Zoe was academically gifted to the point of brilliance. As the Doctor once put it, ‘Zoe is something of a genius… It can be very irritating at times!’ When we first encountered her on the ‘Wheel’ space station where she lived, she was working in its library, spouting facts and figures with the speed and precision of a ticker-tape print out. But like many genii, she had a lot to learn… Enter the Doctor!
Zoe introduced herself to the Doctor as an ‘astrophysicist - pure mathematics major’ and the dynamics of their relationship were established during their very first conversation. Whilst discussing the enigma of an errant rocket she proposed a solution to the mystery – a solution the Doctor termed a ‘theory’. She picked him up on his scepticism, stating her reasoning couldn’t be disproved as it was pure logic. The Doctor didn’t miss a beat. ‘Logic, my dear Zoe,’ he informed her, ‘merely enables one to be wrong with authority.’ They were off!
The Doctor’s almost as clever as I am!Zoe
Zoe’s self-assuredness sometimes grated with Jamie and he once said sarcastically, ‘Now, don’t tell me there’s something you can’t work out!’ But over time the two travellers became close and it was clear the young Scot held a wary affection for the scientist.
Following the Doctor’s victory over the Cybermen during their first adventure together, Zoe realised she wanted to see the universe up close. To experience the excitement and danger it offered – to escape the library! She stowed aboard the TARDIS and ended up accompanying the Doctor all over time and space, from Dulkis to twentieth century Earth. Her astonishing mental abilities were often put to great use, never more so than when her missile calculations helped knock out a Cyber fleet during an attempted invasion of Earth.
Zoe became one of the first companions to experience Gallifrey but it proved a tragic visit. Whilst there the Time Lords tried the Doctor and exiled him to Earth – alone. When Zoe and Jamie were returned to a time and place in their own personal history, just before they began their travels, their memories were wiped and it was as though they had both shared only one adventure with the Doctor before continuing their ‘normal’ lives.
The Doctor watched from afar as she returned to work on the ‘Wheel’… He saw her pause momentarily, as if trying to remember something… but no. Zoe’s time in the TARDIS had been eradicated. ‘She will be all right, won’t she?’ the Doctor demanded, gaining a little comfort from the Time Lords’ reply: ‘Of course.’ But the scientist who prized facts so highly had been robbed of the most fantastic facts of her entire life…