sabalom-glitz

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“Think about me when you’re living your life one day after another, all in a neat pattern. Think about the homeless traveller and his old police box, with his days like crazy paving.”

Doctor Who: Season 24.

Character: Dorotheé “Ace” McShane

Appears in: Doctor Who, Doctor Who Expanded Universe

Commonly Interpreted As: Lesbian (or straight depending on the writers)

But Really: Ace’s intended sexuality is somewhat complicated. At least two of the scriptwriters working for Doctor Who at the time very much intended for her to be gay, but didn’t really tell anyone else until after the show had been canceled for fear of being censored. As such, there’s some contradictory subtext in her stories.

To quote her TvTropes character sheet: “Very much Depending on the Writer. Creator Ian Briggs wrote a sexual liaison with Sabalom Glitz into her character outline, although it was never made explicit in the series. Other writers, like Rona Munro, intentionally wrote her as a Butch Lesbian (as much as the BBC would permit anyway). Ace occasionally has chemistry with male guest stars (notably Captain Soren in “The Curse of Fenric”), but it’s much more common with the ladies. Her TV series appearances average out to Bi the Way, which Sophie Aldred herself agrees with.”

Since Ace never identifies herself by any sexual identity, I think it’s safe to say she’s bi, pan, or queer, with a preference for women.

Thanks to gen-is-gone for this submission.

All the (canonical) Doctor's companions and how they arrived and left

Surnames in parentheses were not shown in canon.

First Doctor

  • Ian Chesterton Barbara Wright: Found the TARDIS in Totter’s Lane, entered it and got swept up in events. Returned home via a Dalek time machine.
  • Susan: Evidently the Doctor’s granddaughter. Left behind on a future Earth after a Dalek invasion to marry a local soldier.
  • Vicki (Pallister): Rescued from the planet Dido, left to marry Troilus and became the Cressida of legend.
  • Steven Taylor: Stowed away on the TARDIS when he found it on a planet he was marooned on, left to help govern a society of savages.
  • Katerina: Joined the crew after meeting them in Troy, sacrificed herself to save the Doctor and his other companions.
  • Sara Kingdom*: Encountered the Doctor on a mission to stop the same enemy, aged to death by a Time Destructor. 
  • Dodo Chaplet: Stumbled into the TARDIS, left to recover after a traumatic psychological attack.

First and Second Doctors

  • Ben Jackson: Curiously entered the TARDIS in London, decided to leave when the TARDIS returns to his home time period.
  • Polly (Wright): Curiously entered the TARDIS in London, decided to leave when the TARDIS returns to her home time period.

Second Doctor

  • Jamie McCrimmon: Followed the Doctor to escape Redcoats in 17th-century Scotland, returned there by the Time Lords with his memory erased.
  • Victoria Waterfield: Orphaned by the Daleks and ‘adopted’ by the Doctor and Jamie, decided to live with a childless couple who adopted her.
  • Zoe Heriot: Stowed away in the TARDIS, returned to her home by the Time Lords with her memory erased.

Second and Third Doctors (and others)

  • Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart*: Met the Doctor as part of his job co-ordinating UNIT forces, never formally departed as his association spanned several Doctors. 

Third Doctor

  • Liz Shaw: Assigned to assist the Doctor in his role as UNIT scientific adviser, departure unknown (in non-canon, returned to Cambridge)
  • Jo Grant: Assigned to replace Liz as the Doctor’s assistant, left to marry a visionary scientist.

Third and Fourth Doctors

  • Sarah Jane Smith: Stowed away in the TARDIS investigating UNIT and the Doctor, left behind (in Aberdeen) by the Doctor when he was summoned to Gallifrey

Fourth Doctor

  • Harry Sullivan: Assigned as a doctor to the Doctor, found himself in the TARDIS by accident. Rejoined UNIT to continue his work with them.
  • Leela: Demanded the Doctor take her with him from her savage homeworld. Left to marry Time Lord Andred on Gallifrey.
  • K9 Mark I: Given to the Doctor by his creator, Professor Marius. Left behind on Gallifrey with Leela.
  • K9 Mark II: Created by, or at least copied by, the Doctor to replace Mark I, left in L-space with Romana.
  • Romana: Assigned by the Time Lords to help the Doctor defeat the Black Guardian. Remained with him after she regenerated. Stayed in L-space to assist the newly freed Tharil slaves.

