She was a young woman whom the Doctor, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright met at sixteen years of age at most, soon after the Doctor's granddaughter Susan Foreman was left behind on 22nd century Earth. Having lost both her parents in relatively quick succession, she decided to join the three time travellers on their adventures. Once the two teachers left the TARDIS, she travelled for a period with Steven Taylor, before leaving the Doctor's side to marry Troilus and to take the name Cressida, which was used during the Trojan War.
Early life Edit
Vicki was born on Earth (TV: The Rescue) in 2479. (PROSE: Byzantium!) Her father was Lieutenant Commander Pallister of the Merchant Space Marine. (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger) Her mother wanted to name her Tanni, but her father preferred Vicki. As a girl, she lived in Liddell Towers on the South Circular Road in New London, where she enjoyed looking at the stars at night, though they were so faint they could hardly be seen. (PROSE: Byzantium!)
As a student of a 25th century school system, she studied medicine one hour a week. By the age of ten, she had obtained certificates in medicine, physics, computers, chemistry and other disciplines. (TV: The Web Planet) She also studied 20th century history (AUDIO: The Suffering), astronomy (AUDIO: Starborn) and temporal paradoxes (PROSE: The Schoolboy's Story) at school.
Her mother died when Vicki was eleven. (PROSE: Byzantium!) Her father took a job in a new colony on the planet Astra and left Earth in 2493. The ship carrying the colonists, the UK-201, crash-landed on Dido. Most of the passengers survived the crash, but one night, unbeknownst to Vicki, Bennett murdered all the survivors other than her, as well as most of the native Dido people. (TV: The Rescue)
Joining the TARDIS Edit
When the TARDIS landed on Dido, Barbara Wright used a flare gun to kill Vicki's "pet" Didonian Sand Beast, Sandy, thinking it a threat to Vicki. It took effort on the part of Vicki to forgive Barbara for this. Bennett pretended he could not move his legs while Vicki took care of him. When the Doctor discovered the truth and the Dido people came to take revenge on Bennett, she was left with nobody. The Doctor asked Vicki to come with them. (TV: The Rescue)
After relaxing at a Roman villa for several weeks in 64, the Doctor joined Vicki to meet the Emperor Nero after the Doctor was mistaken for the lyre player Maximus Pettulian. At the Emperor's palace, Vicki unwittingly stopped Barbara from being poisoned by Nero's wife Poppaea without knowing it was Barbara who Poppaea was referring to, by switching her drink with Nero's. Nero was stopped by the Doctor from drinking his poisoned drink at the last minute. Vicki witnessed the Great Fire of Rome, for which the Doctor unwittingly gave Nero the idea. Vicki told the Doctor off for insisting that she shouldn't change history when she felt the Fire was his fault. (TV: The Romans)
When they visited London in the early 20th century, she was warned by Violet not to enter the TARDIS as it would lead to her death. She found out from a her spirit that she was going to die. This spirit told her about a future adventure. (AUDIO: Starborn)
The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki then travelled to 1868, where they attended a lecture by Thomas Huxley. The four of them travelled into the London Underground to investigate a group of missing students and discovered that the Zarbi had populated themselves there. Travelling further into the sewers, they found the Animus, who had reformed itself and had moved to Earth to take revenge on the human race. Ian was able to kill it by driving a train into it. The Doctor and his companions prepared to leave, but the Doctor discovered that his companions were missing; having been pulled out of time by an entity. (COMIC: Unnatural Selection)
She didn't like the Market on Hisk as she said it was too neat and didn't make sense. She was the first to experience the shared dreaming of the people of Hisk and learn how they worked. She felt responsible for the suicide of a market trader as she took his place in a dreaming machine. In the dreams she saw Bennett and thought she was going to die. (AUDIO: The Sleeping City)
On one planet, they stayed a while and she started to work in administration. She was having an appraisal with the computer when she noted that they were trying to find the TARDIS. She used her programming knowledge to undo the memory alteration program that was going on. (AUDIO: The Unwinding World)
When Vicki and her friends were visiting Sonning Palace she met the Queen Isabella. Vicki and Isabella soon became frends and she stayed with her when the Doctor and Barbara, and later Ian, went to London. Isabella later ran away and Vicki followed her. With Tom Chaucer's help she pleaded for the Doctor and Ian's release. (AUDIO: The Doctor's Tale)
Vicki and her cohorts were chased through many locations in time and space by the Daleks. They finally ended up on Mechanus, and Ian and Barbara departed for their own time. (TV: The Chase) When Vicki and the Doctor returned to the TARDIS, they found stowaway Steven Taylor aboard, who joined them on their continued travels. They found the Monk, a man from the same place as the Doctor who had his own TARDIS, in 1066 Northumbria trying to meddle with history and change the course of the Battle of Hastings. Although the Monk had tied up the three travellers and prepared to fire an atomic cannon at a fleet of Vikings, this plan was stopped when a group of Saxons attacked the Monk's monastery and drove the Monk out, while the Doctor removed the dimensional control of the Monk's TARDIS, trapping him there. (TV: The Time Meddler)
