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The Paternoster Gang (Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)

A trio of misfits in Victorian London who assist the Doctor in his Eleventh and Twelfth incarnations. Since their introduction in "A Good Man Goes to War", they have become very popular, with many fans demanding a spin-off, and Big Finish naturally obliged — following Early Bird Cameos from Strax and Vastra in Jago & Litefoot and The Churchill Years respectively, the gang's first appearance together came in the form of a Poorly Disguised Pilot as part of "The Eighth of March", a special release to mark International Women's Day. The first series of their spin-off proper will be released in June 2019.


In General:

Madame Vastra
Played by: Neve McIntosh (2011–2014)

"Good evening. I'm a lizard woman from the dawn of time, and this is my wife."

Vastra is a Silurian warrior living in Victorian London as a detective with her human maidservant, lover, and eventual wife, Jenny. They were recruited by the Doctor to fight in the Battle of Demon's Run. After that, Strax came to live with them as their butler, and the Doctor spends quite a lot of time with them. Vastra apparently knows the Doctor very well from offscreen encounters.

  • All There in the Manual: The Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2012 contains 4 pages worth of Victorian newspaper articles and letters from Vastra hinting at how she first met the Doctor and Jenny, as well as some adventures Vastra and Jenny have had independent of each other. Apparently, she was even part of Henry Gordon Jago's theatre shows for a bit.
  • Clueless Detective: In regards to the Great Intelligence, despite the Doctor's explanation to the point she thinks the Great Intelligence possessed Dr. Simeon instead of being his subconscious mind. (Though the Doctor was being vague about how the snow was a parasite and neglected to mention that the alien snow naturally had no mind and how the Great Intelligence was Simeon's subconsciousness).
  • Covert Pervert: She tries to invite Clara to remove her clothes.
  • Crazy-Prepared: She sent Clara a letter containing a candle that would release a sedative when burned. Knowing that Clara wouldn't light it, she also coated the letter itself with the sedative.

Jenny Flint
Played by: Catrin Stewart (2011–2014)

Madame Vastra's wife and Ninja Maid, who was cast out by her family for her preferences and subsequently took up a life of detective work, lock-picking and katana-wielding.

  • Spy Catsuit: Sometimes wears one in combat situations.
  • Token Human: She's the only human in the trio, working with a Silurian and a Sontaran.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Wears a blue one in "A Good Man Goes to War" when she goes to Demon's Run.
  • The Watson: The original Watson who allegedly inspired Sir Conan Doyle's stories, but does not actually fit the trope because she doesn't need her wife to explain things to her.

Played by: Dan Starkey (2011–2014)

"Do not attempt to escape or you will be obliterated. May I take your coat?"

Strax was, at one time, a Commander in the Sontaran army, but was demoted to the status of nurse. At some point he encountered the Doctor and the two began an Odd Friendship, leading Strax to participate in the Battle of Demon's Run, where he was killed (or, perhaps, simply fainted). The Doctor managed to get Strax brought Back from the Dead (although he Came Back Wrong a bit), and he began living with Vastra and Jenny in Victorian London.

Showed up in Big Finish Doctor Who, where he got to team up with Jago and Litefoot... because he got hit on the head and thought they were Vastra and Jenny.

