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TARDIS Index File

Liz Shaw

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Dr. Elizabeth Shaw
Liz Ambassadors part 4
Species: Human
Affiliated with: UNIT, Cambridge University, PROBE
Place of origin: Stoke-on-Trent, London
First seen in: Spearhead from Space
Appearances: see list
Main actor: Caroline John
You may be looking for Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw.

Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw was a civilian member of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. An accomplished scientist, Liz assisted the Third Doctor while there. This often involved her winding up in the same life-threatening situations as the Doctor.

Biography Edit

Liz was the daughter of Reuben Shaw (1919-1995) and Dame Emily Shaw. (HOMEVID: Ghosts of Winterborne, AUDIO: The Last Post)

She was born in 1943 in Stoke-on-Trent. (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune)

By the 1970s, her sister Lucy was an architect with at least two children. (AUDIO: The Last Post)

Education Edit

She was an accomplished scientist and an expert on meteorites. She had degrees in several disciplines, including physics and medicine. (TV: Spearhead from Space) She could speak French, or at least to a reasonable degree of proficiency. (TV: The Ambassadors of Death)

Experiences with UNIT Edit

Recruitment Edit

ShawLiz-ActressCarolineJohn
Shaw at the time of her UNIT recruitment (TV: Spearhead from Space)
OverAnalyserAdded by OverAnalyser

Liz was drafted from the University of Cambridge by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart as a scientific advisor to UNIT. Lethbridge-Stewart did not know that the Doctor had arrived on Earth and would ably serve as UNIT's scientific advisor. Sceptical at first of UNIT's remit to defend the Earth against alien invasions, she changed her mind when she encountered the newly-regenerated Doctor. With him, she became involved in defeating the Nestene Consciousness and its animated plastic servants, the Autons. (TV: Spearhead from Space)

Career with UNIT Edit

Liz Silurians
Shaw gives advice to the Doctor during the Wenley Moor affair. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)

Liz worked with the Doctor and UNIT through encounters with the Silurians, (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians) Cybermen, (AUDIO: The Blue Tooth) the rogue General Carrington (TV: The Ambassadors of Death) and the Inferno Project.

On Inferno Earth, the Doctor met a parallel version of Liz who had joined the military, Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw. This version of Liz probably died, along with most of the rest of the other Earth in volcanic explosions. (TV: Inferno)

Liz Shaw Inferno
Liz assists the Doctor at the Inferno Project. (TV: Inferno)

Liz's extensive training paled in comparison to the Doctor's own knowledge of the universe and scientific principles far beyond that of Earth's. Eventually, she resigned from UNIT and returned to Cambridge.

She reportedly told the Brigadier that all the Doctor needed was "someone to pass him his test tubes and tell him how brilliant he was." This feeling probably contributed to her decision to return to her own research. (TV: Terror of the Autons)

One account suggests that she did not return to Cambridge, but instead went to work for CERN, a then-new secret organisation. (PROSE: Country of the Blind) According to another account, when the Doctor asked if she returned to Cambridge University, Liz responded, "Indeed." (COMIC: Prisoners of Time)

Continued association Edit

Change of mind
The Doctor, Liz, and the Brigadier, reunited. (COMIC: Change of Mind)
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Liz occasionally returned to help UNIT and the Doctor (PROSE: The Devil Goblins from Neptune) and even invited the Doctor to a lecture. (COMIC: Change of Mind) On one occasion, however, when the Doctor had gone away to Peladon, and the Brigadier needed her assistance, she had gone away on a lecture tour. (PROSE: The Face of the Enemy)

One year after leaving UNIT, Liz called the Third Doctor for help with a time experiment. They travelled to the year 2014 and encountered the organisation known as the Sentinels of the New Dawn. They returned to Liz's correct time and the two separated again. (AUDIO: The Sentinels of the New Dawn)

A few years after leaving UNIT, Liz gave a short interview to the investigative journalist James Stevens. Stevens found her a "difficult" subject. She warned him against prying too deeply into UNIT affairs. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

