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Benny (Doctor Who)
Real Name: Bernice Summerfield
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Comic book, novel and audio companion to the Seventh and Eighth Doctors. She is probably the most popular figure, and certainly the most ubiquitous, to come out of the period between the end of the original series and the beginning of the 2005 revival. New stories featuring the character have appeared, in one format or another, from her inception in the 1992 novel Love and War until 2005. There is, as of 2005, no indication that these stories are to be stopped, despite the intervention of a new televised series of 2005 which make no reference to (but do not exclude the possibility of) the character. She gained enough prominence in Doctor Who fandom to justify her own solo adventures, including a significant run of audio plays. Benny stories first began appearing in audio in 1998, and at least four stories have been done every year until 2005. The series, as of 2005, is ongoing.

(Cynics might say, however, that her solo run is due less to her popularity and more to the fact that publishers were eager to have a property associated with Doctor Who that didn't specifically fall under the terms of their license from the BBC. It was possible to publish Benny stories without paying the BBC a dime. There is a case to be made, however, for the fact that her character's unique licensing situation made possible the entire range of Doctor Who audio adventures, which most fans consider to be a legitimate continuation of the so-called "classic" television series. Because Big Finish, the audio producers, were able to make a few stories inexpensively, by using this character, they were later able to convince the BBC that radio plays were a legitimate format for Doctor Who, and they soon won licensing to continue the adventures of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Doctors.)

The character is a 26th-century archaeologist who, in terms of personality, is perhaps the closest thing that's been offered to a "female Doctor"--aside, perhaps, from the Time Lord Romana.


First Appearance: None listed.

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Issue Appearances:
Doctor Who Magazine (1979)
Doctor Who Magazine Special (1980)

Group Affiliation(s):
Doctor Who companions

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