- You may be looking for Mel from an alternate timeline.
She hailed from Pease Pottage, West Sussex, at the turn of the 21st century. Although she was present for the Doctor's sixth regeneration, she did not witness it, as she was unconscious at the time after being exposed to a latent radiation which only knocked her out, but was fatal to Time Lords. As a result, the presence of a new incarnation of the Doctor confused her and made it hard to adjust to the differences in his appearance and personality.
She had a temporally complex relationship with the Sixth Doctor, as she met him in an order different than he met her, as Charley Pollard and River Song later would. Eventually, however, their timelines synchronised, and she had a more-or-less linear relationship to the Doctor, starting in the later period of his sixth incarnation. Her temporal relationship to the Seventh Doctor was considerably more straightforward and linear.
Early life Edit
Mel was born on 22 July, 1964 to Alan and Christine Bush. (PROSE: Spiral Scratch) According to one account, she was an only child. (PROSE: Business Unusual) According to another, she lived at 8 Gosling Street in Croxdale, until she accidentally caused her older sister, Anabel, to fall down the stairs when Anabel was 3-years-old. After Anabel's death, the Bushes moved to Pease Pottage to separate themselves from the tragedy. (PROSE: Spiral Scratch)
Mel took dancing lessons from Miss Fairs, (PROSE: Business Unusual) and did combat training in the Pease Pottage community hall. (AUDIO: Terror of the Sontarans) At the age of 8, she committed the names of 150 different species of dinosaur to memory (AUDIO: The Wrong Doctors) and had read the entire canon of Sherlock Holmes by the age of 9. (AUDIO: Unregenerate!) When she was 10, she was bullied by Andy Ledger. (PROSE: The Best Joke I Ever Told) She was a Girl Guide and once, with her parents, walked through deep snow to their village hall whilst carrying all the props and costumes for a show for pensioners, though the pensioners did not show up. (AUDIO: The One Doctor)
At primary school, Mel made a replica of Mount Vesuvius out of papier mâché. (AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan) She had a keen interest in science from a young age thanks to her uncle, John Hallam, (AUDIO: Catch-1782) and was talented in mathematics (PROSE: Business Unusual) and computers, becoming adept in the computer languages of BASIC, COBOL and FORTRAN. She regularly used her address - 36 Downview Crescent - as a backdoor when writing code. (AUDIO: The Juggernauts) In secondary school, she discovered vegetarianism. (PROSE: Spiral Scratch)
Mel went to either the University of West London (PROSE: Millennial Rites) or London University for three years and graduated with a degree in computer studies, (PROSE: Business Unusual) for which she would credit her uncle John, (AUDIO: Catch-1782) with whom she used to visit museums. (AUDIO: The Wrong Doctors) She dated Stuart Dale for more than two years whilst at university, and they had a long-distance relationship for a time after they graduated and he moved to the Middle East. The two eventually broke up (AUDIO: The Blood Furnace) and Mel would later say that she had never been in love. (AUDIO: Thicker Than Water)
Following her graduation, Mel received a number of offers from various companies, but chose ACL Services, Ltd, as it looked more rewarding to her, despite I2 offering a better financial package. To get the job, she was required to get experience in management and complete a summer placement at a local firm, for which she chose Brighton Information Technologies. She worked in the troubleshooting department under Peter Lovelady. (PROSE: Business Unusual)
Meeting the Doctor Edit
