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Martha n Rose

violet_lane in loves_them_all

Dr. Grace Holloway

Dr. Grace Holloway usually doesn't top many popular companion lists, probably because the TV movie isn't exactly well-loved. I didn't think it was too bad, and really enjoyed McGann and Dr. Grace Holloway, who I feel is definitely underrated. So, I hope you enjoy my spotlight on the amazing Grace Holloway (oh, Fox, you and your puns).

Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Dr. Grace Holloway (portrayed by Daphne Ashbrook) is a cardiologist in San Francisco. When the Seventh Doctor lands on December 30, 1999 in San Francisco, he is gunned down by a gang on the streets of Chinatown. Unaware of his alien physiology, Grace accidentally kills him when she attempts to operate. He subsequently regenerates into his eighth incarnation, and involves Grace in his fight to prevent the Master from opening the Eye of Harmony and destroying the Earth at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, 2000. At the end, the Doctor offers to take Grace along with him in the TARDIS, but Grace declines, preferring to stay behind and apply the lessons she has learned from him.

Grace has only appeared on the screen as a companion in the television movie, Doctor Who: The Enemy Within. Grace's life after her encounter with the Doctor has not been explored on-screen beyond the television movie, although the Doctor did have to deal with the after effects of those events in the spin-off Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Unnatural History, by Kate Orman and Jonathan Blum.

Grace appeared in the Doctor Who comic strip story The Fallen, published in Doctor Who Magazine #273-#276, where she had conducted experiments to merge human and Time Lord DNA, the latter obtained from tissue left behind by the Master. However, the Master had not been in his Time Lord body, but that of a shape-shifting creature known as a morphant. The resulting hybrid began to consume people, but was stopped with the Eighth Doctor's help. Grace promised the Doctor she would destroy all the remaining morphant DNA samples, and the two parted ways once more. She subsequently appeared as a dream image in The Glorious Dead (DWM #287-#296) and made a one-panel cameo in the last regular Eighth Doctor comic strip adventure, The Flood (DWM #353).

Daphne Ashbrook performed in the Big Finish Productions audio play The Next Life opposite Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, but playing a different character named Perfection.

Unfortunately, Big Finish cannot use TV-movie characters Grace Holloway or Chang Lee due to Universal's ownership of the characters. Originally, Grace Holloway was to appear in the second eighth Doctor novel, Vampire Science, but legal issues with the BBC and Universal prevented this from happening.

It should be noted that Grace has a successful life before the Doctor enters it. She’s admired by her colleagues (and is one of the most gifted heart surgeons they have), has a boyfriend, has hobbies (a love of opera, for starters) and has clearly got it together. She also knows her priorities: no matter how much she enjoys the opera, when she gets the call to do an emergency surgery, she’s there and ready to go- even in her opera dress.

I also like how she keeps up her principles. When she accidentally kills the Seventh Doctor and discovers he has a second heart, she confronts the head of the department who is burning the evidence. Although Grace is visibly upset, she’s also determined to learn from her mistake and make sure it never happens again. She tells him to give her the x-rays so they can study this strange man with the two hearts and to “help other people” from it. The Head of the Department gives her the old, “You saw nothing, just forget it ever happened. What two-hearted man?” and Grace promptly quits. She doesn’t even break a sweat, she knows she’s got the talent to find another job.

Then Grace’s bad day continues, because then the Eighth Doctor follows her around and acts strange, gets into her car, tells her he’s an alien, and follows her home and Grace then finds out her rotten boyfriend not only broke up with her over the phone, but took the furniture. Instead of breaking things and having a break down, Grace simply comments on her rotten boyfriend and sits down to listen to the Doctor’s two hearts. The Doctor then tells her how she is “tired of life, but afraid of dying.”

I’d like to share this great excerpt from Wikipedia that I think really describes her personality and what she “learned” from the Doctor:

She is a warm and compassionate person who was disillusioned early in life when she realized that she could not hold back death. As a result, she puts on a cold, aloof front in an effort to protect herself from her feelings and to mask her own insecurity. She realizes this over the course of her adventure with the Doctor and learns to feel hope again, placing it in the form of the Doctor, an alien who can literally come back to life, as well as regaining confidence in herself as a medical practitioner and as a person.

