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Benjamin "Ben" Jackson was a companion of the First and Second Doctors.

An able seaman on a shore posting, Ben met Polly Wright and helped the Doctor defeat WOTAN, later entering the TARDIS just before it dematerialised. Ben and Polly witnessed the Doctor's regeneration into his second incarnation and travelled with him and Jamie McCrimmon before returning to their own time.

After Ben and Polly lost their respective spouses, they got married and ran an orphanage together in India.


Early life[]

Benjamin Jackson (PROSE: The Underwater Menace) was born in East Ham (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen) in December 1942 to James Jackson (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People; AUDIO: The Forsaken) and his wife. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People) According to one account, he had an older brother who taught him and his school friends swear words. (PROSE: Ten Little Aliens)

He grew up opposite a brewery (TV: The Power of the Daleks) and, as a child, often searched wreckage left by bombs from World War II with his friends, sometimes finding the corpses of animals trapped by the explosions. (AUDIO: Lost and Found) He once went to a holiday camp and found it to be a lot of fun, enjoying the band that they had there. (PROSE: The Macra Terror) He believed that his grandfather had "lost a few marbles" in the trenches (PROSE: Ten Little Aliens) and always wanted to be an astronaut. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen)

Following his father's death from a heart attack, (AUDIO: The Yes Men) Ben's mother married Alfred, whom he did not get along with. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People) He once had a headmaster who "got nicked" for not paying his bus fare. (TV: The Power of the Daleks) He found that he was not cut out for acting and said that, when parts were being sorted out for a school play, he would be lucky to be given the role of the back end of a donkey. (PROSE: The Murder Game)

In 1956, at the age of fourteen, Ben sneaked onto his late father's ship (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People) and hid under tarpaulin, sleeping and dreaming of being discovered and of being attacked by sharks. (PROSE: The Murder Game) When he was found out, the captain promised him a job in four months when he turned fifteen. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People)

Like his uncle, (AUDIO: The Mouthless Dead) Ben signed up for the Royal Navy, (TV: The War Machines) joining in 1961. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Cybermen) He served in the Atlantic Ocean. (AUDIO: The Mouthless Dead)

Travels in the TARDIS[]

Meeting the Doctor[]

In 1966, Ben was given a shore posting whilst his ship, HMS Teazer, went to the West Indies. (TV: The War Machines) He was deeply unhappy with having to stay at barracks and drank a lot of alcohol, (PROSE: The Murder Game) often spending time on his own in Inferno. One night, he briefly met Polly Wright.

The next week, Ben defended Polly from Flash and danced with her and Dodo Chaplet, meeting the First Doctor after Dodo disappeared. When Polly did not show up after offering to buy Ben lunch, he found her conditioned by WOTAN and helped save her, later entering the TARDIS with her to return the Doctor's key. The TARDIS dematerialised with them inside, (TV: The War Machines) angering the Doctor. (TV: The Smugglers)

According to some accounts, Ben and Polly began travelling with the Doctor in the 1970s rather than 1966. (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet, Doctor Who and the Cybermen)

Early adventures[]

Ben and Polly after their first adventure in the TARDIS. (TV: The Smugglers)

The TARDIS materialised in 17th century Cornwall, although Ben refused to believe that they had time-travelled before meeting Joseph Longfoot, initially suggesting that the Doctor might be a hypnotist. He was knocked out by Cherub when he kidnapped the Doctor and, after being arrested Edwards, he and Polly went looking for him. Once they were reunited and Samuel Pike was killed, they departed, with Ben hoping that they would land in 1966. (TV: The Smugglers)

Although they landed in Antarctica (TV: The Smugglers, The Tenth Planet), a timeline distortion meant that they instead found themselves in 1950s Lewes. After he and Polly were attacked by the Bonfire Boys, Ben and the Doctor went to find out what was going on on the streets. (AUDIO: The Bonfires of the Vanities)

