The Chameleon Arch is a piece of technology that can be deployed from the ceiling of the Control Room. With this device, a Time Lord can disguise themselves as whoever or whatever they want to be, allowing a researcher to infiltrate primitive societies without any danger of interfering with the Web of Time.
A single being can have its biological nature instantly changed by altering his morphic field. Using electrical charges and a Gallifreyan's regenerative powers, the Chameleon Arch rewrites the user's genetic structure, biology, and biodata, changing every single cell in the subject's body. If necessary, his two hearts will be compressed into one. The process is extremely painful.
Morphic fields are created by the crystallization of history through observation by a conscious mind. The shape and nature of every lifeform in the universe is influenced by the morphic field of that species. The Artron Energy created by a living being creates the morphic field as a sort of collective psionic aura which acts as a species equivalent to an individual's biodata. The longer a particular species has been around the stronger its morphic field. These fields build up over several generations (probably as a side effect of the crystallization of history caused by observation). It is the manipulation of morphic fields that also allows the conceptual based mutations caused by a Cell Mutator and the Chameleon Arch.
It is worth noting that, unlike normal regeneration, the newly generated personality can be completely different to the Gallifreyan's original personality. The subject's original biodata (history and biology) is stored in a Gallifreyan biodata module that appears to be a pocket watch. The shape of a pocket watch is used because it is a symbol of the Time Lords' mastery of Time. It should also be noted that the module does emit a powerful psychic aura which can be detected by even untrained telepaths. If the watch is opened near the subject the subject will painlessly revert to their original biodata and memories. The user will, however, retain all the memories he had while in his alternate form.
Because morphic field manipulation requires a living organic mind capable of adapting to the irrational changes caused by the alterations, the process is connected to the physiological information in the databanks and controlled by the TARDIS's Protyon Core. The Chameleon Arch can be set for different species (including human). It can even make an adult user into a child. Depending on the setting the Arch will insert a back-story into the subject's mind The TARDIS can be programmed to select a local where the subject's new biology and back story will fit right in.
The following color code is used:
- Black: For information from the TV Series, including Dimensions in Time, and 1996 TV Movie.
- Blue: For information from the Novels and Audios including Target, Virgin, BCC, and Big Finish.
- Green: For information from 'licensed' reference sources such as the Technical Manual, Doctor Who Magazine, and the Role Playing Games.
- Red: For information from unofficial sources -The Faction Paradox series, behind the scenes interviews, author's speculation, and popular fan belief.
The TARDIS Technical Index is copyright Will B Swift.