Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

Book - The Adventuress of Henrietta Street
The Adventuress of Henrietta Street
(Lawrence Miles)

 Name: Sabbath, real name unknown

 Format: Book.

 Time of Origin: London, 1783.

 Appearances: "The Adventuress of Henrietta Street", "Anachrophobia", "History 101" to "The Domino Effect", "The Last Resort", "Timeless" and "Sometime Never...".

 Doctor: Eighth Doctor.

 Companions: Fitz Kreiner, Anji Kapoor, Trix MacMillan, and technically Jo Grant, Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Mel Bush, Ace, and Samantha Jones (All captured or possibly killed by Sabbath's superiors).

 History: Sabbath was, in many ways, one of the few adversaries The Doctor ever had who was his equal, possessing an innate cunning for dealing with problems in time and space. However, in other ways, Sabbath was The Doctor's opposite, attempting to seduce at least three women before The Doctor and he met and possessing little remorse about committing murder to further his ends. In practical terms, he actually bore more resemblance to the Seventh Doctor than the Eighth, having concluded that he was better suited to coming up with plans and manipulating others rather than taking action himself (Although it should be noted that, unlike the Seventh Doctor, he was rather overweight, having concluded that physical appearance was unimportant in his ‘line of work’). However, at heart, Sabbath was little more than a puppet, much of his knowledge acquired second-hand from his mysterious superiors, even his own time travelling abilities technically stolen from The Doctor, the realisation of his true nature driving him to oppose his former masters and aid The Doctor in their last confrontation.

Book - Anachrophobia
(Jonathan Morris)
 At their first encounter, in London of 1783 ("The Adventuress of Henrietta Street"), The Doctor, currently suffering from memory loss after his final encounter with Faction Paradox - and having somehow become trapped on Earth without access to the TARDIS - was attempting to organise a defence on Earth against a species from another dimension that had taken on the physical appearance of apes; formerly, Time was stabilised by a race of Elementals (The Time Lords), but, with the destruction of the Elementals ("The Ancestor Cell"), their knowledge had passed on to others, and now The Doctor had to organise some of the inheritors of that knowledge to protect humanity from the apes, really personifications of mankind’s ignorance emerging from another dimension to attack Earth as it emerged into a new age of reason and a new way of thinking. Due to the loss of Gallifrey, The Doctor felt he lacked the authority to truly interfere with Earth on this scale, and so, to turn The Doctor into an Elemental of the Earth, a wedding was being arranged between The Doctor and the innocent young Juliette that would symbolically bind The Doctor to Earth and allowing him to participate in its affairs. However, at the same time, Sabbath was attempting to gain true time travelling abilities; some years back, Sabbath had been an agent of the British Secret Service of the present, but, during a test where he was put in an inescapable situation (Chained up and thrown into the Thames) he had, according to myth, encountered a Leviathan that taught him a secret word that let him travel through Time and Space.

 During the course of the crisis, Sabbath constructed a ship, the Jonah, to allow him to travel through time with greater ease, even summoning and binding some of the apes to his service, but was unable to travel more than a certain distance from Earth; it was as though it no longer acknowledged him if he was a certain distance away from it. Although the two men were operating towards the same end of saving humanity from the apes, Sabbath believed that The Doctor’s side lacked the skills to deal with a crisis on this scale, particularly after The Doctor’s people had already failed one. Eventually, Sabbath realised how he could overcome his difficulty in penetrating ‘deep time’; The Doctor was currently dying of a kind of heart failure, his second heart pumping poison into him as it tried to link him to the now non-existent Gallifrey. Despite having nearly ruined The Doctor's plans to become Earth's Elemental Champion by taking Juliette away, Sabbath still decided to save The Doctor's life, somehow removing the heart before it could kill The Doctor. Now married to Scarlette, the woman who had helped The Doctor gather his forces against the apes, The Doctor was able to battle them on his terms, decapitating the head ape with the sonic screwdriver (It representing a power they couldn't understand). However, as The Doctor departed, Scarlette apparently dead - although it was implied that she had merely faked her death, knowing how The Doctor felt about her and aware that he had a greater duty to the universe that she could not aid him in - he was unaware of the fate of his second heart; Sabbath, wishing to gain the biological advantages of the Time Lords, had inserted the heart into his own chest, and was now determined to take the place of the Time Lords as Time's protector...