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: His appearance at Monster's Day Out was in Cahrrdeef.
  • Affably Evil: Not evil per se, but he frequently remarks to people that he hopes to one day kill them for the glory of the Sontaran Empire. Note that this is a compliment from a Sontaran's perspective.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Given that no other Sontaran acts like Strax, one does start to wonder. This gets much more pronounced after he "died" in his first appearance, which changed his personality quite a bit.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Strax's first, second, and third choice for any situation.
  • Axe-Crazy: His first instinct for any approach is to attack, kill, or destroy.
    Jenny: It's beautiful.
    Strax: Shall I destroy it?
    Vastra: Shut up, Strax.
  • Back from the Dead: We see Vastra and Jenny fixing him up in the "Two Days Later" minisode, where it's stated that he actually fainted instead.
  • Badass Adorable: Whenever he is excited to go into battle, he becomes this.
  • Bad Boss: Has a tendency to "execute" horses for failure, especially when he's hungry.
  • Bar Brawl: His idea of a fun weekend off is getting into one of these with a Violent Glaswegian.
  • Battle Butler: Now serves this role to Vastra and Jenny. He's got the battle down, and he's trying hard on the butler part.
  • Bizarre Alien Sexes: Hailing from a monosex clone-race, "two genders is a bit further than he can count". He defaults to male pronouns to comic effect, even when he's making an effort.
    Strax: I'm not an expert on alien species, but you're both... woman-ones, aren't you?
    Vastra: It has been noted.
    Strax: Don't you need a man-one?
    Vastra/Jenny: No.
    • In his report on the different incarnations of the Doctor, he is convinced that the Eighth Doctor is a woman because of his long hair.
  • Blood Knight: He is a Sontaran, after all. He was excited to be recruited for the Battle of Demons Run.
  • Came Back Wrong: Regardless of whether one thinks he died at Demon's Run, or accepts the minisode explanation that he merely fainted, his personality changes rather drastically from "A Good Man Goes to War" upon his return in "The Snowmen".
    The Doctor: He gave his life for a friend of mine once, and another friend brought him back. But some of his brain cells didn't make the return trip!
  • Character Development: At first, he longed to destroy Earth and hated his punishment, but he seems to have gotten used to it (and even enjoys some bits of Earth).
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • He declared war on the Moon, having determined that it had been over them far too long and had gained a tactical advantage. When informed that the Moon was uninhabited, he merely insisted that that just meant that now is the best time to strike because "They'll never see it coming!"
    • He executed three horses in a week, because he believed they failed their missions. And he was implied to have eaten them, too. (He gets prevented from executing a fourth.)
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Turns out he was right about something living on the Moon.
  • Combat Medic: A Sontaran Nurse.
  • The Comically Serious: Strax says pretty much everything in the most serious fashion a Sontaran can manage.
  • Death Seeker: He finds the glorious Sontaran death is a bit less pleasant than he expected. After being fixed up, he initially insists that he's most sincerely dead and they should leave him.
  • Disney Death: He "died" at the Battle of Demon's Run.
  • The Ditz: The Doctor suggested that he Came Back Wrong, though part of his apparent ditziness may be because he's a Sontaran trying to fit in Victorian London.
  • Fate Worse than Death: For a Sontaran, being forced to save lives is one of the greatest shames imaginable.
  • Foil: To Rory, who is a nurse-turned-warrior, while Strax is a warrior-turned-nurse. Also as Vastra and Jenny's butler.
  • Friend to All Children:
    • His appearance at Monster's Day Out taking questions from a group of little children.
    • In the show proper, he gets along with kids just fine, and seems quite upset that Rory won't let him nurse Melody.
  • Genius Ditz: Still retains his medical and combat knowledge after he Came Back Wrong.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: He is, like all Sontarans, extremely quick to violence, but he means well enough and his antics are Played for Laughs.
  • Humiliation Conga: For a once-mighty warrior general, being demoted to Nurse and having to help the weak and sickly is the worst humiliation imaginable.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He's probably one of the most likeable guys who will ever threaten to melt you with acid.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sontarans can be violent and brutish, but this one's the Doctor's friend. Plus he offered to breast-feed Amy and Rory's baby. He can produce magnificent quantities of lactic fluid!
  • Large Ham: To a certain extent.
    "I have gene-spliced myself for all nursing duties. I can produce MAGNIFICENT quantities of lactic fluid!"
  • Literal-Minded: As Clara finds out, Strax has issues with metaphor and euphemism. And surprisingly good aim with a newspaper. This one isn't unique to Strax, however, as other Sontarans have shown confusion over human slang before.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: He prefaces the cinema version of "The Day of the Doctor", warning viewers that texting or unauthorized filming will be punished severely but popcorn is a-okay.
    Strax: Remember — popcorn can feel pain! [crunch] Ah, those tiny screams!
  • Mister Seahorse: He's not technically got a gender, but mentions undergoing gene-splicing to allow him to produce breast milk.
  • Mood Whiplash: He provides this gem from "The Snowmen":
    Strax: Do not attempt to escape, or you will be obliterated! [politely] May I take your coat?
  • Noodle Implements: Some of the weapons Strax will inevitably suggest using at the nearest opportunity sound ridiculously overpowered or just flat-out insane.
  • Noodle Incident: Whatever caused him to be demoted to nurse to restore the honour of his clone batch. Some Expanded Universe material suggests the Tenth Doctor may have been involved, as Strax really doesn't like him.
  • "No Talking or Phones" Warning: Provides one for the cinema version of "The Day of the Doctor".
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In "The Name of the Doctor", when the Great Intelligence attempts to rewrite the Doctor's entire timestream and remove his positive influence on the universe, Strax is briefly transformed into a psychopathic Sontaran warrior (more so than usual) and even attempts to murder Madame Vastra because as a Silurian, she was "racially impure".
  • Psychopathic Manchild: In "The Crimson Horror", Vastra scolds him for getting overexcited. Strax goes into a sulk and storms outside to play with his grenades.
  • Psycho Sidekick: The only reason why he isn't trying to conquer Earth is because he sees Vastra, Jenny and the Doctor as his superiors and works towards their objectives.
  • Running Gag: Several. His inability to distinguish between genders, his fondness for violence, his poor grasp of human behaviour, and his habit of suggesting attacks with multiple ludicrous weapons. With these weapons, acid seems to be a favourite option of his, given how often he suggests using it.
  • Stout Strength: Can throw a newspaper hard enough to knock someone over on a second floor. Justified given that he's a Sontaran.
  • Sweet Tooth: He apparently gets into Jenny's Sherbert Fancies from time to time.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: In "The Crimson Horror", he grumbles that Madame Vastra never lets him use his grenades.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He is a Sontaran after all, albeit one reduced to the status of Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. His suggested solutions to problems are usually horrifically violent and can't help but include death threats in his daily discourse. He also apparently murders a horse every couple of days for "failing its mission".
  • Violent Glaswegian: He isn't one, but Strax seems to feel more of a kinship with them than any other humans. Whenever he has a day off, he travels to Glasgow for the express purpose of getting in bar fights.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • He considers the Doctor a worthy enemy of the Sontarans, though he prefers some incarnations over others. Six is his personal favourite, Three gets singled out for his super-spy heroics, and he despises Ten for humiliating his clone batch.
    • When he's not fighting his favourite Violent Glaswegian to the death in an epic bar brawl, he's on quite friendly terms with him.


Example of: