Jack Robertson was an American businessman. A small part of his business empire (as he claimed), involved creating hotels around the world to make a large profit, creating the Robertson Luxury Hotels brand.
Robertson built his hotels on repurposed land, with the one in Sheffield having been constructed on top of an abandoned coal mine which was being used as a landfill site. He was not just aware of this, but he also knew that the waste in the landfill was toxic, but he willingly ignored it and turned a blind eye on it.
In all of his hotels, he had underground safe rooms that he could lock himself inside if need be and live in isolation for roughly six months, catered by food, water, technology and weapons should he have to defend himself. He was vehemently against Great Britain's political ban on the use of guns in public use, thinking America was smart for allowing its citizens to arm themselves, considering shooting the problem to be "civilised." (TV: Arachnids in the UK)
Spiders of Sheffield
When his bodyguard Kevin was killed by a mother spider, he joined the Thirteenth Doctor, Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan and Jade McIntyre as they tried to locate the source of what made the spiders so large. They eventually discovered the waste and planned to contain the spiders in a safe room. However, when they came across the mother spider, Robertson shot it dead and left. Although Robertson thought that it would advance his political career and make him President of the United States, (TV: Arachnids in the UK) the toxic waste scandal instead destroyed his political career. (TV: Revolution of the Daleks)
By April 2019, Robertson had funded a new wing in the British Museum, the Robertson Wing, dedicated to the recent past and present. (PROSE: Time Lapse) In 2019, Robertson also bought out Rugazzi Technologies and employed the company's CEO, Leo Rugazzi. This was part of a business venture where Robertson bought out several companies after his political career was damaged by the toxic waste scandal. Robertson also bought up several manufacturing plants previously used by car firms after they 'deserted' Technology Secretary Jo Patterson, which was located in the latter's political constituency.
After being tipped off by Patterson, Robertson provided Rugazzi Industries parts from the destroyed casing of the Reconnaissance Dalek found in GCHQ AND 'turbo-boosted' the project of working of a prototype for a Defence Drone. With a political alliance with Patterson, Robertson provided her with the Defence Drones to better her chances of leadership.
In 2020, Patterson blackmailed Robertson into rolling out the Defence Drones nationwide to align with her induction as the British Prime Minister with an investigation into the tax Robertson's companies paid. At this point, Robertson had already overseen the production of 'thousands' of Drones over the course of the year. When Rugazzi had displayed to him a cloned specimen of a Dalek mutant he found from cells of organic life within the original shell of the Reconnaissance Dalek, he ordered its destruction and claimed ignorance as to what Rugazzi had done. When interrogated by Team TARDIS in his headquarters, he displayed the 3D printing manufacturing of the Drones, explaining how they were run by artificial intelligence.
After discovering the true nature of the Daleks in Osaka, Japan - to which he showed little sympathy toward Rugazzi's possession and death by a cloned Dalek mutant, he travelled with Team TARDIS to send a message to a ship of Death Squad Daleks and oversaw them combat the Defence Drones on Earth. However, seeing the Dalek's power and intelligence, he betrayed the Thirteenth Doctor and 'backed' the Daleks, proposing an alliance to which he offered information on where the Doctor was for his survival. Robertson's betrayal was witnessed by Captain Jack Harkness who was aboard the Dalek ship in order to blow it up with Ryan and Graham. As the Doctor enacted a plan to destroy the Daleks, the three men reluctantly decided to rescue Robertson who offered them money in exchange, although they debated leaving Robertson behind anyway due to his betrayal. Chased by the Daleks, Jack teleported the group back to the TARDIS using his vortex manipulator and Ryan detonated bombs that they had planted throughout the ship, destroying it. Confronted over his betrayal, Robertson gave the Doctor the excuse that his betrayal was him deliberately acting as a decoy.
Returning to Earth, he was heralded as the "saviour of humanity". As of January 2021, there were rumours that Robertson was in line for a knighthood and that he was again running for President of the United States, which he neither confirmed or denied. (TV: Revolution of the Daleks)
Those around him tended to dislike Robertson, as he blamed them for things that were beyond their control, notably Najia Khan as he fired her for walking in on his meeting with Frankie Ellish, and "fired" her again for failing to clean a room full of webbing. He even thought she was behind the entire spider attack, simply because it was part of the Doctor's guesses.
Robertson was a controlling and narcissistic man who spoke at length about his own business success, expressing incredulity and derision when the Doctor didn't know who he was. He generally treated other people contemptuously, firing Najia Khan on a whim even though she was only doing her job and hadn't really done anything to inconvenience him deliberately.
He never seemed to take responsibility for his own actions, and defended certain actions he saw as necessary. He viewed gunning down a defenceless and frightened spider as a mercy killing purely on the fact that it was already dying. Robertson clearly didn't intend it as a mercy killing. Robertson advocated the use of guns, thinking it civilised, and stated that his methods and way of thinking would get him into the White House.
After the incident with the toxic waste and the spiders ruined his political plans, Robertson became more determined than ever to get power. When confronted by Team TARDIS again, Robertson was upset to see them and irrationally refused to believe them about the threat from the Daleks. However, he did seem genuinely distressed by Leo Rugazzi's possession and death, indicating that Robertson does possess some form of compassion for others.
After witnessing the Death Squad Daleks destroying his Defence Drones, Robertson's primary concern was over the loss of revenue and whether or not he could make an insurance claim on the loss. Seeing the power of the Daleks, Robertson betrayed the group to form an alliance with them, disgusting everyone around him with his behavior. While Jack Harkness, Ryan Sinclair and Graham O'Brien rescued Robertson, they considered abandoning him to die for his actions even though Robertson offered them money as an incentive.
In the aftermath of the Dalek defeat, Robertson once again capitalised on the event to further his political ambitions by claiming that he was acting as a decoy to save the Earth, much to the disgust of everyone who knew the truth about what had happened. (TV: Revolution of the Daleks)
Behind the scenes
- In the fourth-wall-breaking video Merry Christmas from Doctor Who, released on Christmas Day by the Doctor Who YouTube Channel, Chris Noth briefly reprises his role as Robertson. Wishing the viewer a happy Christmas, Robertson refers to himself as "president-elect", implying that Robertson's plan of becoming President of the United States of America (replacing his stated rival Donald Trump) was indeed successful.