DOCTOR WHO: Companion Pieces - Victoria Waterfield - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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DOCTOR WHO: Companion Pieces - Victoria Waterfield

Christopher Morley looks back at the Second Doctor's companion Victoria Waterfield, and the actress who portrayed her, Deborah Watling.

Evil Of The Daleks is quite rightly remembered as a classic- both as a great example of the Doctor battling his greatest foes & as an episode in general. Its also a momentous occasion for Victoria Waterfield- not only does she lose her antique dealer father Edward, his death at the gunstalks of the Daleks leaving her an orphan, but she gains a new home of sorts as she embarks upon a new chapter of her life travelling in the TARDIS alongside the Second Doctor & Jamie. All that remians of it is episode 2. Find the rest quick, BBC!

Initially taken hostage so that her father will co-operate ( his partner Theodore Maxtible proving a lot greedier & thus more than willing to collaborate) she's rescued by McCrimmon & a Turkish manservant named Kemel. In joining up with the loveable moptop & the Scot it could be said that she forms a new surrogate family of sorts ( the Doctor replacing her father & Jamie becoming a brother figure). By the time of The Abominable Snowmen life would come to imitate art, Deborah Watling joined by her father Jack ( in the role of Professor Travers) for the d├ębut outing of the Great Intelligence- frustratingly as with much of the Second's era the episode is missing, so until the relevant people get a move on & find more of the Troughtonian treasure-trove this will have to do...

Missing or not, almost every one of the stories in which Victoria features are fondly remembered. Not surprising when alongside the aforementioned the roll-call reads The Tomb Of The Cybermen, The Ice Warriors, The Enemy Of The World ( rediscovered in Nigeria last year alongside another Victoria episode in the form of The Web Of Fear), & Fury From The Deep...

Why does she leave after the battle with the ' Weed Creature'? Simple- she wants something approaching a normal family life, & so stays behind with Frank & Maggie Harris while Two & Jamie continue onwards & upwards through the universe in ' Sexy'. Seven stories & out. Perhaps on account of that in retrospect incredibly short run, she has a similarly meagre list of novel appearances- in the Missing Adventures series she's part of Twilight Of The Gods & The Dark Path, while the Past Doctor Adventures feature her in Dreams Of Empire ( reprinted as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations), Heart Of TARDIS & Combat Rock.

There's a nice callback to her in Pyramids Of Mars, too, as Sarah-Jane Smith enters the control room in one of Ms Waterfield's old dresses...

...without even looking up the Fourth Doctor addresses her as ' Vicky' in what must pass for a senior moment before telling her that Victoria used to wear it. Isn't that nice? Ms Watling would return to read two Companion Chronicles audio dramas ( The Great Space Elevator & The Emperor Of Eternity) while her 2010 book Daddy's Girl looks back fondly on her time as a member of the Who crew as well as the joys of working alongside her father as well as containing the revelation that she received her first kiss from a fellow actor by the name of Michael Craze ( aka Ben Jackson, the man who alongside Anneke Wills's Polly Wright served as the First Doctor's last/Second's first companions).

She had acted since childhood, her first recurring role coming in the 1958 Invisible Man TV series as Sally Wilson, niece of the titular Invisible Man. By 1965 she had appeared in a BBC Wednesday Play as Alice in playwright Dennis Potter's adaptation of Alice In Wonderland as she began to build a career, including parts in Danger UXB, the female lead opposite Cliff Richard in the 1974 musical comedy Take Me High and a small role in the David Essex film That'll Be The Day. From police box time machine to Silver Dream Machine, you might say! 

 Deborah Watling & Ringo Starr in That'll Be The Day

She also later found the time to return to Who in the Fifth Doctor audio Three's A Crowd, in which she played 'Auntie'- not to be confused with the one from The Doctor's Wife! Now into her sixties, she still attends fan conventions- & was on hand for a reaction when The Enemy Of The World & The Web Of Fear were unearthed & reissued. Alongside Tomb Of The Cybermen she still has only three stories to her name which now exist in their entirety.

Reason, we're sure you'll agree, for the rest as well as the preceding missing episodes to be found. While the BBC continue to play down the chances of more being discovered- a spokesman telling the Daily Mirror recently that  
BBC Worldwide does not have any of the 97 missing episodes of Doctor Who and none are being restored for release.
"We were delighted to be able to bring Doctor Who fans ' The Enemy Of The World' and ' The Web Of Fear' last year, thanks to the fantastic efforts of Philip Morris and Television International Enterprises Archives.
"Naturally we continue to hope that all of the missing episodes are out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered and returned for the ultimate benefit of the fans.”
Compare & contrast with what Philip Morris, the man behind those discoveries, had to say on the subject-  
A tricky one to answer. And fans will just want a yes or no, haven't you or have you. But it's complex. All I can say is the wind is blowing the right way. Be patient.
There are no announcements in the pipeline at present. It can sometimes be the wrong thing with ongoing work and investigation.
An example would be during the last announcement, I was in a very hostile part of the world and suddenly I was everywhere on TV. My anonymity was compromised, which made the team a target.
So we must plan these things carefully for the greater good of the project and the safety of the personnel involved.
I was in Syria. I missed a shell attack by about ten feet. How lucky was I? But there have been lots of tricky moments - bandits, armed militia - but that was the closest.”
What a guy! Does this mean we'll soon have a horde of more classic stories to enjoy once again? Watch this space.............

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