Incarnations of the Doctor
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Companions and Supporting Cast
Classic Series Companions (K9, Romana) | Revival Series Companions (Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, River Song, Clara Oswald) | Other Supporting Cast (The Paternoster Gang) | UNIT Staff
Immortals and Eldritch Abominations | The Master (John Simm's Master, Missy, Expanded Universe Masters)
Aliens and Monsters
Daleks (Davros) | Cybermen | Robots | The Silence | Silurians | Sontarans | Time Lords | Weeping Angels | Slitheen
Members of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, later the UNified Intelligence Taskforce (the fictional organization had to be renamed after the BBC received an angry letter from the actual United Nations).
This international military and scientific organization keeps planet Earth safe from alien menaces (or, at least, they try to) and have been a reoccurring element in Doctor Who for decades. UNIT first appeared in the 1968 serial "The Invasion", formed due to the aftermath of the events of "The Web of Fear". During his exile on Earth, the Third Doctor reluctantly worked for UNIT as their scientific adviser, becoming close friends with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who he had previously met twice during his second incarnation, in the process.
UNIT have appeared many times since, being formally re-introduced post-2005 in "The Sontaran Stratagem" in series 4; although there had been a few references to UNIT beforehand in the revived series. "The Power of Three" also proved to be an important episode for UNIT as it introduced Kate Stewart, the daughter of the Brigadier, to the TV series; she went on to become an important supporting character.
Classic Series Debut
Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, CMG, CBE, DSO
A soldier, and a gentleman.
One of the most significant and recognisable companions, although he rarely travelled away from Earth. The head of UNIT in the 70s (or in the 80s, "depending on dating protocol"), the Brig worked alongside the Doctor and many of his companions in that era and beyond often defending the Earth from various threats. He retired from UNIT in 1976, though still met up with the Doctor on occasion, as well as with Sarah Jane (in The Sarah Jane Adventures, 2008). Trope Namer for The Brigadier, Five Rounds Rapid (from "The Dæmons") and Immune to Bullets (from "Robot").
Tropes associated with the television continuity:
- Agent Scully: Has a tendency to keep this up even when up to his eyeballs in aliens. First time in the TARDIS, he dismissed the inside view as "some kind of optical illusion". UNIT in general seems to treat extraterrestrial matters kind of lightly, even in the new series, yet UNIT is supposed to be monitoring and defending against intergalactic activity.
- And I Must Scream: He passes away in a nursing home circa 2011, but his consciousness is intercepted by the Nethersphere. Three years later, his withered earthly remains are cyber-converted and he is uploaded back into them, essentially stuck in the decayed shell of his former self with bits of cybernetics wired into the organic parts to reanimate that body against his will. But he manifests the willpower to overcome the Cyberman conditioning and breaks loose, not blowing himself up with Danny and the rest of the undead Cybermen. Instead, he saves his daughter from certain death. After that, he just flies off into parts unknown, not to be heard from again.
- Anti-Hero: Normally he's clearly on the good team but he dives headlong into this in "Doctor Who and the Silurians" where he orders the total genocide of a hibernating race. He also showed no hesitation about gunning down an unarmed prisoner in "Battlefield".
- Ascended Extra: Appeared as simply Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart in "The Web of Fear". Brought back the next season and given a bonus promotion.
- Back from the Dead: In "Death in Heaven", he, along with every other corpse on Earth, comes back as a Cyberman. And breaks his conditioning to save his daughter and to defeat the Master one more time.
- Badass Normal: He doesn't know the first thing about time travel or Time Lords, but he knows how to lead an army. After all, they don't name you to the Distinguished Service Order for sitting around.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Despite his constant politeness, stiff upper lip and occasional goofy moments, he's probably the most ruthless regular human character onscreen:
- In "The Five Doctors", he punched the Master in the Death Zone. Without the Master even seeing him beforehand.
- In "Death in Heaven", he shot the Master, as a Cyberman; then again, Missy threw his daughter out of a plane.
- Brave Scot: It doesn't come up all that often, but he's very proud of his heritage.
- The Brigadier: The Trope Namer.
- The Bus Came Back: In "Death in Heaven" comes back as a Cyberman, but breaks his conditioning.
- But Now I Must Go: Cyber-Brigadier flies off just as mysteriously as he appeared once he takes aim at Missy, without a word spoken.
