Evelyn Smythe

Facts

Name: Evelyn Smythe.

Format: Audio and Book.

Time of Origin: Earth 2000.

Time Span:The Marian Conspiracy” – “Thicker Than Water” (Flashback), “Instruments of Darkness“, “Thicker Than Water” and “A Death in the Family“.

Doctor: Sixth Doctor, briefly spent some time with the Seventh Doctor.

Fellow companions: The Brigadier, 2nd Romana, Thomas Brewster, Melanie Bush; brief meetings with Ace and Hex; confronted Jeremy Fitzoliver while he was the Doctor‘s enemy John Doe.

Biography

Evelyn started off her time in the TARDIS in a rather unique way. A history lecturer from 2000 whose focus on her research into the Tudor period had resulted in her marriage breaking down when she attended a conference on the date of her wedding anniversary, Evelyn met the Doctor when he was tracking a temporal anomaly that was traceable to her, and was caused by an ancestor of hers – according to the TARDIS databanks, her ancestor John Whiteside-Smith had never actually existed. Despite believing the Doctor was someone hired by the faculty to make her believe she was crazy and retire, she went along with him to the TARDIS (Dispelling those beliefs, naturally) and went back to the era of Queen Mary of England, where the Doctor ended up in the Queen’s room trying to help her through her phantom pregnancy while dealing with her lovesick lady-in-waiting Sarah Whiteside while Evelyn’s mistake about the date – toasting Elizabeth while Mary was still Queen – resulted in her being forcibly recruited by a secret conspiracy trying to depose Mary. Although evidence briefly suggested that the Doctor would be John Whiteside -Smith’s father with Sarah as the mother – and thus making the Doctor Evelyn’s ancestor -, the father was later confirmed to be Reverend Thomas Smith, who was killed after his attempt to kill the Queen (Ironically aided by Evelyn’s own actions in the past) was foiled. With the situation resolved, Evelyn thus joined the Doctor as his new companions, unable to turn down the chance to really see history.

Evelyn was radically different from the other female companions the Doctor has ever had, most notably in the fact that she was about in her early fifties while typical companions were normally in their twenties. For another, she was a far cry from the average female companions that stuck by the Doctor and screamed At The first sign of trouble, the Doctor referring to Evelyn as one of the few companions who could hold her own against the monsters he faced without his help (“Instruments of Darkness“), describing her as the most well-prepared and useful companions he’d ever had early on in her travels with him (“The Marian Conspiracy“). Her strength of character came with a personal warmth that allowed her to form fast friendships with a diverse range of people and survive a variety of dangers, including two of the Doctor‘s most difficult confrontations with the Daleks as his greatest enemies invaded his home planet (“The Apocalypse Element“), followed by the two Of them arriving in an alternate timeline where the British Empire conquered Earth with Dalek technology after they thwarted an invasion in their future (“Jubilee“). Despite the scale of both problems, Evelyn not only survived, but thrived, playing an important role in the Time Lords‘ victory over the Daleks after the Doctor locked all of Gallifrey’s retinal security systems to respond only to her eyes, – and she actually befriended a Dalek in the alternate history, the Dalek having been disarmed and helpless for the past hundred years and thus grateful for someone to talk to who didn’t just want it to act like how they believed it should act.

She has met her fair share of famous people in her time, including witnessing Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution (“Bloodtide“), as well as spending time with Daft Jamie, one of the last victims of William Burke and William Hare (“Medicinal Purposes“), saddened when the adventure concluded with Daft Jamie infected with a virus that prevented her from simply being able to give him a farewell hug. During a brief return to her original time, Evelyn even paid a visit to Sally, one of her students, who was contemplating suicide as she blamed herself for the death of her lover in a car accident, telling Sally about a recent adventure to help Sally see that even the darkest night could seem better in the morning (“Doctor Who and the Pirates“). Whether dealing with historical persons or common men, Evelyn also had a knack for seeing the true colours of the people she met, which came in particularly useful when she met a vampire called Cassie; she had looked into Cassie’s eyes, and knew she was no killer at heart, even if she did now need blood to survive (“Project: Twilight“). Despite her age, she even formed a potentially romantic attachment with a few men she encountered in her travels, most notably Rossiter on the planet Vilag (“Arrangements for War“), although her friendship with the Doctor proved to be too important to her for her to abandon him. Her strength of character was reflected most keenly by the fact that, before she met the Doctor, Evelyn’s fellow staff members were trying to convince her to retire because of a combination of her husband having left her (Not a major deterrent in wandering around Time) and a heart attack (A far more obvious problem), and yet she continued to travel, unable to resist the temptations offered by the TARDIS, although she concealed her true health from the Doctor. While Evelyn understood the dangers of changing history herself, she was not above allowing historical changes to remain if they had already happened, as seen most obviously when she assumed that she and the Doctor had accidentally altered the circumstances of Julius Caesar’s conception so that he was born a girl instead, Evelyn willing to allow the new timeline to play out while the Doctor tried to convince her that They had to change it back (Although it was later established that the Doctor and Evelyn had actually witnessed the birth of Caesar’s unknown older sister as the Doctor had set the coordinates incorrectly) (“100“).

Although the Caesar crisis was a particularly turbulent experience, their mutual personal strength meant that the Doctor and Evelyn had more than the usual Doctor/companions debates, ranging from minor details like the Doctor arguing that historical research based on records was flawed as all records were based on the views of their writers (“Jubilee“) to more emotionally intense ones like the Doctor‘s apparently casual attitude towards Cassie Schofield’s death At The hands of the ruthless vampire Nimrod (“Project: Lazarus“). Despite this, Evelyn nevertheless valued her friendship with the Doctor when it truly counted, refusing to believe the claims that the Doctor was the monstrous ‘Sandman’ who terrorised the Galyari ‘Clutch’ even when the Doctor himself confirmed that The tales were true (“The Sandman“), encouraging her friend to take action when he felt depressed (“Pier P