1 June 1974-13 December 1975
Number of Series:
click on images to enlarge
source TARDIS Wikia
Surgeon-Lieutenant Harry Sullivan was a companion of the Fourth Doctor.
He was a Royal Navy surgeon in the employ of UNIT and later worked for NATO and MI5.
He had a younger step-brother named Will. (Buried Secrets)
As a boy, Harry enjoyed reading the adventures of Captain Jack Harkaway in The Ensign magazine. (Scratchman)
CAREER WITH UNIT
Harry first encountered UNIT while he worked in the Royal Navy, at the same time the Third Doctor had briefly left Earth in his TARDIS for Peladon. (The Face of the Enemy)
After he had joined UNIT and the Third Doctor was apparently in a coma, the Brigadier summoned”Dr Sullivan” to help see him through the process. When Sergeant Benton woke The Doctor by offering him a cup of coffee, the Brigadier cancelled the call for Dr Sullivan’s assistance. (Planet of the Spiders)
Three weeks after confronting the Great One on the planet Metebelis III, The Doctor and his TARDIS re-appeared in his laboratory at UNIT HQ. The Doctor had received a fatal dose of radiation, forcing him to regenerate or die. (Planet of the Spiders) Harry Sullivan arrived on the scene just moments after The Doctor regenerated into a new form. (Robot)
ADVENTURES WITH THE DOCTOR
After the defeat of the robot K1, Harry found himself in The Doctor’s TARDIS. (Robot) At first very much confused, he trailed The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith to Space Station Nerva, where they were pitted against the Wirrn. (The Ark in Space)
they then travelled by transmat from the space station to an uninhabited far future Earth. Harry fell into a trap set by the stranded GalSec colonist Roth, but was able to find a way out. He later tried to help a dying dehydrated prisoner held captive by Styre for his experiments, but was too late. He looked after Sarah when Styre’s experiment caused her to pass out from fear. Under The Doctor’s instructions, Harry removed the terullian diode bypass transformer from Styre’s ship, which caused the energy Styre fed on in his ship to feed on Styre instead. (The Sontaran Experiment) Heading back to the Nerva beacon, the Time Lords intercepted the transmat beam and took them to Skaro to prevent the creation of the Daleks. (Genesis of the Daleks)
Via time ring, they travelled back to Nerva, but to a much earlier year. There he helped save Voga from the terror of the Cybermen. They then received a summons from the Brigadier on the space-time telegraph calling them back to 20th century Earth. (Revenge of the Cybermen)
Immediately after his adventure with the Cybermen, Harry was ejected from the TARDIS and it stranded him in England, 1936. There Harry met the Eighth Doctor, who had no memory of Harry or any of his previous adventures. Harry helped the Eighth Doctor to stop a Dryad from turning the land of Britain on the people that lived upon it. The Fourth Doctor and Sarah picked Harry up shortly after. (Wolfsbane)
Back in the late 20th century, Harry rejoined UNIT to defeat the shape-changing Zygons and their giant, dinosaur-like beast, the Skarasen, in Scotland. After the Zygons’ defeat, Harry decided to return home to London by train rather than by TARDIS. (Terror of the Zygons)
Sometime after the attempted Zygon invasion, Harry developed a Zygon-killing gas called Z-67 while working on captive Zygons at Porton Down. However, the gas was confiscated by The Doctor. (The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion)
When The Doctor and Sarah returned to Earth, Harry helped them against the Kraals, who had also created an android duplicate of him. (The Android Invasion)
On one occasion when The Doctor and Sarah left a note that simply said”Gone on holiday”, the Brigadier questioned Harry on the letter but he did not know anything as he had recently returned from leave. (A New Life)
At some point during his UNIT career, Harry was put in charge of a team and sent to the West Country to investigate a missing UNIT team member and a subsequent series of “monster” sightings. He met up with the Ninth Doctor and his companions, Rose Tyler and Jack Harkness, and together they found the missing man and solved the mystery of the “monsters”. (Official Secrets)
RESUMED TRAVELS WITH THE DOCTOR
Harry rejoined The Doctor and Sarah on their travels after a time. The Doctor was in UNIT HQ working on an Oscillating Reverberator Unit to improve the TARDIS. After being briefly interrupted by Benton, The Doctor convinced Harry and Sarah to join him to test out the gadget, after relieving the former about the worries he had deserting his post at UNIT by telling him it would only take five minutes. They found themselves under attack from a galleon in space. Sarah and Harry were forced to walk the plank of the ship by the captain before being rescued by The Doctor. (Avast There!)
