|Affiliated with:||UNIT, Cambridge University, PROBE|
|Place of origin:||Stoke-on-Trent, London|
|First seen in:||Spearhead from Space|
|Main actor:||Caroline John|
|Other TV actors:||Hazel Burrows|
- 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.
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) She had a sister, Lucy Shaw. (AUDIO: The Last Post)
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
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 joined the Doctor and the Brigadier at the Wenley Moor nuclear research facility, where the Silurians had been drawing power from the facility. After a young Silurian released an epidemic into England, the Doctor and Liz rushed to find a cure, while Liz gave the formula away to be mass produced. After this plan was stopped, the Silurians tried destroying Earth's van Allen Belt using their molecular disperser, so that the sun's radiation would burn the humans to death while allowing the cold-blooded Silurians to survive. Under the Doctor's instructions, Liz overloaded the Silurians' disperser and the facility's reactor. As the Silurians retreated to put themselves back into hibernation, the Doctor and Liz watched as the Brigadier ordered the Silurian base blown up and the entrance permanently sealed off. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)
Liz found herself chased down the road by a group of terrorists working for General Carrington who forced her to pull over and run for her life, until she tripped up on a pier and nearly fell to her death. She was saved by the men who wanted to kidnap her, and then put to work for her skills as a scientist to monitor the life signs of alien ambassadors who had been captured to use as living weapons. Liz was also made to help the terrorists learn to communicate with the aliens, soon accompanied by the Doctor after the terrorist for hire Reegan arranged for his capture by gassing him after he finished a trip into space. However, after he and Liz had finished work on an improved communication device, the Doctor discretely used it to send an S.O.S. signal to UNIT, which allowed the Brigadier to conduct a raid on the secret base and rescue them. (TV: The Ambassadors of Death)
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'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 had a tearful goodbye with the Doctor after another adventure with the Silurians, feeling inadequate to him and grieving over the events that had happened. He made it appear that he didn't care about the death of a young boy, bringing out the true feelings of who she was at heart after she had only conducted herself around him as a work-minded colleague. The Doctor respected her decision to resign and was touched by her inner compassion, happy that he had finally seen "the real Liz" underneath the scientist. She quietly gave him a fond farewell while he played with a caterpillar, unable to say a proper goodbye to his face without being overcome with emotion. Her departure coincided with the arrival of newly promoted Captain Mike Yates, who was reporting for duty. (PROSE: The Scales of Injustice)
One account suggested 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
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)
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.
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.
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 one point, 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)
In the 1990s, Shaw was headhunted for the Preternatural Research Bureau, or P.R.O.B.E., a paranormal investigation organisation not unlike UNIT or the Torchwood Institute. Unlike them, P.R.O.B.E. found itself dealing with explicitly supernatural threats.
To Shaw's frustration, the organisation was undermanned she and Lou Bayliss were "two... doing the work of twenty" (and Bayliss was transfered in 1995), suffering funding shortages and government disinterest. In 1994, she noted that handing a case over to the police would lose P.R.O.B.E. all its funding; and in 1995, it seemed like the body may be shut down altogether by new boss Brian Rutherford. All of this was not what she'd been promised when hired. (HOMEVID: The Zero Imperative, The Devil of Winterborne)
She befriended P.R.O.B.E's ministry liaison Patricia Haggard and the two became quite close.
Haggard would be overseeing P.R.O.B.E. by 1997. Despite this, Liz still had little support and in an unguarded moment would imply Haggard was giving her little support as well. (HOMEVID: Ghosts of Winterborne)
21st century Edit
While she continued her involvement with P.R.O.B.E.(HOMEVID: When to Die) , she was again working for UNIT by the early 21st century. (TV: Death of the Doctor, PROSE: Eternity Weeps) Liz lived together and was in a relationship with Patricia Haggard, a colleague at P.R.O.B.E. (HOMEVID: When to Die)
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)
In others, Liz was still alive in the 2010s. UNIT personnel said 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) In 2015, she was part of a P.R.O.B.E. operation regarding Corporal 7891Alpha. (HOMEVID: When to Die)
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)
Undated events Edit
At some point, Liz was taken to the Black Archive by UNIT to have her record as a companion of the Doctor taken. Her memories of the visit were subsequently erased and she was sent on her way. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
Alternate versions Edit
In another, following the death of that dimensions'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
Behind the scenes Edit
In the 2012 film Prometheus, a prequel to the film Alien, the main heroine's name is Dr Elizabeth Shaw.