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A child prodigy with a photographic memory, Zoe Heriot became an astrometricist and astrophysicist, and by her late teens she was working aboard Space Station W3 ("the Wheel"), a research station and meteor early warning post for Earth, located out in an unspecified part of Earth's solar system. Zoe encountered the time-travelling Doctor and his companion Jamie McCrimmon when they arrived on the Wheel shortly before the Cybermen attempted to hijack it, intending to use the station as a beacon to draw their interstellar fleet to Earth. After assisting the Doctor and Jamie in stopping the Cybermen, Zoe chose to join them in their travels aboard the Doctor's TARDIS. Their journies together took them to the planet Dulkis, which they saved from destruction at the hands of the Dominators, then to the Land of Fiction, and then to late 1960s Earth, where Zoe met the Doctor and Jamie's old friend Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, head of the British branch of the newly founded U.N.I.T., alongside whom the travellers fought another Cybermen invasion force. On an alien planet Zoe helped free the native Gonds from the villainous Krotons, and then, during a trip to 21st century Earth, she assisted the Doctor in repelling the Ice Warriors when they sought to conquer the planet. A short time later the three travellers discovered the War Lords manipulating soldiers from various Earth periods into fighting giant war games to create a perfect army with which to conquer the universe. The Doctor defeated them, and their ally, the renegade Time Lord known as the War Chief, but in order to get the time-lost human soldiers home he was forced to contact his own people, the Time Lords, for help. Long a fugitive from the Time Lords, the Doctor was captured and put on trial; Jamie and Zoe were returned to their respective native eras only moments after the points they had left, with their memories of their travels with the Doctor erased.
Zoe was played by Wendy Padbury, and introduced in the Doctor Who story "The Wheel in Space" on 27th April 1968. She appeared in eight stories before departing the TARDIS with the last episode of "The War Games" on 21st June 1969. Wendy returned to the show for a cameo in the 25 anniversary special, "The Five Doctors" on 25th November 1983, and has reprised the character for a number of Big Finish audio plays.
Zoe's first comic strip appearance was "The Vampire Plants" in Doctor Who Annual 1970.