Tales From /lost+found 18: Who’s Who

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Sam Neil as Nicolas Flamel in Alternative Doctor Who

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Nicolas Flamel

The Doctor’s Oldest Friend

According to Earth legends, Nicolas Flamel discovered the alchemical secret of turning lead into gold. In fact, while Flamel had been able to slow his aging process by alchemy (really an advanced form of alien science), it wasn’t until he met the Doctor that Flamel was able to create the Philosopher’s Stone — actually a jewel of time — becoming truly immortal.

Flamel used basic alchemy to slow his aging process, looking no more than middle-aged into his seventies. The Philosopher’s Stone stopped his aging altogether, but at a price: though he longed to travel the universe like The Doctor, he had become temporally locked, and would die if he attempted to travel in time.


HOMEWORLD: Earth (ca 1320-1943)
OCCUPATION: Alchemist, Scientist
SPECIAL ABILITIES: Immortal, Temporally Locked
APPEARANCES: Doctor Who and the Philosopher’s Stone; As Above, So Below; Doctor Who and the Prisoner of Torquemada; Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition; Doctor Who and the Apple of Destiny; Doctor Who and the Golden Dawn; Doctor Who and the Philadelphia Experiment

When the Doctor and Flamel parted company in 14th century France, he was unaware of the alchemist’s transformation. When the Doctor and Lizzie arrived in Spain a century later, he was surprised to find his old friend still alive — and a prisoner of the Inquisition.

With the outbreak of two world wars in the twentieth century, Flamel became convinced that humankind would soon wipe itself out. He planned to unleash the full power of the Philosopher’s Stone to destroy the Earth, granting humanity a quick, painless death. Though it would kill him, Flamel allowed the Doctor to use the TARDIS to show him Earth’s future. Seeing the possibility of a brighter future, the dying alchemist diverted the power of the Stone into the vortex. This final act created a “rainbow road” the Doctor could use to travel back through the barrier into the Time War…

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