Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Partners in time

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1996-07 Empire.jpg


Doctor Who

Cert. 12 £14.99 (BBC)

Oh no. This, of all things, shouldn't have happened — the Americanisation of that most British of institutions. Gone are all the lovably slipshod sets and the men in rubber suits, to be replaced with slick TV-movie action, nice cheekbones and overwrought special effects. Sylvester McCoy regenerates into a sexier "young" Doctor Paul McGann in a breathless ER-style operating room sequence, the idea seemingly to create a bit of sexual tension between the Doctor and cohort Daphne Ashbrook. The plot is a limp affair set in San Francisco on the eve of the millennium, with the Master (Eric Roberts, who commits the ultimate sin of not having a pointy beard) possessing locals in order to rob the Doctor of his life and Tardis. There are a few token Who-isms: sonic screwdriver, jelly babies, a temperamental Tardis, but, being an American/BBC production they get all caught up in sorting the time conundrums. Eighty-five minutes of this glib nonsense isn't worth ten seconds of a Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker or Patrick Troughton episode, and where, for heaven's sake, are the Daleks? ★★ IN

Partners In Time

Where would the good Doctor have been without his able assistants? ...

1. K-9 (K-9)

Assisting Tom Baker. Know-it-all robot dog with a nasal laser, aerial tail and an ability to get around in a way Daleks never could. Interesting Fact: Rumoured to be the progenitor for Star Wars' R2D2 (unlikely).

2. Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) Assisting Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker. English journalist, always putting her nose into business that wasn't good for her. Interesting Fact: Sladen got the part on the strength of a performance in Z-Cars.

3. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney)

Assisting Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker. Stiff-upper lipped and unflappable head of special army division UNIT. Interesting Fact: Courtney starred as agent Bret Vyon in the William Hartnell story The Daleks' Master Plan.

4. Leela (Louise Jameson)

Assisting Tom Baker. A warrior cavewoman from an unnamed planet who preferred a big knife to science. Interesting Fact: Leela never screamed.

5. Jo Grant (Katy Manning)

Assisting Jon Pertwee. An ebullient blonde UNIT operative constantly inquiring, "What's that, Doctor?" Interesting Fact: After leaving the series, Manning posed nude with a Dalek.

6. Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown (Nicola Bryant)

Assisting Peter Davison. That rarest of things, an American companion for the Doctor, Peri was sassy, sexy, outspoken, frequently bored and too often the victim of aliens' lascivious interest. Interesting Fact: Was the only assistant to ever be transformed into a bird.

7. Steven Taylor (Peter Purves) Assisting William Hartnell. A blunderer who possessed a toy panda called Hi-Fi. Fond of the lassies. Interesting Fact: Later bestowed Blue Peter badges and did electricity board ads.

8. Ace (Sophie Aldred)

Assisting Sylvester McCoy. Ace was a dab hand with explosives and an all-round tomboy. Interesting Fact: Presented Melvin And Maureen's Music-O-Grams on telly.

9. Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) Assisting Tom Baker/Peter Davison. Really the Doctor's first brush with petulant youth, Adric had a tendency to sulk. Interesting Fact: One assistant to die. Apparently .. .

10. Romana (Lalla Ward, left, with Baker and Tardis) Assisting Tom Baker. Romana was the only compatriot who was also a timelord. Interesting Fact: Married Tom Baker in real-life.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to

  • APA 6th ed.: (July 1996). Partners in time. Empire .
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Partners in time." Empire [add city] July 1996. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Partners in time." Empire, edition, sec., July 1996
  • Turabian: "Partners in time." Empire, July 1996, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Partners in time | url= | work=Empire | pages= | date=July 1996 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Partners in time | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 April 2024}}</ref>