A very important post on how awesome Bev Tarrant is
I love Bev. And I feel she is so undervalued, possibly because of the way people often tend to focus on Benny and Brax (I certainly do sometimes). But sometimes I feel surprised that the series is about Benny rather than Bev, who is such a powerful character and could easily lead a story.
One of the main reasons I love Bev is that she is so similar to Romana. Or at least, a lot of my reasons for loving Romana are a lot of my reasons for loving Bev. They’re both strong willed, independent, determined, bossy, snarky, brave, intelligent HBICs. Romana is President of Gallifrey and, during series 7 and part of 8, Bev is the Collection’s Director. They both give everything they are to their positions, often putting their responsibilities to their people before their friends. Both love being in control. They are both often cruel and waspish and have very quick tempers. They can seem uncaring and distant, and they can lash out at people they love, and sometimes they can surprise everyone by showing how compassionate they truly are. Although they appear haughty and cold, inside they’re hurt and both have trust issues but neither is likely to open up and talk about her feelings. They were both in the aristocracy when they were young, but ran away and had fun, before growing up and rejoining the upper-class - through a position of power, rather than through blood. They’ve both fought hard for the rights of aliens. In doing so, they’ve done things that are morally questionable and they’ve killed for “the greater good”. And they showed no fear or doubt while doing so.
And then there’s Bev/Adrian, which is almost exactly everything Romana/Narvin would be if it was canon. (Admittedly, Bev/Adrian has the extra issue of Benny and Peter being a big part of Adrian’s life and Bev occasionally being jealous and insecure about that but, I dunno, maybe Narvin/Gallifrey could represent that?) Clearly, Adrian and Narvin are a lot more unalike than Bev and Romana, but they are both incredibly loyal (primarily to Bev, Benny and Peter, and to Romana and Gallifrey). It’s clear that Bev cares for Adrian but she sometimes pushes him away, sometimes hurts him because she’s too busy trying to look after the Collection to notice how he’s feeling. At times, she messes up in their relationship because she is so bad at feelings. She puts herself into danger without telling him because she knows he’ll be furious, but as far as he can be, Adrian will always be there to protect her. Adrian tries to change himself for Bev, to be the person he thinks she wants, and this annoys her because she loves him for who he actually is. And these are so many of the reasons why I love Romana/Narvin.
And Bev has so many other fantastic qualities too. She’s a thief; she was a legend in her own time. She can fight, she can fight really well, and she does. She gets injured on a regular basis (probably even more than Narvin, which is quite an achievement) but she’ll always go down fighting, will always stay strong and will get up and go out to fight again as soon as she’s able. You can see the scars from when she was tortured by the Fifth Axis. She gave nothing away. She’s insecure about her scars, and hopes people don’t notice her weaknesses. She gets jealous of the way everyone treats Benny and it makes her feel second best. She’s felt as if she didn’t belong in the Collection, but she’s stepped up to lead it, to fight for it so many times. And all of Bev’s weaknesses make her fight harder, make her stronger. She is one of the biggest badasses in the entire Whoniverse. And I don’t understand why everyone isn’t going on about how brilliant she is!
So yes, I adore and admire Bev Tarrant and I think she deserves far more credit than she gets.