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Vivienne Bennett, Angela Pleasence
Elizabeth I was the Tudor Queen of England during the 16th century (The Shakespeare Code) and a spouse of the Tenth Doctor. (The End Of Time, The Day Of The Doctor)
Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry VIII of England and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. (Recorded Time)
Her immediate predecessor was her elder half-sister Mary I. Elizabeth had multiple sobriquets, including “the Virgin Queen” and “Good Queen Bess”. In 1555, a Protestant priest, the Reverend Thomas Smith, attempted to install Elizabeth on the throne in place of her Catholic half-sister Mary. (The Marian Conspiracy)
At the time of the Reformation King Henry VIII declared himself as the head of the English church. His daughter Elizabeth I later persecuted priests and followers of the Catholic Church. However the Catholics built secret rooms and passages in their houses so that the priests could hold their services in secret and escape. That was why the St Agnes Abbey also had some secret passages. (Eye of the Gorgon)
By 1562, Elizabeth had become Queen. Sometime that year, the Tenth Doctor had a picnic with her in a glade, believing her to be a Zygon in disguise. He proposed to her to see her reaction, in order to prove she wasn’t the real queen — which she accepted. In reality, it was actually the Doctor’s horse that his shapeshifter DNA-detecting device had been picking up on, meaning that he had proposed to the real Queen Elizabeth. The actual Zygon then took on Elizabeth’s form, but the Doctor’s attempt to identify the real one was interrupted by the arrival of the Eleventh Doctor. Once separated from the Doctor, Elizabeth got into a fight with the Zygon Elizabeth, defeating it. The rest of the Zygons then accepted her as their leader, believing her to be their commander. Elizabeth proceeded to incarcerate the Doctors, now joined by the War Doctor, in the Tower of London. Elizabeth left the door to the cell unlocked, fascinated to see what would happen if the Doctors escaped. Elizabeth introduced the Doctors and the Eleventh Doctor’s companion, Clara Oswald, to the rest of the Zygons and revealed the details of their plan to enter stasis inside a series of Time Lord paintings until Earth was ready for conquest. With the Zygons neutralised of their own accord, Elizabeth agreed to bring the Doctor’s TARDIS to them, but first insisted the Tenth Doctor fulfil his promise to marry her. After the Doctors and Clara departed, she had the paintings locked up in a secret part of the National Gallery, the Under-Gallery. She then left instructions (which eventually wound up in the hands of UNIT) that the Doctor be appointed Curator of the Under-Gallery and that he be contacted in the event of an emergency. (The Day Of The Doctor)
Elizabeth I’s court astrologer John Dee was apparently another identity of Jared Khan, who was still fruitlessly hunting the Doctor At the time. At this point, the Queen appeared to be on friendly terms with the Doctor, then in his seventh incarnation. (Birthright)
After arriving in Sissenden Village in 1588, the Fourth Doctor suggested to Leela that they visit Elizabeth I. In that year, Lady Jane Mountville was one of the ladies of her bedchamber. (The Devil’s Armada)
Elizabeth I imprisoned Sir Walter Raleigh in the Tower of London. Either the First or Second Doctor was his cell-mate whom he bored with incessant discussion of discovering the potato in the New World. (The Mind of Evil)
The First Doctor was first shown encountering Elizabeth I as an image on the Time-Space Visualiser. He, Barbara Wright, Vicki Pallister and Ian witnessed her, circa 1596, attempting to influence William Shakespeare to write another play featuring the character of Falstaff — this one featuring Falstaff “in love”. (The Chase)
The Sixth Doctor and Evelyn eventually visited the court of Elizabeth I at some point, which was their intended destination At the time of Evelyn’s first trip in the TARDIS. (Thicker Than Water) The Eighth Doctor would later return to Elizabeth’s court in the company of Samson and Gemma Griffin. (Terror Firma)
