The Rebel Queen
|Place of origin:||Perivale, London|
|First seen in:||Dragonfire|
|Main actor:||Sophie Aldred|
|Goodbye Mel, Hello Ace! - Doctor Who - Dragonfire - BBC(03:05)|
|Another memorable moment|
|Fear and loathing in Perivale - Doctor Who - Ghost Light - BBC(01:42)|
|One more memorable moment|
|The truth about Ace - Doctor Who - The Curse of Fenric - BBC(03:20)|
Before travelling with the Doctor Edit
Ace was born on 20 August 1970. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation, Falls the Shadow, Set Piece, PROSE: Relative Dementias) Dorothy was the daughter of Audrey Dudman and Harry McShane. (TV: The Curse of Fenric, AUDIO: The Rapture)
She was named after the main character of The Wizard of Oz either because her mother (AUDIO: The Settling) or her maternal grandmother, Kathleen Dudman, was a fan of the film. Kathleen said that it took her away from all her miseries. (PROSE: Love and War)
Naturally violent and also clever, Ace was skilled at using her knowledge of chemistry (despite failing it for her "O"-levels), making bombs filled with an explosive of her own devising called Nitro-9. (TV: Dragonfire)
She suffered several traumatic events in her childhood in Perivale, London. This included a bad relationship with her mother, and in 1983, the racist firebombing of her friend Manisha Purkayastha's flat. Manisha died and an angry Ace set fire to Gabriel Chase, an abandoned mansion said to be haunted by an ancient evil. (TV: Ghost Light, PROSE: Blood Heat)
Later that year, While she was in her room experimenting with the extraction of nitroglycerin from gelignite, a time storm swept her up and transported her to the deck of Sabalom Glitz' spacecraft, the Nosferatu, which was docked at Iceworld in the far future. Trapped on Iceworld, she got a job as a waitress and formed a relationship with Glitz (TV: Dragonfire), whom she lost her virginity to. (PROSE: Happy Endings)
Some time later working for Anderson in Iceworld's Icecream parlour she met the Seventh Doctor, whom she referred to as "Professor" and his companion Melanie Bush, whom Ace nicknamed "Doughnut". When Mel left the Doctor at the conclusion of their battle with Kane, he offered to take Ace with him in the the TARDIS, and she enthusiastically accepted. (TV: Dragonfire)
Early travels Edit
While exploring the TARDIS, Ace found the TARDIS zoo and inadvertently released a dodo. The pursuit lead Ace to a gigantic wardrobe, where she found a mirror reflecting a vampire-like figure. Before the Doctor could explain further, the dodo knocked over the mirror, and the figure vanished. Ace returned then the dodo to the zoo. (PROSE: Echo)
Under the Doctor's tutelage, Ace fought the Daleks and faced Davros in November 1963. During this adventure, her portable stereo was destroyed by a Dalek. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks). She opposed Helen A and her sadistic government, which required people to be happy on pain of death. (TV: The Happiness Patrol) She stopped the Cybermen from getting hold of Nemesis in 1988 (TV: Silver Nemesis) and saved the Psychic Circus on Segonax from the Gods of Ragnarok. (TV: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy) She also met Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, helping UNIT defeat the Destroyer and Morgaine in Carbury in 1997. (TV: Battlefield)
At this stage, the relationship between the Doctor and Ace took a darker turn. At least initially, he was trying to educate her, not merely have adventures with her. His style of teaching, however, was occasionally unorthodox. At times he lied to her, or at least withheld certain truths, so she would face the demons of her past and emerge a stronger person. (TV: Ghost Light, The Curse of Fenric)
The Doctor forced Ace to face demons from her past, taking her to Gabriel Chase, arriving a century before she had burnt it down. There, she discovered that the presence in the house of the entity known as Light was what she had felt when compelled to burn the house down. (TV: Ghost Light)
While visiting Maiden's Point in 1943, Ace learned that her arrival on Iceworld was not an accident, but part of a larger scheme conceived by one of the Doctor's greatest enemies, cosmic evil known as called Fenric. Ace was a Wolf of Fenric, one of many descendants of a Viking tainted with Fenric's genetic instructions to free it from its ancient prison. Fenric had transported her to Iceworld by time storm and made her a pawn in the complex game between it and the Doctor. The Doctor appeared to have been aware of this from their first meeting, although Ace was not. After Fenric was defeated, Ace continued to journey with the Doctor. (TV: The Curse of Fenric)
In his investigation of reports of a series of agent provocateurs known as "the Doctor" who had been involved in numerous unusual incidents, the journalist James Stevens found evidence of the Doctor and Ace's involvement in the ULTIMA Incident, which was still classified in the early 1970s. He noted that the two matched the descriptions of an enigmatic pair also known as the Doctor and Ace who were heavily involved in the Shoreditch Incident in November 1963. However, he was sceptical about the possibility of them being the same people as neither of them seemed to have aged in the intervening 20 years. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)
Ace returned to Perivale where she found that all her old friends had gone missing. She thought they had moved on, but they had been taken to the Cheetah World as prey for the Cheetah People. The Master, an old enemy of the Doctor, was using them to get off the planet. Ace returned with two of her friends and went off to travel with the Doctor again. (TV: Survival)
Later travels Edit
- Accounts beyond this point contradict each other greatly and may refer to different and incompatible timelines. Additionally, the sequence of events in Ace's and the Doctor's personal timeline seems hard to pin down.
