Time of Origin:
1963, Roley Institute, Outskirts of London.
The Taint – The Ancestor Cell, Escape Velocity – The Gallifrey Chronicles.
The Brigadier, Sarah Jane Smith, 3rd Romana, Samantha Jones, Compassion, Anji Kapoor, Trix MacMillan and K9.
When Fitz met Sam and the Eighth Doctor, he wasn’t really getting anywhere fast in his time. As Sam put it, he was just lying back and seeing where life took, although he didn’t seem to be doing well at it; he was working in a garden centre owned by a doctor that ran a mental hospital where his mother was, and made a living at night by playing at a club under the pseudonym of ‘Fitz Fortune’. However, after taking Sam out for a night on the town, he witnessed a murder, got accused of it by the police, found himself trying to help The Doctor defeat The patients of his boss, and ended up travelling with them in the TARDIS to keep himself safe.
Although from the same time as the First Doctor’s companions Ian and Barbara, Fitz was from a different lifestyle than they were, being more of a relaxed slacker rather than a professional, never daring to fully explore his talents out of fear that he would fail. Even after he left his time, he retained an occasionally unfortunate habit of falling for women, such as (to a certain degree) his fellow companions Sam and Anji, although Compassion was never an object of his affections due to his initial discomfort about his past as a member of the Remote and her later status as a TARDIS. He also enjoys playing his guitar whenever he can, playing miniature concerts on such occasions as when keeping up the spirits of the colonists in “The Year of Intelligent Tigers”, continuing to enjoy giving performances even up to his departure in “The Gallifrey Chronicles”, adding various unique songs to his resume such as songs sung by the Beatles in alternate realities. He also had a very unique way of coping with terror – he tries to distract himself by checking out the ladies, such as in “The Ancestor Cell”, when, while Faction Paradox launched an attack on Gallifrey, he tried to keep his mind off it by constantly admiring the bodies of Romana’s third incarnation and a Faction Paradox agent called Tarra. (Before he witnessed her true decaying appearance and learned of her real allegiance). As well as all this, however, his time with The Doctor has made him fiercely loyal to his friend; even when faced with a woman who his mind had been engineered to love, Fitz couldn’t deny the need to help The Doctor when his friend was threatened by a strange alien race (“The Book of the Still'”).
Although seemingly a cynical slacker getting by in a fantasy world where he pretended to be other to escape his own life when he first met The Doctor, as time went on Fitz displayed significant depth of character. His old interest in history was mentioned more than once, showing enthusiasm when he thought The Doctor was taking them to join an archaeological dig – although The Doctor instead took them back to when the site in question was habited, concluding that attending the dig itself ‘would be boring, and require the wearing of mittens’ – (“The Taking of Planet 5”), while on another occasion he briefly left The Doctor to participate in an expedition to the Antarctic as the expedition’s chronicler. While never expressly learning anything about the nature of time and reality, Fitz, like the Second Doctor’s old companion Jamie MacCrimmon, has demonstrated a useful knack for spotting simple solutions to problems that The Doctor would never have thought of, such as using an analogy of comparing a system of perpetual reincarnation to a driver’s exam (“Vanishing Point”), and helping The Doctor track the Council of Eight – who existed on a space station outside of time – by asking where the TARDIS was on a diagram that displayed the entire universe (“Sometime Never…”). Although essentially a coward and unused to sticking his neck out for others, Fitz nevertheless grew into a capable companion, his dedication to The Doctor prompting him to defend his friend against such diverse criticism as new companion Anji’s belief that The Doctor fought monsters because he could rather than because he cared (“Eater of Wasps”) or Sabbath’s claims that he and The Doctor were the same, constantly stating his belief that The Doctor didn’t kill unless all other options were exhausted (“The Last Resort”).
Unfortunately, Fitz’s time with The Doctor hasn’t been easy; after only a few adventures with The Doctor, Fitz was captured by The Doctor’s old enemies Faction Paradox and taken back in time 200 years, to become Father Krienier, head of the Remote the Faction sent to Dust, the very edge of the human space empire. When he arrived there, Krienier battled none other than the Third Doctor, shortly before his unscheduled regeneration, which was unintentionally caused by the Eighth Doctor when we met his past self while he was in prison. However, the Eighth Doctor later met another version of Fitz created by the Remote’s memories of him, and, with the help of the TARDIS – since the Fitz-copy, known as ‘Kode’ for Fitz’s talents with the machine codes he wrote on Anathema, recognised that he couldn’t spend his life wondering how close he was to the original – restored the original Fitz’s memories to Kode, making him the genuine article again, in a sense; as The Doctor put it, when it came to memories people physically changed all the time, but continuity was all that mattered.
