Tegan Jovanka

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Doctor Who character
Tegan Jovanka.jpg
Tegan Jovanka
AffiliatedFourth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
Sixth Doctor
SpeciesHuman
Home planetEarth
Home era1981
First appearanceLogopolis
Last appearanceResurrection of the Daleks
The Caves of Androzani (cameo)
A Fix With Sontarans (cameo)
Portrayed byJanet Fielding
 
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Doctor Who character
Tegan Jovanka.jpg
Tegan Jovanka
AffiliatedFourth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
Sixth Doctor
SpeciesHuman
Home planetEarth
Home era1981
First appearanceLogopolis
Last appearanceResurrection of the Daleks
The Caves of Androzani (cameo)
A Fix With Sontarans (cameo)
Portrayed byJanet Fielding

Tegan Jovanka is a fictional character played by Janet Fielding in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. An Australian airline stewardess and a native of Brisbane who was a companion of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, she was a regular in the programme from 1981 to 1984.

Tegan was the longest-serving companion in terms of continuous years on the series (3 years, 1 month), closely followed by Sarah Jane Smith (whom Tegan briefly meets in the serial The Five Doctors). Jamie McCrimmon was in more episodes and serials than Tegan, while Rose Tyler and Amy Pond were in more serials, but not as many episodes. Sarah Jane was the longest-serving companion non-continuously[1] and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart had the longest non-continuous run when the official BBC spin-off programmes are included.[2] In terms of actual contact time spent with the Doctor, the longest running companion is Handles, the severed Cyberman head who spent over 300 years at the Doctor's side during the Siege of Trenzalore.

According to producer John Nathan-Turner, when he was thinking of a name for the character, it was either going to be Tegan, after his partners niece in Australia, or Jovanka, after Jovanka Broz, the widow of Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito, so he wrote both down on a piece of paper. Script editor Christopher H. Bidmead mistakenly believed that Jovanka was the character's last name rather than an alternative, and so christened her Tegan Jovanka.

Character history[edit]

Tegan first appears in the Fourth Doctor's last serial, Logopolis. En route to Heathrow Airport to start her new job as a stewardess with Air Australia, her aunt Vanessa's vehicle (in which she is riding) suffers a flat tyre. Tegan enters a roadside police box to seek help, not knowing that it is actually the Doctor's disguised TARDIS. She is present when the Fourth Doctor falls from the Pharos Project radio telescope and regenerates into his fifth incarnation, and continues to journey with the Doctor and his other companions. She travels with the Doctor initially because her aunt was killed by the Master, although she still wants to get to Heathrow Airport to start her new job, as soon as the Doctor can get her there.

Tegan is stubborn, loud, and direct, with a no-nonsense manner and not afraid to speak her mind (in Earthshock she describes herself as "just a mouth on legs"). Her time in the TARDIS coincides with that of Adric, Nyssa, Turlough and Kamelion. While she often bickers with them (particularly with Adric) as well as with the Doctor, her strength of character keeps them together and her loyalty and affection to her crewmates is unquestionable. She is close to Nyssa, and is especially saddened at her leaving. She is initially very suspicious of Turlough, frequently referring to him as a "brat" at first, though they gradually become friends. The Doctor notes that she is a good coordinator, and often encourages her with the words, "Brave heart, Tegan." She is apparently able to speak at least one Indigenous Australian language fluently, and shows an ability to use firearms.

Despite her strong front, however, her adventures with the Doctor, both thrilling and terrifying, eventually take a psychological toll. She is deeply upset by the death of Adric in Earthshock. After being left behind in Heathrow due to a misunderstanding at the end of Time-Flight, she returns to the TARDIS in the next adventure Arc of Infinity, which is set about a year later in Earth time. During that period, Tegan had worked as a stewardess, but has been subsequently fired. Soon after, she is once again possessed by the alien intelligence known as the Mara. Eventually, the carnage surrounding the events of Resurrection of the Daleks prove too much and she bids an emotional good-bye to both the Doctor and Turlough in 1984 London.

Tegan Jovanka is one of the few companions of the classic series to be seen to have an extended family. In addition to her Australian aunt Vanessa (Dolore Whiteman), her English maternal grandfather Andrew Verney (Frederick Hall) was seen to live in the village of Little Hodcombe in The Awakening, and her English cousin Colin Frazer (Alastair Cumming) was terrorised by Omega whilst back-packing in Amsterdam during Arc of Infinity.

Other mentions[edit]

An illusory image of Tegan is seen during the Fifth Doctor's regeneration into the Sixth in The Caves of Androzani (1984).

In Attack of the Cybermen, Peri tells the Sixth Doctor he has called her "Tegan" among other names.

In the 2007 Children in Need special episode "Time Crash", the Tenth Doctor asks his fifth incarnation if he is still travelling with Tegan in his own relative timeline.

In The Sarah Jane Adventures two-parter Death of the Doctor (2010), Tegan is mentioned as having campaigned for the rights of Australian Aborigines.

In "The Crimson Horror" (2013), the Eleventh Doctor tells Clara Oswald that he spent a long time trying to get a "gobby Australian" to Heathrow Airport. A scream is then heard, and he says "Brave heart, Clara." [3]

Other appearances[edit]

Fielding reprised the role in a 1985 sketch ("A Fix with Sontarans") for the children's show Jim'll Fix It alongside Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor. This sketch suggests Tegan returns to the life of a flight attendant and has also frosted her hair blonde, before being accidentally returned to the TARDIS by the Sixth Doctor.

Tegan's life after journeying with the Doctor is investigated in the Big Finish Productions 2006 audio drama The Gathering. Although she finds it difficult to enter into relationships and is suffering from a terminal illness, she tells the Doctor that she has no regrets about her time with him, and now appreciates her life to the full.[4]

The spin-off fiction suggests that she was briefly married to pop star Johnny Chester (also known as Johnny Chess), the son of the First Doctor's companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. In the spin-off short story "Good Companions" by Peter Anghelides Tegan has suffered a nervous breakdown and convinced herself that her time with the Doctor was a delusion.

List of appearances[edit]

Television[edit]

Season 18
Season 19
Season 20
20th anniversary special
Season 21

Audio drama[edit]

Short Trips audios[edit]

Novels[edit]

Virgin Missing Adventures
Past Doctor Adventures

Short stories[edit]

Comics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Time Warrior part 1 first aired 15 December 1973; The End of Time part 2 aired 1 January 2010, thirty-six years, 17 days, later.
  2. ^ Part Three of "The Web of Fear" originally aired on 17 February 1968. Part two of "Enemy of the Bane" first aired on 8 December 2008, forty years, nine months, and twenty-one days later.
  3. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p018fzmm
  4. ^ "BBC Doctor Who website". 

External links[edit]