Mel first met the Sixth Doctor in cauterised time in 1987 Pease Pottage, where a time demon possessing Stapleton Petherbridge used her ability for total recall to manipulate time. She sacrificed herself and forced Petherbridge into a temporal cul-de-sac, removing herself from time. The Doctor pieced her together with the right memories and left her behind without any memories of the events. (AUDIO: The Wrong Doctors)
In Brighton in 1989, Mel helped the Sixth Doctor and the Brigadier defeat a Usarian plot and a Nestene invasion. She quit her job at Brighton Information Technologies before stowing away in the TARDIS. The Doctor resigned himself to travelling with her. (PROSE: Business Unusual) According to other accounts, she joined the Doctor in 1986. (PROSE: Head Games; AUDIO: We Are The Daleks)
Adventures with the Sixth Doctor Edit
Mel and the Doctor travelled to Vertipax where they met Mosca Ragazzo and prevented the Vervaloochenen from visiting and designating humans as pollution. (PROSE: The Deal) To celebrate the Doctor's 991st birthday, they went to the Royal Albion Hotel in Brighton where they were reunited with the Brigadier and accidentally introduced him to his future wife, Doris Wilson. (PROSE: A Wee Deoch an ...?) They also went to the Eye of Orion, (PROSE: A Tourist Invasion) 23rd century Andron, (PROSE: Mortal Thoughts) 1975 Hong Kong (PROSE: Old Boys) and an old woman's house where they defeated a giant insect that stole eyes. (PROSE: The Eyes Have It)
In the Generios system, Mel and the Doctor met Banto Zame, whom they exposed and left with the Cylinder, and Sally-Anne Stubbins. (AUDIO: The One Doctor) Mel spent two months apart from the Doctor living as a programmer on Lethe, working for a disguised Davros. She met the Daleks for the first time and, after being reunited with the Doctor, instructed the Juggernauts to kill Davros. (AUDIO: The Juggernauts) She spent a further six months at Hallam Hall as "Eleanor", suffering from amnesia. (AUDIO: Catch-1782) She met the Chelonians (PROSE: Fegovy) and, after finding herself unable to make sense of Dalek technology, decided to make sure to educate herself on future tech. (PROSE: The Best Joke I Ever Told)
Having heard of Evelyn Smythe from the Doctor, Mel and the Doctor went to Világ to visit her per Mel's request. She berated the Doctor for his attitude (AUDIO: Thicker Than Water) and later made him take an anger management class in 1986 Pease Pottage. (PROSE: Loud and Proud) She helped him defeat the Flux Beast (PROSE: Change Management) and the Wishing Beast (AUDIO: The Wishing Beast, The Vanity Box) and visited Switzerland, (AUDIO: Intuition) Hammerston, (PROSE: Swamp of Horrors (1957) - Viewing Notes) New New York (PROSE: Fairy Tale of New New York) and Tantane Spaceport. (AUDIO: Spaceport Fear) Whilst wandering around the TARDIS, she entered the Thrusk dimension within the Time-Space Visualiser and incited rebellion. (AUDIO: Mel-evolent)
Mel wondered what the Doctor was doing on his secret missions, unaware that he was not keeping to the diet that she had set him. (PROSE: The Man Who Wouldn't Give Up) They went to New Year's Eve 1999, after accidentally landing before Christmas, (PROSE: Dr Cadabra) and thwarted Ashley Chapel. By this time, Mel had received some TARDIS training. (PROSE: Millennial Rites) She helped fight the Vervoids aboard the Hyperion III, from which she was almost ejected, (TV: Terror of the Vervoids) and, on Oxyveguramosa, was taken by the Master to give testimony at the Doctor's trial. (PROSE: The Ultimate Foe) She left Zenobia with a younger version of the Sixth Doctor, who left her in Pease Pottage for his future self to pick up (AUDIO: The Wrong Doctors) or returned her to Oxyveguramosa. (PROSE: The Ultimate Foe)
