Do Gallifreyans look human, or do humans look Gallifreyan?By Jason Collins| April 11, 2022 TV Blogs A common trope in television sci-fi, like Star Trek and Stargate SG1, is that most alien species almost always resemble the human form, except for a few notable exceptions such as, but not limited to, Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars. The Doctor Who television show is similar in this regard; while it features a very diverse roster of alien species, most of them resemble a humanoid form, with Gallifreyans most closely resembling humans, or vice-versa. So naturally, this sparked a debate among Whovians about whether Gallifreyans look human or humans look Gallifreyan? Admittedly, this has been somewhat previously explored with fan theories stating that Gallifreyans were some of the oldest species that helped “seed” the universe, which could be a viable explanation. But let’s take a step back. The obvious answer is that the people of Gallifrey look human as it greatly reduces the cost of production to make it that way. However, the in-universe explanation isn’t as straightforward and could be lost in the history of Gallifrey itself. Gallifreyans have a long history, and their civilization has lasted for billions of years, dating to the distant past at the dawn of time, making Gallifreyans much, much older than humans. Even the Doctor’s response to being told he looks human was, “You look Time Lord.” Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor even added that they “came first” when talking to Amy. And this wasn’t a one-time thing; David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor also mentioned to another character that she looks Time Lord. So how exactly did Gallifreyans come to resemble a humanoid form? As explained in The Beast Below episode (S05E02 of the New Who), Gallifreyans were an ancient species and one of the first humanoid species to evolve. Their evolution into a humanoid form was never explored, so it could be facilitated by their environment. They became extremely technologically advanced long before the universe was less than half its current size — as disclosed by the Time Lord emissary to the Fourth Doctor. Thanks to their technological advancement and mastery, Gallifreyans spread throughout the universe, shepherding all new species they encountered, colonizing some of the weaker ones, and building alliances with powers they couldn’t conquer. However, there’s little to no evidence from the Doctor Who television show stating that Gallifreyans influenced human evolution and their mutual outward resemblance. But the stories from the expanded Doctor Who universe might offer a solution. In an audio story called Zagreus, Rassilon created self-replicating biogenic molecules whose purpose was to ensure that all life forms in the universe evolve into something approximating the Gallifreyan form and sent them back through time. This could potentially explain why humans look like Gallifreyans in the Doctor Who universe. That’s as far as it goes between Gallifreyans and the other humanoid races across the universe. It’s safe to assume that humans look like Gallifreyans based on the sole fact that Gallifreyans are much older. There are several other theories out there, like the one stating the Gallifreyans are greatly evolved humans who went back in time and started their own civilizations, ignoring their ancestors, and in time, forgot that they were their own ancestors. And with Gallifrey’s history constantly changing, there’s really no telling what could be true. Let’s suppose that Gallifreyans had nothing to do with our evolution, and haven’t influenced it in any way. Then the theory of convergent evolution could offer an explanation, at least in terms of outside appearances. Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar features in species of different periods or epochs in time. It creates similar structures that feature similar forms and/or functions that weren’t present in the last common ancestor of those groups — if any existed at all. So, in conclusion, there’s no definitive, canonical answer to the question of whether Gallifreyans look human or if humans look Gallifreyan. We can only rely on fandom theories, convergent evolution, one audio account, and Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor’s “You look Time Lord. We came first.” line.