Vicki as in The Time Meddler
2 January 1965-6 November 1965
Maureen O Brien
Number of Series:
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thanks to TARDIS wikia
Vicki Pallister was a companion of the First Doctor.
She was a young woman whom The Doctor, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright met at sixteen years of age at most, soon after The Doctor’s granddaughter Susan Foreman was left behind on 22nd century Earth. Having lost both her parents in relatively quick succession, she decided to join the three time travellers on their adventures. Once the two teachers left the TARDIS, she travelled for a period with Steven Taylor, before leaving The Doctor’s side to marry Troilus and to take the name Cressida, which was used during the Trojan War.
Vicki was born on Earth. (The Rescue) Her father was Lieutenant Commander (The Eleventh Tiger) Newton Pallister (The Crash of the UK-201) of the Merchant Space Marine. (The Eleventh Tiger) Her mother wanted to name her Tanni, but her father preferred Vicki. As a girl, she lived in Liddell Towers on the South Circular Road in New London, where she enjoyed looking at the stars at night, though they were so faint they could hardly be seen. (Byzantium!)
Her full name was simply Vicki, as opposed to Victoria. (The Rescue)
As a student of a 25th century school system, she studied medicine one hour a week. By the age of ten, she had obtained certificates in medicine, physics, computers, chemistry and other disciplines. (The Web Planet)
While at school, she also studied 20th century history, (The Suffering) astronomy (Starborn) and temporal paradoxes. (The Schoolboy’s Story) She particularly loved the story of the group of rebels which, in the 23rd century, rebelled against the totalitarian regime of Unitaria. They killed one of the main esponents of the regime, the Iron Judge, and, though they were killed immediately after because of a betrayal, they inspired others to revolt, eventually ending the regime. (Daybreak)
When she was young, she lived near a castle. When Vicki and her friends discovered a buried ring in a nearby field, they joked that if they pulled the ring, “something awful” would come out of the castle. (The Chase)
She was skilled at cutting hair. (Galaxy 4) She once cut Steven’s hair for him. (The Suffering)
Her mother died when Vicki was eleven. (Byzantium!) Her father took a job in a new colony on the planet Astra and left Earth in 2493. The ship carrying the colonists, the UK-201, crash-landed on Dido. Most of the passengers survived the crash, but one night, unbeknownst to Vicki, Bennett murdered all the survivors other than her, as well as most of the native Dido people. (The Rescue)
JOINING THE TARDIS
The First Doctor tells Vicki how her father actually died. (Desperate Measures)
When the TARDIS landed on Dido, Barbara Wright used a flare gun to kill Vicki’s “pet” Didonian Sand Beast, Sandy, thinking it a threat to Vicki. It took effort on the part of Vicki to forgive Barbara for this. Bennett pretended he could not move his legs while Vicki took care of him. When The Doctor discovered the truth and the Dido people came to take revenge on Bennett, she was left with nobody. The Doctor asked Vicki to come with them. (The Rescue)
TRAVELS WITH THE DOCTOR, IAN AND BARBARA
After relaxing at a Roman villa for several weeks in 64, Vicki joined The Doctor to meet the Emperor Nero after The Doctor was mistaken for the lyre player Maximus Pettulian. At the Emperor’s palace, Vicki unwittingly stopped Barbara from being poisoned by Nero’s wife Poppaea without knowing it was Barbara who Poppaea was referring to, by switching her drink with Nero’s. Nero was stopped by The Doctor from drinking his poisoned drink at the last minute. Vicki witnessed the Great Fire of Rome, for which The Doctor unwittingly gave Nero the idea. Vicki told The Doctor off for insisting that she shouldn’t change history when she felt the Fire was his fault. (The Romans)
When they visited London in the early 20th century, she was warned by Violet not to enter the TARDIS as it would lead to her death. She found out from a her spirit that she was going to die. This spirit told her about a future adventure. (Starborn)
Subsequently, she and her friends arrived on Vortis and encountered the Zarbi and their master, the Animus. (The Web Planet)
The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, Vicki and Jospa had to escape from laser fire after rescuing some slaves. She found Jospa attractive. She later explored a jungle with Barbara and she thought that she had observed one of their pursuers from the previous planet they were on. After Vicki fell into some fruit, one of the birds came after her. Barbara thought that this was because they thought Vicki was fruit. She accidentally placed Jospa’s device on the TARDIS console which caused it pain. After this she had forgotten who Jospa was. She later forgot Ian. After Jospa revealed something about her past that she had never told anyone, she became paranoid and accused Jospa of causing it. Jospa tried to kill her but Sharna cured her. She went after Jospa to bargain for The Doctor and Barbara’s life. (The Fifth Traveller)
