Place of Origin:
Sheffield City Hospital
First Seen In:
The Woman Who Fell to Earth
Arachnids in the UK
It Takes You Away
Can You Hear Me?
Revolution of the Daleks
Things She Thought While Falling
Sharon D Clarke
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Grace O’Brien was the mother of Aaron and the paternal grandmother of Ryan Sinclair. She lived in Sheffield with her second husband, Graham O’Brien.
Grace got married (The Woman Who Fell to Earth) and had a son, Aaron, whom she was proud to have brought into the world. (Resolution) In 2012, she came to raise Ryan, Aaron’s son, following the death of his mother. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth, The Tsuranga Conundrum)
She told Ryan the story of the Lion and the Mouse, (The Good Doctor) taught him to control his anger (Rosa) and tried to teach him how to ride a bicycle. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth) Despite Aaron’s absence, Grace kept his old things. (Resolution)
Working as a chemotherapy nurse, Grace met and was attracted to patient Graham O’Brien, (The Woman Who Fell to Earth) a bus driver whom she jokingly remarked had better not be like James Blake (or “Blake the Snake”, as she called him). (Rosa) The two married in 2015 after Graham’s cancer went into remission.
Grace tried to get Ryan to call Graham “Granddad”, which he refused to do. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth) On Christmas 2016, both Ryan and Graham gave her frog necklaces due to her love for frogs and their inability to communicate with one another. (It Takes You Away)
Grace loved the film, The Wizard of Oz. Ryan believed that she could relate to it because “[when you] grow up as a black girl in Britain, there’s a lot of times you dream of going over the rainbow”. Graham watched the film with her on a few occasions. During their last viewing before her death, Graham had mostly watched Grace’s face as she got caught up in it. (The Wonderful Doctor of Oz)
In September 2018, after an unsuccessful attempt to teach Ryan to ride a bicycle, Grace and Graham were trapped on a train when a gathering coil attacked. They met the Thirteenth Doctor and allowed her to sleep on their sofa whilst recovering from her regeneration.
When The Doctor awoke, Grace and Graham, along with Ryan and Yasmin Khan, helped her battle the coil and Tzim-Sha, the couple posing as construction managers to evacuate Karl Wright’s construction site. Grace electrocuted and destroyed the coil, but was herself electrocuted in the process and fell from a height, dying in Graham’s arms shortly after. She told him not to be afraid without her. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
In response to his grief, Graham had several visions of Grace in the house where the couple had lived together with Ryan. He told The Doctor that he didn’t want to stay at home, haunted by memories of all he had lost, and he instead wanted to travel with her. Graham’s travels in the TARDIS helped him cope. (Arachnids in the UK) Graham wore Grace’s frog necklace as a way of keeping her close. (It Takes You Away)
The Solitract took the form of Grace in order to try to convince Graham to stay in the Solitract plane, but Graham saw through the deception, as the Grace duplicate showed a lack of concern for Ryan when he was trapped in the anti-zone, which was something that Graham knew the real Grace would never do. The Solitract, when talking with The Doctor in the form of a frog used Grace’s voice. Afterwards, Ryan comforted Graham, telling him that he thought about Grace all of the time too and accepting Graham as his grandfather for the first time. (It Takes You Away)
After arriving on Ranskoor Av Kolos, Team TARDIS was shocked to discover Tzim-Sha on the planet. Graham sought to kill the Stenza warrior to avenge Grace while Ryan argued against it, feeling that Grace would’ve wanted Graham to “be the better man,” something that she often told them to do. When finally confronted by Tzim-Sha, Graham couldn’t bring himself to kill him and instead did what Grace would’ve wanted and was the better man in the situation. Graham and Ryan subdued Tzim-Sha and sentenced him to life imprisonment in a Stenza stasis chamber, used by Tzim-Sha for Stenza trophies. As Grace’s husband and grandson placed her killer into stasis, they ordered him to hold Grace’s name in his mind as he contemplated eternity. (The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos)
While imprisoned aboard Zellin’s space platform, Graham had a nightmare about Grace. Finding himself on a hospital bed at the Sheffield City Hospital, Grace told him his cancer had returned. She then hauntingly asked him why he didn’t save her. (Can You Hear Me?)
After returning to life on Earth, Ryan and Graham again tried to have Ryan ride a bicycle. As they worked together, a vision of Grace appeared from blinding light to smile at them before vanishing. (Revolution of the Daleks)
Grace was interested in the American Civil Rights Movement and was inspired in particular by the deeds of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, owning a t-shirt that said “the Spirit of Rosa”. (Rosa) Grace loved watching period dramas with posh country estates on telly. (The Secret in Vault 13) Her favourite film was My Fair Lady (Mission of the KaaDok) and she was a big fan of frogs. (It Takes You Away)