A History of the Whoniverse

The Middle Ages.

'I've got it! It's one of those tourist places. A medieval castle all restored to its original condition, with jolly banquets and buxom serving wenches. That's it, isn't it? Mind you, I think you've overdoing the sordid realism a bit. I mean, I know things were a bit grotty in the Middle Ages, but, really, you might leave the tourists a bit of glamorous illusion. I've never seen such a scurvy, smelly...'
- Sarah Jane Smith mistakes the past for a theme park in The Time Warrior

r. September 514 AD

The Recruiter, a highly advanced weapon, is damaged by a plasma bolt. It lands on the Q'ell planet and begins a war using brainwashed beings from other planets so that the natives can develop the technology to repair it.

[The war started 1405 years local time before Toy Soldiers. I assume, with no justification, that Q'ell years are similar to Earth ones.]

c. 550 AD

A Zygon spaceship containing the cyborg Skarasen crashes near Loch Ness. The Zygons feed off the Skarasen's milk. For centuries, the Skarasen is seen as the Loch Ness Monster.

[Terror of the Zygons. Recorded sightings of the Loch Ness Monster date back to the middle ages. The earliest recorded sighting was by St. Columba in 565, so we've arbitrarily set this a few years before this.]

c. 700 AD

The Doctor claims to have caught a huge salmon in Fleet and shared it with the Venerable Bede.

[The Doctor claims this in The Talons of Weng-Chiang. Bede lived between 673 AD and 735 AD, and only once left Jarrow, on a visit to Canterbury.]

r. 705 AD

The Doctor claims to have slain a dragon in Krakow at around this time.

[He says this was 1300 years ago in Only Human (p.38).]

c. 731 AD

Bede completes his Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

[According to Holmes in All Consuming Fire.]

r. 4th October 733 AD

The fourth Doctor defeats the Tzun at Mimosa II.

[First Frontier (p. 123) dates this as 1224 years ago. In Lords of the Storm (p. 208) the Doctor mentions he was travelling with Leela at the time.]

8th Century AD

A church is built in Crook Marsham.

[In Nightshade (p. 32) the Doctor claims it was originally 8th Century.]

ALT 8th Century AD

In a parallel universe, at least two incarnations of the Doctor become known as Merlin. In this world, King Arthur was much the same as in our legends. In this century Arthur fought against Morgaine and the Doctor cast down Morgaine at Badon. Morgaine eventually won, killing Arthur. The Doctor placed Arthur's body with Excalibur in a semi-organic spaceship and buried it near the lake at Carbury in the real universe, leaving a message for his past self, who he knew would discover it.

[This is the background to Battlefield. The novelisation shows that the incarnation who sent Excalibur to Earth was ginger.]

8th Century AD

The Doctor learns at least a few words of a Japanese dialect that will become the formal tongue of the Japanese Royal Family.

[According to Transit (p. 91), which gives the century.]

785 AD

Egfrith, King of Mercia, is the first English Monarch to undergo anointing as part of his coronation ceremony.

[According to the priest in The Dying Days (p. 182).]

9th Century AD

Fenric, despite being contained in a flask, was able to bring the Ancient One, a Haemovore from half a million years in the future, to ninth century Constantinople. Fenric's flask was stolen from Constantinople and taken to Northumbria by Vikings. Viking carvings claimed that the Vikings who took the flask were cursed. The flask was buried under the site of St. Jude's Church.

[The Curse of Fenric. The carvings are said to be in the nine-letter alphabet used in the 10th century, rather than the later sixteen-letter one.]

9th Century AD

The seventh Doctor, Ace, and Benny are on a Viking longboat when it raids an Angle settlement.

[According to Sky Pirates! (p. 222-223). The date is arbitrary. The main period of Viking raids was after the point that Angles and Saxons had become simply English.]

c. 850 AD

The [Vikings] knew of the Timewyrm, and called her Hel.

[According to the Timewyrm in Timewyrm: Revelation. Hel was the Viking goddess of death, and the earliest mention of her is in a ninth century saga.]

r. 887 AD

The Catholic Church founds the library of St. John the Beheaded to act as a secret repository of unique, suppressed and pagan texts, including information on "alternative zoology and phantasmagorical anthropology." By the 19th century, the library would be based in St. Giles Rookery, London.

[This was 1,000 years before All Consuming Fire (p. 15). The Empire of Glass hints that this may eventually evolve into the Braxiatel Collection.]

c. 890 AD

The Doctor claims to have met Alfred the Great and his cook Ethelburg.

