The Doctor's Companions
(The Book and Audio Companions)

Jeremy Fitzoliver Thomas Brewster Amy
Audio - The Haunting of Thomas Brewster
The Haunting of Thomas Brewster
(Jonathan Morris)
 Name: Thomas Brewster

 Format: Audio.

 Time of Origin: Late nineteenth century

 Time Span: "The Haunting of Thomas Brewster" to "A Perfect World", "The Crimes of Thomas Brewster" to "Industrial Evolution"

 Doctor: Fifth Doctor and Sixth Doctor

 Fellow Companions: Nyssa, Evelyn; had a brief meeting - of sorts - with Adric; indirect encounters with Polly Wright and The Brigadier; Flip Jackson was involved in a crisis that he had caused before she became a regular companion.

 History: Thomas Brewster is one of those relatively few companions whom The Doctor neither asked to accompany him on his travels or ever grew to like; indeed, at the conclusion of his first encounter with The Doctor Thomas actually stole the TARDIS itself, forcing The Doctor to resort to very unorthodox measures in order to get it back. Despite the circumstances of his arrival, and the relative brevity of his time in the ship, The Doctor and Nyssa nevertheless grew rather fond of Thomas after they got to know him better, both of them clearly missing him after his departure, even if the Sixth Doctor only tolerated him because Evelyn insisted that he had potential to grow as a person.

Originally an orphan from the Victorian age, Thomas's earliest memory was seeing his mother's funeral when he was about four or five years old - being blamed at the time for her suicide - subsequently being sent to a workhouse as they felt it was no more than he deserved. As he grew up, Brewster regularly witnessed the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa attempting to visit him and ask him about a recurring dream he had - featuring his mother singing 'Oranges and Lemons', but the three were never able to meet until after Thomas left the workhouse and fell in with a gang of thieves. Based on instructions he received in dreams, Thomas began to steal various items from around London to create a machine that would apparently restore his mother to him, unaware what the final result would be.

However, the rift that the creatures' attempts to communicate with Thomas created resulted in the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa being drawn to London during this time frame, The Doctor and Nyssa subsequently learning about Thomas's visions. The Doctor deduced that the creatures that had contacted Thomas were actually from a possible version of the year 2008, attempting to use Thomas to influence the past to make their future more likely and thus increase its chances of coming to pass, appearing to him as his mother as they were unable to gather enough energy to manifest directly. Despite the creatures' attempts to 'guarantee' their existence by encouraging Thomas to smash The Doctor's equipment and take the TARDIS into their future, The Doctor managed to follow them- thanks to a slight time paradox, in that he salvaged a future version of the TARDIS that would be sent back into the past after he followed the present TARDIS in its future self - collapsing the time rift that had allowed the creatures to communicate with him, the paradox subsequently being averted by The Doctor taking Thomas back in time to warn his past self not to listen to his mother's ghost.

Audio - Time Reef and A Perfect World
Time Reef and A Perfect World
(Marc Platt & Jonathan Morris)
Despite the resolution of this crisis, Thomas, unwilling to return to his old life, attempted to escape it by stealing the TARDIS once again, only for his lack of knowledge of TARDIS control - having previously been guided by the creatures - to prove a significant disadvantage. Even when attempting something as simple as landing he ended up unintentionally creating a dimensional rift when he failed to materialise completely during a brief trip to the 'true' 2008, creating a temporal rift that allowed existential maintenance workers called Phil and Trev to gain access to this universe, subsequently latching on to the wish of a young woman called Connie Winter that Thomas was talking with to remake Earth into a 'perfect' world. On another occasion, Brewster tried to earn some means of getting by in the universe by selling some components of the TARDIS to another group of time travellers he discovered on a temporal reef that he crash-landed on during his travels - having been created due to the TARDIS's conceptual geometer latching on to a piece of space coral - not realising until after he'd sold the components that they couldn't work in anything other than another TARDIS.

