Saturday, January 9, 2010

Companions: Vicki

Affiliated with.....First Doctor
Home planet.........Earth
Home era............25th century
First appearance....The Rescue
Last appearance.....The Myth Makers
Portrayed by........Maureen O'Brien

Vicki first appears in the serial The Rescue, a survivor of a spaceship crash on the planet Dido and menaced by the monstrous Koquillion when she meets the Doctor and his companions Ian and Barbara. Still coping with his recent parting from his granddaughter Susan at the end of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the Doctor invites the teenage girl to join the TARDIS crew.

Vicki is in many respects an ordinary teenage girl. She is a surrogate granddaughter to the Doctor and takes care of him like her own grandfather. She rarely takes the initiative, relying instead first on Ian and Barbara and then Steven Taylor, whom she treats like an older brother. Like many, however, her travels with the Doctor change and mature her. She is the one who persuades the Doctor to let Ian and Barbara use a Dalek time machine to return to their own time in The Chase.

Vicki eventually falls in love with the warrior Troilus when the TARDIS landed during the siege of Troy (The Myth Makers). After making sure that Steven and the Doctor will be all right without her, she decides to remain with Troilus, eventually passing into legend as Cressida, the name given to her by King Priam.

Maureen O'Brien (born 29 June 1943 in Liverpool) is an English actress and author best known for playing the role of Vicki in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, although she has appeared in many other television programmes as well.

She played the part of Vicki in 38 episodes from January 2 to November 6, 1965. In 2007, she reprised the role of Vicki in the audio drama Frostfire. In the same year, O'Brien had played a different Doctor Who role, that of Agnes Landen in the fourth series of the Big Finish Productions audio play Dalek Empire co-starring with Noel Clarke who played Kade. The year before in 2006, she took on the role of Miss Alice Bultitude in Year of the Pig, alongside Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant as the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown.

She played unit general manager Elizabeth Straker in the second season of Casualty (1987). She has made guest appearances in The Duchess of Duke Street ("Trouble and Strife"), Taggart ("Forbidden Fruit"), Cracker ("The Big Crunch"), A Touch of Frost ("Private Lives") and Heartbeat.

O'Brien has also written a number of detective novels Close-Up on Death (1989), Deadly Reflection (1993), Mask of Betrayal (1998), Dead Innocent (1999), Revenge (2001) and Unauthorised Departure (2003); all featuring the character of Detective Inspector John Bright.

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