- Came Back Strong: Before his death, he was a human soldier. After his death, he's a metal soldier that can fly and shoot lasers.
- Colonel Badass: Before his promotion to Brigadier.
- The Comically Serious: The embodiment of Keep Calm and Carry On. Lethbridge-Stewart is going to remain in charge, and no squid aliens, chaps with wings, giant robots, creatures from the Black Lagoon, or killer mannequins are going to have anything to say about it!
- Commuting on a Bus: In Seasons 9-13, when UNIT no longer appeared in every story. After the final end of UNIT as a regular part of the show's set-up, he made three more appearances in the 1980s, and a final appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures. (Poor health repeatedly prevented him from appearing in the main show during the 21st century.)
- Cool Old Guy: After he retired.
- Deadpan Snarker: Got into many a mutual snarking match with Three. Two and Four liked to just run circles around him intellectually instead. Five and Seven, on the other hand, were kinder and fairly more respectful of the Brig, and the Expanded Universe shows him having a fairly equal relationship with Six and Eight.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Coming back from the grave, actually. He's able to summon enough willpower to resist Cyber-conversion after being three years dead, and saves his daughter's life before blasting the Master away so the Doctor won't have to do it. Leads to Dying Wish too: finally, he gets the salute he always wanted from the Doctor.
- Eyepatch of Power: His scary alternate-universe self in "Inferno".
- Expanded Universe: More than you can shake a stick at. Apart from his extensive work on Big Finish Doctor Who, along with various appearances in the novels, he got his own direct-to-video spinoff together with Sarah Jane and Victoria, called Downtime.
- Expy: Resembles Colonel Breen from Quatermass and the Pit. So much so that originally Julian Glover from the then-recent movie adaptation would have played him had the original actor not dropped out. It should be noted, though, that Breen in Quatermass and the Pit never develops beyond his obstructive Agent Scully characterisation, and dies at the point when things start to get seriously out of control.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: His rival those of David Tennant, and he could give Peter Capaldi a run for his money with the eyebrows!
- Five Rounds Rapid: Also the Trope Namer.
- Flanderization: He was introduced in Season 5 and made a regular in Season 7, serving as an action-oriented non-scientific foil for the Doctor. Despite being a somewhat stubborn and closed-minded military man who depended upon the Doctor in dire circumstances, he was shown in his first 2 seasons as crafty and capable. Starting in Season 8, his most obvious traits were magnified. It got so bad that by Season 10 he was incapable of getting anything done when the Doctor was away, failed to understand even simple scientific principles, and was incredulous of any unusual phenomenon. This trend was reversed somewhat when his character was reintroduced in Season 20 after an absence of 7 years, and most of his appearances in spin-off media show him as a rare example of a military officer that the Doctor trusts in a crisis.
- Foil: He was mostly written as a Monty Python army character for the pacifist Doctor to snark at: a rules-abiding bureaucrat who is forced to employ a chaotic person to restore order. The character eventually managed to transcend this.
- Genre Refugee: He's a pastiche of the Stiff Upper Lip Officer and a Gentleman Stock Character who appeared in every classic British war movie the children watching would have grown up with.
- Last-Name Basis: With the Third Doctor. Four, in contrast, usually calls him "Alistair".
- Life Will Kill You: After helping to deflect God knows how many alien invasions, he dies peacefully in bed at a ripe old age.
- Like Father Like Daughter: His daughter, Kate, from the expanded universe, who later appears in the TV series as a leader in UNIT.
- Immune to Bullets: Again, the Trope Namer, though not immune himself by any means.
- It Runs in the Family:
- A sea of calm in the face of the manic Third Doctor. It's quite interesting to see the Eleventh Doctor (and now Twelfth) losing his mind in the presence of Kate Stewart's unflappability.
- Then we meet his grandfather in "Twice Upon a Time", a soldier in World War I who freely offers to trade his life for a civilian he's just met and goes to his preordained end with just a request that the Doctor check in on his family.
- Jurisdiction Friction: He may be a loyal British subject through and through, but UNIT is a United Nations organization. So although he often cooperates with the British Government, he will occasionally go over their head by contacting his superiors in Geneva if he feels it's necessary.
- Man in a Kilt: Wears the hunting Stewart tartan during UNIT's adventure in Scotland.
