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Graham O'Brien was a companion of the Thirteenth Doctor. He lived in Sheffield with his wife Grace and her grandson Ryan Sinclair.

Following the death of his wife, Graham chose to travel with the Doctor as a way of coping with his grief, rather than allowing it to consume him in a house filled with the memories she left behind. As part of Team TARDIS, Graham often served as a voice of common sense from the older era, while doubling as a proxy for the Doctor in times where women were not respected.

Biography Edit

Early life Edit

Graham was originally from Essex. (TV: The Witchfinders, PROSE: The Good Doctor) When he was a young boy, Graham attended Sunday School in Chingford.

As a child, Graham sometimes spent summer holidays at Margate and Whitstable. (PROSE: The Good Doctor)

Graham once dated a goth. (PROSE: Combat Magicks)

After his mother passed away, Graham's father "got rid of all her things super quick", unable to keep hold of them, telling Graham that "she's gone now and that's the end of it". (TV: Resolution)

Graham worked as a bus driver, and still had some friends who worked as bus drivers after he had retired. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)

Marriage with Grace Edit

Graham developed cancer and met his wife Grace, a chemo nurse while undergoing treatment. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth) When he told Grace he was a bus driver, she remarked that he ought not to be like James Blake, who she called "Blake the snake." He learned of her appreciation of Rosa Parks and that she owned a t-shirt that said "The Spirit of Rosa". (TV: Rosa) Once the cancer was found to be in remission, Graham married her and had become her second husband by 2015. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)

Meeting the Doctor Edit

Whilst returning home after an unsuccessful session of teaching Ryan how to ride a bike, despite his insistence that he was "doing it, mate", Grace and Graham were trapped when a swarm of Gathering coils attacked their train in search of Karl Wright, a fellow passenger. He, along with Grace, Ryan and Yasmin Khan, helped the Thirteenth Doctor battle both the coil and its controller, Tim Shaw.

Whilst the Doctor recovered at his and Grace's home, he went around Sheffield to ask if anyone had seen anything unusual. Later, Grace and Graham followed the Doctor's orders to pose as construction managers and evacuate the construction site Karl worked at, so the Doctor, Ryan and Yasmin could rescue him.

However, the gathering coils were still active, with Tim Shaw using them to damage the crane that Ryan and the others were on. Despite Graham's protests, Grace climbed up and destroyed the creature by electrocuting it with live cables. However, Grace was also electrocuted in the process and fell to the ground. Mortally wounded, she died in Graham's arms, after telling him to not be afraid without her. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth) After she died, Graham organised her things into boxes, finding the childhood possessions of her son, Aaron, as he did. (TV: Resolution)

At Grace's funeral, Graham spoke of how Grace inspired him during their three-year marriage and felt guilty that he hadn't died instead. Sometime after the funeral, Graham helped the Doctor construct a teleporter to take her to her TARDIS. Though he meant to stay behind, he, along with Yasmin and Ryan, were accidentally brought along with her. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)

Believing the pair to be bonuses in the Rally of the Twelve Galaxies, Angstrom scooped Ryan and Graham out of deep space and transported them aboard her ship.

Graham runs from Cerebos (TGM)

Graham runs from the crashing Cerebos. (TV: The Ghost Monument)

On Desolation, he found Yasmin and the Doctor, who had been similarly saved by Epzo, Angstrom's rival in what would become the final stage of the rally. The rivals, with the Doctor and her friends in tow, were tasked by Ilin, master of the rally, to race across the planet; the first to reach the finish line at the Ghost Monument would win 3.2 million krin and salvation from planet's hostile surface. The Doctor discovered that the Ghost Monument was, in fact, her TARDIS, phasing in and out of reality. After the Doctor stabilised the TARDIS, Graham entered it for the first time and the Doctor attempted to take him, Ryan and Yaz home. (TV: The Ghost Monument)

Trying to return home Edit

The TARDIS deposited the Doctor and her companions in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama instead of returning them to Sheffield due to large traces of Artron energy. Graham was initially excited about his first journey back in history and expressed a desire to see Elvis Presley playing.

As the only other white member of the group aside from the Doctor, Graham was treated far better than Ryan or Yaz. He defended them from the racism inflicted on them, even coming to Ryan's aid when Mr Steele slapped him for returning a glove to his wife Lizzie.