On Apresar IV, Ben, Polly and the Doctor explored a deserted city and encountered the Mollusi, who ate the TARDIS and had Ellis Melthorpe under their control. (COMIC: Food for Thought) They went on to defeat the Ten-Strong and the Morphieans, with Ben teaming up with Adam Shade. (PROSE: Ten Little Aliens) With Harry Houdini's help, the trio were able to free the Ovids in 1890s New York City. (AUDIO: Smoke and Mirrors)

After the TARDIS crashed, they found themselves in a hospital run by Continuity. Ben formed a brotherly relationship with Allie Kay. (AUDIO: The Crumbling Magician) Near Wild Heath, Ben was affected by a psychoactive virus which made him dream of pirates until the Player cured him. (AUDIO: The Plague of Dreams) On the TARDIS, before their final adventure with the Doctor in his first incarnation, Ben and Polly found that they both had the same nightmare. (AUDIO: Falling)

The TARDIS took the travellers to three uninhabited planets which Ben found to be dull, following the Doctor whilst he collected plants and rocks before leaving again. He noticed that the Doctor seemed to be rapidly ageing and that he began to call him and Polly "Ian and Barbara". (PROSE: Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet)

In Snowcap in 1986, Ben killed a Cyberman with its own weapon, something that distressed him (TV: The Tenth Planet) and which he would later have nightmares of. (PROSE: Mondas Passing) He disarmed the Z-Bomb to stop General Cutler and found that the Cybermen were vulnerable to radiation. Ben and Polly returned to the TARDIS to find the Doctor unconscious and witnessed his regeneration. (TV: The Tenth Planet)

The new Doctor[]

Ben and the newly regenerated Doctor consider the Daleks on Vulcan. (TV: The Power of the Daleks)

Ben was more sceptical of the newly-regenerated Doctor than Polly was, suspecting him of being an impostor due to his different appearance and eccentric behaviour. On Vulcan, Ben encountered the Daleks for the first time and searched for Polly after she was kidnapped, being locked up himself when he found the culprits. Upon being freed, he revealed Bragen's schemes and, with Polly, was attacked by a Dalek before the Doctor was able to stop them. (TV: The Power of the Daleks)

Ben, Polly and the Doctor briefly saw an apparition of Charlotte Pollard in the TARDIS after they left Vulcan. (AUDIO: The Light at the End) The Doctor stopped on the planet of the Panjistri to restock his mercury supplies and Ben chose to stay in the TARDIS, following Polly to her bedroom to calm her down when she returned. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Apocalypse) Whilst the Doctor talked to himself about his ring, Ben asked what he was going on about. (COMIC: The Chameleon Factor)

When the Doctor disappeared with Spinks on Pluto, Ben thought that he had left him and Polly behind. After being proven wrong, he finally accepted that he was the Doctor. (PROSE: Pluto) In 23rd century England, he was annoyed with Polly when she proved to be more interested in a dog than a Brontosaurus, going off with the Doctor to capture an escaped dinosaur. (AUDIO: The Curator's Egg)

Believing that he was failing to get any proper exercise in the TARDIS, Ben went running on a planet where the Doctor and Polly encountered a robot which went on to try to destroy the ship. Upon dematerialising, the Doctor told Ben to do laps of the TARDIS the next time he wanted to exercise. (PROSE: The Sour Note)

The trio were enslaved by the Masters of Dorada, giving them amnesia to forget that they had ever lived other lives. When two rebels told them what was happening and gave their lives to prove how ruthless the Masters were, Ben, Polly and the Doctor shut down the machine controlling their life processes, killing them. (PROSE: The Dream Masters)

On a tropical planet, Ben and Polly were presumed to be the Doctor's slaves due to their fair hair. The Doctor helped them and the other fair-haired people to complete the Tests of Trefus, giving each of them their freedom per Martinius's promise. (COMIC: The Tests of Trefus)

