The Widget Series adventures of Iris Wildthyme, transtemporal adventuress, occasionally take place in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe and occasionally in different continuities altogether. Iris is an old — very old — Rebellious Spirit with a love for booze, music and sex. She's had a slew of different bodies and dashes in and out of universes as a merry, if somewhat ditzy, Fourth-Wall Observer.
Iris originated in a series of non-genre novels by Paul Magrs, who imported the character of Iris Wildthyme into the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novels wholesale when he started writing those as well. After appearing all over the Eighth Doctor Adventures series (with a hop over into the Past Doctor Adventures for good measure), Iris was subsequently transported into the Big Finish Doctor Who audios and eventually given her own audio spinoff. Big Finish deliberately chooses to ignore the massive Continuity Snarl that would be caused by her appearances in the novels and the audios as though they were all the same timeline — which Iris comments on. Her unexplained appearances in all of the above are simply considered part of her charm.
The many stories gladly make use of Easy Amnesia, Multiple-Choice Past, Broad Strokes and just plain Blatant Lies in regards to their internal continuity. The series in general thrives on Rule of Funny and, where it touches on Doctor Who continuities, provides a much Lighter and Softer atmosphere than most of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe franchise — albeit with plenty of violence, booze and innuendo.
Iris's adventures even spawned their own series of spin-off novellas starring her Mexican wrestler friend Señor 105.
Has a character sheet.
- The Alleged Car: Iris' TARDIS, disguised as the no. 22 bus to Putney Common, is smaller on the inside.
- Broad Strokes: Reeeaaally broad.
- Cast Full of Gay: Two of Iris' companions, Tom and Jenny, are gay. Iris' very first appearance had her as a lesbian, although she definitely also likes men in later regenerations.
- Christmas Episode: "The Claws Of Santa". (He's her ex.)
- Continuity Snarl: All over. Mostly because for Iris, all of it happened. Even the bits that contradict the other bits.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: This happens to Iris in "The Iris Wildthyme Appreciation Society" when she unwittingly swaps bodies with an obsessed fan, Wayne Bland III. That's only the beginning.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: Iris is always the same character, even when appearing in different canons. She also teams up with Carnacki the Ghost-Finder on one occasion.
- Lighter and Softer: Some of the most carefree and sweet stories in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe.
- Magic Realism: Her stories are frequently in this mode, particularly when Paul Magrs is writing.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Constantly invoked.
- Noodle Incident: One of the main sources of comedy in the franchise.
- The Nth Doctor: Iris has had a number of different bodies and personalities over the years.
- Panda-ing to the Audience: Big Finish gave Iris a talking stuffed panda companion. This was never explained in any way.
- A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: The Doctor uses a variant of this turn of phrase to is describe Iris. "She's an enigma wrapped in a mystery, with a shapeless, tasteless hat clamped to her head."
- Rule of Funny: Always in full effect.
- Running Gag: While the Doctor faces Daleks, Cybermen and cosmic horrors, Iris keeps running into the Zarbi.
- You Look Familiar: In Big Finish, Iris is played by Katy Manning, who also played companion Jo in Doctor Who. Hilarity Ensues in the Big Finish audio episode "Find And Replace", when the two characters team up.