The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki then travelled to 1868, where they attended a lecture by Thomas Huxley. The four of them travelled into the London Underground to investigate a group of missing students and discovered that the Zarbi had populated themselves there. Travelling further into the sewers, they found the Animus, who had reformed itself and had moved to Earth to take revenge on the human race. Ian was able to kill it by driving a train into it. The Doctor and his companions prepared to leave, but The Doctor discovered that his companions were missing, having been pulled out of time by an entity. (Unnatural Selection)
She disguised herself as a boy named “Victor” when she and The Doctor visited Richard the Lionheart’s palace at Jaffa. (The Crusade)
When she and the rest of the TARDIS crew visited the Space Museum on Xeros, she helped the Xerons start a revolution against the Moroks. (The Space Museum)
She didn’t like the Market on Hisk, as she said it was “too neat” and “didn’t make sense”. She was the first to experience the shared dreaming of the people of Hisk and learn how they worked. She felt responsible for the suicide of a market trader, as she took his place in a dreaming machine. In the dreams she saw Bennett and thought she was going to die. (The Sleeping City)
On one planet, they stayed a while and she started to work in administration. She was having an appraisal with the computer when she noted that they were trying to find the TARDIS. She used her programming knowledge to undo the memory alteration program that was going on. (The Unwinding World)
The travellers then landed on Earth in the 23rd century, where the whole planet was united in one country, Unitaria, led by a totalitarian regime. They were caught by a group of rebels led by Markus, the same ones that, as Vicki knew, were later going to assassinate the Iron Judge, thus causing the revolt that would put an end to Unitaria. Vicki saved her friends from immediate execution by stating she knew their plans, but refused to explain what she meant. Markus kept them alive, and, as a proof of her trustfulness, made her go on a turn of watch with another of his men, Jensen, whom Vicki knew would betray them all. They were discovered by the police of Unitaria and Jensen was shot and Vicki captured. After a long and exhausting interrogation with the Iron Judge, it was Vicki who actually betrayed the group, revealing their hideout so that history could keep its course. In the following fight, the travellers left in the TARDIS. (Daybreak)
When Vicki and her friends were visiting Sonning Palace she met the Queen Isabella. Vicki and Isabella soon became friends and she stayed with her when The Doctor and Barbara, and later Ian, went to London. Isabella later ran away and Vicki followed her. With Tom Chaucer’s help she pleaded for The Doctor and Ian’s release. (The Doctor’s Tale)
Vicki and her cohorts were chased through many locations in time and space by the Daleks. She was accidentally left behind at the Festival of Ghana, but stowed away aboard the Dalek time machine. She was reunited with the TARDIS crew on Mechanus, where Ian and Barbara departed for their own time in the Daleks’ time machine. (The Chase)
WITH THE DOCTOR AND STEVEN
When Vicki and The Doctor returned to the TARDIS, they found stowaway Steven Taylor aboard, who joined them on their continued travels. They found The Monk, a man from the same place as The Doctor who had his own TARDIS, in 1066 Northumbria trying to meddle with history and change the course of the Battle of Hastings to “improve things,” so he could introduce new technology and science. Although The Monk had tied up the three travellers and prepared to fire an atomic cannon at a fleet of Vikings, this plan was stopped when a group of Saxons attacked The Monk’s monastery and drove The Monk out, while The Doctor removed the dimensional control of The Monk’s TARDIS, trapping him there. (The Time Meddler)
They visited London in 1912, where Vicki witnessed a suffragette rally and fell under the influence of a misandristic alien. The travellers managed to persuade the alien to leave. Vicki and Steven later made an audio recording of their account of these events. (The Suffering)
She helped The Doctor to explore the ship after he increased its habitable space, but was caught up when it malfunctioned and had to leave the ship. She became concerned when The Doctor became ill. She didn’t like the plan that Thorn and Qureshi was talking about when the oxygen in base base was running low. She used her statistic knowledge to find any correlation between hull breaches and eruptions on Ceres. (The Bounty of Ceres)
They arrived in London again in 1814, during the last Frost Fair. As they were enjoying their time, they reached the tent of a sea captain exposing his hallows from his previous journeys, among them there was a Phoenix’s egg. Vicki had the feeling that the being inside the egg was looking at her and fainted out of fear, she was succoured by Jane Austen. She wasn’t the only victim of the bird’s influence: Lady Georgiana Mallard, one of the acquaintances the travellers made at the church, was chosen too by the Phoenix, unlike Vicki, though, she was actually possessed by it. As the travellers attended the party of Sir Joseph Mallard, Georgiana’s husband and Deputy Warden of the Royal Mint, Vicki saw Georgiana talking with an Italian charlatan, Ippolito Valzacchi, promising to take her to the egg. Vicki alerted The Doctor and Steven, and Valzacchi was thrown out of the house. She then witnessed Georgiana’s disappearance, and remembered Valzacchi promising to take her to a nearby church, whose name started with ‘C’. A chimney boy, Jim, recognised the church as St. Cuthbert, and so, while The Doctor and Steven went looking for the Italian elsewhere, Vicki and Miss Austen went to the church. Here Valzacchi tried to hold them hostage for the egg, but the timely arrival of the Doctor and Steven, who had been fetched by Jim, prevented this. Later, Vicki contributed to stopping the Phoenix’s attempt to be born by consuming the heat of the Mint’s furnace. Together with Jim, she kept the door of the furnace closed as the fire died, depriving the being of food. Although the Phoenix was eventually extinguished, a tiny cinder from its fire caught in Vicki’s eye, a fact which remained unknown to Vicki at the time. (Frostfire)