Ben was worried when he spotted a fleet of ships from the TARDIS which the Doctor said were heading to invade Earth. However, his worries were proven to be unfounded when they met the Arcturians and learnt of their intention to settle there, although the Doctor instead suggested the Ninth Dimension for their own safety. (PROSE: Only a Matter of Time)

On Harmony, the Doctor threatened to leave Ben behind on a world of monsters where he would "feel at home at last". Whilst Ben and Polly were saved by the Doctor from the cannibal natives, they did not learn why they fled as he judged them to be too young to know. (PROSE: Planet of Bones)

Between galaxies, Ben and the Doctor went for a space walk whilst Polly monitored the readings of a probe they sent out. Ben spotted a sphere which he and the Doctor entered, finding cocooned aliens whom Polly saved them from by performing a short hop in the TARDIS, initially angering the Doctor before Ben stepped in to defend her. (PROSE: When Starlight Grows Cold)

The trio visited the Planet of Light following a long journey, arriving shortly before the triple eclipse that would lead to the end of the civilisation. Igor explained the society to them and asked that they return so that the Doctor could teach the next civilisation to overcome their fear of the dark. (COMIC: World Without Night)

In 1805, Ben and Polly told the Doctor that it would be impossible for him to save Horatio Nelson's life at the Battle of Trafalgar, although the Doctor tried to appeal to Ben by saying that it would be best for England. Whilst the two companions were proven right, Ben was able to change time slightly by having Nelson issue a message to the navy, saying that they were expected to do their duty. (PROSE: H.M.S. TARDIS)

Ben in Tut-Ankh-Amen's tomb. (PROSE: The King of Golden Death)

Ben and Polly wanted to take treasures from the tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amen, but were forbidden to do so by the Doctor. When they heard graverobbers, Ben promised to scare them off if the Doctor took Polly back to the ship and that both get to keep a souvenir. He frightened the graverobbers away wearing the pharaoh's mask which he chose to leave behind, feeling that it was wrong to steal from the dead. (PROSE: The King of Golden Death)

Three weeks after the Doctor's regeneration, the TARDIS materialised in 1994 where Ben and Polly were surprised by how advanced the world had become since their time. Ben was captured by the Cat-People before he and the Doctor were able to trick the guards, Ben later knocked the sphere containing Earth's energy out of Aysha's hands with a cricket ball. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People)

Ben found it difficult pretending to be posh in Hotel Galaxian in 2136 and began to wonder if he might have feelings for Polly, wondering when their descendants were brought up if they were descended from both of them. He also debated whether or not he actually wanted to return home as it would mean an end to spending time with her given their differing backgrounds. He helped defeat the Selachians and realised that Terri Willis, whom Polly was jealous of, had been manipulating him. (PROSE: The Murder Game)

Ben and Polly toured Los Angeles in 1947 before meeting back up with the Doctor. Ben agreed to break into police forensics with William Fletcher and later joined in confronting Leonard De Sande. (PROSE: Dying in the Sun) They later arrived in 1967 San Francisco where Ben and Polly helped force a room of drug users to vomit, saving them from Blue Moonbeams, and to free the Colour-Beast. (PROSE: Wonderland)

The TARDIS landed in 17th century London where the travellers were accused of trying to revive Christmas. In the confusion resulting from an explosion, they were able to escape the guards, although Ben and Polly were separated from the Doctor. They returned to a tavern they had previously visited and encountered an alien taking on the form of St Nicholas. Once it was killed, they departed. (PROSE: The Feast)

Again in London, in 1948, Ben, Polly and the Doctor briefly met Polly's six-year-old self in Henrik's. However, they were able to keep her ignorant of their identities. (AUDIO: Lost and Found)

Jamie joins[]

Ben pointing a gun at Colin McLaren. (TV: The Highlanders)

