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Doctor Who character
Zoe Heriot
Affiliated Second Doctor
Species Human
Home planet Earth (Space Station W3)
Home era 21st century
First appearance The Wheel in Space
Last appearance The War Games (regular)
The Five Doctors (cameo)
Portrayed by Wendy Padbury

Zoe Heriot (sometimes spelled Zoe Herriot), or simply Zoe, is a fictional character played by Wendy Padbury in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A young astrophysicist who lived on a space wheel in the 21st century, she was a companion of the Second Doctor and a regular in the programme from 1968 to 1969.


Character history

Zoe first appears in the serial The Wheel in Space, where she is the librarian on board Space Station W3, also known as the Wheel. When the Cybermen attack, she aids the Doctor and Jamie in defeating them before stowing away aboard the TARDIS. In David Whitaker's script for The Wheel in Space, Zoe's last name is spelled "Heriot", but the double-"r" misspelling is also seen in reference works.

Zoe's age is not given in the series, but according to initial publicity she was fifteen when she joined the TARDIS crew.[1]. She holds a degree in pure mathematics and is a genius, with intelligence scores comparable to the Doctor's. Coupled with her photographic memory and the advanced learning techniques of her era, this makes her somewhat like a human calculator, able to perform complicated mathematics in her head. Part of the reason for her wanting to travel with the Doctor is her chafing at the restrictions and sterile surroundings of her station-bound existence. However, her real world experience is severely limited, and that gives her an ability to frequently get herself in trouble.

Together with the Doctor and Jamie, she meets the Cybermen again when they invade 20th Century London, enters the surreal Land of Fiction, fights the Ice Warriors and survives the battlefields of the War Chief's war games. Her journeys with the Doctor come to an end in that serial, when the Time Lords finally catch up with the Doctor. As well as forcing a regeneration on him and exiling him to Earth, the Time Lords return Jamie and Zoe to their own times, wiping the memory of their experiences with the Doctor (save for their first encounters with him) in the process.

Other appearances

Zoe's life after her return to her own time is not further explored in the series. In the spin-off short story "The Tip of the Mind" by Peter Anghelides, it is revealed that although her intellect allows her to resist the memory blocks by the Time Lords, she is unable to access the memories of her time with the Doctor consciously. This causes her strange dreams, and makes her work suffer. An encounter with the Third Doctor makes the memory blocks permanent, but she ultimately never reaches her full potential.

Padbury has appeared in Doctor Who audio adventures from Big Finish Productions, first as a character other than Zoe in the full-cast audio Davros, and then as Zoe in Fear of the Daleks, part of the "Companion Chronicles" talking book series. The latter story portrays an older Zoe having detailed dreams of her adventures with the Doctor; she suspects that something is blocking her memory, but she does not know what, and is seeing a psychiatric counselor in an effort to understand the "dreams".

The novelisation of The Mind Robber mentions, in passing, that Zoe discussed that adventure "long afterwards"[2], suggesting that she eventually recovered some or all of her lost memories.

As with all Doctor Who spin-off media, the canonicity of these sources is open to interpretation.

Wendy Padbury returned to Doctor Who as an illusory image of Zoe in the 20th anniversary episode, The Five Doctors.

Other mentions

Zoe is mentioned by the 6th Doctor in Attack of the Cybermen and a vision of Zoe is seen along with every other companion aside from Leela on the scanner screen in Resurrection of the Daleks.

List of appearances



Season 5
Season 6
20th anniversary special

Audio drama


Virgin Missing Adventures
Past Doctor Adventures
Telos Doctor Who novellas

Short stories

  • "Fallen Angel" by Andy Lane (Decalog)
  • "Vortex of Fear" by Gareth Roberts (Decalog 2: Lost Property)
  • "Aliens and Predators" by Colin Brake (Decalog 3: Consequences)
  • "War Crimes" by Simon Bucher-Jones (Short Trips)
  • "uPVC" by Paul Farnsworth (More Short Trips)
  • "Please Shut the Gate" by Stephen Lock (Short Trips and Sidesteps)
  • "Constant Companion" by Simon A. Forward (Short Trips: Zodiac)
  • "The Tip of the Mind" by Peter Anghelides (Short Trips: Companions)
  • "One Small Step" by Nicholas Briggs (Short Trips: Past Tense)
  • "Goodwill Towards Men" by J. Shaun Lyon (Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury)
  • "That Which Went Away" by Mark Wright (Short Trips: Seven Deadly Sins)
  • "Undercurrents" by Gary Merchant (Short Trips: A Day in the Life)
  • "Visiting Hours" by Eddie Robson (Short Trips: A Day in the Life)
  • "Mercury" by Eddie Robson (Short Trips: The Solar System)
  • "Lepidoptery for Beginners" by John Dorney (Short Trips: Defining Patterns)
  • "Homework" by Michael Coen (Short Trips: Defining Patterns)
  • "Relative Dimensions" by Andrew Cheverton (Shelf Life)


  • "The Vampire Plants" by David Brian (Doctor Who Annual 1970)
  • "The Robot King" by David Brian (Doctor Who Annual 1970)
  • "The Tides of Time" (Cameo) by Steve Parkhouse and Dave Gibbons (Doctor Who Magazine)
  • "Land of the Blind" by W. Scott Gray and Lee Sullivan (Doctor Who Magazine 224–226)
  • "Renewal" by Tony Lee and Pia Guerra (Doctor Who: The Forgotten #2)


  1. ^ Doctor Who - The Invasion (production subtitles). [DVD]. 2 Entertain Video. 2006. 
  2. ^ Ling, Peter (1986). The Mind Robber. Target Books. p. 73. ISBN 0-426-20286-4. 

External links


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