Graham worked to help ensure Rosa Parks began the Montgomery Bus Boycott, using his knowledge of bus drivers to help. He and Ryan encouraged James Blake to leave his fishing spot on his day off after spreading a rumour of a black boycott.

Due to Krasko's interference, a distressed Graham was forced to take part in Parks's famous moment of defiance by ensuring the bus was crowded enough for Parks to be asked to give up her seat. Graham ultimately became the passenger that Rosa Parks refused to give her seat up to, sparking the boycott. The Doctor later showed her companions a history of Rosa's life and how she would go on to have a lasting impact on the history of the universe by taking them to Asteroid 284996, Rosaparks. (TV: Rosa)

Upon returning home, Graham declined to have tea at Yaz's with Ryan and the Doctor. Instead he returned home, where he imagined Grace was still alive telling him to fix things around the house like she asked. Grieving, he began smelling her clothes despite his vision of Grace telling him it didn't help. Hearing a noise upstairs, he went to investigate, finding an abnormally large spider. Fleeing back to Yaz's, he informed Ryan and the Doctor of what he saw. He joined them to investigate further, giving Ryan a letter from his father he found at home; though Ryan took it, he dismissed reading it right away. After the giant spiders had been dealt with, Graham decided to join the Doctor in the TARDIS as he didn't want to just stay in his house and dwell on his grief. (TV: Arachnids in the UK)

Team TARDIS Edit

Graham and Team TARDIS travelled to the planet Gatan, arriving in the City of Radiant Stone in the midst of war. Graham accompanied Ryan on the roofs to see why the city was under attack when they noticed "a flying robot lady" called Sandola Dell flying past. They later witnessed the battle between the destroyers of the city - Tumat and Kraytos - as Sandola reported on it, and upon being spotted, Sandola teleported them to her headquarters at The Freedom Thoughtcasting Network. Graham attempted to phone the Doctor, and briefly reunited with her when she was teleported on board as well. With Sandola locking him and Ryan in a disused dressing room, the two learnt of her struggles at work and convinced her to take some time off, leaving the two alone. Learning they were in the room belonging to two actors who played Tumat and Kraytos for promotions, they used the powerful suits to break out and rescue the Doctor from being attacked by Berakka Dogbolter. They eventually used the suits to trick the real warriors onto a teleport pad where the Doctor fused them into one being, thereby ending the war. (COMIC: The Warmonger)

When Team TARDIS travelled to the junk planet Seffilun 27 in search of spare parts in the 67th century, Graham accidentally set off a sonic mine that knocked them out for four days. Fortunately, the Tsuranga medical ship had been nearby when the mine detonated, and they were brought on board for treatment shortly after the blast, but without the TARDIS. As the Doctor found a way to get back, the ship was boarded by a Pting, which began to eat through the ship itself. With a plan forming, Graham and Ryan were forced to act as 'doulas' for Yoss, a man who was about to give birth and successfully delivered his baby. Safely arriving on the space station with the Pting jettisoned in the meantime, Graham and his friends were able to return to the TARDIS. (TV: The Tsuranga Conundrum)

Graham and Ryan came up with the suggestion of giving Yasmin a cake, balloons and candles for her birthday. (PROSE: Dr. Thirteenth)

The Doctor and her team were tasked with preventing the Genesis Seed stored in the secret Vault 13 within the Galactic Seed Vault from falling into the hands of Nightshade. (PROSE: The Secret in Vault 13)

Graham and Team TARDIS later travelled to Punjab in 1947 on Yaz's request to see her grandmother Umbreen when she was younger. They eventually met Umbreen and her husband-to-be Prem on the day before both their wedding and the Partition of India, where Prem's younger brother, Manish, wanted to separate Hindus and Muslims on the nearby border. However, they encountered two Thijarians who they believed were killing local people. Graham and Yaz stayed behind as the Doctor, Ryan and Prem investigated and later helped collect some ox spit to help create the Doctor's "demon repellent". However, the Doctor later realised that the Thijarians were simply bearing witness to the unacknowledged dead, with Prem next. Graham watched as Umbreen and Prem got married, but when Manish's Hindu nationalists attempted to drive the Muslims out, Prem was shot by Manish. Graham and his friends eventually returned to 2018 with history unchanged by their visit. (TV: Demons of the Punjab)

The Doctor's group next visited the Kerb!am warehouse on Kandoka's moon after the Doctor received a message for help on a packing slip she received. After taking the roles of employees in the workforce, the Doctor swapped her position with Graham, leaving him as a maintenance worker alongside Charlie Duffy. While the Doctor and Ryan worked in packing and Yaz helped in product selection with a man called Dan who went mysteriously missing, Graham was tasked with finding out the history and map of the company. After receiving it, the group learnt of the Kerb!am system going rogue, with Graham and Charlie retrieving Twirly, the first form of a delivery bot, who revealed that the system was the one who sent the call for help.

