Companion Name: Polly Wright
First Appearance: Episode 1, The War Machines 25 June 1966
Last Appearance: Episode 6, The Faceless Ones 13 May 1967
All the missing stories are available through fan channels on audio only, Macra Terror and Power of the Daleks have been released commercially by the BBC. The existing episodes of Moonbase have been released on video by the BBC as part of Cybermen: The Early Years.
Polly was one of the first Doctor's last companions. Along with the irrepressable Ben, she watched the first regeneration of the Doctor.
Joining the Doctor in London in 1966, and eventually leaving the same day, Polly's adventures with the Doctor could be seen as a temporary vacation from reality. Indeed, you might wonder that Ben and Polly believed that their adventures were real.
Polly joined the Doctor in the story The War Machines, in which London was taken over by the Post Office Tower. The War Machines is the only complete story with Ben and Polly, and thus the only story by which they are often judged.
Their next story was The Smugglers, which is one of many completely missing stories. The plot involves Pirates running around the Cornish coast.
Their third story is the truly interesting one, however. The Tenth Planet is a story whose name is known to all fans as the Holy Grail of the missing episodes. Only one episode of this story is missing, the last. The last episode of this story contains the regeneration of William Hartnell in Patrick Troughton, the First incarnation of the Doctor into the Second. Rumors of the existence of this story have haunted fans for years, and once a film cannister was "returned" to the BBC that supposedly contained it, but the film inside was blank. All fans of the show hope for its eventual return.
This is the character sketch for Polly, as quoted in "Doctor Who - The Sixties" (buy a copy, it's good).
24, private secretary to scientist. Father, country doctor in Devon, four brother (one older - three younger). Happy and conventional middle-class background, she has never been tied to her mother's apron strings - they never know when to expect her home but when she arrives they are happy to see her. Has been, in turn, a travel courier - done a small amount of modelling (which she found irksome to her intelligence and feet).
She loves sports cars, watching motor racing, skiing, clothes, swimming - pet hates: pomposity, deb's delights, conforming and officials (police to ticket collectors).
Intelligent, imaginative, impulsive, inclined to act first, think later. She is totally undomesticated, cannot sew, knit or cook.
The original documentation of Polly's name has been revealed to be "Wright", never used because of possible confusion with Barbara's name. In the Lofficier's excellent reference books, her last name is given as "Lopez". (In "The Faceless Ones" (1966) Polly`s double is given the name Michelle Lauppi, and a corruption of this, "Lopez" seems to have been given as Pollys surname, probably by over-eager fans listening to a dodgy version of the soundtrack.) Anneke Wills has stated that Polly's last name should be "Brettingham-Smith", an appropriate name for the character as portrayed, also the last name of some of Anneke's close friends.
So which is it? Well, I've bowed to the possible canonicity of the Missing Adventure series of novels, and to the original name of Polly given in some of the original documentation on her character. In "Invasion of the Cat-People", Polly's last name is given as "Wright". So until further evidence proves me wrong, that's how it will be for this fan club.
But hey, I still like Brettingham-Smith...
Reference materials used in the construction of this page (check 'em out): "Doctor Who - The Sixties", Doctor Who Magazine (DWM) issues 133, 218-220, "Doctor Who - Time Lord", "The Discontinuity Guide", "The Doctor Who Programme Guide", "Doctor Who - The Universal Databank", and "Doctor Who - A Celebration".
Thanks to S D Hunt for info on the origin of "Lopez".