They visited London in 1912, where Vicki witnessed a suffragette rally and fell under the influence of a misandristic alien. The travellers managed to persuade the alien to leave. Vicki and Steven later made an audio recording of their account of these events. (AUDIO: The Suffering)
The TARDIS materialised in a hangar where a few aliens were assembling a space cannon. Assuming they needed it for protection from their enemies, Vicki and Steven attempted to help them. In truth, the cannon had been ordered from the aliens by humans, and as a human spaceship arrived on the planet, the travellers hurriedly departed in the TARDIS. (PROSE: Corridors of Power)
They arrived in London again in 1814; this time they met Jane Austen and prevented a Phoenix from absorbing all the heat on Earth. Although the Phoenix was extinguished, a tiny cinder from its fire caught in Vicki's eye, a fact which remained unknown to Vicki at the time. (AUDIO: Frostfire)
She helped the Doctor to explore the ship after he increased its habitable space, but was caught up when it malfunctioned and had to leave the ship. She became concerned when the Doctor became ill. She didn't like the plan that Thorn and Qureshi was talking about when the oxygen in base base was running low. She used her statistic knowledge to find any correlation between hull breaches and eruptions on Ceres. (AUDIO: The Bounty of Ceres)
The TARDIS materialised in the attic of 10 Downing Street in July 1900, where Vicki, Steven and the Doctor discovered a time fungus and a conspiracy of servants around it. The Doctor failed to convince the servants to abandon their schemes, so he sabotaged the time fungus' growth by contaminating the building with another fungus, and the travellers escaped in their ship. (AUDIO: Upstairs)
They found themselves on a doomed planet, involved in a confrontation between the Drahvins and the Rills. The Drahvins, desperate to find an escape route, attempted to present the Rills as merciless killers. Vicki was the first to establish that the Rills were peaceful explorers. The travellers helped the Rills power their ship and leave the planet before it exploded. (TV: Galaxy 4)
They visited New York City in the late December 2007, where they tracked down a toy snowman that had become animated due to contact with alien bacteria. Helped by a local department store manager, Vicki, Steven and the Doctor defeated the malevolent snowman. (PROSE: Snowman in Manhattan)
The TARDIS crew helped a stranded Lapino, a member of a species that fed on emotions, gather enough emotional energy to send a message to his home planet. To produce emotions, the Lapino threatened to kill Vicki and Steven. The Doctor instead arranged for them to fall under the illusion that they were Cinderella and her prince. Vicki and Steven later remembered little of the event. (PROSE: Planet of the Bunnoids)
The travellers arrived in Prague in 2348, where they participated in the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of the Charles University and prevented a scientist named Jane Childress from erasing human evolution. Vicki and Steven were turned into monkeys but soon were restored to their human form. (PROSE: The Long Step Backward)
The TARDIS materialised on the lunar station on Phobos, a moon of Mars. Steven and a Jarnian named Hazam crashed onto the planet's surface, the oxygen in their spacesuits running out. Vicki with the Doctor and members of the station staff boarded a rescue ship that picked up Steven and Hazam despite a dangerous sandstorm. (PROSE: Mars)
Leaving the Doctor Edit
Most of Vicki's skills and knowledge were based in science, but she also knew some history. When the travellers materialised on Earth during the Trojan War in circa 1200 BC, she displayed her knowledge of Greek heroes and the Trojan Horse. While in Troy, Vicki was given the name "Cressida" by King Priam and met his son Troilus. They fell in love and Vicki left the Doctor to be with him. (TV: The Myth Makers) The Doctor had previously been aware that she would leave the TARDIS and become Cressida. (PROSE: Byzantium!)
Several years later, Vicki encountered the Eighth Doctor, Charley Pollard and Shakespeare, after defeating the Daleks in the 2050s. Vicki believed this Doctor to be a younger version of the Doctor whom she knew. However, she eventually learned his true identity, and Shakespeare used this encounter to inspire the poem which he later wrote. (PROSE: Apocrypha Bipedium)
Vicki didn't immediately get accustomed to her new life. The ancient era appeared primitive to her, and the people seemed hostile, to the point where she thought that the Trojans considered her either possessed or cursed and wanted to abandon her on a rock in the middle of the sea. Troilus stood by her in this situation, which eventually led to the couple settling down in Carthage. Vicki sometimes wept, because she felt lonely and out of place. On one such occasion, she found among her tears the cinder of Phoenix fire that had remained in her eye since her adventure in London. Vicki kept the cinder in a burning oil lamp in the basement of a temple. She discovered that it was sentient and had a telepathic connection with her. Vicki often visited the creature in its basement, as she felt that they were both alone and needed someone to talk to.
