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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who 13: Science and Technology > TIME TRAVEL


The most powerful technology in the universe is one that has been mastered by the Doctor’s own people, and attempted by many others…
The Vortex, seen through the Untempered Schism in The Sound of Drums (2007).
Seeing the Vortex had a profound effect on the eight-year-old Master (William Hughes) in The Sound of Drums.
Zoe (Wendy Padbury) and the Doctor (Patrick Troughton) aboard a SIDRAT in The War Games (1969).
Group Marshal Stike (Clinton Greyn) is seriously injured in his attempt to travel through time in The Two Doctors (1985).


“Time travel is damage,” says the Doctor in The Name of the Doctor (2013). “It’s like a tear in the fabric of reality.”

Specifically, time travel means traversing the Space-Time Vortex, an extra-temporal plane that links all times and places. We see it in one of its varied forms in the very first episode, An Unearthly Child (1963), but it isn’t until 1972’s Day of the Daleks that it’s given a name – by a Dalek, of all creatures. From this point on, it’s variously referred to as ‘the Time Vortex’, ‘the Time-Space Vortex’ or simply ‘the Vortex’, a realm where (in The Time Monster, 1972) ‘E=MC3’. To complicate matters, it’s often suggested that there’s more than one vortex, although each of these appears to be a subset of the Vortex…

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Ever since the TARDIS was first revealed in 1963, Doctor Who has presented a bewildering array of alien technology and gadgetry. Human scientific knowledge can do nothing to explain the mysteries of the astonishing devices and phenomena that the Doctor takes for granted. This is the first publication devoted to the incredible ideas that the series has made its own. Highlights include a comprehensive guide to the sonic screwdriver, the secrets of the Time Lords and the weaponry of the Doctor’s most dangerous enemies.