Doctor Who - The New Series

Lady Cassandra O'Brien

Played by: Zoe Wanamaker (2005-2006)

Age: Approx. 200 in 5,000,000,000,000 AD.

Occupation: Entrepreneur.

Doctor: The Ninth Doctor, The Tenth Doctor.

Season One Cassandra O'Brien likes to call herself "the last human", although she certainly does not look it - centuries of plastic surgery have left her as nothing more than a piece of skin stretched out on a frame, like a trampoline. She has eyes and a mouth, and speaks using a circular voice machine affixed to the rear of her... body. She must be kept moisturised at all times in hot temperatures otherwise she is liable to dry up and tear. Her brain is kept safely in a tank beneath her frame. Curiously, she claims to have once been a boy.

In actual fact, while Cassandra is the last "pureblood" human, she is not the end of the human race, which has spread out to the stars and begun interbreeding with other species. Cassandra, being something of an old-fashioned girl-- boy-- whatever, calls these creatures "mongrels" and looks down upon them.

Cassandra met the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler aboard Platform 1, a travelling space station which allows the galaxy's rich and privileged to see events of great importance. The trio were joined by other strange creatures who had all arrived at the station to observe the destruction of the Earth by our sun.

However, Cassandra wasn't just there for the show - she had a cunning plan to hold the station's rich occupants hostage using tiny robotic spiders to kill the staff and set the sunshields to rise, increasing the station's temperature. With the spiders themselves controlled by a group of androids called The Adherents of the Repeated Meme, Cassandra could pose as one of the victims and get away scot-free.

Cassandra's plan failed to take into account the Doctor, however, and when he uncovered her plot, she resorted to Plan B - teleporting off the station, destroying it and capitalising on the fluctuations in the stock market to make a profit. The Doctor managed to save the station, but not before several of the guests were killed. He located Cassandra's teleportation device and returned her to the station where, despite protests from Rose, he allowed her to dry out and die.

Season Two However, only Cassandra's skin was affected - her brain remained in the tank in her stand and, with the help of a specially grown clone called Chip, her eyes were gathered up and more skin was taken from her old body. Now a fugitive, she holed up underneath a hospital in New New York, on the planet of New Earth. There she waited for 23 years, until a chance encounter with Rose and the newly-regenerated Doctor gave her the opportunity to escape.

The Doctor had been called there to speak to the dying Face of Boe, another survivor of the Platform One debacle. But as he headed up to the Face's ward, he was separated from Rose, who was taken down into the basement and trapped in a machine that allowed Cassandra to leap into her body. Delighting in the joy of having limbs again, Cassandra enjoyed flirting with a suspicious Doctor, who was investigating some strange goings-on at the hospital.

The pair discovered that the institution's remarkable success rate was down to a secret ward that contained thousands upon thousands of clones, each infected with every known disease in the universe and used as living petri dishes for developing new diseases so that cures could be found for them. The clones soon escaped and began spreading their diseases by contact. The Doctor and Cassandra - still in Rose's body - managed to create and spread a cure, but not before Cassandra had briefly leapt into one of the clones and sensed its desperate loneliness.

The experience had a profound effect on Cassandra, who agreed to leave Rose's body and entered Chip's instead. But although the pet clone was happy to help his mistress live, the experiences in the hospital were too much for his weak heart and both he and Cassandra began to die. Realising that she had already lived far longer than she should have, Cassandra agreed to pass away. As a parting gift, the Doctor took her back in time to see her younger self at a cocktail party - the last place someone called her beautiful. Cassandra died in her own arms.

Appearances First season: Appears in 1.02, "The End of the World".

Second season: Appears in 2.01, "New Earth".

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