Liz declares the Brig unfit
Liz declares the Brigadier unfit for duty. (COMIC: Prisoners of Time)
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In 1974, Liz was summoned back to UNIT when Earth was being flooded. While dealing with this crisis, he discovered the Brigadier was acting strangely, giving orders to reassign UNIT troops "in a haphazard, unpredictable manner". She summoned the Doctor and his companion, Sarah Jane Smith to help. When the Brigadier ordered the Tower of London to be sealed off and flooded, Liz finally decided he was unfit for duty and gave him a check up. The Doctor deduced that the Brigadier had been possessed by a Remoraxian, a species that wanted to flood the world to allow them to colonise. The Doctor built a de-remorator to remove the Remoraxian from the Brigadier.

The Doctor, Sarah, Liz and the Brigadier went to the nearby UNIT seabase along with Agent Paul of the CIA. There, the Remoraxian Prime was orchestrating its plot to flood the world. When the Remoraxian Prime sent the Doctor and the Brigadier to the bottom of the sea, Sarah and Liz saved them from drowning.

Discovering that the American government authorised the nuclear bombing of Great Britain to stop the threat, the Doctor was given 29 minutes to negotiate with the Remoraxians. After the Brigadier persuaded the Remoraxian Prime that the Americans would follow through with the attack, the Remoraxians left Earth, ending the storms, and Agent Paul called off the bombing.

A mysterious cloaked figure abducted Liz, Sarah and the Brigadier, leaving the Doctor a single message: "Say goodbye, Doctor." (COMIC: Prisoners of Time)

As the Doctor's travelling companion Edit

Generally, Liz was the Third Doctor's laboratory assistant rather than his travelling companion. She joined him at a time when the Doctor was just beginning his exile on Earth. She expressed disbelief that the TARDIS was capable of flight when she first met the Doctor and remained incredulous for some time thereafter. (TV: Spearhead from Space, Inferno) To the extent that she travelled with him, it was in Bessie or by other, more conventional means.

However, she later travelled in the TARDIS with the Doctor and her successor, Jo Grant, after the Doctor regained his knowledge of time travel. (PROSE: The Wages of Sin) At an unknown time later and for an indefinite period of time, she travelled with the Fourth Doctor, who had deliberately sought her out to apologise for not saying goodbye to her properly. (PROSE: Down to Earth)

P.R.O.B.E. Edit

Liz Shaw PROBE
An older Liz. (HOMEVID: Unnatural Selection)
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Decades after her initial employment by UNIT, Shaw worked with the Preternatural Research Bureau, or P.R.O.B.E., a paranormal investigation organisation not unlike UNIT or the Torchwood Institute. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative) She was again working for UNIT by the early 21st century. (TV: Death of the Doctor, PROSE: Eternity Weeps)

Death? Edit

It was unclear when Shaw died. One account held that in 2003 Liz was part of a UNIT team which investigated an artefact left by the alien Cthalctose on the Moon. As a result, she contracted Agent Yellow and died. (PROSE: Eternity Weeps) According to UNIT personnel in 2010, Liz was unable to attend the Eleventh Doctor's fake funeral, as she was at the UNIT Moonbase and could not return until the following Sunday. (TV: Death of the Doctor)

At some point during her life, Liz had children and granddaughter Elizabeth Holub, and long after her mother's death, Elizabeth worked alongside the Seventh Doctor to prevent an attack on the city of Prague in 2050. (PROSE: Fable Fusion)

Alternate versions Edit

As noted above, in one timeline, Liz worked under Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart as Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw. (TV: Inferno)

In another, following the death of that timeline's version of the Third Doctor, she managed to survive into the early 1990s on an Earth devastated by the victorious Silurians and their virus. (PROSE: Blood Heat)

Other information Edit

Unconventionally for a woman, Liz Shaw enjoyed smoking a pipe. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative, PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

The Seventh Doctor gave Liz's UNIT pass to Ace. It was stored in his hat. (TV: Battlefield)

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