Portrayed by: Lindsay Duncan
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Story: “The Waters of Mars” (Nov, 2009)
Background: Captain Adelaide Brooke is the famed commander of Bowie Base One, the first human colony on Mars, famous for mysteriously exploding. Orphaned during the Dalek attacks (the events of “The Stolen Earth”/“Journey’s End”), Adelaide grew up fascinated with space after staring into the eyestalk of a Dalek hovering outside her window who flew back to base and left her alive, rather than killing her as by all accounts, it should have. She dedicated her life to science and exploration, though she also had a family- a daughter and eventually, a granddaughter. When the Doctor stumbles upon Adelaide and her crew, he knows their death will galvanize the planet, particularly Adelaide’s granddaughter, and push the human race out to the stars, making the events on Mars a fixed point in time. Adelaide has a degree in mathematics as well as a doctorate in physics and she has extensive training as an astronaut, having worked for NASA before starting her work at Bowie Base One.
Family/Friends: Adelaide has little family, becoming orphaned at a young age, but she was raised by her loving grandmother. Though she is incredibly career-minded, she has a daughter, who has a daughter of her own, and this granddaughter, inspired by Adelaide’s sacrifice, is instrumental in humanity’s exploration of the universe.
Personality: Stern, taciturn, and determined, Adelaide is a tough woman. She’s very intelligent and has the capacity for kind-heartedness, but she’s incredibly focused on her work, keeping her crew at arm’s length. She’s a pragmatist and while skeptical, she accepts difficult to process information and phenomena when they are presented to her. Stoic and decisive in the face of impossible choices, she is exactly the Companion the Doctor needs when he starts to fall to the Time Lord Victorious.
Special Skills: Scientific and military training, sheer strength of will, big-picture thinking
Highlights: Dressing down the Doctor at the end of the story. There are other fun moments, but this is where Adelaide shines.
Lowlights: Nothing particularly comes to mind. The story has problems, but they aren’t Adelaide’s fault.
Memorable quotes: “This is wrong, Doctor! I don’t care who you are! The Time Lord victorious is wrong!”
Other notes: Russell T. Davies originally had Helen Mirren in mind for this role, though that didn’t work out. Adelaide is one of only a handful of older female (ie, mid-30s or above) human Companions or allies the Doctor has had, including Barbara Wright, Donna Noble, and a few one-story classic series allies, such as (the fabulous) Prof. Amelia Rumford from The Stones of Blood.