory and the side-effects of the weapon, he found himself constantly hunted by Daleks created from his own subconscious while trying to save Grahvians, with the Daleks occasionally thinking they were The Doctor while the Grahvians spoke of legends that The Doctor would save them, the Time Lords established a time lock around the planet to keep The Valeyard contained. As The Valeyard himself began to believe that he was The Doctor, he experienced hallucinations of his darker self revelling in destruction, until the Eighth Doctor and Bliss stole another TARDIS to break through the time lock after learning of The Valeyard's existence. After a brief confrontation with a mental manifestation of the 'original' Valeyard threatening to kill them, The Doctor and Bliss were rescued by the 'new' Valeyard, who led them to the weapon and the rift that the Dalek Time Strategist had used to escape. Recognising the risk of the Dalek Time Strategist returning to the universe with a new wave of Daleks, The Doctor and Bliss prepared to travel through the rift to ensure that the Daleks couldn't return, but The Valeyard chose to remain in the loop so that he could continue to believe that he was The Doctor making some kind of difference in the fight against the Daleks rather than return to reality and remember his true nature. The Time Strategist was eventually able to recreate the Daleks with the 'aid' of an alternate version of Davros ("Palindrome"), but The Valeyard apparently remains on Grahv, with The Doctor 'content' to consider The Valeyard's existence little more than the remnant of a lost timeline now that his dark counterpart has found some measure of peace.

The Dream Lord
The Dream Lord
 While The Valeyard is the most iconic manifestation of The Doctor's evil, The Doctor has faced other manifestations of his dark side, such as the Eighth Doctor manifesting a darker alternate personality known as 'Zagreus' after he was infected by the forces of anti-time ("Neverland") and forced to face a future version of himself that adopted the identity of 'Grandfather Paradox' after he was corrupted by the biodata virus of Faction Paradox when they nearly altered his third regeneration ("Interference - Book Two" and "The Ancestor Cell"). Although these events essentially saw The Doctor being corrupted by outside influences, the Eleventh Doctor faced a ‘new’ Valeyard when some specks of psychic pollen that had become trapped in the TARDIS manifested The Doctor’s dark side in the form of the mysterious ‘Dream Lord’, an older man dressed in a near-identical version of The Doctor’s clothes. Appearing before The Doctor and his current companions, Amy Pond and Rory Williams, in the TARDIS, the Dream Lord attempted to convince them that he had trapped them between a dream world and a real world, forcing them to ‘choose’ the true reality out of a world where the TARDIS was hurtling towards a ‘cold star’ that would freeze them all to death or a world where Amy and Rory had left The Doctor five years ago - Amy about to give birth - only for their village to be overrun by an alien race called the Eknodine that hid inside peoples’ bodies. Although the world of the Eknodine was initially assumed to be the dream, The Doctor, deducing the Dream Lord’s true identity - on the ground that only one person could hate him that much - realised that both realities were the dream as the Dream Lord couldn’t affect reality, destroying the TARDIS in the cold star dream and allowing him, Amy and Rory to wake up before The Doctor disposed of the psychic pollen.

 Since the encounter with the Dream Lord, The Doctor has regenerated beyond his original thirteen lives ("The Time of The Doctor") with no apparent trace of The Valeyard, but the fact that The Master stated that The Valeyard would exist between The Doctor's twelfth and final (rather than thirteenth) incarnation suggests that he could still exist. During a meeting between the Tenth, Eleventh and the Twelfth Doctor ("The Four Doctors"), the Tenth Doctor briefly assumed that the Twelfth was The Valeyard until the Twelfth explained things to his past self. Even if The Doctor has resolved to never succumb to the worst parts of his nature and made peace with at least one manifestation of The Valeyard in their last meeting, he continues to be haunted by the knowledge of what he can become, aware that The Valeyard will always lurk underneath his psyche, waiting for his chance to become the dominant personality in The Doctor's body...
Return to the top of this page
Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
Who's Who Who Episodes
Who's Who
KJ Software
Who Episodes

Press to go back to the previous visited page Who Me References
Doctor Who is the copyright of the British Broadcasting Corporation. No infringements intended. This site is not endorsed by the BBC or any representatives thereof.