In the early 1980s, Harry worked at NATO. (Mawdryn Undead, Harry Sullivan’s War)
By 1997, he was Deputy Director at MI5. At that time, via the agency of time travel, he met up once again with a familiar version of the Doctor, as well as a much younger Sarah Jane Smith, for whom little time had passed. (System Shock) He still worked for MI5 in 1999, (Millennium Shock) and became Chief of Staff at some point prior to 2015. (Damaged Goods)
By 2005, he was back at NATO, having achieved the rank of Commodore. The Brigadier asked him for a favour at the time. (The Wasting)
To commemorate an anniversary date, Sarah Jane had yearly meetings with Harry Sullivan. By 2006, Harry had been missing in action for some time, though Sarah kept coming to the same place they used to meet. She”talked” to him and raised a toast to him wherever he was. (Buried Secrets) Harry was still missing in 2009. (The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith)
In 2010, Sarah Jane recalled that Harry had worked in developing vaccines that had saved thousands of lives. (Death of the Doctor)
In June 2015, though, Harry was alive and discovered a possible cure for HIV in blood taken from David Daniels. (Damaged Goods)
A parallel Earth version of Harry served on a nuclear submarine in a world taken over by the Silurians after the death of the Third Doctor. He saved the life of the Seventh Doctor’s companion Bernice Summerfield. (Blood Heat)
At some point, a photo of Harry existed in UNIT’s Black Archive alongside Sergeant Benton and Sarah Jane to record him as a companion of the Doctor. (The Day of the Doctor)
At another point, Harry was abducted by Adam Mitchell as part his plan to get revenge on The Doctor, in collaboration with The Master. He was placed in stasis alongside The Doctors’ multiple other companions, before being released by The Doctors first eleven numbered incarnations with the help of Frobisher. (The Choice, Endgame)
IN THE HELLSCAPE
A version of Harry appeared in a”hellscape” dream the Eleventh Doctor created while the mind parasite Mr Waites fed off the worst thing Doctor could imagine. In the dream, The Doctor worked with Harry at the Department of Commonality. Harry revealed that the protest at the “square ” was much larger than reported and that his sister’s boyfriend had proof on his camera. After The Doctor didn’t enjoy working at mediation and wanted to return to records, he reported to Mr Waites about the camera, and the peace officers arrested Harry. (John Smith and the Common Men)
Harry was rather old-fashioned and stereotypically English in his attitudes. He often employed slightly archaic language, referring to Sarah affectionately as”old girl” or”old thing” – which somewhat annoyed her. (The Sontaran Experiment, Doctor Who and the Ark in Space) He was brave, one time saving the Fourth Doctor’s life from a land mine on Skaro. (Genesis of the Daleks) He had a”can-do” attitude, adapting well to the many strange situations in which he found himself. He could, however, be quite clumsy and unsubtle. This led The Doctor to declare in a moment of frustration, at the top of his lungs that “Harry Sullivan is an imbecile!”, before passing out from the effects of a rockfall on Voga – caused by Harry. (Revenge of the Cybermen) He flirted a bit with Sarah. Despite an outward annoyance at that attitude, once when thinking him dead, Sarah admitted she found it endearing. (Wolfsbane)
He was good at cricket, and was able to throw a cricket ball over at least a metre. (Doctor Who and the Ark in Space)
Harry had a step-brother named Will, whom Sarah Jane Smith met in 2006. (Buried Secrets) Will was killed by Josh Townsend shortly after meeting her. (Fatal Consequences)
BEHIND THE SCENES
* Harry was created as a companion to be a man of action much like Ben Jackson or Jamie McCrimmon. However, Tom Baker proved to be capable of handling the physical side of the series, leaving Harry with less to do.
* Laury L. Varnish, an alias used by Harry in Harry Sullivan’s War, is an anagram of his own name.
* Harry has many similarities to Martha Jones: they both worked as medical officers for UNIT whilst working with other organisations, they both had adventures with The Doctor after leaving the TARDIS, both were possessed by enemies of the Doctor, and they both battled Davros, Daleks and Sontarans.
* Harry is a member of a small group of companions who did not feature in any TARDIS interior scenes. Although he is seen entering and emerging from the TARDIS several times, he is never seen within the TARDIS itself.
* Doctor Who and the Rebel’s Gamble, a story which this wiki does not consider to be a valid source, suggests that at some point Harry Sullivan shared an adventure with the Sixth Doctor.
* According to an interview in Doctor Who Magazine #512 with writer Mike Bartlett, the character of Harry in the 2017 episode TV: Knock Knock was originally to have been identified as Harry Sullivan’s grandson, but the reference was cut before broadcast.
Back to Assistants page