- Nerves of Steel: He knows no fear.note
- Papa Wolf: As an undead Cyberman he saves his daughter from falling to her death, then has a good shot at vaporising her would-be murderer, Missy/the Master. It doesn't work, but he does try.
- Pornstache: Interestingly, his fascist Mirror Universe counterpart is clean-shaven. (Nicholas Courtney actually was clean-shaven and just removed it for his alternate self. He was always clean-shaven during the series the famed moustache was a fake!)
- Rank Up: Between his first and second appearances, he went from Colonel to Brigadier. Plus, in the original script for "Battlefield", he would have become a General.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In The Sarah Jane Adventures, he gives modern day UNIT one after a Bane disguised as a UNIT major has the cheek to insinuate that his era had it easier.Brigadier: In my day, we took on Daleks, Cybermen, Autons, Zygons, and all manner of space thuggery! And it doesn't come more hostile than that!
- Retired Badass: In The Sarah Jane Adventures, just because he retired doesn't mean he won't remind you of just why he is the Brig. He walks with a cane by this time. It fires harpoons. Whether he actually needs the cane, or just carries it because it fires harpoons, is up for debate. Knowing the Brigadier, it's probably the latter he is seen walking without it several times in his appearance in the show after all.
- Taken further in the expanded universe, where he single-handedly stops an alien who has been trapped on Earth for 12 000 years from destroying the planet just because the alien was annoyed, and assists the Sixth Doctor in two direct confrontations with Adolf Hitler.
- Revenge: Being brought back from the grave by the Master's female incarnation led the Brigadier to finally have his fill of the villain and actually shoot to kill. It didn't work, though, but still, big points for trying.
- Running Gag: In both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Brig has a disturbing tendency to be "stranded in Peru" when all the important, UNIT-related alien stuff is going on.
- Sarcastic Devotee: He can snark and be irritated by the Doctor and whatever catastrophe he now has to deal with, but it's clear that beneath it all, he's secretly having the time of his life.
- Shoot the Dog: Very much so in "Doctor Who and the Silurians".
- The Snark Knight: Especially towards Two.
- Staff of Authority: His swagger stick.
- Stiff Upper Lip: No matter whatever weird menace the Universe throws against him, the Brig takes it completely in stride.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: His love for his daughter, as well as his sense of duty for his country, allow him to break from his Cyber-converstion when reanimated as a Cyberman by the Master during "Death in Heaven".
- Vitriolic Best Buds: His friendship with the Doctor starts out very uneasy, and he and Three spend most of their time insulting each other. His encounter with Five is naturally a lot calmer, and by the time he meets Seven, they've moved securely into this trope's territory.
- In Big Finish, he later (for him) meets Six and Eight (in that order), and gets along very well with both regenerations; the latter even explicitly refers to the Brig as his closest friend among his companions up to that point.
- By the time Twelve comes along, the Vitriol part is gone and the Doctor declares the Brigadier more than worthy of receiving a salute stating that if he had wanted a salute for all those years he "should have just asked".
- We Come in Peace Shoot to Kill: The Doctor often criticizes his unimaginative and often violent response to every alien threat. How justified this criticism is varies according to the circumstances. The Brigadier is simply using the tools he's most familiar with against aliens who are frequently hostile or at least acting in a sinister manner. Coming up with other options is the Doctor's job.
- You Look Familiar: Nicholas Courtney played Bret Vyon in "The Daleks' Master Plan" before he got the role of the Brigadier, making him the only actor to act alongside all seven (eight if you count the audio dramas Minuet in Hell and Zagreus) of the original Doctors at some point in his career.
Tropes associated with Lethbridge-Stewart
- Arch-Enemy: The Great Intelligence.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: "Twice Upon A Time" introduced Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart and strongly implied he was the Brigadier's grandfather. According to Henry Lincoln and the Haisman estate (who own the character and publish the Lethbridge-Stewart series), the Captain was the Brig's great-uncle, and his brother Alastair is the Brigadier's grandfather. A compromise was agreed upon to solve the conflict, in the form of a free story which strongly implies that Archibald is both the Brigadier's great-uncle, and his biological grandfather.
Sergeant John Benton (Second, Third and Fourth Doctors)
Third Doctor: What?
Benton: You'd better start overpowering me, hadn't you? You know, a bit of your Venusian oojah?
