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Franchise / Iris Wildthyme

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"Iris is an enigma... She's an enigma wrapped in a mystery. With a shapeless, tasteless hat clamped to her head. She's an enigma wrapped in a mystery, with a shapeless, tasteless hat clamped to her head and she's puffing on a gold-tipped black Sobranie."

The quirky 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 the magic realist Phoenix Court series of 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.

Recaps of her audio adventures can be found on the Big Finish recaps page; recaps of her written adventures with the Eighth Doctor can be found on the Eighth Doctor Adventures page.


  • Adventures in the Bible: Panda notes that Simon getting to see Vince Cosmos perform would be like seeing the rebirth of Christ and notes that he must ask Iris to take him back to see the return of Jesus.
  • Alien Animals:
    • The Poodles of Dogworld can pass for Earth poodles if they cover up their human-like hands.
    • Pussyworlders can similarly pass for cats.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The town of Darlington attracts alot of weirdness due to being a nexus for multiverse explorers and time travellers.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Zig-Zagged:
    • It's mentioned that Terrance can talk to a Vatrexii due to knowing several languages but later on another member speaks to Iris and co in English.
    • Marvelle has to let the Poodles talk to the Martians because they've worked with them before and know the language.
    • The neanderthal-like aliens on Valcea speak English but the Glass Men after their own language that only Iris can understand after they used a machine to scan her brain.
  • Aliens Steal Cable: The Poodle Space Station in Mad Dogs and Englishmen can pick up television broadcasts from Earth.
  • The Alleged Car: Iris's TARDIS, disguised as the no. 22 bus to Putney Common, is smaller on the inside instead of larger on the inside like a regular TARDIS.
  • All Just a Dream: The "In The Sixties" short story ends with being a dream of the newborn baby Paul Magrs.
  • Almost Dead Guy: Parodied in Enter Wildthyme when Iris finds it astounding that the dying Vatrexii they interview had been apparently lying there for two weeks then dies while talking to them.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Vatrexiis look like blue-skinned humans.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Dogworld Poodles come in colours like pink, blue and orange.
  • Bowdlerise: When "The Dreadful Flap" was reprinted in The Further Adventures of Iris Wildthyme, a time-travelling dildo called the Time Cock was renamed to the "Time Neck Massager".
  • Canon Welding;
    • Paul Magrs created her as a Distaff Counterpart parody of the Doctor. When he started writing Whoniverse novels, he wrote her in as one of the Doctor's fellow rogue Time Lords/Ladies.
    • The Ninnies from The Ninnies on Putney Common originated in Paul Magrs's book The Ninnies the previous year.
  • Carnivore Confusion: On his first trip to Hyspero, Simon is disgusted at Iris killing and cooking a lobster that can talk.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Two of Iris's companions, Tom and Jenny, are gay. Iris's 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.
  • Cult Classic: In-Universe we see a parallel universe where The Iris Wildthyme Show lasted one season in the '60s and was mostly hated but had a loyal fanbase decades later.
  • Dimensional Cutter: Iris has Blithe Pinking Shears that can cut holes in reality that lead to elsewhere in time or the multiverse.
  • Doctor Whomage:
    • Iris herself was written as a female Doctor Who.
    • She sometimes interacts with a man nicknamed El Jefe, a parody of the First Doctor who worked for the Lords Temporal but got bored and stole a wordship. When the "First Meetings" short story was reprinted as "When Iris Met Billy" he's renamed The Doctor as Magrs was allowed to use names from the Doctor Who franchise.
    • The "In the Sixties" short story had Iris attend a party held by a man called Dr Oho who later takes his guests home in a phonebox. He seemed to be based on the Peter Cushing and Patrick Troughton incarnations of The Doctor.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: MIAOW has one under the Darlington Market to capture anything that emerges from The Dreadful Flap.
  • Extradimensional Shortcut:
    • The Celestial Omnibus travels through a dimension called The Maelstrom and emerges elsewhere in time and space. This was a copyright friendly version of the Time Vortex from Doctor Who. When "First Meetings" was reprinted in Obverse Books' charity anthology A Second Target for Tommy as "When Iris Met Billy", several phrases were replaced with more Doctor Who-familiar terms and the Maelstrom became the Vortex.
    • The Very Fabric of Time and Space, (usually just called the Very Fabric for short) often appears as a dimension that time travellers have to pass through in Paul Magrs stories. Notably Iris' Blithe Pinking Shears.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: It's mentioned in an In-Universe web forum that a lot of The Iris Wildthyme Show fans don't consider the novels canon.
  • Fisher King: Hyspero can be changed at the will of the reigning Scarlet Empress.
  • "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.
  • Fun with Acronyms: MIAOW usually stands for "Ministry for Incursions and Alien Ontological Wonders" or some variation of it.
  • Genre Shift: Simon, Kelly and Terrence from Enter Wildthyme originated in Magrs' novel Exchange that had no science fiction elements.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: The Maelstrom is populated by Time Zombies. Basically the ghosts of people who tried to harness the power of time. They'd be able to force the gang to let them onboard the Omnibus if they made eye contact for too long.
  • Inn Between the Worlds:
    • The Wormery is set in Bianca's Cabaret. A bar on a distant planet full of wormholes for bringing in customers from all over time and space. It turns out to be a future incarnation of the Celestial Omnibus.
    • In Enter Wildthyme they visit an alternate 19th Century Paris where a Negative Space Wedgie links to other parts of time and space. The nearby Moulin Rouge has a clientel of time travellers and aliens.
  • Inn of No Return: Variation. When an innkeeper on Valcea finds out the gang are going to see the New Gods, he hides a bomb in Barbra.