Ben went to explore after landing in Scotland in 1746, prompting the Doctor and Polly to follow him. He, the Doctor and Colin McLaren were taken captive by Algernon Ffinch, who believed Ben to be a deserter, before they were taken to the Annabelle with Jamie McCrimmon by Trask. They were enslaved by Solicitor Grey, but Ben managed to escape when Grey attempted to duck him. Once Grey was defeated, the travellers left with Jamie. (TV: The Highlanders)

In Atlantis, Ben and Jamie were sent to work in the mines where they met Sean and Jacko, whom they worked with to escape. Ben later dressed up as a guard, helping the Doctor and locking Professor Zaroff in his laboratory before escaping the collapsing civilisation. (TV: The Underwater Menace)

On the Moon in 2070, Ben and Polly insisted that they be allowed to explore. They were inspired by Jamie's suggestion of using holy water against the Cybermen and mixed various solvents which successfully defeated them and allowed Ben to save Roger Benoit. (TV: The Moonbase)

Visiting an Earth colony, Ben fell under the control of the Macra, fighting Jamie and reporting the Doctor to Captain Ola. Despite him and Polly being attacked by a Macra, he denied that they existed and, on the Pilot's orders, spied on his friends. His conditioning began to break down, beginning with him keeping secret the fact that Jamie stole Officia's keys, and he eventually followed the Doctor's instructions to trigger an explosion that wiped out the Macra. (TV: The Macra Terror)

Ben and Polly showed Jamie around the TARDIS, finding a secondary console room in which they played with a Ouija board. Ben snapped it in half when they received a threatening message and, waking up that night, stopped a swarm-possessed Jamie from manipulating the console controls. (PROSE: Something at the Door)

The Doctor decided to teach Ben, Polly and Jamie to pilot the TARDIS and landed in New Houston where Ben and Jamie found a city populated by robots. Ben was made to work and forced to relive his experience with the Daleks in order to learn how to fight, later agreeing to help the robots revolt against the humans. (AUDIO: The Yes Men)

The Master used mind control to place the TARDIS crew into his experiment on a planet made to look like an English village during the Second World War. Ben believed himself to be a soldier and friend of couple Jamie and Polly McCrimmon. The Master also told him that the Doctor was his enemy. When the Doctor knocked Ben out he lost all his conditioning and helped the Doctor in his efforts to stop the Master. The Doctor was able to save them all by causing an alien attack to occur sooner than the Master planned. (AUDIO: The Home Guard)

Whilst Jamie was more realistic, Ben and Polly hoped to save Spartacus and the slaves from the Romans in 71 BC. Although their efforts proved to be fruitless, they did help to save Calpurnia. (PROSE: The Slave War)

In Vichy France, Ben and Jamie were separated from the Doctor and Polly after Ben rescued Jamie from the Milice. The pair were captured, eventually escaping after pretending to fight and attacking the guards. They reunited with the Doctor and, in the TARDIS, rescued Polly after six hours of Ben and Jamie arguing over a map of possible escape routes. (AUDIO: Resistance)

On Cosmic Finance Central Five, Ben, Polly, the Doctor and Jamie encountered the Coffin-Loaders and were saved from the Gathernaught by Gerry Lenz. (AUDIO: The Three Companions)

The travellers visited the Vist's restricted time zone in which Ben was seemingly killed, being reduced to dust. As the shadow Earth was not true reality, Ben and Jamie, who was also killed, were restored and reappeared in the TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Forbidden Time)

Ben and Polly met the Selachians a second time at the Galacti-Bank. Ben had to climb through the air vents during the adventure and found a glue which he and Polly used to make glue bombs with which he hoped to "whack" out the Selachians, admitting as much to them when they failed. (AUDIO: The Selachian Gambit)

Landing in a casino, Ben managed to find some chips and played some of the futuristic games, opening a line of credit in the casino which he proved unable to pay. As a result, he had to play a game of chance in which the loser would die. (AUDIO: House of Cards)

