With Jodie Whittaker now announced as the Thirteenth Doctor, you might be using the expression “Time Lady” a lot more now.
Over the years. there have been a number of Time Ladies gracing our television screens, both in the ‘classic’ and ‘new’ eras.
Fact fans will be delighted to learn that it wasn’t until 1979’s City of Death that the expression “Time Lady” was first used. On that occasion it was by the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, in reference to his TARDIS traveling chum, Romana.
Here’s our guide to the Ladies of Time…
The original Time Lady, you might say. For those who don’t know, Susan was the Doctor’s granddaughter and traveled with him from the very first episode, An Unearthly Child. The Doctor would end up leaving her on Earth in the 22nd Century at the denouement of The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964).
The youngster returned in 1983’s The Five Doctors, played again by Carole Ann Ford, and then some 30 years later in The Name of the Doctor (sort of). In Series 10’s The Pilot, Whovians were delighted to see that the Twelfth Doctor had a picture of Susan on his desk at St. Luke’s University.
Nice to know she was still on his mind, over 1,000 years later.
It wasn’t until 1978’s Gallifrey-based The Invasion of Time when we would meet another Time Lady. The Fourth Doctor, Leela and K-9 were up against an invasion of the Vardans and then Sontarans when technician Rodan assisted with her useful knowledge of Quasitronics.
She was also a fan of the phrase “transduction barrier”, not heard much in Doctor Who these days.
Much to his disgust, the Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker, was given an “assistant” by the White Guardian in a quest for The Key To Time. Romanadvoratrelundar to give her her full name (or Fred), was originally played by Mary Tamm for the whole of the season arc (a whopping 26 episodes!).
But, just like the Doctor, Romana could regenerate; and did so in the following season opener, Destiny of the Daleks. The Time Lady went through a number of “bodies” before her final choice – that of Princess Astra, who appeared in the Key To Time finale, The Armageddon Factor. At the denouement of Warrior’s Gate (1981), Romana chose to leave with K-9 in E-Space, a universe outside our own. Behind the scenes, “Romana II” actress Lalla Ward was briefly married to Tom Baker.
Sadly, she didn’t return for the 20th Anniversary special and was replaced by the similar-sounding…
Mainly because he didn’t want the job, the cad!
Did a neat line in scathing looks.
Hmm, a lightly contentious entry here. Jenny was made from the Tenth Doctor’s DNA, and thusly named his ‘daughter’. The poor thing died at the end of her episode, The Doctor’s Daughter, but managed to use some regenerative powers to come back to life - though not regenerate. In real life, Georgia Moffett, who played Jenny, is the daughter of Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, and the wife of Tenth Doctor, David Tennant.
What a timey-wimey, family-wamily!
Let’s move on…
The Woman was played by screen legend, Claire Bloom.
Also keen on finger and face tattoos.
Her Time Lady-ness was caused by being conceived in the TARDIS.
Not the last Time Person to do this, as we will discover.
Fact fans will note that actress Rosie Jane – who played Bill Pott’s mum in Series 10 – is one the three actresses (see pic above on right from her Instagram).
We will meet the new Doctor properly in this year’s 2017 Doctor Who Christmas Special.