Adventures with Raine Creevy and others Edit
As it turned out, he was trying to shape her mind to the point that she would be able to attend the Time Lord Academy. The Doctor's manipulation of her was ultimately for the benefit of Time Lord observers who were assessing her potential. Ultimately, however, she refused this academic opportunity and continued to travel with the Doctor. (AUDIO: Thin Ice) Following this decision, she also travelled for a time with Raine Creevy, with whom she had a somewhat prickly relationship. (AUDIO: The Lost Stories range)
Following a brush with Nazis in Colditz Castle in October 1944 (AUDIO: Colditz), the Doctor took Ace to Ibiza on 14 May 1997 to "relax" following her ordeal. While there, she discovered that she had a younger brother named Liam McShane. (AUDIO: The Rapture)
Adventures with Hex Edit
Whilst in London in 2021 investigating with the Doctor for evidence of 'xenotech' — alien technology used on humans, which was in fact Cyber-Technology — she met Hex, a nurse working at St Gart's Hospital. Following his help, she convinced him to join her and the Doctor, taking him under her wing. (AUDIO: The Harvest)
The TARDIS materialised in the woods, where Ace accidentally fell into a lake. Taking her to a nearby cabin, the Doctor discovered people being killed and that the people there were experimenting with time. 10 years earlier, a girl had been killed as a result of a misdiagnosis and the scientists were trying to send a message back to warn their past selves. This interference with the timeline caused the girl to become alive again in a state of zombie-like limbo. To correct their mistake, the Doctor travelled back and undid the damage. (AUDIO: Night Thoughts)
The Doctor and his companions went for breakfast on London's South Bank. But they discovered London was fake and the TARDIS was fake. Voyaging through the depths of his "fake TARDIS", the Doctor found he and his companions had been entrapped by a vortex predator. However, they eventually located the real TARDIS and escaped back into the real universe. (PROSE: Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast)
At some point afterwards, the Doctor collected Ace and Hex from Monte Carlo and continued on travelling.
When the Doctor, Ace and Hex arrived in Egypt in 1902, they met a young Time Lady named Jane who had been stranded for centuries on Earth trying to find her TARDIS. She accidentally transgressed the laws of time by becoming a god to the locals. The Doctor informed Jane that her TARDIS was dying. Afterwards, Jane flew her TARDIS into the sun, but rejected the Doctor's help to save her life. (AUDIO: False Gods)
The Doctor travelled to the island of Mendavelia in 33 AD to help solve a code, but fell into a trap laid by The Order of Simplicity. He was infected with a virus that drained the intelligence from the brain. Using the intellect of primitives, the Doctor freed himself. (AUDIO: Order of Simplicity)
The TARDIS crew attempted to track down an alien artefact that controlled others into telling the truth. Ace met a child version of her mother while the Doctor and Hex followed Joey, the person who stole the artefact from the Forge. (AUDIO: Casualties of War)
The Doctor, Ace and Hex encountered a being from a dimension made out of language and communication - Nobody No-One. This being followed him into a top secret facility and proceeded to cause chaos until the Doctor captured him inside a book only for him to escape again. (AUDIO: The Word Lord)
The Doctor, Ace and Hex landed on Bliss, a jungle planet under Dalek attack. While Ace and Hex helped in the battle with the Daleks, the Doctor discovered that a local professor had combined larvae and Piranha-locust DNA to create a new species known as the Ki-sabia. The Ki-sabia fed on metal and were created to save mankind from the Daleks, but quickly became uncontrollable. They decimated the Dalek forces easily. The Doctor planned to blow up the station and slaughter this new species, but in the end, Beth, a former prisoner of the Daleks stayed behind to finish the job. (AUDIO: Enemy of the Daleks)