A kind and determined UNIT sergeant. Benton was down-to-Earth and often had common sense that others around him seemed to lack. He always stood up for what he believed was right, even if it meant defying orders or getting into fights with his direct superiors. Together with Captain Yates, he was one of two recurring characters during the UNIT years who were subordinate to the Brigadier. After the Golden Age incident that led to Yates's forced retirement, he was promoted to a Warrant Officer to make up for the absence of a Captain under the Brigadier's command.
- Ascended Extra: The actor originally cast was fired for being late, so director Douglas Camfield, who'd seen how well Levene got on with Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines when he played a Yeti back in "The Abominable Snowmen", gave Levene the part instead. He was quite literally an ascended extra - Levene can even still be seen in some shots of "The Invasion" as a regular unit soldier.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: While Captain Yates certainly fits the bill of this duo, Benton is an absolute teddy bear of an NCO.
- Commuting on a Bus: In Seasons 9-13, when UNIT no longer appeared in every story.
- Expanded Universe: Got his own direct-to-video spinoff, Wartime.
- The Fettered: He even lets the Doctor knock him out in "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" so he doesn't have to break the law to help him.
- No Full Name Given: Was only ever referred to by his surname and rank during the TV series. His first name was decided upon back in the 1970s, but was simply not used. It has subsequently been used in the Expanded Universe, making its first appearance in the 1987 spin-off video Wartime.
- Number Two: The Brigadier often confers to Benton when he needs something done, even though Mike Yates outranks him.
- Put on a Bus: Appeared to be killed in action by an android duplicate, but it turns out that he retired from UNIT in 1979 and has since become a used car salesman.
- Rank Up: He was a corporal in the first UNIT story, but had been promoted to sergeant by the time of his second appearance, in "The Ambassadors of Death". In "Robot", his final regular appearance, he receives a promotion to warrant officer and an appointment as a regimental sergeant major.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Benton embodies this trope, especially all over "Invasion of the Dinosaurs".Finch: Youll be court martialled for this, Sergeant!
Benton: Yes, sir. Very sorry, sir!
- Sergeant Rock: Eventually became UNIT's Regimental Sergeant Major, and often served as the Brig's senior enlisted man in the field. He's always calm, always on-the-ball, and very quick to react when a situation completely changed best seen when he very rapidly kicked, grabbed and overpowered Mike Yates after the latter's FaceHeel Turn.
- Those Two Guys: With Yates.
- Unfazed Everyman: Adapts with equanimity no matter what gets thrown at him. Exemplified in his first time inside the TARDIS.Third Doctor: Well, Sergeant? Aren't you going to say 'it's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside'? Everybody else does.
Sgt. Benton: Well, it's ... pretty obvious, isn't it?
Captain Mike Yates (Third Doctor)
Mike Yates was one of several subordinates to the Brigadier over the years. Despite being a soldier, he was also somewhat of a radical hippie. He left UNIT after the events of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs", but returned once more for the final Third Doctor tale. It's unknown if he rejoined UNIT after or simply faded into obscurity. In the Expanded Universe, Franklin reprised his role with Tom Baker in 2009 for three series of audio adventures, Hornet's Nest, Demon Quest and Serpent Crest.
- Aborted Arc: Franklin currently believes that the original intention of the serial "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" was to kill off Mike Yates. This is indeed quite possible, though his appearance in a subsequent story might suggest otherwise. Less disputably, his planned romance with Jo never came to be.
- Bound and Gagged: In "Planet of the Spiders" Episode 5.
- Brainwashed: "The Green Death" left him just a little bit traumatised, and he ended up taking an extensive vacation to clear his head. It didn't go well.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Fulfils his half of the dynamic with Benton, but the good Sergeant is far too much of a cuddly sort for it to be played straight.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Both the Brig and the Doctor draw attention to it in "The Mind of Evil". It irks the Brig, but deeply amuses the Doctor.
- Commuting on a Bus: In Seasons 9-11, when UNIT no longer appeared in every story.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Flirted on and off with Jo Grant for his time on the show, and looks utterly crestfallen when she announces her marriage... according to an interview with Richard Franklin, the stage directions actually called for this.
- FaceHeel Turn
- Those Two Guys: With Benton.
