The War Chief is the secondary antagonist of the Doctor Who story "The War Games". He was the only Time Lord antagonist encountered by the Second Doctor.
He was portrayed by the late Edward Brayshaw.
The War Chief was a Time Lord who allied himself with a race known as the Aliens and their leader the War Lord. He was known to the Doctor. Using his knowledge of temporal engineering, he helped the Aliens create primitive TARDIS-like machines known as SIDRATs and set up the War Games, which involved kidnapping soldiers from various wars in Earth's history and brainwashing them into fighting simulations of the wars on another planet, led by Aliens posing as their officers. The aim was to find out which were the best fighters and then use them as an army to conquer the galaxy.
The War Chief ran the operation and shared a rivalry with his Alien deputy, the Security Chief, who was unconvinced of his loyalty to them. The plan began to fall apart, partly because a number of the soldiers shook off the brainwashing and formed resistance groups, and partly because of the arrival of the Doctor who began organising the fight against them. The War Lord soon arrived to take charge personally. When the Doctor was captured, the War Chief tried to convince him to help them, revealing he planned to take over from the Aliens once they were in power and offering the Doctor a chance to rule with him.
The Doctor pretended to agree and helped capture the resistance leaders, while the Security Chief found proof of the War Chief's treachery and had him arrested. By now, the Doctor had freed his friends and the War Chief joined forces with them, personally killing the Security Chief. However, when the Doctor decided to call in the Time Lords to return the kidnapped soldiers home, the War Chief feared what they would do to him and fled, only to be confronted by the War Lord and his guards. The War Chief desperately tried to deny the Security Chief's accusations but the War Lord ordered the guards to open fire, apparently killing him.
The novel Timewyrm: Exodus revealed the War Chief was taken off the planet by the Aliens, barely alive. He began to regenerate but the injuries were so severe that he was left malformed, as if two bodies were fused together. With the War Lord having been executed by the Time Lords, the War Chief managed to form an alliance with his son and together they travelled to 1930s Germany. Calling himself Doctor Kriegslieter and posing as an expert in the occult, the War Chief worked his way into the inner circle of Adolf Hitler. He planed to take control of Hitler (already being influenced by the Timewyrm) and the Nazis and use them as a brainwashed army, giving them nuclear weapons to conquer Earth and eventually the galaxy, with him running things from behind the scenes. The Seventh Doctor intervened, exposing his treachery to the Nazis, and his brainwashed troops and the new War Lord were killed in a battle with troops loyal to Hitler. The War Chief himself perished when the Doctor set his base's nuclear reactor to explode and he was caught in the conflagration.
- A long running fan theory is that the War Chief is an earlier incarnation of the Master. It had it's roots in novelisations of the TV stories, which stated, at that time, the Doctor and the Master were the only Renegade Time Lords.
- The comic strip Flashback involves the First Doctor on Gallifrey preventing an old friend, Magnus, from exploiting a sentient energy source, causing them to become enemies. Queries at the time as to whether "Magnus" was the Master or the War Chief were met with an enigmatic "You're right, it was one of those, but which?"
- In Timewyrn Exodus, it is mentioned the War Chief left Gallifrey due to his political career, which was also used as for the Master. The healed War Chief is described as "satanically handsome", a phrase Terrance Dicks often used to describe Roger Delgado's Master. However, the Virgin New Adventures editorial policy was that they were separate characters
- Gary Russell parodied this in the novel Divided Loyalties, which, via a nightmare inflicted on the Fifth Doctor, depicted the Master and the War Chief as separate characters and are intentionally characterised as extremely similar; "Magnus" is obsessed with the War Lords, and "Koschei" looks up to Magnus.
- A version of this fan theory, occasionally given as fact in games books, is that the War Chief is the same person as both the Master and the Meddling Monk. However, the Monk is depicted as his own character in spin-offs.