Celestial Intervention Agency

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Celestial Intervention Agency
Universe Whoniverse
Type Intelligence agency
Founded The "Old Time" of Gallifrey
Location Gallifrey
Key people Co-ordinatior Vansell; Co-ordinator Narvin
Purpose To defend Time Lord society against threats

The Celestial Intervention Agency is a fictional organization of Time Lords in the universe of the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who.

Very little was actually said about the Agency in the television series. The Agency was only mentioned once on screen, in The Deadly Assassin. There, it was stated that the Agency had intervened in the sentence of exile that had been imposed on the Doctor (The War Games). The only other remark made was that the Agency had connections to many areas of Time Lord society.

The name, an obvious parody of the real-world Central Intelligence Agency, has led many fans to assume that the CIA is a clandestine organisation which carries out covert operations. However, since its existence is a matter of Gallifreyan public record and its influence is well-known, it appears to be less of a secret agency than an agency whose operations are sometimes secret, much like the actual CIA.

The spin-off media have expanded on this fan conception, making the Agency an explanation and driving force behind many events in the Doctor Who universe. The most often cited example is the assignment given to the Fourth Doctor in Genesis of the Daleks, to attempt to change history and avert the Daleks' creation. Since this seemed to be in direct contradiction to the Time Lords' stated policies of non-interference the assumption (not at all mentioned in the story) was that it was the CIA that gave the Doctor his mission. Other missions that the Time Lords have apparently manipulated the Doctor into performing occur inThe Curse of Peladon, The Brain of Morbius and Attack of the Cybermen, the Doctor noting during all three occasions that his presence at such a crucial occasion in history or such a crucial location could hardly be a coincidence; the Time Lords' role in his involvement in events was made more specifically clear in Colony in Space and The Mutants.

Other appearances[edit]

The following information is from spin-off novels and audio dramas which are of unclear canonicity.

In the Virgin New Adventures novel Lungbarrow by Marc Platt, Leela was taken prisoner by the Agency and charged with treason as the CIA sought further information about the Doctor's past. In the same novel, the CIA attempted a coup d'etat against Time Lord President Romana, but was unsuccessful. It was also stated that the CIA began as the personal guard of Time Lord society founder Rassilon.

Terrance Dicks's Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Eight Doctors suggests that the Ravolox affair from the television serial The Trial of a Time Lord: The Mysterious Planet was the work of the CIA. Another EDA, Lawrence Miles' Alien Bodies revealed that at some point in the future of the Time Lords, the CIA removed itself from history and became beings of pure thought known as the Celestis as part of the war between the Time Lords and "the Enemy", the Celestis being almost completely destroyed as a result of the events of The Taking of Planet 5. The Celestis are featured in the Faction Paradox series created by Miles. They exist in an extra-dimensional realm called Mictlan, which may have been built using the Matrix. From a castle-like structure at the centre of Mictlan, the Celestis hold the Last Parliament, from which they observe the rest of the universe. Like the original agency they have agents all over the universe who they recruit by cutting deals with them. They work to a strict code of conduct and can't break a deal. They are officially neutral in the war, but individual member have been rumoured to give information to either group.

The Agency appeared in the Big Finish Productions audio drama NeverLand. Coordinator Vansell (the head of the CIA) and President Romana attempted to track down the Doctor and Charley to rectify the consequences of her rescue from the R101 disaster. It was revealed that the CIA had been using a device known as the Oubliette of Eternity to execute Time Lords guilty of treason. The device was supposed to erase the condemned from history, but instead it merely turned them into "Neverpeople", insubstantial creatures in an other-dimensional realm of "anti-time". One of their members, Sentris, found out how many people she had erased and in shame used the Oubliette on herself. Coordinator Narvin of the CIA is a major character in the Gallifrey series of audio plays.

The CIA also appeared in the audio drama Human Resources where the CIA engineered a war in an attempt to destroy the Cybermen, and are revealed to be indirectly responsible for Lucie Miller's supposed "Witness Protection Programme".

In the Doctor Who role-playing game from FASA, it was suggested that player characters be agents of the CIA.