“I was there,” says the Doctor, “I fought in the war.”
Up until now he has been reticent to give details of exactly what happened, the pain apparently being too much for him to bear. So what did actually happen? How was it that many different planets and civilisations became embroiled in what has become known as the last great Time War? The truth of the matter may be more staggering than first thoughâ€¦
Every 40 years, a different planet was chosen to host the Inter-Galactic Olympic Games. A previously successful and enjoyable celebration of sporting excellence â€“ the 92nd Olympiad on Thoros Beta still living long in the memory thanks to the remarkable and unforgettable feats of Alpha Centauri in the curling â€“ , the 114th Games proved to be the most spectacular in history and gained notoriety as it came to be known as â€˜The Time Warâ€™.
The Games started well enough. The Cybermen, as expected, proved difficult to beat in the long distance races due to their never actually getting tired; the Weeping Angels were invincible in 100m sprint due to the fact that the other athletes had to stop looking at them in order to run; the Sea Devils were once again taking the honours in the swimming events; the Sontarans triumphed in the shot put.
The trouble started, however, during the high jump. The Time Lord athlete had achieved a personal best and was looking a dead cert for the gold medal. The Dalek entrant, though, had other ideas. He trundled up to the apparatus, gave the command â€˜elevateâ€™ and he rose off the floor and over the bar. The Time Lords claimed this was against the rules, the Daleks insisting they had done nothing wrong. And thatâ€™s when it all kicked off.
The Doctor was unveiled as the Time Lordsâ€™ trump card in the log-balancing event, earning a gold medal as he witnessed the fall of Arcadia. The Time Lords then resurrected the Master as they thought heâ€™d be their best bet in the maniacal laughter event. Resurrecting a dead person was, of course, blatantly cheating and the Daleks staged a walk out. Davros gave a passionate speech condemning the Time Lords course of action and a war of words started with both sides trying to out-do each other.
“We wiped out the Thals,” boasted the Daleks. “We invented time travel,” countered the Time Lords. “We are the superior beings,” claimed the Daleks. “We have the Eye of Harmony,” the Time Lords bragged. And so on until both sides stupidly agreed to a planet-wiping-out contest. At the specified starting time, they launched their terrifying weapons, destroying both Gallifrey and Skaro. The contest had ended in a draw.
From that day on, people and creatures from civilisations universe-wide would talk of the great Time War, shivering at what they had witnessed.
The Master foresaw what was going to happen and fled, using his Chameleon Arch to escape, pretending to be Professor Yana, a human from the future.
The Doctor could have stopped it but he didnâ€™t. He could have said “Hey, chaps, donâ€™t be daft, this is supposed to be a bit of fun.” But he didnâ€™t. And he has felt guilty ever sinceâ€¦