DOCTOR WHO: Companion Pieces - ZOE HERIOT - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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DOCTOR WHO: Companion Pieces - ZOE HERIOT

Christopher Morley pays tribute to the Second Doctor's companion, Zoe Heriot.

Anyone bursting to find the answer to the question of ' what's life like as a companion who's often quite a bit smarter than the Doctor they travel with?' could do worse than to watch any episode of Zoe Heriot's tenure alongside the Second Doctor! Joining he & Jamie aboard the TARDIS following the events of The Wheel In Space- the Cybermen seeking to invade Space Station W3, aka the Wheel, to use its handy radio links to mother Earth to direct their invasion fleet towards it. She proves herself to be quite knowledgeable as the Wheel's resident librarian, & its her brains that'll save the day time & time again....

Starting in fact with her first full journey accompanying her new Time Lord friend & sometimes intellectual equal! She finds herself selected as a candidate for slave labour. The greatest & best minds of the Dulcian ( inhabitants of Dulkis) population are being picked out by two Dominators, Toba & Rago, to help them with their plan to drill into the crust of the planet to establish an energy source & attempt to repair their ship. But even her seeming reliance on cold hard logic isn't enough to get her out of a squeeze in the land of fiction after she & her pals escape via a little detour into the Land of Fiction.

Seeing what looks like the Wheel on the TARDIS monitor, with Jamie having seen his native Scotland, both are tempted into having a look around. Of course, they're actually nowhere near either the far future or the land of haggis & bagpipes- this is the White Void, existing outside the confines of normal time & space. So begins what can only be described as one of the most surreal challenges the Doctor will ever face. Note also Ms Heriot's outfit, which may also later have inspired whoever went on to dress the Go-Jos & after them Pan's People for their appearances on vintage Top Of The Pops. Compare & contrast, purely in the interests of popular culture of course...

Of course, they never jigged around an exploded console, did they? As well as beating Babs Lord & her fellow People to the punch, Wendy Padbury had started her acting career in Crossroads just two years before she landed the role of Zoe. She played Stephanie 'Stevie' Harris, & would later join Frazer Hines in Emmerdale after they had left Who alongside Patrick Troughton in 1969- all three returning for The Five Doctors. Even in retirement from acting she couldn't quite leave it all behind either!

Moving into business as a theatrical agent, among her list of clients were no less than Nicholas Courtney, Mark Strickson & Colin Baker. As a patron of the National Youth Theatre, she was one of the first to discover a young lad who would later go on to play the Eleventh Doctor...

You might say there's a certain circularity there, as Matt Smith would base his interpretation of the Time Lord on Pat Troughton's performance, right down to the bow tie & certain mannerisms.

She also had several film cameos- she's in Charlie Bubbles ( 1967) with Albert Finney ( ) , as well as the cult horror Blood On Satan's Claw ( 1970) . See if you can spot a fellow member of the classic Who cast in this clip.

It might be immediately obvious, but if you just can't put your finger on it this might help! If that just wasn't enough she appeared on children's TV too. Three series of Freewheelers a sort of The Avengers for kids, & co- presenting series two of Score With The Scaffold. You might well wonder who exactly the Scaffold were........

Some, though, might recall them as a Liverpudlian comedy/musical/poetry trio, the three members being Mike McCartney ( whose brother Paul pinched the Second Doctor's hairstyle during his Beatles days), perhaps understandably swapping his given surname for 'McGear', poet Roger McGough & John Gorman. Score With...served as a little light entertainment for the pop pickers of the day, running for a year from 1970-71. Initially the group went it alone, performing songs & sketches as well as taking questions from their audience. With the introduction of the lovely Ms Padbury, though, it became more of a gameshow.

Her children arrived ( by her marriage to It Ain't Half Hot, Mum stalwart Melvyn Hayes- he played Gunner ' Gloria' Beaumont) within four years ( eldest daughter Joanna, followed by youngest Charlotte in 1977). Charlotte also became an actress, & has lent her voice to several Big Finish Doctor Who audio plays. If you've heard The Memory Cheats & The Uncertainty Principle, your ears will have been treated to mother & daughter performing together ( Wendy as Zoe, Charlotte as Jen). She's also appeared in Master/Love & War as Death/Jade, Cassandra in Annihilation, Bel in A Handful Of Dust & Veltreena in Lords Of The Red Planet.

Well, they say the apple never falls far from the tree!

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