(Not to be confused with “NoTP”. We’re keeping things positive here!)
As I’ve thought about this, it’s occurred to me that almost ANYTHING you could ship on Doctor Who could be categorized as a “ship that could never be.” Shipping is really not what Doctor Who is meant to be about. Not that that has ever stopped any of us, am I right?
Anyway, I honestly have been turning this one around in my mind for ages now because there (again) are loads to choose from. One of my first thoughts was to go back to my two favorite companions, The Brigadier and Liz Shaw. They were wonderful together and don’t even try to deny needing a cold shower after some of their scenes together in “Spearhead from Space”. But the truth is that even if they had gotten together and overcome all the logistical obstacles, it wouldn’t matter because they would have (in all likelihood) killed each other. So they’re out.
A friend suggested I choose Captain Mike Yates and Jo Grant, who were actually originally intended to be romantically involved in the show. That idea never got off the ground though*, and poor Mike was left in the dust when Jo met Professor Clifford Jones in “The Green Death”. So they actually were the ship that never was, but they’re still not my first choice.
I think if I have to give this to anyone, it has to be to arguably the most adorable pairing of the lot. Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield.
Sadly, it’s difficult to recommend these two in a way because only two of their serials remain totally intact. “Tomb of the Cybermen” and “The Enemy of the World” are both excellent examples of how great they were together as well, so I highly recommend checking them out. I also especially recommend “The Ice Warriors” and “Web of Fear” for Jamie and Victoria as well, though there are bits missing. “Fury from the Deep” would be great too if someone could just find some of it.**
These two together are about as sweet and adorable as it’s possible to be, but they had just about everything working against them. They came from different periods in history, with Jamie from the Battle of Culloden in 1746 and Victoria from 1866 England. He was an adventurer, and she was a very reluctant time traveler.
And yet they worked so well together. Jamie’s natural instinct was to fight and protect, and Victoria was the perfect damsel in distress for him to rescue. She wasn’t stupid, though. She was strong when she needed to be, and she was clever enough to get the Doctor and Jamie out of more than a few scrapes. And they were both very, very young. It was only natural that in their travels with the Doctor they would become closer, and they had a very deep affection for one another.
This is especially evident when Victoria eventually decides to leave the TARDIS for good and Jamie is very obviously heartbroken. He goes so far as to act like a stroppy heartbroken teenager for a good deal of the next story, “The Wheel in Space”. And is really sort of a jerk when new companion Zoe Heriot tags along with them when they leave the Wheel.
Their story is really shattered for good, though, when Jamie’s run comes to an end in Patrick Troughton’s last serial, “The War Games”. The story ends with the Doctor being forced to regenerate and Jamie and Zoe both being returned to their proper times and places. And in case you’re wondering where the idea for Donna and the Twelfth Doctor’s memory alterations came from, the Time Lords also wipe Jamie and Zoe’s memories of all their adventures with the Doctor after their first meeting. So no matter how much Jamie loved Victoria (and I would argue that he really did), he’ll never be able to remember her. The memories of their time together only remain with Victoria.
Okay, and the Doctor. But we all know he’s usually totally oblivious to those things.
Who is your ship that could never be? Are you a Jamie/Victoria fan? Or do you prefer Liz/Brig or Jo/Mike Yates? Let us know!
* In the special edition DVD commentary on “The Green Death”, it’s mentioned that Jon Pertwee believed the idea of Jo/Mike would be too distracting and was therefore against it. This is supposedly why it was never really touched on in the show.
** It does, however, exist as an audio play, so you should go listen to that. If Jamie/Victoria isn’t enough incentive, it also marks the very first appearance of the sonic screwdriver. So that’s a thing.