Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Captain Mike Yates
Captain Mike Yates is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, played by Richard Franklin . He worked for UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce), an international organisation that defends the Earth from alien threats.
Yates first appeared in the Third Doctor serial Terror of the Autons, the latest in a line of Captains assisting Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. He proved more durable than his predecessors, appearing semi-regularly in the programme from 1971 to 1974 alongside the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton. Together with the Doctor and his companions, Yates fought off alien invasions, the machinations of the renegade Time Lord known as the Master, rogue computers and mutated maggots.
Yates was a fairly non-descript character, typical of the British Army officer class, and little is known of him outside of his time with UNIT. He was cool under fire, efficient, and both gave and carried out his orders with a minimum of fuss. He appeared to have a relatively good rapport with his men, although he did remind Benton on occasion that "rank hath its privileges". He was attracted to the Third Doctor's assistant Jo Grant and they may have dated for a time.
Yates's fall from grace started when he was brainwashed by the artificial intelligence BOSS in the 1973 serial The Green Death . The brush with ecological disaster apparently made Yates very concerned about the future of the planet, and he was easily recruited by Sir Charles Grover into a conspiracy to reverse time and return Earth to a "golden age" (Invasion of the Dinosaurs). The conspiracy was thwarted by the Doctor, and in return for his past service to UNIT, the Brigadier allowed Yates to take medical leave and then quietly resign.
Trying to recover, Yates attended a meditation centre but uncovered strange goings-on, which he reported to Sarah Jane Smith, since he felt that UNIT would find him untrustworthy. Sarah communicated this back to the Doctor, leading into the rest of the events of the Third Doctor's last serial, Planet of the Spiders. It is not known if Yates returned to UNIT after that, or if he went on to other things.
Planet of the Spiders was Yates's last appearance in the series. Richard Franklin wrote an unpublished novel featuring Mike Yates, The Killing Stone, set after the events of Spiders. It was released as an audio book (read by Franklin) by BBV in 2002.
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