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Doctor Who Ally Profile: Mike Yates

Doctor Who Ally Profile: Mike Yates

Richard Franklin as Third Doctor Companion Mike YatesCaptain Mike Yates

Portrayed by: Richard Franklin

Doctor: Third Doctor

Story: 9 stories, from Terror of the Autons (Jan, 1971) to Planet of the Spiders (June, 1974)

Background: Capt. Yates is an officer in UNIT, working under the Brigadier and alongside Sergeant Benton. Based on certain things he says, he seems to come from a somewhat privileged background, but little beyond this is known about his pre-UNIT life.

Family/Friends: Though we don’t meet any of Capt. Yates’ family, during this time, with the Doctor grounded on Earth, the series featured a recurring cast of characters who came to be somewhat of a family. Yates is very close with the UNIT team, including Liz Shaw and her successor, Jo Grant. Even when he leaves UNIT, he maintains enough of a relationship with Sarah Jane Smith to be able to call her when he discovers something’s afoot at the Buddhist retreat he’s attending.

Personality: Capt. Yates is likable and charming. He has somewhat of a potential for romance with Jo, but little comes of this on the series. He’s an able officer and his eventual complicity in a scheme to return the world to the time of the dinosaurs (due to concerns over the planet’s health) comes as a complete shock. This is one of the most effective twists in the classic series, demonstrating Mike’s determination (however misguided in this instance) to save lives and fight for the common good.

Special Skills: Military training, chipper demeanor

Highlights: The reveal of his loyalties in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, earning back his good name in Planet of the Spiders

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Lowlights: For a character who goes through so much in his time on the show, Capt. Yates is surprisingly underdeveloped. More of a stock figure than an individual person, he represents somewhat of a missed opportunity for the series.

Memorable quotes:
Captain Yates: “RHIP, Jo.”
Jo Grant: “Pardon?”
Captain Yates: “Rank Has Its Privileges.”  Day of the Daleks