|Doctor Who character|
|First appearance||Full Circle|
The Caves of Androzani (cameo)
|Portrayed by||Matthew Waterhouse
Andrew Sachs (one Big Finish production)
Adric // is a fictional character played by Matthew Waterhouse in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He was a young native of the planet Alzarius, which exists in the parallel universe of E-Space. A companion of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, he was a regular in the programme from 1980 to 1982. The name Adric is an anagram derived from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Paul Dirac. Waterhouse is the youngest male actor to play a companion so far in the series. Adric appeared in 11 stories (40 episodes).
Adric first appears in the Fourth Doctor serial, Full Circle. Attempting to escape from the mysterious Mistfall threatening his community, he stumbles across and finds refuge in the TARDIS, which has been drawn into E-Space via a wormhole-like phenomenon known as a Charged Vacuum Emboitment. He stows away when the Doctor and Romana and K-9 Mark II left Alzarius and becomes a companion in the following serial, State of Decay, accompanying them on the rest of their adventures in E-Space. He remains with the Doctor when Romana and K-9 Mark II leave and the TARDIS finds its way back into its own universe.
With a brilliant mathematical mind and sporting a star-shaped badge (blue enamel with gold backing) for mathematical excellence, Adric is also very well aware of his own intelligence. This, coupled with his relative immaturity, leads to a personality that is abrasive and occasionally crosses over into arrogance. As a result, Adric is one of the least popular, or even "most hated", of the Doctor's companions among fans of the programme. However, it is obvious that Adric also desperately seeks validation from the Doctor as well as those around him, and is often hurt and resentful if he feels he is being sidelined or unable to contribute. As an Alzarian, Adric is a member of a species of extremely adaptable race of people, theoretically capable of genetically evolving to suit any environment, though it is unknown if his particular substrain is capable of this. It is known that he possesses an inhumanly rapid rate of healing, though not to the extent he can regenerate amputated body parts.
Adric is present when, during the events of Logopolis, the Fourth Doctor falls from the Pharos Project radio telescope and regenerates into his fifth incarnation. He continues to travel in the TARDIS along with new companions Nyssa and Tegan, but his travels come to an end in Earthshock when he tries to stop a Cyberman-controlled freighter from crashing into the Earth. The navigational controls had been locked by logic codes, and Adric is entering the solution to the last code when the computer is destroyed by a dying Cyberman. He dies in the crash, while his crewmates watch in horror on the TARDIS viewscreen. His last words before the explosion kills him are "Now I'll never know if I was right." Adric dies not knowing that the freighter he was trying to stop would become the "meteor" that would wipe out the dinosaurs and begin the rise of mammals and eventually humans. (see Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event and Alvarez hypothesis).
Adric's death affects his companions deeply. In Time-Flight, Tegan tries to persuade the Doctor to go back in time and save him, but the Doctor refuses to break the Laws of Time, even though it obviously pains him. The Xeraphin try to use an illusion of Adric pleading that if they travelled any further they would kill him, an effort by Xeraphin to stop Nyssa and Tegan from travelling further in the same story, but they see through the deception when they realise Adric is still wearing his badge (which the Doctor had destroyed in order to kill a Cyberman) and travel forth giving Adric another illusory death scene. Adric also appears as a hallucination at the end of The Caves of Androzani, and his name is the last word that the Fifth Doctor says before regenerating into the Sixth Doctor.
Appearances in other media
Adric's sole appearance in the Virgin Missing Adventures range was in the Lance Parkin novel Cold Fusion. In addition to this an image of Adric appears as a manifestation of the Doctor's guilt in the Virgin New Adventures novel Timewyrm: Revelation by Paul Cornell and a ghost of Adric also features in the plot of the Past Doctor Adventures novel Empire of Death by David Bishop.
Adric appears in the Big Finish Productions audio drama The Boy That Time Forgot, and is portrayed by Andrew Sachs, where he was unintentionally saved by Block Transfer Computations subconsciously sent to him by the Doctor during a 'seance'; this caused him to be sent into a pocket dimension based on an Aztec jungle, populated primarily by giant scorpions and insects. Kept alive for centuries by the computations, Adric was eventually reunited with the Doctor and Nyssa when they sought the TARDIS after its theft by Thomas Brewster ("The Haunting of Thomas Brewster"). Driven insane by centuries of isolation and bitterness, Adric refused to accept The Doctor’s attempts to make him realise that he was now essentially just an elderly teenager, complaining when he didn’t get his way and believing that the world should jump to his every whim, attempting to force Nyssa to become his bride. The Doctor admits that he permitted Adric to die, only for Adric to forgive him and use the last of his strength to send his friends home and recover the TARDIS, before dying himself.
In the IDW Publishing comic Doctor Who: The Forgotten by Tony Lee, a manifestation of Adric appears in the TARDIS Matrix, saving the Tenth Doctor's life and, in the process dying a second time. This time however Adric is aware of his sacrifice, stating that "it's not a pointless death."
List of appearances
- Season 18
- Season 19
- Four to Doomsday
- The Visitation
- Black Orchid
- Time-Flight (illusion in episode 2)
- Season 21
- The Caves of Androzani (illusion in episode 4)
- "A Boy's Tale" by Gary Russell (Short Trips: Companions)
- "Hearts of Stone" by Steve Lyons (Short Trips: Companions)
- "Ballon Debate" by Simon A Forward (Short Trips: Companions)
- "The Immortals" by Simon Guerrier (Short Trips: Past Tense)
- "Mauritz" by Jonathan Morris (Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors)
- "O, Darkness" by John Binns (Short Trips: Steel Skies)
- "In the TARDIS: Christmas Day" by Val Douglas (Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury)
- "First Born" by Lizzie Hopley (Short Trips: The Centenarian)
- "Planet of the Elves" by John Binns (Short Trips: Christmas Around the World)
- "Indigenous Species" by Steve Hatcher (Shelf Life)
- The Boy That Time Forgot (Played by Andrew Sachs)
- The Darkening Eye (Adventure related by the character Nyssa)
- The Invasion of E-Space (Adventure related by the character Romana II)
- Psychodrome (As part of the Fifth Doctor Box Set)
- Iterations of I (As part of the Fifth Doctor Box Set)
- "Plague World" by Mel Powell (Doctor Who Annual 1982)
- "On The Planet Isopterus" by Glenn Rix (Doctor Who Annual 1983)
- "Planet of the Dead" by Lee Sullivan and John Freeman (Doctor Who Magazine 141-142) - although technically that is not Adric, but someone pretending to be him.
- Adric: The Boy Who We Love To Hate Review The Who article by Alexander Wilkinson