If the Beast from Beauty and the Beast is secretly a Time Lord – as one fan convincingly argued this week – then how many more of Gallifrey’s finest might have been hiding in plain sight all these years?

In a bid to sort the Rassilons from the renegades and the Prydonians from the pretenders, we’ve rounded some of the most likely suspects and subjected them to the ultimate Time Lord Test.

But who are we missing? Let us know your own cosmic theories in the comments below…

Father Christmas

Case for: He’s lived for many centuries and had many names, but one thing never changes: Santa’s ability to visit every house in the world in a single night. Who else but a time traveller could possibly achieve such an impossible feat? And is anyone really buying that whole chimney thing any more? Who even has a chimney these days? Clearly, he’s materialising his TARDIS in our living rooms and at the end of our beds. Plus, have you ever wondered how he fits toys for every child in the world on one sleigh? Piece of cake, actually, if it’s a dimensionally transcendental time machine. (The reindeers are real, though, obviously.)

The Eleventh Doctor claimed to be a good friend of Father Christmas – or, as he’s always known him, Jeff – and even carried a picture of himself with Santa and Albert Einstein at Frank Sinatra’s hunting lodge. Could they be old friends from way back on Gallifrey? The Ninth Doctor also hinted that he’d delivered a red bicycle to the young Rose Tyler one Christmas – was he helping his old chum with his festive rounds? Or is the Doctor a secret Santa himself? (The Twelfth Doctor and Clara came face to face with Santa a couple of Christmases back, of course, but it all turned out to be a dream. Kind of.)

Saint Nick is also an eccentric dresser, and often appears with a variety of different faces, especially in department stores and shopping malls throughout November and December.

Case against: Jeff the Time Lord doesn't sound quite right, does it?

Time Lord rating: 10/10. Totally a Time Lord.

Sherlock Holmes

Case for: He’s scientific with superhuman powers of observation. He’s alien, aloof, unknowable, with little patience for trivial human concerns. He’s had many faces, and has appeared in several time periods, from Victorian England to the Second World War to the 21st century. He has a human companion, through whose eyes we view his adventures. He doesn’t have a girlfriend (or a boyfriend). He sounds a lot like the Doctor when he talks, especially in his most recent incarnation.

Case against: The Doctor has claimed on several occasions to have met Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which suggests Holmes doesn’t actually exist. But he also met Holmes himself in the novel and audio drama All-Consuming Fire, where it was revealed that Conan Doyle had merely fictionalised the great detective’s real-life adventures.

Time Lord rating: 8/10

James Bond

Case for: Despite more than 60s years of adventures On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, James Bond remains a suspiciously evergreen spy. And it’s all very well saying You Only Live Twice, but 007 has had at least six faces, each accompanied by a slightly different personality (or, in the case of his smirking, safari-suited 70s incarnation, a radically different personality.) He travels with many different companions – usually attractive women – and has a love of gadgets, including a "sonic agitator unit". We've never heard it called that before.

Case against: Is ruthless, good with the ladies and a sharp dresser. If he’s a Time Lord, he’s certainly nothing like the Doctor.

Time Lord rating: 5/10


Case for: The one true king of Narnia is an ancient being who has lived for hundreds of years, and is able to manifest himself in different shapes. Lonely and godlike, he uses his power for good – but is also dangerous and unpredictable. His breath can restore people who have been turned to stone – could that be residual regeneration energy? He regularly brings humans from Earth to help him in his fight against the forces of evil and, on winning the day, likes to slip away quietly, often disappearing for long periods of time. But the most compelling evidence of all, of course, is that Aslan created a vast, magical world… inside a wardrobe.

Case against: Is a lion.

Time Lord rating: 8/10

Willy Wonka

Case for: He’s a scientist who leaves ordinary mortals permanently bamboozled, and uses his skills to create chocolate waterfalls and lollipop bushes – just like the Doctor once invented taps filled with lemonade. He doesn’t trust adults. As a youngster, he fled his home – only to have it disappear, so he couldn’t ever return there. He travels through space in a small glass elevator, and visits exotic places full of strange creatures, like Loompaland. He dresses in a bow tie and an Edwardian frock coat. He’s basically the Doctor.

