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Charlotte Elspeth “Charley” Pollard was a companion of the Eighth and Sixth Doctors.
After her death aboard the R101 was averted by the Eighth Doctor, Charley became a danger to the Web of Time and created a rift into the universe of anti-time. Her status as a temporal anomaly was later rectified and she and The Doctor travelled the Divergent Universe, where they met C’rizz, who later died in their universe. Charley and The Doctor were ultimately separated in a confrontation with the Cybermen, with Charley believing that The Doctor was dead and The Doctor incapable of remembering their last few hours together.
Charley was subsequently rescued by the Sixth Doctor, who she travelled with for a time before replacing his memories of her with Mila. She served the Viyrans for a time before escaping by travelling through the Ever-and-Ever Prolixity.
Charlotte Pollard was born on 15 April 1912 in Hampshire to the wealthy Lord Richard and Lady Louisa Pollard. (Neverland, Memory Lane) She had an older sister, Peggy, and a younger sister, Sissy. (A Blind Eye) She was raised as a Catholic (The Next Life) in a manor house, looked after by servants. (The Chimes of Midnight, Zagreus) She was known to her family as Lottie. (The Next Life)
When she was a child, Charley’s grandmother used to bring her and her sisters to an artist to have their portraits painted once a year. (The Twilight Kingdom) Her paternal grandparent, Ermentrude Pollard, gave her a copy of Alice in Wonderland for Christmas in 1919. (Zagreus) She had died by 1936. (The Fall of the House of Pollard)
Lady Louisa worried about gypsies camping on their property. As a child, Charley sneaked some into the house to stay in the attic. (Memory Lane)
Charley went on a holiday to Ostend, Belgium with her family, during which she read Treasure Island. (The Girl Who Never Was, The Fall of the House of Pollard) Her childhood hero was the Victorian explorer Pieter Mon Marchè, whom she had inadvertently created. (The Man Who Wasn’t There)
Whilst still at school, Charley went on a day trip with her class to a portrait museum. She did not enjoy the experience nor appreciate the art, most of which were portraits of stern old men. (Hall of the Ten Thousand)
On her sixteenth birthday, Charley was given a brooch by her mother that had been passed down her family. She planned to pass it down to her own daughter some day. (Scherzo)
Charley had a maternal uncle, Jacques Saviltride. (Memory Lane, The Girl Who Never Was, The Fall of the House of Pollard)
She once attended an orgy, though she didn’t stay. (Seasons of Fear)
MEETING THE DOCTOR
In 1930, Charley met Alex Grayle who sparked her sense of adventure. The two decided to meet in Singapore on New Year’s Eve. (Seasons of Fear) To this end, she got crewmember of the R101 Simon Murchford drunk and stole his uniform, disguising herself and putting on an accent to take his place on the airship. (Storm Warning, The Next Life) The only person who knew of this plan was the Pollards’ cook, Edith Thompson. (The Fall of the House of Pollard)
On 5 October, Charley was aboard the R101 when she was found out. Whilst fleeing, she met the Eighth Doctor and they uncovered the secret mission that the airship was on. She was rescued from the fated crash of the R101 in Beauvais, France by The Doctor and taken on board his TARDIS as his newest companion. They also brought a vortisaur that Charley named Ramsay. (Storm Warning) Unbeknownst to her for some time, she was supposed to have died. (Storm Warning, Neverland, etc.)