[In The Ghosts of N-Space. Alfred lived from 843 AD to 899 AD and reigned from 886 AD.]

est. 900 AD

Invasion of the Cat-People

The second Doctor, Ben, Thorgarsuunela and the Cat People use an RTC to travel back to Baghdad at this time. Adoon, a boy from this time, recalled how he helped Djinn Dok-Ter and Prince Ben-Jak (who was trapped in the form of a sand-demon) defeat the evil sand-demon Thor-Sun and five night demons (who were planning to destroy Baghdad) by turning them against each other.

[Although Lotuss and Thorgarsunella both estimate that this is 2,000 years ago. However, Baghdad is clearly and unambiguously Islamic, setting this at least seven centuries later than this estimate. In the absence of other dating information we're going with the guess Lance Parkin makes in AHistory - which is approximately 50 years before Arabian Nights was written.]

10th Century

The Doctor visits the Yoruba tribe. Whilst in Ife, he becomes known as Shango, their thunder god after an incident involving static electricity.

[This was during the tenth century according to the Doctor in Transit (p. 204). It is also referred to by a Yoruba major (p. 200).]

c. 1020 AD

The Cathedral of St. Sophia is built in Kiev. Whilst it is being built, some peasants in a nearby village discover a casket that has fallen from the sky. The casket contains a creature that is believed to be an angel. The casket is placed in the catacombs of the cathedral, and its arrival is recorded by a man who was there.

[According to Bunker Soldiers (p. 5-7 & 225-228). This is said to have happened while the cathedral was being built (p. 72). The dates given for this is that it was 'long ago' (p. 72), generations ago (p. 29) and about 6 generations ago (p. 222) Historically, the foundations were laid sometime around 1011, but construction took several decades.]

1033 AD

Clancey's Comet is believed to be the Star of the West, sent to commemorate the anniversary of the crucifixion.

[The Ghosts of N-Space.]

11th Century

A monastery was established on the site of Forgill Castle.

[Forgill mentions this in Terror of the Zygons.]

h. 5th January 1066 AD

King Edward (the Confessor) dies and Harold II (Harold Godwinson) is crowned King of England.

[Edith says that the old king died at "the start of the year" in The Time Meddler (ep. 1). We've used the real date of Edward's death.]

r. Early August 1066 AD

The Monk (Mortimus) sets up a base in an abandoned monastery and places an atomic cannon on a hillside ready to destroy Harald Hadrada's Viking invasion fleet.

[Edith says that the monastery was reoccupied "a few weeks ago" in The Time Meddler (ep.1)]

c. Late August 1066 AD

The Time Meddler

The first Doctor, Vicki and Steven thwart Mortimus' plan to destroy Harald Hadrada's Viking invasion fleet. If the plan had succeeded, there would have been no Battle of Stamford Bridge and Harold would have had a fresh army for the Battle of Hastings. Removing the dimensional controls of Mortimus' TARDIS, the Doctor strands him temporarily in that timezone.

[The Doctor calculates that it's 1066 (ep.1). It's not certain how close this is to the Battle of Stamford Bridge, but it's probably August or early September.]

h. 25th September 1066 AD

Harold Godwinson defeats Harald Hadrada's Vikings at Stamford Bridge and force-marches his army south to fight William of Normandy.

[This is mentioned but not dated in The Time Meddler (ep.4).]

h. 14th October 1066 AD

Harold Godwinson's army is defeated by William at the Battle of Hastings. Harold is killed during the battle.

[This is repeatedly mentioned in The Time Meddler.]

c. Summer 1070 AD

The Doctor meets King Tenkamenin at Kumbi Selah. The Doctor was given Kola nuts and a place to sleep in the Royal Palace. They spend the night talking about philosophy and the old gods. The Doctor leaves as the sun breaks over the hills. Nobody dies.

[According to the Doctor in Transit (p 66). Tenkamenin was king of Ghana/Aoukar between 1062 AD and 1076 AD.]

Spring 1087 AD

Saint Nicholas's Bones (Short Trips: The History of Christmas)

Sailors from Bari steal the bones of St Nicholas from Myra, taking them back home.

[St Nicholas died over 700 years ago and the Doctor says that it's 1087 (p. 213). Historically, these events took place in the spring of that year.]

h. 9th September 1087 AD

Joanna Harris is born in Canterbury on the same day as King William dies.