This ‘new’ Fitz, while retaining the ‘original’s’ fondness for fantasy lives, generally seemed more comfortable in his own skin, his skills at deception being used more regularly simply to blend in to the new worlds he found himself, such as when he posed as a colonist from Mercury to inhabitants of a futuristic city (“The Space Age”), rather than simply being assumed for the sake of it, such as when he posed as a James Bond-style individual and ended up getting accidentally hired as an assassin to kill the owner of a casino (Later revealed to be the Fourth Doctor, who had won so much during his last visit the casino had to sign ownership to him or face bankruptcy) (“Demontage”). Father Krienier was later killed in a battle with the Eighth Doctor in “The Ancestor Cell”, slain by Grandfather Paradox – The Doctor’s corrupted future self – for his treachery when he tried to help The Doctor, leaving Fitz the only ‘true’ Fitz Kriener. However, as a result of his confrontation with his ‘template’, Fitz suffered from a temporarily identity crisis in “Earthworld”, which he managed to deal with thanks to his memories of his lover Filippa from Mechta in “Parallel 59”, given form by a memory machine, who reminded him that he was still Fitz despite his origins. Since then the issue of his origins has generally been ignored, with Fitz thinking of his ‘recreation’ at the hands of the TARDIS whenever he thinks of it at all – as him being restored to health after an ‘accident’ rather than him being cloned or copied (“To The Slaughter”).
Another notable fact about Fitz is that he appears to spend quite a few adventures with his brain wired up to some kind of gadget at some time or another – an alien leech in “The Taint”, the TARDIS itself in “Interference Book Two”, (Well, technically, it was wired up to Kode, but Kode was Fitz, so it still counts.) virtual reality generators in “Parallel 59”, the memory machine in “Earthworld”, and once he was plugged into a machine that would have almost wiped his memories in “Vanishing Point”, but by this point his brain had apparently been through so much stuff that it had built up a resistance. As time went on, Fitz even displayed a greater independence from The Doctor, such as when he investigated a group of cyborgs called the Brotherhood of the Silver Fist in “Hope” despite their clearly ruthless nature. However, his most notable solo ‘victory’ was when he was captured by a rhino-like race called The Onihr, who thought he was The Doctor and sought the secret of time travel. With the aid of a hand-held information computer given to him by the Onihr, Fitz managed to sabotage the Onihr’s EMP cannon and teleport away from the ship as it exploded, casually informing The Doctor and Anji upon arrival at the warehouse where they were currently hiding that he had ‘just saved the world from a race of invincible would-be time-travelling space-rhinos’ (A sentence that The Doctor was certain had never been uttered before, much to his satisfaction; he had recently been hearing a great deal of cliché statements such as ‘Doctor, look out!’ and had been worried he’d never hear an original sentiment again) (“Trading Futures”).
Despite his successes as a solo operative, however, Fitz nevertheless began to feel very dependent on The Doctor, reflecting how frustrating it was at times to depend so much on The Doctor and accomplish so little on his own merit. With this in mind, he briefly left the TARDIS to accompany an archaeologist’s expedition to the Antarctic in 1899, only to result in him spending almost a hundred years frozen in time in an ice version of the TARDIS (“Time Zero”) before The Doctor and Anji discovered him. Although he continued to feel very out of his depth during their subsequent attempts to set history on its proper course – resulting in Fitz being arrested and beaten as a terrorist in an alternate London (“The Domino Effect”) before his biodata was contaminated due to exposure to an alternate timeline (“Reckless Engineering”), followed by multiple alternate versions of himself and his fellow companions being forced to sacrifice themselves to preserve reality (“The Last Resort”). After this, however, his time became easier, working alongside The Doctor and new companion Trix to track down the beings responsible and avert the damage they had done to reality.
Following The Doctor’s defeat of the Council of Eight – mysterious beings who gained power by predicting the future – Fitz continued to travel with The Doctor and new companion Trix MacMillan for nearly year – on one occasion even briefly ‘absorbing’ some aspects of The Doctor’s personality after their memories were erased and subsequently improperly restored so that they each retained some of the other’s personal quirks (“Halflife”) – before he and Trix decided to leave in “The Gallifrey Chronicles”, having realised that they loved each other. However, things apparently fell apart before they even got started when Fitz seemed to give his life to save Trix from the alien species known as the Vore, a fly-like race that could travel through hyperspace. However, it turned out that Fitz had merely been covered with a chemical that made any humans in the vicinity think he was dead – or, if they didn’t know about him, just not register his presence. Being a Time Lord, The Doctor was able to perceive the ‘dead’ and bring them back in sync with humanity’s perceptions, before he, Fitz and Trix headed off to confront the Vore in their new fortress, the novel ending as The Doctor leapt into the mountain to confront them. How things went from there is unknown; presumably the three of them somehow defeated the Vore before The Doctor left Fitz and Trix to make a life for themselves.
While Fitz endured some unique experiences in his time with The Doctor, including being replaced with Kode – technically his own clone – and then confronting the original Fitz, his most significant moment was his confrontation with The Onihr, a race of rhinoceros-like aliens who abducted him in the belief that he was The Doctor as they sought the secret of time-travel. Despite being unprepared for the role of The Doctor, Fitz not only managed to bluff his way through his time as the Onihrs’ prisoner, but even managed to devise a plan to destroy their fleet by programming their primary weapon to backfire on their ships, with Fitz only just managing to escape when the handheld computer he’d received turned out to include a teleportation system (“Trading Futures”).
The Ancestor Cell