Years after the Tenth Doctor had fled his marriage commitments in his TARDIS, Elizabeth I’s opinions of him capsized. Knowing he had no wish to stay with her, Elizabeth developed scornful feelings at her abandonment, and her violent attitudes seeped into her contempt toward the Doctor. In 1599, following a performance of Love’s Labour’s Won at the Globe Theatre, Elizabeth immediately recognised the Tenth Doctor as her “sworn enemy” and ordered her guards to kill him with a cry of, “Off with his head!” However, it was a younger version of the Tenth Doctor who had not yet carried out the act which angered the queen. (The Shakespeare Code, Gridlock)
Elizabeth X later made a passing remark regarding a relationship between the Doctor and the “Virgin Queen”, also implying that the Doctor and Elizabeth I in some measure consummated their marriage. (The Beast Below) The Dream Lord later noted his relationship with Liz the First… “Well, she thought she was the first”. (Amy’s Choice) After he accidentally agreed to marry Elizabeth, the Tenth Doctor said to himself, “The Virgin Queen? So much for history.” (The Day Of The Doctor) The Tenth Doctor said to Ood Sigma, “Got married, that was a mistake, to good queen Bess, let me tell you her nickname is no longer…” before coughing and saying, “Never mind that.” (The End Of Time)
When discussing things he still had time for with Dorium Maldovar, the Eleventh Doctor mentioned that “Liz the First” was still waiting to elope with him in a glade. (The Wedding of River Song)
Ian Chesterton had seen films depicting the Spanish Armada in which Elizabeth I was played by Bette Davis and Flora Robson. (The Flames of Cadiz)
While waiting for River Song to use her vortex manipulator to get back to him in Victorian London, the Eleventh Doctor saw a statue of his eleventh incarnation wearing an Elizabethan outfit that mirrored the outfit his tenth incarnation was depicted wearing in a painting with Elizabeth I. The Eleventh Doctor stated, “Bess, you silly old goat, let it go!” When River appeared she asked if the statue was of him the Doctor replied, “She made me wear that! I thought it was just a private portrait for her handbag.” (The Eternity Clock, The Day Of The Doctor) River Song mentioned her among the other spouses of the Doctor. (The Husbands of River Song)
Behind the scenes
The implication is that Elizabeth was commissioning The Merry Wives of Windsor in The Chase, alluded to a historical legend in which Elizabeth actually did suggest Shakespeare write the play. However, The Chase does not explicitly name the work, nor give a definite date for this encounter.
Following the broadcast of The Shakespeare Code, it was often rumoured that an adventure featuring Queen Elizabeth I and the Tenth Doctor would be forthcoming. However, one never came during the tenure of the Tenth Doctor. The fact that Elizabeth was mentioned in The End Of Time came as a surprise to many fans who had long since assumed that this would remain a mystery with the departure of the Tenth Doctor. The adventure was finally televised three years after David Tennant’s departure, and comprises the plot of The Day Of The Doctor.
Elizabeth I was the earliest individual depicted on-screen with whom the Doctor had an out-of-sync relationship, a plot device which subsequently became commonplace in the BBC Wales era. His first incarnation appeared to be unfamiliar with her when viewing her in The Chase circa 1596. The Tenth Doctor first met her in The Shakespeare Code, set in 1599, and again in The Day Of The Doctor, set in 1562, where the Tenth Doctor, along with the War Doctor and his eleventh incarnation, were again imprisoned in the Tower before the Tenth Doctor married her, seemingly without coming back.
According to The Brilliant Book 2012, a book that contains non-narrative based information, in an alternate universe where all of history happened at once, Elizabeth I was often voted the most popular Queen of England and was rumoured to be engaged to the Earl of Essex.
She was played by Susan Engel in The Queen’s Traitor, Lalla Ward in Crossed Swords, Vanessa Redgrave in Anonymous, Frances Barber in Psychobitches and Sorcha Cusack in Shakespeare: The Animated Series.
Elizabeth was dubbed by voice actor Cathlen Gawlich in the German dub of The Day Of The Doctor.