By now any self-respecting Doctor Who fan will have watched The Night of the Doctor several times and be well aware that Paul McGann is now the longest serving Doctor having played the Eighth Doctor in both 1996 and 2013 across a period of 17 years. Amidst all the excitement of seeing the Eighth Doctor’s return there is one line that may need explaining; just before he takes the regeneration potion he gives a list of names – but who are they?
We present the Starburst guide to the Eighth Doctor’s Five Companions…
After his abortive foray into television the Eighth Doctor was kept alive, so to speak, in a series of books. In these books he had various companions including Samantha Jones, Fitz Kreiner, Compassion and others. There were also comic strips that gave us many more including Izzy and other books such as those featuring Bernice Summerfield who met several versions of the Doctor. Plenty of choice but also a challenge getting agreement with multiple parties to use their creations.
Instead Steven Moffat chose to work in five characters created by Big Finish who had kept the Eighth Doctor very much to the fore in several dozen CD releases over more than the past decade. In one simple sentence we had Charley, C’rizz, Lucie, Tamsin and Molly and the Big Finish officially became canon.
Who, then, are these companions?
Charley Pollard was created fresh by Big Finish to introduce the Eighth Doctor to their audience. Appearing in a story entitled Storm Warning she is an Edwardian Adventuress voiced by India Fisher (Masterchef voiceover). Charley first meets the Doctor on the airship R101 and has a vast number of adventures on board the TARDIS before leaving in the story The Girl Who Never Was. Being Doctor Who she then had several adventures with the Sixth Doctor and is due to return in her own spin-off series.
C’rizz (pronounced KEH-riz) was played by Conrad Westmaas and first appeared in the story Creed of the Kromon and died in the story Absolution. He was from a race of reptilian humanoids with chameleon like powers called the Eutermesans. His death leads directly to Charley leaving the Eighth Doctor.
C’rizz met the Doctor and Charley in the parallel universe they became trapped in after the fortieth anniversary Big Finish story Zagreus and returned with them to our universe travelling with them for a time.
Feisty Lucie Miller from Blackpool was played by Sheridan Smith (Mrs Biggs, Jonathan Creek , Legally Blonde on stage and much else).
Lucie was created to accompany the Eighth Doctor in a series of plays known as the Eighth Doctor Adventures most of which also aired on Radio 7 (Radio 4 Extra as was). She first appeared in the two part story Blood of the Daleks and last appeared in the story To The Death.
Sheridan was very popular with Big Finish fans and her arc with the Eighth Doctor is one of the most powerful productions Big Finish has ever done (in this writer’s opinion at least).
After the story Death in Blackpool Lucie Miller left the TARDIS and her place was taken by Tamsin Drew played by Nicky Wardley (Catherine Tate Show). Tamsin only travelled with the Eighth Doctor for a few adventures before leaving in the story The Resurrection of Mars.
The most recent Big Finish companion for the Eighth Doctor is Molly O’Sullivan played by Ruth Bradley (Primeval, Titanic 2012 TV series alongside Jenna Coleman). Molly first appeared in the 2012 boxset DarkEyes and is due to re-appear in 2014 in Dark Eyes 2. Beyond that we don’t know. Yet!