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Doctor had plenty of time for companions

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But The Friendships Outweigh Romance Over 50 Years Of Adventure

Fifty years ago an eccentric time traveller from the planet Gallifrey burst on to British TV screens. Known as the Doctor, he journeyed through space and time in a machine called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space).

Over the 50 years since, the TARDIS has been occupied by many travelling companions. Many were male but more were women.

In the first episodes the Doctor (William Hartnell) travelled with a teenager named Susan who called him “Grandfather”. Susan was played by Carole Ann Ford, who was actually 23. He also kidnapped Susan’s teacher Barbara, played by RADA-trained Jacqueline Hill, after she stumbled across the TARDIS. Mostly the women played second fiddle to another kidnapped teacher, Ian (William Russell) and the Doctor.

Frustrated at the lack of character development, Ford left in the second season, but found it hard to get adult roles. When Hill decided to take a break from acting in 1965 to raise a family, Barbara was written out. Hill died in 1993.

Vicki, an orphaned teen from the future played by Maureen O’Brien, 23, was Susan’s replacement. She hated the attention of being in a hit show and left in 1965. She now writes mystery novels.

Dodo Chaplet, played by Jackie Lane, was introduced in 1966 but disappeared halfway through an adventure in July that year when her character didn’t seem to be working. She later became an talent agent. Actor Tom Baker, who took over the role of the Doctor in 1974, was one of her clients.

Polly, played by Anneke Wells, lasted through Hartnell’s Doctor’s regeneration to Patrick Troughton, but left in May 1967. Troughton’s Doctor travelled briefly with only a male friend Jamie (Frazer Hines) but in July 1967 Victoria (Deborah Watling), the daughter of a 19th-century scientist, came aboard.

Victoria left in 1968 and was replaced by Zoe (Wendy Padbury), an astrophysicist with photographic memory. Zoe’s memory was wiped and she was returned to Earth in an episode where the Doctor was put on trial on Gallifrey. Padbury returned for guest appearances.

Liz Shaw (Caroline John) joined John Pertwee, in 1970, but producers thought Liz too intellectual and hired Katy Manning to play replacement Jo Grant in 1971. Manning played the role until 1973, introducing flirtation between the Doctor and his assistant. She infamously posed nude with a Dalek after leaving the show.

Elizabeth Sladen then jumped aboard as journalist Sarah Jane Smith. Her popular tenure lasted through to Baker’s era. She left in 1976 and later reprised the Sarah Jane role in a spin-off series and in episodes of the new series.

Louise Jameson played a scantily leather-clad warrior Leela in 1977-78 before leaving to forge a successful career as a Shakespearean actress.

When producers thought Mary Tamm’s character, the Time Lady Romana, wasn’t working in 1979 she was replaced by Lalla Ward playing a regenerated Romana. Ward married Baker in 1980 but the pair split in 1982.

Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Tegan (Australian actress Janet Fielding) helped the Doctor through his regeneration to Peter Davison in 1981. Sutton left in 1983 and Fielding in 1984. Fielding later became an agent, representing Paul McGann, the eighth Doctor.

Davison passed the mantle to Colin Baker in 1984, leaving behind companion Peri, an American college student played by British actress Nicola Bryant, who stayed until 1986. This was Bryant’s first professional acting job and it launched her career.

Actress Bonnie Langford then filled the role of the cheerful Mel, seeing Baker through his transformation to Sylvester McCoy. Mel spent some of her time possessed by the evil enemy of the Doctor, the Rani.

McCoy’s companion Ace, played by Sophie Aldred from 1987-89, was not above bashing the Doctor’s enemies with a baseball bat.

The eighth Doctor, played by McGann, had his first kiss with Dr Grace Holloway (Daphne Ashbrook) in the 1996 telemovie but she never really became a companion.

In the new series the Doctor has shared the TARDIS and the odd kiss with Rose (Billy Piper), Martha (Freema Agyeman), Donna (Catherine Tate), Amy (Karen Gillan), Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) and a wife, River (Alex Kignston).

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  • APA 6th ed.: Lennon, Troy (2013-11-23). Doctor had plenty of time for companions. The Daily Telegraph (Australia) .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Lennon, Troy. "Doctor had plenty of time for companions." The Daily Telegraph (Australia) [add city] 2013-11-23. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Lennon, Troy. "Doctor had plenty of time for companions." The Daily Telegraph (Australia), edition, sec., 2013-11-23
  • Turabian: Lennon, Troy. "Doctor had plenty of time for companions." The Daily Telegraph (Australia), 2013-11-23, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor had plenty of time for companions | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_had_plenty_of_time_for_companions | work=The Daily Telegraph (Australia) | pages= | date=2013-11-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=21 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor had plenty of time for companions | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_had_plenty_of_time_for_companions | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=21 July 2024}}</ref>