Characters / Bernice Summerfield
Characters appearing in the Bernice Summerfield
franchise. Please note this is part of the Whoniverse
Professor Bernice "Benny" Surprise Summerfield
Played by: Lisa Bowerman
hails from the 26th century, established in the Whoniverse as a Space Opera
setting. She was companion to the Seventh and (briefly) Eighth Doctors before spinning off into her own series. Best friends with Ace when they travel together. Started out in the Virgin New Adventures
novels and got her own Big Finish
audio spinoff (among many, many
- Adventurer Archaeologist
- Action Girl / Action Mom
- Allergic to Routine
- Bi the Way: She has a preference for men, and has no problem with female suitors either. (Though the only time in the series she's actually seen to be intimate with a woman, they were both under the influence of a sex drive stimulating pollen.)
- Big Damn Kiss: Can't resist tackle-snogging the Eighth Doctor, following by a Sexy Discretion Shot. (The author was quite miffed that the BBC wouldn't allow an illustration.)
- In "The Shadow Of The Scourge", a Big Finish episode written after that novel was published, Bernice sees a mirage of Eight while she's stuck in Seven's mind. She fancies him right away and jokingly asks Seven if he plans to regenerate soon. Seven teases her mercilessly about it for the rest of the episode.
- Brainy Brunette
- Christmas Cake: Benny was in her thirties when she travelled with the Doctor. Though she still has men half her age fawning over her.
- Crazy-Prepared: Key to being a successful archaeologist.
- Determinator: And how. When she was young, she went on an expedition all by herself, found nothing but a high cliff, promptly fell off it, and broke both her legs. She spent a month crawling back to base camp using only her arms. All the time keeping her wounds open so she could attract predators with the scent of her blood and feed on them. Bernice Summerfield does not give up.
- Embarrassing Middle Name: Surprise. In her first appearance she implies this is because she was one.
- Ethical Slut: Being from a time that's bordering on Free-Love Future, she's very open about sex and enjoys having a good shag now and again with the people she meets on her adventures. She also has no real nudity taboo, but always respects the fact that other cultures do. She still experiences jealousy, though, and values monogamy in her own long-term relationships. Benny and Jason have a tacit understanding about infidelity under extraordinary circumstances.
- Fan of the Past: Benny is an expert on, among other things, 20th century Earth.
- Fatal Attractor: Her love interests tend to meet gruesome ends, she once accidentally fell in love with a Dalek, and she's spent the better part of an evening flirting with the Master of all people.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Her son, Peter.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Her first instinct in any crisis is to find the nearest bar. (Much drinking ensues when, at one point, she teams up with Iris Wildthyme.)
- Mama Bear: Towards Peter. Her pregnancy was a complete surprise, considering her body was stolen by someone who then proceeded to have sex with Adrian (who'd fancied Benny since forever and didn't know it wasn't her). Benny takes it all in her stride as best as she can, although occasionally (like in "The Plague Herds Of Excelis") she has to take a break and get away from it all.
- Mystical Pregnancy: The circumstances of Peter's conception were strange enough (Benny's body was possessed)—but, while pregnant, Benny then gets held prisoner by evil cultists who want her baby.
- Parental Abandonment dead mother and missing (presumed dead) father, both by the time she was 8.
- Survivor Guilt: Bernice has a hefty amount of it on the death of her mother; during a Dalek shelling raid, they ran to a bunker, but Bernice dropped her favorite doll. Her mother ran back for it, and didn't survive. "Goodnight Sweet Ladies" brings this up and brings a hammer on it to further the pain on Bernice, even if the woman in it isn't exactly her mom.
- Tomboyish Name: Think somebody likes these?
- Triang Relations: Type 3 with Adrian and Jason in the earlier Big Finish books.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!
Voiced by: Dacey Warriner, Thomas Grant
Benny's son by Adrian Wall.
Irving "Brax" Braxiatel
Voiced by: Miles Richardson
Another Time Lord, strongly implied to be the Doctor's brother. (Rumor has it that this was confirmed by the writers at a con
, in fact.) He has an archive/museum/gallery of everything
, which he keeps on a private planet. First mentioned in a throwaway line in the 1979 TV serial "City of Death
". Used to be a neutral Mr. Exposition
who'd send Bernice Summerfield off on adventures, but has been steadily getting more and more evil following certain plot developments in Gallifrey
, where he's also a main cast member. Braxiatel's timeline in general is all sorts of screwed up and tends to involve alternate universes to boot.
- Ascended Extra: From a throwaway name in Douglas Adams' "City of Death" to a main cast member in two different audio ranges.
- The Chessmaster
- Face–Heel Turn: Retroactively, with Pandora's influence (see Gallifrey) reverberating through time. (It's complicated.) The first glimpse of this is in "The Mirror Effect", and it comes to full bloom in "The Crystal of Cantus".
- Future Me Scares Me: Apparently, his future self scares him a lot. So much that he suspects himself of engineering the events of Life During Wartime, so he tries a little murder-suicide to destroy himself in a temporal paradox. We also learn that Braxiatel is so scared of his future self that he is keeping his Watcher (the inchoate form of his future self) locked up in the Collection to stop it from taking over him. Turns out Brax was right to be afraid of the person he might become.
- Guile Hero
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: However much Miles Richardson might enjoy playing up Brax's Magnificent Bastard tendencies (he must get it from his dad) he's stated in interviews that he was uncomfortable with how extreme Braxiatel was becoming. Aside from being One of Us (see below) it's notable that when he wrote a play for the series featuring an alternative Braxiatel, Brax was positively Adorkable. Anyone who hadn't listened to the previous releases would most likely criticise Benny for being so aggressive towards him.