[According to Vampire Science. This was just before the end of the first millennium (so before 31st December 1000) according to Vampire Science (p. 151), 900 odd years ago (p. 145), before the invention of science (p. 147), the day William the Conqueror died (p. 168). She has been a vampire for 900 years (p. 176). We're discounting the first millennium date, since it's inconsistent with the others, and going with William's death, since it's specific.]

1145 AD

The legend of Prester John - a Christian king outside of Europe, thought to be in the East, is first written down.

[Prester John is referred to in Bunker Soldiers (p. 24). In mediaeval Europe he was a hoped-for ally against Islam. It is possible that the legend is based on the Christian kingdom in Ethiopia/Abyssinia, or to one of the various Christian churches in parts of Asia (which never contained any rulers).]

c. 12th Century

Additions are made to the church in Crook Marsham.

[According to the Doctor in Nightshade (p. 32) the additions are Norman, and it's implied that this was after the castle was built (p.65). The 12th Century seems the most likely point for both things to be true.]

12th Century

The Convent of the Little Sisters of St. Guilda is founded. Cessair of Diplos would pose as its mother superior.

[Vivian Fay gives the century in The Stones of Blood (ep.2).]

est. 12th Century

The Master uses TOM-TIT to kidnap a mediaeval knight

[We see the knight in The Time Monster, but we have no idea when in the middle ages he was snatched from.]

12th Century

SAGITTARIUS: Five Card Draw (Short Trips: Zodiac)

A sorcerer scares away some bandits and locks a woman called Lady Mary in a box. A group of knights, including her brother, attempt to capture the sorcerer, and eventually bargain with his associate for her freedom. The associate gives them a gold-plated, jewel-encrusted, bow and releases Mary.

[The fifth Doctor thinks it's 12th century England (p.113).]

1156 AD

Sir Brian De Fillis builds Marsham Castle just outside the village of Crook Marsham.

[According to the Abbot in Nightshade (p. 65-66).]

c. 1160 AD

Brian De Fillis goes mad as his wife comes back from the dead to haunt him. Following this Marsham Castle is abandoned, being believed to be haunted.

[According to local legend in Nightshade (p. 72). This is confirmed by the Sentience (p. 227).]

c. 1167 AD

The Doctor acts as a midwife for Temujin (also spelt Temuchin), who would grow up to become Genghis Khan.

[The Doctor claims to have delivered Genghis in Tragedy Day (p.115), and the date of Khan's birth is mentioned in Bunker Soldiers. If this happened, it was after Marco Polo in the Doctor's personal timeline.]

c. 1168 AD

The Aztecs leave their original home of Aztlan and become nomads. They carry around the Xiuhcoatl, an Exxilon artefact that they believe to be a holy relic.

[The Left-Handed Hummingbird (p. 66).]

1179 AD

The time corridor formed by the Timelash ended. This is probably when the Borad materialised in Loch Ness.


r. 1191 AD

Emir El Akir has Haroun Ed Diin's wife and son killed, his house destroyed and his eldest daughter added to the Emir's harem.

[A year before The Crusade.]

c. 1192 AD

The Crusade

A group of strangers arrives at the court of King Richard in Jaffa. One is knighted Sir Ian of Jaffa and rides off to search for their missing companion. The party of strangers is later spirited away by sorcerers. Meanwhile, Richard's sister Joanna refuses to make peace by marrying Saladin's brother Saphadin.

[The story appears to happen about a year after Richard I took Jaffa, though no dates are established.]

1195 AD

Whittaker's time scoop kidnaps a peasant from England.

[Invasion of the Dinosaurs (ep.2) . The peasant mentions that King Richard is away at the crusades. Richard reigned from 1189 to 1199, and spent most of his reign away fighting in the crusades.]

c. 1200 AD

The Doctor hears Genghis Khan speak. At some point his assembled hordes try, and fail, to break through the TARDIS doors.

[The Doctor claims to have heard Khan speak in The Dæmons, and makes the claim about Khan's hordes failing to break through the TARDIS doors in Rose. If either event happened, then they must have been after Marco Polo in the Doctor's timeline. Khan died in 1227, but these events could have been at any point during his conquests.]

c. 1202 AD

The Mongols destroy the Tartar clan, [amongst others].

[According to Bunker Soldiers (p. 164). No date is given.]

r. 4th March 1205 AD

King John orders a man to be boiled in oil.

[Ten years before The Kings Demons.]

h. 1206 AD

Genghis Khan unites the Mongol tribes and turns them into a massive invasion force.

