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General John Williams was an Earth military officer and military aide to the President of Earth Dora in the year 2540. The President and Williams had been friends at one point, but their relationship had cooled.

Biography Edit

In 2520, Williams accidentally caused a war between Earth and Draconia when he destroyed a Draconian battlecruiser, believing it was preparing to attack. Twenty years later, the Master tried to start a war between Earth and the Draconians. Williams favoured swift retaliation. The Draconians, meanwhile, believed Williams was faking Draconian raids on cargo ships to force the Earth government into another war. Williams tried to push the President into stricter action. He believed if she did not, she would be deposed by her opponents, including a group of military officers who wanted to install a dictatorship.

Williams was particularly stubborn, as he refused to believe the results of mind probes even when all factors including increasing the strength proved that the subject was telling the truth. He attempted to get the Third Doctor to "admit" to being a Draconian spy, but as this was a lie, it broke the machine.

After learning the truth about the incident twenty years later, Williams was convinced to work with the Draconians. He led a fact-finding mission to the Ogron homeworld. (TV: Frontier in Space)

Behind the scenes Edit

The novelisation gives more details about Williams:

  • His full name was John Williams.
  • He rose so quickly because of his involvement in the previous Draconian war. He was on an unarmed ship bound for a neutral planet, with many important human politicians on board. Their mission was to try to avert war by a last-ditch peace initiative. As they neared the planet, the ship ran into a neutron storm and suffered many casualties. Though a communications officer, the young Lieutenant instantly became the ranking officer. He took command just before a Draconian battle cruiser came into view. Though his ship had no weapons, he still took offensive action by using his engines to enflame the Draconians'. The Draconian ship was entirely destroyed and the Draconian-Earth peace mission was scuttled. Draconia declared war on Earth and Williams was instantly catapulted to the front of the line of human officers in that war. The president's insistence in the episode that she won't be responsible for starting a war is thus seen as a direct repudiation of Williams' actions in the last war.
  • The relationship between Williams and the president is expanded in the novel. Though the televised episodes say only that the two "were friends once", the novel suggests it was something a bit more than that. Readers discover that Williams had actively campaigned against the president for an "aggressive inter-stellar policy" in the last presidential election. When she won, she appointed Williams as her military advisor "to heal political wounds". The novel also gives rise to the notion that the two were former lovers, something the episode hints at only vaguely through body language. Adapter Malcolm Hulke tells readers that the president had a silver locket around her neck and within that was a picture of a twenty-year-old Lieutenant Williams.