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Graham O’Brien lived in Sheffield with his wife Grace and her grandson Ryan Sinclair. He had once worked as a bus driver.
Graham had cancer. He met his wife Grace, a chemo nurse while undergoing treatment. Once the cancer was found to be in remission, Graham married her and became her second husband.
Whilst returning home after an unsuccessful session of teaching Ryan how to ride a bike, Grace and Graham were trapped when a swarm of Gathering coils attacked their train in search of Karl Wright, a fellow passenger. He, along with Grace, Ryan and Yasmin Khan, helped the Thirteenth Doctor battle both the coil and its controller, Tim Shaw.
Whilst The Doctor recovered at his and Grace’s home, he went around Sheffield to ask if anyone had seen anything unusual. Later, Grace and Graham followed The Doctor’s orders to pose as construction managers and evacuate theconstruction site Karl worked at, so The Doctor, Ryan and Yasmin could rescue him.
However, the gathering coils were still active, with Tim Shaw using them to damage the crane that Ryan and the others were on. Despite Graham’s protests, Grace climbed up and destroyed the creature by electrocuting it with live cables. However, Grace was also electrocuted in the process and fell to the ground. Mortally wounded, she died in Graham’s arms, after telling him to not be afraid without her. Graham later spoke of how Grace inspired him during their three-year marriage at her funeral and felt guilty that he hadn’t died instead. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth). After she died, Graham organised her things into boxes, finding the childhood possessions of her son, Aaron, as he did. (Resolution)
After his mother passed away, Graham’s father “got rid of all her things super quick”, unable to keep hold of them, telling Graham that “she’s gone now and that’s the end of it “. (Resolution)
TRAVELS IN THE TARDIS
The TARDIS deposited The Doctor and her companions in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama instead of returning them to Sheffield due to large traces of Artron energy. Graham was initially excited about his first journey back in history and expressed a desire to see Elvis Presley playing.
As the only other white member of the group aside from The Doctor, Graham was treated far better than Ryan or Yaz, whom he from the racism inflicted on them, even coming to Ryan’s aid when Mr. Steele slapped him for returning a glove to his wife Lizzie.
Graham worked to help ensure Rosa Parks began the Montgomery Bus Boycott, using his knowledge of bus drivers to help. He and Ryan encouraged James Blake to leave his fishing spot on his day off after spreading a rumour of a black boycott.
Due to Krasko’s interference, a distressed Graham was forced to take part in Parks’s famous moment of defiance by ensuring the bus was crowded enough for Parks to be asked to give up her seat. Graham ultimately became the passenger that Rosa Parks refuses to give her seat up to, sparking the boycott. The Doctor later showed her companions a history of Rosa’s life and how she would go on to have a lasting impact on the history of universe by taking them to Asteroid 284996, Rosaparks. (Rosa)
Graham and team TARDIS travelled to the planet Gatan, arriving in the City of Radiant Stone in the midst of war. (The Warmonger)
After helping The Doctor halt a war on the planet Lobos between the dog-like loba and human colonists, shortly before leaving in the TARDIS, Graham finally told the joke he had been itching to use about loba being human’s best friend. When they attempted to return – to retrieve Ryan’s mobile phone – the TARDIS slipped almost six hundred years into the future, where the planet was now ruled by human zealots, served by slave loba, who derived human superiority over loba from this one joke. Graham was now worshipped as “the Good Doctor” while the real Doctor was forgotten. While agreeing this had to be fixed, Graham felt uneasy as the man in charge whose word was everyone’s command but did surprisingly well. Eventually, his intolerance of racism and misogyny caused High Priest Mykados of the Temple of Tordos to denounce him and his friends as charlatans. In the end, The Doctor succeeded in uncovering the lie of the zealots, setting the record straight and brokering a lasting peace between humans and loba. The locals commemorated Graham by naming a bay after him. (The Good Doctor)
The Doctor and her team were tasked with preventing the Genesis Seed stored in the secret Vault 13 within the Galactic Seed Vault from falling into the hands of Deadly Nightshade. (The Secret in Vault 13)
TRYING TO RETURN HOME
