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Dr. Evelyn Smythe is a fictional character played by Maggie Stables in a series of audio plays produced by Big Finish Productions based on the long-running Britishmarker science fiction television series Doctor Who. A professor of history from the 20th century with a fondness for chocolate, she is a companion of the Sixth Doctor. The canonicity of the audio dramas with respect to the television series, like other Doctor Who spin-offs, is open to interpretation.

Character history

Evelyn first appeared in the play The Marian Conspiracy (2000), when the Sixth Doctor found her while searching for a temporal nexus point. Travelling with the Doctor back to 1554, she became involved with the turmoil surrounding the reign of Queen Mary, which would soon give way to that of her half-sister Elizabeth. At the end of that adventure, she insisted on accompanying the Doctor further, because as an historian, the chance to travel in a time machine was irresistible.

Evelyn was fifty-five when she began her travels with the Doctor. Being more mature than most of the Doctor's other companions, she was more than a match for the more abrasive Sixth Doctor, often questioning his decisions and even counselling him on them. In turn, the Sixth Doctor recognized Evelyn's wisdom and ability and respected her advice.

Their relationship was not always smooth. Evelyn had a heart condition which she kept from the Doctor, fearing that he would return her home if he found out. She also blamed the Doctor for his inability to save a young woman named Cassie in Project: Lazarus (2003), something the Seventh Doctor said she never forgave him for, even when she parted ways with him.

While visiting the planet Világ and helping repel an alien invasion by an aggressive humanoid canid species known as the Killorans, Evelyn met and fell in love with Governor Rossiter, who eventually became the political head of the union of three nations (Arrangements for War, 2004). When she and the Doctor returned a year later, Evelyn decided to stay and marry Rossiter. She subsequently became involved in the politics of Világ and underwent surgery for her heart. The surgery, however, did not actually correct her heart condition; without her knowledge, she was injected during the surgery with blood extracted from Killoran prisoners. The infusion disguised Evelyn's heart condition, but also caused her to suffer from headaches, increased aggressiveness and irritability.

Two years later, the Sixth Doctor brought his new companion Mel to visit Evelyn on Világ. During their visit, Evelyn was kidnapped by a political enemy, and during the ordeal she became seriously ill as a result of the Killoran blood in her system. With the Doctor's aid, Rossiter's daughter Sofia, a physician, corrected the effects of the Killoran blood. During her recovery, Evelyn was secretly paid a visit by the Seventh Doctor as well. The Seventh Doctor wanted to tell Evelyn that Cassie's son was now travelling with him, and assured her that some good had come out of the tragedy after all (Thicker than Water, 2005).

This version of events, showing Mel and Evelyn meeting for the first time, contradicts the account of their first meeting in the spin-off novel Instruments of Darkness by Gary Russell.

Evelyn continues to appear alongside the Sixth Doctor in new audio releases, set before her departure.

Other appearances

In Instruments of Darkness, it was stated that the Doctor did eventually bring Evelyn back to Earth, albeit ten years before she actually left, forcing her to lie low so as not to interfere with the life of her younger self. At the end of Instruments, the Doctor (at this point travelling with Mel) agreed to take Evelyn back to her proper time, and to take the "scenic route", implying further adventures. The novel also featured the first meeting between Evelyn and Mel. How these events can be reconciled with those in Thicker than Water is not clear, and supports the proposition that the novels and audios take place in separate continuities.

Animated version of Evelyn from Real Time
Evelyn also appeared in the webcast Sixth Doctor story Real Time, which ended on a cliffhanger where Evelyn was infected by a technovirus that would eventually turn her into the Cybermen's Cybercontroller. The story was produced for the BBC website by Big Finish, but due to BBC moving its webcast production in-house, it is unlikely that the cliffhanger will ever be resolved. Big Finish producer Gary Russell, who wrote the story, has also stated that he has no firm plans for continuing the story and it should, for the moment, be regarded as "unofficial".

List of appearances

Audio dramas



Novels



Short Stories



External links


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