During an adventure in 1854, the exterior of the TARDIS turned white after the HADS were activated by cannon fire, and Hex was fatally shot (AUDIO: The Angel of Scutari), so the Doctor and Ace returned him to Earth in 2025, where, after an adventure involving Nimrod and The Forge, it was revealed to Hex that the Sixth Doctor was involved in his mother's death. (AUDIO: Project: Lazarus)
While he was travelling his Black TARDIS, he sent the White TARDIS, containing Hex and Ace to 1989 in an alternative timeline. He gave them the mission to investigate the Elder Gods, who created this timeline. They managed to defeat the Elders Gods, and restore the original timeline, just in time for a Black TARDIS to arrive and retrieve them. (AUDIO: Protect and Survive)
When they entered the Black TARDIS, they discovered Sally Morgan and Lysandra Aristedes already there. Upon discovering this, they realised that the Doctor was travelling in both TARDISes, simultaneously. Hex, Ace, Sally and Lysandra then arrived in 5th century, Denmark, where they met Beowulf, and faced an alien called Garundel. They discovered that the Doctor was previously in this location, but was kidnapped by an unknown enemy. After following the Doctor's clues and instructions, they retrieved an artefact called Weyland's shield, restored the original and destroy the Black TARDIS, on their way to locate the Doctor. (AUDIO: Black and White)
The TARDIS crew located the Doctor in a pocket universe which was under the control of Fenric. After releasing the Doctor, it was revealed that Fenric was playing a game against another Elder God called Weyland for control of Weyland's shield, which could grant omnipotence to an Elder God. It was also discovered that the TARDIS crew had been pawns of Weyland, used to help him win the game against Fenric, and Hex was destined to become the quintessential pawn in Weyland's plan, who prevented his death after being shot in Scutari. However, Hex managed to banish Weyland, and stop the game, but became possessed by Fenric. Hex sacrificed himself to prevent Fenric from permanently taking control and gaining power, saving the Doctor, Ace, Sally and Lysandra. (AUDIO: Gods and Monsters)
Leaving the Doctor Edit
After Ace said goodbye to Julian at his funeral, the Doctor took the TARDIS to the planet Heaven in the year 2570. Ace met the young Traveller, Jan Rydd, and fell in love with him. Along with the psychic, Christopher, she helped free the Doctor from being trapped in Puterspace by the Vacuum Church and wanted Jan to travel with her in the TARDIS. However, Jan was infected by Hoothi fibres. Through the Doctor's manipulations, Jan put Ace to sleep with a morpheus thorn and tried taking a shuttle on his own to the Hoothi sphere, but Máire woke Ace. They followed Jan.
On board the shuttle, Máire betrothed Ace and Jan to be wed. Thinking that they would set the shuttle on a collision course with the sphere, Ace and Máire ejected their pods. Jan instead ignited the sphere with his pyrokinesis, killing three of the four Hoothi and sacrificing himself.
Landing on Heaven, Ace spoke to the part of the Hoothi group mind containing Julian, killing the last Hoothi and freeing the dead minds from the group mind. Angered by him causing Jan's death, Ace left the Doctor. (PROSE: Love and War, AUDIO: Love and War)
In Spacefleet Edit
Now living in the 26th century, Ace joined Spacefleet and fought Daleks and others. Three years later, combat-hardened and cynical, she would later rejoin the Doctor and Bernice Summerfield (PROSE: Deceit).