On Maradnias, Mel and the Doctor intervened in a civil war and narrowly escaped nuclear devastation for which the pair both blamed themselves. Mel asked to be dropped home but was instead dropped off in 2003 where they thwarted the Master, after which Mel forgave the Doctor and returned to travelling with him. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel) According to one account, Mel first met Evelyn some time after, in 1993, and fought the Cylox. Afterwards, she asked the Doctor to invite Evelyn aboard to take her home, with Evelyn adding that she wanted to return via the "scenic route". (PROSE: Instruments of Darkness) Following the defeat of Diamond Sharp, the Doctor suggested that he and Mel reunite with the Brigadier. (PROSE: Sold Out) The two visited the tower of Kalsos, where Mel was almost killed when one of the floor's collapsed, as well as Ridius IV and future Earth. Remembering a poem, she helped Helgert Teveler remember the seed banks on Earth and helped fight the Eminence. (AUDIO: The Seeds of War)
Mel was present during the Doctor's regeneration, although she was unconscious at the time and did not witness it. According to one account, he suffered a fatal head injury whilst Mel was knocked out. (PROSE: Time and the Rani) Another said that the Doctor had been suffering from chronon energy starvation after a confrontation with the Lamprey. (PROSE: Spiral Scratch) A third said that Mel was rendered unconscious by radiation which, whilst harmless to her, was deadly to Time Lords and caused the Doctor to regenerate. (AUDIO: The Brink of Death)
Adventures with the Seventh Doctor Edit
Whilst the Rani took the Seventh Doctor from the TARDIS, Mel was left behind and, upon waking, was caught in one of the Rani's traps from which she was saved by Ikona. She was reunited with the Doctor, whom she did not recognise and did not believe was him until he mentioned carrot juice and other memories. With Mel's help, the Doctor overcame his amnesia and they thwarted the Rani, liberating the Lakertyans. Assured by the new Doctor that he would grow on her, they left for adventures new. (TV: Time and the Rani)
The Doctor left Mel in 2007 for a time until she found the empty TARDIS. Following a message to follow Louis, she located the Doctor inside of a CIA laboratory, with the help of a cabbie. She showed Louis the error of his ways and left with the Doctor after the Time Lords' operation was ended. (AUDIO: Unregenerate!)
At some point during her travels with the Seventh Doctor, they visited the planet Nocturne (AUDIO: Nocturne) and Ancient Greece, where Mel corrected Euclid's geometry, much to his annoyance. (AUDIO: Mask of Tragedy) He also took her to 2040 Earth to see how far human technology advanced after she offered to help with his TARDIS repairs (PROSE: Daisy Chain) and to 1999 where she destroyed a Nestene meteor at a Millennium Party. (COMIC: Plastic Millenium) She and the Doctor become separated in the 20th century, with the Doctor in 1995 and Mel in 1935, where she met Michael Gregson. (PROSE: 24 Crawford Street)
In search of a swimming pool, Mel and the Doctor went to Paradise Towers, where she was almost eaten by Rezzies and befriended Pex before he died to kill Kroagnon. (TV: Paradise Towers) Pex's death remained on her mind, thinking about him when Oliver decided to join the British Army to kill Nazis. (PROSE: Special Weapons) In 1978, she sent Ly aboard the Water Carrier to poison the Cnidarians' water with salt, causing them to flee. (PROSE: The Invertebrates of Doom)
Mel infiltrated the Zenos Corporation in 1987 to find out why its head office was shaped like a Dalek. She investigated Warfleet and was transported to Skaro. Once the Daleks were defeated, Brinsley Heaton asked her to stay and work on computer programming together, but she declined. (AUDIO: We Are The Daleks) She helped defeat Lydek in the Warehouse ,(AUDIO: The Warehouse) encountered Sontarans and the Bloom on ERM 4997 (AUDIO: Terror of the Sontarans) and helped broker a peace on Prosper. (AUDIO: Maker of Demons) They also attended the Intergalactic Song Contest where she helped solve a serial killing. (AUDIO: Bang-Bang-a-Boom!)
