Haha, only joking – he’s DEAD! He is NOT coming back! #lightsmatch
Anyway, here’s the real ten…
The late re~write for Martha Jones (yeah, thanks Law & Order – you thieving bastards!), the secretary turned world~saver proved to be quite the hit for the third series of Torchwood. Actress Cush Jumbo pushed aside any Freema comparisons with wads of personality and a soupçon of assured sexiness. She was last seen banged up in a cell, at the end of Children Of Earth; maybe it’s time Doctor Who sprung her out…?
Facing the difficult task or “replacing” Chrissie and Alan Jackson (who both very nearly made the Top 10), Rani’s parents fitted in perfectly into Bannerman Road. Ace Bhatti, who recently ripped it up bad~style on Eastenders, played the straight head~teacher down a tea whilst his missus, played by Mina Anwar, provided constant comic entertainment (that she previously demonstrated on The Thin Blue Line) with her continual, though unintentional, needling of Sarah Jane.
One of the features of the most recent Torchwood series, Miracle Day, that warmed my heart greatly was the appearance of this guy, played with affable charm by the lurvely Tom Price. I was so pleased that, even though it was a “big” US production, the “little” guy was still remembered. And what a journey for “PC” Andy Davidson. From a loyal, though lowly copper, popping up every now and again during the first two series to helping save the world on more than one occasion. If anything, out of persistence, Andy deserves a shot at Who.
One of Torchwood‘s shining moments was the time~traveling tale from Series One, Out of Time, where three people from the 1950s ended up in modern day Cardiff. One of these unfortunate human beings was Diane, a spunky pilot with a fine line in make~up and a rather trouser~tightening approach to sex (nice one Torchers!). Diane got chummy with Owen and would later turn up to haunt him, thus helping cause the apocalypse (nearly), in the finale End of Days. Louise Delamere’s fine performance as a woman out of time wherever she lay (a bit like my first wife) was genuinely touching and is still one of the show’s highlights. Would make for an excellent companion to the Time Lord.
Like her parents, Rani had the unenviable task of replacing a Bannerman Road fave. And, for her, it was an even more Herculean task as she was taking over from, what ostensibly was, a “companion”. But such a hit was she that the words Maria Jackson were but a faint whisper by the time she’s finished her first year with Sarah Jane & Co. Similarly, Clyde became the star of the show towards the end, nabbing all the best lines and receiving some tremendous stories (The Curse of Clyde Langer, for example). The couple made for an electric watch (Series 4’s The Empty Planet demonstrated this neatly) and I can’t recall such a likable and fun duo on television. I doff my cap to both Anjli Mohindra and Daniel Anthony and sincerely hope they get some more TARDIS action in the future.
Man, this guy fah~reaked me out. With no offense intended towards actor Murray Melvin, he has the look of an utter demon. Sure, he may have a tasty suit and nifty cravat but his crafted skull and piercing eyes made for one of the most delicious villains in the entirety of the Whoeuvre. Bilis was all smiles and pictures when he met some of the Torchwood gang in Captain Jack Harkness but by the time the next episode came long, End of Days, his role as “bad guy” was confirmed. Thankfully, the makers of the show decided to retain total mystery to who he was. We know nothing about him and he flopped off before he could explain his “evil” time~jumping deeds. His appearance was so perfect that I did wonder, whilst surrounded by clocks in his shop, if Bilis would be revealed to be The Master (which I’m glad they didn’t, by the way). Having said that, maybe he did just hop into one of the grandfather clocks and Vworp away…
Did someone say Torchwood 1899: The Series? if not, they blummin’ should! Making a splash in the Series 2 finale (Fragments and Exit Wounds), these two ladies have a certain Vastra and Jenny feisty quality about them too. Their introduction to the Whoniverse saw them killing Captain Jack, savagely torturing him and then making him work for Torchwood – not bad ladies. Not bad at all! Despite starring in Outcasts (a BBC sci~fi misfire, to put it politely), Amy Manson would make a terrific ally/enemy for The Doctor as Guppy whilst BFF Holroyd, played by Heather Craney (a Holby City and Eastenders stalwart) is on hand to straddle any passers~by. And aren’t their outfits purty?
Talk about text~book enigmatic, this guy is The Enigma~tron! He is positively rolling in riddle~ocious~ness (it’s a word!). This chap first popped up in The Sarah Jane Adventures, trapping our heroes and then subsequently splitting them up and sending them back in time – the nerve! But he wasn’t a bad guy (oh no!), The Shopkeeper was just keeping the universe in balance – not unlike a certain other friend of Sarah Jane’s… Played with wonderful suavetry (it’s a word!) by Cyril Nri, even got a brief return in the final series (Sky). One certainly hopes that he is indeed another Time Lord, awaiting to be found…
This guy. *Does Goodfellas style hang gesture* This guy! So immense was his appeal, so awesome and mighty was his darkness that not only did he get a mention in both Doctor Who and Torchwood (well, The Trickster’s Brigade did in Turn Left and Immortal Sins), but The Doctor himself had to crossover to The Sarah Jane Adventures in order to defeat him! The stand~off between them during The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith was quite something with a fangasm~inducing mention of The flippin’ Key To Time.
The Trickster’s original appearance, Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?, remains my favourite of his trilogy; where the lurvely Elisabeth Sladen was replaced by the equally lurvely Jane Asher. Writer Gareth Roberts created one of the great Whoniverse villains; meddling with time and people with horrific consequences, just for fun. The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith displayed a memorable, and deeply unsettling, view of the future juxtaposed with some heart~breaking moments for Sarah Jane.
Special mention must also go to the man behind the cloak, Paul Marc Davies who also manged the feat of appearing in the Doctor Who story Utopia and the Torchwood tale, Exit Wounds. The Trickster, without a doubt, is the one character from the spin~offs that deserves to face~off against The Doctor on a Saturday night around 7pm.
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