Teleporting down to the Dispatch area where Yaz, Ryan and Charlie had gone, Graham discovered the liquidised remains of the killed workers who had gone missing. It was later revealed that Charlie had intercepted all the company's parcels and turned their bubble wrap into bombs to kill their receivers and pin the blame on the automated system to let humans get more jobs. With the Doctor preventing the deliveries from going out but Charlie refusing to leave, the group teleported out before the warehouse could explode. Back in the TARDIS, Graham nearly played with the bubble wrap in the Doctor's order before deciding against it. (TV: Kerblam!)

After attempting to arrive at Queen Elizabeth I's coronation, the Doctor accidentally brought Team TARDIS to Bilehurst Cragg in the early 17th century in the middle of a series of witch trials. After Mother Twiston was tried as a witch by the landlady, Becka Savage, the Doctor intervened, proclaiming her group to be witchfinders. However, upon meeting King James I, Graham was appointed Witchfinder General instead as James could not imagine a woman doing the job. After Becka's younger cousin Willa was attacked by a tendril of mud while attempting to bury her grandmother, Graham and Ryan were forced to stick with King James and Becka to prevent them from killing anyone else while the Doctor and Yaz investigated. However, the plan did not work, leading the group to encounter the others as the mud possessed the body of Mother Twiston.

Moving off to find a group of the mud figures, Graham, Yaz and Ryan eventually stumbled upon the Doctor getting ducked under suspicion as a witch. Although she survived, Becka revealed herself to be infected with the mud and transformed, now identifying as the Morax, whose prison disguised as a tree on Pendle Hill was broken by Becka, leading them to plan on releasing their king and filling up the planet with their form. After being briefly knocked out, everyone followed the Doctor to Pendle Hill, where they used burning torches constructed from the prison to seal the Morax again. Eventually, the group made King James promise that the events would never be recounted in the future and they left in the TARDIS. (TV: The Witchfinders)

After helping the Doctor halt a war on the planet Lobos between the dog-like loba and human colonists, shortly before leaving in the TARDIS, Graham finally told the joke he had been itching to use about loba being human's best friend. When they attempted to return - to retrieve Ryan's mobile phone - the TARDIS slipped almost six hundred years into the future, where the planet was now ruled by human zealots, served by slave loba, who derived human superiority over loba from this one joke. Graham was now worshipped as "the Good Doctor" while the real Doctor was forgotten. While agreeing this had to be fixed, Graham felt uneasy as the man in charge whose word was everyone's command but did surprisingly well. Eventually, his intolerance of racism and misogyny caused High Priest Mykados of the Temple of Tordos to denounce him and his friends as charlatans. In the end, the Doctor succeeded in uncovering the lie of the zealots, setting the record straight and brokering a lasting peace between humans and loba. The locals commemorated Graham by naming a bay after him. (PROSE: The Good Doctor)

Visiting 2018 Norway, the Doctor and friends discovered a strangely boarded-up and quiet cottage in the middle of nowhere. Exploring, they found a girl called Hanne hiding, terrified, as her father Erik had left her and she believed there was a monster in the nearby woods that took him. As Graham kept watch from upstairs, he noticed a strange noise coming out of a nearby mirror that was not reflecting him, and the Doctor determined that it was some form of dimensional portal. Promising to find Erik, Graham entered the mirror alongside the Doctor and Yaz.

