FACT No.13: TIME LORD SOCIETY
- VOLUME TWO – The Hierarchy -
The hierarchy of the significant figures in Time Lord society was largely devised by Robert Holmes in his 1977 story ‘The Deadly Assassin’, which was continued and added to in the 1978 Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) serial ‘The Invasion of Time’. The presentation of the Time Lord hierarchical system was, in fact, inspired by the United States Constitution’s separation of powers.
This system guarantees the independence of the three branches of government, in order to prevent abuse of power by anyone. In Time lord society, these three vital roles of government – or the Citadel, in the case of Gallifrey – are filled by a Castellan (chief of the Citadel and Gallifreyan security, and second-in-line to the Presidency and second-in-command), a Chancellor (advisor to the President and third-in-line), and then the President himself; the highest authority and power on Gallifrey.
Another figure of Gallifreyan Time Lord society is the ‘Gold Usher’. The Gold Usher was conceived as a title devoted purely to ceremonial duties, such as the Presidential inauguration in ‘The Invasion of Time’. His role in the Citadel was compared by the production team to the Black Rod in the British Parliament, again purely ceremonial.