Portrayed by: Deborah Watling
Doctor(s): Second Doctor
Tenure: 7 stories, from The Evil of the Daleks (May, 1967) to Fury from the Deep (April, 1968)
Background: Victoria is a teenager living with her father in England when she becomes embroiled in his dealings with the Daleks and, later, the Doctor. After her father’s death, she joins the Doctor and Jamie on the TARDIS, having nowhere else to go. She is a girl of her time, making her at times rather unsuited to life on the TARDIS.
Family/Friends: Victoria is the first companion to get a substantial backstory and family that we actually meet. Her father is an inventor who gets into trouble when he unknowingly starts working for the Daleks, who manage to travel to Earth due to her father’s experiments with static electricity (just go with it). He is a less-than-ideal father, but he sees the error of his ways and ends up sacrificing himself to save the world.
Personality: Victoria is kind, sweet, and rather delicate. She never chose a life of adventure and this shows in her reactions to the stressful situations she finds herself in. Despite this, she tries her best to help out and her contributions are all the more impressive given her starting point. Victoria spends a significant portion of her tenure somewhat melancholic, mourning her father and missing her old life, and this marks some of the earliest carefully constructed tenure-long character arcing on the series. Victoria has a close relationship with the Doctor and Jamie, who oscillates between being a protective older brother and a distinctly non-familial potential love interest.
Special Skills: High-pitched screaming. Literally. She defeats evil alien seaweed by screaming.
Best Story: The Web of Fear is a lot of fun, and introduces the Brig-to-be, and The Ice Warriors has some nice Jamie and Victoria moments and introduces the titular classic villain
Worst Story: The Tomb of the Cybermen (Ooh! Controversy!) Many may put this story up on a pedestal, but it’s actually rather overhyped and overlong with some massive flaws, particularly its use (or lack thereof) of the female characters. Yes, there’s a beautiful exchange between Victoria and the Doctor about lost loved ones and memory, but one great scene does not a story make.
Highlights of tenure: Screaming the baddies to death in Fury from the Deep. It’s great that the writers are self-aware enough to have fun with Victoria’s near-constant screaming victim status.
Lowlights of tenure: That the only thing the writers come up with to have her do is scream. Victoria is an interesting experiment for a Companion. It’s a shame she isn’t developed and used to greater effect.
Victoria: “I wonder what [my father] would have thought if he could see me now.”
The Doctor: “You miss him very much, don’t you?”
Victoria: “It’s only when I close my eyes. I can still see him standing there. Before those horrible Dalek creatures came to the house. He was a very kind man. I shall never forget him. Never.” The Tomb of the Cybermen
Other notes: Victoria may be the most realistic Companion, as far as representing how much of the audience would react to daily life aboard the TARDIS. She’s also one of only two Companions to leave because their adventures are too stressful her to handle, the other being Tegan. It’s a very honest exit for her and perhaps the least contrived in the show’s run.