Appearing in Situation Vacant (reviewed here) with the Eighth Doctor the character of Rachel (the hotel receptionist for those who can’t place the character) as played by Joanna Kanska (the Polish actress who has a wealth of TV appearances to her name such as Very Peculiar Practice from the late 80s to Foyle’s War, Casualty, Inspector Lynley and now Doctors in 2011is my latest blast from the world of Big Finish as a nearly-companion who, in my view, would have made a great assistant. In the rest of this piece I make my case…


All the way through Situation Vacant the listener is trying to spot who the new companion will be and one-by-one the four candidates reveal themselves to be flawed (or alien, or vampire, or megalomaniac…) and all the while the hotel receptionist is calm, controlled and capable. Near the end the Doctor does indeed offer her the opportunity to travel which she declines.

Even on the third listen through, knowing full well who will be selected, I still found myself willing the Doctor to choose Rachel!

Chance of a return?

Never say never, though at present the Eighth Doctor has a new companion in the form of Mary Shelley, and who knows one day the Doctor may check into another hotel only to be welcomed by the efficient Rachel.

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