Thursday, June 29, 2006
Sophie (Ace) Aldred
It’s being reported that departing DOCTOR WHO companion Billie Piper (age 23) has been granted a six figure advance for her autobiography. That right there, more than anything else, sums up the difference in levels of respect given to the current DOCTOR WHO and the waning days of the original series. You see, Sophie Aldred, the seventh Doctor’s final companion in the original run (ominously absent from his pre-regenerative appearance in the 1996 TV Movie) wrote HER autobiography (with Mike Tucker) and I doubt she got anywhere near that much money for it. ACE came out the same year that the revival attempt occurred. An oversized picture book, it details not only Sophie’s life and career but also extensive reminiscences of the final seasons of the venerable BBC series. Ace was not your typical sounding board companion fit only to be kidnapped by Silurians or Daleks and rescued by the eccentric time lord. No, Ace was more like Rico, the MADAGASCAR penguin. She liked to blow things up! As written, Sophie’s character was "rebellious, moody, streetwise and lionhearted…" More so than most companions, she was an active participant in the stories, not just a victim. Even in those final days of the original run, in spite of complaints of violence and just plain bad writing, Ace was a unique, welcome addition to the legend and her memoirs are fun and realistically told in this coffee table book with lots of personal photos. The seventh Doctor may not have been the most popular but he adds to the mix to make the amazing popular ninth and tenth Doctors that have enabled Billie Piper’s TV success. I’ll probably read Billie’s book but I’d rather see a book entitled THE DOCTOR’S COMPANIONS. After all, everyone has a story that only time will tell.