Okay so I guess I'll get this out of the way now as I approach the FULL CIRCLE review and all of Adric's tales.
There is a whole debate and a bunch of postings someplace about how I and others like Adric. I like Adric. Yup, I do. In fact, some of what made me more of a DW fan is the character. DW, to be frank, was about out there unreal people in unreal places facing unreal threats and doing unreal things. It was mildly amusing, sometimes disturbing or scary, and presented a lot of old ideas in the same place and that was all quite quaint. The characters were all unrelatable, sometimes funny, sometimes interesting, but almost always not people we'd meet in real life. And most of the time I felt I had no one to relate to on the show. I was about the same age as Matthew Waterhouse when he took on the role and probably mentally younger! DW never had anyone young on the show that was a full time companion, certainly not a young man/male, teenager, child.
I also liked...I guess it was the NBC Special Treat in me or the ABC After School Specials in me or the Robbie Benson movie DEATH OF RICHIE or JAMES AT 15/16 or whatever...I liked movies and shows about young people who had problems or had addictions or weren't perfect but somehow were likable and often overcame those things to becomes heroes or at least less dysfunctional. Adric kind of fit the bill.
In truth, Adric was probably the best charater to come out of DW. He was strange no doubt and had, at least in my mind and in FULL CIRCLE some alien traits. As a marsh child, he might have had more potential as a monster/boy or some other powers but that was never featured or expanded upon. As the Artful Dodger in space and time, that was sometimes used but mostly not. Truth was, he was relatable to. He was young, questioning, inexperienced, interested in the universe that he never saw, and wanted to be there (unlike Tegan and Peri). He had flaws (unlike the sickeningly perfect Nyssa) and was pretty much just there to sidekick the Doctor (unlike Ace who became the executioner and bomber). Truth is no one has ever really met an Ace, Peri, Mel, Sarah Jane, Leela, Romana, etc but there are plenty of Adrics. I never understood the hatred of Adric, even back then. Fans used to call him Adrip.
I also never understood the hatred of other charaters liek Adric such as Wesley Crusher or Will Robinson etc. DW is a kid's show for children. A child character was a given and was never explored.
Matthew may not have been the best actor, okay, given. But for me, that made Adric even more beliveable as a worrier, a teen who was not experienced, just as Matt was not. This all gave Adric the edge as a nervous, new travler in time and space and a teen who was not confident in his abilities as a person, a friend, and more. Others have noted his awkward way of moving and I just felt at the time it was just part of his being an alien, a sort of jaunty pop in his step, not unlike Patrick Troughton's moving about and hopping about. Which inadverntentlly brings me to the fact that Adric was like a mini Doctor, a mini Peter Davison Doctor anyway, michesvious, boyish, in trouble all the time and in over his head. Which is one of the reasons he was chosen to go I guess. Truth is Davison wanted Nyssa to live and either Tegan or Adric to go. This is telling in that both Tegan and Adric were strong personality wise and strong precesnces in the show. Perhaps Davison felt they took away some of his limelight and the wet Nyssa didn't. He continues to maintain that Nyssa fufilled the cmop role admirably...prving again that he just wanted a cypher which boht Adric and Tegan certainly weren't. Adric even flew the TARDIS (just like Tegan, but he didn't fail at it, Tegan did). Of course JNT and Eric wanted the two girls around for the dads they say. Both becaame boring cliche characters who never really fufilled their potential. Of all the missed potential however, Adric's character missed out most.
Maybe some people, it has been preposed by fans, hate Adric because he reflects them. He is the fan who is annoying and annoyed. He is the teen science whiz who thinks he's better than others. He is the one who has tricks up his sleeve that sometimes work and sometimes don't. He is the one who can be glaringly wrong and the one who can be jealous of the attention the girls get...just like Adric. Adric could also be tellingly loyal but when the Doctor betrays that trust...Adric sides iwth the one villain he sided with...Monarch (and perhaps he also sided briefly with the Master in Castrovalva). In that story it was clear why he did that but silly and made little sense. Both Eric and JNT were unaware of the character's potential and with a lot o fpushing from Davison deigned to get rid of him early on IMO.
I may have told this story before: RIBOS OPERATION ep 2 was supposed to air. Instead, KEEPER OF TRAKEN part one aired. I saw Adric and Tom together for the first time and it was a breath of fresh air. The Doctor for me, had always traveled with just one girl. All the US had was Tom Baker stories and bar a few wtih Harry, it was always a middle aged or fairly young girl and to be honest, it grew boring. There was never a hint of romance and to this day I'd swear he and Sarah were just good friends, period. Truthfully with such a range of companions that could come from any time, any place, any period of history, any planet, to always have Earth girls was boring and then it was humanoid girls. True, Leela n both Romanas were probably the best companions ever to break the mold but Adric really broke the mold. ANd some just could not take it. For me, having someone that was so like myself there just meant...something. NOt sure what but whatever. ANd damn it, I'll admit it, I just liked looking at him. There was something attractive and something alien about him, something innocent and yet somewhat criminal, something dangerous and something that he lacked that he needed filled by the family of Romana, Doc4 and K9. He was Tom Sawyer looking for a set of parents and their dog. Yes, the Artful Dodger and maybe a bit of Peter Pan or even John Darling. And he was wide eyed at the pair of the Doc and Romana. Truth is they could have gone for three alien strange weridos including Adric but...then Romana was gone and he seemed to get her lines in KEEPER, which is why it is the best part for him...he fit in to the Romana role well. After that...in LOGOPOLIS he knew his place and was loyal. Then the writers just went all crazy and Chris left and it was clear Eric didn't know wht to do with him and didn't even like him. JNT probably listened too much to Peter and Eric and didn't know what to do with even his own created charaters. So it was back to Earth girls like Tegan (and Peri and Mel and Ace) and screaming violets like Nyssa (and Peri and Mel). So many steps back.
But what is the point of all this? Perhaps there isn't one.
After that one ep aired and the next day RIBOS PART ONE aired again and then the rest of the Tom Baker seasons up to FULL CIRCLE. I guess I"m preparing everyone because I see the Adric stories through Adric colored glasses. I finally had an identification character in DW...and imagined him and the Tom Doctor exploring time and space together. With a more real male character almost anything seemed possible now...
Then in STARLOG I learned that Peter would soon take over. Okay, I was willing to give him a chance, even after Castrovalva aired I felt that way. But then I read that two, not one, but two girls were cming into it. I thoght, well, Adric was there first so he'll be the leader of the trio but even that was not to be. The girls...just invaded the space that Adric occupied and much like Adric felt in FOUR TO DD, I felt put out. DW was going to slip back into that boring twosome that it felt so comfortable in. ANd it did for story after story after story and spoinoff books and comics and audios. Of course, there were exceptions but even in the new show it has to be female companions through and through. Any male companion is just there to reflect the Doctor and Rose (or whichever female he's with at the time)'s relatinship and that includes Jack and Mickey and Adam. The males don't matter in DW, even with a gay producer at the helm. In fact, in some ways it got worse in that respect. ANd how much do you want to bet that WIlf is not going to be a full companoin in the upcoming end of David's era...it will all be about Donna really.
Anyway I've digressed a lot. Adric. I love him. Period. Best character DW ever created. And lost prematurely, which it never should have. Adric certainly could have had as long a run as either Jamie or Sarah Jane or both together. Certianly after his death, they kept having to replace the role he would have fulfilled in many stories thereafter and I'm sure his preseense would have enlivened serveral poor stories later on.