Case against: We know he grew up on Earth. But who’s to say his father, Dr Wonka, wasn’t also a Time Lord? After all, he managed to make his entire house disappear and materialise somewhere else….

Time Lord rating: 10/10

David Bowie

Case for: He was the Starman, The Man Who Fell to Earth, A Space Oddity who sang of Loving the Alien and told tales of Life on Mars. He had a chameleon-like ability to change his appearance – over the years, he appeared in many guises, under many names: he was Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke, The Laughing Gnome. He arrived in our living rooms in the 60s like a being from another world, reached his creative and popular zenith in the 70s and endured a difficult, critically derided 80s, only to be reborn as a beloved hero for the 21st century. Remind you of anyone?

Case against: He was the coolest man in the universe. And Time Lords don’t really do cool. I mean, have you seen their outfits?

Time Lord rating: 6/10

Mary Poppins

Case for: She’s a magical and yet quintessentially English being who descends from the clouds to help save people in a crisis. She has a handbag that’s bigger on the inside. She knows that bow ties are cool – and hats and stripey scarfs, too, come to that. She has a flying umbrella, just like the one used by Time Lord wrong ’un Missy – and the pair clearly use the same stylist. Maybe ‘Victorian nanny’ is what they’re all wearing on Gallifrey this year….

Case against: The Eleventh Doctor once started to compare himself to Mary Poppins, before deciding that analogy would have been “rubbish”. Well excuse us.

Time Lord rating: 8/10

Tracy Barlow

Case for: Having barely left the cobbles of Coronation Street – let alone explored all of time and space – the ne’er do well daughter of Deirdre and Ken Barlow is an unlikely candidate for an ancient and powerful Gallifreyan. But bear with us. Because not only has Tracy had four different faces, her own daughter Amy has appeared in EIGHT separate guises, suggesting a fully-fledged Time Lord dynasty is underway on the streets of Weatherfield. It would also explain why Ken Barlow never gets any older.

Case against: Would a Time Lord really bother spending her life fighting petty feuds with the neighbours? And the Barlow’s house is definitely smaller on the inside.

Time Lord rating: 4/10

The Time Traveller

Case for: The protagonist of HG Wells’ The Time Machine is a scientist with no name who travels in time (well duh). He knows enough about the Fourth Dimension to be able to build a working TARD… sorry, time machine, which he uses to jaunt through the centuries fighting monsters (the Morlocks) and rescuing lesser mortals in distress (Weena). He witnesses the end of the world, before popping back home for dinner. He also dresses like a Victorian. But then everyone did back then, to be fair.

Case against: The Sixth Doctor met HG Wells and planted the seed for half the things that happen in The Time Machine. At a push, you could argue the Time Traveller is a Time Lord, in so much as he’s based on the Doctor.

Time Lord rating: 5/10


Case for: He has appeared in several different time periods, wearing several different faces – from a beautiful child to an old man. He is – timey-wimey alert – the Once and Future King. He created Stonehenge as a burial place – where the Doctor himself would one day be incarcerated in the Pandorica. And he’s half-human – just as the Doctor has claimed to be (but we’re not saying that’s true, so don’t write in).

The Seventh Doctor himself was identified as Merlin by Arthurian knights from a parallel universe. The warrior Ancelyn claimed Merlin had “many faces” and rode “the ship of time” which “deceived the senses by being larger within than without”. Can't think what he's referring to.

Case against: None. He’s a Time Lord, plain and simple. In fact, he's probably the Doctor.

Time Lord rating: 10/10

Ford Prefect

Case for: An alien trying to blend in on Earth, Ford Prefect rescues Arthur Dent shortly before the Earth is demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. He then travels through time and space with his new human companion, accompanied by a towel and a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He has adopted the name of a British saloon car because, he claims, his real name is unpronounceable on Earth. Enigmatic and at least 200 years old, he wanders the universe saying things like “Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so”.

Case against: Claims to be a native of Betelgeuse. But then he’d previously claimed to be from Guildford, so who knows what to believe?

Time Lord rating: 8/10