In search of leptonite crystals, Mel and the Doctor travelled to Puxatornee where they interrogated by Professor Capra before being saved by Reed and Stuart. Their saviours made them go back in time to rewrite history. When their past selves arrived in the new timeline, Mel was surprised at how they were already known. They were saved from Potter by Reed and Stuart who wanted them to change time, eventually changed the timeline back to the original and leaving before their original selves arrived. (AUDIO: Flip-Flop) After they landed at G715, Mel and the Doctor ended up going to Shangri-La and helped Delta. (TV: Delta and the Bannermen)
On a beach, Mel met Emily and wondered if her own children would be so beautiful and well-behaved, watching her and pretending that she was her daughter. (PROSE: Driftwood) She and the Doctor visited Harrow Green, (PROSE: Pulling Strings) 1936 Cairo, (PROSE: Just War) 1850 England, (AUDIO: The Devil's Footprints) Dido, Vyga 3, (AUDIO: Maker of Demons) Llanfer Ceiriog (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark) and 4010 Cressida, where she began to feel alienated by him. (PROSE: Venus)
The TARDIS materialised in Pompeii in 79 AD, the day before Vesuvius erupted. She was determined to find a way to stop the TARDIS from being buried in the ash upon learning that it would be dug up in 1980, eventually locating it and allowing the Doctor to realise a way that they could both escape and be dug up in the future. (AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan) On Needle, she used her programming skills to reprogram Whitenoise and stop the Red infection. (AUDIO: Red)
Departure from the TARDIS Edit
Mel and the Doctor were reunited with Sabalom Glitz on Svartos, where they also met Ace. Following Kane's death, Mel decided to leave the Doctor and suggested that he invite Ace to join him. She chose to continue travelling the universe with Glitz aboard the Nosferatu II, (TV: Dragonfire) although, according to one account, she realised that she was not a traveller and needed somewhere that she could belong. (PROSE: Dragonfire) She intended to keep Glitz on the straight and narrow, keeping him from involving himself in "dodgy deals". (TV: Dragonfire)
During their travels together, Mel and Glitz encountered a Galactic Heritage fleet. The experience led Mel to describe the organisation as "a militarised, space-faring National Trust". (AUDIO: The High Price of Parking)
Travels with the Doctor and Ace Edit
Mel's possible futures were sold by Glitz to Speravore Investment Holdings to pay off his debts, leaving Mel on Ricosta. She was reunited with the Doctor and Ace, whom she helped save the planet from the Speravores, after which she joined them in the TARDIS. (AUDIO: A Life of Crime) They accidentally landed in Spain during the Spanish Civil War, where Mel suffered the casual sexism of the time whilst Ace refused to, (AUDIO: Fiesta of the Damned) and returned to Prosper, where she helped identify and defeat Caliban. (AUDIO: Maker of Demons)
The crew averted a war on Parking between the Free Parkers and Galactic Heritage (AUDIO: The High Price of Parking) before landing in 19991 Liverpool where Mel was reunited with her former boyfriend of university, Stuart Dale. (AUDIO: The Blood Furnace) In 2085, Mel, the Doctor and Ace prevented the Silurians from provoking war between China and the United States, later helping implement a plan to allow the Silurians to re-establish themselves on Earth in the future. (AUDIO: The Silurian Candidate)
Mel and the Doctor both investigated the Republic of Mokoshia in a timeline in which Mel was a communist, (AUDIO: Red Planets) and, with Ace, helped defeat Arkallax. Josiah W. Dogbolter manipulated Mel into delivering the TARDIS to him, (AUDIO: The Dispossessed) but, with help from Narvin, they were able to defeat him and the Krasi. (AUDIO: The Quantum Possibility Engine)
Going home Edit
According to one account, Mel travelled with Glitz for about six months before deciding to try to go home, working at Avalonian Resorts, Inc on the way. Her progress stalled and she remained on Avalone for two years before deciding to leave, hacking into computer systems to send a message to Glitz asking to pick her up. She was instead rescued by Dr. Who and Jason, who imprisoned her in the Galactic Prison in the Land of Fiction where she was reunited with the Seventh Doctor.
