So how many posts do I need on the subject of the tale of our Blackpool born heroine as played so memorably by Sheridan Smith? I realised whilst covering various series and odds and ends that I didn’t treat the whole story from start to finish as one piece.
This is my attempt to make up for that failing.
This, then, is the Ballad of Lucie Miller…
So what is the whole story?
I précised the four series in my overview to this category and decided that there were four themes: welcome, having fun, darker days and farewell. I believe that this still stands as a framework. Overall, though the story has certain symmetries and themes running across the all 26 discs.
So, from the beginning then: Lucie Miller applies for a job with a company that will turn out to be a front for an alien organisation using people to wage war on various planets through the use of roving offices (it makes sense really!); at the same time Karen also applies. Little do we know that Karen has the potential to be an evil dictator and must not get the job as the Time Lords have planted a device that might, coupled with this potential, make her unstoppable. Unfortunately, the Time Lords believe Lucie is Karen, take her out of time and strand her with the Eighth Doctor for her protection. Unhappy with this a Headhunter is sent to retrieve Lucie.
The first series is the story of Lucie and The Doctor getting to become friend and resolving the primary story line. The character of the Headhunter persists until the end of the third series and has, in her own right, a good story line.
Lucie learns of the Time Lords, loses the Doctor and the end of the second series only to regain him (and the Headhunter is pivotal in all this). The relationship becomes one of true companionship but Lucie is herself also growing up. By the end of the third series she is no longer the person she started as and doubts are used by Karen as a lever between her and the Doctor.
An emerging theme through the first three series was Lucie’s family in particular her Auntie Pat. Through three stories we learn that the Pat who Lucie thought she knew was actually a Zygon. She also learns that the Doctor manipulated her for her own good which breaks the companionship at the start of the fourth series.
The fourth series allows time to pass by, puts a new companion (Tamsin) in the TARDIS briefly and also sets Lucie and then Tamsin up with the Meddling Monk. Lucie and The Doctor are reunited but not back as they were. Meanwhile Lucie meets the Doctors wider family – granddaughter Susan and Susan’s son Alex. Through them Lucie stays in her future and is caught up in events that lead to her death.
[pullquote]a (deliberate?) symmetry to the whole set of stories[/pullquote]
There is a (deliberate?) symmetry to the whole set of stories in that the first (Blood of the Daleks) is a tale of a distant colony under threat from a battered force of Daleks then ends with the Earth itself re-invaded by Daleks and all but wiped out through plague. To The Death needs the ultimate sacrifice by Lucie ‘bleeding’ Miller to stop the Daleks from winning outright.
In summary, Lucie left home unexpectedly, travelled, grew and learned truths that she would rather not have learned. She had wonderful experiences and made a difference numerous times. Finally, as do so many that come into the Doctor’s orbit, she sacrificed herself to save the world.
There is no fairy-tale ending and nor should we expect one.