They ended up in an anti-zone, an area made to protect space-time, and after being led through by Ribbons and avoiding the flesh moths inside, they discovered the other side: a mirrored world where Erik was safe alongside Hanne's mother, Trine, and Grace - both of whom had memories of dying and could not explain their presence. After Graham had a heartfelt conversation with Grace, the Doctor discovered they were in the Solitract plane, a conscious alternate universe that was exiled at the beginning of time as it was incompatible with the main universe and was now seeking friends, creating the figures of Grace and Trine as a result. With the reality falling apart, Graham realised Grace was not real when she displayed a lack of empathy over Ryan's safety and, rejecting it, he was sent back into the anti-zone and just about managed to escape with the rest of the group. Reflecting on their experience, Graham and Ryan talked about how they both missed Grace, with Ryan finally calling Graham 'Granddad' in doing so, before returning to the TARDIS. (TV: It Takes You Away)

In the TARDIS, the Doctor discovered nine separate distress signals all coming from the planet Ranskoor Av Kolos, which they followed to meet a man called Greston Paltraki, a commander who had visited the planet to stop a threat there. They eventually discovered that he was being threatened by Tzim-Sha, the Stenza they met on their first adventure, over the safety of some strange mineral-shaped objects. Attempting to find Paltraki's crew with Ryan, Graham spoke to the Doctor, explaining that if he had the chance, he would kill Tzim-Sha without question, despite the Doctor promising to throw him out if he did. Evading fire from SniperBots, Graham and Ryan discovered the rest of Paltraki's crew held in Stenza stasis pods and attempted to get them out before they were attacked again.

As Tzim-Sha began his plan of using the local Ux's powers with his technology to stasis freeze entire planets, starting with Earth, Paltraki gave Graham the weapons needed to stop the ongoing SniperBots while Ryan led the hostages to safety. Eventually being faced down by Tzim-Sha, Graham refused to kill him, wanting to be the better man instead, and after finally fist-bumping Ryan locked him in one of his own stasis pods. With the threat averted, the Ux decided to see the universe with Paltraki and the Doctor's group headed on their way. (TV: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos)

Sometime later, Graham and his friends were treated by the Doctor to witnessing nineteen New Year's Eve celebrations in a row from across history. Before reaching the twentieth, however, the Doctor was alerted to some non-terrestrial things attempting to come together in Sheffield. Landing at an archaeological dig site on New Year's Day 2019, Graham met Lin and Mitch who had uncovered an ancient burial site when a massive squid-like creature briefly appeared. Trying to analyse the creature, Team TARDIS travelled to Graham's house, where Graham begrudgingly answered the door to Aaron, Ryan's father. As Ryan left to talk with him, Graham returned to the TARDIS when the Doctor finally realised that the creature was, in fact, a Dalek.

Attempting to track the Dalek mutant, the group picked up Mitch and returned to Graham's house where Mitch taught them about the legend of the Three Custodians defeating a similar creature in the ninth century. Discovering that the Dalek was a reconnaissance scout that had taken control of Lin, Graham was sent to buy some peanut butter for the TARDIS' systems, and by the time he returned, the TARDIS had left again to follow the creature. In the meantime, Graham showed Aaron how Grace had kept his childhood belongings all her life and told him how there was still time to improve things.

After the Dalek let go of Lin and rebuilt a casing for itself before meeting the Doctor and taking off to summon a fleet to Earth, the Doctor returned to pick up Graham and Aaron, where the group went to corner the Dalek. After they used a microwave owned by Aaron to melt its casing, the Dalek escaped and took control of Aaron, although the Doctor eventually managed to jettison it into a supernova and save Aaron's life, with Ryan finally forgiving him. Returning Aaron, Lin and Mitch to their lives, Graham continued his adventures with the Doctor. (TV: Resolution)

Graham and the rest of Team TARDIS accidentally landed in 1601 Bohemia where they met famous astronomers Tycho Brahe and a young Johannes Kepler and joined them on a gathering of scientists in a nearby castle laid out by Baroness Dagmar Ruskovitch. Graham quickly struck up a friendship with Tycho, with Tycho explaining an urban legend over the castle being cursed. However, when the Baroness took a greater interest in Johannes, Graham and Yaz accompanied a furious Tycho through the castle. They encountered her attempting to show him knowledge from the future, and when they were spotted, she transformed into a centaur to try and kill them. When Johannes stopped her, she ordered Graham, Yaz and Tycho to the dungeons. After some quick thinking from Yaz, they escaped and discovered how the assembled astronomers had been paralysed by the Baroness' orbs, where Graham and Yaz smashed the orbs and freed them. With the Doctor returning, Graham explained the situation and joined the rest of the group in encountering Ruskovitch again, where she revealed that she and Dominik were actually trying to save the castle from the Catastrophia's Herald being summoned in the cellar. With the Doctor and Ruskovitch hunting the Herald, Kepler revealed that he would seal it away at the cost of his life, and Brahe forcibly took his place, knowing Kepler's impact on the future. Graham was mortified but powerless to stop him, being helped to know that Brahe would receive a state funeral. (COMIC: Herald of Madness)

