Saturday, January 9, 2010

Companions: Steven Taylor

Affiliated with.....First Doctor
Home planet.........Earth
Home era............Unspecified future
First appearance....The Chase
Last appearance.....The Savages
Portrayed by........Peter Purves

Steven Taylor first appears in the serial The Chase, when the Doctor and his companions, Ian, Barbara and Vicki, find him on the planet Mechanus where he crash-landed two years before. He joins the Doctor and Vicki as a companion in the following serial, The Time Meddler, when they discover that he stowed-away in the TARDIS after having escaped the burning Mechanoid. Steven is a strong-willed individual, who is more capable when there is something physical to do than when there is thinking to be done. He has a finely developed sense of right and wrong, and places a high value on human life.

Steven follows the Doctor through The Daleks' Master Plan, a dark and dangerous adventure that takes the lives of Sara Kingdom and Katarina. He argues with the Doctor when he refuses to prevent the events of The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve. Steven is ready to part company with the Doctor over the deaths that happened, in particular that of a woman named Anne Chaplet. He rejoins the Doctor, however, at the same time that they acquired a new travelling companion, a young woman by the name of Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet, who is apparently a descendant of Anne's.

Steven's journey eventually ends during the The Savages, when he decides to accept the responsibility of leading the combined society of Savages and Elders that is attempting a lasting peace. His life beyond that is not explored in the series.

The exact time period that Steven originally came from is not specified in the television series. However, in The Daleks' Master Plan, set in the year 4000, Steven states that he comes from "thousands of years" before that period.

Steven Moffat, a Doctor Who fan and writer of several episodes of the revived series, named the lead character in his sitcom Coupling (BBC Two, 2000–04) "Steve Taylor", although this was apparently a coincidence. Moffat later explained that although he was aware of the Doctor Who companion, the "Steve" was chosen because the character was based upon himself, and the "Taylor" to suggest a thematic link to the character of Mark Taylor in his earlier sitcom Joking Apart.
Peter Purves (born 10 February 1939) is an English television presenter and actor.

Purves was born in New Longton, near Preston, Lancashire, England, and was educated at the independent Arnold School in Blackpool, he had originally planned to go into teaching, training at Alsager College of Education, but began to act with the Barrow-in-Furness Repertory Company instead. He also attended Manchester Polytechnic.

He first became known to television audiences in the mid-1960s as Steven Taylor, one of the early time-travelling companions in the programme Doctor Who, when the Doctor was played by William Hartnell.[1] After leaving Doctor Who, Purves became a regular presenter on the children's magazine programme Blue Peter from 1967 to 1978. Purves maintained his connection to Doctor Who throughout his time on Blue Peter, often hosting special features on the programme and interviewing the actors. These included many clips from episodes which are otherwise now lost.

Purves co-presented Blue Peter first with John Noakes and Valerie Singleton and then with Noakes and Lesley Judd, during the programme's so called 'golden age'. After Noakes, Purves is the second longest serving male Blue Peter presenter. He was so closely associated with the programme, "the sensible one", that he found his association difficult to shake off. Purves moved on to other jobs as a presenter including Blue Peter Special Assignment, "Stopwatch" and "Going Places" and then later a spell as the front man for darts events on the BBC and as presenter of the long-running BBC1 motorbike trials series Kick Start.

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