Professor Bernice Surprise Summerfield is a fictional character originally created by Paul Cornell as a new companion of the Seventh Doctor in Virgin Publishing's 'New Adventures' line of original full-length Doctor Who novels. The New Adventures were fully-licensed novels carrying on from where the Doctor Who television series had left off, and Summerfield was introduced in Cornell's novel Love and War in 1992. A 26th century archeologist, Summerfield became a hugely popular character amongst fans of the books, and was present right up until their end in 1997. She officially stopped travelling with the Doctor in Happy Endings but returned a few times thereafter, including the last Virgin New Adventure, The Dying Days. That year, Virgin had lost the licence to publish Doctor Who fiction, which was not renewed by the BBC. However, range editors Peter Darvill-Evans and Rebecca Levene decided to continue the series with Summerfield as the new lead and without the Doctor Who name, the Doctor or any other BBC copyright characters featuring. These Bernice-led New Adventures continued until 1999, when the Virgin fiction department closed down. The previous year, however, audio production company Big Finish Productions begun issuing full-cast, officially licensed professional audio dramas starring the character on CD, and they continue to do so. The character is played in all Big Finish's productions by actress Lisa Bowerman. After they gained the license to produce Doctor Who audi...
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