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Characters / Bernice Summerfield

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Characters appearing in the Bernice Summerfield franchise. Please note this is part of the Whoniverse.

Professor Bernice "Benny" Surprise Summerfield

Played by: Lisa Bowerman

Bernice Summerfield 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 other things).

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Her living quarters were perpetually disorganised and she had several organisers, but rarely used them except to reset her watch to the current local time. She was also habitually tardy and absent-minded, frequently mislaying her Braxiatel Collection identity card.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Subverted. She actually wants to be a respected academic who does serious archaeology and carefully peels back history, however she has the drawback of travelling with The Doctor. It means she does get to explore history and see firsthand how it used to be, in ways that she can extrapolate into academic work, but it also means people will be trying to kill them a lot and that most of the artefacts the Doctor is interested in will turn out to be lost superweapons or something.
  • The 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.
  • Cunning Linguist: She was proficient in Egyptian, Hebrew, French, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, Old English, Old Norse and most Martian dialects.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She often displayed a sense of witted sarcasm whenever she was in danger.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • Hates Being Touched: In her early appearances, she wasn't very fond of hugging.
  • 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.
  • Old Maid: Benny was in her thirties and not married, nor in a relationship when she travelled with the Doctor. Though she still has men half her age fawning over her, Stacy's Mom style.
  • Parental Abandonment: She has a dead mother and missing (presumed dead) father, both by the time she was eight.
  • 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?
  • Trademark Favorite Drink: She loves beer. She once drank six pints at a beer tent on the planet Crex.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!

Peter Summerfield

Voiced by: Dacey Warriner, Thomas Grant

Benny's son by Adrian Wall.

  • Break the Cutie: Let's see, he was born by a C-section while Benny was in a prison and without much medication not a promising start. Then, during the occupation of the Collection by The Fifth Axis he was forcibly separated from his mother and hidden away for months. Then, when he was eight he was manipulated/hypnotised into murdering Jason by Braxiatel (and it's implied, later remembered every second of it) and was held responsible for the death. Two stories later, he was forced to go on the run with his mother (who regularly faces danger, so one has to question the introduction of a child into all of it). Of course, the biggest blow was when he was held on a slave planet for possibly three years with no knowledge of how he had arrived there or where his family were. And just before he was rescued by Alternate Braxiatel, his lover, Antonio, who'd been his only source of hope in all that time was murdered. It's hard not to blame him for being a little bitter by Legion. But just to rub in further numerous manipulations by his 'other' mother, Avril Fenman meant that a fragment of Antonio's mind (namely his love for Peter) continued to exist inside his own mind, convincing him that Antonio was still alive. So when it was revealed that Antonio was dead and that Fenman was using a solid light image of his body to make herself corporeal, Peter essentially had to destroy the image of the person he loved and it still contained a fraction of Antonio's consciousness, which was begging for death. All this by the time he was eighteen. In short; if you're a Big Finish character, don't have children, they will go through hell.
  • Cute Little Fangs
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength
  • Half-Human Hybrid
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Thoroughly averted. The character remained a baby/toddler for years after his birth (written in 2001), was only able to speak coherently five years of books and audios later. It wasn't until the 2010 releases that he became a teenager. Sort of played straight later when he was separated from Benny for four years (only two as far as listeners were concerned) and by the time they met up again he was eighteen years old, angry at Benny for abandoning him and had a boyfriend called Antonio.
  • Super-Strength: Peter is stronger than all but the most augmented humans by late childhood. This was why Braxiatel manipulated/hypnotised him into killing Jason when he was eight years old. It also came in handy when he became the security officer on the complete cesspit of a planet that was Legion.
  • Unusual Ears: Artist Adrian Salmon drew baby Peter with floppy puppy ears, which were so adorable that they stuck.

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
  • 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 / sex worker. Briefly and acrimoniously married to Bernice Summerfield, divorced almost immediately afterwards, and dating her most of the time since then. Works in security at the Braxiatel Collection, and as a xenopornography writer pretty much everywhere else. Peter's adoptive father.

  • Abusive Parents: Horribly so. He ran away from home as a young teen to escape his father's violence, leaving behind his mum and little sister. Things have never truly been okay for him.
  • Insistent Terminology: A running joke; people never quite call him what he wants them to call him. He spent World War I as "Captain Kane", despite continuously insisting people just call him Jason, because it made him sound like a Marvel character.

Adrian Wall

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).
  • 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.
    You were always rubbish at keeping secrets!
  • 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.
    • Hell, he even bought Peter a fluffy toy rabbit (despite apparently not being allowed to be involved with his offspring).
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

Bev Tarrant

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.