Eventually, however, the TARDIS was returned to its rightful owner, albeit in a roundabout manner. While trying to track down the TARDIS using Block Transfer Computations - the computations being chanted in the form of a séance with ten other people due to the lack of any more sophisticated technology - The Doctor and Nyssa briefly experienced a very personal crisis when The Doctor's own guilt caused his subconscious mind to send the computations to the Cybermen freighter where his former companion Adric had died, transferring Adric to a newly-created alternate reality. Although driven insane by centuries of isolation and bitterness, Adric eventually agreed to help The Doctor and Nyssa escape his world. Once back on Earth, Adric subsequently sacrificed himself to send a message to Thomas and divert the TARDIS back to Earth with one final block transfer computation, suggesting to Thomas that he remain with The Doctor if didn't feel he belonged in any specific place or time.

However, his time with The Doctor was destined to be brief, primarily consisting of him helping The Doctor and Nyssa cleaning up the mistakes he had made during his brief time in the TARDIS. On only his first actual trip with The Doctor, the TARDIS crash-landed on the temporal reef where Brewster had sold components of the ship during his time away, leaving The Doctor, Nyssa and Brewster forced to deal with the enraged crew of the ship as The Doctor raced against time to recover the missing components before his ship was lost for good. Despite the fact that his incompetence had been the cause of the problem, Brewster redeemed himself by risking his life to repair the damaged TARDIS, leaping into the ship to return the geometer to the interior dimensions despite the risk to himself. On their subsequent trip to the twenty-first century, The Doctor quickly discovered the alterations that had occurred as a result of Brewster's creation of a quantum fissure on his last visit, subsequently tracking down Connie, who served as the focal point of the quantum fissure Brewster's actions had created. Bringing her into the TARDIS, where Phil and Trev appeared to answer the group's questions, The Doctor and Connie subsequently convincing them that perfection could only happen if people made themselves better rather than others doing it for them.

Audio - The Crimes of Thomas Brewster
The Crimes of Thomas Brewster
(Jonathan Morris)
With the world restored, and with Brewster having developed feelings for Connie, he decided to remain where he was, feeling that remaining with The Doctor and Nyssa would be like running away from real life, and wanting to stay in one place and see what happened. Although Nyssa was surprised that Brewster didn't want to stay with them for longer, The Doctor - while insulted at how quickly he jumped ship - recognised that Brewster had found what he'd wanted; someone to be with and a place to belong. Wishing Brewster well, The Doctor left Brewster with the deeds to a house in Baker Street that The Doctor had lived in during his attempts to reacquire the TARDIS, for him to do with as he wished, confident that Thomas would do well for himself.

Unfortunately, despite The Doctor's hopes, Brewster's new life didn't work out, tragedy striking when Connie was hit by a car and left in an irreversible coma, prompting The Doctors to turn off life support. Alone in a time when he didn't fit, Brewster found the time machine he had built in 1867, preparing to return to his own time as he accepted that he couldn't change history, before he was contacted by Symbios, a sentient planet that continued to evolve genetically even as all life became part of the single organism. Symbios was being invaded by an alien robot species called the Terravore, with the intention of stripping it of its resources, prompting Symbios to search for The Doctor after he had saved it from the Drahvins at some point in its past (Although this encounter would occur at some point after the Sixth Doctor travelled with Evelyn). Posing as The Doctor, Brewster provided Symbios with hosts who were riding the tube, also assembling an East End gang under The Doctor's name to gather various high-tech equipment, using Symbios's hosts such as housewives, students or the homeless to commit his crimes. The Doctor learned of Brewster's actions when the Sixth Doctor and current companion Evelyn Smythe visited the Tower of London in the present and found themselves under attack by a giant robot mosquito, forcing them to flee it along the Thames until they were able to bring it down and were brought in for questioning by DI Patricia Menzies (Who had already met a future version of the Sixth Doctor in her past ("The Condemned")), who revealed the existence of Brewster's gang. Evelyn was able to infiltrate the gang and confirm that Brewster wasn't The Doctor when he showed no knowledge of the Daleks, but they were then attacked by the Terravore, the robot mosquitoes who were threatening Symbios, prompting Brewster to take Evelyn as a hostage on the next trip to Symbios.

