Lieutenant McMurdo acts as one of the two main subordinates to Commander Barratt onboard the Stellar Federation battlecruiser Oshan Akuma. Her primary task is to carry out the orders that Captain Mandarin relays to her, though she often acts as a general assistant to her.
Despite being a fox, McMurdo isn't all that intelligent or cunning, and she can best be described as like Mandarin, but worse. Her head is frequently in the clouds, and she's also something of a coward. She tends to become scared easily, and will agree with anything said to her, even if she might not actually agree. Commander Barratt often leaves McMurdo out of his plans, only for her to make up her own, most likely wrecking the original!
McMurdo often forms one half of a double act with Captain Mandarin, and they are almost always seen together. While they are somewhat on the same wavelength, McMurdo tends to be the follower, and she will blindly follow Mandarin's plans in any situation, even at the cost of her own nerves. Mandarin often takes advantage of her for this reason, to keep herself out of trouble.
Of course, McMurdo does seem to have a little shred of competence somewhere in her, as indicated by the fact that she has far fewer predecessors than Captain Mandarin. At the very least, she was seen working under Barratt when Captain Gwydir, Mandarin's last predecessor, was still alive.
McMurdo's exact personal views on Jaws MacTaggart and her crew have never been made clear, but she seems to have a secret admiration for their courage, determination and abilities. Needless to say, she doesn't dare bring this up in front of her superiors, for obvious reasons!
Physical Description Edit
Biologically speaking, Lieutenant McMurdo is a red fox, but her fur has a creamy yellow colour, due to a genetic mutation she was born with. She is 3 feet four inches tall, has green eyes, and has blonde hair, tied up in a ponytail. Like Captain Mandarin, she has a distinctive raccoon mask across her eyes. She is also of about equal bust size to Mandarin.
McMurdo wears a variant of the standard Federation Military Police uniform, consisting of a navy blue infantry jacket, a green t-shirt and skinny jeans. Her shoes are far less standard issue, being a pair of lime-green sneakers with bright red highlights.
Lieutenant McMurdo was born Vanessa McMurdo on November 21st 2983. She was born and brought up in Glasgow, on a less than pleasant housing estate riddled with crime and poverty, but she managed to survive her formative years without much trouble. There were a few major incidents here and there, and these perhaps gave McMurdo a sense of her own mortality, and thus a desire to do something that would let people know she'd existed.
However, for many years, McMurdo was stumped as to just what she could do. That was, until about halfway into the year 3001, when the onset of the Fourth Galactic War created a surge in demand for new military officers. This seemed to strike a chord in McMurdo's mind, and she duly signed up for the Stellar Federation Military Police.
McMurdo was rushed through her training, and commissioned as a Midshipwoman onboard the HMS Montrose, a deep space repair ship. However, she only served onboard the Montrose for a year or so, before being transferred to her better known ship, the battlecruiser HDS Oshan Akuma. Here, she became acquainted with her primary superior, Commander Barratt, along with three of her enemies, Keiko MacTaggart, her husband Finbar and then-Midshipwoman Leslie Kennedy. Needless to say, their working relationship was not one of the best.
Over the next few years, McMurdo would serve loyally under Commander Barratt, but also see a number of her fellow officers executed on the spot, for failure to perform their duties adequately. A major turning point came in McMurdo's life in 3006, when she met Lieutenant-Commander Mandarin, who had just been transferred from a replenishment fleet tanker, the HMS Chiselton. The two struck up an uneasy friendship, but because of Barratt's general treatment towards his subordinates, neither was sure that it would last long.
As it turned out, both Mandarin and McMurdo would survive long enough to start regularly working together under Barratt in mid-3009, after the untimely execution of Captain Gwydir. By now, of course, Keiko-now Jaws-had been dishonourably discharged, and Finbar and Leslie had deserted in her wake. Commander Barratt was sent out to try and capture or kill her, and the two vixens were made to help him in his objective.
However, as we have seen, they have ended up doing more harm than good, as despite their collective years of experience, they aren't all that competent. McMurdo, even less so, but for the most part, we haven't seen much of her, or what she thinks of her colleagues and enemies. Perhaps we never even will, but for now, McMurdo is resigned to constantly failing in even the most simple missions, and bearing the brunt of all the abuse thrown at her. Not that she seems to mind, though, or even be aware of it...
- Producer Jordann Edwards had actress Kelly Macdonald in mind, since she's also from Glasgow.