Alpha Centauri (Doctor Who)

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Alpha Centauri
Doctor Who character.
Alpha Centauri (Doctor Who) character appearance.jpg
Alpha Centauri watching a surveillance monitor in The Monster of Peladon
First appearance The Curse of Peladon (1972)
Last appearance "Empress of Mars" (2017)
Portrayed by Stuart Fell (body) and Ysanne Churchman (voice)
Information
Affiliated The Galactic Federation
Species Unknown
Home planet A planet within Alpha Centauri and Peladon

Alpha Centauri, played by Stuart Fell and voiced by Ysanne Churchman, is a fictional alien delegate for the Galactic Federation in the BBC One television series Doctor Who. The character appeared in two serials during the Third Doctor era in the early 1970s, before making a surprise cameo towards the end of "Empress of Mars" in 2017.

Character traits[edit]

Alpha Centauri is a hermaphroditic hexapod from Alpha Centauri and, being effectively genderless is referred to as "it" as opposed to "he" or "she". It is tall, green, has one large blue eye, six arms and a high-pitched voice, wears a long yellow cape and walks with a nervous gait. It is prone to cowardice and hysterics. It has a low opinion of Earth, describing it as a "'remote and unattractive" planet,[1] but regrets that its appearance can frighten humans. It regards females as unimportant.[2]

Alpha Centauri is also the name of Alpha Centauri's native star system.[3] The Alpha Centauri binary star system is second only to Proxima Centauri in proximity to the Solar System, home to the Earth.

Character history[edit]

Alpha Centauri arrives on Peladon in The Curse of Peladon (1972) as a delegate overseeing Peladon's admission to the Galactic Federation. Half a century later, Alpha Centauri is on Peladon during the events of The Monster of Peladon (1974) now as Galactic Federation Ambassador to Peladon. Alpha Centauri makes a small cameo in 2017 episode "Empress of Mars" as an ambassador for the Galactic Federation welcoming the newly-awakened Ice Warriors to the universe, again voiced by Ysanne Churchman.[4]

Production[edit]

Ysanne Churchman was instructed by director Lennie Mayne to make the creature sound like a "gay civil servant".[5] The same costume was worn by Stuart Fell for both appearances as the character (albeit with two different cape designs). The character reappeared in The Monster of Peladon in order to help recreate the atmosphere of Peladon depicted in the earlier serial The Curse of Peladon.[6]

Other appearances[edit]

Alpha Centauri appears in Legacy, a Virgin New Adventure spin-off novel set on Peladon, meeting the Seventh Doctor and Benny. Alpha Centauri and Benny appeal against the Doctor's death sentence for the murder of Lady Lianna, former handmaiden to Queen Thalira, to no avail, although the Doctor is later saved.[7] Alpha Centauri also features in Fifth Doctor Big Finish audio drama The Bride of Peladon, this time voiced by Jane Goddard.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Writer Brian Hayles and Terrance Dicks (uncredited), Director Lennie Mayne, Producer Barry Letts (29 January – 19 February 1972). The Curse of Peladon. Doctor Who. London. BBC. 
  2. ^ Writer Brian Hayles, Director Lennie Mayne, Producer Barry Letts (23 March – 27 April 1974). The Monster of Peladon. Doctor Who. London. BBC. 
  3. ^ "The Curse of Peladon". BBC. 2003. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  4. ^ "Doctor Who just brought back a classic series character in the perfect way". Radio Times. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "Analysis - from Doctor Who, the Television Companion". BBC. 2003. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  6. ^ "The Monster of Peladon". BBC. 2003. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Legacy by Gary Russell". Dominique Boies. Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2007.