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“Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do!”

The Prom ise, a new trailer for the Season 26 Blu-ray box set, sees the return of the SeventhDoctor’s com panion, Ace. Its author reveals how the story cam e about.
Pete McTighe withSophie Aldred, during the recording of The Promise on 2 March.

I love Ace. I’d always been disappointed that such a brilliant, groundbreaking com panion, and such a fantastic actress as Sophie Aldred, never had the ‘proper’ on-screen exit she deserved. There she is, in the final shot of Survival (1989), walking o into the sunset withthe SeventhDoctor – an inseparable, perfect partnership – and the next tim e we see him, seven years later, he’s alone. So what happened?

Over the years we’ve been o ered m ultiple potential exit stories courtesy of various novels, com ic strips and audio adventures – but none of them ever felt quite right to m e. I always believed that Ace would have grow n up and channelled her experiences into som e greater good, and that her adventures withthe SeventhDoctor would never be truly ‘done’. W herever he was, he’d always com e back for her.

I was thrilled when Russell T Davies snuck a m ention of Ace into Deathof the Doctor, his story from the fourthseason of The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2010. In a lovely com panion recap, we learned from Sarah Jane that “Dorothy Som ebody” was running a com pany called A Charitable Earth(ACE) and had “raised billions”. Thank you, Russell! Finally – canonical proof that Ace was still out there, that she was OK. Better than OK, she was brilliant. That felt right. But dam n, I really wanted to see her. In 2017, Russell told m e over co ee that should The Sarah Jane Adventures have continued, the return of Ace was “next on the list”. Sadly it was not to be.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

THE WORLD CUP OF THE DALEKS Thirty-two Dalek stories battled for supremacy in our epic Twitter contest. Which is the fans’ favourite? Other highlights of this issue include: • A 16-page celebration of the Daleks, including the results of DWM’s online tournament. • An exclusive Series 12 update. • Writer and director Pete McTighe goes behind the scenes on The Promise, his new trailer for the Season 26 Blu-ray box set. • Sophie Aldred discusses her on-screen return as Ace. • Production designer Arwel Jones gives DWM a tour of the Thirteenth Doctor’s TARDIS. • The first part of an exclusive interview with former script editor Andrew Cartmel. • A preview of Tiny Rebel’s final Doctor Who: Infinity games. • The Fact of Fiction explores the 1973 story Carnival of Monsters. • The answers to last issue’s fiendishly difficult quiz about the first 40 years of DWM. • Part Three of Mistress of Chaos, a new comic-strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • The Blogs of Doom, audio and book reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!