 After leaving Earth, Sabbath acquired mysterious associates who wished to ensure they were the only time-active power in existence. Under his manipulation The Doctor was tricked into disposing of a race of Clock-Faced People ("Anachrophobia"), Sabbath manipulating events so that The Doctor would see the creatures as a hostile threat rather than the refugees they were in reality as they sought to escape Sabbath’s masters. Sabbath also tricked The Doctor into helping him eliminate a vast information-gathering network known simply as 'the System' ("History 101") which apparently contained information about Sabbath’s initiation that had to be kept secret. The System was disrupted when its agent’s attempts to perceive Sabbath’s agent - who was out of sync with the world it sought to observe - forced it to access the perceptions of others to analyse the agent, the System’s agent subsequently being driven mad by the conflicting viewpoints – simultaneously corrupting the System as the agent’s perceptions were transferred back to it - until The Doctor managed to help it depart this reality.

 Shortly after this, The Doctor and Sabbath faced each other again in Victorian London ("Camera Obscura"), having to work together to deal with a faulty time machine - The Doctor preferring to work with Sabbath despite his distrust of the other man rather than doing all the work only to find Sabbath was behind it all along - in the course of which The Doctor discovered an interesting side-effect of his heart being in Sabbath's chest; since one of his hearts was always beating in Sabbath’s chest, even if his chest was practically crushed, he would still survive without needing to regenerate (Although it was unclear whether the same would apply to Sabbath if he was fatally injured). After finding the machine - which worked by fracturing and reassembling Time to travel through it, with its improper tuning causing those who used it to be fractured into multiple versions of themselves - The Doctor's unique relationship with Time allowed him to overload the machine, but a woman Sabbath loved died to save him, knowing about their link... and, enraged at The Doctor for his actions, Sabbath tore out The Doctor's second heart, allowing The Doctor to grow a new one while apparently retaining the advantages the heart had given him.

Book - The Domino Effect
The Domino Effect
(David Bishop)
 However, now The Doctor had a better idea of Sabbath's beliefs, and knew him to be truly dangerous. Sabbath believed that unauthorised time travel causes alternate timelines to proliferate, damaging the structure of the Universe and wearing it down (A view apparently reinforced by his 'allies' and opposed to The Doctor’s view of Time as a flowing stream where his presence caused no more damage than ripples from a thrown stone), and, in their next encounter with Sabbath in Siberia ("Time Zero"), Sabbath intended to trigger an explosion of dark matter energy at the beginning of the universe, thus shaping all that followed, destroying all alternate histories and leaving only one possible timeline. However, The Doctor knew that Sabbath was wrong; every significant event remains indeterminate until the act of observation forces the Universe to ‘choose’ the outcome. It does not split unless absolutely necessary, and even then, under ordinary circumstances it’s impossible - or at least very, very difficult - to move between alternate timelines, The Doctor proving that Sabbath’s beliefs were wrong by demonstrating how the dark matter energies he was using could only have been created via a temporal paradox as actions in the present resulted in the subjects travelling back in time to set up the events that would allow them to go back in the first place. Essentially, if Sabbath's plans worked, all he'd have achieved would be the loss of free will itself...

 In a last-ditch effort, The Doctor was able to alter the explosion Sabbath was trying to create so that it occurred in 1894 rather than prior to the Big Bang. However, this had another awkward side-effect; rather than merge all realities into one timeline, it broke down the barriers between alternate universes, causing all the possibilities to 'compete' for the position of the true reality, causing the TARDIS to randomly materialise in alternate versions of Earth’s history every time it travelled in time. The Doctor tried to solve the problem by helping a native of the planet Selonart access a godlike power source known as the Infinity Process - Selonart having been artificially engineered to allow its inhabitants to become one with the universe - ("The Infinity Race"), but, whether or not he managed to stabilise the situation while simply leaving the ‘wrong’ universe ‘in charge’, everything went wrong after he arrived in another alternate universe where the computer was deliberately suppressed by another version of Sabbath. In this reality, Sabbath, when in the Thames, was recovered by a being called the Oracle, who claimed that it had a plan to protect this Earth from the collapse of reality following the destruction of Gallifrey; after eliminating the people who had invented or suggested early progenitors of the computer such as Charles Babbage or Herman Hollerith, he had then had Alan Turing - the man who inspired the idea of Artificial Intelligence in the late 1930s - arrested in 1936 on charges of sexual deviancy and imprisoned in the Tower of London for the past sixty-seven years before The Doctor’s arrival in this reality.

