The War Lord is the main antagonist of the Doctor Who story "The War Games".
He was portrayed by the late Philip Madoc, who also played the U-Boat Captain in Dad's Army.
The War Lord was the leader of a race known simply as the Aliens. At some point, he was contacted by the renegade Time Lord known as the War Chief who offered him time travel technology. Together, they came up with the concept of the War Games. The War Lord planned to conquer the galaxy and aimed to recruit an army of soldiers from Earth, brainwashing them to serve their cause. As a prelude to this, they captured and brainwashed soldiers from various wars in Earth's history, placing them in recreations of their wars with Aliens as their commanding officers to see who were the best fighters.
Initially, the War Lord remained on the Aliens' home planet, leaving the running of the War Games to the War Chief. However, with the operating being disrupted by both the Second Doctor and groups of soldiers who had broken their conditioning, the War Lord headed to the planet to take full charge, despairing of the bickering between the War Chief and Security Chief and the fact the resistance had stolen the processing machine. After the War Chief had failed to use the conditioned soldiers to retrieve it, the War Lord sent the Security Chief in a commando raid which captured both the processing machine and the Doctor.
The War Chief convinced the War Lord that the Doctor would help them. With the resistance groups becoming more organised and taking control of all the monitoring equipment in the different war zones, the War Lord had the Doctor trick the resistance leaders into travelling to the control area, where Alien guards took them prisoner. However, the War Lord found himself betrayed on every side: The Doctor freed the resistance leaders, while the Security Chief produced evidence that the War Chief was planning to take control of the galaxy himself. The War Lord confronted the War Chief with his remaining guards, ordering him killed when he tried to run. Not long after, the remaining Aliens were defeated by the resistance leaders and the War Lord himself captured.
When the Time Lords arrived in response to a summons from the Doctor to return the captured soldiers to their own time, they took the War Lord back to their own planet to stand trial, with the Doctor giving evidence against him. The War Lord denied the authority of the court while arguing that Time Lords had assisted him and that he would bring order to the galaxy. Alien guards invaded the court room to rescue him and the War Lord tried to force the Doctor to take them back to their planet in the TARDIS, but the Doctor momentarily blinded him with the TARDIS' lights. The War Lord and his guards were trapped in a force field by the Time Lords and dematerialised, with the Time Lords noting it would be as though they never existed.
- The War Lord's son, who succeeded him, is encountered by the Seventh Doctor in the novel Timewyrm: Exodus.
- Despite being the lead villain, the War Lord does not appear until late on in the story, first being seen in Episode Seven out of ten. Prior to this, other characters act on his behalf, notably the War Chief, the Security Chief and General Smythe.