Travels with Bernice Summerfield Edit
Ace's relationship with Bernice was at first less than cordial, possibly out of jealousy, but the two eventually became friends. While in 1976 London, with her relationships with Bernice and the Doctor at breaking point, Ace accepted the offer of the misguided renegade Time Lord the Monk to join with him as his companion and accomplice. However, she meant to betray the Monk all along. By this time she had finally gotten over the death of Jan. (PROSE: No Future)
She was sent by the Doctor to follow Harmonious 14 Zink to Erratoon and was imprisoned with a then-unnamed tracer in human form. There her memory was wiped by the robotic constables. The Doctor restored her memory with the help of the TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Prisoner's Dilemma)
Life after the Doctor Edit
Finally, after their ordeal with the Robot Ants, Ace left the Doctor again to become Time's Vigilante. She used a short-range time hopper mounted on a motorcycle to patrol a particular segment of time. She based herself in Paris in 1887. (PROSE: The Curse of Fenric, Set Piece) Ace attended Bernice's wedding to Jason Kane. (PROSE: Happy Endings)
Research by Sarah Jane Smith into the lives of some of the Doctor's other former companions turned up the information that a former associate of the Doctor's named "Dorothy" had established a major charity called A Charitable Earth. That the name spells out "ACE" would seem more than a coincidence. (TV: Death of the Doctor)
Alternate fates Edit
Alternative timelines Edit
- In an alternative timeline, Ace was killed by Chad Boyle in December 1978 when he hit her on the head with a brick. Boyle was subsequently recruited by the Timewyrm. This timeline was negated when the adult Ace prevented Boyle from attacking her younger self. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation)
- In another alternative timeline, Ace was killed by Feldwebel Kurtz in Colditz Castle in October 1944. The laser technology contained in her Walkman was used by Nazi scientists to refine uranium and create nuclear weapons. They subsequently bombed New York City and Moscow, forcing the surrender of the United States and the Soviet Union and winning the war for Germany. This timeline was negated by an alternative version of the Eighth Doctor who, while posing as a German scientist named Johann Schmidt, fabricated a "flight log" for the TARDIS and manipulated Elizabeth Klein into travelling back in time to Colditz in October 1944 on the pretext of retrieving the Doctor so that he could teach her to pilot the TARDIS. Her lover Major Jonas Faber saw through Schmidt's trickery but was too late as Klein had already decided to disobey his orders and make the trip into the past. Unfortunately for Klein, her arrival in Colditz alerted the Seventh Doctor to the impending alteration of history and he and Ace were able to prevent it. (AUDIO: Colditz, Klein's Story)
- In another alternate timeline created by the Master, she met the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown. She gave the Sixth Doctor the nickname of "Joseph," a reference to the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He did not understand the reference, though Peri found it amusing. The Sixth Doctor did not seem to be particularly pleased at his future self's choice of travelling companion. Ace got along well with Peri, who was surprised to learn that she referred to the Seventh Doctor as "Professor." Ace lost all memory of this encounter when the proper timeline was restored. (AUDIO: The Light at the End)
A version of the teenage Ace 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 in the Mediation Sector of the Department of Commonality. He turned away Ace when she was being sent to a correction unit for spraying something on a school wall. He said it was "out of [his] hands". (COMIC: John Smith and the Common Men)
Ace covered her fears and insecurities with a tough, streetwise exterior. Her weapon of choice, disapproved of by the Doctor (who nonetheless found it useful on occasion), was a powerful explosive she called "Nitro-9", which she mixed up in canisters and carried in her backpack.
She was convinced the Doctor needed her to watch his back and was fiercely loyal to him. (TV: The Curse of Fenric) In turn, the Doctor took a special interest in Ace's education, taking her across the universe and prompting her to come to her own conclusions rather than giving her all the answers. (TV: Ghost Light)
Behind the scenes Edit
Ace's name Edit
Ace's full name was never revealed on the television series, in which she was usually referred to by her nickname. Her surname was not established until original novels featuring the character were published, but her first name, Dorothy, was referred to on screen in TV: Dragonfire.
Production notes suggest that it was intended that her last name would be Gale, given the fact that she was transported to Iceworld via a time storm, much like Dorothy Gale, transported to Oz by a tornado in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The novels (and, later, the Big Finish's audio plays) gave Ace the last name of McShane. The Past Doctor Adventures set after TV: Survival and written by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry used the "Dorothy Gale" name, as the authors were unaware of the name used in the New Adventures. This was eventually resolved to some extent when the novel Relative Dementias by Mark Michalowski gave her full name as Dorothy Gale McShane, a version later taken up by the audios.
Ace's farewell Edit
Ace is the only televised companion whose departure from the Doctor's company has not been definitively established in any media. Instead there are a number of conflicting accounts and tantalising hints.
If Doctor Who had continued as a television series after Season 26, Script Editor Andrew Cartmel had planned that Ace go to attend university on Gallifrey where, despite her human heritage, she would have trained as an apprentice Time Lord. She would have left halfway through Season 27.
Beginning with the the novelisation of The Curse of Fenric, spin-off media have put forward conflicting scenarios of how Ace finally departed the company of the Doctor. The TV movie Doctor Who did not explain or rationalise her absence.
In TV: Death of the Doctor, a reference was made to a former companion of the Doctor named "Dorothy", who was running an organisation known as "A Charitable Earth". Sophie Aldred is on record[source needed] saying she does not believe that this would be Ace's chosen profession, unless the charity was nothing more than a front for UNIT.
Russell T Davies revealed in issue 445 of Doctor Who Magazine that Aldred would have returned as Ace in The Sarah Jane Adventures, both in present day and flashback sequences. The death of Elisabeth Sladen, however, caused the cancellation of the series.
- Ace was the last companion of the Doctor to be a minor. She was 16 when she joined the Doctor.
- According to Rona Munro, the writer of Survival, there was to be a lesbian subtext to the relationship between Ace and Karra. This would have made Ace the first LGBT companion on screen.