|Main aliases:||Cressida, Victor|
|Place of origin:||Earth|
|First seen in:||The Rescue|
|Main actor:||Maureen O'Brien|
Vicki — infrequently known as Vicki Pallister (PROSE: Byzantium!) and never as Victoria (TV: The Rescue, AUDIO: 1963) — was a young woman whom the First 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.
Vicki was born on Earth (TV: The Rescue) in 2479. (PROSE: Byzantium!) 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) 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 all but two of the native Dido people. (TV: The Rescue)
Joining the TARDIS
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 Didonians came to take revenge on Bennett, she was left with nobody. The Doctor, perhaps because he missed his recently departed grand-daughter, asked Vicki to come with them, making her the first companion whom the Doctor was seen to willingly invite to travel in the TARDIS. (TV: The Rescue)
Vicki travelled to ancient Rome, where she met Emperor Nero and inadvertently helped inspire him to ignite the Great Fire of Rome. (TV: The Romans) Subsequently, she and her friends arrived on Vortis and encountered the Zarbi and their master, the Animus. (TV: The Web Planet)
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 in the 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: Prisoners of Time)
After visiting Earth during the Crusades (TV: The Crusade) and facing the Moroks on Xeros, (TV: The Space Museum) 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 soon faced the Monk in 1066. (TV: The Time Meddler) The travellers then visited Galaxy 4, where they faced the deadly Drahvins. (TV: Galaxy 4)
Leaving the Doctor
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)
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) It is no doubt these were characteristics which reminded the Doctor of Susan.
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) Vicki didn't know the Beatles played "classical music", and called 1960s New York City "ancient". (TV: The Chase)
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A documentary on the DVD release of 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.