Audio - The Feast of Axos
The Feast of Axos
(Mike Maddox)
Carrying out further research back in the TARDIS, The Doctor was able to find the temporal breach Brewster used to send trains to Symbios, subsequently capturing another drone to track its control signal and find out how it had been created. While Evelyn learned Brewster's true agenda was to protect Symbios, she criticised his methods, bluntly informing him that the true Doctor would never endanger innocents in that manner. As The Doctor and Menzies disabled the Terravore on Earth, they tracked down Brewster's time machine, The Doctor allowing Menzies to pose as 'him' to keep Brewster and others off-guard until they had established the situation, arriving on Symbios to find that Evelyn had been possessed by the Locus after revealing the truth about Brewster to Symbios. With Menzies still posing as The Doctor, they were able to sneak on board the Terravor ship to confront the Terravore Queen, a massive robot mosquito, simultaneously learning that Symbios had offered Earth to the Terravore if it would spare Symbios, travelling through the wormhole Brewster had been using. Still posing as The Doctor's companion, The Doctor was able to trick Symbios and the Terravore into believing that he intended to betray Earth, allowing him to shut down the portal after the Terravore drones had passed through it while the Queen was still on Symbios, the two so interconnected that they couldn't cope when separated across that distance. With the crisis concluded, Brewster stole the TARDIS key, snuck aboard and held The Doctor and Evelyn at gunpoint, demanding they return him to his own time ("The Crimes of Thomas Brewster").

Audio - Industrial Evolution
Industrial Evolution
(Eddie Robson)
While attempting to return Brewster to Victorian Lancashire, The Doctor was forced to face the return of Axos ("The Feast of Axos"), which was nearly broken out of the time loop where he had trapped it ("The Claws of Axos") as part of a plan to use it to solve the world's energy crisis in the mid-twenty-first century. Although Axos nearly manipulated Brewster into betraying The Doctor by editing recordings to give the impression that The Doctor didn't care what happened to Brewster, he was persuaded to help The Doctor and Evelyn stop Axos in time for The Doctor to trap Axos in a time loop at the moment of its own destruction. With this resolved, The Doctor returned Brewster to Lancashire, where he quickly settled back into life in a factory, only to learn that The Doctor and Evelyn had remained in Lancashire after Brewster thought they had departed to investigate strange events at the factory ("Industrial Evolution").

Eventually, The Doctor, Evelyn and Brewster discovered that the factory's owner, Samuel Belfarge had access to advanced technology, as he was from another planet before becoming trapped on Earth while his ship was damaged as he tried to smuggle rock salt to other worlds. Further problems were revealed when it was discovered that Belfarge had a 'Catalyst' that could replicate and advance any technology added to it while Brewster witnessed a worker who had lost his fingers in an accident return to work with a healed hand. As a creature attacked the factory, The Doctor realised that there were two technologies at work, as the Catalyst was fundamentally benevolent while the creature was threatening everything, concluding that the creature was the product of an alien device known as an Inhibitor, which was released by alien races onto less developed worlds to stop their technology advancing beyond a certain point. The Doctor was able to defeat the Inhibitor's attempt to encourage an anti-technology attitude among other factory workers by developing an anaesthetic that would immobilise the creatures' still-human nervous systems, but although he sought to reprogram the Inhibitor, Brewster destroyed it before The Doctor could take action himself, Brewster refusing to allow anyone else to tell him what to do. While Brewster had saved the world, The Doctor departed in disgust at Brewster's willingness to destroy another being just because he thought he knew best, unaware that Brewster was making a new deal to work with Belfarge as an interstellar trader now that his equipment was repaired. Whether this means that The Doctor and Brewster will meet again in the future is unclear.
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The Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Source
Audio The Haunting of Thomas Brewster The 5th Doctor Nyssa The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Time Reef The 5th Doctor Nyssa The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio A Perfect World The 5th Doctor Nyssa The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Crimes of Thomas Brewster  The 6th Doctor  Evelyn Smythe The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio The Feast of Axos  The 6th Doctor  Evelyn Smythe The Big Finish Audio Stories
Audio Industrial Evolution  The 6th Doctor  Evelyn Smythe The Big Finish Audio Stories
Total Stories:   6
 
Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at djfs@blueyonder.co.uk
 
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