So in the 2007 Christmas special Voyage of the Damned the Tenth Doctor met up with Kylie Minogue in the guide of Astrid Peth, a waitress on the Space Cruiser Titanic. How excited we were over the name being an anagram for TARDIS (and Peth apparently being Welsh for part). What this piece needs to examine is the credentials to raise her to the status of inconstant companion and assess the chance (if any) of a more permanent berth on the TARDIS.
Why the acclaim?
Well the chemistry with the doctor was fantastic and there was a very direct emotional connection made that threatened to lead to a level of intimacy hitherto unheard of. Kylie is of course a super-star and the character is pure companion fodder in that she is bored with her career, highly resourceful and easy on the eye.
Sadly she did die at the end of the story – though fragments of her were set adrift to wander through space.
Chances of a return
At the time there was much speculation that Astrid may return, given though that Kylie has things to do, RTD has moved on and we have a new Doctor the most we might hope for would be the current Doctor potentially meeting Astrid earlier in her life and not giving away her destiny. This probably resembles the River Song plot too closely and so will never happen.
So, Kylie in the TARDIS? We should be so lucky (lucky, lucky, lucky [sic!]).
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I mostly liked that story, and I liked Astrid Perth. I wouldn’t mind seeing her show up again, but I don’t know how it could be done. I didn’t really like her death — it was poetic, but kind of disturbing and nonsensical in many ways — but it was pretty final. Then again, nothing in Doctor Who is ever final. Rose leaving was supposed to be “final,” and the Daleks have been finally defeated scores and scores of times. So anything is possible.
There were a lot of deaths in this story with almost everyone sacrificing themselves so that the Doctor could win (and not for the first time). With RTD not around I (sadly) think it unlikely Astrid will return, though happy to be wrong!
A friend and I speculated a while back that Astrid Peth was and anagram for THE TARDIS PARADOX (ASTRID PETH = THE TARDIS P (for perhaps PARADOX) ).
Hear me out for a moment:
Astrid’s physical body died on the Titanic, but because of what happened to her she was able to retain her consciousness as an energy being.
She was literally “star stuff.”
My own theory is that Astrid traveled the universe in this form, and saw everything that she wanted to see, but she was lonely. Very lonely.
However it happen, Astrid stowed away in a Type-40 TARDIS, bonded with the vessel, and became its consciousness. She waited for a very long time until The Doctor (now from her perspective, William Hartnell’s First Doctor) and his granddaughter, Susan, “borrowed” her.
From this perspective, Astrid was responsible for the events in the serial, THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION, and she has been a constant companion of The Doctor ever since, from our perspective.
The whole Astrid = TARDIS idea was heavily speculated on at the time but I think is was dismissed as no more than a germ of an idea that wasn’t followed up on. It is a shame Astrid died though Kylie probably couldn’t have spared the time to film as a regular character.
Maybe she will return in the anniversary?!
Big Finish did a thread on a secret inhabitant of the TARDIS but I remain unconvinced that this could have sustained itself through so many near-disasters
Astrid’s return now that RTD is coming back in 2023?… I personally hope not. Would amount to fan service at best imo. Bringing Tennant and RTD back could be the last death rattle of a dying show, and a desperate attempt to boost ratings? Who knows. I hope not.
Thanks for dropping by, as you might have seen, this blog (like the show) is pretty dead