Ace (Dorothy)

Portrayed by: Sophie Aldred
Travelled with: Seventh Doctor
Series: Classic

Ace was a companion of the Seventh Doctor whose name was unknown until late into her arrival on the TARDIS. Although she was christened Dorothy, Ace preferred to go by her nickname. Ace was the daughter of Audrey Dudman and in her youth she was a troubled teen on Earth, blowing up the school art room as a “creative statement” resulting in her expulsion. Shortly afterwards, Ace took up a job working as a waitress in a fast-food café, though the job gave her little excitement. Despite failing chemistry in her O-Level exams, Ace had a gift for the science. During one experiment with the extraction of nitro-glycerine from gelignite, a time storm swept her up, transporting and depositing her on the desk of Sabalom Glitz’s spacecraft which was docked at the planet Iceworld, far in her future. While trapped on Iceworld, Ace got a job as a waitress again, and it was while working here that she met the Doctor and his companion Mel in Dragonfire (Classic Series). After Mel chose to leave the TARDIS crew at the end of the adventure, Ace was taken on as his companion. During her childhood, Ace suffered several traumatic events, including a bad relationship with her mother as well as the racist firebombing of her friend Manisha’s flat, which resulted in Manisha’s death. In retaliation, Ace set fire to Gabriel Chase, a long abandoned mansion that was rumoured to be haunted by an ancient evil. As a consequence, Ace tended to cover up her own insecurities and fears with a tough, streetwise exterior. Though the Doctor disapproved, even if he found it useful on occasion, Ace liked to use a powerful explosive that she called “Nitro-9” as her weapon of choice which she mixed up in canisters and carried them around in her backpack. The Doctor took an interest in Ace’s education, regularly prompting her to find out explanations or answers herself rather than giving her all the answers. Ace believed the Doctor needed her to watch his back and protected him with fierce loyalty as well as affectionately giving him the nickname of “Professor”.

Ace with the Seventh Doctor in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

Under the guide of the Doctor, Ace fought the Daleks and Davros on Earth in 1963 in Remembrance of the Daleks (Classic Series) as well as facing the sadistic government of Helen A, a government which required its people to be happy on pain of death in The Happiness Patrol (Classic Series). Ace also assisted the Doctor against the Cybermen, stopping them from getting hold of Nemesis in 1988 in Silver Nemesis (Classic Series), as well as saving the Psychic Circus from the Gods of Ragnarok on Segonax in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Classic Series). In Battlefield (Classic Series) Ace met the Doctor’s old friend, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart where he assisted UNIT in defeating Morgaine and the Destroyer. During her adventures with the Doctor, he made her fact her demons from the past; including taking her to the house she burnt down, 100 years before she committed the arson attack. In the house lived an Entity known as Light, which Ace had felt the presence of when she burnt it in Ghost Light (Classic Series). It later transpired that Ace’s arrival on Iceworld was not accidental but in fact was part of a larger scheme conceived by the Doctor’s enemy, Fenric. It turned out that Ace was a “Wolf of Fenric”, one of several descendants of a Viking that had been tainted with Fenric’s genetic instructions which would help release it from its ancient prison as a pawn in its complex game against the Doctor. Though the Doctor appeared to have been aware of this fact from his first meeting with Ace, Ace herself was not. After the defeat of Fenric in The Curse of Fenric (Classic Series), Ace continued to travel with the Doctor, returning to her home in Perivale where she discovered that her old friends had disappeared. At first she assumed they had moved on, but later discovered they had been taken to the Cheetah World as prey for the Cheetah People. Here, Ace encountered the Master, who was using her friends so he could escape the planet. After defeating the Master, Ace returned with two of her friends before carrying on with her travels with the Doctor in Survival (Classic Series). What happened to Ace is unknown as her departure from the TARDIS was never seen in episodes, but she had moved on by the time the Seventh Doctor came to regenerate in the Doctor Who 1996 Television Movie.