Although Grace spends a lot of time not believing what the Doctor is telling her, once she does, the fun really begins.

They make a great team, playing off of each other at the party, escaping the party, fighting off the cops, and even develop a romantic attachment, with Grace saying, "I finally meet the right guy and he's from another planet."

I also adore how the Doctor is telling her how the Tardis works and she interjects and finishes his sentence because she already gets it. He seems a little put out that he didn’t get to finish explaining too, which was cute.

After she gets possessed by the Master and his control is finally broken, we get to her crowning moment when she saves the universe. The 8th Doctor pretty much tells her in one sentence to, “go to the console room and divert the power to start the TARDIS or everyone on this planet, nay universe, will die!” And what does the amazing Grace Holloway do?

In less than 30 seconds (as she only has until midnight), she goes under the console, plays around with wires and saves the universe. She has never even seen a Tardis before, and most people would be terrified that they have the entire fate of the universe in their hands. But not Grace. She gets the job done and goes to free the Doctor and promptly gets killed by the Master. After time gets reset and she’s brought back to life, Grace only gets better.

Grace’s day has consisted of losing a patient, quitting her job, losing her boyfriend, losing her furniture, being followed around by what she perceives to be a crazy person, pulls a gun on a cop, goes on an adventure, makes out with a Time Lord twice, gets poison acid on her that later forces her to do evil, saves the Universe, gets killed in the process, gets brought back to life and when the Doctor tries to tell her these things she cuts him off and says:

“I know who I am-that’s enough.”

That is moxy.

Then comes the ultimate Grace moment. When the Doctor asks her to come with him, she shoots back, “You come with me!”

I love how Grace knows that life on Earth can be fun. That it’s an adventure on its own. She’s saved the Universe, yes, and had fun doing it, but she knows she doesn’t want to face that kind of danger every day. The text doesn’t present her as “less” or weak for wanting this: it’s so inspiring to see Grace going off to practice the lessons she’s learned from the Doctor (she even says she’s not afraid of life anymore). Even though she said that he was “the right guy”, she doesn’t angst or even look upset that he’s leaving. She’s Dr. “Amazing” Grace Holloway, after all. She’ll probably go home to her house, order some new furniture, get a new job, save lives, and have a fantastic life. Rock on, Grace.



Meet Grace, the companion of the 8th Doctor Movie, who also manages to save the Universe on her first and only canon adventure.


She loves the opera!


She's extremely dedicated to her job and can perform open-heart surgery in a corseted opera gown.


It takes her awhile to believe the Doctor's story and she thinks he's insane for a good 2/3 of the movie.


Grace discovers her new friend has two hearts.


They eventually warm up to eachother.


A lot.


What will the neighbors think! =O


Grace ain't afraid to bust a cap.


Due to a plot twist, Grace becomes EVIL. However, she DOES do a great Dark Phoenix impersonation! :D


Grace is now no longer evil and has just been brought back from the dead!


Grace really enjoys the Sonic Screwdriver.




She'll always have my love for her adorable, "You come with me!" in the end.


My favorite: We Both Go Down Together
by calapine. Awesome Eight/Grace video set to a beautiful song.


Smile Like You Mean It, again by calapine, this is a story about what might've happened if the 8th Doctor stayed with Grace in the end and gives great insight into Grace's character.

Girl Talk by Gary Merchant, which focuses on Charley meeting Grace. I loved their interaction and it really sheds light on both of their characters.

world enough, and time by aces, another story that writes Grace beautifully, and offers a stark contrast between her and Captain Jack.

Walking Away by Calapine, another great story that deals with Eight and Grace's relationship.