Charley and The Doctor found the TARDIS, (Storm Warning) where she was given a bedroom which she often left in an untidy state. (Absolution)
INITIAL VOYAGES WITH THE DOCTOR
Charley and The Doctor encountered the Cybermen in 2503, (Sword of Orion) after which they visited Venice in 2294 where she was to be married to Duke Orsino. (The Stones of Venice) She later met the Brigadier and faced the demon Marchosias in Malebolgia in 2003. (Minuet in Hell)
After travelling with The Doctor for several weeks, Charley realised that she had fallen in love with him. (Letting Go)
Charley and The Doctor in an alternate timeline created by The Master. (The Light at the End)
In an alternative timeline created by The Master, she met the Fourth Doctor and Leela in the former’s TARDIS. As the Eighth Doctor had never told her of regeneration, she was at first sceptical of the Fourth Doctor’s claim to be The Doctor but was soon convinced. As he had detected temporal disturbances in the Time Vortex, the Fourth Doctor realised that Charley must be one of his companions from the future. When she asked how he knew this, he told her that if she was one of his previous companions, he would be able to recognise her. He soon came to believe that Charley was very clever.
When these events were wiped, so were all of her and The Doctor’s memories of said events. For a reason unbeknownst to them, The Doctor suddenly felt the need to visit Bob Dovie at 59A Barnsfield Crescent in Totton, Hampshire on 23 November 1963. There they were surprised to learn that Bob had already been visited by all of the Doctor’s past incarnations, and was very irate. (The Light at the End)
In New York City in October 1938, they met Orson Welles and repelled the Laiderplacker invasion by using The War of the Worlds broadcast to convince the aliens that another invasion was already ongoing. (Invaders from Mars)
After returning Charley to her rendezvous in Singapore 1930, The Doctor met the immortal Sebastian Grayle, who was working for the Nimons and gloated about having killed The Doctor. The Doctor and Charley went back in time to 305, 1055 and 1806, each time meeting Grayle, and in the end stopping him and the Nimons. (Seasons of Fear)
While trying to investigate the disappearance of sun in the Cimmerian System, Charley and The Doctor went to a Throxillian mining base. The Cimmerians, descendants of the Solarians and inhabitants of the system, feared light because it would allow the Solarians to track them, and burned out the eyes of everyone on the base, including Charley. When The Doctor got the artificial suns working, the Solarians came to the system and cleared up the misunderstanding. The Cimmerians healed the crew’s eyes. (Embrace the Darkness)
In 2050s New Britain, The Doctor and Charley stopped a Dalek plot involving time travel and a young William Shakespeare. (The Time of the Daleks)
During her adventures with The Doctor, she was trapped by the Celestial Toymaker, not remembering who she was, and forced to play games, with the spirit of the Doctor stuck inside a ventriloquist puppet, only able to talk with her voice. She finally defeated the Toymaker and fled in the TARDIS with The Doctor inside. (Solitaire)
By that time, Charley’s existence was causing problems to the Web of Time, culminating in a confrontation with the Time Lords. Charley had become a gateway to the Antiverse, causing anti-time to flow through and infect the Universe. When Charley helped save the Web of Time these events became part of the Web, resolving the paradox. (Neverland)
However, The Doctor was infected by anti-time and so was forced to leave the universe and enter the Divergent Universe. Charley stowed away on board the TARDIS. (Zagreus)
IN THE DIVERGENT UNIVERSE
Charley and The Doctor’s initial landing in the Divergent Universe was within a strictly designed experiment to study evolution. As such, Charley and The Doctor merged to create an evolved life form, and their sound evolved to the point of achieving sentience. (Scherzo)
Not long after landing in the Divergent Universe, Charley and The Doctor met C’rizz when they entered the Eutermes Zone on Bortresoye. Charley was transformed into a giant hybrid insect and later saved by The Doctor and reversed to her normal self. (The Creed of the Kromon)
While in the Divergent Universe, the three of them visited Light City, a dictatorship where their memories were preserved and used as an experiment. (The Natural History of Fear)
The Kro’ka sent them to a tropical jungle, where she betrayed The Doctor to military forces because she didn’t trust him very much in this universe. She became very upset with The Doctor, her mind being influenced by a living organism in the form of a cave system. (The Twilight Kingdom)
Following their visit to different experimental zones of the Divergent Universe, they arrived at the Multihaven, a city run as a religious forum with innumerable faiths having set up churches, temples and retreats. C’rizz was still grieving over the loss of L’da and in a moment of madness, he mistook Charley for L’da and tried to strangle her. The Doctor arrived just in time to save Charley by overpowering C’rizz with his Venusian aikido. (Faith Stealer)
Trapped on a dying world, Charley became critically injured and her body was totally paralysed. She asked C’rizz to kill her but he didn’t want to do it. She later was murdered by the Excelsior, the dictator from the planet in ruins. The planet had been looking after itself, killing everybody and starting the cycle all over again, so finally Charley didn’t die and continued travelling with The Doctor and C’rizz to the next zone. (The Last)
In the Caerdroia world, The Doctor’s personality became split in three (innocent, normal and grumpy); to Charley’s annoyance, she got teamed up with the “nasty” side of the Doctor, while the others went on different paths to investigate and try to solve the puzzle. Reunited, they finally solved the mystery of this place and were able to regain the TARDIS. (Caerdroia)
Once the travellers were reunited with the TARDIS, the ship was plunged uncontrollably into the atmosphere of a mysterious blue planet, where The Doctor was forced to take emergency action and they became separated.
