Sunday 17 September 2017

C is for... Chaplet, Dodo

Companion to the First Doctor. Dodo - full name Dorothea - was an orphan who lived with an aunt. She claimed that neither of them got on well. One day, whilst walking on Wimbledon Common, she witnessed a road accident and ran into a Police Call Box to summon help. This proved to be the TARDIS, which had just travelled from 16th Century Paris. Steven had stormed out, thinking the Doctor had sent Anne Chaplet to her death. On his return, he was surprised to hear Dodo's surname, and took it as a sign that Anne had lived. Dodo also claimed that she had a French grandfather. To the Doctor, Dodo reminded him somewhat of his granddaughter Susan.
Dodo had little respect for the rules around time travel, and left the ship before the Doctor could take readings when it landed in the biodome of the Ark, in the far distant future. She did not believe they had travelled in time, and thought they were in Whipsnade Zoo. She had also helped herself to an outfit from the ship's wardrobe - a medieval page costume. Dodo had a cold, and this proved deadly to the humans and Monoids who crewed the Ark, as they came from a time when they had no immunity to it. Dodo was horrified that the deaths were due to her. Later, she discovered that her cold had caused the Monoids to become dominant, enslaving the human Guardians.

When the TARDIS landed in the domain of the Toymaker, Dodo was shown the occasion of her mother's death - her lowest moment. When forced to play lethal games against the Toyroom characters, Dodo often sympathised with them - pointing out that they had been human once and were victims of the Toymaker. She could be impulsive - sitting on a booby-trapped chair which almost froze her to death, when she knew the chairs were deadly. She was also easily taken in by the tricks perpetrated by the schoolboy Cyril - almost forfeiting the final game.
The TARDIS next landed in Tombstone, Arizona, where Dodo revealed an interest in the Wild West, and that she had always wanted to meet Wyatt Earp. She and Steven donned stylised versions of the local fashions. The Doctor claimed that they were travelling entertainers - Dodo being Miss Dodo DuPont. She was able to play the piano in the local saloon as part of their charade. When Dodo was abducted by Doc Holliday she was able to stand up to him, even threatening to shoot him if he didn't take her back to Tombstone. This had just been a bluff, and she was relieved when he agreed to take her back. During the famous gunfight at the OK Corral, Dodo managed to get in the way and was used as a shield by Johnny Ringo, but was saved by Holliday.
On the alien planet where the Elders ruled, Dodo accompanied Steven on a look around the city, and decided to go off on her own - hating guided tours. She saw how the Elders were siphoning off the life-force of the primitive Savages, and warned the others. She was heartbroken at having to say goodbye to Steven when he agreed to stay on as the planet's new ruler.

The TARDIS next took Dodo and the Doctor back to her own time - the London of 1966. The Doctor pretended that she was his secretary when they visited Professor Brett at the top of the Post Office Tower. His new super-computer, WOTAN, was about to take over the human race, and wanted the Doctor to help it. Dodo was recruited to assist - being hypnotised over the telephone when she went to the Inferno night club with Brett's secretary Polly. Dodo's attempts to ensnare the Doctor failed, and he realised that she had been hypnotised. He broke the mental conditioning, and Sir Charles Summer agreed to send her to his home in the country to recuperate. Dodo decided to remain on Earth in her own time, and sent a message to the Doctor via Sir Charles, to be delivered by Polly. The Doctor was furious that she should want to leave without saying goodbye in person.

Played by: Jackie Lane. Appearances: The Massacre to The War Machines (1966).

  • Lane had earlier auditioned for the role of Susan back in 1963.
  • She retired from acting to become a theatrical agent, having Tom Baker and Janet Fielding on her books.
  • She's the only surviving companion actor of the classic series not to have done a Big Finish audio. 
  • Dodo's is without doubt the worst companion departure in the whole of the series - being dumped half way through her final story.

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