"This Master is a cunning serpent."
|Home era:||13th century|
|Travelled with:||Jeffrey Coburn Doctor, Jym DeNatale Doctor, James K. Flynn Doctor|
|First appearance:||The Seventh Dungeon of Drakmoore|
|Last appearance:||Project Alpha|
|Portrayed by:||Rachel Sommers|
Fifteen years old. Born in mid-thirteenth century England, she is the only child of peasant-class parents. She did not know her father as he was killed while she was still a baby. Her mother died when Christine was nine from one of the many plagues that swept across Europe.
Red hair, blue eyes, of average intelligence, but uneducated and illiterate. She accepted that her lot in life was that of perpetual serfdom to a local lord; such was the way things were done - the lords ruled, the peasants served. There was no class mobility in the thirteenth century; those born peasants remained such all their days.
Life was hard for Christine, but she adapted. She is a survivor. Her social position did not endow upon her any sort of self-esteem, so she is quite humble. She doesn't recognise that even her very survival is testimony to a strong spirit and resourcefulness on her part. Given a chance, though, Christine could blossom into an intelligent, beautiful young woman.
Christine carries with her the superstitions of her day. Although the Doctor tries to convince her that many things can be explained scientifically, she still holds to many of the beliefs that she has grown up with. As such, Christine is somewhat claustrophobic when it comes to caves and other closed in, underground structures, believing that such places are haunted by “the souls who were lost in the great dungeons”.
In a round-about way, Christine is the result of a promise made to the cast back in 1995. Douglas Phillips had been saying that one day that he would do a show set in medieval England, he and the cast being fans of that period.
Originally, the story was to have been The Children of Chakran during the 29th season. However, the story fell through and another one was commissioned from Jamie Lawson. By this time, a new companion had to be cast as Dara was being written out of the show and it was determined that the new travelmate would be introduced in the medieval story. Lawson had prepared an outline for the new companion, Kaye, but the story was withdrawn after only the synopsis had been prepared, so the search was on again for a suitable replacement.
This time, the task fell to script editor Thomas Himinez who came up with The Seventh Dungeon of Drakmoore. The name of the new companion was changed to Christine and, utilising the parameters given by Doug Phillips — fifteen years old, peasant class — a character was created that could be best described as a civilised Leela.
Interestingly, Christine is very much in the background for most of her first story. Aside from a scene with the Doctor in the dungeons, she really is given very little to do until the end. According to Tom Himinez, this was planned from the beginning.
“We had just had two stories where the Doctor travelled alone, everyone guessing that first Jessie from Mesomorph might be the new companion, and then Laroche from The Crimson Scarab,” recalls Himinez. "I didn’t want Christine to have a huge part and it be obvious she was going to be the new companion, so I deliberately kept her out of the story. That wasn’t an easy task. I had to give her enough to do so she would seem like a believable character, yet keep her far enough in the background so she would blend in with the other miscellaneous castle characters. But I also had to keep her in position so she could save the day in the end without just coming out of nowhere.”
Like Mark Triyad and Dara Hamilton, Christine suffered from very little character development during her first season. While we got to see much more of her once she became the established companion in Shadow of the Dragon, nothing really was added to her character for most of the 31st season.
Interestingly, the one aspect of Christine’s character that was given much attention during her first season was her wardrobe. Seemingly in direct response to the criticism that companion Victoria Waterfield received in her second story, Tomb of the Cybermen, Christine’s wardrobe was kept very conservative. (One may remember that upon leaving Victorian England, the first outfit Victoria wore was a mini-skirt.) The first outfits worn by Christine upon travelling with the Doctor are two long dresses, and jeans with a rolled up long sleeve blouse. Even in The Chronic Rift when she is finally allowed to dress more stylish, her dress is only a few inches above the knee and she is wearing boots.