The wrong side of Madame Vastra can be a dangerous place to be… A brave warrior, she wields swords with power and precision and after dealing with the notorious Jack the Ripper, she commented that she’d found him ‘stringy but tasty’, suggesting that she devours her enemies!
The Doctor found Vastra in the London Underground system where, in her own words, she was ‘attempting to avenge my sisters on perfectly innocent tunnel-diggers’. He intervened, teaching her that ‘anger is always the shortest distance to a mistake’. It was a piece of wisdom she would remind him of much later, on the eve of battle…
Send a telegram… Jack the Ripper has claimed his last victim!Vastra
It’s clear that the Doctor has enormous faith in Vastra. When he needed a team to help him at the Battle of Demon’s Run, this remarkable Silurian was one of the first figures he turned to and her immediate response – ‘It means a very old debt is to be repaid!’ – indicates she had met the Time Lord in the tunnels long before he called for her assistance.
In fact, by the time they teamed up to rescue Amy Pond from Kovarian, they had developed a sound friendship. She felt comfortable teasing the Doctor and gently challenging him when she sensed his judgement was impaired by emotion. She was familiar with the concept of regeneration, knew about the Time Lords, and even recognised their cellular make-up, indicating that she’d learnt much from the man she called ‘old friend’.
Like many Silurians, Vastra sometimes showed a haughty contempt for humans, but she’s close to her ‘assistant’, Jenny Flint and showed a steel resolve to keep the Monks from baby Melody, shouting, ‘Protect the child at all costs!’ and risking her own life for the Ponds’ daughter.
Back in Victorian London, her alliance with Jenny and Strax became known as the Paternoster Gang , with the trio sometimes joined a fourth member - the Doctor himself. She was by his side as he battled the Great Intelligence in 1892 and the following year she helped him defeat Mrs Gillyflower and Mr Sweet. By that point it was obvious that the Paternoster Gang had already been involved in a number of scrapes. She talked about the need to ‘run towards any form of danger that presents itself’ calling such an action. ‘Business as usual!’
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