Doctor Who Companion Profile: Dr. Grace Holloway

Daphne Ashbrook as Doctor Who Companion Dr. Grace HollowayDr. Grace Holloway

Portrayed by: Daphne Ashbrook

Doctor(s): Eighth Doctor

Tenure: 1 story, Doctor Who: the Movie (referred to by some as “The Enemy Within”)

Background: Dr. Grace Holloway is a cardiovascular surgeon in San Francisco. She has a strained relationship with her live-in boyfriend, due to her constantly being constantly either at work or on call. When she has to leave Madama Butterfly during the start of the second act, this is the last straw; he’s moved out by the time she gets home, with the newly regenerated Doctor in tow (he’s the patient she’s called in to do surgery on).

Family/Friends: We know very little about Grace, aside from her profession and her romantic status, and nothing about her family.

Personality: Grace is hardworking, determined, and focused. She has a love of culture and whimsy, quickly being swept into the Doctor’s struggle against the Master, once she determines he isn’t insane. There’s a clear sense that while practical, she could use a brief respite from her high-pressure life and grueling day job but, when the opportunity arises, Grace doesn’t elect to travel with the Doctor in the TARDIS, instead asking him to come with her on her daily adventures. She is the only Companion to do so and the strength of character and independence demonstrated by this are notable; it’s incredibly refreshing to see a Companion who doesn’t want to run away from or discard the life they’ve built because they happen to stumble across the Doctor. Saving the universe might be fun, but Grace saves lives every day and she doesn’t need to start over to lead a rewarding, fulfilling life of service.

Special Skills: Medical expertise, quick thinking

Highlights of tenure: Grace’s disbelief towards the Doctor, one of the more believable Companion reactions in the series, and her dogged attempts to save the Doctor and understand first how his surgery went wrong and then his physiological makeup

Lowlights of tenure: That ball gown, regardless of how beautiful it is. Everything about it, from the moment she rushes out of the opera. Surgery? In a ball gown? Who thought that was a good idea. Also, Grace is disappointingly defined by her romantic interest in the Doctor.

Memorable quotes: “I finally meet the right guy, and he’s from another planet.”

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By Kate Kulzick

Kate is a violinist by day, TV-aholic by night, and film geek by somewhere around dawn. While attending UIUC, she earned a Masters Degree in Violin Performance and a Schrute Buck in a Pop Culture Trivia Contest; of the two, so far only the latter has hung on her wall. Her favorite movies are The Princess Bride, Casablanca, and The Third Man and her favorite TV shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Wire, and Arrested Development.

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