Much like Rose Tyler in 2005, and long before Buffy, Xena, and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica were lauded for capable female characters [and] progressive story arcs, - Ace became the emotional core of Doctor Who. While more adult connotations were initially vetoed by producer John Nathan-Turner, in companion terms Doctor Who was poised to step closer to the real world. Far from distracting from the character of the Doctor, this actually allowed the Time Lord to be viewed more as an enigma - removed from humanity but forever its champion. While we may never truly identify with the Doctor, here we had arguably the first companion, we all either knew, could be, or could spot on the street.

Disproving the theory that a companion’s main role is to provide exposition, themes of teenage angst, racism, and sexuality all presented themselves in young McShane - a notable first for not only Doctor Who, but all genre TV of that age. Unaware of the significance of their actions, Andrew and his colleagues were formulating and plotting decades ahead of their time, “I only realised how different it was from the standard template years later. At the time, I just knew I liked it.”
  • What Ace said:I don’t much like clowns.
  • What the Doctor heard :Let’s go to a creepy circus with a bunch of creepy clowns.
  • What Ace said:My mum pretty much ruined my childhood. If I ever see her again I’d probably be scarred for life.
  • What the Doctor heard:Let’s go to 1940’s Earth so I can meet my mum when she was a baby and become even more mentally scarred than before.
  • What Ace said:I caught fire to this building when I was little and I never want to go there again.
  • What the Doctor heard:Let’s travel back to the 1800s to visit the building I burned down as a kid.
  • What Ace said:Gee, Doc. You seem to have a knack of scarring me with childhood terrors that I’ve specifically told you I never wanted to revisit. You kind of suck.
  • What the Doctor heard:Cool, Dad. Luv u.