After the Doctor told Mel that he had manipulated her into leaving him as he knew that he would need another companion, she refused to travel in the TARDIS with him ever again and avoided his company. Although she did not think much of Ace's explanation of why she and the Doctor were the way they were, she accepted a ride from Ace, returning to Pease Pottage in the 1990s on Ace's time hopper. (PROSE: Head Games)
Another account of her return to Pease Pottage existed, but it was unclear whether it described events that followed the angry final encounter with the Seventh Doctor or an entirely different return journey. (PROSE: Missing, Part One: Business as Usual) This second account seemed to indicate her return did not involve the TARDIS. Whatever the truth of her return, she flung a message in a bottle into the universe at a moment near the end of her travels, hoping the Doctor would one day find it. (PROSE: Missing, Part Two: Message in a Bottle)
In 2003, John Hallam invited Mel to the National Foundation for Scientific Research, although her past self and the Doctor went instead, having intercepted the invitation. (AUDIO: Catch-1782) By 2010, she was working with Ace and A Charitable Earth, providing computers to schools in Africa. (PROSE: Death of the Doctor)
Undated events Edit
At some point, Mel was taken to the Black Archive by UNIT to have her record as a companion of the Doctor taken. Her memories of the visit were subsequently erased and she was sent on her way. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
At another point, Mel was abducted by Adam Mitchell as part his plan to get revenge on the Doctor, in collaboration with the Master. She 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)
Other realities Edit
Mel knew of at least one other version of herself in an adventure on the planet Puxatornee. (AUDIO: Flip-Flop) Likewise, she could not ignore the potential of thousands of other versions of herself when the Sixth Doctor took her to Library of Carsus to explore the disappearance of parallel universes, which included a Mel who was a slave in a world where the Roman Empire never fell and a world where Mel was a human/Silurian hybrid named Melina Baal. (PROSE: Spiral Scratch) There was an alternate reality in which Mel became the Prime Minister who led the United Kingdom against an invasion of the Cybermen, only to be betrayed by an alternative version of the Third Doctor whose exile on Earth had never ended. (PROSE: The Quantum Archangel)
A timeline existed in which Mel never returned home. She got married to Ben Heyworth and lived on the planet Heritage in the 61st century. They tried to conceive a child, but she was unable since she had gone through menopause. They went to a local geneticist, Wakeling, for help, and he created a clone of Mel. Furious when she found out, she argued with Wakeling, who accidentally killed her. (PROSE: Heritage) These events turned out to be the doing of the Council of Eight. The Council had eliminated the Doctor's companions from the timeline by causing their deaths. This was corrected when the Eighth Doctor defeated the Council. (PROSE: Sometime Never...)
In one history, on the day Mel was supposed to meet the Doctor, she was distracted by Ellie Martin and she never encountered the Doctor. In 2012, Mel was killed by a brain tumour brought on by radiation from a mobile phone. (AUDIO: He Jests at Scars...)
Psychological profile Edit
Mel had a cheery personality. She greeted most situations with a warm smile and good humour. She was an optimist who generally believed the best of people's natures, although she tempered this optimism with a realism and scepticism borne of her scientific education. Her generally perky personality could cool quite quickly if she detected a threat to herself, the Doctor or any friend. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids; AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan, The Wishing Beast, The Juggernauts) Though she usually went by the informal "Mel", she sometimes insisted on being introduced as "Melanie" to those whom she didn't quite trust. (AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan) In 1959, she tried to befriend Delta, and could see that she was distressed. (TV: Delta and the Bannermen)
She enjoyed the music of ABBA and the Bee Gees. (PROSE: Business Unusual) She did not drink tea. (AUDIO: The Devil's Footprints) Mel sometimes found it difficult to cope with the mundane. She displayed reluctance at the sight of the rather ordinary Shangri-La holiday camp in Wales in 1959. (TV: Delta and the Bannermen)
Mel prided herself on her innate honesty, (TV: The Ultimate Foe, AUDIO: Red) and disliked inventing stories to explain away the TARDIS' materialisation to those who witnessed it. (AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan) In her own words, Mel was "as stubborn as they come". (AUDIO: A Life of Crime)
