Tuesday, 27 June 2017

B is for... Bush, Mel

Companion to the Sixth and Seventh Doctors. Melanie Bush was a computer programmer, from the Sussex village of Pease Pottage. When the Time Lords brought the Doctor to a space station to face an inquiry into his actions, he elected to use a Matrix segment depicting events from his own future by way of defence. In this, he was already travelling with Mel. She had embarked upon a fitness regime for him, involving an exercise bike and plenty of carrot juice. Receiving an emergency transmission was a blessed release for him. The call took the TARDIS to the Hyperion III space liner, which had just left orbit around Mogar for a journey to Earth. Mel eagerly joined the Doctor in his investigations, and seemed to enjoy snooping into the activities of the passengers and crew, despite the knowledge that there was a murderer aboard. At one point Mel was knocked unconscious, and almost ended up in the waste pulveriser. Once the segment had been relayed to the Time Lord court, Mel was seen to depart with the Doctor in the TARDIS.

When the Doctor found that the inquiry was now a trial, and his life was at stake, the Master arranged for Mel and Sabalom Glitz to be transported to the space station to act as his defence witnesses. This meant that in his time stream, this was their first encounter - though she had already met him.
Mel, who claimed to be honest and boring, helped the Doctor by going into the Matrix to save him from sacrificing himself. he was annoyed at her help, as he was only pretending to go to his doom in order to flush out the Valeyard.
Once the Valeyard had been defeated, Mel left with the Doctor. At some point after this, the Doctor must have had his first meeting with her by her time stream - presumably when her later self wasn't with him.
When next seen, Mel and the Doctor were being attacked in the TARDIS by the Rani. The assault caused the Doctor to regenerate. The Rani removed him from the ship before Mel woke up, so that when she later met him she did not recognise him and thought him an ally of the amoral Time Lord. The Rani capitalised on the Doctor's post regeneration confusion to dress as Mel and pretend to be her - encouraging him to assist her in her work. Mel was captured by the Lakertyan rebel Ikona, but the became friends after she saved his life.

Later, on a visit to Paradise Towers - supposedly a luxury apartment block - Mel was keen to try the roof-top swimming pool. She nearly ended up as dinner for a couple of cannibalistic old ladies. She was rescued by Pex, a young man who decided to be her self-appointed protector.
When the TARDIS arrived at Space Toll Port G-715, Mel found that they had won a prize for being the billionth customers. This was a trip with Nostalgia Tours to Disneyland in the 1950's. The Doctor elected not to trust the tour bus spaceship, to follow on in the TARDIS. Mel befriended the mysterious Delta, who came on the tour at the last minute. They shared a chalet at the Shangri-La holiday camp, where Mel witnessed the hatching of the Chimeron egg which Delta was carrying.

Mel was later reunited with Glitz when the TARDIS arrived at the Iceworld shopping complex on the planet Svartos. Making friends everywhere she went, this time Mel befriended the moody young waitress Ace after she lost her job. Ace revealed to her that she was really from 20th Century Earth.
Mel suddenly decided that she was going to leave the Doctor, and travel instead with Glitz - the new owner of Iceworld (which was revealed to be a massive spaceship). She was going to go off with him and try to keep him out of trouble. Ace took her place in the TARDIS.

Played by: Bonnie Langford. Appearances: The Trial of a Time Lord (Parts 9 - 12 AKA Terror of the Vervoids) (1986) to Dragonfire (1987).

  • There was much criticism from fans when Langford's casting was announced. She was thought of as merely a light entertainment song & dance performer, with the shadow of Violet Elizabeth Bott following her (from the Just William TV series she had made as a child). The critics failed to note all the dramatic stage roles she had also performed, and as Mel she was actually very good. Unfortunately the role was not developed well by the writers or script editors, and she was mainly called upon to scream. She never went near a computer in the whole year she was in the show. Langford has since reprised the role - to great acclaim - in the Big Finish audio range.
  • On screen it was never explained how Mel first came to meet the Doctor, when her later self was already travelling with him.

No comments:

Post a Comment