Thanks for reading! :D


Thank you! Grace is awesome and definitely underrated, I think. :)
I love Grace for all the reasons you mentioned. For the flimsy-plotted TVM, Grace got solid character development and Daphne Ashbrook gives a good performance. I love the contrast of Grace's maturity and Eight's playfulness, and wish she had more adventures.
I think Grace got a solid character arc too, especially considering it's a 90 minute movie. She was definitely a great companion for Eight and if Fox weren't so greedy, we would've had some more adventures. *kicks Fox*
eee, Grace! I love her. The ultimate Grace moment is indeed made of win. Thanks for the recs, I rarely come across anything with her.
I adore her too! I love how nonchalant she is about saving the Universe. xD Those fics are ones I found on Teaspoon that I remember reading and enjoying. There are other ones up there as well that I haven't gotten around to reading, but if you do a search for Grace they'll come up! :D
Very nice post, and I agree-- Grace had plenty of moxy. ;)
Thank you! And she totally did. ;D
Excellent post! I've always been very fond of Grace and wished she'd had more adventures (silly Fox).

I also adore how the Doctor is telling her how the Tardis works and she interjects and finishes his sentence because she already gets it.
This is one of my favourite Grace moments, along with her "You come with me!" line--and I *love* the scene where she's running through the hospital corridor in her opera gown, with stocking feet and carrying her shoes.

Good fic recs, as well! There really needs to be more Grace fic.
I love your icon! :3

You'd think after 12 years Fox would let go of the rights! xD I wish she could've had some more adventures.

I love when she's running down the corridor too; she looks so elegant (and pulls off aqua, which is cool).
Bravo! I'm so glad someone has finally stood up for Grace and explained why she's so fab. She doesn't get anywhere near the attention she should.

I've always thought she's great, and I so wish we could have seen more of her.

Thanks! She was one of my favorite elements of the movie. She was hilarious and kick ass in all the right ways. <3

Maybe one day they'll let the rights to Grace go; it's already been 12 years! xD
We can but hope! :)

I never did understand how DWM managed to get round the rights issue, but I'm glad they did.

Edited at 2008-07-01 05:56 pm (UTC)
Thankyouverymuch. :-)
I love your user name, btw. ;)And you're welcome, Grace is awesome.
EEEEEEEEEE! I love Grace! <3 I love the whole "Thank you, Doctor" "Thank you, Doctor" thing she had going on with the Doctor, LOL. And she had the bestest farewell scene ever - you come with me, indeed. :D
I love the whole "Thank you, Doctor" "Thank you, Doctor" thing she had going on with the Doctor, LOL.

Their banter never ceases to amuse me--especially the bit where they're arguing through the letter box. ^_^
Oh, the letter box! Yes! Their banter is great. Especially since she's mostly convinced that he's insane. *ROFL*
I love it too! Her farewell scene is so inspiring and uplifting. She's off to apply the lessons she learned from the Doctor. :D
Yep, it's pretty clear that Grace will dust herself off and make something amazing out of her life.

I mean, I'm (a huge sap, LOL) all for tearful nostalgic farewells, but Grace's was a nice change - really positive. :)

Edited at 2008-07-02 11:15 am (UTC)
Grace is love, isn't she? And yes, she's one tough cookie. What a pity we haven't yet seen her again.

If anyone's subscribed to the "Podshock" podcasts through Outpost Gallifrey (or the Gallifreyan Embassy of Long Island), their interview of Daphne Ashbrook, that's Episode 107, just confirms all the lovely things we know about Grace and a few more.
She really is. She's one kickass companion and one of the best things about the TV movie.

Thanks for the info! I'll check it out. :D
Yay! I gotta say, nothing in the movie made a strong impact on me, but I did like her. =D "...you come with me." was so cute.

(Also, after hearing about how Mean Grace Killed the Doctor, it was a pleasant surprise to see that, no, the crazy hospital with no basic ethics killed the Doctor, and poor Grace was thrown confused into the mix last minute!)
Yeah, I don't get how she "killed" the Doctor; she was just doing her job and the other guys thought it was a double exposure. Totally not her fault.
Great post! I love how Grace doesn't even hesitate for a second before replying "you come with me!"
I knoooow! She loves her life and knows that Earth is full of adventures. ;D