[This is mentioned in Bunker Soldiers (p. 19). No date is given, so we've gone with history.]

r. 1210 AD

Genghis Khan conquers the Chin Empire [China]. This invasion reduces the population from 50 million to less than 9 million.

[In Bunker Soldiers the Doctor claims that this was 30 years ago (before 1240; p. 167). Further details are provided by Ling (p. 169). Historically, the campaign started in 1210 and finished in 1214.]

4th March 1215 AD

The King's Demons

An impostor arrives at Fitzwilliam Castle claiming to be King John, accompanied by the French knight Sir Giles Estram. Due to the intervention of some strangers, the impostor is revealed, resulting in the Fitzwilliams' remaining loyal to King John.

[The story happens on 4th and 5th of March 1215, according to the Doctor. Kamelion and the Master arrived on the 3rd.]

h. 1220 AD

The man who would later be known as St Anthony of Padua lost everything he owned in a shipwreck and spent the rest of his days living like a Spartan in a cave in San Paolo.

[According to the Doctor in The Canvey Angels (Short Trips: Companions) (p. 184-185). St Anthony lived from 1195 to 1231, and his shipwreck was sometime around 1220.]

h. 1227 AD

Ghengis Khan dies and is succeeded by Ogedai Khan.

[The Doctor claims that this was "a decade or more ago" in Bunker Soldiers (p. 19; where it's 1240). The exact year is historical.]

r. 1239 AD

Olexander is asked to translate a document concerning the catacombs of the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev. When Olexander questions the wisdom of trusting this document Yehven frames him for heresy - alleging he has translated the Bible into Russian. Olexander is imprisoned.

[This was "over a year" before Bunker Soldiers (p. 71).]

h. 1239 AD

The Russian towns of Chernigov and Pereislav fall to the Mongols, under Batu Khan, in quick succession. [Following this,] Prince Michael flees to Hungary. Previously, the Mongols had captured Bulgar, Riazan, Kolumna, Kostroma, and Torzhok.

[As mentioned in Bunker Soldiers (p.9 & 25). This was clearly a recent event, but no date is given. Prince Michael's destination is mentioned on page 25, and his desertion is mentioned several times in the novel. We're using the historical date of 1239.]

1240 AD

Bunker Soldiers

Some strangers arrive in Kiev a blue box. They are detained because they will not give Governor Dmitri the secrets of this box. After many weeks in Kiev one of them is imprisoned for murder, and another goes to plead with the invading Mongols to spare the city. The governor soon discovers that the murder was the first of several caused by a strange beast, but has also to deal with a plague. The governor is turned mad after an encounter with the creature and advisor Yehven takes over, too late to stop the execution of Mongol emissaries and throwing plague victims at the Mongol army.

[The Doctor states the year (p. 16), and the travellers have been in Kiev for "many weeks" (p. 19).]

est. 1242 AD

The Time Warrior

A Sontaran called Linx is attacked by a squadron of Rutan fighters, who damage his ship and force him to land on Earth. Trapped there, he uses an Osmic projector to kidnap scientists from 1973. The Third Doctor intervenes, rescuing the scientists. Meanwhile, an archer called Hal kills Linx. Linx had, however, reactivated his ship and begun the launch sequence. The launch of his ship destroys Irongron's castle, located somewhere in Wessex.

[Edward and Irongron's other neighbours have sent their troops off to fight “interminable wars” for the king. There are several references to Normans, so it has to be somewhere between 1066 and the latter end of the Hundred Years War. Bloodaxe mentions Saracens, suggesting that it's during the period of the crusades, though there's no reason to assume that the wars that are mentioned are actually the crusades. The Doctor calls it the “early middle ages”, which would make it before 1000. In The Sontaran Experiment Sarah says it was in the 13th century (1201-1300) and in The Paradise of Death the Doctor says it was 800 years ago (so c. 1170s, dependent on UNIT dating).

Other chronologies disagree about when to place this. The Terrestrial Index goes for c.1190, AHistory goes for c.1273, and Timelink goes for 1274, the latter two arbitrarily suggesting that it's exactly 700 years ago. Since the wars involving England in this period are all separated by long periods of peace, I'm simply going to pick a war and run with it. Since the Saintonge war (1242-1243) was a major reason for the Second Baron's War in England, it's probably the best 13th Century fit with Edward's “interminable wars” comment.]

December 1242 AD


The Cathares were a mediaeval Gnostic sect who believed that creation was evil but spirits were good. Hunted down by the inquisition, they were finally destroyed at the Rocc fortress near Beziers in what is now France. The fortress had reputedly contained such rare items as a manuscript proving Homer was a woman, King Arthur's crown, and Jesus' skull.