When she was older, Vicki decided to write memoirs of her travels with the Doctor. Since the scribes in Carthage had a monopoly on papyrus, Vicki had to pay them to write down her stories instead of doing that herself. She was displeased with the monopoly practice and thought it should be abandoned. Sometimes Vicki read her drafts aloud to the Cinder, as it remembered the Doctor and could understand concepts which were familiar to her as a time traveller born in the far future, but incomprehensible to the people surrounding her in the ancient era. The tale of how Vicki met the Cinder in 1814 was also among those she recorded and read to the creature.
At some point before Vicki began working on her memoirs, she and Troilus had had two children, who lived with them in Carthage. In one conversation with the Cinder, Vicki referred to them as "young heroes", showing her fondness for them. (AUDIO: Frostfire)
Undated events Edit
She was keen for adventure. She was often bored on the journeys to their destinations and the less exciting moments of their lives. When the travellers were staying at a villa near Rome, she was disappointed that there was no action. Her love of thrills was complemented by awe and wonder, and these never diminished. She was bursting with excitement when she glimpsed Nero. The sight of Rome burning excited her. (TV: The Romans)
Whether teasing, or merely undiplomatic, Vicki had a knack of saying the wrong thing to Barbara, despite their close relationship. Right off, she said that Barbara Wright must be "about five hundred and fifty years old" as she came from 1963. (TV: The Rescue) On Vortis, Vicki said aspirin tablets were old fashioned – until she saw some in the Doctor's first aid kit, she had never heard of them. She also offended Barbara by responding to her statement that the main subjects taught at her school were the 3 R's by asking if Barbara's school had been a nursery. (TV: The Web Planet)
Despite her education and interest in history, some of Vicki's knowledge about the fine details of Earth's past could be inaccurate or uncertain. She didn't know the Beatles played "classical music", and called 1960s New York City "ancient". (TV: The Chase) She was also unaware of the nature and location of the Battle of Trafalgar (PROSE: The Plotters), or whether pandas and airplanes existed in China in 1863 (PROSE: The Eleventh Tiger).
Vicki's youth and willingness to try anything enabled her to save the travellers from danger by inciting the Xeron rebels to action at the Space Museum. Using her considerable analytical and technical skills, Vicki reprogrammed the Morok armoury's computer to allow the rebels access to the weaponry stored there, enabling them to fight. (TV: The Space Museum)
Despite her bravado, Vicki was terrified of heights. While they escaped from the Mechanoid City, the Doctor had to blindfold her. The travellers, with Steven Taylor's assistance, then had to lower her the fifteen hundred feet by rope. (TV: The Chase)
Behind the scenes Edit
- The production team had originally considered the older and more independent Jenny (originally named Saida) from The Dalek Invasion of Earth as Susan Foreman's replacement in the cast.
- Originally, Vicki had the more futuristic-sounding name Tanni. Before settling on Vicki, the production team thought of several other possible names, including Valerie, Millie, and Lukki. Earlier drafts of The Rescue bore the working title Doctor Who and Tanni.
- Vicki was not short for Victoria (TV: The Rescue, AUDIO: 1963).
- A letter shown on the Mounting The Rescue documentary included with the DVD release of The Rescue says that two girls from Liverpool — Maureen O'Brien and Denise Upson — were tested for the role of Vicki on Monday, 14 September 1964.
- The Past Doctors Adventure novel Byzantium! revealed Vicki's previously unknown surname, Pallister, which was never mentioned on-screen in any televised episodes. This was reinforced in another novel, The Eleventh Tiger, in which Vicki thinks about Lieutenant Commander Pallister, her father.
- Vicki is one of several human characters featured in the series whose last names were never revealed on-screen. Others include Ace, Polly and Mel, though, like Vicki, spin-off media provided last names.
- The documentary Mounting The Rescue revealed that the producers wanted Maureen O'Brien to dye her hair black to make her resemble Susan more. Maureen refused, and instead suggested the alternative of getting Carole Ann Ford back.
- In the real world, the story of Troilus and Cressida is a tragedy: they pledge everlasting love, but when she is given up to the Greeks as a hostage, she falls in love with Diomedes and is blamed as a traitor and a cheater. In The Myth Makers, Steven Taylor uses the name Diomedes.