 As a result of Sabbath’s actions, he had created a historical nexus that hinged on Turing while also creating a world made up of isolated communities that regarded each other with hostility and fear, Sabbath’s minions in the Star Chamber - a secret group running the British Empire - having been manipulated to believe that their actions were preserving a decent way of life. Following The Doctor’s arrival on this Earth, Sabbath intended to shoot Turing, thus causing the focal point of the nexus to collapse, separating the Earth’s history from the rest of the Universe and protecting it from the horrors beyond the Vortex… although, as The Doctor swiftly realised, in reality the Oracle was one of the creatures it had told Sabbath about, who was using this Sabbath to undo what The Doctor's version was trying to achieve. Despite The Doctor's protests, Sabbath - who arrogantly dismissed The Doctor as an anachronism whose obsolete methods would never accomplish anything - shot Turing, causing the whole of that Earth's history to collapse and triggering the fall of all others. The Oracle tried to feed on The Doctor, but the alt-Sabbath distracted it long enough for him, Fitz and Anji to escape; they failed to avert that timeline by saving Sabbath before the Oracle could, but the paradoxical presence of Anji and Fitz, who originated in another version of reality, softened the blow when the focal point collapsed, giving The Doctor more time to find a way to restore history.

 After a couple of close calls in some alternate Earths (One where beings from another dimension tried to destroy our reality to save their own ("Reckless Engineering") and another where time travelling tours were causing history to break down to the extent that it required the multiple Doctors created by the unstable timelines to come up with a solution to stabilise the timelines ("The Last Resort")), the TARDIS crew found themselves back in their home reality, The Doctor having travelled back to the Big Bang and tracing his way forward into their world ("Timeless"). However, they were then forced into a desperate race against time to stop Sabbath's allies triggering their final plan. Originally, Sabbath's allies had claimed to be humans from the future, helping Sabbath to make humanity inherit the mantle of the Time Lords. With Sabbath's help, they created a genetic key in a man called Guy that would unlock the potential contained within mysterious diamonds at the point of the universe's creation, seeding the fabric of the universe with this force. Sabbath’s allies had told him that this force would permeate the universe so that when sentient life evolves the essence (Described as a genetic directive that will recognise any evolution deemed unacceptable and modify it along human lines) will be a part of it, and, ultimately, humanity would rise all across the cosmos, but in reality, all that the crystals did was imbue the universe with an alien essence that, as The Doctor later learned, allowed an unknown species to monitor data from all over time and space.

Book - Sometime Never
Sometime Never...
(Justin Richards)
 Having tracked the species to their base - a station positioned within the Time Vortex itself ("Sometime Never...") - and subsequently investigating strange energy readings that led him to witness a being that kept on subtly influencing history without ever apparently being perceived by humans, The Doctor learned the truth about Sabbath's employers from Sabbath himself, who had finally concluded that he had been manipulated by them for their own reasons. Sabbath's 'masters' were the Council of Eight, beings made of living crystal, each one of the Council's eight members representing one of the existing crystal families (Their chairman, Octan, representing an eighth family that modern science doesn't know about), who gained energy by predicting events in history, and had sought to eliminate The Doctor - a ‘Rogue Element’ who defied their predictions even after they collapsed reality into a single timeline - by introducing Sabbath as a totally predictable ‘counterpart’ to The Doctor. However, as The Doctor and Sabbath learned in the final confrontation, Octan had conceived a plan that would allow his people to do more than merely survive, but to become the new Time Lords; by destroying Earth's sun before life could evolve, he would annihilate all of human history, and the energy from this prediction would increase their power tremendously. However, he required another prediction to actually trigger the star-killer... and that prediction came close to coming to pass when Sabbath came into possession of a Vortex Gun (A gun that sends the target to eternal agony in the Time Vortex) and aimed it at both The Doctor and Octan. If Sabbath shot the person Octan had predicted Sabbath would shoot, all of history would end, and Octan would have won.

 Fortunately, thanks to a handkerchief stained with Sabbath's blood, The Doctor was able to trick Octan into thinking that Sabbath would need to go to the Tower of London in his immediate future, and Octan ordered one of his henchmen to send Sabbath there after the shot had been fired; if Octan was still going to be around after this, why would he need someone else to do the job? The Doctor asked Sabbath to kill him, but Sabbath knew that it would still count as a victory for Octan - and besides, now that Octan had predicted that Sabbath would go to the Tower in his future, Sabbath had an extra hand to play. In a noble move, Sabbath shot himself, condemning himself to an eternity of agony in the Time Vortex, and thus bringing Octan's entire plan crashing down around his ears... along with the Council's station, as the Schrodinger Cells returned their inhabitants to their proper times, leaving the Council to restore the possibility to alternate universes in the hope of creating a reality where they would survive. As the station collapsed, alternate possibilities were restored, and The Doctor and his companions departed, The Doctor mourning and respecting Sabbath’s sacrifice as his former enemy saved the universe - and even The Doctor - with his last action, redeeming his past mistakes and proving The Doctor’s belief in free will over prediction.
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
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