[The date is given (p. 88). Winter is encroaching (p. 4).]

13th Century

The Forgill family claimed to have faithfully served the nation of Scotland since this time.

[This was said to be the late 13th Century in Terror of the Zygons.]

c. 13th Century

The complex that later became Stangmoor prison was a fortress at this time.

[This was "during the middle ages". We've chosen a century in the middle of the period.]

est. 13th Century

Scaroth's seventh segment posed as a crusader.

[Whilst Scaroth resembles RIchard the Lionheart it seems very unlikely that Richard was Scaroth. We do not know which crusade Scaroth was on, though we can assume that he actively encouraged the transfer of knowledge from the Muslim world to the European which happened during this period.]

1251 AD

Mongke, grandson of Ghengis Khan, becomes Great Khan.

[The Doctor claims that this will happen in "1250, 1251, something like that" in Bunker Soldiers (p. 19). The actual date was 1st July 1251.]

r. 1252 AD

Marco Polo is born.

[In Marco Polo (ep.1), his 25th birthday was in 1277.]

r. 1264 AD

Crusaders were in the Holy Land at this time.

[Marco says this was true 25 years ago in Marco Polo (ep.6),]

r. 1269 AD

A Mongol ruler called Hulagu kills 250 Hashashins who had lived in a cave near Tun-Huang following a three-year seige.

[Ping Cho tells the story in Marco Polo (ep. 3). She says this was twenty years ago.]

1270 AD

A mysterious Doctor who tended King Alexander sent his stable boy Tom away.

[Birthright. The king in question is presumably Alexander III of Scotland.]

1271 AD

Marco Polo, his father Niccolo and his uncle Maffeo leave Venice to explore China.

[Marco gives the year in Marco Polo (ep.1)]

r. 1273 AD

Ping Cho is born.

[She says that she is 16 in Marco Polo (ep.1)]

r. 1273 AD

Marco Polo arrives at Kublai Khan's court in Peking.

[According to Marco in Marco Polo (ep.1). This was when he was 21 and three and a half years after leaving Venice. Both calculations give us the figure of 1274.]

1277 AD

Marco Polo joins the service of Kublai Khan on his 25th Birthday.

[In Marco Polo (ep.1), Marco and Barbara agree that this was in 1277, and that it was his 25th birthday.]

r. 1287 AD

Marco Polo and his family ask Kublai Khan for permission to return home to Venice. The Khan refuses.

[Two years before Marco Polo (ep. 1).]

r. 1289 AD

Jared Khan fails to acquire the TARDIS from Kublai Khan.

[This obviously happens during the events of Marco Polo.]

1289 AD

Marco Polo

Marco Polo is in charge of taking a caravan across the Pamir Plateau to Kublai Khan. He is accompanied by Tegana, an emissary from Mongol warlord Noghai, and Ping-Cho, a young girl travelling to meet her husband-to-be. En route, they discover a party of Europeans with a blue box and take them along with them as well. Arriving at the court, Tegana fails in an attempt to assassinate the Khan.

[Marco gives the year in episode 1.]

c. 1300 AD

Roger Mortimore builds the earliest part of Trentillys Castle.

[Past Reckoning (Decalog 3) (p. 102).]

c. 1307 AD

The Doctor meets Robert the Bruce and tells him 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.'

[Lords of the Storm (p. 92). No year is given, so we've gone for the year he returned to Scotland and defeated the English at Carrick.]

c. 1307 AD

The Doctor claims to have met William Tell.

[The William Tell legend is traditionally set somewhere around 1307.]

c. 1310 AD

The Doctor obtains Dante's business card.

[We see the card in The Two Doctors. Dante lived between 1265 and 1321. It is not clear how somebody who lived before the printing press would have obtained business cards in the first place.]

r. Summer 1340 AD

Tadhg is born

[He is eight in Screamager (Short Trips: Monsters).]

1346 AD

The Mongols attack Kaffa. When disease attacks the Mongol camp, their commander orders the corpses to be catapulted over the walls. This act starts the spread of the Black Death into Europe.

[According to the Doctor in Bunker Soldiers (p. 219).]

c. Summer 1348 AD

Screamager (Short Trips: Monsters)

An Irish village is infected with the Black Death.

[It's summer in the mid 14th century (p. 163). Historically speaking the Black Death reached Ireland in 1348, so I've set it in that year.]

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