Photo copyright Lisa Hazlegreaves
There are some characters in Doctor Who that touch you, that you remember and love for many reasons. These aren’t always the obvious ones, Lady Cassandra O’Brien is one such character. Cassandra first appeared in Episode Two of Series One of New Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston’s Who. So with this in mind she first aired in 2005, seven years later I will still say ‘moisturise me’ at any given opportunity. Cassandra considered herself to be the last ‘purebred human’ when we meet her it is five billion years in the future and the human species has spread itself so far around the galaxy and inter bred with so many different species that there are not any ‘pure bred humans’ left. Cassandra claims her parents were the last humans to be buried in Earth soil.
There is not a lot left of Cassandra, she has had 708 plastic surgery operations and now she is simply skin spread over a frame with a face and her brain sits in a designer jar at the base of the frame. Because she is pulled so taught over the metal frame she dries out very quickly, hence she needs to be moisturised regularly so that she does not split. This is where her catch phrase ‘moisturise me’ comes into play. In the episode ‘The End of The World’ Cassandra is not a very nice character, in fact she masterminds a scheme to collect rather a lot of ransom money by making it look like she along with some other influential people were hostages, whilst using spider like robots to sabotage the space station. However The Doctor has other ideas and Cassandra ends up transporting off the station and simply leaving the other hostages to die. The Doctor resets the space stations systems, reverses the transport and Cassandra is brought back to the space station without her assistants with their moisturising spray, so Cassandra promptly begins to split and then explodes.
This surprisingly is not the last we see of Cassandra, she returns in the first episode of the second series with David Tennant as The Doctor. Her brain had been rescued as had her eyes, and they managed to re-string her to her frame using skin from her back. She is hiding with her servant Chip in the basement of the hospital run by the Sisters of Plentitude, these are cat’s who walk on two legs like humans! Cassandra has got her hands on some technology with which she transfers her consciousness into Rose’s body. At one stage Cassandra even transfers her consciousness into The Doctor’s body, both these scenes are very amusing. I’m not going to go into great detail about the episode but the last scenes are very moving and are probably why Cassandra has stayed with me for so many years. Cassandra finally transfers herself into Chips body, who accepts her willingly, however Chip is just a clone and his body quickly begins to deteriorate, she finally accepts that she is going to die. The Doctor takes Cassandra back in time to a party that she was hosting when Cassandra still had a body and Cassandra whilst in Chips body tells her younger self that she is beautiful and then Chips body promptly collapses and dies. It is a lovely moment, and makes you wonder whether Cassandra will ever go on to have so many plastic surgeries after being finally told that she is beautiful. One thing all ladies know however that to keep the plastic surgeon at bay a good moisturiser is a must, so if you will please excuse me....