Sunday, 15 October 2017

C is for... Churchill, Winston

Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War. He was an old acquaintance of the Doctor's, and when his chief scientist Prof. Edwin Bracewell came up with a new weapon that would help win the conflict - armoured war machines called Ironsides - Churchill contacted the Doctor to seek his advice. He had the telephone number for the TARDIS, and the call was answered by Amy Pond. However, the ship landed in London some weeks after the call had been made, and Bracewell had pressed ahead with his Ironsides programme. The Doctor discovered that the Ironsides were actually Daleks, which had been given khaki livery. Churchill refused to heed the Doctor's warnings about the Daleks, as he was determined to defeat the Nazis at any cost. What he really wanted from the Doctor was control over the TARDIS, going so far as to try to pocket the ship's key.
He later discovered that Bracewell was really an android, created by the Daleks, but he kept him on as his chief scientist.
Later, Bracewell brought him a painting that had been found in France - a Vincent Van Gogh which depicted an exploding TARDIS. Churchill again rang the Doctor, but the call was diverted by the ship to River Song at the Stormcage prison facility.

When River failed to assassinate the Doctor - breaking a fixed point in time - history began to collapse. The Doctor found himself a prisoner of Churchill who was now Holy Roman Emperor, presiding over a senate based at Buckingham Palace. He was tended by a Silurian doctor, and had a coach pulled by mammoths. He knew the Doctor only as a soothsayer, who told stories of how the universe was supposed to be. He and the Doctor came under attack from Silents, but were rescued by Amy.

Played by: Ian McNeice. Appearances: Victory of the Daleks, The Pandorica Opens (2010), The Wedding of River Song (2011).

  • McNeice first came to prominence in the BBC thriller serial Edge of Darkness. He has been a regular on the popular ITV show Doc Martin for a number of years. He was offered a role in Game of Thrones (as Illyrio in the first season), but the part was then recast with Roger Allam.
  • He has played Churchill a number of times on stage, and has recently reprised the Doctor Who version for Big Finish.

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