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Oliver Malf was a human actor from Calfon colony, which was part of the Landoran Alliance. Spaceforce Fleet Command hired him to pretend to be Admiral Dorling and boost troop morale, while the admiral managed war strategy with other senior officers. By the time he met the Fourth Doctor, he had been playing the admiral for five years.

Kambril had a synthoid strangle Malf with the Doctor's scarf, thus framing him for the murder of the "admiral". However, he was able to fake his death, having had to lie unmoving onstage for a half hour during each performance of the play A Device of Death. (PROSE: A Device of Death)