Polly Wright was companion to the first and second incarnations of the Doctor, and was one of the very first people to witness the Doctor regenerating. She traveled in the TARDIS with her future husband Ben Jackson and Jamie McCrimmon.
Polly was born in 1942 in London, England. (PROSE: The Murder Game) She spent much of her early life in Devon. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People) She was the only daughter of Dr. Edward Wright and his wife, the former Miss Bettingham-Smith.
Polly’s father, Edward, was the second of three sons, younger than Charles and older than Randolph. He and his wife married in August 1939 and had a son soon after. Polly was their second child. At this time, Dr Wright and his family lived “in a big, old house in the country.” Polly’s paternal grandmother and her two paternal uncles were still alive at the time of her birth.
By 1944, her father’s younger brother, Randolph, had been imprisoned in a Nazi prisoner of war camp, where he died. In contrast, Edward survived World War II. He fathered three more sons and told Polly stories of her uncle.
In young adulthood, Polly reflected on her parents and said that she had always “taken them for granted” while she was away from home enjoying herself, but that they were always there for her when she needed them. (AUDIO: Resistance)
In 1948, when Polly was six, she was separated from her mother on a shopping trip to Fortnum & Mason. In 1952, when she was ten, she attended a fair with her uncle Charles and had her fortune told by a gypsy, who warned her of a tall, dark stranger. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People)
Joining the Doctor
Before meeting the Doctor, Polly was a typical 1960s London twenty-something. She lived in Chelsea, worked as Professor Brett’s personal assistant and was unhappy that WOTAN’s typing was faster and more accurate than hers. She had an active social life and enjoyed her time off work. On 20 July, 1966, she met Ben Jackson at one of her favorite haunts, the Inferno nightclub, where they were joined by the First Doctor, who expected to find Dodo Chaplet there.
When Dodo failed to show by closing time, the three went out into the night together and soon became embroiled in the fight against WOTAN. Polly’s mind fell under WOTAN’s control. Ben freed her just as WOTAN was destroyed by one of its own War Machines. When Ben and she found the Doctor beside an old police box, Polly told him Dodo would be staying in England. Miffed, the Doctor bid the couple adieu. As they walked away, Polly turned to see the Doctor had used a key to enter the police box. Remembering that Ben had found a key that had earlier fallen out of the Doctor’s cloak, she dragged Ben back to the police box to see if it would fit. They ended up inside the ship just as it took off. (TV: The War Machines)
In his investigation of reports of a series of agent provocateurs known as “the Doctor” who had been involved in numerous unusual incidents, the journalist James Stevens discovered evidence of Polly’s involvement in the C-Day fiasco. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)
The Doctor first took Polly and Ben to 17th century Cornwall, where they ran into smugglers. (TV: The Smugglers)
The Doctor, Polly and Ben later arrived in New York City in the 1890s where four Ovids — being of pure thoughts who travel from world to world in crystal spheres — had become trapped. Their presence caused people’s dreams and nightmares to manifest in reality. The time travellers were able to free the Ovids with the assistance of Harry Houdini. (AUDIO: Smoke and Mirrors)
In Antarctica in December 1986, Polly helped fight off an invasion by Cybermen from Mondas. After these events, the Doctor, exhausted, asked Polly and Ben to get him back to the TARDIS. As the trio took off, the Doctor collapsed and went through his first regeneration. (TV: The Tenth Planet)
On the planet Vulcan, Polly adjusted quickly to the Doctor’s having changed into a new and younger persona, while Ben was less accepting the change, speculating that an impostor had replaced the Doctor. On Vulcan, Polly and Ben encountered the Doctor’s archenemies, the Daleks. (TV: The Power of the Daleks)
Polly was confident and not afraid to use her feminine wiles to enlist the help of Redcoat Algernon Ffinch while the travelers were in the Scottish Highlands. Polly also encouraged Kirsty McLaren to lure Algernon into a pit, where they took his money, identity disc and a lock of his hair. She struck up a relationship with Ffinch and teased him whenever they met, calling him “Algy”. She realized that he admired her and gave him a kiss goodbye. Polly asked for the young Jacobite piper, Jamie McCrimmon, to come with them in the TARDIS, as she feared for his safety. (TV: The Highlanders) She and Ben came to see Jamie as a younger brother. (AUDIO: The Forbidden Time)
When Polly found herself in Atlantis, she was initially slated to be converted into a Fish Person. The Doctor interrupted the power supply as her operation was about to begin, allowing her to escape Damon’s medical bay and rejoin her friends. She took on the disguise of an Atlantean in a seashell dress. She and Jamie escaped the rising water that flooded Atlantis, fearing that the Doctor and Ben had perished. They were relieved to find that they too had survived. The Doctor then promised them a trip to Mars. Taking off, the TARDIS went out out of control. (TV: The Underwater Menace)