Ben met his young father in 1942, the first time that time travel had become so personal to him. He asked that they leave, but the Doctor insisted that they stay to investigate the Forsaken, in the course of which Ben stuck close to his father to make sure that no harm came to him. He found the bodies of Andrews and Freeman and helped to capture the Forsaken, bidding farewell to his father who planned on calling his child "Polly". (AUDIO: The Forsaken)

Ben had to explain to Jamie, in 1920, what the First World War and trains were. He encountered the thought soldiers, who looked to him like his uncle's crew. (AUDIO: The Mouthless Dead)

Once again in 1942 following another TARDIS flying lesson from the Doctor, the crew met the Night Witches. Ben accidentally slipped to Tatiana Kregki that they travelled in time, a fact that she hoped to exploit by imitating Polly, her doppelgänger, before she was found out. During the adventure, Ben thought of Polly whilst he prepared to die and also told her that he would never let anything happen to her when they believed themselves to be stranded. (AUDIO: The Night Witches)

In 7691, Ben found himself once again at the prow of a ship, navigating waterways. The travellers investigated disappearances which they found to have been caused by creatures covered up for by Richard Tipple. The creatures' way of communication meant that the travellers saw different futures, Ben seeing himself as an old man somewhere tropical and in a hotel room with Polly on New Year's Eve. (AUDIO: The Outliers)

Ben teased Jamie in 1860s London for his crush on Jemma Morton. He was not entirely sure whether or not he was unhappy that they had landed in the right place but at the wrong time, choosing to just enjoy his time there. He rescued Polly when she was kidnapped by Copeland. (AUDIO: The Morton Legacy)

Ben and Jamie once wrestled with insectoid aliens that resembled playing cards, causing them to shrink. (COMIC: Card Conundrum)

In London once more, this time in 1648, Ben was separated from his friends and press-ganged onto a ship sharing the same name as the one he worked on in 1966. Whilst ashore in Amsterdam, he met Captain Sal Winter and joined her on the Demeter, which was raided by Captain Stanislaus of the Teazer. Ben managed to survive and return to London, helping his friends foil Stanislaus's plot to smuggle Charles I out of the country. (PROSE: The Roundheads)


Ben saying goodbye to the Doctor. (TV: The Faceless Ones)

Throughout his journeys, Ben never lost sight of his desire to return home, and to his ship, HMS Teazer. Before leaving, Ben and Polly insisted that they would stay if the Doctor needed them. The pair departed from the Doctor at the same time, having discovered they had arrived back on Earth on the very same day they left. (TV: The Faceless Ones) Unbeknownst to Ben, Edward Waterfield had been blackmailed by the Daleks into finding the Doctor. Ben, as one of his companions, was originally factored into the plan and a photograph of him was given to Waterfield. However, when Waterfield learned that both Ben and Polly had left the Doctor's company, he decided not to involve them further. (PROSE: The Evil of the Daleks)

Later life[]

At some point, Ben was taken to the Black Archive by UNIT to have his record as a companion of the Doctor taken. His memories of the visit were subsequently erased and he was sent on his way. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

The Ninth Doctor witnesses Ben propose to Polly. (COMIC: The Love Invasion)

Ben proposed to Polly at the top of the Post Office Tower in 1966, which was witnessed unbeknownst to them by the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler. (COMIC: The Love Invasion) He was taken home to meet Polly's parents, but they were shocked by him. (AUDIO: The Five Companions)

However, the relationship did not last. Whilst Polly married Simon, (PROSE: Graham Dilley Saves the World, etc.) Ben married a woman whom he did not tell of his dreams of Polly and his nightmares of killing a Cyberman. On New Year's Eve 1986, Ben and Polly secretly met in a hotel room and reminisced about their adventures, almost kissing before a drunk man distracted them and Polly left, saying that they would not see each other again. (PROSE: Mondas Passing)

