Special Executive

Membership: Wardog, Cobweb, Fascination, Zeitgeist, Oxo, Viridian, Legion, Numbers, Lady Burning Fish, Ringtoss, Millennium, Viridian

Purpose: To make money

Affiliations: Captain Britain, Captain U.K., Saturnyne, the Technet

Enemies: The Fury, Mandragon, Gatecrasher

Base of Operations: Mobile across time and interdimensional space.

First Appearance: Dr Who Monthly #51 (Marvel UK, April 1981)

History: The planet Gallifrey in the ancient past. At the time our story begins, Gallifrey was ruled by a matriarchal clan of priestesses, led by the Pythia. A powerful psychic, the Pythia brooked no challenge to her rule, but still a challenge came. Rassilon, a temporal scientist had just given the Gallifreyans the secret of time travel, and now he led a civil war against the tyranny of the ruling theocracy. He won, but at a terrible cost. The Pythia fled, defeated, but her last act was to use her immense mental powers to render the entire race sterile. Rassilon overcame this problem by creating artificial vats of genetic material (dubbed Looms) from which he could decant a new race of Gallifreyans.

The first prototypes out of the Looms came out slightly different from one another, as Rassilon tinkered with their genetic material before finally settling on a "standard model" (humanoid, minor psychic powers, able to regenerate - see the Doctor). United by their differences from the rest of the population, they grew up to become special operatives of the Gallifreyan council - the Special Executive.

Eventually a second civil war erupted on Gallifrey, this time between the Loomborn and the Womb-born, who the former were determined to exterminate. Unexpectedly the Special Executive sided with the Womb-Born, feeling no affiliation to their fellow Loomborns who had snubbed and hated them all their lives. The Executive fled Gallifrey, seeing that there was no way to win the war, and became interdimensional mercenaries.

One of their cases involved them being hired to recruit Captain Britain as a witness for the defence in the trial of Saturnyne, Omniversal Majestrix. They did so, and as a result became embroiled in the battle against Mad Jim Jaspers for a while. But when a battle with the Fury cost the lives of two of their number, they decided that this war was not theirs, and departed.

They have been seen only briefly since - twice they have turned up to recruit disaffected members of Gatecrasher's Technet into their numbers. In each case the Executive appears to be a younger version of the group that fought alongside Captain Britain. These appearances are problematic - they recruited many of the same members of the Technet twice, which is curious.

Comments: Created by Alan Moore.

In all cases where we know the special abilities of a member of the Executive, they have temporal based powers of some sort. It's not unreasonable to assume therefore that this is probably the joining criterion for the group, and that all the members have some sort of time power. But see individual entries for details.

Most of the origin above is unofficial, appearing as it does in a short story written by Lance Parkin in a Doctor Who charity anthology. But it is a cool origin, so in the absence of anything more concrete, I'm taking it as given.

The Executive first appeared as supporting characters in a back-up story in Doctor Who magazine - in fact they turn up first in the second part of an ongoing story about a temporal war between the fledgling Time Lords of Gallifrey and a group known as the Order of the Black Sun. It is from these two stories that Lance Parkin formed his theory about the origins of the characters.

Alan Moore, who had created the characters for that story, revived the Executive when he took over writing Captain Britain. By this point the group had gained several less humanoid members, some of whom were never named (and others who only gained names when they were incorporated into Gatecrasher's Technet). Feeling aggrieved at Marvel, Moore stopped the usage of the Executive after he departed the strip (and indeed he has only recently relented enough to allow the stories to be reprinted). The new writing team therefore created Gatecrasher's Technet, a similar group who claim to predate the Executive (although they know of them - time travel will do that to you I guess), including members of the Executive who Moore did not hold the rights to (those that were added after the Doctor Who stories apparently). Eventually we see  most of the Technet desert Gatecrasher and take up the offer to join the Executive; problematically for my acceptance of the origin of the team, there leader is not Wardog, and says to Cobweb that in fact he will be replaced eventually by the vulpine cyborg (perils of knowing the future again) after he dies. Of course Wardog may have left the group, and later rejoined it, leaving this other individual in charge in the meantime.

The last time we saw the Executive, they again turned up to recruit the members of the Technet - making it the second time they added Thug, Numbers and Ringtoss to the team. Again, this could simply mean that Gatecrasher successfully wooed her old squad back to her side for a while.

There are five members of the Executive that we haven't even got names for:

This member of the Executive is with team when they recruit the Technet members the second time (in Excalibur), and is also with them during the period they work with Captain Britain. A glowing sphere of energy, they don't seem to speak. In battle they fire bolts of destructive energy, but otherwise, we know nada about them.

We only meet this Executive member in a couple of panels of the Excalibur comic, when the team recruits the Technet. He doesn't appear with them at any other time.

Like the guy above, this member of the Executive is only seen in a couple of panels in Excalibur.

This member of the Executive is with them through all their later appearances, only being absent during their early days on Gallifrey. He appears to be a non-combatant member.

Prior to Wardog being "whelped" this manipulative individual led the team.







Lady Burning Fish











Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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