Charley found herself visited by her mother and had to come to terms with how hardened to death she had became in her travels with The Doctor. She also had an encounter with Simon Murchford, whose identity she stole to board the R101 all those years ago.
Charley was forced by Rassilon to live in an artificial reality, until she discovered the truth about Zagreus and the anti-time virus. Charley felt extremely jealous for not having The Doctor for herself anymore and resented C’rizz. Faced with the opportunity to return to our universe, The Doctor only was willing to do so if Charley and C’rizz resolved their differences. (The Next Life)
BACK HOME AGAIN
Just after they landed on our universe, The Doctor, Charley and C’rizz found themselves on the new Dalek homeworld — where Davros awaited them imperiously and looking for revenge.
Separated from The Doctor and C’rizz, Charley made a startling discovery — the TARDIS had materialised on Earth, colonised by the Daleks. (Terror Firma)
Having returned to her universe, Charley was grateful to be back on more familiar territory, despite some initial tension between her and C’rizz due to his past as an assassin. As time progressed, however, the two became good friends, Charley recognising that morality could be more complicated than her initial perceptions after such experiences as an encounter with serial killer Eunis Flood, who was about to be killed as part of an experiment to research the nature of evil. Charley concluded that Flood didn’t deserve such treatment no matter what he’d done in the past or would do in the future. (Scaredy Cat)
Charley also experienced an interesting historical encounter when she met the Duke of Wellington during a trip to the Great Exhibition of 1851, Charley forced to pose as a French ambassador after the original ambassadors were briefly trapped in the TARDIS. While talking with the Duke, Charley assured him that he personally would be remembered as a great hero even if Britain itself still had problems in the future. (Other Lives)
In the end, however, C’rizz was killed when the TARDIS was trapped on a planet resembling Hell and was forced to serve as a spiritual storage facility for the souls of the entire planet (a purpose that The Doctor speculated C’rizz had been intended to serve for the Foundation), only for C’rizz to burn himself out when he acted to restore the planet to normal. His last words being to describe Charley as his sister before he died. (Absolution)
Angry at The Doctor’s apparent lack of concern for the loss, Charley ordered The Doctor to take her to Singapore once and for all. However, although Charley changed her mind after she arrived in Singapore, a subsequent confrontation with the Cybermen during their latest attempt to harness time travel resulted in The Doctor and Charley being separated as the Cybermen’ ship collapsed. After a battle with the Cybermen, she was stranded on a desert island in 500,002, believing that The Doctor had been killed by the Cybermen, while The Doctor returned to Singapore in 2008 after the TARDIS’ HADS activated when the ship they were on disintegrated; his recent memories so scrambled by the attempted conversion that he was unable to precisely recall what had happened to Charley. (The Girl Who Never Was)
MEETING THE OTHER DOCTOR
When the TARDIS arrived in response to her distress signal, Charley found The Doctor, but in an earlier incarnation. (The Condemned) Because of her travels with the future Doctor she knew not to let him find out anything about her past, but he grew suspicious of her mysteriousness.