By 1999, Ben's wife was "gone" and he was running a pub in Sydenham. That New Year's Eve, he was taken by the Second Doctor and Jamie to wake Polly up following an ordeal, after which the four of them happily discussed their adventures. Ben told Polly that he loved her and the two kissed. (PROSE: That Time I Nearly Destroyed the World Whilst Looking for a Dress) They were married by 2009. (AUDIO: The Five Companions)

In 2010, Sarah Jane Smith stated that Ben and Polly were running an orphanage in India. (TV: Death of the Doctor) The pair still lived in India at the time of Sarah Jane's passing but attended her memorial where they discussed Sarah Jane with the other guests and helped fight the Jackals of the Backwards Clock. (WC: Farewell, Sarah Jane)

Undated events[]

At one point, Ben was abducted by Adam Mitchell as part his plan to get revenge on the Doctor, in collaboration with the Master. He was placed in stasis alongside the Doctors' multiple other companions, before being released by the Doctors first eleven numbered incarnations with the help of Frobisher. (COMIC: The Choice, Endgame)


Ben with Polly and the Doctor. (TV: The Power of the Daleks)

Ben was practical and a realist. It took him a while to believe that the TARDIS really travelled through time and space. He was also more sceptical than Polly when the Doctor regenerated, believing that the new incarnation was an impostor. It took a Dalek recognising the Doctor to finally convince Ben of the truth. (TV: The Power of the Daleks)

Despite being uncomfortable in groups of strangers and prone to shyness, Ben was adept at taking charge of situations and giving orders and would always dedicate himself fully to a task, completing it to the best of his ability. (PROSE: The Murder Game)

Ben was clever and never shirked danger or action. He was sensible enough to realise that taking on a Cyberman with a screwdriver would be a big mistake, and managed to dazzle one with the light from a film projector before killing it. Ben also worked out that the Cybermen were avoiding radiation, and helped devise a plan to destroy them using the Snowcap Base's reactor fuel rods. (TV: The Tenth Planet)

Ben might have been headstrong and impetuous, but he proved to be mentally weaker than his companions when they faced the hypnotic processing of the Macra. However, he did struggle against it, failing to report Jamie for having taken Officia's keys. (TV: The Macra Terror)

Though they came from different backgrounds, Polly, whom he nicknamed "Duchess" because of her upper-class accent, and Ben became good friends during their travels. They trusted each other, and their relationship was punctuated by good-natured teasing and banter. They complemented each other well, making a good team. When Polly created a chemical potion to kill the Cybermen on the Moonbase, Ben worked out its practical application of it — using fire extinguishers to deliver "Polly Cocktail". (TV: The Moonbase)

During their travels together, he and Polly thought of Jamie as being like their "baby brother." (AUDIO: The Forbidden Time)

Ben took his tea with milk and no sugar. He did not much care for the drink but was able to drink it even when he did not want it, which he often had to do in the TARDIS due to Polly. (PROSE: The Murder Game)


Ben was skinny, blond and had the face of a "disreputable cherub". (PROSE: The Roundheads) His hair was usually straight and neat. He considered himself to be fit, but was in better shape prior to his time in barracks and drinking alcohol. (PROSE: The Murder Game) He was about a head shorter than Polly. (PROSE: The Highlanders)

Behind the scenes[]

  • Ben was originally named Richard, also known as Rich.[1]
  • The character was conceived as an "Alfie-type" based on the film Alfie.
  • Michael Craze said that he would have preferred it if Ben had been killed off, as he found his depature to be rather weak.
  • He was written out of the show because it was decided that three companions was too many and that Ben wasn't working out. Anneke Wills left along with Michael Craze to show solidarity.
  • He and Polly Wright were supposed to make a cameo in The Five Doctors, but Anneke Wills was outside the UK at the time and couldn't be contacted, so the idea was abandoned.
  • The role of Ben in the Big Finish plays has been portrayed by Elliot Chapman, as Michael Craze had died a year prior to the company's first Who audio.
  • Jared Garfield also portrayed Ben in Twice Upon a Time during the scenes recreating The Tenth Planet.