Situation Vacant was the second story in the fourth series of the Eighth Doctor Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Eddie Robson, featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and introduced Niky Wardley as the new companion Tamsin Drew.
Publisher's summary Edit
TRAVELLER IN TIME AND SPACE seeks male or female companion with good sense of humour for adventures in the Fourth and Fifth Dimensions.
No experience necessary.
No time wasters, no space wasters please.
to be added
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Hugh Bainbridge - James Bachman
- Asha Qureshi - Shelley Conn
- Theo Lawson - Joe Thomas
- Juliet Walsh / Tamsin Drew - Niky Wardley
- Wanda Rothman - Sabina Franklyn
- Leonard Pallister - Tony Millan
- Rachel - Joanna Kanska
- Rafshaw - Barnaby Edwards
- The applicants for the position of companion are responding to an advertisement placed in various newspapers.
- Theo tells the Doctor that he has met people on the Internet who claim to be aliens but are unable to provide evidence.
- Rafshaw, the alien captured by Hugh and Juliet, is a scientist from Thafa who works at the Pan-Galactic Initiative for Dimensional Rifts. His job is to study and stop rogue wormholes. The previous day, Wanda Rothman and her team demonstrated vodium, a mineral which produced energy that could be used in low waste nuclear reactors as well as create micro-wormholes. The Doctor and Rafshaw determine that this demonstration was responsible for the disappearances in the hotel.
- The robot is equipped with a USB port.
- Dr Pallister was working on creating sentient software before his disappearance.
- Asha Qureshi, who is in actuality Lantis from the planet Imafiya, was on a research mission when she was separated from her companions. She has been stranded on Earth since 1995, having been unable to repair her broken recall device due to the comparatively primitive nature of human technology.
- Theo Lawson hacked into several multinational banks and acquired enough money for the rest of his life, thereby triggering the late-2000s recession in the process. At the time that he saw the advertisement for a travelling companion, the authorities were closing in on him and he felt that travelling in the TARDIS was his only means of his escape. When the opportunity presents itself, he reprograms Pallister's robots to obey his commands so that he can use them to take over Earth.
- Given the fact that she remained level-headed through the various crises in the hotel, the Doctor obliquely offers Rachel, the hotel manager, the chance to travel with him in the TARDIS. However, she tells him that she loves her job and that she does not have any great urge to travel. As the Doctor leaves, she politely asks him not to consider the hotel for his next event. The Doctor apologises for the damage done to the hotel but Rachel tells him that she does not really care all that much since it is not her hotel, she just works there.
- Tamsin Drew created the personality of a determined career woman named Juliet Walsh to increase her chances of being taken on as a companion. She had been planning to give up her acting career and get a proper job prior to seeing the advertisement. She laments to the Doctor that, while she had enough money to pay the bills most months, her career never took off and she was never cast in the roles that she wanted. In more recent years, she has been put up for the roles of mothers considerably more often than girlfriends.
- Hugh Bainbridge is the pseudonym for a genetically engineered vampire named Drusis, who put on a bumbling, amiable public schoolboy personality so that the Doctor's expectations of him would be low and he would be more impressed later when he did something heroic. Given that he is a vampire, he could not enter the TARDIS without being invited. He planned to drink the Doctor's blood so as to obtain his genetic material, allowing him to operate the TARDIS.
- The contenders to join the Doctor in his travels as his new companion are described by producer David Richardson in Doctor Who Magazine Issue 421 as:
- Hugh Bainbridge - "An amiable public school type who, though perhaps not the brightest tool in the box, is happy to rush where Time Lords fear to tread."
- Juliet Walsh - "A tough cookie. A driven and highly successful career woman, there's nothing she won't do to close the deal."
- Asha Qureshi - "A no-nonsense, capable young woman with a tendency towards precociousness and a surprising ability to cope with the unexpected."
- Theo Lawson - "King of the Geeks: an introverted and computer-savvy teenager who knows more about gigabytes than he does about girls."
- However, the events of the story eventually saw failing actress Tamsin Drew, who had created a made-up personality in Juliet, join the Doctor for new adventures.
- The first part of the story was offered free as a Big Finish podcast.
- The story was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra on 8 January 2013.
- The Doctor mentions that his former companion Lucie Miller is, as far as he knows, travelling around Europe. (AUDIO: Death in Blackpool)
- The Doctor recalls that he once saw a larger robot rampaging around London. (TV: Robot)
- The Doctor's fellow renegade Time Lord, the Monk, was the time traveller who placed the advertisement in the newspapers and arranged the dangerous scenarios to test his potential companions. (AUDIO: The Book of Kells, The Resurrection of Mars)