Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Jackie Lane

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2021-06-28 Times.jpg


Elfin actress who appeared in the third series of Doctor Who after stumbling into the Tardis on Wimbledon Common

Jackie Lane's 1966 debut on Doctor Who may be among the episodes that have not survived, but her short stint as Dodo Chaplet nevertheless produced some memorable moments. As the irrepressible, spirited Dodo, who found herself in the Tardis after mistaking it for a real police box on Wimbledon Common, she brought energy and youth to the show — only to disappear from it as unexpectedly as she had arrived, when a new producer took over and did not renew her year's contract.

Over the course of four months, Dodo's escapades with the Doctor's first incarnation, played by William Hartnell, included nearly killing off what was left of the human race by sneezing (in The Ark), playing piano at gunpoint (in The Gunfighters) and smashing up a laboratory (in The Savages) - all while sporting a series of quirky Carnaby Street-meets-the-Crusades outfits that would not have looked out of place in The Prisoner over on ITV the following year.

The surreal aspect of filming the sci-fi series was not lost on the twenty-something actress, whose pixie features and androgynous appearance resembled those of Shirley MacLaine in that period. One Sunday morning, she was given a lift by the actor Ewen Solon to the location where The Savages was being filmed. They had been to BBC Television Centre to have their make up done, and set off in his Jaguar. "Ewen had this make-up which was grotesque — all wrinkles and rubber and long straggly beard and white hair ... We got to Esher, and we couldn't find the location. This old chap was riding a bicycle down a lane and Ewen stuck his head out the window to ask for directions. And this chap didn't bat an eyelid; just gave us the directions. We were a very strange sight."

Jacqueline Joyce Lane was born in Manchester in 1941. Her father, John (known as Jack) Lane, was a theatrical costumier, wigmaker and make-up artist, and her mother, Ena (née Davies), was a housewife. They had two daughters, Mavis and Patricia, before Jackie. A younger sister, Carol, followed.

Acting, she told the independent documentary series Myth Makers in 1992, was all she ever wanted to do. Her father's job meant that the theatre was always "a sort of second home".

She graduated from local amateur drama groups when she auditioned for the director Tony Richardson who was looking for a young unknown to play the lead in his film version of A Taste of Honey. Although the part went to Rita Tushingham, the audition led to two years in repertory at Manchester's Library Theatre.

In London from 1962, she was initially kept busy with bit parts in such TV shows as Z-Cars as well as on stage. Between acting jobs, she worked as a temp, having studied shorthand and typing at her parents' insistence.

After Doctor Who, she became tired of being typecast as Dodo-like teenagers and left the acting profession. She went to Paris, working at the Australian embassy for a year. When she realised that the urge to act had left her, she returned to the UK and, for six years, owned an antiques business with Tod Joseph, her boyfriend at the time.

In 1976 she went to work as PA for the celebrated agent Jean Diamond at London Management. She went on to set up a voiceover division there, a role she relished. In 1988, she formed her own voiceover agency, Ad Voice, whose clients included her close friend and fellow Doctor Who alumnus, the fourth incarnation of the Time Lord, Tom Baker.

She retired in 2000 but remained busy, reading with children at a local primary school in Maida Vale, west London, and learning sign language. Fiercely independent, and a longstanding Francophile, she loved to travel and continued to dabble in antiques. Her family remember a tiny but passionate, private and determined woman who was great fun and caring with a zest for life.

She never ceased to be amazed by the interest in her involvement in Doctor Who, and needed considerable persuading to be interviewed or to attend a convention. In 1992, she said: "I found myself in a room of 500 people answering questions for over an hour — I had been expecting a Wogan-style interview. The flashlights were going off all over the place. It hadn't occurred to me that I was a bit of television history."

Jackie Lane, Doctor Who actress and voiceover agent, was born on July 10. 1941. She died after a short illness, on June 7, 2021, aged 79

Caption: Lane rehearsing Doctor Who in 1966

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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Jackie Lane | url= | work=The Times | pages=46 | date=2021-06-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 August 2022 }}</ref>
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