Psychological profile Edit

History traps Graham (Rosa)

Graham realises that he is the reason why Rosa Parks must move from her seat. (TV: Rosa)

Personality Edit

Graham believed if you wanted to know something, you just had to ask a bus driver. He was also wary about rushing into danger. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)

He seemed upset and hurt that Ryan refused to call him "granddad". (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth, The Ghost Monument) However, he was elated when Ryan finally referred to him as such. (TV: It Takes You Away)

Compassionate and against racism, Graham was greatly distressed by his inability to help Rosa Parks from her destined arrest in 1955, not wanting to be party to such an act. Previously, he fiercely defended Ryan when he was threatened by a white man, openly calling Ryan his grandson. (TV: Rosa) He was equally against sexism, often having to work at the Doctor's proxy in intolerant societies. (PROSE: The Good Doctor, TV: The Witchfinders)

After Grace's death, Graham grieved by talking about her, viewing it better to talk than stay silent as Ryan preferred. (TV: The Ghost Monument) Despite his peaceful demeanour, Graham occasionally grew angry at Ryan for his apathy to Grace's killer and even advocated firearms when consumed by rage, (TV: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos) even though he usually displayed contempt for them. (TV: Arachnids in the UK)

Struggling to move on from losing her, Graham believed he could find solace by travelling with the Doctor rather than waiting for his grief to consume him while surrounded by memories of Grace in their home. (TV: Arachnids in the UK) By the time he met the Solitract's version of her, Graham had come to terms with her passing, knowing Ryan still needed him. (TV: It Takes You Away) Graham was so distraught with losing Grace that he resolved to kill Tzim-Sha, nearly allowing his emotions to overcome him when facing the Stenza. However, when finally given the chance to kill him, Graham chose not to, desiring to be "the better man" as he believed Grace would have wanted. (TV: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos)

Graham often said wisecracks whenever faced with the Doctor's eccentricities or dangerous situations. Notably, he quoted Quentin Tarantino to King James I as if it were an actual line of scripture. (TV: The Witchfinders)

Habits and quirks Edit

While first sceptical of the Thirteenth Doctor's title, (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth) Graham grew to use the name, though commonly chose to refer to her informally as "Doc", rather than 'Doctor' like Yaz and Ryan; regardless, the Doctor never vocally corrected him. (TV: The Ghost Monument, et al.)

Graham became grumpy when his blood sugar was low. (TV: It Takes You Away) Because the Doctor often did not permit snack breaks during adventures, (TV: Rosa) Graham always made sure to have a sandwich with him when he left the TARDIS. (TV: It Takes You Away)

When he and Ryan did something successful together, Graham raised his hand for a fist bump only for Ryan to reject as it was "uncool". (TV: Rosa, The Tsuranga Conundrum) Although, to Graham's surprise, Ryan eventually returned the gesture. (TV: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos)

Behind the scenes Edit

  • Graham's character profile on the official Doctor Who website, a non-narrative source, states that Graham originally moved to Sheffield from Essex. In The Good Doctor it is stated that he attended school in Chingford, which in the real world is a district of North East London close to the border of Essex.
    • In an online video in which Bradley Walsh talks about his character, Graham, Brad states that Graham has lived a life on the move; he moved from London to Blackpool, then back to London, moved to Sheffield then back to London and then returned to Sheffield where he became a bus driver.
  • He is the second grandparent of a companion to also become a companion, after Wilfred Mott. He is also the third individual to travel in the TARDIS with their grandchild, after the First Doctor and Susan, as well as with John and Gillian, and, briefly, Jo Grant and Santiago Jones.
  • Additionally, he is one of the rare companions to be in the later part of his life, rather than a young adult.
  • Graham and Grace are the first companions to be married before they meet the Doctor.
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