- Resigned in Disgrace: After being unmasked as the traitor who aiding Operation Golden Age, his distinguished service record and the fact that he did his best to prevent anyone from being hurt nets him a second chance, and he is allowed to quietly resign from UNIT in lieu of imprisonment.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With the Doctor. Gets along marvellously with him and has the occasional snarky Friendship Moment.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist/Heel Realization: In "Invasion of the Dinosaurs".
Brigadier Winifred Bambera (Seventh Doctor)
The new Brigadier introduced in "Battlefield". Roped into a mad plot involving a parallel universe filled with Arthurian knights and magic, Bambera keeps a rough, militaristic attitude which immediately attracts Ancelyn, a handsome swordsman from the parallel world.
Revival Series Debut
Captain Erisa Magambo (Tenth Doctor)
A recurring UNIT captain introduced in Donna's nightmarish parallel universe in "Turn Left", though she later appears in the main Doctor Who universe to aid the Doctor when a Routemaster bus mysteriously teleports to an alien desert in "Planet of the Dead".
- Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo: She has this dynamic with raving Doctor fanboy Malcolm Tucker, being the more soft-spoken of the two. She has an almost soporifically soothing voice.
- Fangirl: She's rather thrilled to be working alongside the Doctor, even if it is just over the phone.
- Not So Above It All: Can't resist a cheeky salute to the Doctor, even though she's talking to him over the phone, then shyly denies doing so when he correctly guesses that she did.
- Straight Man: Compared to the comical Malcolm Tucker, played by comedian Lee Evans, she's much more levelheaded, even though she is equally overwhelmed with excitement at the prospect of working with the Doctor. She's just better at keeping a lid on it and staying professional.
- Techno Babble: She's rather put off by Rose's constant Doctor-esque abuse of it, sighing that she "always talks like that".
Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (War, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Doctors)
The Head of Scientific Research of UNIT, following in the footsteps of her father, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Kate first appeared in the Expanded Universe releases Downtime and Dæmos Rising, where she was played by Beverley Cressman. After a few more appearances in Expanded Universe novels, Kate became one of the very, very few Canon Immigrants in the TV series. Also got her own Big Finish Doctor Who spinoff in 2015.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: She gives Eleven a very sweet kiss on the cheek.
- Aggressive Negotiations: Was in the midst of one at the climax of "The Day of the Doctor" against an invading Zygon party, culminating in her threatening to blow up London for the Zygons breaching the Black Archive. The 10th and 11th Doctors manage to avert any possible disaster through enforced mind-wipes.
- Badass Boast: "Somewhere in your memory is a man named Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. I'm his daughter."
- Badass Bookworm: Kate is, first and foremost, a scientist. This means she defeats with alien menaces with science, and a gun if necessary.
- Badass Longcoat: A suitably impressive longcoat for the Head of Scientific Research of UNIT.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Kate is affable and polite, but she also has a ruthless and pragmatic side to her. In "The Day of the Doctor", she's willing to nuke London to save the rest of the planet; and in "The Zygon Inversion" she's willing to use a deadly nerve gas to prevent a Zygon uprising.
- The Brigadier: She doesn't hold the title, but takes up the role of protecting Earth from supernatural nasties.
- Call-Back: Remember Davros' reproach to the Doctor about being a Technical Pacifist while making his allies willing to go to unbelievable extremes in his name? Kate's no exception.
- Canon Immigrant: As mentioned, she first appeared in the Expanded Universe before moving on to the show proper.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Engages in a bit in "Death in Heaven". Cybermen on the streets of London? "You've picked a beautiful day for it."
- The Comically Serious: Quite subtle, actually: she never flaps even at the most ridiculous of discussions although she does express genuine shock at unforeseen faux pas, such as accidentally appropriating the TARDIS via helicopter with the Doctor and Clara inside it note .
- Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments.Kate: UNIT's been adapting. Well, I dragged them along, kicking and screaming, which made it sound like more fun than it actually was.
- Emperor Scientist: Under her leadership, UNIT has become a more technologically-savvy organisation, who can defend the Earth and cripple alien menaces with science, in addition to their traditional methods of unloading Five Rounds Rapid into them.
- Five Rounds Rapid: This is how she escapes from Zygons after being thought dead in "The Zygon Inversion". Naturally.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Her friendship with the Doctor picks right up where her dad left off.
- Kidnapped by an Ally: Aware of the Doctor's notorious unreliability, she just has him shot with a tranquilizer dart and carted off to a flying Mission Control.
- Legacy Character: She's the Brigadier's daughter.