The TARDIS materialised in the attic of 10 Downing Street in July 1900, where Vicki, Steven and The Doctor discovered a time fungus and a conspiracy of servants around it. The Doctor failed to convince the servants to abandon their schemes, so he sabotaged the time fungus’ growth by contaminating the building with another fungus, and the travellers escaped in their ship. (Upstairs)
They landed in London in 1762 where they were locked out of the TARDIS. She became concerned when The Doctor went missing. (The Founding Fathers)
The TARDIS materialised in a hangar where a few aliens were assembling a space cannon. Assuming they needed it for protection from their enemies, Vicki and Steven attempted to help them. In truth, the cannon had been ordered from the aliens by humans, and as a human spaceship arrived on the planet, the travellers hurriedly departed in the TARDIS. (Corridors of Power)
The Doctor intended to take Steven and Vicki to the Olympic Games in 2784 but ended up landing in Florence in 1514. He convinced his friends to go exploring. Vicki was accused by Guiliano de Medici of planning an assassination, though Pope Leo X didn’t believe this. She pleased the Pope by citing poetry and was given her freedom. She tried to get Steven freed. She was sent by the Pope to the Ravelli and Niccolo Machiavelli gave her a message back to the Pope. She was given the favour of the court and found The Doctor. The Pope asked her to come with him as his consort. The Doctor later asked her to retrieve the TARDIS key from the Pope. She was tricked by Carla and locked in the cell with The Doctor and Steven when they tried to have them escape. She had the guard’s key to allow their escape. She later revealed that Machiavelli had forged the letter she gave to her. They managed to escape and showed the Pope the TARDIS. (The Ravelli Conspiracy)
They landed in 18th century Vendée. Vicki examined a shrine outside the TARDIS and thought it was for a local god. The Doctor warned her about the French Revolution. She didn’t like how Lagrange was tasked with killing peasants indiscriminately. Her medical skills were called upon to help heal one of Lagrange’s men. After hearing the stories of one of the soldiers who had become frightened she thought something had followed them to Earth in their wake. She saw something in the window and opened it, this led her to being accused of letting the enemy into the house. Lagrange then ordered her execution. The Doctor managed to stop the execution. She later realised that the house was on fire. (Fields of Terror)
They found themselves on a doomed planet, involved in a confrontation between the Drahvins and the Rills. The Drahvins, desperate to find an escape route, attempted to present the Rills as merciless killers. Vicki was the first to establish that the Rills were peaceful explorers. The travellers helped the Rills repair their ship and leave the planet before it exploded. (Galaxy 4)
they visited New York City in the late December 2007, where they tracked down a toy snowman that had become animated due to contact with alien bacteria. Helped by a local department store manager, Vicki, Steven and The Doctor defeated the malevolent snowman. (Snowman in Manhattan)
The TARDIS crew helped a stranded Lapino, a member of a species that fed on emotions, gather enough emotional energy to send a message to his home planet. To produce emotions, the Lapino threatened to kill Vicki and Steven. The Doctor instead arranged for them to fall under the illusion that they were Cinderella and her prince. Vicki and Steven later remembered little of the event. (Planet of the Bunnoids)
The travellers arrived in Prague in 2348, where they participated in the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Charles University and prevented a scientist named Jane Childress from erasing human evolution. Vicki and Steven were turned into monkeys but soon were restored to their human form. (The Long Step Backward)
The TARDIS materialised on the lunar station on Phobos, a moon of Mars. Steven and a Jarnian named Hazam crashed onto the planet’s surface, the oxygen in their spacesuits running out. Vicki with The Doctor and members of the station staff boarded a rescue ship that picked up Steven and Hazam despite a dangerous sandstorm. (Mars)
LEAVING THE DOCTOR
Most of Vicki’s skills and knowledge were based in science, but she also knew some history. When the travellers materialised on Earth during the Trojan War in circa 1200 BC, she displayed her knowledge of Greek heroes and the Trojan Horse. While in Troy, Vicki was given the name “Cressida” by King Priam and met his son Troilus. They fell in love and Vicki left The Doctor to be with him. (The Myth Makers) The Doctor had previously been aware that she would leave the TARDIS and become Cressida. (Byzantium!)
