Thursday 27 January 2022

J is for... Jovanka, Tegan

Travelling companion to the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, Tegan was an air stewardess. She on her way to her first job at Heathrow Airport when the car she was travelling in broke down on the Barnet By-Pass. With her was her aunt Vanessa, a fellow Australian. Vanessa went to call for assistance at the Police Box on the by-pass, but this proved to be the Master's disguised TARDIS, which had materialised around both the Doctor's TARDIS and the real box. He killed her using his Tissue Compression weapon. Tegan followed her aunt into the Police Box, but found herself inside the Doctor's ship. he and Adric did not know she was on board until after they had dematerialised. Tegan found herself transported to the planet Logopolis. The Doctor informed her of her aunt's death, and she came face to face with the Master. As well as meeting Adric, Tegan was also introduced to Nyssa of Traken, who had been brought to Logopolis by a mysterious white figure after her father had disappeared.
Tegan's relationship with the Doctor, and with Adric, could be bumpy at times, but Tegan became firm friends with Nyssa from the outset.
Despite being returned back to present day England, Tegan elected to remain in the TARDIS and leave Earth when the Doctor needed help after regenerating. She landed the TARDIS in a forest close to the citadel of Castrovalva - or at least she thought she did. It had been an automatic landing. Another attempt to pilot the TARDIS after she had panicked, saw it rematerialise in space a few hundred metres away from where it started.
Once the Doctor had recovered, Tegan then insisted on being taken back to Earth in time to pick up her new air stewardessing job. She became increasingly frustrated by the Doctor's failures to get her there. At one point they did make it to Heathrow, but it was in the year 1666. On this occasion Tegan was captured by an alien Terileptil and hypnotised into helping him.
On the planet Deva Loka, Tegan fell asleep in a forest glade, and this allowed an evil alien Mara to enter her mind. This attack on her sanity was to have a long term traumatic effect on her.

An encounter with the Cybermen in the Earth of the 26th Century saw Tegan decide to join the military unit of Commander Scott, rather than wait around in the TARDIS. Captured, she was used by the Cyber-Leader to coerce the Doctor into following its orders. Tragically, Adric was killed during the course of these events. Tegan wanted the Doctor to go back in time to save the boy, but he refused.
Ironically, after deciding to remain on the TARDIS for a while, it next landed at Heathrow Airport in her own time. Following another encounter with the Master, Tegan returned to the TARDIS just in time to see it depart without her.
She was far too late to start her new job, so found herself unemployed. To cheer herself up she arranged to meet up with her cousin Robin when he and friend Colin were backpacking around Europe. She would join them for a few days in Amsterdam. Unfortunately Robin was abducted by the Ergon - servant of the Time Lord Omega. he was attempting to escape his imprisonment in an anti-matter dimension, by stealing the Doctor's body. Tegan was also captured by the Ergon. On learning that he had found a companion of the Doctor, Omega used her to warn the Doctor away from trying to stop him.
After the defeat of Omega, now reunited with Nyssa, Tegan elected to rejoin the TARDIS crew. The Doctor was not best pleased, due to the often stormy relationship they could sometimes have. Tegan liked to speak her mind, and was not the most diplomatic of people.
No sooner had she returned to the TARDIS but the Mara reasserted its control over her. It had never really been banished from her mind. She was compelled to carry it to its planet of origin - Manussa - where it used her to try to bring about its second coming. She was forced to co-opt others to help the Mara. Defeated once more, the Doctor assured Tegan that this time it was finally gone from her mind.
A meeting with some mutated scientists from the planet Kastron led to Tegan almost aging to death, and a party on a pirate ship, floating in space, led to her unwittingly carrying a bomb back to the ship where the TARDIS had first landed. She had been hypnotised by the party host - pirate queen Wrack.

On this occasion, an immortal being posing as a ship's officer - Mr Marriner - fell in love with Tegan, after becoming fascinated by the contents of her mind.
Tegan was quick to spot that new companion Turlough was not to be trusted - and she had a similar impression of the robot Kamelion. In both instances her instinct proved to be right, as Turlough was, initially at least, under the sway of the Black Guardian, and Kamelion was easily taken over again by the Master not long after Tegan had left the TARDIS.
The bad luck which characterised Tegan's family continued when she asked to be taken to visit her uncle. Andrew Verney was a historian, who lived in a small English village named Little Hodcombe. An evil alien influence in the area caused Verney to fall foul of the local squire, Sir George Hutchinson, who was being manipulated into recreating a Civil War battle for real.
Eventually, Tegan, the Doctor and Turlough encountered the Daleks, both in contemporary London and in a space station in the far future. So many people died during this experience - some whom Tegan had become friendly with - that she decided to stop travelling with the Doctor. It was no longer fun and her aunt Vanessa had always told her that if things weren't fun anymore, it was time to stop.
Tegan made an abrupt farewell to the Doctor and Turlough, then walked out onto the streets of London.
If she had changed her mind, it was too late anyway, as the Doctor - equally upset by the bloodshed - had already dematerialised the TARDIS.
Some years later, the Doctor was able to report to Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith that Tegan was back in Australia, fighting for Aboriginal right.

Played by: Janet Fielding. Appearances: Logopolis (1981) to Resurrection of the Daleks (1984).
  • Like future Doctor Sylvester McCoy, Fielding had been a member of the anarchic Ken Campbell Road Show theatre group.
  • She portrayed Tegan one further time - alongside the Sixth Doctor in a skit for the BBC Saturday teatime show Jim'll Fix It - "A Fix With Sontarans".
  • Other connections include playing opposite potential seventh Doctors (including McCoy) in their audition pieces. 
  • She became Paul McGann's agent, and accompanied him to Canada for the filming of Doctor Who: The Movie
  • She also helped discover Matt Smith.
  • She now helps run a charity called Project Motormouth, whose symbol is a mouth on legs - as Tegan once described herself.
  • She's a rather domineering presence on DVD commentaries and the "Behind the Sofa" items on the Blu-ray box sets.
  • Tegan's most recent whereabouts were reported in SJA: Death of the Doctor Part Two.

No comments:

Post a Comment