The Doctor's Companions
(The Book and Audio Companions)

Fitz Kreiner Callen Lennox Anji Kapoor
Audio - Shades of Fear - Red Darkness
Red Darkness
(Roy Gill)
 Name: Callen Lennox

 Format: Audio

 Time of Origin: Uncertain; The Doctor first encountered them on present-day Earth and on a distant Earth colony in the far future.

 Appearances: "Red Darkness" to "The Green Gift"

 Doctor: Ninth Doctor.

 Fellow Companions: None.

Christopher Eccleston
The Ninth Doctor
 History: While Callen only briefly travelled with The Doctor, he served as a companion during an important stage in The Doctor’s life. With the Ninth Doctor still reeling from the horror of the Time War in his previous incarnation ("The Day of The Doctor"), he wasn’t ready to take on a new full-time companion yet, but circumstances meant that The Doctor had to take responsibility for Callen when he lost the rest of his family.

 Callen left Earth when he was a child as part of the Celtic Alliance, a scientific research expedition sent out from Scotland. While growing up, it was discovered that Callen had a rare genetic disorder that affected his vision; while his near-sighted vision was basically fine, he had trouble making out faces and he couldn’t see the colour red at all. Ironically, his mother, Doctor Iona Lennox, eventually established a research post on Solis Kailya, a planet where a combination of factors including the atmosphere and its position from the sun created a unique filter in the sun that made Solis Kailya potentially good for colonisation ("Red Darkness"). Iona was one of the research team studying the planet’s properties with the goal of using it to revolutionise colony farming, but Callen couldn’t even see this quirk as his disorder prevented him perceiving the red sky.

 While living on Solis Kailya, Callen received a support dog, Doyle, equipped with a collar that allowed him to communicate in English. The planet had been well-populated at first, but in recent times people had started to vanish, and by the time The Doctor arrived on the planet Doctor Lennox’s research team were basically the last colonists left. When The Doctor heard more about how the colonists had been vanishing, he initially suspected the Vashta Nerada ("Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead"), but this didn’t fit the circumstances as the bodies completely disappeared where the Vashta Nerada would leave bones. The Doctor eventually determined that the Vashta Nerada had essentially merged with The Vermine ("Shades of Terror"), the new hybrid capable of absorbing power from light and devouring humanoids completely where on their own the Vashta Nerada could only exist in shadow and devoured flesh while leaving the bones behind. The new hybrid introduced itself to The Doctor as the Red Darkness, presenting itself as a simple ruthless predator, but The Doctor soon deduced that the hybrid, like the original Vermine, still sought the TARDIS to gain access to time and space. With the Red Darkness able to possess anyone who looked at it directly, The Doctor and Iona Lennox blindfolded themselves to stop the Red Darkness infecting them while Callen and Doyle led them back to the TARDIS.

 Unfortunately, by the time they reached the TARDIS the Red Darkness had already discreetly infected the ship by hiding in the lamp on top, basically hiding in the red light that was part of the spectrum of white generated by the lamp. The Red Darkness nearly attacked them using the body of another colonist, but Iona, already infected by the Red Darkness, sacrificed herself to destroy the host with a wide-spectrum flare. The Doctor pretended to agree to allow the Red Darkness to use him as a host to take the TARDIS to another planet to continue their new campaign of conquest, but once inside, The Doctor revealed that Iona had previously given him a light filtration system she had developed that had been modified to render him temporarily blind so that he couldn’t see anything. This left The Doctor immune to the Red Darkness’s influence, allowing him to expel Red Darkness from the TARDIS lamp, turn the Vashta Nerada and the Vermine against each other, and finally expel the Vashta Nerada on a deserted planet after the Vermine were destroyed, trapping them in Doyle’s old collar.

Audio - Pioneers
The Green Gift
(Roy Gill)
 While The Doctor intended to go back to Solis Kailya and arrange for a warning beacon to be set up to stop anyone else trying to establish a colony on that planet, his immediate priority was to find a new place for Callen and Doyle to make new lives, as he wasn’t ready to take on a new companion full-time but obviously didn’t want to just drop them off at the next planet. Their subsequent travels were relatively straightforward, visiting worlds with a market of dreams where people could purchase anything they had dreamed about, or a planet with groaning lakes and sentient water. Callen was soon aware that The Doctor didn’t need him or Doyle around, but appreciated that he at least liked having them around, to the extent that The Doctor rebuilt and modified Doyle’s collar to give it a link to the TARDIS. Eventually the TARDIS arrived on the Greenwood, essentially an elaborate spaceship-sized greenhouse holding various rare plants and animals that had been on the brink of extinction before the ship left Earth.

 While The Doctor spoke with the Greenwood’s commander Fiacra, Callen bonded with Tay Lothlor, one of the crew who worked with the local fauna, and her own dog Laura (essentially a ‘sheepdog’ for the animals). However, Tay and Callen were disturbed to discover that the giant grubs that had attacked the TARDIS when it initially arrived were being kept in a secret lab where they were being fed strange glowing stuff. The Doctor eventually realised that the Greenwood was controlled by a new version of BOSS ("The Green Death"), which had been retrieved from a backup version of the system as the ship had to harness old technologies to use as backup for their existing systems. The Doctor was eventually able to use the technology in Doyle’s collar to establish a firewall to suppress BOSS while Tay and Callen found the recipe for the fungus that had been used to stop the original maggots. With the crisis concluded, The Doctor offered the crew the advice that they should just go to a new planet and settle down rather than keep waiting for Earth to be ‘ready’ for them. Aware that he didn’t fully fit in to The Doctor’s life, Callen chose to stay with the Greenwood to help them build a new civilisation, but The Doctor left a new collar for Laura to help make sure BOSS remained contained and give them a chance to call him in future if they needed him again.
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Memorable Moment

The Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Source
Audio Red Darkness Ninth Doctor    
Audio The Green Gift Ninth Doctor    
Total Stories:   2
Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
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