Upon returning home, Graham declined to have tea at Yas’ with Ryan and the Doctor. Instead he returned home, where he imagined Grace was still alive telling him to fix things round the house like she asked. Grieving, he began smelling her clothes despite his vision of Grace telling him it didn’t help. Hearing a noise upstairs, he went to investigate, finding an abnormally large spider. Fleeing back to Yas’, he informed Ryan and the Doctor of what he saw. He joined them to investigate further, giving Ryan a letter from his biological father he found posted at home, though Ryan took it, he dismissed reading it right away. (Arachnids in the UK)
After Grace’s death, Graham grieved by talking about her, viewing it better to talk than stay silent as Ryan preferred. (The Ghost Monument) Struggling to move on from losing her, Graham believed he could find solace by travelling with The Doctor rather than waiting for his grief to consume him while surrounded by memories of Grace in their home. (Arachnids in the UK)
While first skeptical of the Thirteenth Doctor’s title as The Doctor, (The Woman Who Fell to Earth) Graham grew to use the name, though commonly chose to refer to her informally as “Doc” instead. (Rosa, Arachnids in the UK, The Tsuranga Conundrum)
FACING THE FUTURE
Graham and the rest of Team TARDIS accidentally landed in 1601 Bohemia where they met famous astronomers Tycho Brahe and a young Johannes Kepler and joined them on a gathering of scientists in a nearby castle laid out by Baroness Dagmar Ruskovitch. Graham quickly struck up a friendship with Tycho, with Tycho explaining an urban legend over the castle being cursed. However, when the Baroness took a greater interest in Johannes, Graham and Yaz accompanied a furious Tycho through the castle. They encountered her attempting to show him knowledge from the future, and when they were spotted, she transformed into a centaur to try and kill them. When Johannes stopped her, she ordered Graham, Yaz and Tycho to the dungeons. After some quick thinking from Yaz, they escaped and discovered how the assembled astronomers had been paralysed by the Baroness’ orbs, where Graham and Yaz smashed the orbs and freed them. With The Doctor returning, Graham explained the situation and joined the rest of the group in encountering Ruskovitch again, where she revealed that she and Dominik were actually trying to save the castle from the Catastrophia’s Herald being summoned in the cellar. With The Doctor and Ruskovitch hunting the Herald, Kepler revealed that he would seal it away at the cost of his life, and Brahe forcibly took his place, knowing Kepler’s impact on the future. Graham was mortified but powerless to stop him, being helped to know that Brahe would receive a state funeral. (Herald of Madness)
After a visit to check up on his cancer, Graham was picked up by agents of MI6. He managed to make it a humorous situation, proclaiming, “Worst uber ever!” Later, he helped defeat an invasion by the Kasaavin and the Master. (Spyfall)
Graham at the spa (O55)
“I am going to sit over there for three hours, then I’m going to get up and sit somewhere else, and then cocktails!”. (Orphan 55)
After picking up enough coupons for a free holiday, Graham accidentally made a cube out of them and transported the TARDIS team to Orphan 55, which the team later found out was Earth’s desolate future. (Orphan 55)
He met Nikola Tesla and was part of the Doctor’s fight against the Skithra. (Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror)
While investigating the reason why the Judoon had invaded Gloucester in 2020, he was transported to a spaceship, where he met Jack Harkness, who subsequently kissed him, believing him to be The Doctor. After being reunited with Ryan and Yaz, who Jack also accidentally picked up, the three were told to, “beware the Lone Cyberman “before being returned to Gloucester. (Fugitive of the Judoon)
Graham was present during the Praxeus virus’ infection on Earth. (Praxeus)
PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE – PERSONALITY
Graham believed if you wanted to know something, you just had to ask a bus driver. He was also wary about rushing into danger. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
Compassionate and against racism, Graham was greatly distressed by his inability to help Rosa Parks from her destined arrest in 1955, not wanting to be party to such an act. (Rosa)
HABITS AND QUIRKS
While first skeptical of the Thirteenth Doctor’s title as The Doctor, (The Woman Who Fell to Earth) Graham grew to use the name, though commonly chose to refer to her informally as “Doc” instead. (Rosa, Arachnids in the UK, The Tsuranga Conundrum, Demons of the Punjab, Kerblam!, The Witchfinders, It Takes You Away, The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos, Resolution)
Graham became grumpy when his blood sugar was low. (It Takes You Away) Because The Doctor often did not permit snack breaks during adventures, (Rosa) Graham always made sure to have a sandwich with him when he left the TARDIS. (It Takes You Away)
When he and Ryan did something successful together, Graham raised his hand for a fist bump only for Ryan to reject as it was “uncool”. (Rosa, The Tsuranga Conundrum, The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos)