The Doctor Who Companion is racing through the twentieth century series of Doctor Who and Leela (Louise Jameson) has been and gone. Of all the Doctors, Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor is the most open to analysis in chunks. He had so many years, each companion (ignoring the last who were waiting to join the Fifth Doctor) has plenty of time to stay and grow in the role. Now we look at seasons 14, and 15…
Leela of the Sevateem
It all began in season 14 (reviewed under Infinite Potential). Leela appeared after Sarah Jane left, and a quick solo outing in The Deadly Assassin left the Doctor san companion and coming face to face with The Face of Evil. There’s lots to like in this lost colony story including the mad artifice of having the Doctor be the face itself, carved Mt Rushmore like into the rocks. I always liked the idea of Leela being from the far future yet more primitive than Jamie. A great mix of perspectives. Talking of perspectives, Philip Bates’s DWC piece takes long hard looks at the show from a number of angles and is well worth a read. Do come back though!
The Robots of Death gave us a second Chris Boucher story in a row and the mention of Kaldor City and would, thanks to Big Finish, give us future Eighth Doctor companion Liv Chenka!
Next stop, Victorian London, The Talons of Weng-Chiang and Jago & Litefoot. Corks!
So, a strong introduction and next up a full set of stories, series 15, covered admirably by David Traynier in Entropy Increases. It’s a thorough and highly recommended read, and you might want to check it out before I give me two-penn’th.
Just one full season then for Leela, and from memory my thoughts at the time were:
Horror of Fang Rock – I hardly remember at all! From the DWC piece this should go on my (long) rewatch list now!
Invisible Enemy I watched, K9 appeared but nothing much stick in my mind apart from the Doctor being comatose.
Another blank on Image of the Fendahl (what was I doing in 1977? Watching Star Wars a lot!)
The Sun Makers I do like and have rewatched recently. Phew! For a minute I thought I’d blanked a whole series!
Underworld though is another blank. From the DWC piece I’ve missed nothing again;-)
Invasion of Time I do remember, Sontarans on Gallifrey and the dreadul way Louise was written out of the show. At least Big Finish has allowed her plenty of scope to show her full range of acting skills, and given Leela something meaningful to do as well.
There we have it, I’ve heard far more Leela on audio than I have vivid memories of seeing on TV. That probably tells you more about me than the show!