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.”
No, but imagine if modern UNIT has a “Bring Your Children to Work Day”
  • They tried just looping caution tape across sensitive entrances at first - it was quickly ripped down for use as “ribbons”, leaving plenty of access to dangerous areas.
  • The railings didn’t hold either.
  • “Jeremy!  Put the rocket launcher DOWN!
  • One year, Ace was on-site and decided it was a good idea to let some of the kids work a lump of plasticine all soft, stick some wires and an old broken timer on it, then hand it to a 5-year-old with instructions to tell Kate they “found this”.  One six hour lockdown later, Ace was on “administrative leave”.
  • “Hey, it was a security check!”
  • Ace is no longer allowed to participate, though Mel can bring Kathy once they pass the usual security check (searching Kathy’s knapsack for any “treats from Baba”)
  • Martha, working temporary liaison between UNIT, Torchwood, and the group she and Mickey have founded, brought her little daughter once.  Mel (not knowing the extent of Mickey’s computer skills and what he’d taught his child) saw no harm in letting a three-year-old near a “useless” old terminal.  The nuclear launch codes remained safe (with some work), but the dating system for the old UNIT files is now even more hopelessly screwed up.
  • Osgood nearly had a heart attack when she found some kids using power cords as skipping ropes.
  • It’s 2015.  Gordon Stewart is 25, actively working for UNIT - and yet Kate still finds the time to stick him with a little “My mum works in the science division” badge.