- Mr. Exposition
- The Plan: Although it does blow up in his face a couple of times...
- Really 700 Years Old
- Renaissance Man
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
- Timey-Wimey Ball: The Gallifrey audios feature Braxiatel as a member of the High Council, prior to his leaving Gallifrey, but also feature President Romana. Romana becomes President at some point after her return to Gallifrey in Blood Harvest, which is two novels after Theatre of War, which introduces Irving Braxiatel, eccentric collector.
- Gary Russell explains (Gallifrey spoilers ahoy):
The Brax of the Virgin books and BF books and audios up to Season 11 is the Brax actually in charge of the Collection. He received the Pandora in his head and we saw glimpses of it asserting itself in The Mirror Effect. This Brax was last seen in "Escaping the Future". The younger Cardinal Braxiatel from Gallifrey absorbed the original Pandora into his subconscious. Learning of his counterpart's less than savoury exploits, this Brax hid away for some years until after "Escaping the Future". He went in search of Peter and rescued him, taking him to Legion after contacting Benny and asking her to meet him there. Just previously he had a brief encounter with Avril Fenman, and she removed Pandora from his mind and sent it back in time, placing it in Collection-owning Brax's head in time for "The Mirror Effect". So the current state of play is that the Brax in the current Benny boxsets, from Epoch onwards, is the Gallifrey series Brax, the original Collection-owning one is either dead or hiding or doing something, with Pandora in his head.
Jason Peter Kane
Voiced by: Stephen Fewell
Temporally-displaced former teenage runaway from the 1990's and intermittent street hustler. Briefly and acrimoniously married to Bernice Summerfield, divorced almost immediately afterwards, and dating her most of the time since then. Peter's adoptive father.
Voiced by: Harry Myers
Adrian is a Killoran: a seven-foot-tall alien that looks like a wolf/ape hybrid. He's head of construction at the Braxiatel Collection, and Peter's father.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Despite later confessing to having a strong platonic love for him, Benny viewed him in this way for a while after Peter's conception. Although Bev certainly sees something in him and even Benny seemed to be considering taking advantage of him shortly after Jason died (although understandably she was highly stressed).
- Badass Baritone: Actor Harry Myers has a very low and gravelly voice, presumably to suit the character's canine influences.
- Berserk Button: Do not threaten or harm Benny or Peter or Bev or you'll have an incredibly strong humanoid canine bearing down on you.
- Break the Cutie: Aside from the obvious of having no choice in loving a woman who he knows will never love him back; later he undergoes being locked up and enslaved by a bunch of fascists and then he is severely tortured by Doggles on Braxiatel's orders leaving him permanently scarred and limping.
- Cannot Spit It Out: Spends a great deal of the beginning of The Judas Gift working up the courage to propose to Bev. At the end, she reveals that she already knew.
- Interspecies Romance: One-sided with Benny when he ends up fathering her child while she's possessed by a soul sucker. Has another one with Bev Tarrant. They almost get engaged.
- Informed Flaw: Kilorans are apparently aggressive, yet, while Adrian loses it on a few occasions it's generally on occasions such as Peter being kidnapped, Bev seemingly dying or while being tortured by Doggles during which, anyone would tetchy. The rest of the time he comes across as the most straightforward and agreeable character there is (but bear in mind he is surrounded by enigmatic Time Lords, ex-cat burglars and world-weary archaeologists).
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He leaves Benny alone when she decides to go back to Jason. But later he meets Bev.
- Gentle Giant: He's a seven foot canine Human Alien with extreme strength and naturally aggressive tendencies... and he's arguably the nicest character in the series.
- Mars Needs Women: Adrian likes human women.
- Nice Guy: As mentioned previously, he is incredibly compassionate and caring of Benny and Peter, actually seems to respect Benny's preference for Jason (even though Jason could be a bit of a jerk to him sometimes). He genuinely loves Bev and she thinks that he's the best thing that ever happened to her. Unlike the other characters he doesn't suffer from a Dark and Troubled Past and doesn't have some hidden agenda. On the other hand, try to harm his loved ones and you find out just how strong a Kiloran is.
- I'm guessing it says a lot about the nature of a series where your most easily relatable character is essentially an intelligent bipedal dog.
- Papa Wolf: For Peter
- Petting Zoo People
- Punny Name: He thought 'Hadrian's Wall' was a real Earth name. To make it worse, he's a builder.
- The Stoic: He was able to withstand the efforts of both the Fifth Axis and Braxiatel in their attempts to enslave or torture him for information.
- And bear in mind that his species's tendency to imprint on their partners means that for years he had an uncontrollable desire for Benny which she would never return. Now consider how very very strong he is and how aggressive his species is; it's a wonder he was able to stop himself from forcing himself on her.
- Super Strength: His son was able to tear a man apart when he was eight and he was only half Kiloran. Imagine what the full specimen is like.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Jason after he conceded that Benny hadn't chosen him. Although they don't show it. It's notable that Adrian was the only one with a kind word to say at Jason's funeral.
Voiced by: Louise Falkner
Originally a one-off character from the Seventh Doctor audio "The Genocide Machine"
, Bev came back again... and again... and again. She was a member of an illegal salvage team, eventually met the Master, hung out with Seven and Ace for a bit, and crossed in and out of Bernice Summerfield
's stories with great frequency.
Benny's pocket organizer.