Fourth and Fifth Doctors

  • Adric: Stowed away in the TARDIS, killed when trapped on a freighter which crashed into prehistoric Earth.
  • Tegan Jovanka: Accidentally found the TARDIS, mistaking it for a real police box, left due to the violence of the Dalek Civil War.
  • Nyssa: Taken by the Watcher (some form of mid-regeneration form of the Doctor) to Logopolis, stayed to help a colony of diseased people find a cure after being infected.
  • Vislor Turlough: Ingratiated himself with the Doctor as part of a plot to kill him. Returned home after learning his dead brother was actually alive.
  • Kamelion: Freed from the Master’s control and asked to accompany the Doctor. Killed by the Doctor (on his request) to prevent him falling back into the Master’s hands.

Fifth and Sixth Doctors

  • Perpugilliam “Peri” Brown: Co-incidentally taken to the same planet as the Doctor by the Master. Killed by King Yrcanos when her mind was taken over by an evil genius, but pulled from the timestream at the last moment and lived on to marry Yrcanos.

Sixth and Seventh Doctors

  • Melanie “Mel” Bush: Meeting unknown due to confused time streams (she literally just appeared), left to adventure with conman Sabalom Glitz

Seventh Doctor

  • Dorothy “Ace” (McShane): Helped the Doctor defeat the criminal Kane, invited to replace Mel and essentially switched places with her. Leaving details unknown but before the Seventh Doctor regenerated.

Eighth Doctor

  • Grace Holloway*: Accidentally killed the Seventh Doctor while trying to save him from gunshot wounds, helped the Eighth defeat the Master. Left behind afterwards. Never actually travelled in the TARDIS.
  • Charley, C'rizz, Lucie, Tamsin, Molly: All apparently travelled with him at some stage. Details not explored in canon.

Ninth Doctor

  • Adam Mitchell*: Invited by Rose to join, against the Doctor’s better judgement. Kicked out of the TARDIS when he attempted to use future technology to make himself rich.

Ninth and Tenth Doctor

  • Rose Tyler: Invited to travel after helping the Doctor defeat the Nestene. Sucked into a parallel universe through the Void. Returned briefly but eventually went back again to live with her new family there.
  • Mickey Smith*: Invited by Rose, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, into the TARDIS. Stayed behind to replace his parallel universe counterpart to fight the Cybermen. Returned eventually to fight aliens in the main universe.

Tenth Doctor

  • Martha Jones: Invited to travel 'just once’ as a thankyou for helping the Doctor and remained. Left because she was in love with the Doctor, but returned briefly after she called him in to deal with the Sontarans. 
  • Donna Noble: Asked to travel by the Doctor after they fought the Racnoss; refused, but changed her mind when she met him again. Became part Time Lord after a “metacrisis” and had to have her memory erased lest her brain overload and kill her.

Eleventh Doctor

  • Amelia 'Amy’ Pond: Invited to travel by the Doctor as a child but due to TARDIS navigation problems, had to wait more than a decade. Sent back in time by a Weeping Angel and lived the rest of her life in the past.
  • Rory Williams: Asked to travel by an uncomfortable Doctor after Amy tried to seduce him. Sent back in time by a Weeping Angel and lived the rest of his life in the past.
  • River Song/Melody Pond*: Daughter of Amy and Rory. Conditioned to kill the Doctor, fell in love with him and married him, travelling with him intermittently but not always chronologically from his perspective. Died helping the Tenth Doctor defeat the Vashta Nerada and uploaded into the Library.

Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors

  • Clara Oswald: Encountered the Doctor as one of a number of copies of herself scattered through his time stream. As of the mid-point of Series 8, still with him.

*Not always counted as Companions as they only travelled very briefly with the Doctor or highly intermittently.

THE SCOREBOARD

Stowaways: 4
Accidental passengers:
7
Deliberate invitees: 
22
Imposed from outside: 3
Deaths: 5
Voluntary departures: 18
Abandoned or evicted:
2
Lost or forcibly removed: 6
Males:
10
Females:
32
Humans:
35
Robots:
3
Aliens:
4

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“In all my travelling throughout the universe, I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here. The oldest civilisation: decadent, degenerate, and rotten to the core. Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen - they’re still in the nursery compared to us. Ten million years of absolute power. That’s what it takes to be really corrupt.”

Doctor Who: Season 23 / The Trial of a Time Lord.

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The Seventh Doctor! Most people think of him as a shadowy schemer who plays games with the lives of those around him in service of some grand agenda. I think these people are very silly and, in an unrelated note, here’s a picture of him climbing down Sabalom Glitz so that his hat falls off.

McCoy’s years certainly have their misses, but for my money, the highest hits are not your Battlefields or your Curse of Fenrics, but the ones like this, that take McCoy’s natural talent for comedy and let it breathe in the material. They’re light, funny, ridiculous, enthusiastic, and often cleverer than the more self-consciously ‘adult’ material that comes later. 

More gifs from Dragonfire coming soon!