Strange Matter #7
This short article arose out of debate on rec.arts.drwho and in correspondence with Sydney fan David Carroll, and is now, in some ways, hopelessly out of date (though I added the note on the Doctor’s waistcoat, as I had previously stated it wasn’t the Seventh Doctor). As it provides explicit sources for all the tidbits, though, it remains a useful reference. You might also want to refer to The Ace Papers by William Cameron.
I decided to look into this subject after noting the many contradictions in recent Target books about the dates of various events in Ace’s history, not least the year in which she was born! The main facts, which you may note sometimes contradict each other, along with page number numbers of the appropriate books, are:
When asked by Kane, Ace says she is 16 years old. (45)
20 years on, in 1983, Ace is 14. (32)
That was just before Manisha died. (32)
Ace was born in 1970. (65)
Ace was seventeen when the timestorm came. (65)
Ace first used explosives when 12. (60)
She used nitroglycerine and nitro-9 when 14. (60)
Note that Ben Aaronovitch got very confused at some stage — he has Ace born in 1968/9 and 1970!
In 1983 Manisha was killed and Ace burnt down Gabriel Chase. (7-10 & 151 & back cover)
Ace was 14 years old then. (69)
Therefore she was born in 1969 or 1970.
Ace is left, eventually, in Paris in the early 1880s (?).
The Doctor (could be telemovie-era McCoy, for he wears a waistcoat) visits in 1887, ‘years’ since they parted company. (186-188)
Patterson thinks Ace is 17. (14)
Ace and her friends are almost at drinking age. (16)
It is set in the late 80s. (3)
There are two facts that we can take for granted — Ace was 16 in Dragonfire and it is generally agreed that the Manisha and Gabriel Chase incidents took place in 1983 when Ace was 14. From this, and from both the above facts and others I have not already mentioned, my history of Ace is as below.
1969: Ace is born.
1981: First uses explosives.
1983: Gets into nitro.
1983: Manisha is killed; Ace burns down Gabriel Chase the next day.
1985: She studies Computer Studies, French O Level, and Chemistry, failing at least the latter.
1985: The timestorm comes.
????: The Doctor and Mel come to Iceworld after Ace has been there several months.
????: Various adventures as seen on TV.
1987: Ace returns to Perivale. As Patterson once had her on some charge (pp12) and quite possibly wrote up her missing person file (pp13), he would have a good idea of her age, probably to within a year. He thought her seventeen years old. Therefore it is 1985, 1986 or 1987. I eliminated 1985 as Ace’s friends would still be obviously too young to go to the pub. As it is the ‘late eighties’, the most likely date is 1987. It is suggested that this is, for Ace, less than a week after Fenric (pp57 & pp31).
????: More adventures. Ace’s thoughts on page 34 of Survival certainly match the New Adventures — there were plenty more of them!
1882?: Ace decides to stay in Paris
1887: The Doctor visits her in Paris; Ace marries Count Sorin?
One additional note here: in Survival we are told Ace’s head weighs 6 pounds (pp49) but in Remembrance Rachel remembers Alan Turing comparing the brain to 8 pounds of cold porridge (pp58). Does Ace have a small brain or is it bigger on the inside than the outside?!
Here’s the list of the Doctor Who articles available here
→ A Bit of Adric in All of Us
→ Ace Timeline
→ Cursed References
→ Doctor Who Collectible Card Game FAQ
→ Doctor Who Collectible Card Game Tips
→ Doctor Who in America
→ History of the Daleks
→ History of Doctor Who
→ History of the fanzine Sonic Screwdriver
→ How I Killed a Fanzine (or, What’s an EFG?)
→ Survival the (Con)vention
→ The Doctor and I (First Memories)
→ The Doctor and I (1985 — Move to the USA)
→ The Doctor and I (Organised Fandom? Huh?)
→ The Doctor and I (Doctorin’ Ithaca)
→ The Doctor and I (Back to Melbourne)
→ The Doctor and I (Whovention)
→ The Doctor and I (David, Meet the DWCV)
→ The Doctor and I (Enlightenment)
→ The Doctor and I (The Blankety Blank Era)
→ The Doctor and I (Q Who)
→ The Doctor and I (DWCV Committee, Meet David)
→ The Doctor and I (Whovention II (Control))
→ The Doctor and I (Sonic Screwdriver, Meet David (and Marco and Matthew))
→ The Relative Confusion of The Curse of Fenric
→ What Makes a Warrior?
→ What’s in a Name?
→ Or just head back to the Doctor Who Index
This page last updated by David J Richardson on Sun, 27 Apr 2003.