Doctor Who Ally Profile: Madge Arwell

Claire Skinner as Madge Arwell on Doctor Who, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

Claire Skinner as Madge Arwell from Doctor Who, promo picMadge Arwell

Portrayed by: Claire Skinner

Doctor: Eleventh Doctor

Story: “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe” (2011 Christmas Special)

Background: Madge is a mother of two and wife to Reg, a bomber pilot in WWII. After stumbling across the Doctor and helping him, she falls upon hard times (Reg and his plane go missing over the English Channel). When she wishes that she could give her children one final happy Christmas (before breaking the news of his disappearance to them), the Doctor returns to repay his debt, whisking them off to a winter wonderland (Androzani Minor, of The Caves of Androzani fame) only to become embroiled in a dangerous adventure.

Family: While Madge is the main Companion of this special, we spend much of the runtime with her two children, Cyril and Lily. Due to timey-wimeyness, Madge’s actions on Androzani Minor cause and then correct Reg’s disappearance, who we spend very little time with, but at least get to meet.

Personality: Madge is self-assured, accepting, and kind-hearted. She is decidedly quirky, adapts quickly to the strange events that unfold around her and is ferociously protective of her children. While she’s clearly in pain over Reg’s disappearance and presumed death, she’s able to compartmentalize her emotions as necessary and, had the Doctor run into her before she had a family to look after, she would undoubtedly have jumped at the chance to come aboard the TARDIS.

Special Skills: Will power, (dubious) driving experience, lock-picking. Also, gender

Highlights: Her nonchalant reaction to finding the Doctor after he crash lands

Lowlights: Seriously, Moffat? She saves the day because she has girl parts and the crown will only work for a woman? Sigh.

Memorable quote: [to Reg, re:the TARDIS taking off] “Just the caretaker returning to the Time Vortex. It’s a lovely place. I’ve been there myself. Shall we go downstairs?”

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