She’s the most popular air hostess in the Whoniverse! Ahead of her return in ‘The Power of the Doctor,’ get to know the Fifth Doctor’s companion with the top 5 Tegan Doctor Who stories, as decided by us.
The beginning is a very good place to start, as somebody once said. ‘Logopolis’ kicks off our Tegan Doctor Who list as it was the first to introduce Miss Tegan Jovanka to the Whoniverse. In this adventure, Tegan is about to start her first day as an air hostess, but in true Doctor Who fashion she stumbles into an evil plan cooked up by the Master to conquer (and semi-destroy) the universe. So she is a little distracted.
And in this first Tegan Doctor Who story, we are exposed to many aspects of her character, not least her pro-active self-sufficiency and tyre-changing capabilities. Of course, the arrival of the Master throws a spanner in the works, plus there is the small matter of the labyrinthine TARDIS corridors, and the arrival of the Doctor himself (who then dies and comes back with a new face.) And then she has to deal with the loss of her aunt, and watch as the universe is destroyed by a wave of entropy. It’s hardly an average day for an Air Australia employee.
The fact that Tegan is still sane after this adventure is a testament to her strength of character, and as such ‘Logopolis’ is an important addition to our list of Tegan Doctor Who adventures. Watch this one first!
4) Resurrection of the Daleks
“If you stop enjoying something, give it up.” The next story on our Tegan Doctor Who list is ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ – the perfect companion piece to ‘Logopolis,’ as it sees Tegan’s departure from the TARDIS. Plus, it’s a gripping Fifth Doctor adventure and features our favourite mutants from Skaro, as well as the demented Davros – Dalek creator. What’s not to like?
Well, ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ is perhaps not the most “feel good” adventure on our Tegan Doctor Who list. Writer Eric Saward’s scripts were notable for high death counts, and ‘Resurrection’ is no exception. Indeed, even Tegan is fed up with all the killing by the story’s conclusion and, in a teary-eyed moment, tells the Doctor she’s sick of it. She’s leaving.
What follows is perhaps the most emotional departure of the Classic era, and offers little comfort in its closing moments. Indeed, the final shot of ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ shows Tegan bursting into tears! So it’ll be interesting to see how ‘The Power of the Doctor‘ picks up on Tegan’s journey, some four decades later. Will the air hostess feel ready to return to the TARDIS?
‘Castrovalva’ is next on our Tegan Doctor Who list and follows on directly from ‘Logopolis.’ So maybe you should watch these two stories together? We’ll let you decide.
Anyway, what’s interesting about ‘Castrovalva’ is that it’s a (mostly) companion-driven piece. The Doctor has just undergone a particularly difficult regeneration, and spends a good chunk of the story either unconscious or in a state of delirium. As such, it’s down to his companions Tegan and Nyssa to help him recover. (There’s Adric as well, but he’s been kidnapped by the Master, so he’s a little tied up.)
In order to do this, Tegan and Nyssa have to get the Doctor to the Dwellings of Simplicity, otherwise known as Castrovalva – and this means piloting the TARDIS. And as the resident air hostess, Tegan seems a natural choice for the job – even if she does land the TARDIS on its side.
Unfortunately, it later transpires that the Master had been in control of the vessel all along, meaning that Tegan’s console inputs had no effect on its final destination. Regardless, ‘Castrovalva’ highlights Tegan’s astute, caring and somewhat comical nature, and it’s a worthy addition to our Tegan Doctor Who list.
Are you ready to see Tegan’s darker side? Well, you don’t really see it in ‘Kinda.’ Well, you kind of do. It’s complicated.
In ‘Kinda,’ Tegan gets taken over by a snake-like entity called the Mara which seizes control of her brain. What follows are some intriguing (and genuinely creepy) scenes of Tegan fighting the entity in a sort of dream state, as the Mara takes various forms to confuse and unnerve the Doctor’s companion.
Admittedly, she spends half of the story unconscious, but the scenes with her confronting the Mara’s ‘ethereal’ form are some of the most chilling in Classic Who. The Mara, basically, is trying to use Tegan’s mind as a bridge back to the real world, where it can (once again) wreak havoc on the jungle planet of Deva Loka.
Naturally, the Doctor is able to banish the Mara to the Dark Places of the Inside before it can cause any lasting damage, and its hold on Tegan’s mind is broken forever. Or is it?
‘Snakedance’ tops our list of Tegan Doctor Who stories, and is a direct sequel to 1982’s ‘Kinda.’ In this adventure, it transpires that the Mara never really left Tegan’s mind and is still dwelling in her subconscious. And in true Doctor Who style, it’s not long before the snake-like entity possesses her once more, and it’s up to the Doctor to sort everything out.
But ‘Snakedance’ goes one step further than ‘Kinda’ in that it actually puts Tegan centre stage – or at least, the Mara-possessed version of Tegan. In this adventure, she’s actually the main villain (alongside Lon, played by Martin Clunes.)
So does it really deserve to be at the top of our list of Tegan Doctor Who stories? Absolutely. For starters, it’s the perfect showcase for the acting range and ability of Tegan actress Janet Fielding, who gives a wonderfully terrifying performance as the wide-eyed, red-faced antagonist. And it’s not often that you get a Doctor Who story that’s so heavily dominated by the companion, even if she is trying to terrorise the citizens of Manussa.
But if all this is a little unsettling, you might want to take heed of the Fifth Doctor’s oft-quoted advice: “Brave heart, Tegan.” And watch this story from behind the sofa.
But over to you, Lovarzi reader. Which are top Tegan Doctor Who stories? And which is your favourite from the list above? Let me know in the comments below.
Doctor Who scarf – order now from the Lovarzi shop!