18 December 2012

The Doctor's Girls-Vicki-Companion Analysis

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Art by mimi-na on Deviant Art

VickiVicki started out life as a Susan Replacement. A time when The Doctor was still learning to be the Doctor and he still needed someone to look after. Vicki's advantage was not being the Doctor's granddaughter. The  Problem of Susan seemed to be alleviated.

The Problem of Susan : The fact that, as a fifteen-year-old girl, she [Susan] is sexualized, but the show is unable to give any useful outlet for that sexuality as long as she is similarly linked to the Doctor. Later companions will be sexualized in terms of the TARDIS crew, but that option is not available to Susan. This, among many other things, will eventually make Susan untenable as a companion, albeit by far the most interesting failure the show has ever produced. (Sandifer, TARDIS Eruditorum).

And if you look up perky in the dictionary, you'd probably find her picture.

NOTE : After a review from one of the project scientists, we discovered a quirk in the importing of the data. Efforts are underway to correct the process and a revised analysis will be posted here.

Profile [Vicki]

Vicki appeared in 10 stories (39 episodes) covering part of the second and part of the third seasons.

Vicki came from a future time and the Doctor had no reason to explain things to her (a problem which crops up later with Companions from the past). She worked well with Barbara and Ian but when Steven replaced them, Vicki and Steven became a solid pairing. Not a double-act, but a good pairing.

Susan traveled with the First Doctor because of family relationships. Barbara and Ian traveled with the Doctor because they were abducted. Vicki became the first non-Gallifreyian invited to travel in the TARDIS.

Vicki, the mould for future Companions, helped bring Doctor Who into the swinging sixties. Unfortunately John Wiles, the incoming producer, didn't like her and sacked her on the very next story, The Myth Makers.


First Doctor : An Unearthly Child
Susan (Companion) : An Unearthly Child
Barbara (Companion) : An Unearthly Child
Ian (Companion) : An Unearthly Child
Steven (Companion) : The Chase
Katarina (Companion-Lite) : The Myth Makers

NOTE : For this analysis, Katarina is classed as a Companion-Lite, not a Companion. I don't believe that five episodes over two stories can classify her as a Companion. Yeah, I know. Blasphemy!


Meddling Monk (Associate) : The Meddling Monk
Daleks (Villain) : The Daleks

The Meddling Monk, an amoral character, is neither a villain yet not really a friend.

Vicki's Seasons

Vicki had a shorter run than expected. Shorter than she expected. She had problems with John Wiles, the incoming producer and he had her unceremoniously written out at the end of The Myth Makers, marrying her off to the first Greek Warrior who came along. The second time a Companion fell madly in love at the drop of a hat [See Susan]. Some people believe Katarina replaced Vicki who was to die in the airlock tragedy. If so, couldn't John WIles have waited five more episodes? But Maureen's contract renewal for at least four more stories never took place so the point is moot.

This mystery will remain unanswered since Wiles died in 1999.

Vicki's Friend Network

Node ColourBar

Vicki Friends

Vicki's strong position in the middle of the network along with Steven has some oddities. In contrast to her strong links to the First Doctor, Barbara and Ian, her weak links to Steven, and single links to the Daleks, the Meddling Monk, and Katarina degrade her importance. Those weaker links with Steven, the Meddling Monk or Katarina balance the network out causing it to spring out in both directions and place Vicki in the center.

The Analysis

Vicki ranks in the top three ranks making her strong in this network, over 70% in both the Standard Analysis and Key Entity charts.

Vicki ranks second to the First Doctor in about 80% of all measures which indicates a strong relationship between the two characters. Stronger than with any other characters. The offshoots of the network comes from the one-offs the Daleks, the Animus, and Katarina.

In the Key Entity chart, Vicki is the strongest one in the network. The three others core members rank high with the rest of the characters falling under 30%.

Vicki has no exclusive connections.

Vicki SNA

Vicki Key Entity


I added grouping to the analysis. This shows the characters split into various natural groups.

Group 1 : First Doctor, Steven,Katarina, Daleks, and the Meddling Monk

Group 2 : Vicki, Barbara, Ian, and the Animus

Vicki SubGroups

Groups : This algorithm defines groups such that members of a group have more interconnections than do members of different groups. (There are more within-group ties than between-group ties.) This grouping identifies sets of characters that tend to appear together in stories. A side effect of this (co-appearances in stories), the grouping analysis identifies stories that rely on the same sets of characters.

In the Group-2, Vicki appears in same same group as Barbara and Ian. This consisted of a group due to via their stronger links. The Animus joins the three companions engaged with this villain.

The First Doctor gets grouped with all other characters and his centrality helps form that group.

Rankings Compared to the First Doctor

Though Vicki's value for total number of links ranks far less than the First Doctor's, her other second place rankings bolster her position. Vicki, connected to other clique leaders, has strong links for sending and receiving information. This connection to other strong characters makes her a hub.

1First Doctor0.53843.000
6Meddling Monk0.0756.000

Vicki's Story Network

Vicki Story

The strong links of the core network between Vicki, the First Doctor, Barbara, and Ian move other characters toward the outside edge.


As with many of the early Companions, Vicki has strong local network. Her importance is minimized due to appearing in fewer stories.

Group wise, Vicki's strong links to Barbara and Ian overshadow her links to Steven since she had more adventures with Barbara and Ian. Possibly the reason she is not grouped with Katarina or The Meddling Monk. They are grouped with Steven, all having less adventures together. The Doctor is what ties that group together.

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