Having decided to take a bath, Charley took a book to read from the TARDIS library, which The Doctor had loaned from a library. Going to the Library they discovered the Grel destroying a set of books. She destroyed the machine but in the process the book was destroyed. They went back in time to collect another one to replace it, however when they landed the surrounding seemed familiar to her. She started to believe that she had come from this era and was going to marry John. Shortly afterwards she met Dick Turpin and believed herself to be his accomplice Gypsy Charlotte. She rode with him to York where The Doctor caught up to her and managed to get her to come to her senses. She then helped The Doctor defeat the Grel who were manifesting through Dick Turpin. (The Doomwood Curse)
On a planetoid in the Antares System, Charley and The Doctor encountered the Daleks. Charley told The Doctor about her secret and his death before learning that he was actually a replicant. (Brotherhood of the Daleks)
After landing on an unnamed planet which looked like a manor house with servant cottages, Charley and The Doctor were chased by werewolves. She devised a plan to get the werewolves to follow her and not The Doctor but fell into a pit trap. The police werewolves captured her and took her to Dr Paignton. Paignton wanted extra human urges, thinking she was a werewolf. Charley thought that this would make her a lettuce. The Valeyard stopped this process, and threatened to tell The Doctor that she travelled with his eighth incarnation. The Valeyard also explained to her the history of the colonists. He tried to convince her to change the Web of Time. (The Red House)
Eventually, The Doctor demanded to know Charley’s secret, but before she could answer him, she was infected with a virus that had slipped through the TARDIS’ defences. Charley discovered the virus had come from an entity called Mila, a human guinea pig in experiments by the Daleks to create a virus to transform all lifeforms into Daleks. When the experiments failed, the Daleks attacked her, making her phase into another dimension. She had slipped aboard the TARDIS in The Doctor’s first incarnation and remained there since, invisible to everyone. Unbeknownst to The Doctor, Mila had used the virus to transform Charley into herself and vice versa, leaving Charley out of phase with reality and allowing her to take Charley’s place at The Doctor’s side. (Patient Zero)
Charley was found and cured by the Viyrans, whom she helped for several millennia in their quest to expunge all the viruses which had escaped from the Amethyst station. Finally they crossed paths with The Doctor and Charley/Mila in an alternate timeline created by the Viyrans’ attempt to remove a virus from Earth’s population. After Mila sacrificed herself to save The Doctor and the Earth, Charley revealed her identity to The Doctor. To make him want to forget his travels with her, she told him that when he met her, he would die (still believing that the Eighth Doctor had not regenerated). She used the Viyrans’ memory-altering technology to replace herself with Mila in The Doctor’s memories of their travels together. (Blue Forgotten Planet)
AFTER THE DOCTOR
Info from The Lamentation Cipher, The Shadow at the Edge of the World, The Fall of the House of Pollard, The Viyran Solution, Embankment Station, Ruffling, Seed of Chaos and The Destructive Quality of Life needs to be added
For years, Charley travelled with the Viyrans, helping them find and destroy various Amethyst viruses. Eventually, she decided to escape their custody, and ended up travelling through a space-time anomaly known as the Ever-and-Ever Prolixity. (The Lamentation Cipher)
She eventually found herself in a Scottish forest infected with another of the viruses, and was found by the Viyrans again. (The Shadow at the Edge of the World) She again decided to leave through the Prolixity, and was briefly reunited with her parents in 1936. However, she was found and taken prisoner by the Viyrans, while her parents’ memory of her ever existing was erased. (The Fall of the House of Pollard)
When she was returned to the Viyran ship, she found out that she was infected with a virus that would return the Viyrans to factory settings. (The Viyran Solution)
Travelling through the Ever-and-Ever Prolixity with Robert Buchan and a Rogue Viyran, Charley and her friends ended up in Embankment tube station in the early 21st century. (Embankment Station)
