Ace (Doctor Who)
Real Name: possibly Dorothy Gale McShane
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Good with explosives.
Bad with people.
The television and New Adventure Character
Companion to the Seventh Doctor, Ace was introduced as part of a last ditch effort by the television series to revive interest in the show via bringing on a new teenage character for the Doctor to interact with. Unlike other shows however, Ace wasn't a goody-two-shoes girl sidekick but a would-be juvenile delinquant who liked to make homemade explosives and generally defy the "damsel in distress" cliche most female companions had fallen into.
The character's close bond with the Seventh Doctor (who rescued her from an alien world she found herself stranded upon after a run-in with a time portal) would define the two characters, even as the Doctor found Ace (via her grandparents) to be a pawn of the cosmic horror known as Fenric, to which Ace's devotion to the Doctor was used by the demon against the Doctor.
As the Doctor's final companion in the original incarnation of the tv show, her departure was never shown and was absent in the 1996 movie. Her departure and her subsequent estrangement from the Doctor however would be detailed in the New Adventure novel series that ran in the early to mid 1990s. The two would ultimately have a falling out due to the Doctor's growing ruthlessness, which increased following a series of adventures of the first year and a half of the novel series. Ace would become a freelance "Time Agent" and would have several additional run-ins with the Doctor as the two would reconcile towards the end of the Seventh Doctor's existence.
The comic character
Ace is an implied part of the Seventh Doctor's comic continuity right from his first adventure. However, she does not actually appear for almost 3 years. Her absence was ultimately explained away by saying that she had merely been visiting the Cretaceous Period of Earth's history. This convenient absence allowed for the Seventh Doctor comics in DWM issues #130-162 to have no particular consequence on other Seventh Doctor stories being told in other media.
Ace's debut in the comic would tie in with the launching of the "New Adventure" line of novels, which Doctor Who Monthly tried to connect itself with initially. "Fellow Travellers", her first full comic adventure, was said to follow in the wake of the novel, Timewyrm: Revelation and elements from the novels like the the Doctor's home in Kent, were incorporated into the comic strip. However, by the mid-90s, with the franchise in flux and the New Adventure Comic line being brought to a close, Ace's fate would be at balance.
Death by comics Doctor Who Magazine Special (1980)
At the very end of the Seventh Doctor's comic run, it was decided that Ace would be killed off in the final Seventh Doctor comic strip. This decision effectively created a break in canon, as many of the Doctor Who Monthly comic strips took place in the time period of the early New Adventure novels and featured Ace as being relatively young and not the older, hardened Time Agent she ultimately became. As such, Ace was written out as she died fighting an alien army. For a discussion of what it meant for Ace to become only the second televised companion to be killed off in comics, click through to the notes for the final installment of "Ground Zero".
Ace's first appearance is somewhat tricky. The first time her absence gets a clear mention is probably Doctor Who Magazine #159, where her existence is casually noted by the Seventh Doctor to Sarah Jane Smith. Her origin story, insofar as the comics are concerned, is actually an illustrated short story, not strictly a comic strip. This happens in issue #162. It's not until issue #164's "Fellow Travellers" that she appears in her first proper comic adventure.
Ace's full real name is never stated in either the comics or the TV program, though her first name is given as Dorothy. Production notes from the television series have indicated that her last name was Gale, meant as a nod to "The Wizard of Oz", but books later published listed her last name as McShane. It wasn't until the publication of the novel "Relative Dementias" in 2002 that Ace's full name was semi-officially set as "Dorothy Gale McShane."
First Appearance: Doctor Who Magazine (1979) #162
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Doctor Who Magazine (1979)
Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition (2002)
#10 Doctor Who Yearbook (1992)
- 'The Complete Seventh Doctor'
Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time (2013)
#7 Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008)
- '7th Doctor, 1987-1996'
#4 The Comic Relief Comic (1991)
- 'Part 4: "Survival"'
The Mark of Mandragora (1993)
The New Sharon from Blackcastle Adventures (2004)
- 'Sharon's Pajama Party'
Doctor Who companions
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