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Rassilon

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And so it came to pass, that the players took their final places. Making ready the events that were to come. The madman sat in his empire of dust and ashes. Little knowing of the glory he would achieve. While his savior looked upon the wilderness in the hope of changing his inevitable fate. Far away, the idiots and fools dreamt of a shining new future. A future now doomed to never happen. As Earth rolled onwards into night the people of that world did sleep. And shiver. Somehow knowing the dawn would bring only one thing: The Final Day.
~ Rassilon

Rassilon is the major antagonist from the sci-fi series, Doctor Who, and the main antagonist of the special The End of Time, the final episode to feature the Tenth Doctor. He is the founder of Time Lord civilization and perhaps the single greatest figure of Gallifreyan history. He was generally considered the first Time Lord, though some believed that distinction belonged to his compatriot Omega.

He was portrayed by Timothy Dalton in The End of Time, notable for his portrayal of James Bond in the late 1980's. In audio dramas he was played by Don Warrington, who previously appeared as the President of Parallel England in Rise of the Cybermen. Donald Sumpter played the role in the series 9 finale "Hell Bent"; Sumpter previously played Enrico Casali in The Wheel in Space, Commander Ridgeway in The Sea Devils and Erasmus Darkening in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode The Eternity Trap.

Biography

The Dark Times

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Rassilon as he appeared prior to the Time War

During the Dark Times of Gallifrey, Rassilon worked with Omega. Using a remote steller manipulator known as the Hand of Omega, a star was made to go supernova. This power source enabled mastery of time travel.

However, Omega was lost in the explosion and sucked into the resulting black hole, though he survived. The further history of Rassilon is dubious. In the official account he was a benevolent ruler, but there were stories he was a tyrant who was imprisoned by the Time Lords in the Dark Tower. The Five Doctors shows that Rassilon is apparently still alive in the Tower. When Time Lord President Borusa takes the ring of Rassilon to gain immortality, he is given it by becoming a statue.

Rassilon fought a war against the Great Vampires, and the Record of Rassilon told Time Lords to destroy any remaining Vampires. However, according to one account the Vampires were peaceful, only feeding on mindless animals they bred themselves until the war forced them to feed on sentient species. Rassilon was able to develop regeneration from the DNA of the Vampires but intended it only for the Gallifreyan elite.

Rassilon discovered that within 10,000 millenia a race would evolve called the Divergence that would eclipse the Time Lords. He imprisoned them in the Divergent Universe, which he held in the dungeons of his Foundry.

Anti-Time

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Rassilon as he appeared during his imprisonment in the Divergent Universe.

Rassilon created the Oubliette of Eternity, a device which removed people from the Web of Time. In the process he created Anti-Time. The people erased became Neverpeople, who inhabitated the Antiverse, a Universe of Anti-Time. Rassilon planned to destroy the Divergence. When the Eighth Doctor was infected by Anti-Time, becoming the monstrous Zagreus, Rassilon formed an alliance with the TARDIS, which had also been infected by Anti-Time. The TARDIS was taken to the Foundry and its outer shell melted down. Zagreus used this to create an anti-time sword. Rassilon planned to send Zagreus to cut the Divergence from time. However Zagreus refused to do Rassilon's bidding and hurled him into the Divergent Universe.

However the Anti-Time infection was removed from the Doctor when he entered. The Kro'ka, an inhabitant of the Divergent Universe who managed border control on the planet Bortresoye, directed the Doctor, his companion Charlotte Pollard and an inhabitant of a zone taken from the planet Eutermes, C'rizz, through the zones for experimentation by the Divergents. However he ended up working for Rassilon, who planned to use the TARDIS  to escape the Divergent Universe. However Daqar Keep, an entity created from the Doctor, Charley and the Divergence, caused Rassilon and the Kro'ka to be left trapped.

The Time War

During the Last Great Time War against the Daleks, Rassilon was revived to continue his work as the Lord President of the Time Lords. Now completely amoral and determined to avoid death at any cost, he intended to spare Gallifrey from destruction on the last day of the war by using the Ultimate Sanction to turn the Time Lords into beings of pure consciousness at the cost of the rest of creation.

Rassilon's Return

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Rassilon at his return, sitting on his throne

Knowing that the Doctor intended to destroy both Time Lords and Daleks by using the Moment, Rassilon contrived to break Gallifrey out of the time-lock that blocked the Last Great Time War from temporal manipulation, and then follow through on his plan. He succeeded. For a brief time, Gallifrey broke free of the time lock and appeared in the skies above Earth. However, Rassilon was opposed by the Tenth Doctor, one of only two Time Lord survivors of the war. Rassilon was badly hurt by a last attack by the Master, the other survivor, out of vengeance once he realised that Rassilon had deliberately driven him mad and destroyed his life. The time-lock resumed and Rassilon, the Time Lords, and Gallifrey itself were all flung back to the War to face destruction.

However Rassilon along with Gallifrey got locked into another dimension by all thirteen incarnations of the Doctor. He remained President, and regenerated into an older looking man.

Banishment from Gallifrey

Billions of years into the future Gallifrey escaped its time lock and the Twelfth Doctor returned. Rassilion confronted the Doctor and ordered his soldiers to kill him. However they all dropped their guns and went to the Doctor's side. The Doctor then ordered Rassilion to leave the planet, regardless of the fact there were no other planets left.

Personality

At first, Rassilon hated corruption and was good at detecting it. He is intimidating, materialistic, contumelious, and unforgiving, but was a hero to many Gallifreyans. Indeed, he may have even created the Time Lords in the first place, and therefore was considered a deity among them. Rassilon is a charismatic leader who is capable of inspiring his people. However, he is also a sanctimonious hypocrite, becoming corrupted by power (despite his supposed opposition to such corruption) and increasingly obsessed with avoiding death.

After the loss of Omega, Rassilon wept for him. The other muses that Rassilon's actions were born out of love, albeit short-sighted love. However, some believed Rassilon to actually be behind the plot to murder Omega.

By the end of the Time War, Rassilon had become ruthless, miscreant, power-hungry, conniving, and insane, being willing to destroy the whole of creation rather than accept that it might be best for the Time Lords to die in order for the universe to live. He dreams of changing himself and his fellow Time Lords into beings of pure consciousness, free of physical bodies and the ravages of time. He discovers how to become immortal without having to use regenerations to survive. However, he believes that the secret was too dangerous to share.

Rassilon is also extremely traitorous and manipulative, using the Master as a link between Gallifrey and the rest of the Universe which allowed him to temporarily free Gallifrey from the Time Lock. He tries to manipulate the Doctor into destroying the Divergence in the belief that they were too different to live, only to crucially underestimate the Doctor's strength as the Doctor refused to kill even for Rassilon. Just before his return to the Time War, he taunts the Doctor, saying that the final act of his life would be murder, after a failed attempt to fool the Doctor into an alliance with him, and into killing the Master. As he was dragged back into the war, he makes one last hateful attempt to force the Doctor to suffer death as well, before being interrupted by the vengeful and impatient Master.

Quotes

For this was far more than humanity's end. This day was the day upon which the whole of creation would change forever. This was the day the Time Lords returned.
~ Rassilon
Now the High Council of Time Lords must vote. Wether we die here today or return to the waking world to complete the Ultimate Sanction. For this is the hour, when either Gallifrey falls or Gallifrey RISES!
~ Rassilon's speach
We will ascend to become creatures of consciousness alone. Free of these bodies, free of time, and cause and effect, while creation itself ceases to be!
~ Rassilon explaining the Ultimate Sanction to the Doctor.
You will die with me, Doctor!
~ Rassilon's last words

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