- Like Father Like Daughter: She is so much her father's daughter that the Doctor is aware of their relationship within minutes of meeting her, despite the fact that she had dropped "Lethbridge" from her name to obscure the connection.
- Nerves of Steel:
- On full display in "The Day of the Doctor": after all, she was the one who manages to intimidate the invading Zygon top brass after activating a nuclear warhead under London.
- During "Flux", she talks down the Grand Serpent despite knowing that he's killed several members of UNIT's top brass over the course of nearly 60 years and not knowing how he did it. Even when he blows up her house she keeps making sure he's brought to justice.
- No-Sell: During her confrontation with the Grand Serpent in "Survivors of the Flux", she wears a psychic manifest shield in case he conjures up one of his snake-creatures to suffocate her from inside, having done her research and discovered the trail of deaths he's left in his wake.
- Not Afraid to Die: Not afraid to give the order to detonate a nuke under London, if it saves the planet. Luckily, she doesn't have to go through with her threat, but damn!Zygon Kate: We only have to agree to live.
Kate: Sadly, we can only agree to die.
- Recurring Character: Kate made her first TV appearance in Series 7, and returned in Series 8 and 9; the only reason she wasn't in Series 10 was because of a scheduling conflict Jemma Redgrave had. She also didn't appear in Series 11 and 12, what with UNIT being out of action at the time, but finally came back in Series 13.
- The Remnant: After the Grand Serpent disbands UNIT, she remains as dedicated to her position as ever, the last bastion against Sontaran occupation of Earth.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Averted. Kate didn't want to be shown any favouritism because of her dad. So she dropped Lethbridge from her name and earned her place in UNIT. Averted when she desires to threaten people: then her father's name comes out.
- Seen It All: There is very, very little that makes this woman so much as blink.
- Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: The novelization to The Day Of The Doctor describes her facing off against her Zygon duplicate as this.
Petronella Osgood (War, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors)
Kate Stewart's right-hand woman in the revamped UNIT. She's "science-y" and a rather big fangirl of the Doctor, cosplaying him regularly. She is key to the peace negotiated between humans and Zygons in "The Day of the Doctor", her debut story, and a Riddle for the Ages evolves around her in subsequent appearances thanks to this: She and her Zygon double become close as sisters. One of them is murdered by Missy in "Death in Heaven". Which one lives? She's not talking...
- Action Survivor: Not a Badass Normal, but she's scraped through plenty of dangerous situations with her wits and an Improvised Weapon.
- Ambiguous Clone Ending: She and her Zygon duplicate both survive the 50th anniversary special, and they agree to keep their mouths shut so as not to confuse the peace talks. This raises the interesting question of which Osgood dies in the Series 8 finale. The show deliberately does not answer: both Osgoods consider themselves human and Zygon, and because Zygons develop the ability to "hold" a human's bodyprint after the human's death, even the Doctor cannot guess which is which. This continues after Bonnie takes Osgood's form; each refuses to reveal which of them is which!
- Audience Surrogate: She's essentially a Doctor Who fan who just so happens to exist in the show itself.
- Badass Adorable: Although she doesn't have too many action moments, she has shown herself to be as much of a Technical Pacifist as her role model.
- Break the Cutie: Averted. Although the surviving Osgood is deeply affected by the cruel death of her "sister" and undergoes terrifying experiences in "The Zygon Invasion"/"The Zygon Inversion", she remains committed to her duty in maintaining human-Zygon peace and retains her plucky, idealistic, courageous spirit.
- Character Development: From meek scientist to self-appointed custodian of a fragile peace between humans and Zygons.
- Cosplay: An in-universe example. She wears the Fourth Doctor's iconic scarf in "The Day of the Doctor" (literally the actual scarfnote , and according to Word of God given to her by the Curator). In "Death In Heaven", she wears the Eleventh Doctor's jacket and bowtie as well as Ten's red converse shoes. In "The Zygon Invasion"/"The Zygon Inversion", she wears the Seventh Doctor's signature '80s question mark collar!
- The Dividual: Since the events of "The Day of the Doctor", there have usually been two Osgoods. After one of them was killed by Missy, Zygon rebel leader Bonnie filled the vacancy. And no one knows which is which.
- Embarrassing First Name: Petronella, which is she's usually referred to by her surname.
