How do you picture Charley Pollard, or any non-televised Big Finish companion, for that matter? The above picture is pertinent, because, with apologies to the lovely India Fisher, when I listen to Eighth Doctor and Charley stories, I generally don’t picture Charley in my mind as her voice actor. For one thing, Fisher is older than the character she plays. Charley is supposed to be about eighteen when she sets out with the Doctor, so I imagine a young slip of a girl. Charley’s voice also sounds quite girlish, so I naturally imagine a young girl. I also imagine Charley as, in appearance, conforming to her home time period (1930), if not the Edwardian Period (given she wants to be an “Edwardian adventuress”), so I picture her in knickerbockers and perhaps a bob cut. That I so readily picture Charley as a young girl from 1930 is testament to Fisher’s superlative voice acting, of course. I always imagine Charley to be blonde, though, so that’s one thing in which I defer to India Fisher (I didn’t draw the above picture).
Other Big Finish only companions I’ve heard are Evelyn Smythe, Erimem and Frobisher. It’s hard not to imagine Evelyn Smythe as Maggie Stables (are they not one and the same?), nor Frobisher as your standard tuxedo-wearing penguin. Obviously I can’t imagine Erimem as Caroline Morris since Erimem is an ancient Egyptian princess and Morris is a modern white Briton, although it’s easy to forget Erimem is not a modern white Briton because of that accent!