Their tale was later written as a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer and as a play by William Shakespeare.
Several years later, Vicki encountered the Eighth Doctor, Charley Pollard and Shakespeare, after defeating the Daleks in the 2050s. Vicki believed this Doctor to be a younger version of the Doctor whom she knew. However, she eventually learned his true identity, and Shakespeare used this encounter to inspire the poem which he later wrote. (Apocrypha Bipedium)
Vicki didn’t immediately get accustomed to her new life. The ancient era appeared primitive to her, and the people seemed hostile, to the point where she thought that the Trojans considered her either possessed or cursed and wanted to abandon her on a rock in the middle of the sea. Troilus stood by her in this situation, which eventually led to the couple settling down in Carthage. Vicki sometimes wept, because she felt lonely and out of place. On one such occasion, she found among her tears the cinder of Phoenix fire that had remained in her eye since her adventure with the Phoenix in 1814. Vicki kept the cinder in a burning oil lamp in the basement of a temple. She discovered that it was sentient and had a telepathic connection with her. Vicki often visited the creature in its basement, as she felt that they were both alone and needed someone to talk to.
When she was older, Vicki decided to write memoirs of her travels with The Doctor. Since the scribes in Carthage had a monopoly on papyrus, Vicki had to pay them to write down her stories instead of doing that herself. She was displeased with the monopoly practice and thought it should be abandoned. Sometimes Vicki read her drafts aloud to the Cinder, as it remembered The Doctor and could understand concepts which were familiar to her as a time traveller born in the far future, but incomprehensible to the people surrounding her in the ancient era. The tale of how Vicki met the Cinder in 1814 was also among those she recorded and read to the creature.
At some point before Vicki began working on her memoirs, she and Troilus had had two children, who lived with them in Carthage. In one conversation with the Cinder, Vicki referred to them as “young heroes”, showing her fondness for them. (Frostfire)
A photo of Vicki exists in the Black Archive (The Day of the Doctor)
In an alternate timeline in which Vicki was able to prevent the UK-201’s crash on Dido, the colonists made it to Astra where Vicki and her father started their new life. In her thirties, Vicki took to writing the stories of her travels with The Doctor. Although Vicki remembered these events, they had never happened in the new timeline. Her father was killed when a meteor shower struck the observatory in which he worked. In her grief, Vicki was comforted by a surgeon named Jeran Dalton. Vicki and Jeran later married and had two daughters named Carla and Maria. Carla died while working as a medic in Astra’s Outer Provinces when they were attacked by rebel forces. Jeran later died after attending a conference attempting to deal with an outbreak of space plague. Maria became a governor and was able to negotiate peace with the rebels. Vicki lived to the age of 170, dying of an apparent stroke in a care home after she was attacked by temporal creatures.
At the moment of her death, Vicki discovered she had the ability to modify her timeline. She travelled back to prevent Jeran attending the conference and saved his life. She then realised she could save Carla and forbid her from travelling to the Outer Provinces due to the coming rebel attack. Although Carla lived, the rebellion grew. Maria was too involved in a refugee crisis to become governor and negotiate peace, allowing the rebels to achieve victory. Vicki and her family became refugees as well.
Vicki travelled back in time again to save her father from the meteor shower. Newton survived but he was haunted by the deaths of his colleagues and blamed Vicki for not warning everyone else. Vicki never met Jeran either and spent more than eight years alone, where even Newton refused to speak with her.
Wanting her family back, Vicki modified the timelines again, letting her father die and meeting Jeran again. However, without a perfect repeat of the events, the circumstances of their marriage were different. Their daughter Carla was instead born a boy named Carl, and Maria had different hair and eyes. She was horrified at the thought of never seeing her two original daughters again and decided to try and escape the altered timeline.