- Fangirl: Another in-universe example. She's basically a Doctor Who fangirl fresh from Tumblr transplanted into the show.
- Foil: To Clara; they both emulate certain aspects of the Doctor. But while Clara's Character Development leads her to often exhibit the Doctor's worst traits; like pride, recklessness and an Omniscient Morality Licence, Osgood emulates his fashion sense, idealism and hope no matter what.
- I Am the Noun: During "The Zygon Invasion", Osgood says "I am the peace". She is its maintainer, its symbol, etc.
- Kill the Cutie: In "Death in Heaven", Missy murders one of the Osgoods, taunting her with the knowledge that she's going to kill her before doing so. Then she crumples her glasses under her boot heel.
- Last-Name Basis: She always goes by her surname Osgood, because she has a horrible first name "Petronella".
- Legacy Character: Bonnie the Zygon replaces the murdered Osgood at the end of "The Zygon Inversion".Osgood: (both of them) It doesn't matter which of us is which. All that matters is that Osgood lives.
- Morality Pet: While Twelve can be rude to Clara occasionally, he's never anything but kind and sweet to his number one fan.
- Nerd: She's got asthma, OCD and big doofy glasses. She's also a very clever scientist who genuinely impresses the Doctor, to the point where he offers her a companion position twice over. (The first time, she is killed shortly after he makes the offer; the second time, she gently turns him down on the grounds of needing to help keep the human-Zygon peace on Earth.)
- Nerd Glasses: She wears a pair of big, doofy ones, as seen in the picture.
- Nerdy Inhaler: A Chekhov's Gun in "The Day of the Doctor".
- Not Quite Dead: Despite being killed off by Missy in the Series 8 finale, she comes back for Series 9. Turns out there were two Osgoods, Human!Osgood and Zygon!Osgood, who both consider(ed) themselves human and Zygon.
- Number Two: Regularly seen with Kate Stewart and implied to be her direct assistant.
- Mythology Gag: Much like Kate, she shares a surname with a UNIT character from the Pertwee era. Word of God has it that Moffat imagined her as Sergeant Osgood's daughter, but deliberately refrained from making it official so fans could decide for themselves. Her first name is finally revealed in "The Zygon Inversion"... it's Petronella. Embarrassing First Name, no wonder we're on Last-Name Basis.
- Refusal of the Call: She really wants to join the Doctor in the TARDIS, but she knows her place is on Earth safeguarding the Zygon-human ceasefire.
- Surpassed the Teacher: By the time of "The Zygon Invasion"/"The Zygon Inversion", she embodies the Doctor's ideals of peaceful resolution better than the Doctor himself, so much that he's a fan of her!
- Survival Mantra: "The Doctor will save me. The Doctor will save me."
- Too Dumb to Live: Osgood finds a pair of handcuffs in her pocket after the "captive" Missy was close enough to whisper death threats in her ear. In an uncharacteristically slow moment, she wastes enough time gawking at not understanding how they got there for the Mistress to get behind her with a death ray.
- Took a Level in Badass: In her second appearance in "Death in Heaven", she's much more confident and bold than when we first met her, and the Doctor first offers her the chance to be a companion because of this. Sadly, she is killed before she can choose. She seems to have taken another after those events, even more confident and mature than before as the living embodiment of the treaty.
- The Unreveal: Nobody except for the Osgoods themselves know which is which. At the end of "The Zygon Inversion", it's possible that one is human and the other Zygon, or both are Zygons. They do promise to reveal it to the Doctor some day, when it no longer matters (i.e. when the peace is solid).
- Word of God in Doctor Who Magazine has it that the Osgood killed was the human one—however, Moffat, like the Doctor, often lies.
- The Big Finish episode Narcissus, which is clearly set after The Zygon Inversion as it is mentioned that they have "already lost one Osgood", has a Zygon Osgood being injured, as her counterpart mentions that a human would have died, but the injured one's constitution is stronger than 'ours', which all but outright confirms that Missy killed the Zygon.
- In the webcast special The Zygon Isolation, set both concurrently with the time of the 13th Doctor and the real world event of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent precautionary quarantines, The Osgoods talk about how the one on the bottom screen is managing her asthma. They then joke that the one on the bottom screen has more activity going on in her bed. Then the Osgood on the top screen outright confirms she's a Zygon by mentioning her suckers. Of course, as always, they could be messing with the viewer.