In 1881, Alpha Centauri, answering to a distress call which the Twelfth Doctor had sent, was willing to help Empress Iraxxa off her desolated home planet Mars, and welcomed both her and her Ice Warriors to the universe. At Alpha Centauri's request, the Doctor and Bill Potts created a message reading "God Save The Queen" to help guide the fleet Alpha Centauri dispatched. (TV: Empress of Mars)
Alpha Centauri first came to Peladon on the Committee of Assessment to review their petition to enter the Galactic Federation. They aided the Third Doctor in defeating Hepesh and Arcturus. (TV: The Curse of Peladon)
Five years after Peladon joined the Federation, when Princess Lixgaar of New Mars was taken to Peladon for safety, Centauri locked the Princess away in the tower containing the chamber of the Prisoner of Peladon. They didn't wish to keep this a secret from King Peladon, but was insisted upon by the Federation council to "conceal the truth".
While hiding in the chamber with the Princess, the Third Doctor, who was with King Peladon, Lord Axlaar and Axlaar's accomplice, Sslurn, knocked at the double doors. Centauri opened the doors. The Doctor called for Princess Lixgaar within the chamber, whom Axlaar threatened with his sonic disruptor. The Doctor attacked Axlaar in the chest; the blast of the disruptor hitting Sslurn. Axlaar took aim again at the princess, swatting the Doctor aside, and King Peladon threw himself at him in a blind rage. After this, Axlaar fell from the window.
The next day, Centauri contacted Io. Izlyr arranged a Federation peacekeeping force to take the princess to safety. Centauri apologised for their betrayal to Peladon and announced their immediate resignation. Peladon suggested to Centauri that the refugees would need someone to grant them safe passage home and should relations between Peladon and the Federation continue, "we will need a full ambassador". Meanwhile, the Doctor quietly left in the TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Prisoner of Peladon)
When they became ambassador, Centauri again helped the Third Doctor, this time to defeat the plans of Eckersley and a group of renegade Ice Warriors led by the Ice Lord Azaxyr. (TV: The Monster of Peladon)
Centauri was also present during the Seventh Doctor's efforts to recover the Diadem from Nic Reece on Peladon in 3984. They attempted to repeal the Doctor's execution alongside his companion, Bernice, with little success. (PROSE: Legacy)
They were still serving as the Federation ambassador to Peladon into the 41st century, when they were nearing retirement age. At this time, they escorted Princess Pandora of Earth to be wed to King Pelleas, unaware that she was being led to her death at the hands of Sekhmet. They non-violently stopped Arktos from taking trisilicate from a sabotaged mining operation and helped the Fifth Doctor and Peri return to the TARDIS in orbit around Peladon as a small detour.
Following the death of Pandora, as well as the Martian royalty, Prince Zixlyr and Princess Alixlyr, Alpha Centauri knew they had months of negotiation with the Earth and Martian governments to consider before retiring. (AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
Alpha Centauri had a squeaky falsetto voice, and was a genderless hermaphrodite hexapod according to the Doctor. (TV: The Curse of Peladon) Nevertheless, the Doctor sometimes referred to them with masculine pronouns, and had a penchant for addressing them as "my dear fellow". (TV: The Monster of Peladon)
Like most of their race, Alpha Centauri was a natural pacifist and a hypochondriac. Despite this, they demonstrated and developed a degree of courage during their time on Peladon, including their success in capturing the known criminal Arktos when he tried to steal Peladon's mineral wealth during Sekhmet's escape. (TV: The Curse of Peladon, The Monster of Peladon, AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon)
Behind the scenes
- Due to their appearance in Empress of Mars, Alpha Centauri holds the title of the second longest interval between on-screen appearances, at 43 years. The number one spot is held by the Great Intelligence with 44 years. However, since the Great Intelligence switched voice actors in the intervening time, Ysanne Churchman still holds the honour for longest time taken to reprise a Doctor Who role, although the character, voiced by an impersonator, appeared in expanded media in the meantime. Indeed, taking examined media into account both Alpha Centauri and The Great Intelligence are outdone by the thirty-nine years of Axos.
- Ysanne Churchman, who voiced Alpha Centauri in The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon, reprised her role for Empress of Mars. To keep the return of Alpha Centauri a surprise, Churchman was not credited in Radio Times.