With Steven Taylor’s intervention, Vicki returned to the UK-201 during its fateful flight and tried to relive the events leading up to the crash as perfectly as she could remember them. Her father and the other survivors left her on the ship to contact the Didoans, where they were murdered by Bennett. The old timeline was restored and Vicki returned to travelling in time with The Doctor and Steven, though she could still remember her different lives and chose to preserve these memories. (The Crash of the UK-201)
Vicki considered herself to be a happy person generally. (The Suffering)
She was keen for adventure. She was often bored on the journeys to their destinations and the less exciting moments of their lives. When the travellers were staying at a villa near Rome, she was disappointed that there was no action. Her love of thrills was complemented by awe and wonder, and these never diminished. She was bursting with excitement when she glimpsed Nero. The sight of Rome burning excited her. (The Romans)
Whether teasing, or merely undiplomatic, Vicki had a knack of saying the wrong thing to Barbara, despite their close relationship. Right off, she said that Barbara Wright must be”about five hundred and fifty years old” as she came from 1963. (The Rescue) On Vortis, Vicki said aspirin tablets were old fashioned – until she saw some in The Doctor’s first aid kit, she had never heard of them. She also offended Barbara by responding to her statement that the main subjects taught at her school were the 3 R’s by asking if Barbara’s school had been a nursery. (The Web Planet)
Despite her education and interest in history, some of Vicki’s knowledge about the fine details of Earth’s past could be inaccurate or uncertain. She didn’t know the Beatles played”classical music”, and called 1960s New York City”ancient”. (The Chase) She was also unaware of the nature and location of the Battle of Trafalgar (The Plotters), or whether pandas and aeroplanes existed in China in 1863 (The Eleventh Tiger).
Vicki was initially exasperated at Steven’s scepticism towards time travel. (“The Watcher “)
Vicki’s youth and willingness to try anything enabled her to save the travellers from danger by inciting the Xeron rebels to action at the Space Museum. Using her considerable analytical and technical skills, Vicki reprogrammed the Morok armoury’s computer to allow the rebels access to the weaponry stored there, enabling them to fight. (The Space Museum)
Despite her bravado, Vicki was terrified of heights. While they escaped from the Mechonoid City, The Doctor had to blindfold her. The travellers, with Steven Taylor’s assistance, then had to lower her the fifteen hundred feet by rope. (The Chase)
She once described herself as a “plucky orphan.” (The Suffering)
She viewed Steven as being like a “big brother, ” one whom she could boss about. (Frostfire)
The Doctor considered her to be “rather wilful”. (The Doctor’s Tale)
BEHIND THE SCENES
- The production team had originally considered the older and more independent Jenny (originally named Saida) from The Dalek Invasion of Earth as Susan Foreman’s replacement in the cast.
- Originally, Vicki had the more futuristic-sounding name Tanni. Before settling on Vicki, the production team thought of several other possible names, including Valerie, Millie, and Lukki. Earlier drafts of The Rescue bore the working title Doctor Who and Tanni.
- A letter shown on the Mounting The Rescue documentary included with the DVD release of The Rescue says that two girls from Liverpool – Maureen O’Brien and Denise Upson – were tested for the role of Vicki on Monday, 14 September 1964.
- The Past Doctors Adventure novel Byzantium! revealed Vicki’s previously unknown surname, Pallister, which was never mentioned on-screen in any televised episodes. This was reinforced in another novel, The Eleventh Tiger, in which Vicki thinks about Lieutenant Commander Pallister, her father. Big Finish Productions followed suit with the use of Pallister. The Early Adventures audio story, The Crash of the UK-201, gives Vicki’s father’s full name as Newton Pallister. Vicki also gives her full name in Daybreak from The Companion Chronicles.
- Vicki is one of several human characters featured in the series whose last names were never revealed on-screen. Others include Ace, Polly and Mel, though, like Vicki, spin-off media provided last names.
- The documentary Mounting The Rescue revealed that the producers wanted Maureen O’Brien to dye her hair black to make her resemble Susan more. Maureen refused, and instead suggested the alternative of getting Carole Ann Ford back.
- In the real world, the story of Troilus and Cressida is a tragedy: they pledge everlasting love, but when she is given up to the Greeks as a hostage, she falls in love with Diomedes and is blamed as a traitor and a cheater. In The Myth Makers, Steven Taylor uses the name Diomedes.
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