Name: Grant Markham
Time of Origin: Born on Agora; grew up on New Earth in Neo Tokyo, late 22nd century
Time Span: “Time of Your Life”, “Killing Ground” and “Schrödinger’s Botanist”.
Doctor: Sixth Doctor
Fellow Companions: None
Although Grant has only a few recorded adventures with The Doctor, he joined the Time Lord at a difficult point in his life, when The Doctor was contemplating abandoning his travels through time and space and living in exile in order to escape his apparent ‘destiny’ as The Valeyard (“The Trial of a Time Lord”). Although The Doctor had not sought adventure, a new mission from the Time Lords forced him to recognise his responsibilities to the wider universe and his need for companionship when the Time Lords sent him to investigate the Meson Broadcasting System, the local news station for the planet Torrok, and their recent discovery of dimensional transcendental technology.
Meanwhile, computer programmer Grant Markham of New Earth became involved in The Doctor’s investigations when his attempt to track the origin of the suspiciously advanced technology provided by the mysterious Network led him to discover a strange computer code just before Neo Tokyo became the site of MBS’s attempt stage real dramas by using advanced technology to create threats that their ‘heroes’ could respond to, only for everything to backfire when the monsters they were using went out of control. Realising that his entire city was trapped in a Marston Sphere – one of MBS’s dimensionally transcendental spheres -, Grant was able to escape onto the station where the sphere was kept, eventually encountering The Doctor after The Doctor had discovered a hostile artificial intelligence in the station’s virtual broadcasting system, the creature identifying itself as Krllxk. Although Neo Tokyo was sent back to New Earth before Grant could return home, and several station residents died during the entity’s attack, The Doctor was eventually able to destroy Krllxk by trapping it in an android body inside the TARDIS and beating it to death with the TARDIS hatstand, leaving the former MBS staff to help rebuild Torrok while he took Grant with him as his new companion.
In his early twenties when he began travelling with The Doctor, Grant was a highly capable computer programmer by the standards of his time, but suffered from an acute form of robophobia, dating back to his childhood. Although unused to dangerous situations when he met The Doctor, Grant demonstrated an ability to think on his feet when in danger from the beginning when he escaped Neo Tokyo and gained access to the MBS space station despite the unique and confusing circumstances facing him. His computer skills were so exceptional that he was even able to trick the Cybermen into thinking that their conversion equipment was working properly after The Doctor had deactivated them, later devising a means of defeating the Cybermen by exploiting the fact that they had been designed to be cryogenically frozen despite his current panic at facing the origins of his long-seated robophobia.
The mystery of Grant’s past was solved when The Doctor, believing that there was more to his fear than the obvious, took Grant back to Agora to investigate his robophobia (“Killing Ground”), the two swiftly discovering that the colony was controlled by the Cybermen when The Doctor was captured and Grant was forced to assist a group of rebels prepare for an attack against the Cybermen. As The Doctor discovered, Grant was born on Agora as the son of Ben Taggart and Jean Markham – the low male population meant that children were identified by their mothers’ surnames -, with his parents being part of a rebellion against the Cybermens’ regular conversion of most of the planet’s male population, his robophobia being the result of the young Grant witnessing the Cybermen kill his mother as punishment for her role in the rebellion before he and other children were smuggled off the colony when he was six in a damaged timeship (The Doctor and the adult Grant learning the ship’s origins in the process). Although Grant nearly allowed himself to become partly cybernetic to fight the Cybermen as part of the ‘Bronze Knights’ – a resistance group who used Cyber-technology to fight them – after they killed his father, he was convinced not to forsake his humanity, managing to defeat The Cybermen after the death of the Bronze Knights by turning down the temperature in the room where their army had just been activated. The Doctor subsequently destroyed the frozen Cybermen using a cannon on the Cybermen’s stolen Selachian warship, tricking the Cyber-leader into firing the gun after it had been reprogrammed to backfire.
Although the two generally got along well, The Doctor eventually abandoned Grant at the Bi-Al Foundation (“The Invisible Enemy”) after Grant nearly died when he linked his mind up to a computer that had been infected by a highly dangerous virus, The Doctor still feeling guilty about the possible death of his previous companion Peri Brown (“The Trial of a Time Lord: Mindwarp”). The Doctor attempted to visit Grant later to apologise for his abrupt, but Grant was too bitter to accept the Time Lord’s apology, although he did encourage The Doctor to remember that his companions are always aware of the risks when they decide to travel with him (“Schrödinger’s Botanist”).