Companion Reign – 1986 – 87
“But if you’re the REAL Doctor! [following his regeneration from Sixth to Seventh], then why do you look like THAT? ” Mel – Time And The Rani.
Chipper, chirpy and very annoying
Mel (Bonnie Langford) was a companion of the Sixth and Seventh Doctor’s and the first companion to feature as a “future” companion of the Sixth Doctor.
Mel first appeared in the Trial Of A Timelord – Terror Of The Vervoids – 1986 in a future premonition, displayed on the Timelord Matrix at the Sixth Doctor’s trial.
The Sixth Doctor at this point, had not actually met Mel yet and didn’t meet her until after the events in Trial Of A Timelord.
“I’ll send you a postcard! Oh, I’ll put it in a bottle and throw it into space! It’ll reach you… in time!” Mel – Dragonfire
These events would have been covered in some more detail in season 24 but Colin Baker was replaced by Sylvester McCoy.
Mel (whose second name was not disclosed – but believed to be “Bush” – from subsequent novelisations) was of 20th Century Earth origin; hailing from Sussex in the UK.
Mel was a computer programmer by trade and a commited vegetarian and health enthusiast. She frequently badgered the Sixth Doctor to take more exercise, due to his expanding girth.
She was a bubbly, vivacious girl with shock curly red hair and a colourful dress sense to match. But was most distinguishable for her rather annoying sing-song chirpy voice – and worse; her ear-piercing, sonic boom scream which rang out every time Mel laid eyes on a monster.
This made her character not very well liked, as the Doctor’s companion. But to be fair, Mel was a victim of a show in decline and at this time, Who was very close to being cancelled. It was only given a further stay of execution when Colin Baker was dropped.
Due to the change in Doctor, Mel was never given much of a backstory and she left – herself, shortly after the Sixth Doctor regenerated into the Seventh; and was replaced by the much deeper and more relatable; Ace.
In Time And The Rani – 1987, Mel was captured by the Rani – who made herself appear as Mel in an illusion to get the Seventh Doctor to be complicit in one of her dastardly schemes.
During the events of Dragonfire – 1987, Mel met up with Bounty Hunter and all round rogue; Sabalom Glitz – who she had previously met in Trial Of A Timelord and decided to leave the Seventh Doctor to go travelling with Glitz instead.
Mel is not remembered as a very popular companion in Doctor Who but the show generally was in decline at this time and her character development suffered considerably from this.