The current Doctor Who series has gone back to the show’s earliest habits in picking people from nowadays as companions, in order to ask the audience the question “what would you do if a man turned up in your life claiming he has a magic box which is bigger on the inside?” But for a while, during the Second Doctor’s time, he travelled with two people who were not only not from the contemporary era, but hailed from key moments in Britain’s past. Jamie, the Jacobean highlander, and Victoria Waterfield, the Victorian inventor’s daughter (played by Deborah Watling).
It’s one of the show’s better constant thoughts, that as far as the Doctor is concerned there is little difference between now and 200 years ago in Earth’s history. We are all primitives. And of course, as with all the best science fiction, the trade-off is that the humans are always called upon to remind all the aliens they encouter – the Doctor included – that technological advancement isn’t everything, there are qualities that put humankind way ahead of any race you’d care to name: tenacity, ingenuity, team sports, crumpets, you name it…
Victoria is the daugher of a scientist who is working on a (presumably steam-powered) time machine, in 1866. This has caught the eyestalk of the Daleks who wish to commandeer it for their own ends. They capture Victoria and hold her hostage, in order to force her father to help them capture the Doctor.
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