  • 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.
  • Julius Beethoven da Vinci: In Marked For Life, Iris says that she and Peggy were Cleopatra and Anthony in a past life.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Fans of the TV show In-Universe had to wait decades for The Iris Wildthyme Show to get a VHS or DVD release.
  • Lighter and Softer: Some of the most carefree and sweet stories in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe.
  • Lunarians: The "Minions of the Moon" short story had Lunaries, 15 foot tall Winged Humanoids.
  • Magical Land: The planet Hyspero in an obscure part of space where magic works.
  • Magic Librarian: Seems to be a theme:
    • Magda runs a failing bookshop but her wheelchair hides a mermaid tail and her shop hides the entrance to an Elaborate Underground Base owned by The Men in Black.
    • Terrance runs a second hand bookshop but he's actually a refugee from Hyspero and owns transmat technology that lets him beam onto an alien spaceship in orbit.
    • There's an off-hand reference in Enter Wildthyme to one of the few remaining MIAOW agents being a Fae librarian called Alan.
  • Magic Realism: Her stories are frequently in this mode, particularly when Paul Magrs is writing.
  • Martians;
    • Iris likes to dine at a restaurant in an Alternate History France where the Martian invasion from War of the Worlds actually happened.
    • The Green Mars Blues short story has Iris summon Martians from various fictional worlds (see Massive Multiplayer Crossover below) in order to stimulate the imaginations of human colonists and keep the fictional worlds alive.
    • "The Ninnies on Putney Common" has Ninnies, Martians with purple skin and rugbyball-shaped heads.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Green Mars Blues has;
  • The Men in Black: Iris sometimes works with or goes up against a government agency called MIAOW that deals with aliens and the supernatural.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Constantly invoked.
  • My Own Grandpa: When Simon asks why Iris can't just go back in time to stop people dying, Panda says that if she messes too much with the Timey-Wimey Ball, everyone will end up being everyone else's grandfather.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: An anomaly called The Dreadful Flap deposits creatures from across space and time to Darlington to be captured by a MIAOW base underneath it. A similar setup to another Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood.
  • Noodle Incident: One of the main sources of comedy in the franchise.
  • No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: It's mentioned that The Clockworks had public access TV where visiting aliens would become celebrities for a month or so before being executed.
  • No Such Thing as Space Jesus: When heading to confront the New Gods, Panda says that people claiming to be gods usually turn out to be aliens.
  • The Nth Doctor: Iris has had a number of different bodies and personalities over the years.
  • Octopoid Aliens: The Martians from War of the Worlds appear in an Alternate Universe, Meercocks are a similar race in the main universe.
  • Planet England: The Glass City is also known as Valcea, the name of the planet it's on.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The Vatrexiis in Enter Wildthyme are described as the galaxy's rag and bone men. Shipping rubbish from world to world and striking bargains with occasional thieving.
  • Recursive Canon: Iris Wildthyme sometimes appears as an in-universe media franchise:
    • We see an Alternate Universe in Wildthyme Beyond! where Iris Wildthyme was a short-lived Cult Classic TV show that spun off into a long series of Tie-In Novels though they don't seem to match any of the real life books.
    • In Parsley Sage, Rosemary and Wildthyme Iris and co. find the entire works of Paul Magrs bound in human skin being sold in The Clockworks.
  • Refugee from TV Land: There's an alternate universe where Iris' adventures are a fictional TV show. Due to Iris tweaking with the multiverse, MIAOW agents are trapped there and Iris and Panda have visited temporarily.
  • Reincarnation Romance: In Marked For Life Iris is Long-Lived but has to find where her lover Peggy reincarnates in each of her new lives.
  • 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.
  • Sequel in Another Medium: In-Universe The Iris Wildthyme Show lasted one season but continued with hundreds of Tie-In Novels.
  • Sex Bot: Suitors, Inc. has Iris being blackmailed into founding the titular company that makes sex robots that look like the Fourth Doctor.
  • Show Within a Show: Magda watches a parody of Midsomer Murders called Midwinter Murders.
  • Space Pirates: Marvelle's Poodles are called Dog Pirates when they attack the Vatrexii ship and take the Empress.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: The Glass Men of Valcea have eyes that shine gold.
  • Tie-In Novel: In the alternate reality where Iris was a TV show that was cancelled after one season but continued to the modern day with over 300 novels.
  • Time Police:
    • If the work they're in doesn't have the IP rights to mention Time Lords, then Iris and El Jefe will belong to a race from The Clockworks called the Lords Temporal.
    • The Martians also have Time Agents that travelled through time to assassinate Vince Cosmos.
  • Trapped in Another World: Everyone in Kelly's family has been whisked off to Hyspero for an adventure at some point.
  • A True Story in My Universe:
    • Short stories like Bafflement and Devotion and The Magrs Conundrum! have Paul Magrs as an in-universe biographer who writes books based on Iris and The Doctor.
    • Iris' ex companion, Tom writes a series of novels about her adventures in the Wildthyme At Large audio play.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The Iris Wildthyme and the Panda Invasion audio story was an Affectionate Parody of the 1996 Doctor Who movie. Both have the protagonist getting injured and taken to a San Francisco hospital on New Year's Eve 1999 and meeting an attractive doctor.
    • Early on, the story even takes an affectionate jab over the California Doubling of Vancouver as San Francisco, by having Iris ask Panda if he'd reconsider his birthday wish to go to San Francisco, New Years, 1999 and instead go to Vancouver on the grounds that it's cheaper (which is why the TV Movie shot there instead of the real San Francisco).invoked
  • Winged Humanoid: The Lunaries can have bird, insect or bat-like wings.