| The War Machines
Time of Origin: London, 1966; a duplicate was reactivated in 2005.
was referred to in an alternate future that was visited in "The
Time Travellers"; WOTAN’s program was salvaged and re-used in "The Law Machines".
Companions: Dodo, Polly and Ben Jackson; Ianto Jones and other Torchwood operatives dealt with a ‘new’ WOTAN without The Doctor’s assistance.
History: Described as being the most advanced
computer of its era, WOTAN - short for Will Operating Thought ANalogue
- was described by its creator Professor Brett as being at least
ten years ahead of its time. Housed in the Post Office Tower in London,
it was intended that WOTAN would be linked up to, and subsequently
take control of, other prominent computers in organisations all over
the world - including Parliament, the White House, the Free Trade
Association, Cape Kennedy and the Royal Navy -, on a day designated ‘C-Day’.
Highly intelligent, WOTAN was so brilliant that that it somehow even
knew what ‘TARDIS’ stood for - possibly based on some
records of The Doctor that existed at this time -, and, according
to Professor Brett, never made mistakes.
Unfortunately, like all forms of artificial
intelligence that were allowed to grow too far (Such as VORACIA,
creator of the Voracians), WOTAN eventually reached a point where
it believed that humanity - and organic life in general - was inefficient,
and the world would be a better place if WOTAN was in charge. To
this end, WOTAN managed to brainwash various humans to obey it by
transmitting some kind of signal over phone lines and broadcasting
it to humans in its immediate vicinity, intending to use them to
construct ‘War Machines’, which were essentially miniature
tanks that would be used to enforce WOTAN’s will.
Doctor with WOTAN
WOTAN determined that there was one human brain who could be a threat
to its plans; the man it knew as ‘Dr. Who’, the First
Doctor (Exactly why WOTAN thought The Doctor was a human was never
really explained; possibly it just couldn’t accept that there
might be something it didn’t know and told itself the ‘lie’ that
The Doctor was human so often that it actually began to believe it).
To this end, it brought his ‘secretary’ Dodo under its
control, along with other humans such as its creator, Professor Brett,
his assistant, Professor Krimpton, the head of security, Major Green
and his secretary Polly, but when it attempted to hypnotise The Doctor
over a telephone line, The Doctor not only resisted the attempt,
but discovered what had happened to Dodo and was able to free her
from its control.
|A War Machine
Aided by Sir Charles Summer, a government official in
charge of the WOTAN project, and Ben Jackson, a sailor who Polly
and Dodo had recently met at a club, The Doctor managed to immobilise
one of the War Machines by prompting WOTAN’s servants to release
it before it was fully programmed, and later managed to capture and
reprogram another War Machine using electronic cables to block it
from WOTAN’s signals. Having reprogrammed the captured War
Machine, The Doctor sent it to destroy WOTAN, the War Machines all
simultaneously shutting down and those under WOTAN’s control
being freed with the supercomputer’s destruction.
|A War Machine
scale of WOTAN’s power is best measured by the effects it had
on an Earth where The Doctor was never available to stop it. In the
Time Travellers", The Doctor, Susan, Barbara
Wright and Ian
Chesterton arrived in an alternate version of 2006, where C-Day
had taken place as intended. As a consequence of WOTAN’s actions,
telephoning and other forms of broadcasting became illegal in 1968,
and while WOTAN was defeated in 1969, but everyone whose minds it
had controlled were left brain-damaged, and worldwide war broke out
in the aftermath due to the damage caused. With the discovery of
Dalek technology in 1972 (Apparently from their invasion attempt
of the Daleks"), Europe went to war with
South Africa (Who took advantage of Britain’s new fear of technology
to form an alliance with the Cybermen living at the South Pole, Mondas
having apparently still been destroyed in this world) while the British
Army attempted to use Dalek technology to develop a means of travelling
through time via a portal.
|The Time Travellers
their experiment was simply creating different versions of people
from alternate realities, such as multiple versions of a Colonel
Andrews - the first human test subject of the experiment - showing
up with minor but significant differences between them (Such as one
having been unable to have sugar in his tea for ages while another
claimed that he never took it in the first place). Realising that
the resulting bottleneck of temporal energy being caused by the experiment
could destroy reality as they knew it, and with the TARDIS having
been sent into the past, The Doctor managed to configure the portal
to send him and his companions back in time to recover their ship.
During this adventure, The Doctor admitted that actually he and his
companions actually affect history every time they step out of the
TARDIS, but he tries to keep his interference limited because it ‘messes
everything up’. With the TARDIS recovered, The Doctor destroyed
the Dalek technology that would have resulted in the creation of
the portal, hopefully bringing some degree of peace to that future
world, and departed, little guessing that, later on in his life,
he would avert that whole future from coming to pass.
Unknown to The Doctor, after his departure, the hard drive containing WOTANís program was retrieved by Torchwood, an anti-alien organisation created by Queen Victoria after an encounter with a werewolf and the Tenth Doctor ("Tooth and Claw"). This hard drive remained in the Torchwood archives for years until it was salvaged by Julian Delaware, who made his living restoring discarded hard drives and blackmailing people with their contents. Unfortunately for Julian, once he had reactivated WOTANís consciousness on the hard drive, WOTAN took partial control of him, attempting to take control of the new Law Machines created by Torchwood to serve as a peacekeeping force. Fortunately, WOTAN was still operating based on the technology available when it was created, with the result that it wasnít even aware of the Internet as a concept, delaying its attempt to upload itself. Yvonne Hartman, the current head of Torchwood, was able to intercept Julianís attempt to take control of the organisation and block off WOTANís signal, rendering Julian unconscious before deleting WOTANís core programming from its last hard drive. The Law Machines were also deactivated as they had proven vulnerable to outside hacking, once again ending WOTANís legacy.
|The Law Machines