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Captain Adelaide Brooke, Ph.D (12 May 1999 – 21 November 2059) was briefly a companion of the Tenth Doctor. During the Daleks‘ attempt to destroy reality, she ended up being orphaned when both of her parents never returned home. She was raised by her grandmother afterwards and, as the years passed, eventually became a mother and grandmother herself. She was commander of Bowie Base One on Mars in the late 2050s.
In November 2059, the base came under attack by a water-based entity called the Flood. This provoked her to give up her life to prevent the viral lifeforms from infecting humanity. It gave her granddaughter Susie Fontana Brooke the desire to be a pioneer of space travel. However, the Tenth Doctor interfered with Brooke’s fate, and she took matters into her own hands to make sure critical events of time would not be cancelled out, through suicide. She was hailed as a hero in the new timeline, still inspiring her granddaughter to continue the Brooke tradition to go into space.
Adelaide was born in Finchley, North London on 12 May 1999. She was a child during the Daleks‘ abduction and invasion of Earth in 2009. Her father told her to stay in the house while he searched for her mother. Neither of her parents were ever seen again. The young Adelaide was spotted by a Dalek, but it deliberately spared her. The event inspired Adelaide to go into space. The Tenth Doctor believed the Dalek recognised her as a fixed point in history. (The Waters of Mars)
COLONY ON MARS
She studied at Cambridge University, and achieved a first honours degree in combined Physics and Mathematics. She transferred to Rice University in 2017, where she earned her rate in Physics. After Rice, she worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Brooke became the first NASA candidate selected who was not a United States citizen. After an intensive, two-year training programme, she served on shuttle missions.
Despite her youth and inexperience at NASA, she was selected to head up Project Pit Stop, which used the Moon as a re-fuelling base for planetary exploration. This was highly successful; exploratory, unmanned shuttles were dispatched to Neptune and Jupiter via the moon. The data they obtained increased greatly humanity’s knowledge of these planets.
At the age of forty-two (presumably in 2041), she was a member of a three-person mission to Mars. She was the first woman to land there. Afterwards, she campaigned to have Mars chosen as a location for colonisation.
In 2058, when Adelaide was now a grandmother, she led an international team to Mars, the first human colony on the planet. She found fame on Earth as a result. (The Waters of Mars)
MEETING THE DOCTOR
In 2059, after seventeen months of success, two of her crew were taken over by the Flood. She tried to contain the infection. After realising this was impossible, she ordered evacuation. Adelaide was suspicious of the newly-arrived Doctor’s actions and comments. She forced him to tell her the truth: Bowie Base One was going to be destroyed and the crew killed. This was a fixed point in time. He could not save her.
Though she struggled to save the colonists, when The Doctor returned to help, she resigned herself to her fate and set the base’s self-destruct timer. When the Tenth Doctor saved Mia Bennett, Yuri Kerenski and her, returning them to Earth in front of Adelaide’s house, she realised her survival would alter her granddaughter’s life and human history. She grew angry with The Doctor when he dismissed the problem and referred to her fellow survivors as”little people.” She took her own life to preserve the timeline. (The Waters of Mars)
Her granddaughter, Susie Fontana Brooke, was inspired by her memory. She went into space and piloted the first lightspeed ship to Proxima Centauri. Her family followed. One descendant fell in love with a Tandonian prince and created a new species.
Though the Tenth Doctor saved three people from Bowie Base One, Adelaide’s suicide ensured that the timeline was not altered significantly. Her death was the fixed point in time. The only evident change was that history now recorded that she died on Earth rather than on Mars, and that she had committed suicide under “unexplained circumstances”. Mia and Yuri told the world the story of Bowie Base One and hailed her as a hero. This, not the mystery of her death on Mars, was what inspired her granddaughter. (The Waters of Mars)
Adelaide Brooke was a strict and serious woman who often showed other people a cool demeanour; she reserved her warmth for her family. Though she cared about her crew, she treated them in a professional manner and demanded decorum and discipline. One of her crew noted that she only gave compliments if the situation was serious.
Adelaide was a selfless woman who sacrificed herself to preserve history. Though she knew the Tenth Doctor for less than a day, she quickly grew to accept that he was a time traveller even before she travelled in the TARDIS. She was angry with the Tenth Doctor when he rescued her, insisting, “The ‘Time Lord victorious’ is wrong!”, and was aghast that he could have changed the history of the entire human race. (The Waters of Mars)
BEHIND THE SCENES
When initially sketching out the story, Davies considered Helen Mirren as a potential actress to play the character who became Adelaide. In an early draft, the character was Russian, but this was changed when, still thinking of Mirren as a potential guest star, Davies felt it would have been too close to the character played by Mirren in the film 2010: The Year We Make Contact. (Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale – The Final Chapter)