Mel's reaction to fear was variable. She sometimes met danger with a loud scream. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids, Time and the Rani, Paradise Towers) She was also possessed of an almost steely resolve. She might have cowered in fear upon first meeting the Vervoids and the Tetraps, but she composed herself quickly afterwards. On other occasions, she displayed little fear at all. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids, Time and the Rani) She showed a relatively even temperament when defeating the Valeyard (TV: The Ultimate Foe) and facing down the Bannermen. (TV: Delta and the Bannerman) On still other occasions, she allowed her logic to guide her swift and efficient action, as when she almost single-handedly defeated Davros and then derided the Doctor for not having killed the Daleks and him when given the chance. (AUDIO: The Juggernauts) She displayed extraordinary calm when she had to navigate Pompeii on foot during the eruption of Vesuvius in search of the Doctor's TARDIS — when he believed it lost and his life near its end. She could also fight against more internal threats, as when she fought off the effects of having been slowly drugged for six months with laudanum. (AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan, Catch-1782) Despite the occasional scream, Mel rarely expressed genuine, lasting fear of anything. However, she did once admit to a fear of heights. (AUDIO: Red)
Mel was a health enthusiast and a vegetarian, often encouraging the slightly portly Sixth Doctor to exercise more. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids) Her enthusiasm for healthy living, born of the hard-nosed logic of basic science, manifested itself in other ways. She was flatly dismissive of the supernatural — like ghosts — as scientifically ludicrous. (AUDIO: Catch-1782, Unregenerate!) Neither did she believe in fate. (AUDIO: The Juggernauts)
Relationship with the Doctor Edit
In her dealings with the Doctor, Mel was warmly affectionate. She sometimes found herself separated from him for months on end and always extremely glad to see him return. (AUDIO: The Juggernauts, Catch-1782) She was an especially enthusiastic travelling companion. Once, when asked what she would wish for, if she had the opportunity, she replied: "I was going to wish that things could go on just as they are — for as long as we could manage. I love all this, our lives, racketing about the galaxy." (AUDIO: The Vanity Box) The manner of her departure from the Doctor was also gently affectionate (TV: Dragonfire) and her emotional reaction and tears were genuine when she thought him dead. (AUDIO: The Wishing Beast, The Vanity Box)
However, her proactive lifestyle led her to be bossy to the Doctor. Not only did she try to reform the Sixth Doctor's health standards, she also demanded and apparently got him to abandon his motley outfit for a time. (AUDIO: Catch-1782) Likewise, she often spurred the Doctor to adventure, as when she insisted they stay on the Hyperion III to explore, against the Sixth Doctor's judgement, (TV: Terror of the Vervoids) or when she insisted on staying in Pompeii knowing Vesuvius was about to erupt. Her at times boundless optimism could prove the buoy the Seventh Doctor needed to survive, as when she insisted that there must be a solution to a temporal paradox that the Doctor believed doomed them to death under the volcanic ash of Vesuvius. (AUDIO: The Fires of Vulcan)
When she began to travel with the Doctor and Ace, (AUDIO: A Life of Crime) Ace speculated that the Doctor kept Mel around because she provided someone who genuinely believed that he was doing the right thing, in contrast to Ace's greater scepticism. (AUDIO: The Silurian Candidate)
Mel possessed an eidetic memory. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids, The Ultimate Foe, AUDIO: Unregenerate!) It was not, however, an absolute photographic memory, as it failed her when her mind was clouded by emotion. (AUDIO: The Wishing Beast) She also wasn't merely qualified in computer science; she was a veritable genius. Perhaps aided by her extraordinary memory, she could quickly assimilate new computer languages, even those in use in the distant future. (AUDIO: The Juggernauts, Red)
Behind the scenes Edit
- Mel's last name is never spoken in any televised appearance and the closing credits identify her only by her first name. Her surname is, however, regularly used in novels, Big Finish Productions' audios, and various other stories.
- According to his book The Companions, John Nathan-Turner planned to begin Season 24 with a storyline explaining how the Sixth Doctor met Mel. This story was never produced due to Colin Baker's removal from the role. An audio story of this nature, The Wrong Doctors, was eventually written by Matt Fitton and released in 2013.
- Mel was the only character in the original series to be depicted on television as having an asynchronous relationship with the Doctor (aside from himself), as the production team opted to ignore the implications of The Five Doctors.
- Mel also appeared in the gag-comic strip How Much For Just The Planet?
- She and Susan remain the only televised companions without a televised story on how they met the Doctor, aside from Handles.