One of the youngest companions ever to travel with the Doctor, the 14- or 15-year-old was made an orphan by her mother's early death and her father's murder by the Daleks. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks; PROSE: Downtime) The Doctor and Jamie, by mutual agreement, immediately chose to bring her along with them upon the death of her father. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks) Thereafter, the duo were very protective of her, to an extent that the two did not typically exhibit towards their other female companions, Polly and Zoe. The two acted as a substitute father and brother to her, and patiently took the time to help her get over her sense of loss over her parents, and the great fear she experienced in some of the more dangerous parts of their adventures together. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Abominable Snowmen) Indeed, she often displayed her fear by screaming with much greater frequency than the other female companions of the Second Doctor.
Her reasons for leaving the Doctor and Jamie were unique, and a consequence of her youth. She decided to live with the childless Frank and Maggie Harris in 1968. Though no details were known about the "formality" of this arrangement, it was apparent that Victoria stopped travelling in the TARDIS because she valued the comfort of family. While the Doctor saw the decision as very much a matter of her own choosing, Jamie was significantly distressed — much more so than he had been when Ben and Polly departed. (TV: Fury from the Deep)
Early life edit
Victoria was born in 1852. When she was five years old, she was photographed by Charles Dodgson, the author of Alice in Wonderland, who was better known by his pseudonym "Lewis Carroll" in later years. Her mother, Edith Rose Waterfield, died on 23 November 1863 (PROSE: Downtime) from pneumonia at the age of 37. (PROSE: The Age of Ambition)
Meeting the Doctor edit
Edward Waterfield and his colleague, Theodore Maxtible, were experimenting with a method of time travel utilising mirrors and static electricity. They accidentally established a link between Maxtible's house and the Dalek city on the planet Skaro. The Daleks used Victoria as a hostage to control her father and Maxtible.
Taken prisoner and transported to Skaro, Victoria was stranded on the alien planet — her father having died to save the Second Doctor's life. Drawing on this experience, she was prepared to encounter civilisations more advanced than her own. Now an orphan, she chose to join the Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon on their travels — a decision made more through necessity than choice. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)
Travels with the Doctor edit
Until her abduction by the Daleks, Victoria had apparently led the sheltered life usual for women from wealthy British families in the 19th century. She was, however, quite capable of looking after herself and held her own in a verbal spar with Captain Hopper. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen). She also coped well with Jamie's teasing over such things as short dresses. (TV: The Ice Warriors)
Victoria's sheltered life before encountering the Doctor had not made her gullible. She was a clever and intelligent young woman, who got the better of Kaftan twice after having been tricked into drinking drugged coffee. Her first ploy had been to scream as if a dead Cybermat were attacking again and the second was to tell Kaftan and Eric Klieg that the testing room, where the Doctor's group had been locked, contained another weapon. Victoria seemed such an innocent young woman that Kaftan believed her each time. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
Although Victoria loved the Doctor and Jamie, she missed her home and father. Since she had joined the TARDIS crew only as a result of her father's death, she was something of an unwilling adventurer. Having told the Doctor this, he taught her to keep the memory of lost loved ones in the subconscious, where they could be recalled at will, but did not harry the mind at all times. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen) Her gleeful recollection of the recipe for Kaiser pudding when working in Salamander's kitchen was a manifestation of her longing for home. (TV: The Enemy of the World)
Right from the start of her adventures, Victoria was defiant and could show great courage. Though frightened of the Daleks who had held her captive, she defied their orders and continued to feed the pigeons at the window of her room. She was also inquisitive, which made her travels with the Doctor and Jamie more bearable. Victoria could be stubborn; when offered the opportunity of safety with the Monks in Tibet, she refused. Perhaps her courageous spirit also had a hand in this. (TV: The Abominable Snowmen)
Victoria may have been courageous, but she was certainly a screamer. Never afraid to scream at danger, it was this which, ultimately, provided the solution to the weed creature on the Euro Sea Gas refinery the travellers visited. Leading up to this adventure, Victoria had begun speaking with greater frequency of her dislike of the dangers she, the Doctor and Jamie encountered in their travels. Unsurprisingly, she took her first opportunity to settle down with an established, caring family. With no family to return to and realising that her travels had changed her outlook and expectations, Victoria chose to stay with Maggie and Frank Harris rather than continue her travels, despite the fact that Jamie, who had feelings for her, tried to persuade her to stay. (TV: Fury from the Deep)
Life after the Doctor edit
Victoria settled down in the 20th century with her foster parents, before being visited once more by the Doctor, who was in his seventh incarnation. He took her to London in February 1868, where Victoria took care of her father's fortune and visited her aunt, Margaret Waterfield, before returning to the 20th century. (PROSE: Prelude Birthright) In 1909, her aunt was murdered by thugs in the employ of Jared Khan. (PROSE: Birthright)
At some point, Victoria 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)
In 1980, she returned to Tibet and the Great Intelligence for a third time. It manipulated her into establishing the New World University, preparing the way for it to manifest in Earth's computer networks.
In 1995, its plan almost came to fruition; a ghostly version of the long-dead Professor Edward Travers got her to realise that she was being manipulated and she joined the fight against the Intelligence's plan. (HOMEVID: Downtime)
Victoria married and had several children. As of, presumably, 2008, one of her children was expecting Victoria's first grandchild. By this time, she considered her days travelling with the Doctor as the most exciting, vivid and terrifying of her life. She never told her family of her travels in the TARDIS or that she was from the 19th century. (AUDIO: The Great Space Elevator)
In the early 21st century, Victoria became involved in the protests against nuclear energy. At that time, she was reunited with the Doctor, by then in his sixth incarnation, and met his latest companion, Peri Brown. (AUDIO: Power Play)
Despite her obvious distress in many situations, Victoria quickly adapted a role where she could actively help the Doctor and Jamie. She attempted to force her way past Kaftan to open the tombs on Telos. Victoria showed no qualms about using force either, taking the seemingly-dead Kaftan's gun and using it to kill a Cybermat. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen)
Behind the scenes edit
That which survives edit
Until the 9-episode find in 2013, Victoria was the companion hardest-hit by missing episodes, discounting those like Katarina and Sara Kingdom who only appeared in one or two serials. She had the lowest percentage of surviving material of any companion to appear in more than two stories. Before the 9 episodes were found, only 24% of her episodes existed. Afterwards, that number was raised to 53%.
|Name||Episodes made||Total surviving||Percentage|
|Polly and Ben||40||13[nb 1]||33%|
The circumstances under which Deborah Watling won the part are somewhat mysterious. She does not appear on the audition paperwork, and appears to have quietly replaced first choice Denise Buckley for reasons unknown. Records indicate that Buckley won the role after a camera test on 11 April 1967, but lost it by 13 April, when Innes Lloyd officially confirmed Watling in the role. (REF: The Second Doctor Handbook)