The Eighth Doctor saluted Charley, along with his other companions, just prior to regenerating. (The Night of the Doctor)
The Tenth Doctor, put on trial by the Shadow Proclamation, cited the saving of Charley Pollard as an example of his saving the life of someone who had been declared a “fixed point in time” and destined to die. (Fugitive)
Whilst travelling through the Time Vortex, Cindy Wu saw Charley alongside other companions of the Doctor. (The Good Companion)
The Twelfth Doctor saw Charley, among other companions, when Bernice Summerfield was hit by temporal energy in the Pyramid Eternia. (Big Bang Generation)
Charley had blonde hair (The Next Life, The Viyran Solution) and was considered attractive. (The Stones of Venice, Minuet in Hell) C’rizz said that he would not describe her as plump. Rufus Dimplesqueeze described her as being “tiny and feminine”. (Other Lives)
Charley was a dreamer. (Zagreus) Despite her upper-class upbringing, Charley was very sympathetic to the underdog (The Stones of Venice) and longed for excitement, rebelling against her background and running away in order to find adventure. (Storm Warning) She was resourceful, brave and was pleased to find that women could be in charge in the future, (Sword of Orion) being a supporter of female emancipation. (Minuet in Hell) She was not a fan of socialism (Brotherhood of the Daleks) nor knew very much about art. (Hall of the Ten Thousand)
Charley believed that people lived only one life and intended to make hers count. She believed that she lived a full life during which she had become desensitised to death, remembering faces but not names. (The Next Life) She never got involved in fox hunting because she could not stand the killing of innocent creatures, but she did love the jackets and horses. (The Next Life) She was somewhat sensitive about her weight (Other Lives) and hated being ignored. (Neverland)
When she was hurting, Charley would pretend to be cheerful. She hated seeing The Doctor vulnerable and would tell him that she loved him and that he should not feel bad, which could irritate him. (Terror Firma) She originally believed that The Doctor needed her, but later realised that it was her who needed him. (The Next Life) She said that The Doctor did not need her, but rather needed all of his companions. (Companion Piece) She considered The Doctor and C’rizz to be her family. (Something Inside)
Charley lost her lust for life whilst in Viyran custody, feeling little more than a glorified pet. After her escape, (The Lamentation Cipher) fear made her feel more alive than she had in years. (The Fall of the House of Pollard) She was upset that she never got to have a child. (The Viyran Solution)
Unlike the rest of her family, Charley spoke with and showed kindness to the Pollards’ cook Edith Thompson, although she did not consider her a close friend. (The Chimes of Midnight) She was disgusted by the thought of different species interbreeding, (Sword of Orion) hated insects (The Creed of the Kromon) and considered all war to be a crime. (The Last)
When Charley pretended to be a Time Lord by the name of Charleyostiantayshius, The Doctor believed that she made a more convincing Time Lord than he did. (Living Legend) She also managed to pass herself off as a boy on the R101 (Storm Warning) and fit in extraordinarily well in the upper classes of 1572. (The Time of the Daleks) However, her skill at accents was variable, tending to wander. (Storm Warning)
BEHIND THE SCENES
The reference to Charley in IDW Publishing’s Doctor Who Ongoing series marked the first time a character created for the Big Finish Productions audio drama line had been referenced in a comic book; she was also one of the names mentioned by the dying Eighth Doctor prior to his regeneration. (The Night of the Doctor)
In December 2014, Charley was added as a playable character to the game Doctor Who: Legacy. She is the only character who originated from Big Finish to appear in the game. However, the game also features the companions of ARC, Cinder, Gabby Gonzalez and Alice Obiefune, who all derive from spin-off material.
Along with Thomas Brewster, Evelyn Smythe and Liv Chenka, Charley is one of only four companions created by Big Finish to be depicted travelling with or meeting two incarnations of the Doctor.
According to the Big Finish podcast, Charley was originally going to be a travel agent from the 1950s.
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