The TARDIS had brought them to the Moon. When the TARDIS crew arrived on the Moonbase in 2070 and faced the Cybermen, Polly soon realized the Cybermen’s plastic parts could be attacked with a mixture of solvents. She thought of the way nail polish was dissolved by nail varnish remover and concocted a mixture including acetone, benzene, ether and epoxy propane to make a substance, called “Cocktail Polly” by Ben, which was shot at the Cybermen with adapted fire extinguishers. (TV: The Moonbase)
Although Polly enjoyed her adventures, she couldn’t hide her desire to return home. After an adventure with the alien Chameleons in 1966, the travelers found the TARDIS had returned to London just before they had departed. With Ben, Polly left the TARDIS and returned to her life, appearing never to have been missing. (TV: The Faceless Ones)
After Leaving the TARDIS
At some point, Polly was taken to the Black Archive by UNIT to have her record as a companion of the Doctor taken. Her memories of the visit were subsequently erased and she was sent on her way. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
Ben proposed to Polly in 1966 at the top of the Post Office Tower, which was witnessed unbeknownst to them by the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler. (COMIC:The Love Invasion) Polly brought home Ben, much to the horror of her parents. Of particular note was her father’s face. (AUDIO: The Five Companions)
Their relationship did not last. They eventually married other people. OnNew Year’s Eve 1986, Ben and Polly reunited. Having visited the year 1986, they anticipated the arrival of Mondas, the planet of the Cybermen. (PROSE: Mondas Passing) In 1999, Polly had been manipulated into travelling through time and interfering in history. However, the Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon resolved these disturbances, and helped Ben meet Polly once more. They were now both widowed, and admitted their love for each other. (PROSE: That Time I Nearly Destroyed the World Whilst Looking for a Dress)
By 2009, she worked in a government office.
At that time, Polly went onto the Internet to search for others who had known the Doctor. However,Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart had had all information about the Doctor deleted. Nevertheless, they corresponded by e-mail and were joined by another former companion, Thomas Brewster. At first, Polly did not believe that their “respective” Doctors were the same person when she saw a UNIT party photo with the Doctor in his third incarnation. Then they realized they had known him during his first and second incarnations. The three former companions rescued the TARDIS from Garry Lendler and saved the Earth from dying and from a Coffin-Loaders, a beast which fed on dying worlds. (AUDIO: The Three Companions) Polly gave a presentation on her experiences with time travel to a disbelieving audience. She hung on to her secretarial Dictaphone recordings of Jamie, which had chronicled their adventure with the Vist. (AUDIO: The Forbidden Time)
Eventually, she reconciled with Ben Jackson and they married. Polly was later transported to an alternative version of the Death Zone on Gallifrey by Borusa using a Time Scoop. She came into contact with the Fifth Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Steven Taylor, Sara Kingdom and Nyssa.
She was soon caught in the middle of a fight between the Daleks, the Sontarans and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. She killed a Sontaran by stabbing her stiletto heel point into his probic vent. Polly voiced her feelings of inadequacy and called herself not courageous, until the Doctor reminded her of having stood up to the Cyber-Leader Krail. Polly and the others expressed their hopes that the Doctor might visit them some day, though they doubted if he ever would. (AUDIO: The Five Companions)
In 2010, Sarah Jane Smith said that Ben and Polly were running an orphanage together in India. (TV:Death of the Doctor)
Polly Wright remained friends with the Doctor on Bookface. She liked some Eleventh Doctor’s status updates. (COMIC: Timeliney Wimey)
Polly teased and bantered with those she cared for. She hid her affections, particularly for Ben, behind this façade. She chatted him up when they met and she was still chatting him up when they left the TARDIS. When her friends were in trouble, Polly was completely serious — particularly if Ben was in trouble. Polly would drop the banter and flippancy to work towards practical solutions.
Like the earlier Wright to travel in the TARDIS, she hoped to find her way back to her own time period, thinking, “Please let it be Chelsea, 1966,” when guessing what would be outside the TARDIS doors after it landed on the extinct volcanic island where Atlantis was located. (TV: The Underwater Menace) On the first landing in mid-1960s London, Polly left the Doctor with Ben, just as Barbara had left with Ian Chesterton. (TV: The Faceless Ones)
During their travels together, she and Ben thought of Jamie as being like their “baby brother.” (AUDIO: The Forbidden Time) In the 2000s, she described Jamie as being “brawny and reckless but lovely” and “a bit slow on the uptake” to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. (AUDIO: The Three Companions)
Polly had an aptitude for languages, being able to speak Spanish, French and German. (TV: The Underwater Menace)