Monday, 19 May 2014

DW Companions as PCs: Harry Sullivan

Mike Yates leaves the show at the end of the eleventh season. His player, however, who has only been able to attend occasional sessions of late, finds that he will be able to game on a more regular basis from now on. The Doctor's player is pondering a change, too, and briefly considers a physically weaker, more intellectual persona for his next regeneration - something, in fact, not unlike his original character concept.

So Yates' player decides that the party needs another action hero, similar to Ben or Steven way back in the third and fourth seasons. Although the GM has largely given up on "defending the Earth from aliens" adventures by this point, he has a few UNIT stories planned for when the players of the Brigadier and Benton are able to make it. So, since he'll be an action hero, it makes sense for the new PC to come from UNIT, too. Having just played Yates, though, the player is keen for something a little bit different this time.

And so he creates Harry Sullivan. Although he's a military member of UNIT, he's a doctor, not a soldier - the British branch's Medical Officer, in fact. He's also one of only two UNIT military staff members that we see in the classic series who aren't from the British Army (the other is Corporal Bell). Instead, Harry is a Surgeon-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Medical Service.

Monday, 5 May 2014

DW Companions as PCs: Sarah Jane Smith

Jo Grant leaves the show at the end of the tenth season. (Actually, it's worth reflecting on that statement for a moment; not many genre shows even have a tenth season, and even fewer have so many of their most popular episodes still ahead of them at that point...) Her player has come to the end of what passed for a story arc, and comes up with an idea for a new character.

One of the other players had briefly considered the idea of acquiring an NPC Contact - a mysterious journalist named 'Smith' who would have inside info on weird goings on for the players to investigate. With the campaign definitively moving back to outer space adventure, the idea is shelved as not worth the experience points, but it's given Jo's former player an idea. And so she creates investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith.

In the real world, Sarah is consistently voted the most popular classic series companion. Likely for that very reason, she remains the only classic companion to appear in Nu Who so far, and also appeared in not one, but two, spin-off TV series... even if one of them deservedly sank without trace after the pilot episode. That aside, she clearly had a long and illustrious career, and often as the central character in her own right.