Captain Neil McDonnell was the commanding officer at the Cardington airbase in 1951, where the research into the Dionysus Project was taking place. He was shot, though not fatally, by the supposed Ministry of Defence secret agent Miss Foster after he discovered that she was a Cuban spy. After its creator Professor Stone activated the Dionysus machine, Reverend Matthew Townsend overloaded it, tore a rip in the fabric of reality and saw the Divergence. Shortly thereafter, McDonnell was killed by a bomb planted by Miss Foster, as Townsend, Stone, Townsend's niece Mary Elson and Foster herself.
While dealing with the aftermath of the explosion of anti-time, the TARDIS created a series of holographic projections, taken partly from reality and partly from the memories of the Eighth Doctor, Charley Pollard and the TARDIS itself. One such projection was the event at Cardington, looking for information on the Divergence. Inside this projection, it placed Charley in the role of a ministry driver and itself in the role of the Minister for Defence. The projection of McDonnell was created using the image of the Fifth Doctor's companion Vislor Turlough. (AUDIO: Zagreus)