A new Doctor Who book will bring back classic companion Ace, reuniting her with the Doctor (as played by Jodie Whittaker) – and it’s been written by none other than Ace actress Sophie Aldred.
In At Childhood’s End, an older Dorothy/Ace is thrown together with her Time Lord friend once more, investigating a mysterious satellite alongside new companions Ryan, Graham and Yaz and working to unravel a malevolent plot that will cost thousands of lives.
But while the book covers off the first meeting between Ace and the Doctor since they parted ways, Aldred told RadioTimes.com that she still hopes to one day reprise the role in the BBC TV series.
“I’d love that,” said Aldred, who originally portrayed the character from 1987 to ’89. “I hope the door is open. I’ve never met [showrunner] Chris Chibnall, but I would love to meet him and talk to him about that possibility, because I think it’s something that… you know, forget me, it’s the fans.
“I’ve always been a real advocate for the fans of the programme, and new people as well. What could Ace provide for new watchers of the show, for new viewers of the show? And certainly, the fans would be absolutely thrilled, I think.”
Aldred added that she is a big fan of the current era of the show. “It’s funny, my husband and I sit down and watch every episode together. I love Jodie.
“I think that the last season was brilliant for introducing new, especially young female fans to the show. In the past, there were many, many less women than men, and many fewer young girls watching Doctor Who. And now you can see a real turnaround in that. Which is great, I think.”
Of course, Aldred did reprise Ace on-screen relatively recently – shooting a special teaser for a Doctor Who Blu-ray release that saw her play the character in the present day, acting as the head of philanthropic organisation A Charitable Earth.
“I had to sort of discover who she would be now,” Aldred said of shooting the trailer. “And actually, as I was standing there, it took quite a long time to set up the shot, so I stood there for a long time, just gazing out over the Tower of London.
“I had a lot of time to think. And by the time we came to do the actual shoot – and it really didn’t take very long – I was completely immersed in what it would be like now to be Dorothy.
“When I turned and, you know, was hearing in my head the noise of the TARDIS, it was actually a very emotional moment. And then, the final line, when I said ‘Wicked!’ – that was the last shot that I did. And we cut.
“Everybody standing there, including myself, we all had tears in our eyes, and lumps in our throats, because it was really emotional.”
Doctor Who: At Childhood’s End by Sophie Aldred is published by BBC Books on 6th February