“Who are you, then, Doctor? What are you called? What sort of alien are you?”

whoareyouIn ‘The End of World’ Rose suddenly realises that she has accepted a trip with a stranger who has taken her to a completely alien future. That the TARDIS is inside her head, translating what she hears and in effect warping her perception. That the Doctor allowed this to happen without asking her permission.

This is where the reality of the situation, such as it is, sinks in. Now the shock and wonderment has passed Rose starts to feel afraid and fear the worst. Luckily the Doctor is benevolent and soon returns Rose home (only a year out) but things could have been very different.

If the Doctor didn’t have such good control of the TARDIS it is entirely possible that it might have taken him much longer to get Rose back to the 21st century. In that situation would her mistrust grow? Would she suspect that she’d never get home? Might she suspect that the Doctor had engineered this situation so that she’d have no choice but to accompany him.

This dynamic can be explored in your own campaign. It could be interesting to have a companion who might have initially agreed to travel with the Time Lord character only to change their mind and now regret leaving their native time period.

The companion can still get involved with events and might not be entirely hostile to the Time Lord but just feel exasperated and frustrated when the TARDIS doesn’t take them home. They might even look to find alternative means of travel or consider getting out early to travel the long road back to their point of departure.

The Time Lord could be oblivious to how the companion feels. They might know and be just as sorry that they can’t return them home (could there be a reason the TARDIS refuses to return them?) If they want to keep the companion around they might take them places they hope will change their mind.

In these early days, before the Time Lord and companion have got to know each other, they could be opportunities for misinformation. Bad guys could turn new companions against the Time Lord with out right lies or just sowing seeds of doubt.

The Time Lord might feel aggrieved that the companion doesn’t trust them implicitly.  They might also realise that they haven’t yet done anything to earn that trust. This could lead to them re-evaluating their relationship and take stock of what secrets they have been keep.

If the Time Lord is an NPC the companions concerns could actually be well founded. The Time Lord could have truly alien motives for taking them and might not be taking them home deliberately.

They could notice that while he claims the TARDIS is too inaccurate to get them home he always manages to get exactly where he wants to go. Those who oppose or confront him could meet mysterious accidents on their next adventure or find themselves stranded when the Time Lord leaves without them.

This would change the tone of the campaign, giving it more of a psychological horror feel. The aim of the campaign could be to overthrow the Time Lord. Even triggering a regeneration could result in a Time Lord who was much more agreeable.

In this episode we see how shocked Rose is to encounter aliens and then realises that the Doctor isn’t human either. The Doctor mocks Rose, suggesting that her reaction could be seen as racist. Rose eventually recovers but what if there was a companion who could never shake their xenophobia (which could be understandable depending on their time period).

Despite their best efforts and the fact that they know that the aliens are people they always feel apprehensive and even afraid. This could be akin to someone refusing to anthropomorphise animals, that is attribute human form and characteristics to them. They could always have in the back of their mind that while an alien might display human emotions or characteristics they aren’t human.

Encountering hostile alien species or disturbing alien behaviour can reinforce this belief. The companion could become very uncomfortable visiting inhabited alien planets or interacting with alien species.

There reaction to the Time Lord could also change once they find out that they aren’t actually human. This could be the point in which they realise that the don’t actually want to travel with the Time Lord anymore.

Adventures could be created to explore this reaction, either to prove it is justified or that such beliefs are wrong.

The PCs might arrive on a world where humans are treating aliens like they were human, resulting in the aliens suffering psychological damage because they aren’t used to human behaviour or turning on the humans because while they might have appeared friendly they were just waiting for when humanity was most vulnerable.

Alternatively the PCs could find aliens being treated as second class citizens by humans. It could be up to them to convince the society that the feelings and thoughts of the aliens are no less important that the human population.

The message of each adventure could vary, so that the PCs are left to make up their own mind or decide that there is no one answer.

Alien companions, human looking or not, can further complicate the issue. The human companion could feel that they are surrounded by aliens, persecuted because they are not the same as the others (when in fact they are alien to their companions).

A multi-species TARDIS crew can be used as a way to examine the differences and commonalities between all living creatures. Each species might have a special background to explore or ability that can prove useful.

This can be a good way to explore the various alien races throughout the Doctor Who universe. If they don’t appear human then it also gives the campaign a reason not to centre on Earth.

Such a campaign might have a lot in common with the television series ‘Farscape’ which captures the right blend of wonder, action, horror and humour.

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