10 Doctor Who Controversies That Divide Fans

9. Could The Fifth Doctor Have Saved Adric?

Doctor Who the Daleks
BBC Studios

Though Adric is usually at the bottom of the pile when it comes to companion rankings (just ask WhoCulture's own Seán Ferrick), his death in 1982's Earthshock was one of the most, well, shocking moments in the show - so much so that the credits rolled in complete and utter silence for the first time in Doctor Who history.

Rather unexpectedly, Adric found himself in the news once again when Series 12 was on the air in early 2020, with fans debating whether or not his death could've been prevented by the Fifth Doctor.

This debate was sparked by the episode Praxeus, where the Thirteenth Doctor uses her TARDIS to rescue Jake Willis, who has decided to manually pilot a small spaceship after its autopilot fails. Right before this spaceship explodes, the TARDIS "captures" Jake like a net, shielding him from the explosion and saving his life.

Many fans then pointed out the similarities between Jake's situation and Adric's, with the E-space stowaway also trapped on a doomed spaceship that's about to blow him sky high. In this case though, the Fifth Doctor does nothing, instead watching on in disbelief as his companion dies - so why couldn't he have used the same trick that the Thirteenth Doctor did?

Seems like a fair question at face value, but many of those riled-up Adric supporters missed that the Fifth Doctor's TARDIS console was badly damaged by a Cyberman, which prevented him from flying to his friend's rescue.

Still, some fans think that's a flimsy excuse considering that the TARDIS has a mind of its own and should still be able to function, while others (hilariously) think that the Doctor just didn't like Adric, and thus couldn't be bothered saving him.

Cold... but somewhat understandable.

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WhoCulture Channel Manager/Doctor Who Editor at WhatCulture. Can confirm that bow ties are cool.