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Ben Jackson

Meeting Polly in London’s Inferno nightclub was more significant than sailor Ben Jackson could ever have guessed. He was down at the time, confiding that he felt sad at the prospect of six months stuck in barracks because his ship had sailed. He had no way of knowing he would soon be traveling beyond the seas and across the stars… with the Doctor!

Fact title Fact data
Also known as:
Old shorty
Home Planet:
Ben once lived opposite a brewery and claimed you could get tipsy on the fumes from it!
First Appearance:
Farewell Appearance:
Key stories:
The Tenth Planet; The Macra Terror
The First Doctor, the Second Doctor

Ben was the Doctor’s first cockney companion – a sailor who served aboard the British Royal Navy vessel, HMS Teazer. He met Polly whilst on a shore posting and through her got to know the Doctor. At the end of their first adventure together he followed him into the TARDIS, unaware it was anything more than a police box… His life as a time-traveller had begun!

He's nuts, trying to talk to the Daleks!

Ben Jackson could be a bit of a misery when he didn’t get his own way and he was suspicious of things he didn’t immediately understand. After the Doctor regenerated, for instance, he remained wary of the Time Lord and unlike Polly, it took him some time before he acknowledged the figure before him was the Doctor and not a hare-brained imposter! But he was brave and gallant, once defending Polly (whom he barely knew at the time) even when it meant getting mixed up in a brawl. He had a practical bent and was pragmatic in his approach to dealing with monsters raging from Daleks to Cybermen.

He had a nightmarish encounter with the Macra whose brainwashing programme saw him fall under their control. Although he became a pawn for the Doctor’s enemies he managed to mentally fight back and with the Time Lord’s help, finally regained control of his own mind. Experiences like this no doubt contributed to Ben’s desire to return home and he was clearly relieved when he made it back there. ‘No monsters or Cybermen,’ he said. ‘All this, it's normal. I understand it.’

After he had helped the Doctor defeat the Chameleons he realised that the TARDIS had brought them back to London on the very day that they originally left. The opportunity was too good to miss, but Ben wasn’t about to leave the Doctor if he was needed. Fellow-traveller Jamie assured him that he would be there for the Doctor and the decision was made. Along with his good friend Polly, he remained on Earth, happy to get back to a world he understood. The Doctor told him to go back to his ship and become an admiral, asking Polly to look after him… A request she speedily agreed to!