Doctor Who fans knew to expect long-awaited return appearances from companions Ace (Sophie Aldred) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) in the show's centenary special, but The Power of the Doctor delivered much more than that.


Alongside more regulars from the classic series whose appearances were kept top secret, Graham O'Brien (Bradley Walsh) also returned to the show after an absence of almost two years.

Debuting alongside the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) in her first adventure, 2018's The Woman Who Fell to Earth, retired bus driver Graham travelled in the TARDIS until 2021's New Year's Day special Revolution of the Daleks.

In that episode, fellow companion – and Graham's grandson – Ryan (Tosin Cole) opted to remain on Earth, with Graham deciding to follow him. But while their travels across time and space had come to an end, their adventures had not, with the pair deciding to use the Doctor's psychic paper to investigate strange phenomena on Earth.

It's this mission that brings Graham back into the Doctor's orbit, as he's discovered investigating an underground Dalek mine by a surprised Ace.

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Doctor Who - The Power of the Doctor
Ace (Sophie Aldred) in Doctor Who: The Power of the Doctor James Pardon/BBC Studios

With the Daleks drilling to disrupt the tectonic plates of the Earth as part of a plot to activate every volcano in the world simultaneously and lay waste to the planet, Ace and Graham work together to disrupt the monsters' machinery using explosives.

The Doctor is able to materialise the TARDIS inside the mine moments before it is destroyed, saving Ace and Graham. It's at this point that we learn why Ryan is absent, with Graham making a passing reference to his grandson being on a separate mission in Patagonia, South America.

With the crisis averted, Graham returns to Earth, where he is reunited with Yaz (Mandip Gill) who has just bid an emotional farewell to a regenerating Doctor. It transpires that he's set up something of a support group for ex-TARDIS travellers, attending the first meeting alongside Yaz, Dan (John Bishop), Tegan, Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford), Jo Jones (Katy Manning) and Ian Chesterton (William Russell).

Ace is also there, of course – good news for Graham, who appeared rather wowed by the Seventh Doctor's companion on their first meeting. What a power couple that would be...

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