Perkins was the Orient Express’ chief engineer. He was sharp and inquisitive with a dry sense of humour and when the Doctor was trying to figure out the mystery of the Foretold, it was Perkins who put him on the right track…
Perkins first encountered the Doctor when the Time Lord was looking into the death of Mrs Pitt, examining the life support system she’d been using when she was killed. He immediately showed his canniness, ‘I know that when I find a man fiddling with a chair that someone died in,’ he told the Doctor, ‘it’s best to play my cards close to my chest.’
You know, Doctor, I can’t tell if you’re a genius or just incredibly arrogant!Perkins
The Doctor soon took him into his confidence and asked for his help. When Perkins got his hands on details about the Orient Express’ passengers and destinations, he admitted he’d been investigating the old woman’s death before the Doctor’s intervention. The pair teamed up and it was Perkins who first mused that ‘moving energy out of phase’ takes about a minute, leading the Doctor to understand why the Foretold was invisible to all but its victims.
He was at the Doctor’s side when the creature was finally freed from its war and later, the Doctor asked if he would like a place aboard the TARDIS, ostensibly to help look after the time machine’s engines. But Perkins declined, ‘Sorry… but I don’t think I do. That job could... change a man.’ The Doctor agreed, parting company with the train engineer who had helped engineer the fall of the Foretold.